Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Knock, knock.

(Who's there?)

First post.

(First post who?)

First post from Dave's home computer.

[Yes, I finally have home internets now. You may express your glee in the comments.]

Friday, May 25, 2007

Okay, ONE last thing.

I saw this on TV last night and just about passed out from laughing. Think of this as an addendum to the man-hug video from yesterday. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Peath Out.

First: Here's what's on my list of stuff to blog in the next week or two--Spiderman 3, John Maxwell, Jerry Falwell, "The Black Donnellys," and the season finales of "Lost," "Heroes," "Smallville," "24," and "How I Met Your Mother." Not to mention my upcoming Corpus Christi excursion. So that's quite a bit.

Second: I'm about to get a new work computer! Yay! Of course this means I have to clear off a good bit of my desktop! Boo!

Third: I've been collecting many links. Some I wanted to discuss, others I just wanted to share. Current circumstances have necessitated my dumping these out this afternoon for your general perusal and diversion-shopping. See below.

Fourth: Time for a little break and some relaxation in the sun. I'll be back online in about a week. Take care of yourselves. Be good.
And finally, the piece d'resistance:

What-What-WHAAAAAT????!??!?!?!?!?!?

I've been thinking about last night's amazing "Lost" finale non-stop since its last stunning moments. I don't even know how to recap it right now.

So I'll leave it to you, gentle readers. Leave your comments, questions, and stunned reactions in the comments below. I'll be back sometime in the future (without the "Grizzly Adams" beard or drug addiction, though, thanks) to try to pick up the pieces and my still-dropped jaw.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Blog Game: Literary Band Bios

Kinsey inspired this fantastic little game, using the afore-mentioned Band Bio Generator.

The Game: Create a fictional band bio using artifacts from the career of a famous author or playwright. Then let the others guess the answer and post their own in the comments.

Here's an example.

Category: American playwright
Hailing from their cousin's basement in Boston, Happy Unhappy found themselves at the top of the the indie rock scene in 1970 with their debut album, Abby's No Goody, Goody. The band's latest album, Still a Dime A Dozen, merges Larry Keller's wounded lyrical stylings with experimental production to assemble a bevy of chart-topping crowd pleasers. With standout tracks like "How's the View?," don't be surprised if you find Happy Unhappy at the top of the indie rock charts and beyond.
Answer: Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, All My Sons, A View From a Bridge)

Easy enough, right? Okay, I'll start it off:

Category: British author
Born in the pits of London, Ollie And the Artfuls roared onto the techno scene in 1968 with their debut album, Don't Expect Much. The band's latest album, A Far, Far Better Thing, joins Dorrit's deafening lyrics with jaw-rattling guitar solos to concoct an effort bursting at the seams with technical masterpieces. With standout tracks like "A Nickel By A Copper Field," look for Ollie And the Artfuls to be a major player in the techno landscape for years to come.

Any guesses? Take a stab at it, and leave your best ones in the comments below.

Bored and Busy

Yes, yes, I'm keeping a list of all of the blogs I've promised you in the last week. They're coming.

I'm "busy" right now, and trying to stay on task. Of course, this means I had time to goof for a few minutes.

For example, I've had fun with this "band bio generator" [h-t: Pop Candy, of course].

Here's what it has to say about OBU Theatre's own Rosco 90:
Hailing from their cousin's basement in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Rosco 90 found themselves at the top of the the indie rock scene in 2000 with their debut album, It's the Day of the Show Y'all. The band's latest album, Wet Tech Rehearsal, layers Brandon Roye's disaffected melodies with smart instrumentation to somehow churn out a bevy of chart-topping gems. With standout tracks like "What Is It Really?," already certified platinum in Europe, Rosco 90 can count on loads of future success.

And here's one for the fictional rock legends, Floyd52:
After meeting while still in elementary school in Houston, Texas, Floyd52 busted down the doors of the rock scene in 2003 with their debut album, Psychadelic Free-for-All. The band's latest album, Facebook Renegades, mixes El Dave-o's over-the-top yarling with back-to-basics guitars to churn out genre defining album chocked full of fist-pumping rock. With standout tracks like "Her Myspace Just Broke up with Me," the music of Floyd 52 appeals to rock fans and non-rock fans alike.

So there you go. Enjoy.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tagged! : Food Meme

I got tagged'd. What the heck. Sounds fun.

1. Add a direct link to your post below the name of the person who tagged you. Include the city/state and country you’re in.

Nicole (Sydney, Australia)
velverse (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
LB (San Giovanni in Marignano, Italy)
Selba (Jakarta, Indonesia)
Olivia (London, England)
ML (Utah, USA)
Lotus (Toronto, Canada)
tanabata (Saitama, Japan)
Andi (Dallas [ish], Texas, United States)
Todd (Louisville, Kentucky, United States)
miss kendra (los angeles, california, u.s.a)
Jiggs Casey (Berkeley, CA, USA! USA! USA!)
TM (New England, USA)
Joe (NE Tennessee, USA)
10K Monkeys (Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA)
Big Stupid Tommy (Athens, Tennessee, USA)
Dave (Houston, TX, USA)

2. List out your top 5 favorite places to eat at your location.

Top Five, in no particular order:

--Chuy's. The theme of the decor is more-or-less "Mexican Elvis." The food is fantastico tex-mex. I usually order the "Big as Yo Face" Burrito with ground sirloin. If you get it on a Friday, you can have it covered in "boom-boom sauce," a spicier queso. Best part of the meal, though, is the Jalepeno Sour Cream dip for the tortilla chips. Not to be missed.

--Logan's Roadhouse. Yes, it's a nationwide chain, but it's still dang good. And my baby sister loves that you can throw your peanut shells on the floor. Try the Kickin' Chicken Salad. This is the regular "family dinner" spot where I meet my folks during the week.

--Saltgrass Steakhouse. Best chicken fried steak anywhere. The combo plate with chicken and sliced sausage is pretty choice too.

--Rudy's Barbecue. Okay, it's a bit of a drive (about an hour north, in College Station). But it's the best BBQ experience I've ever had. I even prefer it to Goode Company, Houston's long-revered BBQ chain. But the fact that you buy the meat and sides family-style, instead of in individual portions, and that (at least at the CS location) you're sitting on picnic tables in an oversized barn, really lends itself to a downhome family-picnic atmosphere. Lots of fun, and good eatin'.

--Treebeard's. Best food in Downtown Houston, but it's only open for lunch on weekdays. Get the Red Beans and Rice with Sausage and onions, extra cheese. Pile on some free French bread from the basket next to the silverware. Awesome. Happy fullness will ensue shortly.

3. Tag 5 other people (preferably from other countries/states) and let them know they’ve been tagged.

Kinsey, Sunburned Jenn, Mr. Jones, Travis, Trevor

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Programming Information and More Movie Reviews

First, for those of you who prefer serious commentary over pop-culture musings, you'll enjoy tomorrow, but bear with me for another week. As this is the end of the TV season for the most part, and the beginning of the summer movie season, I'll be review-happy for a little while. Over the summer, we may find more cerebral topics of conversation.

This afternoon, and next week, we'll be talking about movies I've seen lately, more television finale stuff, and eventually a Spiderman review/autopsy. I'll certainly be talking "Heroes" on Monday before the big show, I'll have a "Smallville" recap for the probably none of you that care, and I'll try to also post about "The Black Donnellys" (which is now available in its entirety online, all 13 episodes!). We'll talk "Lost" on Wednesday. And I'll throw some links and other keen business in there too.

Tomorrow, however, we'll get serious. I'll goof on John Maxwell a little bit, and then address the issue of Jerry Falwell, his death, his legacy, and how I respond to it all. So that may get heavy.

===

But for now, a couple capsule movie reviews:

Music and Lyrics
(Rated PG-13 for language, pop-starlet booty shaking, and Hugh Grant's attempted pelvic thrusts)

You probably saw the adverts and groaned. "Not another lame romantic comedy with Hugh Grant being self-effacing and [Random female lead] being cute and playing hard to get!" Well, don't worry, kids. It's exactly as you thought, but not as bad as you feared. In this surprisingly charming film, Grant plays Alex, the keyboardist of a formerly popular 80's band, who's now stuck working class reunions and state fairs. He gets the opportunity to write a new song for the latest female pop star Cora ("bigger than Britney and Christina put together" he's told), which could jumpstart his career. Problem A: He writes music, not lyrics. That was his former singing partner's job. Problem B: Song's due by Friday. Through a clunky twist of serendipity, he meets Drew Barrymore's talkative Sophie, and they end up finding the perfect harmony of their talents. (Cheesy reviewer pun: CHECK!) Do they get the song done in time? Does the pop princess like it? Will the two leads find love?

Most movies of this variety stop there, but those questions only get you an hour into the film. The deeper issues explored here are about giving up on yourself vs. trusting yourself to step out creatively. The issue of artistic integrity in a commercial world is touched upon. But are serious themes why you'd watch this movie? Of course not. You watch it for cute chemistry between the leads, fun supporting characters, and good laughs.

Well, I'd never have put these two leads together, but by the end of the film, I believe the pairing. I always have a soft-spot for Drew, knowing fully that she'll never give you Oscar-worthy work. And Hugh turns his usual self-effacement into an acute and hilarious self-awareness, as a former pop star coping with the fact that his artistic peak may be 20 years behind him.

The supporting cast includes Kristen Johnston (of "3rd Rock from the Sun") and Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond"), who both do fine with comic relief. Haley Bennett plays Cora as both hypersexualized and totally spaced-out, and you come to feel a little sorry for her as a product of the industry who can't find herself.

The script is quite clever, and the faux-80's music and videos are dead-on for the era. The cast chemistry is good, and the movie is just fun. The singing is not perfect, but that's because it's all the actors' actual singing voices, so I totally forgive that.

Music and Lyrics is not perfect, and it's a little predictable, but ultimately it's a sweet tune worth a listen. Totally recommended.

=====

Catch and Release
(Rated "PG-13" for language, some drug use, and frequent references and implications of 'sexy time.')

The greatest fear of a bride-to-be is the death of her fiance, and that's exactly how the movie starts. (No, I'm not giving you anything you wouldn't see in the trailer.) Jennifer Garner plays Grey, an almost-widow whose fiance Grady died in a fishing accident a few days before the wedding. The film is about how Grey tries to pick up the pieces, with the support of Grady's family and friends, and how she finds out she really didn't know her fiance that well after all.

How in the world is such a maudlin concept marketed as a romantic dramedy, you ask? Two reasons. First, one of the friends becomes a little too comforting. (Yes, now I'm giving stuff away.) Pretty soon, too. Maybe it's a rebound for her, I don't know. The "comedic" part is mainly due to Grady's friends, and primary falls on Kevin Smith's character Sam, who is childish and funny and lights up most of the scenes he's in.

[Side note: I had two different people tell me that Sam reminded them of me. I can take that two ways. Sam was kind, sensitive to Grey, supportive, funny, and loyal, and he fell into the role of mentoring a young boy without a father. That's pretty cool. On the other hand, Sam was also lazy, undependable, suicidal, and totally unserious. A slovenly man-child, albeit with a heart of something close to gold. I'm torn as to how I feel about this.]

I won't give away the ending, but it involves secrets of the past unearthed, which introduce new characters into the story and into Grey's life.

Did I like this movie? A few scenes, I really enjoyed. I appreciated one character's struggle with being in love with someone else's girl. But I really didn't like how quickly Grey jumped into bed with someone who is clearly not always a nice guy. And if Sam and the others were real friends, they would have said something about it, instead of just letting it happen. That's not cool.

If you really like Jennifer Garner, Kevin Smith, Juliette Lewis and/or fly fishing, go ahead and catch this one for a couple bucks' rental. If not, just release it and let it swim away. Its heart is kinda tiny.

"When you leave, I will follow / Anywhere that you tell me to..."

I've mentioned it and played it off for years, but it's time to come clean: I'm a fan of "Gilmore Girls." It's true. I say this with as little shame and/or guilt as possible. I, an unabashedly heterosexual man, am a fan of an undeniably girly hour-long WB/CW drama.

Last night was the series finale of the show, and I have to tell you, I was pretty sad. It occured to me to look at the clock during the last commercial break, and I was suddenly struck with the thought, "There's only ten more minutes of Gilmores ever." That bums me out.

So the show ended after seven years. There were eleventh-hour negotiations for a shortened eighth season, but they fell through for whatever reason that's being obscured and protected by the hordes of publicists and spokesfaces. And thus, what was supposed to be the season finale ended the show. I think they had a good idea that could happen, because the finale finished things up pretty well. Not perfectly, by any means, but pretty well.

So, as a tribute to this show I've been watching for the last 4 years or so straight through, here's a list of eight of my favorite things about "Gilmore Girls":

1) The "girls." Let's get this out of the way now--Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel are beautiful women. I used to play this off as the only reason I watched the show "from time to time," but it was so much more than that. They're both wonderful actresses, and I REALLY believed them as mother and daughter. They clearly enjoyed each other in every scene together, and the (in)famous rapid-fire dialogue between them could not be topped on the "banter" scale. And there were a few different times throughout the show where you couldn't help but be jealous of one or both of their suitors, because these characters would just be fun to know and spend time with.

2) The grandparents. Kelly Bishop and Edward Hermann were hilarious as Lorelai's parents and Rory's grandparents, Richard and Emily Gilmore. Emily's pompous propriety was a hilarious juxtaposition to Lorelai's more bohemian parenting style. Yet, as the episode with Richard's heart attack revealed, it is often a show to cover up her insecurity and dependence on her husband. One of the few really great moments from this much-maligned last season was her breakdown in the hospital when she's confronted with the thought of being something other than Richard's wife. As for Richard, he was so amiable and good-natured throughout that his few moments of pride and anger were shocking and effective. He was not a perfect man, but had I not the grandfathers I had, I'd want him to be mine.

3) Lane and Zach. Lane Kim was Rory's best friend, the rock-and-roll child of a fundamentalist Christian mother. While her mother's religion was more than a few times used as a punchline, Lane exemplified the struggle of growing up in a religious household while trying to be "cool." While I'm not totally down with all of Lane's choices or attitudes, I can certainly relate. Then, Lane married Zach, the lead singer/guitarist in their band, "Hep Alien." And Zach became one of my favorite characters. His dopey optimism and willingness to put up with some of Mrs. Kim's crazyness. His kindness and easygoing nature, that won over even the grouchy diner guy. And how he loves his wife! Zach was another one of my favorite parts of this past season.

3a) Sebastian Bach as one of Zach and Lane's bandmates. I never would have thought that a former 80's rocker would fit so perfectly into this show. But SB was so into the role and clearly had such a good time with it, he just lit up the screen every time he appeared.

4) Luke Danes, the "diner guy." Luke was such a great character. The gruff and impersonal exterior hiding a really kind man who just never had the chance to open his heart before. Somehow, the oddball antics of Lorelai were able to get through his armor. Two people could not be more different than, or more perfect for, each other. And the fans agonized every time something happened that pushed them apart. Finally, when they became a couple, we saw the kindness of Luke bloom, before the cruel ending of Season 6 that found Lorelai in the arms of Rory's father. Throughout the show, Luke grew and then regressed and then grew again. But the point of the most growth for Luke was the appearance of a daughter he never knew. Fans cringed at this turn of events (and many hated the daughter), but this sequence of episodes was able to show that not only could Luke be a loving boyfriend, but he could grow to be a real father--something you never would have thought from the somewhat-slovenly diner guy of Season 1. With April, all the paternal tendencies that Rory stirred up in Luke came to fruition and maturity. And in the end, FINALLY, Luke and Lorelai were reconciled. And while we didn't see the full return of their love, we were given a glimpse that these two had a future together.

5) Logan Huntzberger. Rory's last and best boyfriend. I didn't like Dean. I hated Jess (before he became Peter Petrelli!). But I liked Logan, ultimately. He started out a spoiled jerk, thoughtless, selfish, and charming. But he found in Rory someone worth pursuing, worth sacrificing for. He may not have fully matured, and he certainly made mistakes. But when all was said and done, he had left his father's employ and the promise of a cushy job in the family business, and decided to make his own way in the world. He had become more giving, more patient, more sincere, a little more humble. And even though Rory decided not to marry him, and they had to part ways, both Logan and Rory were better people from their relationship. And even if the show went on another year, I'd miss Logan, because he was one of the great examples on the show of how people can really change for the better.

6) The townsfolk. Seriously, was there a weirder band of misfits and goofballs on television? Taylor. Kirk. Miss Patty and Babbette. Lulu. Liz and TJ. Gypsy. Morey. Sookie. Jackson. Michel. Each with an individual personality and particular character quirk. And each one so fun to watch. You want to visit Stars Hollow and interact with these people. You want them to be your friends.

7) The setting. I've never lived in a small town. I've never lived in New England. Thanks to this show, I've gotten to enjoy the beauty of both.

8) The music. Granted, it was essentially "la la la la la la" for the most part, but Sam Phillips' light-hearted score and background tracks really set an emotional tone for the show. Plus, Grant-Lee Phillips as the town troubador? Awesome.

====

Okay, your turn. Time to step up and admit if you watched this show. What were your favorite characters/episodes/aspects of the series?

Monday, May 14, 2007

PBB Movie Review: "28 Weeks Later"

I plan on doing a full-fledged Spidey 3 review soon (especially informative after having seen it a total of 3 times, and not all by choice). In the meantime, to whet your appetite and my steely knife, here is a review of "28 Weeks Later," which I saw over the weekend. Think of it as tribute to the long-since-abandoned Better Than Critics movieblog of yesteryear.

Also, expect smaller reviews of the excellent "Music and Lyrics" and the disappointing "Catch and Release" tomorrow or Wednesday.

===

28 Weeks Later
(Rated "R" for rampant blood-letting, prodigious use of the "F" word, and lots of icky, icky monsters.)

[Note: May contain mild spoilers, but I'll try to avoid that, and really, you're better off.]

I love zombie movies. I want to say it's a guilty pleasure, but if you brag about your love for said pleasure, and you make no attempt to avoid or stop enjoying said pleasure, then guilt really does not enter into it. I suppose what I mean is, there is a chance I shouldn't enjoy zombie movies as much as I do. But I do. Greatly. Old school and new school (sometimes called "neo-zombie").

There are a few different camps vis a vis zombie film, which pretty much fall along the "zombie origin theory" lines. There is the original George Romero zombies of "Night of the Living Dead." These shambling silent hulks move slowly, as the neurological capabilities of the dead tissue has degenerated significantly. They were either dead already, or were "turned" through being bitten by an undead. These old-school creatures usually are either made so by magic, scientific misconduct, or an unexplained phenomenon. (Not knowing can often be more terrifying.) You get something similar to these in Voodoo practice and folklore. (Uncle Wiki also says that the undead concept was used in the Epic of Gilgamesh! Neato!)

New-school zombies (as I call them, anyway) are usually spawned due to a virus of some kind. (However, in modern Romero and the remake of "Dawn of the Dead," they were still of unknown origin, yet maintaining neo-zombie characteristics.) Neo-zombies are ferocious, quick on their feet, loud, and savage in their attacks. They sometimes take on more animalistic, intelligent pack behavior.

It's this neo-zombie sub-genre from which Danny Boyle's "28 Days Later" emerged in 2002. It was everything the Hollywood zombie movie was not: low-budget, unpopulated with known "stars," and actually scary. In that film, a virus called "Rage" is being developed in an animal research lab in England, when animal rights activists break in and set an infected monkey loose. Thus is released the deadly virus, that is passed through any liquid transfer and activates in a new victim almost instantly. The films protagonist, Jim (played by Cillian Murphy in a breakout role) wakes up from a coma in an evacuated and quarantined London. He bands together with a few survivors who have to outlive not only the infected hordes but also a frightened and frightening military containment force. The title comes from the fact that, supposedly, the infected will only last 28 days with no victims to feed upon, before they die. This film was outstanding, and if you don't mind the disturbing content (and an early scene with non-sexual male nudity--gross), I'd recommend it with no reservations.

The sequel, however.

The film "28 Weeks Later" picks up, conveniently enough, 28 weeks after the initial outbreak, and about 6 months after the infected started dying. The threat is past, they hope, so a U.S.-led NATO force begins re-patriation and clean-up of the abandoned country. (The makers of the film hope the blatant parellels to the rebuilding and continuing unrest of Iraq are not lost on you.)

All the prerequisite cast members are in place. There is a loving but cowardly dad. His two cute but precocious children (to be more precise, one is an older teenager). A medical military officer with a heart of gold. A tough-guy soldier with a conscience and a penchant for self-sacrifice, and his just-trying-to-get-back-to-my-family buddy. Everyone ready? Okay, and UNLEASH CHAOS.

I won't spoil the prestige for you, but needless to say, the virus gets out again (to the fault of a few of the key cast members, mind you) and chaos resumes. The situation instantly gets out of control, so the military totally code-reds every friggin person in the place. Once again, our protagonists must survive zombie-hordes (including one zombie character with a positively Michael-Myersian knack for showing up EVERYWHERE) and relentless military destruction.

And oh yes, there is blood. Lots. (Brief math problem for you: Crowd of zombies on hilltop + helicopter with limited arsenal trying to clear a quick path = ?) And it just kept coming. Sometimes this was obscured and heightened by the cinematography. The camera work started out being spiffy like a handicam rock video on speed, but then just got a bit tiring.

Now, believe it or not, I actually enjoyed watching this film. No, really, I did. Mainly because I like the genre, but also because the characters, while predictable, were appealing and sympathetic. The visual effects, for the most part, were pretty neat, when they weren't trying too hard. The new director was trying to some extent to maintain the visual style of Boyle's original, and for that I'm thankful. The film was appropriately tension-inducing and scary. And the ending, though unsurprising based on the first big reveal of the film, was still satisfying in a "HA-ha!" Nelson-Muntz sort of way.

I liked it. But when I thought about why I liked the original, there was no contest. The thing is, "28 Days Later" had so much more...humanity. I cared more for the protagonists as people. Their journey was less grandly violent but more personal and harrowing. And that produced a real resonance, which "28 Weeks Later," with its CGI explosions and incalculable stage-blood budget, couldn't fashion.

One cool concept in 28WL was a scene where American snipers are trying to pick off the infected as a mob of people, some scared and some snacking, is running through the streets. The soldiers are freaked out because they can't tell who the hostiles are. That moment helped me better appreciate the psychological turmoil of American soldiers on the warfront, dealing with enemies that hide in crowds and attack from shadows. However, I wonder if the filmmaker would rather I focus on the fact that the mainly-U.S. military forces lost control of the situation and decided to bomb the crap out of everything and everyone as a result, killing the people they were supposed to protect and earning the total distrust of the survivors (outside of the few soldiers who heroically disobeyed orders).

In summation: "28 Weeks Later" is a zombie itself. A resurrected but still mobile plot with interesting (if familiar) qualities, sufficiently scary and fast-moving, but without a beating heart. Worth the six bucks I paid, maybe (or your four at the local video store), but I doubt I'd seek to watch it again anytime soon. If you haven't seen it, watch the original, and then Redbox or Netflix this one later on.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Comic Relief.

Something to tide you over until I can post for reals later:

I first saw the Marvel/DC parodies on Rick's page (along with the trailer to the coolest-looking fake movie ever, "Grayson"), and they quickly became my favorite YouTube videos.

They're made by a YouTube user named "ItsJustSomeRandomGuy," and they parody the "Mac/PC" adverts, using Spiderman and Superman (and friends) as representatives of their respective comics publishers.

The videos are charmingly basic, using action figures to stand in for the personalities involved. And the voice talent and writing is pretty funny.

Rather than subject you to all six of them here on the page (which I could do), I'll post the first one, and the latest one. You can chase down the rest, if you like.

Something fun for your Friday morning.



Monday, May 07, 2007

Poetry Corner

"The Day That I De-linked Zach Braff"

It was sunny, and it was warm.
A plain Monday, and true to form,
My day's work was not done by half--
The day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

I did not think the few that read
My blog would notice what I did.
I pondered not the aftermath--
The day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

I did not mean to diss ZB.
None dug "Garden State" like me!
I tossed no babies with the bath,
the day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

I was merely cleaning out
My blogroll, which had grown too stout.
I excised other stale riff-raff,
the day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

Goodbye, Homestar, good luck, Jenn,
Farewell, Amy, so long, Glenn,
Many sites fond mem'ries hath--
the day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

But ZB, I have been remiss--
I never rented "The Last Kiss."
And I doubt "The Ex" will make me laugh.
And I don't care for "Scrubs," Z. Braff.

Also, I hated "Chicken Little"
To the extreme--I claim no middle;
It bored me like old homemade taffy,
my doe-eyed, sensitive hipster Braffy.

And fact is, if not for the tunes
That made all "Garden State" fans swoon,
I wouldn't have thought it a gaff
the day that I de-linked Zach Braff.

And yet, when all was done and said,
I destroyed all my indie cred.
There goes making the McSweeney's staff,
thanks to the day I de-linked Braff.

So, you young bloggers, pay attention,
And always give Zach Braff a mention,
Or you'll feel hipster culture's wrath,
the day that you de-link Zach Braff.

Son of "The PBB Cool Ten!"

10. 15-14. Winners of five in a row, and eight of the last nine. Second place in the division. We have a couple of series' coming up against the beatable (but feisty) Bucs and Phils, before facing the Mets, ChiSox, Padres, and Dodgers. So, being a true Cubs fan, I don't trust the recent streak, and am waiting for something to go horribly, horribly wrong.

9. Yeah, I'm totally addicted to YouTube again. This "House" music video is good, as is this video of Don Chaffer and friends on the tour bus during the "Voice" tour last year, singing "Sweet River Roll."

8. Dead Like Me is getting a TV movie treatment. Looking forward to that. In the meantime, fans will want to check this DLM YouTube vid out. (Fair warning: Like the show, the vid's dark and a little grisly.) Franz Ferdinand and reaping--somehow they just go together.

7. I don't normally go in for the whole "save our TV show" internet petition thing. But "Drive" wasn't given a fair shake, being cancelled ten days after premiering. If you like, sign up here.

6. No, I haven't gotten my Weird Al tickets yet. I've been meaning to. In the meantime, here's an article/interview. [h-t: PC]

5. Friends who are willing to give you a verbal Corleone-like "Be-a-man" smackdown? Priceless.

4. Picked up a cheap, used copy of the Kill Bill V.2 soundtrack. I've been playing "Malaguena Salarosa" loudly all weekend.

3. Spiderman 3--Contrary to popular opinion, I thought it was rather awesome. Review coming soon.

2. I finally finished "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell." Amazing novel. Can't recommend it enough. However, I was hit by some pretty heavy-duty "post-novel depression," so I rebounded with a slim little noirish detective story starring a vampire PI. Fun.

1. People are actually coming to Sunday School! The class is growing! God is so good.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

[everybody here thinks he needs you.]

I think part of my problem is that I keep wanting my life to be more vivid and artistic and meaningful than it is. And instead of making the small changes other people do to achieve that kind of life, I spend my time bemoaning my lack, and watching television.

I want to write more, but I've lost the trust I once had in myself. The voice of the infernal internal critic has grown louder, and the voice of the inner writer has been silenced.

I feel disconnected from progress. I'm stuck in a metaphorical, metaphysical stasis that seems to be sapping the originality right out of me. I'm unable to move on.

Part of my heart is mourning something long dead, and even the memory of the thing mourned has left me. Now I half-mourn because that's what it seems I've always done. There was a girl once in high school whom I loved at a distance, but never told. When she disappeared, she stopped being a human girl with faults and flaws and hang-ups and oddities, and become a symbol. Dante's Beatrice. Adam's Maria. My Andria. Ten years later, I have to wonder if this ridiculous process was a half-hearted attempt at poetic longing. I don't think I knew the girl enough to justify any great depth of feeling, let alone a decade's remembrance. But even that memory is not much more than habit now.

Same old story, same old rhyme: I want to be in love, and I want to be loved. Not just by a perfect deity, but by an imperfect mortal. I'm done feeling guilty for wanting that. I need community with a creature like myself. It is not good for me to be alone. For one thing, it means I don't bother to do the dishes regularly.

I also worry because I haven't left anything lasting yet. I try to reassure myself that some artists don't produce anything notable until their twilight years, but I don't know if I have that long. At the speed I'm travelling, I may not make retirement age. I have lots of changes to make. (for one thing, I need to stop carrying around the body of two men instead of one.) But physical changes seem so coarse and unimportant compared the the GREAT BIG IMPORTANT THING that I can't seem to figure out I'm supposed to do. I spend my time trying to remember what it is that I'm meant to accomplish, and it keeps outrunning me, like a half-forgotten song lyric on the tip of my tired tongue. makes you wish you could google your own destiny.

I need help with this life thing. I need another voice besides the shifty, sarcastic bastard in my head. An outside voice to tell me, "I believe in you, kid. You're all right." Maybe then I can get my head on straight.

But I don't think I can wait on the owner of that voice to shimmy across my path, before I can try to get my act together. Fact is, I have no guarentees that such a person exists. Maybe for some, maybe not for me--no whining, now, I'm just saying, let's be honest. I'd like to think so; practically everybody hopes to find that somebody to split a pizza or a shower with. But no one's promised it, pal. Time to get real here. Maybe my path is to make my way alone, shoulder against the wind, until the right person falls in step with me. All the same, it's a mighty cold road to trudge along, some days.