Friday, September 25, 2009

Linky-Love When September Ends...

(a little early, but i wanted to make the reference anyway)

Lots of links, so let's set these up by category!

TEN MUSICAL PARODIES, MASH-UPS, AND BITS O' SILLINESS FROM "TBT"
1) Nirvana + Rick Astley
2) Beastie Boys + Rush
3) Indiana Jones + Counting Crows
4) Billy Joel + The Office
5) "Fresh Prince" Theme + Folk Music
6) Beatles + Led Zepplin
7) Verve Pipe + College Overeating
8) Shakespeare + Metal
9) MC skillz + pre-flight announcements
10) Superman Theme + Church Organ

FIVE COOL STORIES THAT HAPPEN TO BE TRUE
1) Medical researchers announce that the appendix is not a vestigal organ and actually has useful purposes. The Intelligent Designer of Human Anatomy chuckles to himself.
2) Imagine finding out that you are part of an immortalized piece of American photographic art.
3) The tragic and redemptive journey of NBA "washout" David Vaughn.
4) The story of a college student unable to pay tuition, and a pastor who gathered a community of support around him to help out. Way to go, Christians.
5) Man uses monkey mask to avoid getting speeding tickets from photographic speed-traps.

5 THINGS I OUGHTA SPEND SOME TIME AND WRITE A REAL POST ABOUT (BUT WON'T)
1) A bloody and disturbing PSA about texting while driving, that was released in the UK last month. I think it's worth watching, but it is pretty graphic, so some readers may not want to see it. The question the article poses is, Will this keep people from texting while driving? [Answer: No, because I still text or check email while driving once in a while, even though I know better and am trying to quit the habit.]
2) David Bazan's journey away from faith. (He formerly sang in the band Pedro the Lion. Here's his latest.)
3) The NIV bible is getting another language update, including some slight changes to the gender language uses.
4) This moving and thoughtful article about miscarriage and loss.
5) How kids deal with sharing their birthday with an American tragedy.

10+ THINGS THAT ARE ONLY COOL IF YOU'RE GEEKY ENOUGH TO APPRECIATE THEM
1) The viral campaign for the Sherlock Holmes movie kicked off last month.
2) Top 70 most iconic panels from Marvel comics, according to "Comics Should Be Good."
3) Tonight's the season premiere of "Smallville" (woot!), so here's Tom Welling's take on the new season.
4) The Fine Brothers give 100 TV spoilers from shows past and present. (Do I even need to add "SPOILER ALERT!" to this one?)
5) PASTE Magazine creates a playlist dedicated to the marriage of doughy-faced Death Cabber Ben Gibbard to the lovely (If-Only-She-Were-Mrs.-Teacherdave-Instead) Zooey Deschanel.
6) Literary tattoos. Enough said.
7) Number One on the "Things I Wish Were Real" list (Video Game Edition): Mega Man in 3D!
8) XKCD is now in book form!
9) Fine, I'll go ahead and say it: I think LOLCats is sometimes pretty funny. So?
10) More TBT geeky song links!

Friday, September 18, 2009

PBB Capsule Movie Reviews: 9

Starring the voices of Elijah Wood, John C. Reilly, and others

[Trailer]

This is a visually beautiful film, and that alone makes it worth seeing at least once. Unfortunately, the storyline doesn't tell anything particularly new or innovative, and the plot is episodic and video-gamey, so it doesn't justify your full nine bucks at the multiplex. Also, it contains scary and disturbing images, and several tense moments, so if you take children to see it, YOU ARE AN IDIOT. Don't do that. There are a lot of really interesting conceptual ideas presented here, and I really wish that more care would have been given during pre-production to developing and thinking through the narrative backbone of the film. Unfortunately, it's clear this was rushed through as soon as the two famed producers signed on, because the rushed result is a lot of rehashed ideas thrown in a blender with some really neat action set-pieces and a muddled, uninspired ending. I noticed several "off-ramps" where the plot could have gone in different and more interesting directions, but instead chose to stay on target and barrel on toward a predictable ending. However, I will say that this sense of familiarity played well during the dread-filled (not at all dreadful) "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sequence.

Final Verdict: I'm not sorry I saw this beautiful, creepy, but sadly predictable little fable. Definitely worth your Netflix queue slot, dollar at Redbox, or buck-fifty at the second-run movie theater.

PBB Capsule Movie Reviews: The Time Traveller's Wife

Starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams (and Ron Livingston for, like, three scenes)

[Trailer]

If you watch the trailer, you pretty much get the gist of the movie. I was willing to give it a chance, and the fact of the matter is, if Rachel McAdams filmed her last five trips to the grocery store, I'd probably be interested in watching it. She's just gorgeous. Unfortunately, the grocery-store idea would have been more compelling than Time Traveller's Wife, which ultimately didn't say anything about the human condition or the eternal power of love or any other cliched theme you hoped would appear to give the actors something worthwhile to do or say. Instead, the movie did its best to completely sidestep any of the thorny implications that any sci-fi nerd knows are inevitable when discussing time travel. Further, there were moments of potential drama that were glossed over so nonchalantly that I was getting frustrated with the film. Then I realized my problem: taking the film to be anything other than a cash-in on the sappy, romantic, Nicholas-Sparks-loving demographic. And as someone who appreciates a decently-constructed chick flick, when even I'm disappointed you know there's a problem.

Final Verdict: Just pretend you've travelled into the future to the point where you've already seen the movie, and don't bother going to the theater.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Different Person Started This Blog

Apparently, the concept of the "seven-year cellular turnover" is a myth. This disappoints me. I really liked the idea of being a completely different person, at the most basic cellular level, than I was when I finished college.

But the fact is, in other ways, in ways that matter, I think I am a good bit different than I was 7 years ago. Want proof?

Today is the seventh anniversary of this blog, formerly called "Anything to Disrupt the Tedium" (or something similar to that).

My first ever post is here.

If you're bored or in need of something to help you sleep, take a peek at the archives. You get to see a lot of my blood and guts and bile and tears and nonsense. I wasn't very good at filtering for the first several years there. Thankfully, the comments have been lost through multiple template changes, so a lot of drama was swept away, and you're just left with my lunatic ravings.

So here's something fun, in honor of the day: Totally Honest Answer Day!

I'll answer, totally honestly, any question asked in my comments today and today only.

(This would be scarier for me if more than four of you read the blog with any regularity.)

Anyway, that's all. Happy blogiversary to me, I guess.

Self-indulgent

I saw a comment on a Youtube video of the revival version of "Company," in which the commenter said this production was "so self-indulgent."

Isn't theatre, at its core, self-indulgent? The whole process is really one big imagination game. The actors often do it as much for themselves as for the audience. Acting isn't a purely altruistic form of expression. It's fun. It's fulfilling. It's thrilling. It strokes the ego.

I suppose the commenter meant to imply that the director/designer/producer was self-indulgent in their creation of this production. But the cheap and easy accusation of "so self-indulgent" is weak on its face because it's theater-critic shorthand, parroted by the overeducated and underwhelmed. A five-word salvo fired off by someone who doesn't have the brains or balls to explain themselves in any way that could be critiqued or defended.

I'm in the mood today to call people on their bullshit. And that comment was. Organic, Grade-A.

Tired of Being Sorry

It's a pretty good song by Ringside (later covered by Enrique Iglesias).

Anyway.

I know I'm not blogging the way I said I would. I want to. I want to give you witty movie reviews, a description of my recent karaoke and drive-in experiences, maybe some discussion on what I've been thinking about lately. General bloggy goodness, in other words.

But...I don't know. I think i've grown impatient with trying to draw out the words. I sit down to write a blog post, and almost immediately get overwhelmed by the idea of going over all the details, re-reading it to make sure I didn't make any big grammatical or logical mistakes, polishing up the phrasing. I guess I'm just getting incredibly lazy, when typing a blog post is too daunting some days. Dickens and Shakespeare would roll their eyes in utter disgust.

I'm not a writer anymore. I guess I just have to admit that. And that...really sucks. Because I love stories, and I love telling stories. Being a writer is part of how I self-identify. Or was. For years, I've seen myself as a writer, if lately a back-slidden one.

Now? I don't know what I am. I still want to be a writer. I loved writing, once. I don't know what's happened to change that. Maybe working with words day after day has started to turn me away from it all.

I'm making excuses.

Here's the bottom line: I want to blog. I do... but I don't. So I'm gonna blog when I can, how I can, if I can.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Poor, Neglected Ol' Blog

Hello blog.

So yeah, I was good-naturedly ribbed by Kim last week that as soon as I got cable, my blog died. There's truth to that. So I'm gonna fill you in, over the course of three or four posts, on what's been going on with me lately. Nothing earth-shattering, but you may be amused.

So this is the "Hi, I'm not dead, I'm just resting" post.

My status, over the last two weeks, in brief: Work is going pretty well, church well enough, marathon training less well, personal discipline and organization least well. I need to budget time, money, and energy better. And seeing friends from college is always fun. The end.

I don't want to get into it all now--I really need to start working at work. (Crazy idea, right?)

But tonight/tomorrow/Thursday, I'll tell you about karaoke with Mr. Lee and Sushi GEEEEEEEEE!, and about how the best movie I saw over the holiday weekend is the one I'm most ashamed to admit seeing.

Also, here's something lovely: