Monday, March 31, 2008

Programming Notice

I'm going to this thing with some friends tonight and, because I don't know how late it's going run, there's a good chance that I won't get back in time to prepare the ICFC article for tomorrow. By that I mean, I won't get home before my lovely photographer goes to bed. And I refuse to work with any photographer other than her... not even my neighbor, Ansel Adams (he wants me to eat weird crap out in the desert at sunset and in black in white; like I have the time).

Anyway, if that ends up being the case, this weeks edition of ICFC will be on Wednesday. There'll still be a post or two tomorrow, it just won't be that. No biggie, just wanted to give you kids a heads up so nobody freaks out and calls the cops. And... yeah... I guess that's it.

And now, apropos of nothing, here's The Lemonheads with their immortal classic, "It's A Shame About Ray."

Evan Dando is a hunk. Also, Johnny Depp, who's in this video for some reason, is a hunk. And the other guys in The Lemonheads are pretty easy on the eyes, too. If you're gay or a chick, this video is my present to you. If you're a straight dude, just listen to the song and pretend your back in the early-90s.

Flannels! Ross Perot! The Blue Jays winning a World Series! Me in junior high! Good episodes of Seinfeld! Other things that are evocative of that time period!

C-dog's Guide To Outer Space, Pt. 1

Aliens - Oh, they're real. Don't give me all your science and your facts and your "God don't make no creepy aliens, hippie" nonsense. They're out there, they're mostly teeth and claws, and if they ever show up on Earth, we'd all better be ready for the fight of our motherfuckin' lives. I've seen the movies; I know what's up. And... yeah, yeah... you're like, "C-dog, if you're basing this loony tune theory on movies, what's your explanation for E.T. or Alf or Starman or any of the other good aliens that didn't try to eat the soft parts of our collective faces?" Well, to that I have but one answer... the so-called "creators" of these cuddly, cute, wise-crackin' aliens were, in fact... wait for it... wait for it... aliens themselves! That's right, they were sent down here to cloud or minds with misinformation so that when the invasion happens, we'll be all, "Oh, I'm sure they're harmless... heartlight and peace and 'use the force, Luke,' and so forth... here, I'm going to pet his adorable, wrinkled head." And then you pull back a stump. And then you get watch as it eats your lungs right out of your chest cavity as your town, your city, your state, your country, your planet, dies screaming from the beams of their super-lasers. It's going to happen, folks; don't be fucking naive.
Pluto - Remember when they took away Pluto's "planet" status and everyone started having cows and signing petitions because they thought Pluto's feelings were going to get hurt or something? Wasn't that the saddest display of nerds sans lives trying to make their voices heard above the din of general indifference since that one time they tried to save Enterprise from cancellation? As if Pluto gives a shit. It's not some fat girl that got nominated for Homecoming Queen by asshole Seniors. It's not going to cry it's eyes out and write dark poetry in it's diary until it moves away to a small, liberal-arts college where it goes gay 'til graduation. Nope, it's just a big ball of rock and ice hanging out in the depths of space thinking, "What's all the fuss about? And, hey, did they name a fucking cartoon character after me? Because I've been hearing rumors and I'm considering a lawsuit."
Quasars - I don't technically know what these are (some kind of star, maybe?), but it doesn't matter because they've got an awesome name that sounds like the best glam rock band the 70s never had. "Ladies and gentlemen, The Quasars!!!" How were those words never spoken to a stadium full of thin boys and freaky girls wearing face paint and losing their minds on LSD? Musicians with extra-terrestrial leanings really dropped the ball on this one.
Satellites - Satellites are boring. They're just some radios that we tossed up there so we can pick up The Food Network and weird porn stations from Japan. They're basically like AV club science projects that are funded by the government and created by a bunch of dudes that believe sex only happens in the movies. Floating hunks of lame, is what they are. Though I do appreciate all they've done for the world of sports. I guess. Still, though.
Astronaut Pee - You know what happens to "liquid waste" after it's deposited into the space toilet, right? It gets ejected from the shuttle, out into the vast nothingness. This is such a bad idea, I'm literally boiling with rage. I want to slap NASA in the face right now, for serious. Think about it... we shoot all this astronaut pee into space and it floats around and travels through the galaxy until, one day, it lands on some distant planet; more specifically, it hits some sort of alien warlord directly in his multi-jawed, thousand-eyed face. Do you think he's going to be happy about this? No, he's going to figure out where the pee came from (they've got crazy science shit up there; like CSI times a million), he's going to get an armada of battle cruisers together, and then they're all going to come down to Earth and kick the shit out of us. All because Buzz Aldrin couldn't just pee in a can and stick it in a closet until the ship landed.
Black Holes - Big, sucking vortexes of gravity that may or may not actually exist, though they're plausible enough to be the basis for some quality science fiction. I think they're probably not real though; nothing that bad ass ever turns out to be an actual thing. If we ever do locate an actual black hole, it'll more than likely just turn out to be this weird spot in the universe that's got slightly stronger gravity and a really good press agent that's all in-your-face about how powerful it's client is. But it isn't. It's just a space whatever.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

In Praise Of Target's Bathrooms

NOTE: If you get squeamish around discussions of natural, everybody-does-it bodily functions (you weenie), you really should heed the poo warning over there in the corner -------->

So, the other night, Girlfriend and I ate at this Creole restaurant in Brooklyn, then we headed over to the Atlantic Center to do some shopping.

The Atlantic Center, if you're unfamiliar, is this corporate monstrosity mall-esque thingy right smack in the middle of our fair city; it makes local business-owners cry and hippies won't shop there because it's killing America or something. Whatever, they've got a Target; sometimes you just need to go to Target and there's no way around it. Like I'm going to spend a bazillion dollars on cat food from a Mom n' Pop store just because I have principles. Please. Also of note about the Atlantic Center, though it only somewhat relates to this story: The Atlantic Center is full of ghetto superstars, unwed mothers that strip, and lots of scary dudes in Rocawear jackets that will try to sell you cartons of Newports on the sidewalk. Which personally I think makes for a fun place to hang out; who doesn't need a little drama and excitement in their lives? It's like shopping for paper towels and new pants inside an episode of The Wire.

Anyway, we were in the Atlantic Center's Target, looking for various things, when all of a sudden... (dramatic music and a lighting change)... I felt a rumble in my guts; needless to say, it wasn't a "Gee, I'm pleasantly full" sort of thing. Nor was this a, "Hmm, something's not sitting right" situation either. This was the kind of rumbling that brings to mind terrified Indians with their ears to the ground who suddenly start yelling about an approaching stampede. My stomach was about to make a rapid, dramatic evacuation of it's contents and it was going to do so out the back door, if you catch my drift. I needed to find a bathroom, fast, lest the Atlantic Center Target become the site of the largest biological disaster since the Exxon Valdez.

Across the store, near the registers, I spied the bathrooms. Now, given the circumstances, I wasn't in a position to be picky. However, I'll admit that I was a little wary of using these particular public facilities. As I inferred, the Atlantic Center isn't a place that immediately springs to mind when someone mentions the word, "Sanitation." In fact, there are parts of the complex that, for reasons too terrifying to consider, always... always... smell like dirty diapers. So needless to say, the thought of using one the bathrooms therein filled me with a little bit of oh-god-can-you-get-hepatitis-from-a-toilet-seat dread. As I walked (quickly, and clenched) to the men's room door, I imagined the sights I was about to witness: Cracked tile floors littered with broken syringes and spent needles; puddles of various liquids attracting insects previously unknown to science; sleeping homeless people on filthy mattresses twitching and scratching as they came down from their chemicals of choice; dead animals with suspiciously human-like bite marks in them; cryptic, evil messages scrawled on the walls in blood.

I opened the door, my breath held, my bowels quaking like a suspension bridge in a hurricane...

And it was immaculate. To my shock, my surprise, it was soooo clean... sparkling like the set of an Ajax commercial. Easily the cleanest public bathroom in Brooklyn, possibly in the entire world. And it smelled of fresh pine, of cleansers and love, of... well, okay, there was a guy taking a pretty enthusiastic dump in one of the stalls, so there was an undertone of butt-reek to the place, but still... the joint was remarkably unblemished, stainless, tidy, and pure.

Unfortunately, I did everything I could to sully it's good name. I fucking murdered my chosen toilet; it was a Thunderdump worthy of governmental aide from FEMA. It was the kind of growler attack that leaves you sweating, exhausted, and deeply, deeply ashamed. The human body is a miracle, some say, and I am inclined to agree... provided that we can also acknowledge that said miracle is sometimes profoundly gross.

I guess the moral of the story here is that you should never judge a bathroom by it's low-rent surroundings. Sometimes... not often, but occasionally... one will surprise you. Also, you might want to watch your back around Creole food. That stuff will put the hurt on your crap factory, for serious.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Worth Your Valuable Time

What is Eastern Promises?
It is...
...the Russian mob slashing throats and stealing babies.
...the most brutal, nakedest, knife fight you've ever seen.
...scary old dudes ordering hits and talking about knee tattoos.
...Viggo Mortensen getting an Oscar nomination (mad deserved).
...Naomi Watts looking kind of dirty and tired, but still mega-babe.
...a block of ice that sits on your chest and makes you have bad dreams where you're being chased down dark alleys by men from a world you don't understand and that want to hurt you really bad with their shark mouths opening up wide to swallow you whole.
...the word "awesome," loaded into a shotgun, and then fired directly into your lousy, smiling face.
So check it out. I mean, if you like that sort of thing
(And if you don't, why are you here? Are you here because you brought me cake? I want some cake. Somebody bring me cake.)

(No Post Title, Just Girlish Squealing)

NOTE: I'm so psyched for this movie, I'm trying to figure out how time travel works. My nerd heart is beating strong and proud today!

Does Anyone Want To Date My Friend?

Name: Salty Carl
Age: Late 40s, but looks much older due to exposure
Location: McCarren Park, mostly; the G train when it rains
Occupation: Stabbin'
Interests: Liquor, liquor stores, young kids that will buy him liquor, hot soup spiked with liquor, people not touching his bedroll, Huey Lewis and the News, a good stabbin' knife
Dislikes: Cops, "the shakes," when you buy liquor and then drop it because of "the shakes," people touching his bedroll, getting stabbed for his liquor, Jean-Luc Godard, getting rotten places between his toes, coughing up black stuff in the mornings, any ethnicity other than his own.
Personal Testimony: I've known Salty Carl for years and he's pretty much the best boyfriend a girl or guy could ever have, provided you buy him lots of liquor and give him spare change when he shouts for it. He's good for protection (stabbin' is his life), he can tell you where the best places in the city are to fall down dead-drunk for a fortnight and not get hassled, and he'll take you to some of the cleanest, well-funded soup kitchens you've ever seen. Seriously though, don't touch his bedroll. He fucking goes off when that happens. Anyway, if you want to date my friend Salty Carl, feel free to shoot me an email. And... um... be quick about it. He's claiming squatter's rights in my apartment and Girlfriend is starting to get creeped out by his constant, screaming night terrors. Which he won't have if you date him. Guaranteed!*
*not a guarantee

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Further Bands And Solo Artists That Have Been Challenged By Beverages

Pepsi challenges Michael Jackson - Hey, you remember when you used to be a spokesperson for us and you'd Moonwalk and stuff and people bought our drinks and it was all cool (except for when we set your hair on fire... sorry!)? Yeah, we'd like to do that again, but we can't really work out a deal until you... um... you know... stop touching the little kids. It's nothing personal, it's just that Pepsi has worked for so long to not be labeled as the choosy pedophile's choice in soft drinks and, well, having you be our famous face while you're chasing children around your locked mansion wouldn't really work, big-picture. So you cut that out, now... and we'll hire you back no problems. Oh... wait a minute... we hadn't realized that you look like a fairy-tale ghost zombie from the Botched Plastic Surgery Dimension. Sorry, never mind.

Perrier challenges Nena - Maybe you should stop letting shitty punk and emo bands cover "99 Luftballons," huh? I mean that was a good song, but when a guy with weird hair and eyeliner sings it all slow and with enough irony to choke the life out of even the hippest bartender in the West Village, it's basically like being lightly misted with bleach on a global scale. And while we're at it, why not update the song yourself... "100 Luftballons?" "Luftballons 2008?" Things now aren't any better, Military industrial complex-wise, than they were when you originally sang it... so... I don't know... why don't you give it a shot. They're making a new Star Trek movie, so you wouldn't even have to take out the Capt. Kirk reference. But, hey, what do we know... we're just a French fizzy water that rich people think is elegant but really just causes burps.

Mr. Pibb challenges Mr. Big and Mr. Mister - Stop being so fucking formal. Nobody likes bands who put on airs like that. Besides, who do you think you are, a soda that tastes kinda like Dr. Pepper, but isn't as good? Of course not, that's our job and we do it quite well, thank you very fucking much. We're basically the tuxedo of knock-off soda pop. Kids drink us at the prom.

Milk challenges Stevie Nicks and Don Henley - Isn't it about time for another "Leather & Lace" style duet? C'mon... I'm looking for something as white and boring as me; you guys are basically all that's left, now that the Osmonds are starring in Martin Lawrence movies and failing at talk shows. We'll throw in some free witchcraft lessons for you, Stevie, and Don... we'll kill Joe Walsh if you get on board. We'll make sure it's painless. Or not, you're call.

Everclear challenges Miley Cyrus - Look, Britney's cooled it with the crazy and everyone's now convinced that Paris is just a trick played on us by the Devil and Lindsay's figured out what cameras do and how to avoid them, so... bottom line... we need another hot mess pop-starlette to destroy her life in public. Work is boring without shit like that, for serious... your nation is calling on you. So please, start drinking Everclear; mix us up in a bathtub with a bunch of Hawaiian Punch if you gotta, but whatever, just get us into your system, post haste. You don't even have to do any sex shit (I think you're underage anyway and Everclear can't do jail time, man... it just can't). Go punch out a cop, or start muling heroin across the border, or steal a whole bunch of money and blow it all on one of those rat dogs covered in solid gold. Set fire to something. Or someone. Just make sure you're trashed on our product and when you projectile vomit into the audience at one of your shows while crying as your pre-recorded voice rings out strong and mocking and true, remember that you're doing it all for us, your countrymen, your people, the ones who really love you. And want to see you crushed and fallen, yes, but still.

Pop Rock

In what is surely the strangest story of the morning (or of any morning, really), Dr. Pepper... the soft drink... has challenged Guns N' Roses... the band... to finish their long-in-the-works album, "Chinese Democracy." I am not making this up. Apparently, Dr. Pepper will give everyone in America a free can of their soda, should GN'R turn in said record at any point this year. Okay, so, first things first: Let's all take the word "What?" and use it like a jet-pack to reach Heaven so we can ask the Baby Jesus for help in figuring this shit out.

Dr. Pepper is challenging Guns N' Roses? My mind doesn't bend that way, I'm sorry; for this to make any kind of sense, the world would have to be completely different than it is right now... Gore is president, animals are holding down decent jobs as Starbucks baristas, everyone stops what they're doing at 1pm everyday to put on impromptu musical numbers from Anything Goes complete with jazz hands and a trophy for the best tap dancer... nothing should be the same, stuff that's one way should be the other.

But it's true. In our dimension, in this reality. The worlds of mass-produced carbonated beverages and aging hard rock bands have collided. I feel like my brain is reaching the speed of light times the gravitational pull of Mercury. Infinity just showed up and it's ready to party the motherfuck down!

Here's the thing, and I want you all to pay attention because there's no way that I'm wrong about this: Despite what Dr. Pepper says, despite what millions of wise-ass rock critics say, nobody wants "Chinese Democracy" to come out. Not the fans, not the music industry, not Axl Rose, not anyone who owns a functioning set of ears. Why? Because it's going to suck. Hard. Like a vacuum that's been souped up with industrial aircraft parts. It's the same as telling a woman that you're the best lay on the planet... that your dick is huge like a party sub and that you're the guy they based The Karma Sutra on... and then you actually get in the sack and you're hung okay and you've got a few moves that aren't bad, but aren't worth a girl tossing out her vibrator for, and everyone's left a little bummed and wondering what's on TV and wishing for the power to turn invisible so they can just slink away into the night without shame. "Chinese Democracy" has been so built up, so flogged and discussed and theorized about and mulled over and chewed on, that there's no way it's going to live up the tumult that surrounds it.

So let it go, everyone. That means you, Rolling Stone... that means you, Spin... that means you, record store nerd that smells like dirty hair... just let the damn thing die in a ditch. Remember when Axl was on the MTV Music Video awards a couple of years ago? All fat and surgery-ed and with Bo Derek's hair? Do you really want to see that on every talk show until the end of time? No, you don't, because you're a decent, caring human being that loves humanity and hates evil grossness.

And, Dr. Pepper, hey man... stay the fuck out of it. You're really good at making delicious sodas (except for that Chocolate-Covered Cherry Diet DP that you shat out last year; did you forget to take your meds?), why not just stick with that until the coming Apocalypse? Who do you think you are, Brian Eno? Nile Rodgers? Phil Spector? That creepy fat guy that managed/molested N'Sync? Because you're none of those odd, talented gentlemen. You're a corporation of aging dorks that are trying to be cool. You're a dad wearing a leather jacket. An English teacher trying to convince kids that Macbeth was the "original gangsta." Seriously go fuck right off, if it's all the same to you.

Anyway... are we all square with this? Because I don't like getting all worked up about something I really don't care all that much about. Don't make me come over there.

Oh, and for the record, "Use Your Illusion I & II" were great albums. That's never going to change.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Here's Everything That Is Wrong With Salad

-If you're a fat guy and you decided that, for your lunch, you're going to have a sensible salad, you should prepare yourself to hear this for the next hour: "Hey, why are you eatin' healthy?" "Whoa, where's the real [your name]?" "Wait a minute, I thought you were a gigantic cartoon of obesity that only ate whole cows and cans of Crisco for lunch; seeing you with a plate of vegetables confuses me and, thus, my hilarious jokes are yours to carry around in your psyche for the rest of your life like herpes."

-Dressing is gross. I know that it's tasty (Ranch is an anagram for "yumtastic"), but think about it for a second... it's fat, and suspended in this fat, there's quite possibly hunks of processed cheese or a handful of industrial spices that in real life look like sand. Why would anyone want to eat that. Focus on dressing right now... really turn it over in your mind like a lozenge... and if you're not gagging in thirty seconds, then you should have your own show where you eat weird crap for money.

-If you're compiling your salad from a salad bar, everyone that's been there before you has probably sneezed, coughed, picked their nose, farted, flicked eye gunk at, or sprinkled some pubes on that food you're about to stick in your face. Enjoy eating other people's scum; you're basically a C.H.U.D. now.

-Once you've got all this crap in a bowl, and after you've doused in whatever creamy and/or vinegary toxic waste is to your liking, you then have to eat it. And it sucks because each bite is so much tedious work... I mean, you want to get one that's got a little bit of every single ingredient (otherwise, what's the point), but it's all slippery from the drizzled goo and the croutons aren't cooperating and the cherry tomato is rolling around like that boulder in Raiders of the Lost Ark and why the hell did you put sunflower seeds on there, god, what's wrong with you, and then... before you're even aware of what you're doing... you're pitching the salad across the office like a Sandy Koufax heater because food shouldn't be so fucking complicated. But you're still hungry, so you have to go get more food, and you're watching your weight so salads the only option, and the horror begins fresh and new.

-Or you could just get the soup. Soup isn't much of a hassle.

Movie Poster A Go-Go

Meet Dave

This is a movie about a freaky, hollow robot and the alien that controls it and, for reasons that I'm sure have everything to do with his child support payments to Scary Spice, they both look like Eddie Murphy. Look, I know picking on the dude's career is, at this point, kind of like giving a retarded kid a wedgie, but... c'mon, man... he's basically standing bottomless and spread-eagled with a forehead tattoo that says, "Please, kids of all ages, kick me in the balls so hard, I see dead relatives and childhood pets that went to live on farms out in the country." It's like the sound of people laughing physical hurts him, so he's made it his life's work to eradicate the problem (so to speak). And, gotta say, he's winning the war. Looking at this poster makes me feel like my dad just died in a car wreck.

Day of the Dead

I really dig this; it's like a wink and nod to the classic, Hammer-style posters of yore, and it would look awesome over the couch in my old apartment from five or six years ago back when I was the type of person that felt the need to show off his interests on his walls. Nowadays, I prefer to show off my interests on the internet, which is a whole lot better because you don't have to spackle any holes with toothpaste in order to get your deposit back. But anyway, it's too bad this movie... a remake of the 1985 Romero original... sucked so much ass, they had to send it straight to DVD. I mean, the original sucked ass too (sorry, but it did) and they let that get shown on the big screen, so why the red-faced, release of shame now? I guess it was just a simpler time, the 80s... with all the Wang Chunging and the sweatshirts with the necks cut out and the AIDS crisis being ignored by the government... you could put anything on film and people would be all like, "Yeah, I guess I'll pay money to see that. I've got feathered hair and the sleeves of my sports coat pushed up like Don Johnson!"

The Babysitters

I was wondering if To Catch A Predator was ever going to put out a feature film. Very cool (that show is the best comedy on TV), although I wouldn't recommend actually going to see this in the theaters because one of two things will happen, guaranteed: You'll either be rounded up in a mass sting operation, or you'll get jizzed on by a guy who reads a lot of Sci-Fi/Fantasy novels and thinks driving his Mom to the store counts as "going on a date." Honestly, I don't know which is worse. I mean yeah prison sucks, but on the other hand, will you be able to find a disinfectant strong enough to ever make you feel clean again? Doubtful, unless you know someone who works at Dow Chemicals and is willing to sneak you out some acid.


I guess A Thriller So Generic, It Tastes Like Lukewarm Tap Water was already taken. Or maybe that was too arty a title for a film that looks like The Lifetime Network fucked late-night Cinemax and this is what they gave up for adoption.

Chapter 27

Oh. My. God. Hollywood, what the fuck did you do to Jordan Catalano? Jesus, it looks like you hooked him up to a tanker truck full of butter. Or you made him eat a million cans of Chef Boyardee like that one part in Seven. Or you gave him an old, homeless guy's thyroid problem as a joke, but he didn't know it was a joke, and now he can't move without two canes and an oxygen mask. You guys seriously messed up with this... Claire Daines is crying now and wishing she'd hooked up with that nerd with the stupid hair instead.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It Came From Chinatown...

One of the interesting side effects of the ICFC project is that, occasionally, the product that I try will accidentally ruin all other products of it's kind for me forever. Examples: The Grass Jelly made me never want to walk barefoot across a freshly-mowed lawn again, the dried lily flowers made me immediate suspicious of all plants, and, of course, the durian made me want to destroy all the things in the world that are or ever have been alive. I mean sometimes things are fine... the Satay Jelly Fish was nasty, but I feel no residual ill-will towards marine life... but mostly, yeah, we're just shutting the lights off, one food sub-group at a time.

This week's thing that I'll never be able to eat again without contemplating a loaded gun? Eggs! The perp... Canned Quail Eggs:

Incidentally, when I finally get around to making It Came From Chinatown: The Record, that picture is going to be our album cover. It's going to be bigger than Sgt. Pepper's, and that's a guarantee. Now I've just got to learn to play an instrument. And have talent. Anyway, we're talking about canned quail eggs, here, not my eventual musical stardom (it's going to happen, man... someday). Here's a good look at the can:

This might be a result of my having spent way too many long, lonely nights watching science fiction and horror movies, but those eggs look mighty threatening. Like they're about to hatch, releasing forth from their albumen-soaked innards a horrific creature that's going to rip apart a bunch of perky, gratuitously naked teens. Not helping matters, this:

We're on a far-away planet and we're exploring a cave and there, off in a corner, is a deep trench filled with the eggs of a pants-shittingly terrifying creature and they're moving around like something is trying to break free and OH MY GOD, HERE COMES THE MOTHER.... AAAAIIIIIIEEEEE!!!!!

Ahem... yes, well... anyway, here's a good shot of one of the little fuckers next to a regular, non-frightening, chicken egg. Note the size difference. Also, we cut one of the canned eggs in half to show you what fresh hell is lurking on it's inside:

The white part of the quail egg was rubbery and slick, like a dodgeball that's been dipped in olive oil. The yellow stuff was creamy to the touch, like a thick lotion; it was also the only part of the egg, egg-soaking liquid, and the can that gave off an odor. It smelled... unsurprisingly... like old eggs. Which you can assume means that I'm about to really start questioning the decisions I've made in my life up until this point. Here we go:

Okay, so here's the weird thing: This is the first food I've ever had that was both without a taste and horrible tasting. More on that in a second, but let me first say this... I really like hard-boiled eggs. They're tasty and it's fun to peel them and if you mix them up with a bunch of mustard and other junk, you get a lovely egg salad. Picnic food! That being said, hard-boiled eggs are good only if you eat them within a couple of days of their cooking. Letting them hang around for a while is a bad idea. And, hey, you know what else is a bad idea? Canning them and letting them rest on a shelf in some Chinatown grocery store since, by my guess, the early days of the Reagan administration. Gaze upon the displeased face of C-dog:

Let me guide you through the flavors (such as they are) as they make themselves known: The immediate thing that you notice is an overwhelming blandness, which tastes sort of like you're being suffocated by a beige pillow. There's an undefinable nothingness to them, and it's rubbery too; biting into a canned quail egg is, at first, like chewing on an inner tube. Then you hit the creamy center, which as it turns out is where all the flavor has been hiding. Needless to say, it should have stayed hidden. This is where the smell of old eggs comes to die. The third flavor, however, is the most disturbing... after a couple of chews, your entire mouth tastes like metal, like you've been deep-throating a roll of tin foil. Obviously this comes from the eggs being in a can, but... damn... how long does your product have to be in there to take on the taste of it's packaging? I'm going to stick by my original "Reagan administration" guesstimate, but I wouldn't rule out Carter or even Nixon at this point.
Now, in thinking about the concept of canned quail eggs, I was forced to ask myself the question, "Just what in the hell would you can them in, liquid-wise?" Something murky, yellowish, and unfathomably evil, no doubt. Which naturally lead me to a follow-up: "What would the egg liquid taste like on it's own?" Let's find out:

Remember: Everything I do, I do it for you:

Yikes. That metallic taste I mentioned? Yeah, the liquid is that times fifty to the power of three. And it's slightly salty, as well as stale, brackish and thick. It's probably what it would be like to drink a robot's blood. Kids, I mean this, never drink the canning liquid used to package quail eggs. Doing so only leads to heartbreak, a loss of faith in humanity, and, more than likely, some sort of horrible, metal-based cancer.
So, the overall verdict on canned quail eggs?

Note how coated my tongue is. That can't be good. Although I will say this about the whole experience: It was nice to find something in Chinatown that didn't taste like a dead animal for once. Not that the "old eggs and the material in which they were packaged" flavor combo was desirable in the least. Still, though... it was a nice/gross change of pace.
See y'all next week!!!

A Fart Story

So I was in the bathroom, doing my business, and this guy in the stall next to me let out a fart that sounded exactly like this:


Like, it wasn't a normal fart. This was a sound from an animated world where men turn into cartoon wolves when they see pretty girls and where you can run on air if you don't look down. I'm not entirely convinced that the guy in the stall wasn't a lesser character from the Warner Bros. archive who had to get a real job when he was downsized due to budget cuts (thanks, Pixar!).

Anyway, when the dude farted, I totally started laughing. Not loudly or anything, but I definitely busted out with some chuckles and there's no way he didn't hear me. So... yeah... awkward. I mean, I got out of there before he emerged and hit me with an anvil or gave me a dynamite cigar or something, but still... Bad form, C-dog. Oh, and just in case you're wondering, it was curiously odorless for all it's goofy noise

(It goes without saying that I'm officially five years old, right?)


I Am The God Of Game Shows

Yesterday, while drinking Everclear Kool-Aid out of a bucket with a bendy straw, I had a vision. Or a hallucination. Whatever. What's important is that a chorus of spokesmodels appeared unto me and their voices sang a high, clear song. As the tune filled the air, a disco cloud came down from the heavens, smelling of hair gel and gold chains, and from it emerged the tanned, wise face of Wink Martindale, glory to his name! He spoke, and though his words were in a language known only to the most holy of beings, I understood his meaning... he had come down from on high to inform me that I, C-dog, am the God of Game Shows. After he anointed my head with aftershave and knighted me with one of those skinny microphones, he disappeared (the chorus of spokesmodels giggling behind him as he went), leaving me to my one true task: To go on and win ever game show currently operating today. And I can do it, too! Like He-Man and that one Jeopardy nerd before me, I have the power!!!

Here's how I'm going to do it...

The Wheel of Fortune - Lets start with an easy one, just to get my rhythm. Okay, so "The Wheel" is all about guessing words and phrases. No problem. I use words and phrases every single day of my life. I'm using words and phrases right now, matter of fact. And if this blog has taught me anything, it's that I can vomit up whole Mississippi Rivers of words and phrases at the drop of hat; there's no reason in the world to think that this skill wouldn't be applicable to the Hangman-based game show environment. Now, granted, there's going to be some luck involved with the titular wheel spinning and all, but still... I'm fairly confident that my skills, sure hand, and the dreamy way that I'll stare into Vanna White's eyes will see me through. And if all else fails, I'll set the place on fire and steal Pat Sajak's wallet.

Jeopardy - I know everything about everything (a given), so this should be a walk in the park on a sunny day with comfortable shoes and a brand new iPod. Give me any answer and I'll tell you the question. C'mon, hit me with your best shot, motherfuckers!!! Okay... okay... I'm getting a few different ones here... okay, the questions are, "Who was Chubby Checker, What is a plate of pickled herrings, What is about eleven inches, and Where is your momma's face?" That's a billion dollars for me and the shame of being beaten by a fat guy eating a sandwich for the other dorks on the show. Suck it, lame-tards!

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? - Me. I want to be a millionaire. Hm, that was an easy one.

Family Feud - Girlfriend and I could tackle this one tag team-style. We're basically telepathic anyway. And my dad could show up too because I'll probably need some back up if the other family reacts negatively to my trash-talking and tries to start a street fight in the middle of the studio. That, by the way, is the key to winning on the Feud: Trash-talking. It's hard for your opponent to think of "something you'd find at an amusement park" when you're snapping on them so hard, they're getting cancer.

Press Your Luck - I think this show is just called "Whammy!" now or something, but whatever. Same deal. And it doesn't matter anyway because I'm all over this one like a monkey on a pack of smokes. My secret weapon? The Whammies are scared shitless of me. I'm like their Devil, but way meaner because I've seen all the Hostel movies and I've been taking notes. Those little bastards won't come anywhere near my money, or I'll have their hamstrings clipped like piano wires.

The Moment of Truth - Oh please. Like everyone doesn't already know all my deep, dark secrets. But just in case I've failed to mention some of these in the past, here's all the crap they could use against me: I once sold a midget to wealthy couple that wanted a Munchkin. I've got three families spread out across the US that all think I'm away on a business trip. I invented Bluetooth technology (sorry about that; I was trying to make an earring that sang showtunes and I got carried away). I was the Zodiac killer. There, now the air is clear; I can go on this freak show and fill my pockets.

Hollywood Squares - I went ahead and wrote the best, career-reviving screenplay that Los Angeles has ever seen. Every time I call on a celebrity to block, I'll mention that if they help me out here, I might consider them for the lead role of Jody, the tough but vulnerable waitress with nine kids to feed, all of whom have Ebola and Rickets. Also, Jody's in a gang. I'll sail through this shit like it ain't no thang. Which it ain't.

How Much Is Enough? - I don't really get what this show's about, but I do know that that one dude from LA Law hosts it, so it'll basically be the same deal as Hollywood Squares. I'll probably just tell him how awesome he was in LA Law. And the Major League movies. And those crappy horror flicks that he did about the killer dentist. Celebrities are pushovers for flattery, particularly if you couch it between lapdances.

The Price is Right - It's all about the $1 guess. That, and greasing the right palms to get you up to the stage in the first place. Then, if you give Drew Carey a case of beer, he'll help you rig the Plinko game (he does it with wires, some slight of hand, and the leftover bits from the spayed and neutered pets).

The Bachelor - They can pretend all they want that this is a "reality show." Whatever, it's a game show, except instead of money you win an arranged marriage and probably a few STDs for your trouble. I mean, you know they don't clean the hot tubs out very well; they're like bubbling cauldrons of skank filth and back hair and you're soaking in it like it's the waters off of Padre Island. Anyway, I'd win this because I look killer in a little, black dress. And I put out.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter From ZFS!

We all have our own ways of celebrating this holy, holy day. Some people like to hit the church, then munch on a buffet of grub at some random aunt's house. Some people like to toss a bunch of colored eggs on the yard and make dressed-up toddlers run around and pick them up. And then there's those of who'd much prefer to spend the day like our deceased rabbit friend up there... on our backs in the woods, thoroughly taxidermied by alcohol.
And by "woods, " I of course mean, "wherever I fall." And by "alcohol," I of course mean, "lots of alcohol, so much that I might go blind, but it's totally worth it because I've crossed over from being merely drunk into a strange, bright world where I'm a superhero magic trick that makes pretty girls smile."
This is what's known amongst us down-for-lifers as a religious experience. It smells like a hug.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Brief, Uncomfortable Look At My History With Eye Trauma

Last night, while watching LOST and drinking a frosty beer, I discovered that I had something in my eye. And not in that, "oooh, I'm saying I've got something in my eye, but what I really mean is that I'm just a big girl who can't stop from crying when the home team wins an extra-innings squeaker to send them to the playoffs," sort of way. Not like that. No, it was an actual,"omigod, there's a foreign body sliding around on my eyeball like Scott Hamilton at the Ice Capades and I'm not particularly enjoying it," kind of thing. While in my rational mind I knew that it was probably the size of a halved grain of sand, it felt... and thus, in my imagination, it grew to be... the size of a .45 Magnum bullet. I envisioned it furrowing deep trenches into the meat of my eye, cutting deep, blinding me, leaving me broken in half (metaphorically speaking) like those poor, milk-eyed wretches that you see begging for change outside of convenience stores and bus stations. I waited for the inevitable geysers of bright, clear fluid to spring forth from my ocular cavity as this thing... this clawed, vicious creature... finally struck home it's death blow that would bring down the lights on my world forever.

Everything was, of course, alright by morning. Whatever mote of dust or fleck of grit had landed in my eye had evacuated itself at some point during the night. Though I'm still quite red-eyed and raw from all the scratching and rubbing I inflicted on myself, and despite the fact that being in this state makes me look like a minor character in a Bret Easton Ellis novel, I'm otherwise perfectly fine. Physically, at least. Needless to say, I've got some unresolved issues with eye trauma that need to be resolved before a clean bill of health can be issued across the board. So fine, let's take a look at the root of this neurosis; let me tell you how it all started. I think you'll agree that, given my history, I'm well within my rights to go completely bughouse with regards to my eyes and the things therein that should not be.

Incident One

I had gone home to celebrate my 20th birthday with the various friends, family, and assorted acquaintances that were still hanging around Arlington, TX at the turn of the century. After a trip to the grocery store to gather party supplies, I was helping my mother carry in armloads of bags when... (thunder, lighting)... tragedy struck. My hands were full and the bags were heavy, but the important thing to know is that, in my right hand, I held my sunglasses. About halfway from the car to the door, one of the lugged bags began to slip from my arms, while at the same time, I stumbled on some loose gravel. All of which equated to me lurching suddenly forward in an attempt to steady myself as well as regain control over the bag of groceries. This, unfortunately, caused my right hand to come flying up as my head pitched down; the hinge of my sunglasses (where the earpiece connects with the lenses) landing squarely in my left eye. It didn't hurt too badly... at first. But the pain intensified over the next day or so, to the point where I could barely open my eye without making noises like a wounded sheep. Tears were streaming out constantly. I moaned and wailed and cursed the heavens and grocery bags and my sunglasses... but what I didn't do was, you know, go to the doctor. Look, I'm a dumb, dumb man now, and this was even more so the case back then. Also, I don't think I had insurance or something. Well, whatever the case, it ended up getting better after a week of POW camp-style physical and mental torture. But the weird thing was, for the next year or so, I'd wake up with my left eye all hurting and leaking tears, just like in the days following the initial accident. Not kidding. It was like phantom pains or something. I think there's a ghost in my eye and when it's hurting like that, it's the ghost mourning for his lost love. That's the only thing that makes sense.

Incident Two

This one's even stupider than the first one. It was two nights before the long, long drive with my father from LA to Dallas. I was taking out one last haul of garbage to the dumpster and, because I was wearing soccer shorts without pockets, I decided that it would be the smartest thing ever to hold my keys in my mouth as I went down the stairs. So I put my key chain between my teeth and, garbage bags in both hands, I headed down as quickly as I could. Too quickly, as it turned out. The jostling and the bouncing caused my keys to fly up into my face, the longest of which (my car key) hitting me squarely in... yep... the left eye, yet again. Second verse, same as the first... the next day was washed in pain, misery and dribbling tears, which made matters complicated because I had a shit-ton of errands to run in preparation for me leaving Los Angeles for good. These included delivering a TV that I was selling to a person in Silverlake, as well as getting my car inspected (which I'd put off until the last day, of course), and stocking up on Rock Star energy drinks and beef jerky. Try driving around a major metropolis using only one eye. No, go on... I'll wait.

Not fun is it? You nearly died in a bunch of fiery, head-on collisions with maniac, gun-wielding drivers? Yeah, that sounds about right.

It was, to say the least, one of the most unpleasant days of my life.

And to this day, due to the myriad abuses it has taken, the vision in my left eye is a little blurry. Not to mention the fact that I'm now, as I alluded to up top, completely petrified of any sort of further eye trauma. I can't even watch eye trauma on TV without seriously freaking out (House, I'm looking... or rather, not looking... at you). Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is this: I'm pretty sure that if my left eye gets knocked around again, it's going to explode like a rear-ended Yugo. I'd really prefer that this not happen, if it's all the same to everybody. I like my eyes. They're good for looking at stuff. Boobies, mostly.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Enjoy MIKA

I don't what's with me and the gay-icon musicians lately, but whatever... here's MIKA:

This song is drama, uncut and strong like if the Colombians started producing theater troupes and a indie film festivals instead of cocaine. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for group-sung choruses, or maybe it's because I'm always game for songs that couch a gloomy sentiment in a bold, brassy melody, but whatever the case may be... "Happy Ending" is right in my wheelhouse, musically speaking.

Can't you just hear this playing at the end of a movie where the main character is wandering down a street after having just been rejected by the love of his life? Tears mixing with the pouring rain as he takes liberal slugs from a bottle of rotgut booze. Bright neon lights from the surrounding bars and the city looming like a smirking demon on the horizon. And then, on the last repetition of the chorus where it gets all quiet, he throws himself in front of a bus.

Shit, I wish I was still making movies! I could crank this out all crazy awesome and everyone would watch and go, "Hrlmph" because it's hard to talk when you're so dumbstruck by sadness that your throat quits it's job and your eyeballs fall out.

Anyway, the song's amazing but the video's just okay. Kinda all over the place with the hand-faces and talking artsy-fartsy craft puppets. But who am I to judge? I'd end every song like this with a guy getting run over by public transportation, so clearly I've got my own problems that need to be worked out with some aggressive therapy. Which I choose to believe makes me a rich, interesting person and not just a psycho who'll eventually end up living in the park wearing newspapers for clothes and yelling at pigeons to pass the time.

And Now, C-dog Attempts To Make His Dentist Appointment Exciting And Post-Worthy Just For You

NOTE: As dentist appointments aren't, historically, exciting in the least, please be aware that this is a very difficult feat. It should not be attempted by anyone other than a sexy professional such as himself, as the risk of facial burns, genital scarring, and even a bloody death at the hands of Freddy Krueger are not only possible, but nearly inevitable. C-dog is brave. C-dog is wise. C-dog's got an eye-booger that he really needs to take care of... c'mere... yeah, okay... got it. Now, without further adieu... front rows, have your splash-protecting tarps at the ready...

C-dog's Trip To The Dentist

The first thing that you should know about my new dentist office is that it's in a mall. The Mall of Manhattan, specifically, and to make matter's worse, it's right next to the food court. In fact, you have to walk behind the counter of the Sbarro's and head through their kitchen to get there; I was fine with this, actually, as loading up on garlic knots has always been a part of my dentist-going routine. After stopping off to make a few pies (I like to stay in practice, just in case I'm ever called upon by my country to whip up some 'za for the Marines), I headed into the waiting room.

It was a hellhole, like a backwater town in South America, but meaner and much more swamp-like. The room was filled with the dregs of humanity: an old sailor with a gimpy leg and no fingers cackled to my left while smoking opium and hawking boosted car stereos; an underage Thai prostitute played checkers with a toothless Eskimo who sported an eye-patch, a prosthetic arm, and the most gorgeous head of blond hair I'd ever seen; a solider of some forgotten war twitched to my right, shrieking about Socialism as he Indian-wrestled what appeared to be a Yeti. The whole place reeked of feces, sorrow, and pepperoni pizza (Sbarro's). Nervously, I filled out the required paperwork, squatting in a dank, out-of-harm's-way corner that was only sort of covered in animal urine. From the back of the office, tortured wails echoed in perfect harmony with the whine of an industrial, gas-powered drill. I began to openly weep. Then, oddly enough, it began to rain.

After what seemed like days, weeks, entire baseball seasons, my name was called... shouted, actually, by a stern, bloodied woman who wore an old SS uniform and clutched a rusty dagger to her bosom. I was placed in handcuffs, a black hood was roughly tugged over my head, and then I was frog-marched toward oblivion. I am unashamed to admit that I soiled myself; you'd have done the same.

I was placed in a room that stank of unwashed mattresses and opened cans of tomato sauce (Sbarro's), and I was left there for at least three weeks. From across the hall, I heard the unmistakable sounds of an illegal cockfight. Someone was in the room with me, of this I'm sure; I felt his or her presence and I certainly smelled a few silent, deadly farts that were not my own, but they never spoke, never even whimpered. I can only guess at what sort of horror my hood concealed.

Finally, I was taken from my holding chamber and dragged into another room. I was brutishly thrown into a chair and my hood was ripped off, my eyes filled with a blinding light. As my sight adjusted, I found myself in a rather tidy, cheerful examination room... it wouldn't have been out of place in the finest of suburban dental offices, save for the rotting corpse of a circus clown that was inexplicably chained upside down to the far wall. I sat, eyeing the rows of dental instruments... the tiny mirror, the various scrapers and picks, a handgun... until a swarthy, Latin man entered with flourish of velvet curtains and the crescendo of an unseen orchestra. "Hello," he said, "It is I, your dentist. Welcome to your nightmare, my little friend!" He advanced on me and I noticed that he had six fingers on each hand. Someone was screaming, long and loud, and I realized that that someone was me.

Anyway, turns out I'm going to have to get a root canal. But that's okay, because it's also going to be really expensive, even with insurance. Bummer. I guess it's a good thing that I took that second job (Sbarro's).

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Arbitrary Rulings 13

Dentist Appointments - I recognize that dentists are a good thing. They take care of our teeth, they keep us from looking like Shane MacGowan, and they only occasionally molest us when we're under anesthesia... they're like superheroes in white coats, only instead of flying around and melting bad guys with their heat vision, they chip tarter off of your teeth and hector little kids about flossing as soon as the Tooth Fairy makes her final appearance. Good souls, dentists, unquestionably... except for one thing: They're totally evil. I mean, have you seen some of those tools they use? The drill thing that's got all those attachments and makes a noise like a pureed cat? What kind of thrill-kill junkie grows up with an ambition to wield one of those things, and to cram it into an innocent person's mouth, no less? Sickos, perverts, and probably Satan-worshipers, every single one of them. They make Jeremy Irons in Dead Ringers look like a bright pink vagina made out of flowers. Fucking twisted tooth-fetish freaks. They horrify and disgust me. Anyway, I have a dentist appointment today. I don't anticipate that it's going to go well.

Eggs - Delicious! Particularly when scrambled or fried or whipped together with a bunch of leftovers and made into an omelet early on a Saturday morning by an attractive girl that's wearing one of your shirts. Eggs "the morning after" are like the gold stars or scratch-n'-sniff stickers that your teacher would put on your math test when you answered all the problems correctly and made sure to show your work. In this scenario, "math test" represents "crazy, filthy sex" and "showing your work" means "foreplay that didn't consist entirely of you taking off your socks." Just so we're clear.

March Madness - I don't care about college basketball. There, I said it. I assume that this makes me less of a man, but there's nothing I can do about it. Here's me, and here's any interest I could possibly have in the world of NCAA hoops (I'm holding my arms really far apart, but you can't see that because this is the internet). It probably has a lot to do with the fact that I only kinda, sorta went to college. Yes, I attended UT for a little while, but still... most of my time there was spent doing nothing whatsoever, and then when I *did* finish up my school, it was at a specialty, film-specific type thing where we barely had teachers, much less any sort of a sports team. So maybe it's that. Oh, and it could also be that this whole bracket system is really hard to understand for we slower types with no education and an attention span that can only be measured with those special MIT clocks that go down the quintillionth of a second.

Yazoo - They're this synthpop duo from England that broke up a long time ago, but are now apparently going back on tour. I like them, but then again I'm also a really big fan of Human League; I'm predisposed to this sort of music, in other words. The singer, Alison Moyet, sounds like the future's next permutation of the word "Diva," but with a throat made of ice and a detachment from the songs that you could build a suspension bridge across. The other member of the band, Vince Clarke, plays the keyboard. Oh, and writes all the songs, too, but whatever, he's not the reason you'd want to get into Yazoo (he looks like a Icelandic art-gallery owner with a drug problem and a closet full of leather pants). The songs that they make are filled with all the bleepy, bloopy, we've-just-discovered-computers sounds that were so popular back in the 80's, but try not to hold that against them... they're a lot of cool, distant fun for nights when you're over the world and just feel like settling in to whatever your definition of isolation happens to be.

When I do these sorts of posts, I usually like to have five different points of discussion. Today, for some reason, I'm kind of blanking on anything else to write about. Maybe it's the building anxiety of my looming dentist appointment, maybe it's because I'm still a little bonkers from the cold medicine and focusing on stuff is kind of like trying to operate a video camera after a six-pack of beer and a few tequila shooters... who knows, my darlings, who knows? Certainly not me. So let's just pretend that I wrote about a fifth thing, that it was hilarious, and that this post makes you want shower me with high-paying magazine jobs and naked pictures of yourself or your attractive loved ones. Pretending is fun!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

It Came From Chinatown: Duo Edition

Last week, I got my ass handed to me by a spiny, so-called fruit (really an alien egg from the Gross Nebula) known throughout Chinatown as the durian. It was easily one of the worst things to happen to anyone ever in recorded history and I'm seriously considering a lawsuit against Mother Nature due to the amount of mental anguish and emotional turmoil my eating it has caused. Also, it stole my identity and bounced a lot of checks in my name and I think it was involved in a hit-and-run! It was one bad fruit, I tell ya!!!

Um, yeah... anyway... this week, we aimed to step it up a notch. It was decided that I would take on a tag-team of tasty treats in a special edition of ICFC... the Duo Edition... and hey, far be it from me to keep you good people waiting. Kids, I give you...

Nutritional Preserved Vegetable Filaments:


Confucius Family Liquor:

That's right. Liquor! But more on that in a minute. Let's first start off with the fabulously "Mr. Sparkle"-packaged Preserved Vegetable whatevers. Okay, so here's one thing that I've learned during the course of this project: If they don't let you actually see the product before you've purchased it and are about to put it in your face, it's probably going to be evil and offensive to the eye, nose, and tongue. Particularly, and this is key, if it's only described with a vague term like "vegetable." What vegetable? The package certainly isn't telling. And the "preserved" part of it's description isn't doing anything for my confidence levels, either. Preserved, to we Americans, brings to mind jellies and canned tomatoes and other delicious, harvest-y goods that sit on your grandmother's shelf in a homey basement until the Winter months roll along. To the Eastern cultures, preserved often means "things buried in the ground for a 1000 years," or "caked in salt for a fortnight" or even "left to rot for so long that it comes all the way back around to edible again." Given this evidence (or lack thereof), I can only assume that this part of the duo is going to suck, hard, and with an epic intensity reserved for earthquakes.

But that's okay, because I've got liquor! Lovely, lovely, liquor. Sure, it's from a foreign country and, sure it comes in a jar that's a little more... oh... let's say "rustic" than I'm entirely comfortable with (something about booze served in ceramic makes me nervous; I don't know why). No matter. Booze transcends national boundaries with a global handshake and a warm, smiling "Hello, my brother from another mother," spoken in all the languages of the multi-culti rainbow. Plus, hey, apparently Confucius used to get down with this stuff and he was no dummy. If it's cool with a legendary philosopher, then who am I to argue.

I laid out the duo before me, a meal at the ready:

First impressions: Neither of the items smell very good. They're not durian-bad (nothing in the world will ever be durian-bad, save for other durians), but they don't exactly favor a beautiful girl's perfume or a freshly grilled steak. The Preserved Vegetables smell earthy, rich, and quite frankly a little spoiled and moldy. If you were to inhale deeply next to your average, commune-dwelling vegan... totally the smell of Nutritional Preserved Vegetable Filaments. The hooch, on the other hand, smelled like the kind of medicine you'd give to a dying man as a last ditch effort mixed with whatever the fuel is that you use to fill up Zippo lighters.

First, the veggies:

Um... even after looking at them and poking them with my spoon and praying for guidance from the Baby Jesus, honestly kids, I have no idea what the fuck it is that I'm about to eat. I get why they just said "vegetables" on the packaging; the manufacturers probably have no fucking clue either. The nearest I can guess, it's some sort of turnip. And it does not taste good:

Salty... powerfully so. All the salt in the ocean, packed into a slick, crunchy, mysterious veggie stick that smells like grave dirt and made my tongue tingle like a jalapeno, but not spicy. Seriously, I have no idea. I don't know what it is, what it's used for, why anyone in their right mind would eat it, or if I maybe, possibly, just ate something that was intended for placement around the border of a garden to scare away rats. Given that it has the word "nutritional" in it's name, I assume it's supposed to be good for you, but I don't think that's accurate... eating one spoonful of Nutritional Preserved Vegetable Filaments easily took off six-to-twelve months off my life.

But that's groovy, man. No big whoop. Because now it's the booze's time to shine! Cheers, you magnificent bastards:

As I've said in the past, I'm an old hand with liquor. We're on friendly terms, generally speaking, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that I know my way around the business end of many a different bottle. When it comes to booze, I'm on top of shit like quarterback winning the big game. Which is how I knew, as I popped it back, that I was totally fucked:

It was like drinking gasoline:

Yes, that's drool.
As soon as the shot went down my gullet, my whole body revolted, twitched, and went into panic mode like a submarine with a breached hull. I gagged, tears welled up, and my salivary glands freaked out, flooding my mouth with what I can only assume was intended to be a protective layer of spit. Now, I'd noticed beforehand that this booze was about 40% alcohol; 80 proof, in other words, which is about the same as Jack Daniels. I'm fairly certain, however, that this is a big, fat, Chinese lie. There's no doubt in my mind that Confucius Family Liquor is moonshine, fresh from the ramshackle still of some toothless Appalachian. It left a burning in my chest that felt like a napalm supernova that has been forgotten in the back seat of a hot car during a heatwave. The car is also on fire.
Because I'm a responsible reporter hell-bent on getting the story at any cost (or I'm out of my fucking mind), I took another small sip, just be sure that it was in fact intestines-dissolving grain alcohol and also to take note of any lingering flavors that might have escaped the Satanic distillation process. I found that, when it's not slammed back like I'm at Senor Frogs during Spring Break, it's actually... well, still pretty terrible... but there is a little more depth than I had previously thought. The liquor is somewhat fruity, with a slight taste of grapes to it, which is extremely odd given that the ingredients on the bottle are listed as "sorghum, wheat, barley and peas (blech)." I guess the fermentation process brings out the fruitiness... or something... I don't know. Look, it was strong and clear and it made me sweat like the math portion of the SATs; beyond that, there's little else that I can tell you.
So what have we learned? Well, for starters, I think it's clear that I've got as Western a palate as you're going to find outside of a Luby's Cafeteria. I thought I was a bold, adventurous eater, but I'm slowly realizing that all I want is a double bacon cheeseburger and a Dr. Pepper, thanks (not that this is going to stop me from continuing my ICFC journey, but still). Mostly, however, I discovered that immediately after eating hatefully preserved vegetables and booze that's actually the blood from the creature in Alien, I, for the next three hours, will make a face like this:

It's like I've looked into the abyss, only to find that the abyss has looked back into me. Haunted, hunted, afraid of the shadows and the things they conceal, lost in the labyrinth that is my own mind. Frankly, I can't think of a better description for the aftereffects of It Came From Chinatown...
See y'all next week!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Hats: A Pictorial

Tiny Leprechaun Hat

Jesus, dude, what the fuck did Ireland ever do to you. Do you think that's clever? Do you think it's cute? Because when we look at you, we don't see a goofy, fun guy with a taste for Guinness and a love of partyin' down. No, we see a mid-level marketing manager who thinks he could be an actor if he wanted to, but instead channels his frustrations into being a cut-up that makes all the fat secretaries laugh. Your shamrock glasses are like windows to that dark, murky swamp you call a soul; all we can see is you crying, all we can hear is you saying, "a tiny little hat will make people love me... it just has to... it just has to!!!"

Shamrock Pimp Hat

This is actually a great, socially-conscious product because it lets the general public know which guys down at Paddy O'McBlarneyshitters have STDs. I will never, as long as I live, understand the meathead mentality that makes early-20s "bros" think pimps are cool. Pimps aren't cool. They're slave-owners that drive Cadillacs and consider giving heroin to 15-year-old runaways an act of charity. Wearing hats that invoke their memory is the same thing as saying you're cool with beating on women and it makes me want to throw you into that big machine press that they used to kill the Terminator in Terminator. Oh, and wearing a pimp hat festooned with shamrocks is a great way to get a group of guys named Shaun, Michael, Tommy, and Nick to stomp on your head until your brains run down the back of your throat like a loogie.

St. Pat's Top Hat

You're a Dr. Seuss character that likes raves, but you're also one-eighteenth Irish and you want the world to know it! But what do you wear? How can you combine the two most annoying aspects of your personality... an addiction to house music and Ecstasy and your crippling desire to be accepted by a group of people that have to like you because you're totally one of them, you swear... into an annoying, felt-based head covering that will act like a landing strip for all the people around you's collective bad vibes and ill will? How??? There must be a way!!!

Shamrock Hat

This hat is fantastic, but not because it's a shamrock. If you wear it like that, you're a drunk college Freshman that's given up on being attractive and is just shooting for "wacky" in the desperate hope that a theater chick will think you're artistic and then touch your penis. No, if you turn this hat sideways, you're suddenly the Giant, Green, Chicken of Doom and you can cruise around campus hucking eggs at people and laughing and laughing and vomiting up Jager shots and laughing and passing out on the quad and getting picked up by the security guards and trying to explain to your parents why you got expelled. It's more than a hat; it's the beginning of an unsatisfying life spent wishing you had studied harder!

Leprechaun Bowler

You're thinking "Awwww, c'mon Dad... you're so embarrassing!!!" But you'd never say that out loud because sometimes your father lets you drink beer with him on the couch during basketball games, not to mention the fact that he doesn't know how to express his feelings, so instead he just buys you lots of video games and expensive clothes from the mall. You're mortified when he goofs around with your friends all lame like this, but it's going to be worth it when Grand Theft Auto IV comes out, you totally know it.

A Weekend Of Watching Stuff

It has been a weekend of sore throats and ungodly things coughed up in the morning. It has been a weekend of only leaving the house to buy a new pair of pants. It has been a weekend of drinking beer, orange juice, and hot toddys while enjoying Girlfriend's onion-y, cheesy homemade omelets. But mostly, it has been a weekend of sitting on my fat butt in front of the television, consuming the entirety of our Netflix shipment in a manner that shouts "Grumpy Hermit!!!" in much the same way that groups of fleeing Japanese people shouted, "Godzilla!!!"

Herewith, because I've literally done nothing else of interest over the past three days, the judgements passed down on all that I have watched...

The Apartment - I have no idea why it's taken me twenty-seven and a half years to see this wonderful, classic film, but it has. There was probably just always something good on TV, or maybe I was constantly distracted by a large plate of nachos, but really I don't know. Anyway, it's Jack Lemmon and it's Fred MacMurry and it's Shirley McClaine (who was a total babe back in 1960), and they form a love triangle that makes your heart crack into several pieces that mope around and listen to the saddest songs from Sinatra's back catalogue. The baseline emotion for The Apartment is an aching loneliness, but filmmaker Billy Wilder presents it to us with a glossy sheen of optimism and daffy humor; you're dying for the characters a little bit as you laugh a whole bunch. No easy feat. Oh, the plot! Doye, sorry... It's about a bachelor (Lemmon) who, in a bid to move up in his soul-crushing insurance job, lets all the company executives use his apartment as a place to bring their mistresses and assorted whores. Naturally, he ends up falling for a girl (McClaine) who just happens to "belong" to the Big Boss (MacMurry, a loooooong way from Steve Douglas). So, yeah... great flick, well-crafted and it packs an emotional wallop like a Sonny Liston roundhouse. Check it out if you haven't seen it and then send me a thank-you card with $20 inside. Don't forget the money or I'll hunt you down.

Monster Rain - This was an hour long stand-up special from comedian Jim Norton. I'm actually not entirely sure why I rented it, but it was good for a few laughs. Nothing groundbreaking, though, and I wasn't at any point gasping for breath but... you know... entertaining enough, as it goes. It should be noted that he's really not a comedian suited to the tastes of the general populous. Filthy, filthy humor... again, generally pretty funny, but still... if you're not comfortable with in-depth discussions of sexual perversions, then you might want to look up some old Bill Cosby DVDs or something. So... yeah. Basically, it's an experience that's best described by using the phrases "I guess" and "if you're into that sort of thing" a lot.

The Ten - This was a movie by the guys who did the balls-out hilarious Wet, Hot, American Summer, and it consists of a bunch of short films based on the Ten Commandments (the actual list, not the Charlton Heston movie). It was okay. I get the impression that it was fucking hysterical while they were writing the film, and really, really funny while they were shooting it, and by the time it made it's way to my DVD player, it was just kinda, sorta, occasionally-I'd-chuckle, witty-would-describe-it-better-than-funny, whatever, whatever, whatever. It's certainly different, I'll give it that. Definitely not as good as the aforementioned and now-acronymed WHAS. But there are lots of cool, hip, indie cameos to go, "hey, it's that guy/girl" at, and you get to see Winona Rider simulate sex with a ventriloquist dummy, so... you know... it's got those things going for it... for what it's worth... um, yeah...

The Complete Denis Leary - More stand-up, this time a DVD that included Leary's No Cure for Cancer and Lock n' Load, both of which were big influences on me as a high schooler with authority issues who took comfort in screaming, angry entertainment wherever I could find it. Watching them today... um... yeah, they don't really hold the appeal that they once did. They, and he, just aren't funny anymore. Now, admittedly, I feel this way partially because I've since learned of Leary's never proven (though hard to deny) plagiarism of material from God-amongst-comics Bill Hicks. But mostly, it's just that I've gotten to the point where a comedian has to do more than yell really loud and be a spaz to get me to laugh. Really raunchy sex jokes usually do the trick.

Sorcerer - Let me get the negative thing out of the way first. The title comes from the word itself that happens to be painted on the side of one of the trucks used to transport dynamite through the jungle. It is never referenced by the cast and it only shows up on camera a couple of times. Director William Friedkin claims that the film is titled as such as a way of acknowledging the "wizard of fate" that controls the characters actions. This is, and I'm sure you'll agree, completely retarded. Girlfriend suggested that they should have named the movie "Boom Trucks," and she's dead-on; I'd see a movie called "Boom Trucks" again and again and again, as would the rest of America. At any rate, dumbass title aside, Sorcerer was actually a pretty great film. It does, however, take a little while to get going; there's four... four... prologues, and they don't even get to the actual plot of the film until about the 60min mark. Still, though... worth your valuable time, particularly if you're a fan of manly, brawny flicks that splash around testosterone like so much Brut in a YMCA locker room. Roy Scheider, looking like a gristly strip of cheap, diner steak, gives his usual solid performance, and there's this whole big sequence where they try to drive the trucks over a rickety, rotting suspension bridge that's just totally out of control. Worth a look, for sure, but maybe bring a book or a Rubik's Cube to mess around with until the part where the oil refinery blows up.