Sunday, December 31, 2006

Holidays and Nights

Getting There...

Holy shit, air travel sucks. I mean... yeah, yeah, more convenient, takes less time, whatever... but consider this: When was the last time you stepped off of an airplane at your intended destination with a song in your heart and a candy-flavored rainbow wrapped around your shoulders? Don't worry, I'll answer for you. Never. Because air travel is to the human spirit what Raid is to cockroaches. It's an Earthly purgatory with uncomfortable seats. It makes a trip to the DMV feel like a Six Flags excursion. Air travel; not a fan.

To get to Texas cheaply, we had to take a 6am flight. For those of you who've never had the pleasure of being at New York's LaGuardia airport at 4am, let me sum up the experience for you: Rude. New Yorkers are, in general, a pretty salty lot and New Yorkers that work at the airport are that times ten. Case in point: Because we had about 500$ worth of Christmas presents in our suitcase (including a couple of bottles of wine) we asked, sweet as pie, for a fragile sticker for our bags. We were told by the trollish, overly-made-up woman behind the counter that there is "no such thing as 'fragile' in the airline business" and that "they didn't have stickers like that." Never mind that I've gotten those stickers before and never mind that I saw other clerks putting said stickers on other people's bags. So pleasant. Anyway, we make on to our plane and fly to Nashville, for our connecting flight. Because of ground fog, our connecting flight gets cancelled and we have to scramble to get on another plane, lest we spend our Christmas Eve in Tennessee. We're two of about twenty people who get in line fast enough to be granted passage on the next flight out, proving once again that God (or whomever) watches over fools and drunks, of which I am both.

The Festivities...

Christmas in my family is a big, swirling, chaotic event that involves more food than you can possibly imagine a group of people eating, gift-giving that borders on indulgence, and an outpouring of love that rivals your average tsunami in it's strength and ability to destroy small Malaysian fishing villages. Let me give you an idea of how my people do things when it comes to Christmas: We don't use stockings; we use buckets. My girlfriend and I bounced from house to house, eating bacchanalian quantities of ham and turkey, giving out hugs like Altoids, and just generally getting our Fa-La-La's out with abandon. The day after Christmas, the whole family gathered at my grandparents and had our collective picture taken, family portrait-style. I haven't seen the finished product yet, but I'm just going to assume we all look awesome. At the very least, we'll look better than the families that got their portraits taken at Kmart or some such this year. Why? Because at my grandparent's house, we had wine. That always adds to the photographing process. As is my understanding.

Movie Break...

And now, a brief rundown of the movies we saw over the holidays:

Rocky Balboa - Surprisingly good; much better than it should have been, judging by Rocky V. Stallone looks amazingly fit for a 60-year-old man and the movie it's self was a perfect nostalgically-uplifting blast for the holidays.

Slither - I'd seen this already, but I got the DVD for Christmas and thought it'd be a hoot to show it to the Moms, both of whom are squeamish around gore. I was not disappointed in their reactions. My mother, actually, was more entertaining to watch than the movie, which is pretty damn entertaining in it's own right.

Jackass 2 - Same as Slither. You haven't really bonded with your folks until you've watched together a man freeze his balls to a block of ice. It makes going to church together look like drug-fueled bar fight.

The Holiday - Ugh. Easily one of the worst movies I've seen in the last five years. My mother is no longer allowed to pick the movies that we go see. Parenthetically, who the hell keeps letting Cameron Diaz in front of a movie camera? The dog from Frasier had more personality.

The Non-Holiday Food...

One of the great things about coming back to Texas is getting visit the regional fast food establishments that I no longer have access to in the White Castle-saturated North. The most prominent among these is the hideously orange-and-white, 24-hour burger chain known as Whataburger. If you've never been there, you don't know how good fast food can be. When I lived in Austin, I had one about ten blocks from my house and I was there so much they made me pay rent. Also worthy of mention is the venerable Waffle House, otherwise known as the place I used to skip school and go drink coffee at. Defiantly trashy (it hasn't changed it's decor since the 70's; probably hasn't been cleaned since then either) in this day and age, it serves the best coffee, hash browns and pecan waffles on this planet or any other.

Finest Moment...

We're driving home and my mother turns to me and my girlfriend and says, "Oh, I've been meaning to ask you... what's a 'wiffy?'" We look at each other in bafflement and say we don't know; haven't ever heard of a "wiffy" before. She says, "Hmm, okay, well I've just been seeing a lot of apartment houses these days offering free wiffys and I'd never heard of them. It took about three seconds for it to click that she was talking about "WiFi" and my girlfriend and I had to be taken to the morgue because we died laughing.


And now we're home. Somehow, we managed to avoid all the storms and tornadoes that the Texas weather threw at us at the end of the week, and our flight arrived in New York sans hitch. We've decided to eschew any New Year's celebration tonight because we're both, still, dead tired and also sorta broke. It's the Twilight Zone marathon for us. However, despite the tiredness and the financial ruin, it was a hell of a holiday and we had an absolute blast. Hope everyone else's was as good a time as ours.

See ya'll in 2007!!!

(God, my accent's back. Damn you, Texas!!!)

Saturday, December 30, 2006


After getting up at 4am and flying for three hours and waiting another hour and a half for our bags and shelling out 40$ for a cab and lugging said bags up the many, many stairs to our apartment, we are, finally, and with a great sigh of relief, home.

We're both dead tired, not to mention less than thrilled about the Herculean task of unpacking that lays before us, but all in all things are very good. The trip, though exhausting, was a lot of fun and even the irritating parts were, grand scheme, pretty small potatoes (The trip will be recounted here in fascinating detail in the very near future; I know, you're too excited to sleep. You'll just have to wait.).

So, yes, all is well and we are tired. As I've said. Three times now. Suppose it's time for a nap and then at least a thousand years of unpacking, in my estimation.

More to come.

The Flying Dead

In the spirit of me flying home tomorrow, and also just for morbidity's sake, here's the FAA's official guidelines on transporting the dead on an airplane. Enjoy!


Transportation of the Deceased
The Jim Wilson Desk at AA Cargo (1-800-228-7878) handles the transportation of your deceased loved ones, in coordination with a funeral home/director. Our Passenger Reservations personnel (1-800-433-7300) will make travel arrangements for any escort accompanying uncremated remains.

Cremated Remains
Cremated remains traveling with a passenger are handled in the same manner as carry-on baggage. No special documents are required for travel within the United States. For international travel, please consult the consulate of the country to which you will be traveling and/or your burial advisor.

Crematory Containers
Certain crematory containers such as urns are unable to be screened at security checkpoints by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). An American Airlines airport agent may consult TSA personnel to determine if your container may be transported as carry-on or checked baggage. Please seek guidance from a funeral home to help determine if a particular crematory container will pose any difficulty at a TSA screening point.

Friday, December 29, 2006

One Day More

Returning to NYC on Saturday; regular postings to resume soonish. I see you shiver with antici...


(Yes, it's lame to be making Rocky Horror jokes in this day and age. And yet, here we are)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Gerald Ford IS James Brown???

Gerald Ford and James Brown died within days of each other, thus proving my long-held theory that they are the same person. Sure, there's some fairly elaborate make-up and prosthetics at work here, but I think that if you examine the facts, you'll uncover a hidden truth so shocking, it would make a bullet turn in mid-air or cause a man to "jump back, now." Herewith, the evidence:

-James Brown sang that it's "A man's world... but it takes a woman." Gerald Ford agreed with the song's sentiment, though he could have done without the last part. And would have preferred it sung in the style of a Christian hymn.

-Gerald Ford served as a member of the JFK-assassination-examining Warren Commission, even coming up himself with the controversial "magic bullet" theory. James Brown routinely threatened to shoot any and all "fuckin' Irish" with his magic shotgun. Brown also once performed in Dallas. (do you have chills yet?)

-Noted comedian Chevy Chase portrayed Gerald Ford in a series of much-beloved SNL sketches in the early 70's. Due to the pratfalls and physical comedy required of him, Chase became addicted to pain-killers. This was a subtle reference to both Gerald Ford AND James Brown's own addictions to pain-killers, which came about due to the pratfalls and physical comedy required of them while doing their impressions of noted comedian Chevy Chase.

-Gerald Ford's wife, Betty, was a notorious alcoholic whose illness eventually led her to found the Betty Ford Clinic, a venerable rehab center. James Brown has his own Express Lane at the Betty Ford Clinic and considers Betty Ford to be "one helluva hard-drinkin' lady." Also of note: Gerald Ford and James Brown had sex with Betty Ford. There's video to prove this, but it's been "suppressed." Because it is "disgusting."

-Gerald Ford and James Brown, despite both being famous, have never been photographed together, nor have they even been seen in the same room. Damning evidence, especially when you consider that they both, at times, were responsible for running our country and performing soul music.

So there you have it; Gerald Ford and James Brown are clearly the same person. Especially when you've been drinking.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

No More Ham

Just wanted to apologize to everyone; there's no more ham left for the remainder of your holiday parties, suppers and other assorted festive events. The reason? I ate it all. Sliced, cubed, served in salads, on rolls, or just thrust into my greasy maw by the fistfull, I took the nation's ham supply out on the lawn and kicked it's porky ass. Again, sorry, and I'm sure you can all make do with turkey until the ham market bounces back.
No, wait, I ate all the turkey too.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays From ZFS!

(Santa's on the drink again)
Things are going to be a bit sparse around here, posting-wise, as I get my Christmas on down in Texas with the family for the next week. I may pop in to say hello, but it'll probably be brief and incoherent as I'll more than likely be groggy from all of the ham I intend to eat (we're talking a "ham bender" here; it will be epic). So I hope everybody has a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukka, a Damn Nice Kwanza, and so forth and so on. Eat lots of food, drink lots of booze and party hard with your peoples.
Love to all, and to all a good night. Or whatever.
Your Favorite Elf

Friday, December 22, 2006

Rumors (High School Edition)*

A guy smoking a cigarette like he just learned last week says...

"Dude, it's totally true. If you go up to Joe Pool Lake after midnight in, like, October, you'll get totally murdered by Satanists. My brother and a couple of his buddies were up there this one time and they saw these dudes, like, killing this chick and wearing robes n' shit. Yeah, right? Totally fucked up. They saw my brother and his buddies and they chased them through the woods and my brother was all like "Holy shit!" They made it to their car, but then the Satan dudes chased them in another car!!! It was some fucked up shit. Anyway, nobody went to the cops because my brother's got an outstanding warrant for that time he got caught mudding out by the stadium and also they had some weed in the car."

A cheerleader who wears a lot of make-up to hide her acne says...

"She's such a slut. I mean, she's my best friend, fer reals, but she did the whole soccer team, like, out on the field. Like in the goal or something. That's why she's pregs. Oh my god, you didn't hear!!! Yeah, she's totally, totally knocked up. I heard from her cousin that her family went batshit when she told her and now she's locked in the First Baptist Church's basement with a guy, like, reading the bible to her twenty-four seven. For. Real. The 'official' story is that she got mono from one of the water fountains in Building D so she can't come back to school, but that's totally not what happened. She's such a slut. Nobody wants to look at her gross-ass fat stomach, anyway. Oh, shut up, here comes her brother. Hey, sexy!!!"

A guy in an FFA jacket who just offered you some "dip" says...

"Son, I never seen shit crazy like this. A couple of ol' boys were playing 'Sweet Home Alabama' in the parking lot and these black dudes got all pissed off and before I knew what was what, they was all fightin' and shit. Then, Bubba Gothrie called his cousin who's in the Klan and then the motherfuckin' Klan like showed up in this truck and everybody was freakin' out and shit. They was all like 'Hey, we're the Klan.' Then Mr. Adams came out and told the Klan guys to, like, fuck off or something and now Bubba's cousin says that the Klan president says they're going to kill Mr. Adams or something. Anyway, you shouldn't 've faked sick that day man, it was totally wild."

*All based on "real" rumors that circulated the halls of Arlington High School from 1996-99. Go Colts!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Busy Me

(Artist's rendition of me, today. Except that I'm not wearing a tie. Or flinging sweat around the room. I don't have three arms, either, though that'd be nice for a variety of reasons. The phone ringing off the hook is pretty accurate, as is the large stack of papers. Same goes for the panicked, hunted look in the eyes. And you can't tell, but I'm not wearing pants in the picture OR in real-life. Very casual office.)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Meatiest Poster Ever

Had to take a little break from the day's madness to comment on the newly released poster for Eli Roth's upcoming Hostel 2. It is, in a word, gross:

(click to enlarge and throw up)
What we're looking at here is movie poster that's visual design consists entirely of mutilated flesh and organ meat. Gotta say, it's a pretty ballsy, crazy move to expect theaters to hang up something as audaciously gory as this. The fact that it was approved by the MPAA is even more nuts; goes to show you how high the nation's tolerance for violence has climbed. Anyway, I say good show the the Hostel 2's creative team; it takes a lot, these days, to shock this cranky bastard and they certainly have with this.
A resounding "Eww" for their efforts.

Clip Show

It's going to be a king-hell, ass-kicker of a busy day for yours truly hear at the office. Got to get those invoices processed or... I don't know... New York will implode and the Baby Jesus will get all mad n' stuff. Or something. No one's ever really explained to me what happens when the invoices don't get input on time. I can only assume the worst.

At any rate, since I'm going to be up to my neck in fast-flowing waters today, and since we've had a bit of an influx of newcomers around here, I thought now would be a perfect time for a good old fashioned, heart-warming...


Remember the wacky time that I got into a fight with a door in Chinatown...

Or that loveable old scamp, Cap’n Skinnybones, who taught us all the value of a tidy captain's hat and also... how to love...

Hey, look who's here! It's my neighbors that hate each other! Come on in!!!...

There was that one, Very Special Post where I learned the value of a dollar...

And how could we forget the exciting, thrilling cliffhanger where I nearly died...

Yes, we've been through a lot here at Zombie Fights Shark! We've laughed, we've cried; we've learned a lot about life on this crazy planet; we've scaled the heights and plummed the depths; we've carried each other's books to class and we've made out in a car behind the gym; we've... we've...


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Ghost of Videos Past

Had a slip from the post office in my mailbox last night informing me that I had a package waiting at my local branch. So I trudge down in the freezing-ass cold, wait in a line longer than the one for the last choppers out of Saigon, and once outside, I open the box to see what I've got. It's this:

What? Exactly. Now, being me, I've seen Frankenhooker (it was a heavy rotater on the early 90's Cinemax) before so it's not the movie it's self that's shocking. It's the note enclosed that says, essentially:

Hey, sorry it's taken me so long to get this back to you. Love, SANTA!

Now, what you need to know here are three things:

1. I haven't seen or, really, even thought about the movie Frankenhooker since I was probably 18 or so. It's not a very good movie, for one thing; it's not even "so bad it's good." It's pretty much just bad.

2. I haven't owned a VCR in about 5 years. I've moved around way too much to keep one and all of my VHS tapes (except for a few rarities) have either been given away to friends or left at whatever apartment I was moving out of when I needed to lighten my load.

3. I don't... technically... remember ever owning Frankenhooker in the first place.

After reading the letter, a weird, Twilight Zone-ish feeling washed over me. Was I being contacted by the Dark Side? They'd be smart enough to know that the fastest way to break down my resolve and bend me to their will would be to tempt me with trashy 80's horror. Everyone on the street began to look sinister. Shadows jumped out at me from alleyways and dogs growled menacingly. The sky clouded over and rained blood. I fell to my knees and began to pray in Latin.

Then I realized that I sort of recognized the handwriting.

I called my friend Joel in a panic, rousting him from his bed with my weeping, pungent fear. Was it you, Joel? Please... say it was you...

"Um... yeah. I just found it the other day. So I sent it to you. Dude, let me go back to sleep."

Okay, so not the most dramatic of endings. What do you want from me? Real life isn't that exciting. Oh, and all of that stuff with the raining blood and the dogs didn't really happen. I added that for "flavor."

So... anyone want to watch Frankenhooker?

Monday, December 18, 2006

Quick Question

Somebody help me out with this... in the last couple of days, I've seen a fairly dramatic spike in my hits. This is unusual in and of its self (I usually hold steady at about 35-40 a day), but the really odd thing is that a great number of these "newcomers" seem to be finding the site by searching for information about the legendary on-court fight between 70's NBA stars Rudy Tomjonavich and Kermit Washington. I'd made a reference to it in a way, way earlier post that I'm too lazy to look up right now...

Anyway, my question is: Why the sudden interest (global interest, apparently) in that particular incident? Is it just because of the brawl at the Knicks game? Which, by the way, was the weakest excuse for a brawl outside of a heated JV-squad football shoving match.

Just curious.

Surviving the Holidays

I had my first "Going home for Christmas" anxiety dream last night. I won't go too into detail (because everyone hates that) but it involved me disappointing my family by never being on time to anything, my father and I inexplicably trading wallets and then me trying to buy a gun at Costco using only quarters. Not sure where any of that came from. I have a big, happy family; lots of uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. and we all get along and actually enjoy each other's company. The only bummer is that I'm the only child of divorced parents, so there's that whole trying-to-please-both-sides-of-the-family, equally-dividing-my-time thing; I know, poor me... everyone loves me and wants to spend time with me. Rough life. Whatever, it's a delicate balance I have to strike and sometimes it makes we want to punch a wall like a moody teenager.

ANYWAY, with that in mind, here's a few tips to get you through your own holiday family gatherings. Heed my advice; would I post them if they weren't all entirely, irrefutably true?


1. Take about twenty-five candy canes and a bottle of tequila and throw them into a blender set on frappe. It's called Elf Barf and when you chug-a-lug a pint of it with your 16-year-old brother, it'll give both of you the power to lay down in the snow and not feel anything but blissful warmth. That warmth is frostbite, so don't stay down for too long.

2. Figure out who's your most awesome relative (you probably already know; if not, start with whichever Uncle is drunk by noon). Stick with them as much as possible, especially during the rough post-presents/pre-Christmas lunch when everyone is hopped up on stocking candy and gift-related disappointment. This is the prime time for the "fuck yous" to come out from the more bitter, angry relatives and you're going to need a buddy.

3. If whatever house you're celebrating in has misguidedly hung up some mistletoe, avoid that demon weed like you stole its girlfriend. It only leads to really awkward moments when you find yourself and your hot second-cousin standing under it, especially if you've been talking about bands you like while drinking eggnog. Your holidays will be much more pleasant without sexual confusion thrown into the mix.

4. Don't be the guy that gets all snotty about presents. Even if you got some bullshit sweater that a homeless guy wouldn't wear from your aunt, smile like it's the new Tom Waits collection (or whatever) and give her a big-ass hug. The only ones who can get away with ingratitude are kids under five and even they'll get a spanking for it.

5. If your Mom wants to drive around and look at Christmas lights, fucking go. It's your Mom, dude, and she never gets to hang out with you. Just go "oooh" at all the prettiness and make sure to rag on the one house that only uses red lights and looks like a Dutch brothel (every town's got one).

6. Take some time to drive by your old high school. If you can sneak in, do it, especially if you had either a really good high school experience or a really bad high school experience. For the former, reliving the "good ol' days" is always a hoot and for the latter, it'll feel really satisfying to drink a six-pack of beer in front of your old locker and then piss in the hall.

7. If you're habitually poor like me, eat all the free, home-cooked food you can get your hands on. Don't give a shit if your exercise-obsessed aunt gives you the stink-eye on your third trip back to the green-bean casserole. This is your one chance until next year to chow like a Sumo wrestler on food that didn't come 4-for-a-buck at the bodega.

8. Just be nice to everybody. Even if things are shaky between you and your folks, don't come in with a one-ton chip on your shoulder and act all scowly and petulant. When you get back with all your friends after the holidays are over and they're all bitching about how their Dad called them "a little shit" and how nobody spoke to each other, think about how cool it'll be to whip out the "we all played boardgames and got silly drunk while watching The Grinch" stories. It'll make all your friends jealous and you'll have had a blast with your people.

Cautiously Optomistic

Everything appears to be working. Rather, the firewall appears to not be working...

Not going to get too excited yet, though. You never know when the machines are going to turn on you. I saw Maximum Overdrive, I know what's up:

We'll See

Going to work in a couple of hours. Once there, I'll discover whether or not my office's firewall has backed off, allowing me access to Blogger. If so, then all will be right with the world. Or, at least, all will be right with the fact that I can continue to irritate you good folks with my "humor" from the comfort of my cubicle on a daily basis. If not... well then, we'll just have to tap dance across that no-fun bridge when we come to it.

Honestly, you can cut the tension with a knife. What's going to happen? Who knows? I feel like my life has become an episode of 24. Because maybe not being able to post on my blog and fighting terrorists in the grim fashion of Kiefer Sutherland are exactly the same things.

Anyway, if this is the only post you see today, feel free to assume the worst. My girlfriend and I have tickets to a show tonight, but when I get home I'll toss up something here that speaks towards the future of this site. If you find posts after this one for today... hey look, I'm not going to spell it out for you. Crack open that bottle of expensive champagne you've got in the back of the fridge, ready and waiting for a special occasion such as that.

Fingers crossed, kids. Hope to see you soon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The Pursuit of Happyness

Saw the new Will Smith movie The Pursuit of Happyness today.

It was good, if not entirely draining, and Smith was the best I've ever seen him in a movie where he's not punching an alien in the face. I'll admit (but only to you, because I trust you not to tell everyone) that I teared up and even wept manly, manly tears. Though I was not the only one. At the finale, the film's audio was nearly drowned out by the entire audience's sniffling, scrambling for tissues, sobbing, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

It's a bit of a rough ride, to be sure. My girlfriend likened it to The Passion of the Christ in the sense that, after two hours of watching horrible things happening to the main character, you become numb and exhausted. Also, Will Smith is crucified at the end which, honestly, I didn't see coming.

Anyway, it's a fine movie and Will Smith is pretty damn fantastic in it. I whole-heartedly recommend The Pursuit of Happyness, but only if you're cool with everyone in the theater seeing you cry like a colicky newborn. Because you will. Otherwise, you have no soul. Well, either that or just not a great big girl such as myself.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Michael Douglas Is Not Impressed

He's not, you know. Really... try harder.

Saturday's Hero: The Drunk Biker

Whether hitting people with a pool cue in a roadhouse near Houston, or pounding Everclear-laced shots of JD while leaning against his bike near a Louisiana swap, this guy is always one hundred percent at the top of his game. Sure, he might smell a bit off and he might talk a bit crude... that's part of his charm. We love the Drunk Biker because he'll always back your play in a bar fight, because he can grill a steak better than Bobby Flay, and because he'll come pick you up when your car breaks down no matter what time of night or how high his blood-alcohol content, as long as you don't mind riding pillion. He'll probably fix your car too, after he sobers up.
So to you, Drunk Biker, a glass is raised. A glass full to the brim with White Lightning. You've earned it!

Friday, December 15, 2006

On Shopping...

I know this is a total "guy" thing to say and, ugh, I hate realizing that I'm a stereotype, but goddammit... I hate shopping. It's such a drag, especially in New York, where you're not even afforded the luxury of putting all the crap you've bought in the trunk of your Honda and driving off with the stereo blasting and an icy-cold mochachino in the cup-holder. No, you've got to double (if not triple) bag everything and lug it through the throngs of tourists who stop every twenty feet to gawk up at all the lit-up buildings and go "Gawl-lee!!!!!" I'm not saying I'd ever knowingly push someone in front of a speeding taxi, but if I did, they'd probably be wearing a fanny pack and have just come out of Planet Hollywood.

As you may have guessed, I went shopping today. Took the day off to do it, actually, because I refuse, refuse, refuse to go shopping on the weekend. It's crowded enough during the week day and, as irritable as I am, were I subjected to the kind of mass hysteria that happens on Saturdays and Sundays... well... any scenario you could conceive of would end with me in jail. No question.

So... yes... where was I going with this? Oh right, shopping sucks. Big time.

Anyway, that's my bit o' rantin' for the day. I'll have some stuff up here this weekend (going to a party tonight at a gay bar; always post-worthy) and then, on Monday, I'll find out what's what with the whole "Me Vs. Work's Firewall" situation.

More to come.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Technical Difficulties

Hey kids... posts are going to be a bit spotty around here for a little bit. I discovered today that my work's firewall system has been beefed up and, for some reason, Blogger is now one of the sites being blocked. What this means is, unless I can finesse my way around it, I can no longer post on Zombie Fights Shark! from the comfort of my cubicle. This is bad because... well... that's where I did a healthy 85% of my posting.

So, like I said, I'm working on finding away around this little snafu. There's even a slim chance (according to a techno-savvy co-worker) that it's just a glitch in the firewall and things will right themselves in time. We'll just have to wait and see.

I'll try to do as much posting as I can from home but, there's definitely going to be a decrease in activity. Hopefully not in quality, though. I'll keep everyone appraised of the situation as further events develop and, please, don't shed a tear. We'll be reunited soon.

Where ever you are, I will find you!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Awesome Old Men: A Tribute

I'm fine with being 26 and all, but what I really want to be is an awesome old man. Awesome old men could give a shit and aren't afraid to let you know it. They're often drunk, they are prone to dancing weird, loose-limbed jigs at street fairs, and they know absolutely everything about everything worth knowing. Also, they tell stories about WWII that are so graphic and disturbing, both in terms of violence and sexual content, that your hair will turn white. And you'll be on your way to being an awesome old man:

Salty Carl

Salty Carl can still kick your ass, despite the fact that he's in his 70's and hasn't had a regular bowel movement in fifteen years. He's freakishly strong, refuses to retire from his job on the docks and once punched out a shark while clinging to a piece of driftwood in the South Seas. He drinks rum out of an old, cracked jelly jar and knows what it feels like to take a sculling oar broadside across the face in a bar fight.


Ollie invented a new kind of algebra, wrote thirteen novels about time travel and nailed Rita Hayworth at a house party up on Mullholland back in the early 50's. He drinks black coffee, eats sausage at every meal and when he farts, he says "Damn, I swallowed a trombone!" loud enough for the neighbors to hear. And they laugh everytime because Ollie is fucking hilarious.

Paddy O'Shaunnesy

Paddy will tell you that he came over from the old country becase "Irish ladies are crap in bed." He worked all his life in a haberdashery and he drinks a bottle of whiskey a day. When he's drunk, he sings showtunes better than most of the people on Broadway and he's famous on the Lower East Side for once telling Fiorello LaGuardia to go fuck himself.

Bones Jones

Owned a pawn shop for twenty-five years that got burned down as the finale to his retirement party that lasted three days. Doesn't have his own place; he sleeps on a cot in the back of his favorite bar. He's there all the time anyway. He loves old zydeco and bluegrass music, even though he's never been farther south than Philly, and his grandkids all grew up to be famous athletes due to his self-proclaimed "dynamite sperm." He once smoked pot with Soupy Sales and knows every dirty joke ever written.

Braden and Clinton

I have a camera that only takes pictures of the future and this is me (on the right) and my boy Braden in the year 2065. We're neighbors in the same housing development in Sheepshead Bay and we play a lot of horseshoes, drink a lot of pale ale, and occasionally film ourselves getting into fistfights in an ongoing quest to get on America's NEW Funniest Home Videos. We eat a lot of ham.

"Out of Control" by Oingo Boingo

I was going to write a post about the office holiday party but, after three failed starts, I realized that it was just too deathly dull to warrent more than a passing mention. I mean, yes there was free booze and, yes, I drank my fair share of it but... well, that's just not that interesting, is it. There were absolutely zero shennanigens to report and this morning I didn't even have a hangover, save for a mild headache. Very disappointing. The only thing of note was that, since it was held in an event hall as opposed to a bar or club, they were offering only one brand of each type of liquor. Bombay gin, Ketel-1 vodka, Dewer's scotch, etc. I, being me, stuck to the Knob Creek bourbon, which, if you've got the money for it, is pretty great. A little thicker and sweeter than your standard Jack; it was like taking my liver on a pleasant vacation to the beach.

Anyhoo, on to other things. Here's the video for my current favorite song, "Out of Control," by Oingo Boingo. The song's top shelf, as it were, but the video is very early-90's. It looks like an SNL parody of a Soul Asylum video:

So feel free to just listen to the music. Possibly more later, should I feel the need to express myself in a verbal medium.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I'm Here For The Drinks

Going to the big-ass, fancypants, office holiday party tonight. Free food and free-er booze. If the posts are a little late getting up here tomorrow, it's because I'm curled up in my cubicle praying for a swift death at the hand of a merciful god.

Know, however, that I'll be raising a drink to all you loyal ZFS! readers. A drink that I haven't paid for. Goddamn I love office parties.
See you tomorrow when the shakes stop!

Smiley Faces Are Delicious

Smart is fried mashed potatoes. Genius is molding said fried mashed potatoes into smiley face shapes and selling them under the name "Smilies!":

I've plowed through a couple of bags of these bad boys in the last few weeks and they're like eating pure joy, with ketchup. If you can find them, buy them. Don't even think about it. Just pick up the shiny mylar-looking bag they come in and walk to the register. Okay, stop and get some beer first. But then, make tracks to the nearest cashier and pass over your hard-earned smackers. When you get them into your home, pop them in the oven until they're crispy on both sides. Pour a small dish of your favorite dipping sauce (as I said, ketchup is how I roll, but BBQ sauce, mustard, A-1, mayo, hell, even chocolate syrup would do in a pinch). Now take your plate of golden love to where ever it is that you keep the TV. Turn on your favorite comedy program or perhaps, if you're feeling it, a scary movie. Don't forget the beer! Watch, drink and consume, liberally double-dipping with abandon.

Hey look, you've found a zen-like state of inner peace that you weren't even aware was attainable in this work-a-day world!

Beats the hell out of yoga, anyway.

Rare Record

Here now, a dispatch from the Ministry of Things That Will Make You Absolutely Sick.

Why does stuff like that never happen to me? I like to dig through boxes of records at stoop sales. I'll take the time, every now and again, to wade through the piles at the Salvation Army. And yet, all I ever find is 9,000 copies of Lawrence Welk's Greatest Hits and the occasional promo copy of Olivia Newton-John's "Physical." Not exactly the recorded music equivalent of a found box packed full with hundred dollar bills. Meh. Anyway, congratulations (I guess) to the seller and the buyer. I hope they live long happy lives with their money and their Velvet Underground rarity, though I do hope that both of them, at some point today, stub their respective toes really hard against a door. I think that'd make me feel much, much better about the whole situation.

And, speaking of the Velvet Underground, here's some old footage of them singing "Waiting For The Man:"

Sorry that the video and audio are a bit out of sync. Finding old footage of the Velvets is incredibly difficult, even on the master purveyor of all things musically obscure, YouTube. Of all the things I just looked through, this was the best. Sadly. Still, can't you just smell the stink of burned-out shooting galleries coming off of Lou Reed? That man was to heroin like a fat man is to a buffet.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Monday's Hero: The One-Man Band

Keep on rocking like you do, One-Man Band. You're an inspiration to us all! And by "all" I mean "every guy or girl who's in a band and hates their fellow musicians, wishing they could just rock out by their own goddamn self instead."

Cusacks I'd Like To Be

-The young, aspiring kickboxer who's not opposed to hoisting a boombox high over his head in an attempt to woo the class valedictorian with Peter Gabriel tunes.

-The confused teen who left his girl waiting on prom night, only to come back ten years later to attend his high school reunion, now as a morally flexible assassin having a crisis of conscience.

-The mopey record store clerk who uses his broad knowledge of music arcania as an armor to protect himself from the twin pains of love and growing up.

-The file clerk who finds a portal into the brain of an actor and uses both (the portal and the actor's brain) for his own nefarious means.

-The severely depressed teen who attempts suicide in a number of comical ways, only to discover love in a foreign exchange student as he prepares for a downhill ski race.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Does Anyone Remember Laughter?

Despite the fact that I'm male, I never went through the prerequisite, 15-year-old, Led Zeppelin phase. When the time came that all young men must buy their copies of Led Zeppelin IV, I was too busy listening to the Beatles White Album and trying to figure out why "Helter Skelter" made Charles Manson go insane (as was my understanding of the situation at the time). It's like I missed out on that health class video that explains what boners are and why you're supposed to buy deodorant. And it's not that I don't like Led Zeppelin; I think they're just fine. I even, eventually, owned said copy of Led Zeppelin IV, but not until years later, when I was in college and had bought it purely to be ironic. I was just never... you know... in to them. The same goes for Pink Floyd, but I don't feel weird about that; they kinda suck.

Anyway, I was watching, last night, in a drunken haze, the VH1 doc Heavy: The History of Metal. It opened with a long discourse on Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath and how they were the founders of Metal and it got me to thinking; pondering, even. I've always liked Black Sabbath, so why am I not a Zeppelin fan? What's wrong with me? Am I not a Man? Then the show started talking about Judas Priest and AC/DC and I got distracted by Rob Halford's leather-clad antics and Angus Young running around dressed as a school boy and the pondering, for a time, was forgotten.

This morning, however, it's bothering me again. Nagging at me. Led Zeppelin... why? Why not? A billion teenagers can't be wrong, can they (evidence points, most cases, that yes they can be; how else do you explain Limp Bizkit)?

At any rate, I've now decided that it's time, long past time, for me to get in to Led Zeppelin. I'm going to start with the gateway album, the aforementioned IV and work my way in from there. I hope to soon be reading "Hammer of the Gods" with a knowing smirk and growing my hair out into long, flowing locks of pure musical understanding.

I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hors D'oeuvres For Dinner

Because of an office holiday party on Wednesday and a cocktail reception before a critic's screening on Thursday, I've had roughly 382 pounds of hors d'oeuvres in the last two days. This isn't a bad thing, I guess... free food is free food, no matter how tiny the portions or whether it's eaten off a stick while standing around awkwardly. Still, not such a big fan of eating dinner this way. There's nothing that makes you feel more like a fatty than returning to the same plate of mini-spring rolls for the fifth time. In the case of the holiday party, they actually had servers bringing around trays of food and, by the time I'd gotten on a first name basis with some of them, I began to feel a bit like Jabba the Hutt.

Anyway, here now, is a rundown of the high (and low) lights of my hors d'oeuvre dinners.

Mini-Crab Cakes:
Blah. They tasted like Mrs. Paul's fishsticks, but cut into smaller pieces and served with a dipping sauce that reminded me of ketchup that's lost it's will to live. Very fake-fishy tasting; like something from a weekend-angler's tackle box.

Sliced Filet Mignon on a Toast Round W/ Horseradish Sauce:
Holy yum!!! The server carting these bad boy's around had to take out a restraining order against me. I'd seriously eat a a hobo's leg if you put enough horseradish on it.

Chicken on a Stick with Peanut Sauce:
Not a huge fan of peanut sauce as a general rule, but that's mainly because most peanut sauces tasted like melted Jif. This was no exception, but the chicken was well seasoned and if you got just a drop of the sauce on it, it was like a Bollywood movie in your mouth. Wait, peanut sauce is Indian, right? If not, please adjust that reference to the appropriate ethnicity.

Mystery Hors D'oeuvres:
They were these little toast rounds with some kind of white, feta-ish cheese and something chopped and red on top. They tasted really good, despite the fact that I have no idea what they were. They could have been, in fact, hobo leg for all I know. Good, though.

Mini-Quesadillas with Chicken and Goat Cheese:
Or so they said. I had a couple of these and I was party to exactly zero bits of chicken and a whole assload of goat cheese. I'm not calling the server a liar, but only because the evidence does it for me.

Little Spring Rolls:
Tasty, but when you bit into them they leaked hot oil down your chin. Finger food is so much less appealing when it's giving you facial burns.

These things made White Castle sliders look like the 40$ burger at Old Homestead. If there's a lower-grade of meat than "Z," it was in these bastards. Squirting mustard in my mouth and chewing on my tongue would have been preferable.

Vegetable Plate:
Fuck you. Why would you want to eat vegetables and Ranch dip when there's good, meaty options floating around. That's like going to Six Flags and spending the entire afternoon riding the parking tram. Foolish, foolish hors d'oeuvre purveyors.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Rating The Blood Diamond Schwag

Last night, I went to the press "event" for the upcoming Liberal Guilt-a-thon Blood Diamond. But this is not a review of said movie. This is a review of the Blood Diamond schwag that I was given:

If you can't tell from the blurry, last-known-photograph-style picture (never use a digital camera before 8am), that would be a red, rubber bracelet with the words "Blood Diamond" stamped into into it. Stamped on to the other side, which I haven't bothered capture on film, are the words "Clean Diamond." Inside, it's got the web address for the Warner Bros./Amnesty International website that contains more cause-centric info. Next to that, there's the smug, proud "Made in USA" logo and also the Warner Bros. copyright mark, so they can sue anyone who tries to support the film's cause with a similar, red rubber bracelet. It smells like a pencil eraser (the bracelet, not the copyright mark [though I guess technically, since it's a part of the bracelet too, it does]).

It's fairly standard as far as methods for raising awareness are concerned, I guess, though it really doesn't hold a candle to the multi-hued ribbons from the 90's. Those things were all class and they didn't tug at your arm hairs. Wearing it on my wrist didn't seem to enlighten anyone during the subway ride home and even if did, it probably only reminded people about AIDS because of the color association. While I'm sure Warner Bros. isn't against reminding people about AIDS, I'm sure that that wasn't their intent with these bracelets. They've got a movie to promote, after all. Oh, and the cause, too.

My grade for the Blood Diamond awareness bracelet: C-

Horror Lists

If anyone's interested, my Best/Worst in Horror list for 2006 just went up at the magazine I write for. Mine is third from the top and, for some reason, they always credit me as "Clint Davis" but, whatever, it's still me.

More exciting content coming soon.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

A Tragic Ending

This is a shame.

I've been following this story for the past week or so, whenever it was that it started, and I honestly believed that, after they'd found the mother and two kids, they be able to find the father too. The thing that really sticks it in and breaks it off is that, had the father stayed with his family instead of going for help, he'd still be alive. Irony is a motherfucker, sometimes.

It's frightening to think that there are still places in the world, in our own country, that are so desolate that something like this could happen. Makes one feel quite small.

Boring Facts of Boredom

Feelin' lazy. More so than usual, and that's saying something. It's not that there's a dearth of things to write about, of course. It's just that there's a dearth of will to write about the many things that there are to write about. And yet, here I am, not leaving well enough alone. I'm looking at posting today like a runner with a blown-out knee rounding the bases in a playoff game; pushing through the pain, just trying to make it a few more yards. I could just, you know, not post today and leave it at that. However, eh. What can I say? I'm a man of contradictions. Speaking of me, here's some:

Boring Facts of Boredom:

-I've recently started reading Stephen King's immortal door-stop "The Stand" for the second time. Though, to be honest, it's sort of like reading it for the first time since, when I read it last, I was drinking pretty heavily. My memory of it is spotty at best (it's about that R.E.M. song, right?). Anyway, it's pretty great starting off. Creepy.

-Reviewing two movies in the next two days for the magazines I write for. Blood Diamond and We Are Marshall. The former looks pretty bland, and the latter looks good, if not a bit sappy and melodramatic. I'm a sucker for sports movies, though. I have a bad feeling that I'll find myself tomorrow, sitting amongst a bunch of critics, bawling my eyes out like a paid mourner while everyone else just goes, "meh." We'll see, I guess. It's at least got to be better than Blood Diamond, if for no other reason than it doesn't have Leo attempting what appears to be the worst fake accent ever captured on film.

-I'm eating an orange-cranberry muffin right now and it's delicious. I thought you'd want to know.

-I watched Rocky last night for the first time in at least seven or eight years, in prep, of course, for the upcoming Rocky Balboa. That right there is a fine movie. Stallone can really act when he wants to and the overall feel of it is note-perfect. The sequels were pretty good, too. Especially the one where he fought Ivan Drago after he (Drago) killed Apollo Creed. The fifth one sucked though.

-In the last three days, I've listened to Fleetwood Mac's album Rumors and Oingo Boingo's album Dark at the End of the Tunnel four times each, straight through. Why? Not sure. They're both spectacularly tight, interesting albums, no doubt. And, because I'm working, I probably don't listen to them as carefully as I would under normal, non-work circumstances. Anyway, point is, check them both out if it's been a while.

And I guess that's about as much excitement as you good people can handle for right now. If inspiration strikes, I'll be back with more postly goodness. If not... then I won't.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Nicknames I'm Considering

"The Silver Bullet"

Pros: Sounds awesome; I own a Coors Light T-shirt, so it's somewhat applicable; would come in handy if I ever become a werewolf hunter; would take on a new, even-awesomer meaning when I start to go gray.

Cons: I don't technically drink Coors Light because it tastes like pee; werewolves don't exist; unfortunate Gary Busey connotation; might look a little silly when silk-screened onto a satin jacket.

"The Wrench"

Pros: Sounds tough; implies that I'm good with tools; could also be a reference to a brutal wrestling hold that only I know how to properly utilize.

Cons: I'm a doughy weakling; I'm not good with tools, to the point where all around-the-house maintenance has to be tackled by my girlfriend, lest I hurt myself.


Pros: Conjures up a mythical world in which I'm a dinosaur; again, implies toughness or, at the very least, largeness.

Cons: Conjuring up a mythical world in which I'm a dinosaur might make people think I'm lame; people would probably focus on the "largeness" part, which would only lead to unflattering commentary regarding my fat-assedness; really only works if I'm a pro football player, which I'm not.

"Sen. Barack Obama"

Pros: Would make me seem smart; it'd be huge with people from Illinois; would give me an air of class and dignity that I sorely lack.

Cons: Sen. Barack Obama could probably have me killed for besmirching his good name.

"The Heap"

Pros: Probably the closest, thematically, to how I live my life; wouldn't look so bad done in puff-paint on a T-shirt; implies that I'm a collegiate-style party animal.

Cons: Probably the closest, thematically, to how I live my life; I'm no longer a collegiate-style party animal; implies an inherent smelliness.

4 Minutes and 55 Seconds of Joy

I'm not even going to tell you what this video is. Just watch it. Let it roll over you like a smile-inducing fog filled with muppets, poofy hair, extremely tight pants and the catchiest song ever created ever in the history of everything. You may think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not:

And I apologize about the boring, non-singing, parts. This was the best version I could find, sound-wise, so I had to compromise. At least, with the boring parts, you get to see a silly monkey. And a silly monkey is always a-okay.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Tales of Excess

So, yeah, yesterday pretty much sucked. I spent most of the day either on the couch under a blanket or flat on my back in bed, my guts roiling like hurricane seas as I loudly denounced the evils of drink with a vehemence profound enough to make Carrie Nation look like W.C. Fields. Eventually, after a hot shower and some dry pancakes that sopped up some of the misery, I came out the other side of my hangover a changed... I mean, I realized that you can't... oh, hell, who am I kidding? Hangover's aren't lessons learned for people like me. They're just the bitter denouement to fantastic tales of excess. Tales such as these:

Clinton's Top 3 Drinking Adventures:

WARNING: It's going to get a bit graphic here. Those with delicate sensibilities, or those who'd rather hang on to the misconception that I'm infallibly charming and am still in possession of most of my shame, might want to seek entertainment elsewhere. But just for today; tomorrow we'll return to the usual, classy ZFS!-style shenanigans.

3. I'd lived in Austin for about two months and was quickly failing all my classes at the University of Texas as I went about the business of bombarding my liver with all manner of alcoholic beverages during my every waking moment. One evening, a couple of my friends and I got together at an apartment on the outskirts of town. We had just consumed a large Italian meal and procured a few cases of Shiner Bock beer for the evening's merriment. Because I was 19, away from home for the first time, and titanically stupid, I drank an entire case of beer all by myself. I just assumed that's how it was done in the Big Boy world of collegiate life. The last thing I remember is passing out in the hall. Smash cut to: I wake up in the bathroom, which is comparable to the facilities found on your average airplane. There's a horrid smell. I sit up and realize that I'm soaked. Not with water. With vomit. I wipe it out of my eyes and take stock of the situation. The bathroom floor is covered, wall to wall, corner to corner, with about an inch of my own sick. Pasta dinner everywhere. I jump into the shower fully clothed and wash off. And then, because at that point in time I'd yet to learn the concept of a "party foul," I left. I spent the rest of the day shivering and gagging in my dorm room bed while my meatheaded roommate laughed at me. The friend whose bathroom I'd so spectacularly upchucked in was not pleased and didn't speak to me for a while.

2. Waiting tables at an Outback Steakhouse in Los Angeles. After a particularly hellacious shift, our manager was kind enough to let us waitrons use the restaurant's patio for some after-work drinking. Because I had only been there for a little while and was still "the new guy," I wanted to prove my consumption mettle; show that I could hang with the LA crowd where drinking was concerned. So I drank an entire bottle of gin, followed by three Mike's Hard Cranberry malt beverages. Things blurred for a bit, then I found myself projectile vomiting bright red spew behind the dumpster of our restaurant. After unleashing the contents of my stomach all over the pavement, I stood up to return to the party, assuming that now I was fine. As soon as I got upright, another wave of alcohol hit my bloodstream like a ghost train. My knees buckled and I pitched over backwards, right into the puddle that had only moments before passed through my lips. I laid for about an hour before I was discovered by some of my fellow servers, who, despite having only known me for a few months and in spite of the fact that I was truly a mess, packed me into the backseat of my car and drove me home. I crashed on my roommates flowery, girly couch, covering it in parking-lot grit and puke, and slept until morning. Ironically, the next day when I went back to work, the first customer I waited on ordered a glass of Tanqueray on the rocks. The smell nearly brought on a relapse, though I managed to maintain. Even more ironically, the incident endeared and bonded me with my waitstaff crew; they'd all been there before, of course.

1. New Years Eve, the year it turned 2000. My roommate and I's first party in our very own apartment. Due partly to the tremendous amount of hype surrounding the holiday (Y2K madness, as it were) and partly to the fact that I was excited about having a party at my new apartment, I worked myself into a positively bacchanalian state of mind. After a few beers, I decided to begin the night's celebration by drinking an entire bottle of Southern Comfort. In about 25 minutes. Quickly, I blacked out. I'm told that I began throwing glassware, tearing posters off the wall and chasing my girlfriend around, trying to plant sloppy kisses on her in a drunken show of affection. I woke up on the bathroom floor (again with the bathroom floor) at about 6am. The world had not ended, though it currently felt like Armageddon in my head and stomach. I flopped into the shower and laid there, water pouring over me, for about an hour. Then I crawled into bed, still wet, and slept for about 26 hours straight. Because my immune system had been so spectacularly shut down, I got a horrible head cold that lasted for most of January. It took about a week to get everyone talking to me again, after countless apologies, and they eventually forgave me for ruining New Years. Though, to be fair, they did get to see midnight. I didn't quite make it there.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Man With A Hangover

Self portrait taken at nine o'clock in the morning on a Sunday after a night drinking, in various quantities, tequila, rum and beer.

There's an old drinking adage that goes, "Never mix, never worry." Well, I mixed. And though I'm not worried, I am feeling not unlike a big pile of, as my father, the poet-laurate of Arlington, Texas, used to say, "hammered horseshit." There's more to the story of how I got this way; it involves friends, an egg concoction of outrageous deliciousness and the movie Fame. However, it will have to wait. Because I'm going to go barf.

(There will be no pictures of said barf. It's not that kind of blog.)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Happy Birthday, Mr. Konigsberg

Because I got distracted yesterday writing about Communists and their relative effects on my ability to obtain free food, I totally forgot to mention that it was Woody Allen's birthday. I know that most of you could give exactly two shits about that, but Mr. Allen is a very important figure in my life and I feel that it's the least I can do to mark the occasion of his birth.

You see... he's my father.

Well, okay, that's blatantly false. The truth of the matter is that I discovered his movies and comedy albums when I was about thirteen, otherwise known as the ripe, prime formative years. Despite the fact that I was a barely a teenager, born in Arlington, Texas, raised in a fairly lax Christian household, and impossibly square, his comedy spoke to me. It informed me. I didn't get the references he made, so I looked up what he was talking about; I wanted to laugh, too, about existentialism and Jung and Gerald Ford. Though I didn't adopt his personality or his mannerisms or anything (it's difficult for a doughy Texan to pull of nebbishy New Yorker), he taught me everything about timing, delivery and style. He was, in essence, the father of my sense of humor.

So, for that, I wish Woody Allen a happy 71st birthday. May you never want to belong to a club that would have you for a member, sir.

Viewing Suggestions:

Annie Hall - If you're an Allen neophyte, start here. It's the movie for which he won the most acclaim, Oscars, etc. It's a perfect encapsulation of everything his writing, his acting and his directorial style are about. Fun Fact: Annie Hall beat out Star Wars for Best Picture at the 1978 Oscars.

Manhattan - My favorite Allen film. A love letter to the city in which I currently reside and potent skewering of intellectualism, male ego and, of course, love. Absolutely beautiful to look at, too, what with the black and white photography and all.

Match Point - Don't know where in the hell this movie came from, especially so late in his career, but it's easily one of his best. It's actually the least like a "Woody Allen" film of any of his previous work. It's dark, mean and nasty and it's about how a man, when faced with losing everything, turns to murder. Stark, chilly genius.

Love & Death - Probably Allen's funniest movie. Very "Zucker, Abrams and Zucker" spoofy, but with that unmistakable, brainy wit.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Red In New York

I meant to bring this up a while ago... specifically around Labor Day, because that's when it happened... but, eh. Lazy and all that. And I'm always one to trot out the old horse called "Better late than never" and run it through a few laps around the pen.

Anyway, so my girlfriend and I marched in the Labor Day parade here in NYC which, if you don't know, is basically a parade made up of the various unions here in the city (and there are a ton). It's my understanding that the Labor Day parade is a way to raise awareness of said unions and give them a day to band together and march, united as a brotherhood in a single cause. Or something. Truthfully, I was there because of the free lunch they were giving out to all the marchers. And, no, I'm not in a union myself. My girlfriend is a part of a union (that shall remain nameless; they might be the kind that break thumbs) and, this being her first year of involvement and all, she felt it her duty to march in the parade. And I, being the supportive, loving boyfriend (who loves free food) that I am, marched right alongside her.

So we're standing around on a blocked off section of 48th St., waiting for the parade to begin and enjoying a lovely ham sandwich, when a plump, matronly woman walks up to us and says, "Would you like a free paper?" Sure, why not. To be honest, now that the free food's been eaten, I'm getting a little bored. Some reading material would be just the... um... what:

That's right. The paper I've just been given is a Communist newspaper. And they're not even trying to be on the down-low about it either! Look, the word "Communist" is right there at the top! They're talking about Imperialists and World War III on the front page!!! Everything turned black and white. A group of 1950's G-men swarmed around me, calling me "Comrade" and "Red" as they dragged me away in handcuffs and threw me before a Senate sub-committee that ordered me to name names. I told them I'd just been handed a paper, that I did not now, nor did I ever, belong to the Communist party. Then Sen. Joe McCarthy screamed at me and ruined my promising career as a TV writer by marking me down me on the Blacklist. Somebody dramatized my plight, using pod-people as a metaphor. It was madness, I tell you, MADNESS!!!!

My point is, am I the only one who wasn't aware the Communist party was still around (in America, I mean; I'm well aware that China and a few other countries I'm too lazy to look up are down with the big C)? Not that I, you know, care or anything. People can follow whatever political ideology they choose. And clearly, judging from that little mini-drama in the above paragraph, my knowledge of Communism is limited to stuff I've seen in old movies and/or early Batman comics. So who am I to judge?

Still, seems to me, if you're going to get all political, you'd want to pick a party that's got less of a stigma attached to it. Or less so than any of the others. Actually, they all have stigmas that aren't pleasant and, at the very least, Communism's moment in the angry, panicked-populous spotlight has been over for a long time now. In fact, you could be a Communist now and people wouldn't bat an eye, what with them being far too worried about men marrying men and wars being fought in very sandy placed far away. You know, Communism doesn't look half-bad when you really think about it. I'd even say that the time is right for... Revolution.

Especially if they continue to give out free food.