Friday, June 30, 2006

More Than Meets The Eh...

It's been well-established in this blog and in the hearts and minds of every girl I've tried to date over the years that I am an unapologeticly geeky nerd from Dorksville (Population: Lame). Growing up intensely interested in musical theater and le cinema will do that to a person. And, with high school behind me, I began my long and storied career holding down the counters at video and record stores across this great nation, effectively sealing my fate as the guy who gets real excited over, say, the idea of a live-action Transformers movie hitting the big screen next year.

Or, at least, I used to be that guy. Have I mellowed as I've slid into my late-twenties like a fat kid on a Slip N' Slide? Does it now take more than big robots to stoke the fires of my passion these days? I ask these questions, am forced to contemplate the very fiber that makes up my being, because today the first teaser trailer (sorry, "announcement") for the aforementioned Transformers project hit the web and it's entirely and unbelieveably uninspiring. Here, watch it:

See what I mean? First off, the probe thingy's supposed to be on Mars, though it looks surprisingly like the desert basins around the greater Los Angeles area. I guess they wanted to put out a teaser ("announcement," damnit) but they really didn't want to drive too far to make it. Secondly, we only get the silhoutte of a Transformer and he doesn't even... you know... transform or anything. He just steps on stuff. Great. And then, for thirds, they make the titles all transformy and super-cool, meaning they can do that sort of stuff, but not with the cars or planes or whatever, which is really what we want to see. It's like having the really hot girl you want to see naked sit at the foot of your bed and show you pictures of less-attractive naked girls. Very much not the same thing.

So yeah. Eh, to you Transformers. Try harder!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #5

Music Notes

I really would like to not write about the exploding space shuttle of lunacy that is Britney Spears' life all the time, but damnit, that girl is committed to constantly bringing the crazy on a maddeningly consistant basis. So here we go; this week we have a testiment to the nation's talented air-brush artists who work so diligently to make people in magazines not look like the hideous ass-beasts that they are. If you'll follow this link:

You'll find a picture of Britney Spears that is, possibly, the most unflattering picture of all time. And I don't just mean of her. It's the most unflattering picture of anyone ever. Then, you can click on the links to take you to Ms. Spears' recent Harpers mag pics of her in the nude and very pregnent. She looks good in those, almost like shiny polished plastic. Do a little side-by-side and you'll want to buy every photo retoucher you know a round of high-proof drinks.

Also, don't look at the first pic too long or you'll get dizzy and throw up. Trust me.

Songs of our Week

1. “Haunted” by Shane MacGowan and the Popes

Okay, yes, I’ve already done a song by Shane MacGowan’s band The Pouges and while I’m trying really hard to not have a lot of repeat-sies, I figure that solo careers and original bands are different enough that I can risk it without the music blog police showing up at my door in their ironic t-shirts and white belts to take me away to Tower Records for a debriefing with the editors of Spin. Yes… what was I talking about? Oh, right… “Haunted.” Great song. Because Shane MacGowan has a voice like a pile of drunk sandpaper and the girl who duets with him (Sinead O’Conner? I don’t do research.) has such a sweet, angelic voice, I can only imagine that this song is about a shabby hobo who falls in love with a beautiful school marm in the mean streets of London. Open to interpretation, I suppose, but that’s my guess.

2. “Evergreen” by The Fiery Furnaces

These guys are real “record store clerk” musicians; overly weird, hip and most people will think they sound like sonic ass. However, just to confuse everyone, they put out a ridiculously catchy pop song on a random EP and it’s one of the finest indie recordings of the last few years. I don’t recommend much of their other stuff unless you know you have a tolerance for music that rocks only occasionally and meanders a whole, whole lot, but this song will do right by you.

3. “Time After Time” by Willie Nelson

That’s right. The Red-Headed Stranger covering the 80’s most sartorially-challenged girl who, for gosh sakes, just wanted to have fun. This is one of the best covers I’ve heard in a long time because it actually does something different with the song, or at least it takes it to a very different place. When Cindy Lauper sang it, images of college girls crying in their sororitiey house after one of them’s big break up springs immediately to mind. In Willie’s hands, it’s an old cowboy’s reminesince on a hard life that tells the one he loves exactly this, “I will never let you down.” Who doesn’t want to hear that now and again, even if it is from Willie Nelson?

4. "Sylvia's Mother" by Dr. Hook

Despite being everyone's favorite freak-out drug band whose tunes were penned by Shel Silverstein, Dr. Hook remains surprisingly underappreciated in the pantheon of late-60's/early 70's music. Shame. These guys are wonderfully weird and back an odd amount of emotion into such songs as "Penicillin Penny" and "My Pants Want To Get Up And Dance." This song though, about a guy pleading with his girlfriend's mother to let him talk to her just for a few minutes, is one of their best. Really sad and perfectly wrought with feeling; aims more for the heart than the head.

5. "Romeo & Juliet" by Dire Straits

Sadly, this song has been over-used in sappy romantic movies, which sucks, because that sort of thing can drain a song of it's emotion and make it just so much background noise. However, this is perfect late night driving music; very atmospheric, though it helps if you're currently in love or getting there quickly. The rest of Dire Straits ouevre can be dismissed as so much bar-band fodder, but this is their real shining moment.

Jesus Isn't So Magical

The Weekly Awesome! will be up in a bit... I know, the wait is killing you... but first I wanted to comment on something:

Sara Silverman: Jesus Is Magic... Supposedly really funny and awesome and edgy and witty and biting and clever and you're-soooo-not-hip-if-you-don't-like-this-LIKE-IT!-LIKE-IT! Well, I watched it last night and I'm sad to report that all the hype, all the fawning reviews and interviews, all the slobbery praise from the indie media... all total bullshit. In only an hour and twelve mintues, it ranged from merely boring to actually being painful to watch.

I hate being one of the only people to rag on something that a lot of people, apparently, got a lot of giggles out of but... fuck, man. This thing was terrible.

Maybe it's me.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Late-Nite Knuckle Sandwich

In early December of 1977, during an on-court brawl at an NBA game, Kermit Washington leveled a swinging roundhouse blow to the head of Rudy Tomjanovich which connected with such ferocity that it fractured his skull in a few places, seperated his face from the bones behind it, and damaged his neck so badly that spinal fluid actually began to run out of his mouth. When Tomjanovich recovered, eventually, he said that his last thoughts that night were that he was positive a scoreboard had fallen on him. The punch was a catalyst for change in the NBA; on-court behavior was put under a microscope and the penalties for fighting were dramatically increased. Within this era of reform, the careers of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson began, effectivly announcing the death of the old way and the birth of the new. Never in history has a single punch been so galvanizing, so affecting, so... important.

I'm reminded of this incident because last night, around 4am or so, I kinda sorta punched my girlfriend in the face. What happened was, I was sleeping fairly soundly (a rarity in and of it's self) when I felt her stirring next to me. I was facing away from her, towards the wall, and decided to roll over to perhaps get some late night snuggle action. Keep in mind, I was still about 75% asleep. As I rolled over, my left arm slung around, dead weight, and accidentally... ACCIDENTALLY... connected with Em's cheek. She, being asleep herself, was awoken and moaned a bit of a wounded "Ow." I, still asleep because apparently inflicting bodily harm on someone isn't enough of an alarm to wake this guy up, mumbled some apologies and immediately went back into my snooze.

What's weird is that, somehow, NBA commissioner David Stern has gotten wind of the incident and is now imposing stricter regulations on player interactions in my bedroom. Also, Kermit Washington has been suspended for a whole season, even though he's been retired for 30 years. When told of this, Stern said, "Well, we're going to suspend him just to be on the safe side." He made air quotes around the words "safe side" then he arched an eyebrow and folded his arms until all of the reporters that had gathered began to disperse.

Anyway, all of that is basically a way of saying this... Emily, my love, I'm sorry I sleep-punched you. My bad. I'll try to be more mindful of that. If you'll stop fouling me on my jump shot.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Snakes, Plane, Trailer

Okay, yeah, I'm busy at work and blah, blah, blah but as I'm someone who writes a blog, I'm contractually obligated to post at least once every two weeks about Snakes on a Plane, the greatest movie of all time in the history of the universe. Because it has snakes. On a plane. Anyway, they finally released the official trailer for it and it looks... okay, I guess. It certainly has a plane on which snakes are assuredly present. Here, see for yourself:

I've come to the realization that there's absolutely no way that this movie is going to be any good; the hype is too big and the idea's too nerd-perfect for this to not be a huge let-down upon its execution. Which sucks, because... well, snakes on a plane. Great idea, but I just have a bad feeling about this.

Okay, back into the fray. Miss me!

Working Isn't Fun

Work is currently pushing me up against the wall of the boy's bathroom, giving me a double purple nurple, stealing my lunch money and threatning me to not go to the prinicpal or I'll be on the receiving end of a monster swirlie after gym class.

So watch this:

It's apparently done without using any form of computer animation or anything like that. Just real people making cool shapes with the film speed cranked. It's neat. It's pretty. It's... oh, Christ I have so much work to do. It's just piling up like snow on a Northerner's deck.

Watch the clip, enjoy it deeply, and know that Daddy loves you but he's too busy to play ball right now.

Monday, June 26, 2006

How's Your November Look?

Could you write a whole novel in a month? Would you even want to? Could you do so without producing a work that's "Kinda like The Da Vinci Code but mixed with Harry Potter and it has lots and lots of hot models doing it?"

If so, you might be interested in this:

Apparently, November is National Novel Writing Month. I wasn't aware that this was even a thing, but it seems that it's very much a real deal; if there's a website about it, it must be important. Or at least as important as Buffy the Vampire Slayer erotic fanfictions. Wait, I'm sorry, there's nothing as important as that.

Anyway, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel (that's 175 pages to we non-big-numbers folks) in the span of one month; specifically, November. Personally, I think setting something such as this in the month of November is craziness... you know you're going to lose a few days with Christmas shopping and, of course, no one's going to be able to write on Thanksgiving or even the day after because, if you're like me, you'll be in a buttered-foodstuffs-induced coma. There's no avoiding that. So counting out those days, plus the two or three days that you're going to just not want to get out of bed, choosing instead to curl yourself around a king-size box of Cheeze-Its and a gallon of Dr. Pepper while watching the TV Land All-Day Maude-a-thon, you're looking at writing a novel in about 23 days.


Hell no! (or, probably!)

But I think I'm going to try. The rules state that you can spend the run-up time before Nov. 1st prepping your work; sketching character outlines, plotting out your story, stocking up on black market amphetamines, etc. It's reasonable to think that if you know exactly what you're going to write when you sit down on One, November, it really shouldn't be much of an effort.

Of course that's crap, entirely, but it's a nice thought. I procrastinate like I could be crowned champion of the world, and I'm actually allergic to planning (also Cottonwood trees). Besides the fact that I'm getting all excited about this in June; when late October roles around, I may be way too involved with my new passions of wok cooking and ham-radio operating.

But for now, while the idea's still a white-hot ember of inspiration in my guts, I'm totally jazzed. Let's write a novel, gang! Let's be all fancy with the books!!!

Thanks to Braden, that handsome swain, for giving me the heads up on this; way to set me up to fail!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Belated Movie Review

Finally got around to seeing X-Men 3: It's A Metaphor this weekend.

My esteemed ruling... Very Okay.

The movie's biggest problem is Brett Ratner, who took over directing duties from Bryan Singer so Singer could go play with other superheros. He is the very defenition of an understudy; someone who's competent enough to keep the curtain up, but certaintly not going to win any awards come the Tonys (god, I am such a theater queen). While individual scenes work great and the final half-hour showdown is top-notch entertainment, the movie never really comes together as a whole entity. If I were in snooty film critic mode, I'd be throwing around words like "unfocused" and "scattershot" all willy nilly, but since I'm not reviewing this for a magazine I'll refrain. It was a bit like eating a hastily thrown-together casserrole... tasty enough, but rather a mess in execution.

The Good

-Hugh Jackman just kicks ass as Wolverine; continues to kick ass, I should say. He absolutely owns that character and it's a shame that the focus is less on him this go-around, as he could easily have shouldered the burdeon. Somebody get this guy a spin-off, please, for the love of Marvel!

-Ian McKellen is the scariest old man around.

-The story it's self, a rather thinly veiled discussion of homosexuality and whether or not it's something that can or should be cured, is deeply involving and perhaps even ahead of it's very frightening time. When watching the movie, substitute the word "Mutant" for "Homosexual" in any and all dialouge and see if the idea of "curing" a group of people who don't want to be "cured" doesn't make you sick to your stomach. To put it another way, if you're siding with the doctors in this movie, I want to hit you with a rock.

-Famke Jansen is hot when she's evil.

The Bad

-Halle Berry continues to drain the life out every scene she's in. She won an Oscar? Really? Was it an Oscar for being the Most Wooden?

-Some of the special effects were awesome and some of them were very... eh. I know that they were trying to get a mild rating, but when you have people getting ripped apart by freakish telekentics, there's going to be at least a few drops of blood. Just sayin'.

-The cameo appearence by the comics-fan's-favorite Sentinel was cool and all, but really not needed. But still cool. But not needed. But cool. But... okay, you get my point.

-Adding the "I'm the Juggernaut, Bitch" line... dude. For real? Are we going to have the Lightsaber Kid and Ask A Ninja and Mr. T Ate My Balls in the 4th one? Will there be a Numma Numma sing-along?

-Brett Ratner. Don't mean to harp on the guy, but could the studio not have found anyone even a little more interesting to fill Singer's shoes? The guy is the directorial equivilent of a government employee... the job gets done, but with all the flare and excitement of a cinder block.

So yeah, in the end, it's worth going to see. Just know what you're in for: A mediocre-though-pleasent-enough end to what should have been a wall to wall fantastic trilogy.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Drinks For Summer

I'm off of work today and I don't feel like writing something ultra-pithy or, really, anything that requires a whole lot of effort.


Make yourself a drink:

The Greyhound:

1 part good vodka
3 parts grapefruit juice (freshly squeezed will make you a better person)
Salt for the rim of the glass

Take a tumbler and salt it's rim. Combine the liquids. Drink. Repeat. Fall over.

Karate Kick

1 part rum or vodka
1 part pineapple juice
1 part Sprite
1 part cranberry juice

Combine all liquids. Drink. Combine more. Keep drinking. Keep combining. Oh god, yes.

The Classic

1 bottle of cheap whiskey
1 rocks glass
1 grimey bar that looks like ground zero of a hepatitus outbreak

Find bar. Claim an empty stool. Have whiskey poured into rocks glass. Drink. Again. And again. Congrats, you're Robert Mitchum or Humphrey Bogart or any classic film noir actor of your choosing.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #4

Music Notes

This is all over the internet by now, and it's not so much about music as it is about an older Asian woman making an ass out of herself, but... eh. There's not that much going on right now, news-wise, and I don't want to do yet another report on Britney Spear's continually retarded behavior or about how Paris Hilton is attempting to run over all of the citizens of Los Angeles one by one with her SUV. So here you go... Connie Chung singing "Thanks for the Memories" on top of a piano:

Yeah, I don't know why either. I assume there's a reason she's doing this, but I can't actually get all the way through this clip without my vision swimming and the room starting to spin. Then I black out and wake up in a puddle of my own sick in an alley downtown.

Okay, maybe it's not that bad, but it is hard to watch. You how when you see a really unfunny comedian who keeps plugging away with his "jokes," even though the audiance has grown hostile and the word "Awkward" is just hanging there over his head and it makes your stomach hurt a little because you can tell that he's dying inside but can't stop his mouth from spewing out these horrible things? This video is like that, but with less dignity.


Songs of our Week

1. "Carmelita" by Warren Zevon or Counting Crows

It's about a junkie pining away for his lover while in the throes of withdrawl. A great tune for those of you that consider Leaving Las Vegas to be deeply romantic (it kinda is, for reals). Warren Zevon sang it originally, but Counting Crows do a suprisingly good cover of it, if that's your particular brand of alt-rock crooning. Personally, I prefer Zevon's rough, craggy voice because he actually sounds like he just got finished spiking a vein and is about to pass out, but my girlfriend prefers the Crows version because Adam Duritz has a better voice and does that thing that he does where he sounds all emotional when he sings. Tomato, To-mah-to. (How weird is it that just as I was about to move on to the next one, the Zevon version of this came on my radio. Ooooo... spookalicious!)

2. "The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth" by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Because of my general obliviousness and deep distaste for change, I tend to be squarely five years behind what's currently popular in modern music. I'm still really digging on "Oh! Inverted World," if that tells you anything. Occasionally, though, I'll look up from my own self-involvement and catch sight of a band that's currently popular and find myself humming a long. These guys are that band and they are fucking sweet. If you put Talking Heads and The Cure into Seth Brundle's transporter pods and they came out the other side all smushed and melded together, they'd sound like Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Well, they'd probably be dead like that baboon that got turned inside out, but you get my meaning.

3. "I Don't Like Mondays" by The Boomtown Rats

This is a song about how Mondays suck ass which is, I'll admit, fairly trite subject matter even by pop music standards. It's ridiculously catchy though, and because it's sung by an 80's band that hail from Ireland, we're going to assume that it's a thickly disguised commentary on The Troubles. Maybe it's a Sinn Fein rallying cry. Potato famine allegory, perhaps? Look, it's totally deep. Just go with it.

4. "Return of the Grievous Angel" by Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons was a rich kid from Florida who reinvented himself as an alt-country pioneer, worked with The Byrds, and had a massive heroin problem that quickly killed him at the age of 26, securing his place as a rock legend. He was, by most accounts, a total douchebag with an "I'm here to bring country music to the masses" Messiah complex and his singing voice was at times very questionable. However, when he was working relatively smack-free and was on his game, he was fantastic. This would be one of the songs that make him tolerable because it hits the perfect balance of country swing and pop accessability. If you're a Ryan Adams fan, you'd probably dig Parsons, if for no other reason than Ryan Adams would be currently waiting tables in Jacksonville were it not for him.

5. "Banned in D.C." by Bad Brains

Occasionally you need to step outside of the comfortable indie rock bubble that you live in and get your pampered feet wet in some rougher, choppier waters. Punk, obviously, is the best way to go because the line from it to Rock and Roll is fairly straight. Just crank up the guitar distortion, play less chords and scream your lyrics and, presto, you're a punk superstar. Also, sneer some. Avoid Metal and Rap like you owe them money; their subcultures are pains in the ass and you really have to dig to find listenable music. Trust me, go punk. You want to avoid the well-trod paths that lead to The Sex Pistols (who actually suck) and The Ramones (who were good, but not that punk), because they're way overdone and you've already heard the good stuff they have to offer. Really, if you're going to branch out, you should branch the fuck out with gusto. Aim for really violent, noisy stuff like Crass, Anti-Nowhere Leauge or Bad Brains, who hold the distinction of being one of the only all-black hardcore bands out there, not to mention one of the first American punk bands ever. Their stuff is like sonic razor blades and sledgehammers and it's perfect for pissed-off days where you're seriously considering buying a gun. Don't go that route; listen to Bad Brains instead.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Naked City

We're getting close to the really hot part of the summer, where NYC becomes basically an asphalt-covered bonfire and walking from your job to the subway leaves you slicked with sweat and street grime and you're so tired you kind of envy that homeless guy who's sleeping pantsless in front of a closed-down bodega because you feel like doing the exact same thing and you wish you had his lack of shame. Yeah, yeah, I know he's homeless and probably really sick and miserable and I should kiss a Leprachaun's ass that I'm not in his ratty shoes; I'm just saying he looks comfortable.

Anyway, my point is that New York gets ungodly hot for a couple of months out of the year. The key part of that sentance is the couple of months" part. Our heatwaves are short, at least compared to the rest of the country; the parts below us on the map, anyway. Because of that, from about late-June until the end of August, the city becomes...

!!!Nude York City!!!

People, both men and women, go completely insane here when it gets hot. Women walk around with strategically placed Fuck Bush stickers and skirts short enough to be classified as belts. Men are shirtless, always, and most wear those nylon running shorts that are split up the sides almost to their hip bones. Gallons of tanning oil are sprayed on us by those planes that they fight forest fires with and everyone's drinking Jamba Juice until the parks reek of mango pulp and protein powder.

That is only a slight exaggeration. I've lived in other hot places before and, compared to New York, it was like living amongst a particularly rabid sect of the Quakers. California is always warm, so everyone's already over it and just dress like normal people (except in Venice Beach, where it's still 1985 and people still rollerskate and wear Ocean Pacific clothes) and in Texas, you could walk down the street completely naked and folks would just shrug, spit and take another long pull of their Shiner Bock. Austin, in particular, could give a shit.

But here it's just crazy. Hang out in Union Square park on a Saturday in July and you'll never need to go to a strip club again because you've seen all the nipple, inner-thigh and man ass in the tri-state area that you'll ever need to see. And this is in the middle of Manhattan! If you haven't gotten laid in a few weeks, don't go to the beaches on the outer fringes of the burroughs because your brain will implode from the horny.

Anyway, this is an excerpt from my forthcoming book, Why New York City Is Better Than Your Town. It's in the Everyone's Naked chapter.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Backpack Man

An Open Letter to the Guy On the Crowded N Train Who Wouldn't Take Off His Backpack-

Dude, I know that it's a sweet backpack; there's no denying that. It clearly holds a lot of stuff and it's really, really orange which probably means that people can see you when you're lost in the forest. Nevermind the fact that, at least when I saw you wearing it, you were in Brooklyn, which isn't really a place known for it's dense stands of trees and thick foliage. Also, you are doughy, pale and had the look of a mid-level office manager about you, which leads me to believe that the last time you were "in nature" was that time you caught the Sting concert in Central Park. Look, the point is I doubt that you're a Park Ranger or a Forestry Expert or anything that would actually require you to wear a backpack such as that (though it is totally sweet, of course).

But it's not my place to tell people what to wear or what makes them look like a sad little man who misguidedly funneled his midlife crisis into some unfortunante luggage, as opposed to a new car or a pretty 20-year-old.

I do, however, think that I can comment freely on the fact that you refused to take off your backpack during the morning rush hour commute, despite the fact that it was the size of an old-model VW Beatle and was knocking down whole swaths of passengers everytime you shifted your body weight.

Dude... not cool. Everyone on the train was staring at you with murder on their minds. That kind of collected, focused hate is going to give you cancer and it will be all your fault for wearing a large backpack in a crowd. Do you want that? No, no you don't.

So... yeah. Glad we had this talk. Oh, before I sign off, one more thing... if I see you with that backpack on the train again, I will set it on fire. The backpack, I mean. Sweet though it is.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Lazer Canyon is Your Homeboy

Hey kids, go love up on Lazer Canyon for me. It's the interweb's premier showcase for cartoons drawn, written and coddled by Braden Walker, your future husband:

There's a particularly funny one up at the moment that makes reference to the Cthulu. Which is the awesome.

Pants: The Saga

Oh, I forgot... I have a slightly amusing story to tell.

Went on Saturday with Emily to the Atlantic Center, which is basically the closest thing to a mall that you can find in the 5 Burroughs and, therefore, is a place to avoid at all costs under normal circumstances. However, I really needed pants. Side note: Buying clothes in New York totally blows. Sales tax here is ludicrious and is only slightly preferable to getting mugged in an alley and you have to go to 18 different stores to find what you're looking for, unless you want to go to the aforementioned Atlantic Center, which, again, I don't recommend. It's like that one mall in your hometown that everyone knows is The Ghetto Mall but worse because it's right on the edge of Brooklyn's worst neighborhood. Whatever. Most right-thinking people go to Jersey for their shopping needs, but I'm waaaay to lazy for that, ergo, Atlantic Center.


I go into the Men's Warehouse in the Atlantic Center because I have a discount coupon for there and, from what I understand, they have a bounty of pants. In my coupon-inspired eagerness, I'd forgotten a couple of things about the Men's Warehouse:

1. The employees work on commision, which means they are pushy to the point of physical violence in their attempts to force purchaces upon you. I'm not that friendly, so I really don't like strangers harrassing me in general, but I'm particularly averse to it when I'm shopping; an activity I regard about as highly as having to pee really bad while stuck on a stalled subway.

2. Men's Warehouse caters to Men who make a whole lot more money than I do.

So the dude comes up, leaps on my back and locks his hands, and starts licking my neck about how they have all these great pants to offer me. I'm all, "Just need some pants, size Fat if you've got them." He starts pulling from the racks every single pair of pants in my size, plus some on either side of the line, in case I immediatly eat an entire ox or get some sort of wasting illness on my way out the door. He smiles irritatingly and makes a sweeping motion with his hands, "These are all 75$ a piece." Wha...? I nearly shat myself, but I play it cool. "Oh, um, do you have anything a little on the cheaper side?" He gets, if possible, even more smary and tells me that these are the bargin-priced, step-above-burlap-sack, most-homeless-people-won't-wear-these, cheapest pants he has. I freeze.

Then, because I'm lucky like this, he gets called away to the register for a second. "Just try these on," smile like a hateful dagger. The minute his back is turned, I hightail it out of there so fast I nearly take the door off it's hinges. I head across the way to the Bath and Body Works where Em is browsing for soap. I can see through the windows the dude come back to where we had been talking, finding nothing but an empty space and a bunch of overpriced slacks. The look on his face, seriously, was that of a man who's lost all that is dear to him. Sorrow, misery, loathing and desperation all cross the man's features. He slowly begins to hang the pants back on the rack, a piece of him dying with each click of the hanger on metal. Near tears, he wanders back into the wilds of the sales floor, waiting to pounce on another opportunity to catch life by a rainbow and find it's pot of commision gold.

I went to Old Navy and bought some jeans.

Sing Out, Me!

I'm not ashamed to admit that I dig musical theater. All that purty sangin' makes me smile and I've come to terms with that. I no longer have to attend theatrical functions in an elaborate disguse, such as the Phantom from Phantom of the Opera. People would be all, "Hey, are you one of them theater queens?" And I'd flip my satin cape over my soulder, adjust my snap-brim fedora, and, through my half-face mask, I'd reply, "No dude, I'm the Phantom. It's all good; I'm supposed to be here." Most of the time, me and my interrogater would then share a hearty laugh and, if there was a piano handy, throw down a heartbreaking duet of "Music of the Night." Good times... eh, anyway. As I said, I'm cool with being a hetro musical fan and, because of that, I'm cool with admiting that I watch the Tonys. I watch them not because I care who wins (because I've usually only seen one or two things that are nominated), but because they have live performances from all the musicals that are nominated, which makes me go, "Eeeeeee!!!" and clap my hands together like a 13 year old at an 'Nsync concert. That reference my now be dated; I think some of the 'Nsync members are dead or something. Anyway, you catch my drift. Herewith, the two highlights:

This is the clip from Jersey Boys, otherwise known as the show that won everything. It looks good, in a paying-85$-to-hear-songs-you've-heard-on-the-oldies-station-a-million-times kind of way:

And this is a clip from The Wedding Singer: The Musical, which, yes, is a real thing. It's actually supposed to be pretty good. What they show here looks entertainingly peppy, anyhow:

So yeah. Fun. Makes me want to throw on a dance belt and grab my jazz shoes. Er, not that I have either of those things handy. Of course not. I'M MANLY!!!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Friday Morning in the Park With Prince


There are times when living in New York is a real drag... being rubbed up against on the subway by a guy with one shoe who smells like a dirty pillowcase stuffed with vomit and cabbage, having roaches in your kitchen and that will actually pull a knife on you if you get in their way, and of course that whole could-be-killed-at-any-minute-by-terrorists thing.

But... there are times when living New York is like a crazy caffeine-fueled dream where magic explodes out of the subway tunnels and everyone sings and dances and laughs until they cry. Watching the Amazin' Mets play at Shea Stadium, seeing a little off-off-off Broadway show that blows your mind, and seeing fucking Prince giving a concert in the park at 8:30 in the morning as you're walking to work.

That's right... PRINCE!!! He was there as part of Good Morning America's "Hey, here's some music in the morning" concert series, or whatever they call it. I stood on the edge of the park and watched him do a couple of songs; new stuff of course, because he doesn't do the old stuff anymore. Seeing Prince is cool no matter what, but it would be 50 times cooler if he'd do Raspberry Beret. Regardless, awesome.

Oh, and he was wearing a bright pink suit. Gotta love that.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #3

Music Notes

Interesting article today from, of all places, Fox News. Please note... I am a good liberal and had this article not been about Michael Jackson and his never ending carnival of crazy, I would never frequent Fox News's website to gain any actual information or facts. As I see it, the only reasons to visit their website are to keep an eye on the Republican agenda's media profile and to call Tucker Carlson a douche on the message boards. Anyway, I figure I'm on fairly even ground with a story about Jackson because everybody looks at him with the same mix of morbid fascination and abject disgust, regardless of their political affiliation. So, here's the link:,2933,199423,00.html

If you can't stomach being in the belly of the beast, it's basically about some testimony that's been recently released from one of the 128 legal disputes that Michael Jackson is currently a part of. It seems that Jackson had planned to release a charity single for 9/11 victim's families but, because the super rich and super crazy don't understand the meaning of words like "charity," never actually intended to give any of the proceeds to anyone other than his freakish, goblin-like self. So... yeah, that's awesome. It's like he's given up on ever being likable again, so he's just going to aim at cartoon villiany and swing for the bleachers.

Songs of our Week

1. "She Doesn't Exist" by Robyn Hitchcock

If you get dumped by a really awesome girlfriend who wants to "play the field some more," your first instinct is to head directly for some Elliot Smith or some old Cure, or even Dashboard Confessionals if you're thirteen. If I may make a suggestion... actually, two suggestions. One, if your girlfriend wants to "play the field" it means she's a whore and that's just her way of breaking it to you nicely. Trust me, you don't want any of that, so perk the fuck up. Two, if you insist on being all glum and mopey, throw "She Doesn't Exist" by Robyn Hitchcock into your poor-me-drinking-alone-why-am-I-so-unloveable mix. It's a bit bouncier and it will break up the monotony a bit, yet it's still in keeping with your general bad mood.

2. "Together in Electric Dreams" by Human League

Human League never really blew up like they should have. They had a great 80's synthy sound and their songs could teach a three-unit lecture course on catchiness and yet, the only song anyone ever remembers is "Don't You Want Me, Baby." Great song, yes, but that's only one good dish at the delicious buffett, as it were. If you're sitting there all arms-crossed and doubtful, give this song a listen. If you don't like "Together in Electric Dreams," I will personally give you a small order of fries from the fast food establishment of your choice. Then, right as you're about to eat the first fry, I'll knock it out of your hand and punch you in the throat because, if you don't like "Together in Electric Dreams," you're either an evil alien or a communist and we can't have either on our American soil.

3. "Call to Love" by Crooked Fingers

This song is like falling through a rip in the fabric of time that drops you into your first car as you're driving to high school in 1996. But in a good way.

4. "My Little Corner of the World" by Yo La Tengo

I'm actually not that big a fan of Yo La Tengo, but for no particular reason. I recognize that they put out good music and I know that they've got a deeply loyal fanbase amongst those who wear a lot of vintage clothing and smell all the time like patchouli oil. They just never really did it for me. This song, however, is simulatainously like being wrapped in a warm hug from your best friend and being tied naked to a chair in a madman's basement. Any band that can strike that balance, even if for only one song, is a-okay in my book.

5. "London Girl" by The Pogues

When you grow up male, you inevitably go through the "angry young man" phase which, musically, can take you down a few different paths. There's punk, of course, and the various sub-species of metal. You can go the goth route if you've a bit of a sissy, and if you've got the balls for it, you can get into gangsta rap but you pretty much have to be black to pull that off without looking ridiculous. Thing is, all of these are a little played out these days and you're going to look a little silly if you follow the dress asthetics of any of them. Nobody takes punks seriously anymore, trust me, and metal guys just look hot and sweaty all the time. Goths were never taken seriously to begin with and guys who dress like rappers are only scary to old ladies. So, what's left? An avenue that's really unexplored by the angry young man is stuff along the lines of The Pogues... they could be deeply policical, which is always good for some anger, and they were basically Irish punks without the saftey pins and stupid hair. Plus, you can dance along to their music without getting hurt, you can wear whatever you want, and good beer is a requirement of listening to their music. You can get your "me against the world" ya-yas out without having to buy a whole new wardrobe and people don't automatically hate you. Best of both worlds, for reals.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

World Crap

I've been really trying... really... and yet, despite the fact that I've personally played soccer and am, in general, a "sports" guy, I cannot keep this inside me any more: Watching the World Cup is boring to the point that I would rather yank on my own junk with white-hot barbeque tongs while attending a three-part lecture series on the exciting new innovations in plumbing supplies than actually sit down and watch Bulgaria and Uzbekistan play a one-goal sudden death match.

I am fully aware that this makes me a bad global citizen, but c'mon!!! Mind you, this is coming from a guy who can handle his fair share of boring events; I love baseball for christ's sakes, and I've sat through all of Solaris; the original Russian one that's four hours long, not the one with Clooney.

Is it me? Seriously, I am I the only one who doesn't get the apparent thrill of watching soccer? I know it's a fun game; as I said, I used to play it about 95 pounds ago. But watching soccer just isn't entertaining. It's basically just a bunch of guys running around and if I wanted to see that, I'd watch a track meet. At least with track, it's over pretty quick and there's a chance the guy from Canada will trip and bring down the whole lot of them in a tangle of spandex-covered limbs. Now that's entertainment.

Anyway... World Cup. Not a fan.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I'm Busy

I have been crazy-ass busy at work today, ergo no proper update. I can't imagine how you good people are suffering. At any rate, things will be better tomorrow (hope, hope, hope!), so until then here's something extremely morbid yet oddly fascinating to tide you over:

Enjoy. Or, actually, don't. Because that would make you weird.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Cars Are Boring

Real quick:

How bad is it that I don't give a crap about Pixar's new movie Cars?

I think I'm supposed to care because it's Pixar and we in the film community (however fringe we may be) are supposed to fall all over ourselves trying to praise them as slobberingly as possible and, yes, I know generally they're worthy of it but... eh. Cars? Really? If you're going to make a movie about something that's really boring and doesn't in any way lend it's self to interesting animation, why not just go balls-out and make a movie about math? Plus, Cars features the vocal stylings of Larry the Cable Guy, which I'm assuming means that the casting director lost a bet with L the CG's agent, and Owen Wilson, who I used to like until I realized that he has exactly one character and that's all we're every going to get from him. Those would be strikes 2 and 3, if you're keeping count.

I've read a few reviews of it now and all of them have been positive; hell, my own mother said it was good. Still, I'm pushing a boulder of indifference up a mountain that echos all around me with the sound of "Meh."

So... yeah. That's all. I also don't care about Nacho Libre but I'm fairly certain that that's a general concensus amongst everyone on the planet, so no need to go into that any further.

Panic in the Subways!

You'd think that people would have already come to grips with the NYC transit system's every-now-and-again tendancy to freak out and stop working properly, but no. People still get all raged out about it and it's just silly.

Example: This morning, all of the Metrocard vending machines in my subway station stopped accepting credit cards. The MTA employee in the little glass booth was, as is part of his contract, entirely unhelpful. People were spazzing around, all full of sass and fury; "Well what are we supposed to do??? For god sakes, the horror, THE HORROR!!!" This one woman in particular was stomping about in such a huff that a small child actually mistook her for Yosimite Sam after he'd been shown up by Bugs.

Now, granted, I'm probably a bit more chill about the whole subway thing because I have a job that's so casual in it's tardiness policies that I could show up at noon still drunk from an all-nite bender and they'd just be all, "Hey man, you missed out on the free bagels." I recognize that most people don't have the luxury of a job with fairly low standards. Still... we live in New York, where a good 75% of us are entirely reliant on the subways. If one breaks down or what have you, there really is nothing you can do. Jobs just have to understand that we're at the mercy of a transit system that, while it may be the best in the world, is still run by people who aren't exactly on speaking terms with common sense. Add to that the tendency for machines to, on occasion, break down and... well... you're going to have problems once in awhile.

Getting super-tweaked and foaming about it just makes you look hilarious to other people.

Anyway, that's all. And if you're wondering, I didn't update this weekend because I was very lazy. I'm sure most of you figured that out already, but just so it gets said out loud. Lazy. Me. So sorry.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A Friday Without Work

No work for me today, thanks.

The Job comes with, among it's many perks, seven Fridays of blissful, carefree summer fun away from the oppressive office environment. And paid, too. That's right. For seven decedent "Summer Fridays," I am being paid to lay around my apartment, defiantly unshowered, reading trashy horror fiction and chasing the cat around with a spatula.

Selling my soul to the Corporate Mega-Culture has been worth it, at least in terms not working all that much and still being able to pay rent. I mean, sure... I cry myself to sleep at night as I think about the idealistic young artist I used to be and how I killed him execution-style in the dead of night for a bag of shiny ducets. But hey, lots of vacay time, man. It evens out.

Actually, I do have one thing that needs to get accomplished today. No, it's not drinking before noon (although...). I'm covering the New York Asian Film Festival for the magazine and, because I'm a super-important VIP and also because I asked politely, they've sent me some screener DVDs for my perusal. This is actually kind of a big deal for me. This means that I'm being taken seriously enough as a writer for them (the people who run the NYAFF) to want to do everything in their power to get their films reviewed by me. Okay, by my magazine; they personally couldn't care if Bloody Disgusting had a well-trained rooster writing the reviews. Point is, I'm now working for a publication that has at least a medium-sized bag of clout to swing around and it feels very nice to be a part of its trajectory.

So, here in a few, once I get done taking the first of many cat naps in the sunny spot on our bed and engaging in some serious, focused ass-scratching and yawning, I'm going to sit down and watch Art of the Devil 2. It's a sequel (to Art of the Devil 1, I assume) which puts me in a bit of a pickle as I haven't, eh, technically seen the original and I'm not entirely sure it's available in the States. Asian horror films tend to not be the most lucid films to begin with (style over substance: very big with the Asian filmmakers), so I'm anticipating an hour and a half of me going, "Huh?" I'll keep ya posted, though. Should be interesting at the very least.

That's it for now, I suppose. If bordem gets me in a hammerlock, I may be back. Otherwise, just imagine me wandering around my apartment in a Ramen-induced daze, trying to muster up the energy to check the mail. That should about cover it.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #2

Music Notes

Paris Hilton has released her first music video:

How strange would it have been if Paris finally released her long-not-really-awaited album and it turned out to be amazing? Like she was the new Joan Baez or Patti Smith or somesuch. I really don't think I'd want to live in a world where that was the case. Of course, we have nothing to worry about because she's put out exactly the kind of music that you'd expect her to put out; that is to say bland, forgettable and slathered in sugary production values so thick that it's like trying to listen to FM radio through a brick of toffee. To be entirely fair, she doesn't have an awful voice (think Gwen Stefani's much stupider younger sister with a helium addiction), just a completely unremarkable one. Which is pretty much the key word for the entire song, video, album, rest of her life and lonely death in a high-rise penthouse from an overdose of perscription medication. Oh, and the video completely and shamelessly rips off the visuals from Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" video. Fresh source material if ever there was one.

Songs of our Week

1. "Please, Call Me Baby" by Tom Waits

I enjoy Tom Waits in much the same way that junkies enjoy the mellow stylings of freshly-cooked heroin coursing through their veins. He's not for everyone, I'll grant you, as his unique voice isn't something that has much in the way of broad appeal (calling it "coarse" would be charitable). And he tends to sing a lot about being drunk, being depressed, being lonely and being even more drunk. What he does for me is paint a romantically ideal picture of the barroom as a heaven and a haven for saints, sinners and those in between that need a little help getting by or at least a good kick in the ass. I don't know why this appeals to me, but it does. Anyway, this is one of his lesser known songs and it ranks as one of my favorites.

2. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" by Belle and Sebastion

Belle and Sebastion are, I'll be the first to admit, a decidedly mixed bag. They have a tendancy, especially early on, to be a bit twee and precious at times and it gets old really fast. Their first album, Tigermilk, is lauded as an indie classic and I, personally, can barely get through it. However, when they find the right groove and really get cooking, this collection of Euro-hipsters can fucking rock your ass. "Lazy Line Painter Jane" is the best example of the heights that they can scale when they really want to. Also, I have a thing for male/female duets, of which this is one of the finer out there. This song makes me want to dance crazy with my hands in the air.

3. "Rock Me Gently" by Andy Kim

Somwhere, there's this great unmade movie about a group of friends reuniting after a long absence from each other's company. They talk and laugh and revisit the old times and, of course, learn a little bit about themselves. The best scene is where they all go to their old hang out and the jukebox still has their favorite song on it! They put it on and they all dance around and let time rolls off of them and the handsome but pensive one finally kisses the girl that he's always had a crush on, even after all these years. This is the song that's playing during that scene.

4. "You or Your Memory" by The Mountain Goats

This band, really just one guy named John Darnielle, are the poster group for unsung talent. He has his following, of course, and he's actually gotten around to putting out a couple of "professional" studio albums in recent years, but if you mention the name The Mountain Goats to any random selection of people, 9.5 out of 10 will say, exactly, "huh?" Sad. This guy cranks out, consistently, the best lyrics, music and overall song craft of just about anyone out there and the fact that he's still relatively obscure proves that we live in a Godless universe and also, it makes John Darinelle so unbelievably cool that I'd lop off my arm to be him for just one night. Anyway, this is a song off his newest album, "The Sunset Tree," and it's a fair representation of what he's all about.

5. "Care of Cell 44" by The Zombies

You know this 60's band best for the irritating song "Time of the Season," which was probably good when it first came out, then it became on of the 50 songs that's always and only played on oldies stations and now everyone's so sick of it that even hearing it for a moment can make you a little pukey. At any rate, they have other songs that are much, much better, like this one... "Care of Cell 44" just might have the catchiest tune backing it's lyrics ever in the history of everything. It'll stay in your head for days and days. The lyrics are about, I think, somebody getting out of prison or something, but the music!!! My god man... I crave it like White Castle burgers.

All for now, my lovelies. See you next week for The Weekly Awesome! and tomorrow for regular, non-The Weekly Awesome! posts. Kisses!!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Film and Fast Cars

I've just been informed that I'll be reviewing Fast n' Furious 3: Japan Also Has Cars next week and I'll be real honest with you good folks.. not thrilled. I know it's my job to review movies, regardless, and I've probably sat through worse, but... I don't know. I've got a really bad feeling about this one. And it's not even the movie it's self that I fear. No. It's the audiance. The franchise's mix of cars, babes and non-challenging dialouge is ripe for a theater full of pop-collared frat boys, wannabe gangstas and the type of folks that consider Golden Corral to be a "special occassions" kind of restaurant.

The conditions are right for this screening to rival the worst reviewing experiance I've ever had, which I never thought would have been possible.

A few years ago, I was reviewing movies down in Austin. It was pretty much the same thing I'm doing now, but for a magazine with a readership of about 25 hipsters. But I was excited about it, whether anyone was reading me or not, and, end of the day, free movies are free movies. Anyway, I'd drawn the short straw and was assigned the unenviable task of covering The Rock's leading-man debut, The Scorpian King. Yes, it was an awful thing to go through at such a young age, but I put on a brave face and tried to make the best of it. Weeping openly and gnashing my teeth at an uncaring God helped, as did drinking.

The screening it's self was what's known in the biz as a "promo" or an "all-media" or, amongst ourselves, "a place that turns it's back on all that is light and good." See, these "promo" screenings are free to the general public and, in Austin, the free tickets are given out at Wal-Mart. I think you see where I'm going with this. NASCAR t-shirts abounded; there was a collective dental hygiene present that made Shane MacGowan look like an ADA spokesmodel, and the stink of Skoal permeated everything. My friend David, who came with me despite all sanity and reason, and I took our seats and hunkered down. The hooting and shrieking started soon after the credit roll and did not cease throughout the movie's length. Whenever The Rock was off screen, the audiance became confused and hostile. When he reappeared, it was like the Second Coming. Shouts of "Hossanah" and dancing in the aisle. Fortunantly, I missed a lot of the goings on due to the fact the woman behind me had become stuck like a scratched CD, now only capable of saying, "He so fine... mmm..." every twenty seconds at top volume amidst the jangling of her charm bracelet that was roughly the size and density of a car's snow chains.

We made it through, barely and very much scathed, and I thought I'd never have to go through anything like that again. It was like what being trapped in a prison riot must be like and so, so horrible.

I don't know if I can do that again. We'll see, I guess.

Oh boy, CARS!!! Vrooooooom!!!!

Sorry, just practicing so I'll blend in.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Movie Studios Hate You

So angry right now. Ugh.

You know, it's hard out there for a film critic.

The magazines that I work for got the flying off-the-ropes elbow last night from a certain movie studio, let's just say it rhymes with 20th Thentury Thox, for "breaking the embargo;" in other words, we put up our reviews of The Omen a day before the movie's release. We were ordered to take them down until midnight, or else we'd never be invited to screen a 20th Thentury Thox film again. Or some such. I don't know the details, but it's something along those lines. Basicially, they were threatening to take their ball and go home.

The Facts:

1. Every major media outlet already had their Omen reviews up, including Newsweek, Ebert & Roeper, Time, EW, Slate, The Onion, etc.

2. Our reviews, both the one I wrote and the one written by my friend and collegue Brian Juergens, were extremely negative.

3. The aforementioned media outlets are all large and corporately owned; in other words, they're out of the studio's reach. We, and, are not.

4. Ergo, in an attempt to squash the mounting tide of ill-will, negativity and general backsass that their movie is generating, they've decided to attack the vulnerable spots. Sites like ours that are run by-and-for fans, that arguably have more pull with the movie's specific audiance, are being silenced due to our opionions running crossways with Big Studio's marketing strategy.

5. The fact that they'd have let the "embargo" issue slide had we tounged The Omen's nards in our reviews is, of course, obvious and not even worth mentioning.

Keep in mind, this isn't an isolated incident. Movie studios do shit like this all the time. It's sleazy, underhanded tactics like this that keep shit movies like The Omen in the theater longer than they should be, which only perpetuates the cycle of shitty movies being released, constantly, while actually good horror movies like, oh, say Slither, get the never ending shaft.

If this doesn't make you want to picket screenings of The Omen, hopefully this will seal the deal:

That's right. They've stooped low enough that skywriting seems like a good marketing idea. Next from the 20th Thentury Thox geniuses: Writing "Go See The Omen, It's Awesome" with a Sharpie on the walls of bus station bathrooms and, of course, getting their little brothers to photoshop some totally wicked flyers they can put in all the coffeehouses and up on the dorm's bulletin board.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Hating On the Devil

I wrote a little blurb a few weeks ago about how the remake of The Omen sucked hard. For a more in-depth look at it's suckitude, here's my official review of it, hosted by the good folks at Freeze-Dried Movies:

Seriously, don't see this movie. You'll hate yourself. You'll feel dirty. Well, dirtier. I assume that, if you're anything like me, you already feel pretty dirty most of the time, but in my case that could just be because I live in New York City where dirty is a fashion statement and being clean just means you're trying to hard. Or something. Where was I going with this?

Anyway, enjoy!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Of Mice and Me

My girlfriend and I have a cat, named Silus. Technically he's Emily's cat, but as we all three are sharing a roof these days, I've taken at least a little bit of ownership over him. I am, and always will be, a dog person... they have more character, are generally not dicks about stuff, and they always seem happy... but Silus is, as cats go, pretty cool. He's open to keeping your feet warm on cold nights, for one thing, and he doesn't make a big deal out of needing attention all the time. If he were a human, he'd be that guy that's always sitting on the front stoop of your apartment building drinking a tallboy of Budwiser at two in the afternoon and is quick with a great new joke and, sure, he'll help you move a couch if that's what you need. He's always smiling and the sun always shines on him.

That's our cat. Or so I thought.

Last night, a dark and stormy night, it should be noted, Silus ripped off the mask and revealed himself to be a cold blooded killer!!!

Em and I were in bed, lights out, engaging in some pre-sleep banter, when Silus bounded up by our feet and began to swat something around on top of our covers. He has toys, little plush thingies, so I didn't think anything of it at first. Then, like a seasoned solider sensing a sniper in the treeline, I was suddenly aware that something was amiss. I brushed back our cat and reached out a hand to touch what I hoped would only be a bit of felt or string. It was cold and slimy. Adrenaline, fear, horror, revulsion, girlish fright and "the vapors" all shot through me like the bullets through Sonny Corleone at the toll booth. Emily, now aware that there was a problem at hand due to my subtle, wordless shaking and hyperventilating, turned on the bedside lamp.

It was a mouse. A mouse with a nearly severed head.

Silus stared at me like Manson at his trial; a look that said, "That's right. I killed it. I'd do it again, too, and not even blink."

The only thing that that came to mind was to go get paper towels and to, hopefully, not wet myself. My mind was racing. My heart, too, was racing. My stomach was roiling like the open seas. You may think I was being a bit of a wuss but, well, okay... you've got me there. I'm not one who's used to having dead things dropped at my feet like it ain't no thang. Call me spoiled. Emily of course was just fine. Using one of my socks, she scooped up the carcass and brought it into the kitchen where I shrieked manfully and calmly suggested that she, "Oh god, throw it out the window, throwitoutthewindow, aaaaaaiiiieeeee!!!!"

After we'd cleaned up the mess and she'd talked me back from the edge, we settled back into our bed and I, naturally, couldn't sleep. What if Silus decides that I am to be the next one to suffer the mouse's fate. Will I wake up one night staring into his gaping maw? Will the last thing I see be his dagger-like teeth closing for the kill?

As I write this, he sits at the foot of the bed, casually napping. We're at an uneasy truce because, while he did commit flagrant rodentcide, I'd rather not actually have mice running around our apartment all willy nilly. But I'm watching him. My eyes are open, brother. The next time he strikes, I'll be ready. Oh yes, I'll be ready.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The Weekly Awesome!

I've received literally thousands of emails from folks around the world begging me to start up some regular features on this blog; something that they can return to again and again, knowing it will always be there to comfort them in times of need, to celebrate with them in times of joy, and to steal twenty bucks from their wallets in times of passed-outedness. Okay, loyal readers whom I've made up... you've got your wish. I present to you the first regular column of Zombie Fights Shark; note how it combines, artfully, my love of music, my love of listing things and my love of doing stuff that require a bare minimum of effort. Ladies, gentlemen, I give unto thee...

The Weekly Awesome!

Music Notes

In this portion of The Weekly Awesome!, I'll be discussing whatever needs to be bandied about in the current world of music. It could be anything really, as long as it's vaugely music related: Madonna's current tour, for example, or how much I hate rap, rappers and those who like rap and rappers. Because I'm generally snotty about my opinons and also usually five years or so behind what's currently popular, you can expect lots of snide remarks about The Strokes and much trumpeting of the hot new indie sensation that calls themselves The Shins.

Songs of our Week

This part will be a list of a few songs that are currently within my narrow field of vision, plus an explaination of why they are the living end. And, yes, I realize how painfully "bloggy" this all is. Tough. My house, my rules. Herewith, the inaugral SooW:

1. "Heroin" by The Velvet Underground

It smacks painfully of 1991 to be into the Velvets these days, but some things are cliched for a reason. This song, which is less of a song and more of Lou Reed describing a typical day in the East Village, pretty much typifies what they were all about and it rocks and it makes you feel like you're life is boring like the phone book, which, I'm fairly certain, is what a good rock song is supposed to do. Because The Velvet Underground have more live records out than Dave Matthews and The Fall combined, you can find a whole bunch of different versions of this song and they're all good.

2. "Welcome to the Working Week" by Elvis Costello

This is back when EC was still an angry young man and interesting, as opposed to now where he seems content to stroke off Burt Bacharach for a bunch of albums and make cutesy cameos in Austin Powers movies. Seriously, it's a good thing John Lennon died when he did because Elvis Costello now is totally what he would have turned into and that would have been deeply deppressing. Anyway, this song is good.

3. "High School Confidential" by Hasil Adkins

There are, I'm sure, thousands of crazy guys out in the woods with guitars who do nothing but record hours and hours of weird music on crappy equipment in frightening shacks. It's nice to see one of those guys actually get discovered and put out some albums.

4. "I Am... I Said" by Neil Diamond

I hate everything his sleazy ass stands for, but... this song is bewitching. It's like that urge you get to throw your keys back in the car just as you're about to slam the locked door. You know you shouldn't, you know it's a stupid idea and you'll immediately regret it, and yet, there you are in the Costco parking lot waiting for a locksmith.

5. "Pulled Up" by Talking Heads

There is a real dearth, these days, of songs that make you want to jump around your apartment on a sugar high with a cute girl whom you've just cooked an awesome dinner with and will most likely be seeing naked later on. This is one of those songs and it should be stored in a vault somewhere so we never lose it.

So that's the new column. See ya'll next week, my lovelies.