Thursday, August 31, 2006

Dinosaur Jr. Gets Robbed

Does this mean we'll never hear a live version of "Feel the Pain" again? Because I'd be okay with that:

I do love that they got all their gear jacked here in Brooklyn. Because that's what we do to 80's bands who've overstayed their welcome. That's how the Bk rolls. Are you listening, Quiet Riot??? Don't come around here no more. You too, Jesus and Mary Chain. Alright, The Pixies can stay.

But that's it.

Movie Poster A Go-Go

A brief, incomplete, highly opinionated, and fairly profane look at some current movie posters for upcoming releases:

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Begining

Personally, I think this poster kicks all kinds of ass, if only because you see so few photographs these days of men lovingly caressing chainsaws. It's almost sweet, then it's totally creepy. A slam dunk, in my opinion. Whether the movie will be any good is an entirely different matter. I wasn't a huge fan of the remake, but I also saw it at 11am with a massive hangover, so outside influences could have played a factor. Still, it's nice that people are keeping the TCM story alive; the original is one of my favorite movies of all time ever and, if nothing else, all these remakes and whatnot will hopefully inspire a whole new generation to check out the source.

The Prestige

Now, I have no doubt in my mind that this movie is going to be awesome; the fact that it's Batman vs. Wolverine as rival magicians in the early 1900's is enough to send me into a geek coma from which I may never fully recover. However, this poster is just ass. It tells nothing about the movie, it's badly photographed and it's a prime example of a marketing department relying on the 22 year-old intern who claims to have "mad photoshoppin' skillz." Way to drop the ball, guys. Batman and Wolverine are crying now.

Revenge of the Nerds

Oh fuck you, 20th Century Fox. Who... why... what... how is this a good idea? Must we remake everything that was mildly entertaining? Listen, if you guys fucking even think about touching The Breakfast Club, you're all going to be a part of a very large, very unpleasent hostage situation. Just sayin'. Oh, and your poster is lame.


The trailer for this made me go "Ew, ew, ewewewew!!!" It's about rednecks who get infestations of bugs under their skin and, what with my own recent encounters with the creepier crawlier side of nature, that just freaks me the hell out. This poster, though a bit too Saw-ish for my taste, pretty much hits the nail on the head, tone-wise. Glad a studio has finally found a way to make body terror marketable.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Cap'n Skinnybones

After working a 12-hour shift at the office last night (covering for a sick co-worker, because I'm a hell of a guy), I got home dead tired, flopped exhaustedly into bed and was immediately struck with insomnia so powerful that it woke up my neighbors. Not that I don't enjoy watching King of the Hill reruns in the middle of the night, but still. It was roughly 3am before I finally beat my sleepless into submission and my slumber was fitful, dreamless and way too short.

So, needless to say, I woke up at 7 this morning in a mood most foul. Grrr, said I, to anyone who dared cross my path. Scowls all around.

That is, until I boarded the N train. That's when I saw him. Picture if you will, a small, elvin man, elderly, wearing light blue slacks and one of those white, too-thin, button up shirts that old men always wear. And he was wearing... (wait for it)... a Captain's hat! It looked like this:

...Only his brim was a jaunty blue and the whole thing was a bit worn, like he'd been wearing it for years. I have never, in all my years of being a bitter, cranky person, seen my mood lighten so quickly. Seeing this little dude sitting there, speaking Polish to a couple of old ladies like he wasn't wearing a Captain's hat all cool like, made my heart full-to-burstin' with an emotion I'm told is delight. I wanted to shake his hand, to pick him up and put him my pocket so I could carry him everywhere with me and have whimsical adventures. He's be my Lil' Captain Pal and I'd call him Cap'n Skinnybones!!!

Eventually, of course, I had to leave the train, and with it, Cap'n Skinnybones. But as the doors parted, I looked back to gaze one last time on his cheer-za-poppin' self, longing in my eyes and a weight settling already on my heart. He looked at me, he smiled and he winked, giving me a thumbs up. I started tap dancing and he flew around the subway car, trailing rainbows and winning lottery tickets in his path.

Even now, as I drink a Dr. Pepper and eat a bag of sour cream and onion chips for breakfast, I feel as if Cap'n Skinnybones is with me still. Watching over me. Forever my pal.

Thanks, Cap'n Skinnybones!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Five Songs To Know By Heart

The Weekly Awesome! is officialy dead, much to the dismay of few and the delight of many. After a bit of thinking and retooling, I've decided I'm going to start doing this from now on in a less weekly, more sporadic fashion. Not much different really, but by taking out the "Weekly" part, I feel like a man fresh out of prison. So, here we go...

Here are five songs you should know by heart:

“Be Gone” by British Sea Power

If David Bowie lost his mind and took over Belle & Sebastian, they’d sound a lot like British Sea Power. Only cooler. Because it’d be David Bowie. Anyway, this is the best entry point to BSP; it’s appropriately catchy, bombastic in all the right ways, and begs to be on the radio when you’re getting ready to take out a cute girl who works at a record store. Bonus BSP song: “It Ended On An Oily Stage,” if only for its title.

“Mad World” by Tears for Fears

This song, in it’s de-balled acoustic form, was made popular by it’s appearance in the movie Donnie Darko, but you’re really missing a trick if you deny it’s original incarnation. Tears for Fears quicken its pace and, therefore, it’s urgency, making its statement all the more poignant. My opinion, of course. Parenthetically, is there anyone who can explain to me exactly what Donnie Darko was all about? I loved it, don’t get me wrong, but only in the way that you love an inscrutable piece of abstract art that’s supposed to be a picture of the artist’s family but actually just looks like a blob of nine different-colored paints and a thumbtacked-on piece of velour.

“Parachutes” by Mates of State

These guys are the photo-negative of The White Stripes. While both are two-person, male/female bands who were romantically involved (MoS still are), they diverge wildly in their takes on music. Where Jack and Meg ground their music in 70’s fuzzy-guitar punk and sludgy, stompin’ blues, Jason and Kori wrap their organ and drum duets in a New Wave chilliness that speaks to Joy Division influences, but not in a bad way. Some of their stuff can get a little spazzy for my taste, but anything off the “Team Boo” LP and their newest one, “Bring it Back,” is pretty much ear candy.

“Baby, I Don’t Care” by Buddy Holly

If you find yourself in love with a total nerd, as many of us with a predilection for movies and records do, put this song on the first mixtape you give them. It’s about digging on someone who’s “so square” and it’s got that great geek-rock sound that Holly pioneered. It’s a bit on the short side (less than 2 minutes) but that just means you’ll be out of your vintage band t-shirts and chunky glasses all the sooner.

“Walk on the Ocean” by Toad the Wet Sprocket

A minor radio hit in the early 90’s by a band that’s largely remembered solely because they’ve got a weird name (taken from a Monty Python sketch, dontchaknow). For some reason, this has always been a “fuzzy blanket” song for me… I don’t have any specific memories associated with it, nothing particular that ties it to feelings of happiness, yet every time I hear it it’s like I’m on the couch in a warm living room during a snow storm eating Chinese food and watching movies with my girlfriend. No explanation. Very X-Files.

Scary Movies

Got word last night that I'm going to be covering the New York City Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF, as the cool kids call it) for this coming October. I realize it's a bit early to get too jazzed about it but, as I'm a particularly nerdy horror fan, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't suppressing a girlish squeal or two. Despite my living here for the last four years, I've never actually made it to the NYCHFF, for whatever reason (laziness), so if nothing else it'll be a fresh, new experiance that I can wow the folks back home with. They're getting really sick of hearing about the buildings "Taller n' the biggest barn" and the trains that "drive under the groun' like a burrowin' armadilly!"

That aside, it'll be great to see what's out there in the horror community these days. Take the pulse of the underground, as it were, which is always an interesting venture; it's not always technically good but it's usually damn entertaining, intentionally or not. In the glossy, shot-at-Sears family portrait of indie cinema, horror tends to always be the unwashed, heavily tattooed cousin who's visably drunk and attempting to grope Mee-Maw's boob. And that's always fun to see, isn't it. Much more fun, anyway, than the usual film fest fair, which tends to veer more towards "emotions" and "plot" as opposed to "eviscirations" and "plots of land filled with bodies."

But maybe that's just my cup of grim, brackish tea.

Anyway, so that's what's going on with me circa Monday morning. More later, m'sure.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Emmy Awards: Hollywood Takes a Dump

The Emmy Awards are utterly bullshit. If you follow them with any regularity, you know that much is true. The people who win, more often than not, do so because they've been around long enough that the Academy voters recognize their name, making them the easy choice since the voters rarely watch any of the shows nominated. Anything that's not a cop, lawyer or medical show is looked upon with suspicion and scorn, or it would be if it weren't ignored entirely. Anything fresh and new is an "unsafe" choice, so let's let it stay on for a few years before we give it any recognition. Case in point: 24, a genuinely inventive, creative show won Best Drama last night for the first time in it's five years on the air.

Now, granted, things are occasionally different. Lost won last year, despite being decidedly weird, though I suspect that had a lot more to do with it's out-of-nowhere powerhouse ratings than it did with the show's actual content. And, every now and again, a performance truly worthy of recognition get's it's due; Gillian Anderson on The X-Files and Andre Braugher for Homicide are the only two I can think of off hand.

So, what of this year's ceremony? Have things changed? Well, for one thing, the voting process has finally, finally been called on the carpet for being the sham that it is. The tipping point? A Supporting Actress in a Mini-Series nomination for Ellen Burstyn, who appeared in the movie Mrs. Harris for a grand total of 14 seconds. Not exaggerating. She had literally 14 seconds of screen time and said exactly two sentences. There is no question that she was nominated because she's a well-known actress who always does quality work and the voters simply checked her name on the ballot because it was there. Ridiculous is the word for it, I believe, and it calls into question almost every single winner from the last 2o years. Hopefully something will change within the Academy to fix this egregious error, but, as I've said, change is feared. So not likely.

Okay, okay... but was it any better this year? Occasionally, yes. Things weren't awful, or as awful as it could have been. But they weren't great either.

Herewith the high-and-lowlights...

-Conan O'Brien hosted this year and was, as always, great. It's so weird to think that I've been watching him since I was a smart-assed fifteen years old and that he's now become my generation's Carson. The whole bit he did last night with Bob Newhart was classic, as was the opening number, which leveled a multiple gutshots at his own network, NBC. Ballsy and funny.

-The Drama Awards: 24 won, which is deserved, though I'd argue that it wasn't the best drama on TV this year (that would be the unnominated Lost). Keifer Sutherland won his first Emmy for his performance on the aforementioned, which is cool too. He's done consistently great work on 24 and it's great that he finally got some love for it. Personally, I would have loved to see Peter Krause or Denis Leary win, just because it would have been something different (and Krause was phenomenal, if not entirely depressing, on Six Feet Under) but I have no beef with Sutherland. Same goes for Dramatic Actress winner Mariska Hargitay, who won for Law and Order: SVU. She's been good on that show for years, and I have no particular love for any of the other nominees, so there you go. I'm told the real winner should have been Mary McDonald from Battlestar Galactica, but that's unconfirmed. The real bullshit happened in the supporting categories for Drama, or so I'm told. Alan Alda won for The West Wing. Now, I love Alda, so I'm happy for him, but I'm told that Gregory Itzin was super-amazing as the evil Prez on 24 and it's pretty much ridiculous that he didn't win. Again, clearly the "Hmm... he's been around for awhile" factor is in play. Same with Blythe Danner winning for Huff. I'm sure she was good, but Jean Smart, again on 24, supposedly gave the hottest performance of the year. She however isn't as well-known as Danner, so there you go.

-The Comedy Awards: Here, we have some problems. The Office won, which I'm okay with. Otherwise, not so much. The biggest travesty is Tony Shaloub, who won for the third time in a row as Monk, with a performance that can, at best, be described as "cute." It is, however, showy, and to the Emmy voters, the most acting is often the best acting (case in point: John Lithgow winning over and over for 3rd Rock from the Sun). The fact that Shaloub beat out Steve Carrell, who's turned in a deeply funny, nuanced and crafted comedic performance in The Office is just embarrassing. The Best Actress category was a complete and total mess; Julia Louis-Dreyfuss won because she used to be on Seinfeld. For Supporting Actress, Megan Mullaly won for Will and Grace. Yes, she's funny, but she's won before and Jamie Presley (My Name is Earl) and Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm) were much more deserving. The lone bright spot in the Comedy category was Jeremy Piven's win for Supporting Actor on Entourage. He's been funny for years and he's brilliant on that show.

-Like the Emmy's themselves, I'm running a bit long here, so let's skip to the biggest disaster of the evening. Here are the nominees: Stephen Colbert, David Letterman, Craig Ferguson, Hugh Jackman and Barry Manilow. The winner... I'll give you a hint: He writes the songs that make the whole world sing. That's right, Barry Manilow. That sound you hear is a million people gagging in unison. That right there is the strongest evidence you need that something is clearly amiss in Hollywood.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Really, Emmys? REALLY???

Um... did he:

...really just beat him:

...out for an Emmy tonight?


Yes? Ah, then the world is going to hell. Faaaantastic. Good to know that in advance.

Little Miss Awesome

It's perhaps a bit early in the game to call Little Miss Sunshine one of the best movies of the year... but... eh, to hell with it. Little Miss Sunshine is one of the best movies of the year. I can't tell you the last time I saw a movie cut right to the heart of what it means to be a family, no matter what, and I doubt we'll see another for quite a while. Funny, a little sad, never cloying and mainting a grounded realism amongst the various shenanigens, it's a near-perfect in-theater experiance.

Go see it, kids. I'll cry if you don't, and nobody wants me to cause a scene.

Side Note: As we were walking out, it occured to me that this is probably the first "little" film that I've seen in theaters in a while. Due to the nature of the magazine I review for, I tend to only see horror films, or things peripheral to the horror genre. And if I'm paying for a movie, it's usually stuff like Pirates of the Carribean 2 or Snakes on a Plane; i.e. things that need to be seen on the big screen with an audiance for maximum enjoyment.

I don't know when this changed, exactly. When I lived in Austin, I would see everything on the big screen. Big, bombastic summer movies, little artsy-fartsy affairs... everything. Okay, realistically, I know it has more to do with the fact that it costs 10.50$ to see a movie in New York and that's prohibitive because I'm, more often than not, a little light in the wallet. As it were. Still, I think that's really sad. It was so much fun seeing a non-big-deal movie like this with Em in a darkened movie house. I miss that, I guess; miss feeling like a "true" movie buff.

What I'm trying to say is, I've got to find a way to sneak into more movie theaters in New York.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

McSorley's Ale

This isn't like a shock or anything, but I have been known, from time to time, to enjoy a fine, high-quality beer. Never to excess, of course, and always with a hearty meal to prevent any sort of intoxication whatsoever.*

At any rate, I've run across a great beer that's brewed here in New York and tastes absolutely like ale that's been pumped down from Jesus's private wet bar (it's in his rec room, which I have on good authority to be fantastic; he has Madden '09, if that tells you anything).

Anyway, it's called McSorley's Ale and I've included a helpful picture to aide you good folks in your tracking-down efforts.


*That sentence was for the benefit of my mother. If you want to hear some truly debauched stories of hedonistic drunkenness, do feel free to write. What I can remember is yours for the listening.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Eat Pes!!!

Holy shit... no seriously... HOLY SHIT:

These are some of the most visually creative, knock-you-on-your-ass amazing, freaky imaginative short films I've ever seen. Those of you who have the pleasure of knowing me personally know that I have a tendancy to drift towards hyperbole when discussing something that I've recently discovered to be awesome. Though that may be true some (okay most) of the time, I assure you that this guy's stuff is truly meritorious.

Special tip o' the cap to Em, for discovering this guy and pointing me in the right direction. She is the Stargate to all things cool.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Motivation At It's Finest

My beloved girlfriend made this for me:

I've decided to take it as a compliment because, otherwise, I'd just cry and cry.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Light a Match

Everything pretty much went to hell last night at our place and, while I don't really feel like getting into it, I will say that roaches suck in general and, more specifcally, roaches in great, biblical swarms suck even harder.

I'll let you make of that what you will. Suffice to say, both us are cranky, jumpy and overly familiar with what a room full of Raid smells like.

Anyway, because of the aforementioned, and because I don't want to spill my bilious frustration all over the unsuspecting interweb (making me one of "those" bloggers in the process), I present to you this video:

It's a guy microwaving a lit match and it's both amazing and deeply satisfying in only the way that watching someone else ruin their kitchen equipment can be.

Enjoy. I'm going to go back to quietly rocking back and forth and not closing my eyes ever again.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Not Dead

Just in case anyone was worried... rending their garments, watching the clock, sweating bullets and such... I'm doing, now 1o hours later, just fine.

No burger-related illnesses as of yet.

Go ahead, breathe that sigh of relief. You've earned it. And, of course, thanks for all the comments of concern. Sweetest readers ever, you guys.

I Might Die

I was eating a burger from the deli a few mintues ago and not really paying attention to it. I mean, I was aware I was eating a burger and that it didn't taste like ass, but I was far too caught up in my Bridezilla recaps to really give it close scruitinzation. Anyway, I looked down about three-quarters of the way through and noticed that... eh... wow... that meat's really, really raw looking. Bright, angry red, though completely warm throughout.

It didn't taste bad, but now I'm starting to think I might not have noticed because I tend to put an abundance of mustard on my burgers.

So, I'm thinking this might be the end of the C Dog. Anyone care to confirm or deny my suspicions that that was a Burger of Doom?


My girlfriend and I got sort of half-assedely sucked into watching an MTV Cribs marathon last night, which, I know, is completely unacceptable behavior for two adults. My only defense is that we were both really tired and that I have a sick fascination with all the useless diamond-covered crap that rappers put in their houses. Anyway, there wasn't anything particularly fascinating in this batch of shows... well, one rap guy blatantly admitted to having orgies and smoking pot about thirty seconds after introducing us to his three year old son who sleeps in the next room, which I'm pretty sure is reasonable grounds for the state to get involved. Otherwise, it was pretty eh.

There was, however, one moment where all hope and goodness was sapped from our world; where the forces of darkness closed around us and we were all, at once, entirely aware that we were alone in a Godless universe... It happened during a segment on Carlos Mencia's house.

Things were okay at first; he was showing off his place, being his usual totally-devoid-of-funny self. We had reached his screening room which, side note, me want. I need to watch Evil Dead for the 200th time on a huge screen while I sit in a comfy leather chair 50 feet from my bedroom. But I digress. Mencia was being not-at-all interesting, talking about how he loves to watch the The Matrix all the time (what. a. shock.) when, from out his mouth, striking like a mugger leaping from the shadows, he said...

"My favorite thing to watch... heh... my wife and I sometimes make videos of ourselves making love and I like to watch 'em in here. Makes me look huge in all the right places."

I missed the rest of the episode because I was barfing out my bedroom window for a good twenty minutes. There are some things that just should never cross your mind and the thought of Mencia's flabby, sweaty body thrusting on top of whatever trophy blonde (please, of course she's a blond) he's managed to lure into his sad, humorless world. Her commitment to the craft of goldigging actually inspires awe and admiration in my heart.

Blech... I can't talk about it anymore.

Just, please... Carlos Mencia... don't talk about your sex life anymore. It's too horrible. I'm sure your wife agrees.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Young Nerds and Aerobic Instructors

Ah, Monday... even better, a Monday taken on with only about four hours of sleep propping me up. Going to be a long, coffee-heavy day and it's going to take all of my fortitude to see it through to the end.

Fortunantly, starting things off, we have a video of a woman farting during an aerobics routine. Video clips such as this, for me, work better than a chugged Red Bull and a package of Reese's Pieces:

Hm... fantastic.

Anyway... oh, this was awesome: I saw this morning on the subway platform the real-life incarnations of Rod and Todd Flanders. These kids... I swear... they've got a lifetime of beatings at the hands of pretty much anyone who need to feel superior including toddlers and quadriplegics but, for the moment, they appeared to be happy. Let me see if I can paint you a picture here... they were probably about 8 and 10 years old respectively, skinny as all hell, both intensely blond with bowl haircuts, and they were wearing matching outfits of hiked-up blue jean shorts and dark green Polo shirts that were buttoned to the throat. Let that intense amount of dorkatude sink in.

Now... the kicker...

They were skipping in a circle, singing a jaunty tune. What tune I cannot say; they appeared to be German or somesuch, as their father (I assume) was curtly ordering them to "Schnell!" and was fairly dying of embarrassment that these two sissy-boys were the fruit what sprang from his loins (the father, incidentally, looked like the front-gate guard at Dauchau, but so do all German men).

Anyway, the two kids frolicked and capered and the Dad steamed and tried to look like he was reading a map and not at all related to them whatsoever. It was quite a scene.

So that was my morning. Oh, and for the second time in the last week, my train got held at the station due to someone needing the cryptic "medical assistance, " or so says the conductor on the intercom. I think there must be something about me getting on trains that's making people have heart attacks.

I'm going to go ahead and assume it's my devastating handsomeness until I have evidence to prove otherwise.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Snakes, Planes, Etc...

My review of Snakes on a Plane has gone live over at Freeze Dried Movies. Please, do enjoy:

Then, for god's sake, go see those motherfuckin' snakes on that motherfuckin' plane!!!

Friday, August 18, 2006

I'm Not Dead; Just Lazy

Hey kids... sorry about the lack of posts the last couple of days. Seems I've been suddenly stricken with a bad case of the dreaded Lazy-Ass Flu and it's rendered me unable to do much more than watch marathons of Pimp My Ride and eat large quantities of a Syracuse-based dish known as "salt potatoes" which is fucking delicious and you should all start dating a girl or guy from the Syracuse area who'll turn you on to such starchy, buttery, salty goodness.

Anyway, I've got some fun, fun postings coming, including my contractually mandated post regarding my actual viewing of Snakes on a Plane. If I don't post about it, they'll come and take my computer away.

So, keep watching the site. It's going to be miles of smiles from here on out.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Most Aggressive Praying Ever

Contrary to popular belief, I don't hate religion as a general rule. Though I don't choose to actively participate, I think everybody should, to paraphrase Bart Simpson, "Do what they want, man." However, there's practicing your beliefs as freely as you choose and then there's getting so amped on Jesus, God, etc. that you just completely lose your shit:

Those kind of people actually scare the hell out of me. Sure, it seems that they're pretty much just preaching peace and love, but still... way too intense, dudes. WAY too intense.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Watched, last night, the pilot episode of Aaron Sorkin's new NBC drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It hasn't aired yet but I've got connections that get me certain things such as these well in advance of their actual air-date.

(Smug satisfaction... wary glance... shoulders slump in resignation)

Okay, fine, I got it through Netflix. They're doing some sort of promotion thing with the network, pimping out pilots on DVD to drum up interest in the new Fall line-up.

Anyway, it was still exciting because Sorkin is one of my... well, I don't want to say "idols" because that makes it sound like I've got a statue of him cast in bronze tucked away in my closet. I also don't want to use the word "hero," because that makes me sound like I'm twelve. I do admire the man a great deal, that's for sure; he's arguably the best writer working in Hollywood today and I'd personally put him on the short list for All Time Greats. The stories he creates are fraught with drama and tight plotting, true, but it's his dialogue that earns him all the gold stars and thumbs-ups that can possibly be chucked at someone. He writes dialogue with a distinct rhythm that's uniquely him; he creates his own verbal jazz that's instantly recognizable. All of his work bears his signature patterned patois (A Few Good Men, The West Wing, etc.) but it's most present in his short-lived mini-masterpiece Sports Night, which is basically a two-season long lesson on how to write words for actors to speak. The series, despite it's unpopularity and quick network death, is available on DVD and if you haven't seen it, I hate you until you have.

Anyway, I'll stop licking the man's neck now. He's great, so says me; you get it.

So how's his new show?

Judging by the pilot, it's going to be vintage Sorkin. His dialogue is certainly there, though much more in it's serious West Wing-ish incarnation. That is to say, it's less rapid-fire, more grounded and with the quirkiness dialed down to a realistic level. Which isn't a bad thing. Sports Night, while brilliant, isn't at all a reflection of how people actually talk. It's mannered and theatrical; a less-testosteroned version of David Mamet's style. In West Wing and in his movies, it's tethered to reality with a bit more strength and that certainly seems to be the case with Studio 60.

As is his wont, it's another ensemble piece, this time concerning the behind the scenes going-ons of a very SNL-ish late night comedy show. As always, he's loaded the deck with actors that aren't hugely famous (save for one), but are talented as all get out. The stand-outs, at least in the pilot, are Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford as the two halves of a writing/directing duo, respectively; the former going a long way to put Friends behind him with some solidly meaty acting and the latter, fresh off of Sorkin's own West Wing, settling into his part like it was his own comfy bed. Amanda Peet, whom I've never really liked (mostly because she seems to only do shitty movies) is great in this as well, already owning her part as the new studio chief.

The rest of the cast seems great too, but we don't get a lot of them this go around, as there's only so much story you can tell in 45 minutes.

Overall, I'm optimistic. I think the only real issue this show is going to face is dramatic mileage. That is to say, how much drama can be rung out of it's premise; I'll be the first to admit that I could have, up until this show came around, given a crap about what goes on behind the scenes at SNL.

But I have faith in the man. My not-an-Idol, my not-a-Hero. He hasn't let me down before and there's no reason to think he will this time. But, as with everything in life and on television, we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Hot Dogs... OF DOOM!

Good morning!

I trust you've slept well, had pleasant dreams, woke up next to some you love, etc. Nice, nice... oh, me? I'm fine... just fine. Well, there is one little thing that's bugging me a bit. No big deal. Please, finish your cereal and we'll discuss it. No, go on... I insist.

You all done? Man, those Lucky Charms are a blast, right? Anyway... oh, yes, the small matter which was troubling me... nothing really, no reason to panic... it just seems that, well... Apparently...


Being as how I usually, during the course of baseball-n'-beach season, consume my weight in delicious Nathan's hot dogs, I'm pretty much going to sprout tentacles and and a vestigial tail any day now. No, I'm not saying that wouldn't be cool; I'm just saying I'm going to have to take my pants in to be tailored.

And for the record, I didn't actually, technically, read the article. I'm just going to freak out based on the headline. If anyone cares to summarize it for me, that'd be awesome. I'll be here, under my girlfriend's computer desk, crying my eyes out and watching for any freaky shit to start popping out.

So, you know, my usual Tuesday morning routine.

Monday, August 14, 2006

New and Exciting Candy

Blah blah... so tired... blah blah... can't get woke up... blah blah... Monday's suck ass.

Because my brain is currently in a state of illcommunication (and also, coincidentally, has a license to ill) I'm not even going to attempt anything witty or clever. So I'll shoot for informative instead. See these:

These are ginger candies. They're soft and chewy, like a tragically sad gummi bear, and they taste like a ginger snap cookie that's been hooked up to a car battery. They are unbelievably awesome and you should go, right now, and find a bag of them. Because it's made with real ginger, they're good for you to. Or something. Also, they're cheap and you get a ton.

They sell these all over NYC, but if you live elsewhere, you might have to truck out to whatever local Asian market you can find. It's worth the trip, for real.

Oh, they're called "Ting Ting Jahe," or at least that's what it says on the package. I assume that's it's name, but I don't know. Just look for a bag of candy that look like the above picture and you're golden.

Anyway, possibly more later if my brain starts functioning.

Sunday, August 13, 2006


The house is quiet. Or, it would be quiet if I weren't currently blasting the Phoenix song "Long Distance Call" at a volume that's only acceptable at construction sites that use dynamite. But, neighbor's be damned, I don't care.

For I am, for 24 hours, a bachelor.

The weekend with my girlfriend's mother was a bit trying, not going to lie; in the interest of discretion, I'll only say that the woman is difficult and drinking a pint of Jim Beam last night was pretty much unavoidable and entirely necessary. But, because we love each other very much and are quite good at working as a team, we were able to keep things from spiraling into a domestic incident by making silly faces at each other behind her Mom's back, taking turns fielding the numerous questions about seemingly random miscellany, and sneaking off for the occasional make-out session and neck rub. We are, in short, the Dynamic Duo of Dealing.

Anyway, my participation in the weekends events have come to a close; She and her mother have gone to Pennsylvania for the night, a trip I couldn't make because of work tomorrow.

Oh. Darn.

While I'm personally glad to end my involvement in the whole proceedings, I hate it that she has to go it alone. I joke about it but, end of the day, if it were up to me I'd be in that car with her without hesitation. Walking down the Trail of Tears is always easier when you've got a buddy to lean on.

But, being as how I'm not there and am, in fact, alone in Brooklyn, I'm faced with an interesting predicament:

I honestly don't know what to do with myself.

This is the first night she and I have spent apart since we moved in together 6 months ago and I'll be damned if I don't already miss her just a little bit. It seems like I should be doing "guy" things; strutting around in my underwear drinking a beer, watching as many hours of baseball as the TV schedule will allow, eating horrible buckets of fried take-out goodness slathered in hot sauce, etc. The problem is, I do those things anyway and with my girlfriend's consent and, usually, direct participation (the answer is yes, my girlfriend is cooler than yours).

I suppose the best thing to do is just attempt to enjoy a bit of solitude and to remember that this how it used to be... me in an empty apartment with only beer and TV as companions. In other words, it's a nice reminder of what I've got now.

Bachelorland: It's Depressing When You Really Think About It!!!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Cleaning Day

Again with the f'ing alarm (see: a couple of posts down), this time at 3am! Madness, I tells ya, madness. The good news is that I didn't freak out and think I'd been transported to the future. I was simply annoyed. So we're making progress.

Anyway, as Em's mom is coming this evening, today is the day of the Big Clean. We'd intended to start cleaning last night, but we thought it'd make much more sense to whip up a few blenderfuls of Pina Colodas (with extra Rum!) and watch the Sport's Disasters marathon on The Learning Channel. Life is all about choices and that, clearly, was the right one.

I'll pop back in later to say "Howdy," but for now, please enjoy this instructional video:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Weekly Hiatus!

I know you probably think that The Weekly Awesome! is something I poop out in between reading Gawker and dumping Cheez-It crumbs in my mouth right from the bag, but it actually does take me a bit of hard, sweaty labor to get the levels of pomposity and asshole-ier-than-thou attitutde juuuust right.

Usually, because my job's not that demanding, it ain't no thang, but this week has been a bit of a bitch and I've been up to my sweet Texas ass in invoices that need my immediate attention. Compounding that, Em's mother is coming for a visit this weekend, which means the next few days are pretty much shot what with the cleaning and the entertaining and whatnot.

Sooo.... The Weekly Awesome! will not be seen this week. Next week, back on schedule, cross my heart. I think this pretty much sums up my feelings:

Terrifying Visions of the Future!

Let me set the scene for you...

It's five o'clock in the morning; pale purplish-grey outside. Cool breeze coming in through the window. My girlfriend and I (plus our cat) are covered by a thin sheet that provides just enough warmth for these late summer months and we are, collectively, enjoying as deep and pleasant a sleep as possible without slipping into a coma. All is right with the world.

Then, this:

"Burglary! Burglary! Burglary!"

Like a baseball thrown through an exquisite stained glass window, I'm awoken. There's burglary afoot, apparently.

"This area is monitored by an automatic security system!"

What? Who's talking? Where am I? As these thoughts scramble through my brain, which is still wrapped in a flannel blanket of foggy sleep, a klaxon starts up, long and loud. It sounded something like this:


Then, again:

"Burglary! Burglary! Burglary! This area is monitored by an automatic security system! WHOOPWHOOPWHOOPWHOOP"

Maybe it was the shock of it all, or the tinny, canned-recording sound of the voice, or the siren's wail that seemed to come from everywhere at once, but for about twenty seconds I would have sworn up and down that I was living in a dystopian future where the governmental jackboot had long ago stomped the masses into obedient submission and that, presently, the trucks had come to round us all up for "cleansing." I realized, eventually, as I was searching for some anti-establishment literature and a crudely-fashioned contraband rifle to defend my family from the Thought Police, that I was merely in Brooklyn and that our society hadn't yet progressed to the point of a fascist dictatorship (though I suppose that depends on whom you ask).

What a relief! It's just an early-morning robbery attempt!

Eventually all the noise and ruckus quieted and I was able, after a bit, to get back to sleep. But I'll never forget my brush, however imagined, with the nightmarish future. I now know what's in store.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm John Conner. The Terminator should be here any day, for real.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Recapping the Bride

Hey... stopping to take a breath...

If anyone's in need of some highly entertaining reading material today, do check out Televison Without Pity's bitch-by-tantrum recap of the show Bridezillas:

There should be Pulitzers awarded for this kind of stuff.

NOTE: I'm well aware that Bridezillas is about as low down on the Trash TV scale as one can get without just flat-out watching COPS. I don't care. It's deeply satisfying in a "thank fucking christ that's not me" kind of way and we all need that every now and again.

Darth Vader is an Asshole

There's only two people in my group here in the office today, so I'm a little short on free time for to post sassy blog entries and general merriments. So... here's a video that, through the magic of editing, has Darth Vader acting like that one friend you have that always scoots the car forward a little bit when you're trying to open the passenger door. Oh, it's hilarious, he thinks, until the day you get sick of putting up with his shit and brain him senseless with your just-purchased bottle of Yoo Hoo.



Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Stepping Into Danger

In the old Robert Redford movie Three Days of the Condor, there's this scene at the beginning where he goes out to get lunch for all the folks in his office and, when he gets back, he finds that all of his co-workers have been killed. Also, he finds that the deli forgot to give him extra pickles like he specifically asked, but that's rather besides the point. Anyway, it turns out that the humble government office he worked for had inadvertently stumbled upon a big, far-reaching conspiracy and they were all killed because of it, even though they didn't really know what they'd discovered. Much running away and trying to not get shot and bedding of Faye Dunaway ensues.

I was reminded of that scene this afternoon when, upon arriving for my late shift at the office, I found that A) everyone was gone and B) my desk had been mysteriously cleaned and was now conspicuously devoid of the usual Everest's and K2's of paper that usually occupy it's space.

A sense of paranoia washed over me like rich, delicious milk chocolate over creamy nougat and fresh, roasted peanuts (sorry, I'm eating a Snickers). Because I'm totally wily, I sprang into an attack position, wielding my tape dispenser like a cudgel in one hand and gripping the fork I use to eat my Ramen in the other. No sneaky government spooks were getting the best of this dashing, young Robert Redford-esque hero, that's for damn sure. The fact that my co-workers all stepped out of the elevator just then and found me crouched behind an ergonomic office chair, baring my teeth like a threatened opossum, doesn't diminish the satisfaction of being alert and prepared for a government-sponsored hit in the least.

So they weren't all killed by an assassin; that's the good news. The bad news is that my sense of paranoia wasn't entirely unfounded. While no one's dead, my desk being suddenly cleaned and de-papered was, in fact, the ominous sign I thought it was. While I was off yesterday, my boss apparently took stock of my desk and decided to take it upon herself to tackle it's bulk. Okay, so let's just say that I'm not the best at organization as a general principle and, because of that, sometimes things... eh... go missing, get buried, get lost, disappear into the ether never to be seen again, etc. Not one of my most charming traits, I'll admit. Anyway, it seems that amid the piles there was quite a bit of stuff that hadn't gotten exactly taken care of in the manner that is should have.

Um... whoops? Heh... heh... please don't fire me I can't go back to working in video stores and selling my body to the night aaaaaaaarrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh (weeping uncontrollably and clutching my desk like it was the railing of a sinking ship).

So I got my deserved raking over the coals and a sharp, firm spanking and now I'm attempting to get my shit in order so this sort of thing doesn't happen again. I so don't need the stress, what with all these assassin's about. Or... wait, no that was just a movie.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Final Birthday Post

I promise this will be the last post on the subject of my birthday. If I again post on the subject of my birthday, all you readers are fully allowed to report me to the FCC for inappropriate content which will, I believe, result in the fire-bombing of my apartment building. They've really stepped up the penalties since we all saw Janet Jackson's boob.

Anyhoo, the day I've been somewhat dreading has officially passed. I am now 26. I can't believe that it's been ten years since that fresh-faced lad finally, finally, got his drivers license, so excited that he could take his girl to the movies with out his mom having to drive them (sooooo lame!). Funny how time slips away, to quothe the immortal bard Joe Tex...

No! This post is not going to turn into a Big Chill-esque dry hump of misty watercolored memories and poor me whining. Sorry for even starting to amble down that road. Meh.

So... yesterday was the actual day and, because we'd already had the big party and whooped it up sufficiently, I opted to take the event at a more leisurely pace. Em and I went out for delicious burgers at Paul's in the East Village (if you live in NYC and haven't eaten at Paul's, you're committing a mortal sin). We went to see The Descent, which was fucking awesome; if you only see one movie about an all-female group of spelunkers who get attacked by humanoid monsters, please let it be this one. We wandered around the city for a bit as it was a nice day. We came home and a fried chicken and watched TV while drinking pre-made Pina Colodas.

In short... it was exactly the birthday I wanted.

Thanks be to everyone whose made this last week so full of me-love. I've had a blast. And, of course, extra-special, heaping handfuls of love and thanks to Emily for making me feel simuatiously like the most important guy in NYC and also significantly less old. You're the best and you know it.

Okay, no more about birthdays, no more about getting old.

I promise it's only snarky comments about music and making fun of people who've hurt themselves on video from here on out.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Got a Feeling 26 is Gonna Be a Good Year

Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday to me,
Happy Birthday dear meeeeeeee...
Happy Birthday to ME!!!

Yes... now... time to get drunk.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Here It Goes Again" by Ok Go

Your life is now divided into two distinct halves; pre-this video and post-this video:

Ok Go just might be the band to save us all. Or... well... if not, then they make truly, spectacularly kick ass videos.

It All Makes So Much Sense Now

What with all this Space Worm craziness going on, I'm glad that Kirk Cameron's got our backs:

Can I tell you what a relief it is to know that God's all real and stuff and not just an outdated fairy tale that's been used as an excuse for people to start shit all over the world for centuries. Such a load off.

Praise be to bananas, God's "told ya so."

When Real Life is a Horror Movie

Okay, go look at these pictures, then come back. Take special note of the ones with the bike:

What the fuck, right? I think what makes the whole thing even creepier is that the pics are being displayed on a crappy, hastily thrown together website like some intrepid reporter was trying to get the word out before the killer space worms swarmed under his door and overtook him. Or her, of course; killer space worms can attack men and women equally.

Also, the website's got a foreign language on it, which is creepy too. Like discovering ancient tablets in your rose garden that are covered in Latin and drip blood from the carved text every full moon.

Anyway, my point is, I'm going to stock the fuck up on Raid.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Weekly Awesome! #10

Heat Death Notes

It's so fucking hot here in New York right now that I'm finding it really difficult to focus on anything else other than how nice an ice-cold shower is going to feel when I get home. So, to that end, in lieu of me writing something pithy (besides, I already used up all my writing energy on the post below; go read it, won't you?) watch this video:

I can honestly say I've never seen a guy jump off a roof and land on his balls quite as spectacularly as that young man does.

Songs of our Week: Nostalgic 90's Music Edition

NOTE: This is because of my birthday. Sorry.

1. "She Talks to Angels" by The Black Crowes (1990)

Before they devolved into petty in-fighting, drug-fueled guitar dickery and a general all-encompassing shittines of music, The Black Crowes were a pretty decent band. I wouldn't recommend buying all their records or anything, but in the early 90's, they definitely gave the road Three Dog Night traveled down in the 70's a healthy sprint. "She Talks to Angels" is by far the best thing they ever put out; listening to it is like the drive home in your parents car after you just, ten minutes ago, kissed the prettiest girl in sophomore English.

2. "Self-Esteem" by The Offspring (1994)

I've always felt a mild sense of disappointment that my indoctrination into the world of snotty, angry, anti-authority music came from The Offspring and not from bands like Nirvana or The Ramones or, hell, even Green Day. No, the first song I ever heard that wasn't Beatles bubblegum or boot-scootin' country was "Self-Esteem" and I was absolutely enthralled. Now, having cultivated a decent musical knowledge, I recognize that it's, no bones, a pretty shitty song, but back then, man, it spoke to my spoiled youth's soul. I'm just a sucker with no self-esteem! That's me!!! I grew out of it eventually and discovered better bands but, can't lie, this is where it started. I looked for good music where ever I could find it because The Offspring opened my eyes. I'm so fucking ashamed.

3. "How's It Gonna Be" by Third Eye Blind (1997)

This was one of the (many) songs that provided the backdrop for my moony, seventeen-year-old heartaches. Back when I loved a girl, like, totally and though that a mutual infatuation with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the music of Barenaked Ladies was all it took to be sugar-high happy. Turns out, no. But this song remains a late-90's gem of post-adolescent, corporate-approved angst. As for Third Eye Blind these days, well, I'm pretty sure they'll clear your plate if you're done with that.

4. "Push" by Matchbox 20 (1996)

Of all the songs on the planet to have powerful memories connected to, I swear to Christ, I know that this song isn't much of anything but, every time it comes on the radio, I'm smiling to myself all dopey and singing along too loud. Let's just say that this happened to be the tune on the radio during a particularly memorable sexual encounter circa 1996 and leave it at that (if you want the full scoop, I'll happily mail you a transcript of the event typed from memory because, ten years later, I can still tell you details down to our respective underwear color, style and state of disrepair afterwards).

5. "One Headlight" by The Wallflowers (1996)

This song was as omnipresent in my high school days as acne and the inability to talk to girls without looking them straight in the boobs. It's one of those songs that nobody loved, nobody hated, but everyone knew by heart. Also, and this is very important, not a single person in my high school or yours knows what this song is about. If we did, if we were to actually listen to Jakob Dylan explain his motivations and the meanings behind his lyrics, the song its self would disappear in a puff of smoke and we'd all lose a little bit of our youth. Seriously guys, I think there's a warning label on the CD packaging now.

Surprise, Surprise

On Sunday, I'm turning 26; the first year of my life closer to 30 than 20. This fact has been running through my mind quite a bit lately, usually accompanied by a long, loud scream that I think is only in my head until the cops answer my neighbor's noise complaint, break down my apartment door and find me curled in a ball under my girlfriend's computer desk. What I'm trying to say is that I don't handle birthdays particularly well. I tend to get morose and I obsess over the fact that I'm getting old, driving my friends and family crazy in the process.

You could make a pretty strong case that I'm being a total pussy about it and I'd be the first to admit that you're absolutely right, now leave me alone as I weep softly into a bottle of gin.

A major part of this whole anti-birthday attitude is that I'm usually against making too big a fuss. I don't mind the day being marked with a bit of fanfare (especially if the fanfare involves me being give cards full of cash) but I generally like to shy away from the big "to do." Too much work, too much effort, too much thinking about my birthday... meh. Just meh.

However, things on this Thursday morning are looking quite a bit different. I'm feeling... well... actually pleased that it's my birthday. I mean, I'm still totally mortified that I'm "thirty minus four," as Emily has been putting it, but that's all just so much background noise right now.


Because I got my ass surprise-partied last night. Emily, crafty lass that she is, gathered all my NYC-based friends at a bar in Midtown and then coaxed me there, claiming she was taking me to a restaurant that made "the best fried chicken in the city." Because Em knows me so well, she knows that I would blindly follow her (or anyone else, for that matter) into hell if promised a plate of delicious fried chicken at the end. Not much trickery was needed to get me in the room, that's all I'm saying.

Anyway, I was completely duped. I haven't had a surprise party since I was 15, which only served to make it all the more surprising. And this one was infinitely better because there was booze involved. There were party hats (including my shiny purple crown that proclaimed me the "Birthday Princess" in glittery script) and champagne and cake and good food and a homoerotic poem read to me by a fabulous Diva...

It was, in a word, unexpectedly perfect. Okay, that's two words. For Emily to do this for me... well, let's just say that I love her a lot and that, it appears, she loves me a lot too. Love, as a point of fact, is what's making me feel so much better (for now) about this whole turning 26 concept. There was certaintly a lot of it in that bar last night, that's for sure.

So what if I'm getting older? So what if I'm closer to 30 than to 20 now?

At the moment, 26 is looking just fine.

(I'm still reserving the right to completely throw a hissy fit on Sunday, though. Birthday boy's rights.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Remembrance of Shower Heads Past

Okay, I know that, grand scheme, this isn't that big of a deal but still...

My landlord took my shower head away.

I mean, he put another one in it's place; we don't have just a broken pipe jutting from the wall offering a weak trickle of lukewarm water like we were in a third-world prison or France or anything. But it's not the same. See, the one we had... and I find it hard to speak of it without weeping... was truly the valedictorian of shower heads. It boasted a mighty flow, a cattle stampede made of water, and it's spray was focused and direct like an interrogation. Absolutely a marvel of modern technology.

Apparently, though, the shower head was a bit cavalier with it's water expulsion. We were draining lakes bone-dry all over the tri-state area every time we took a quick cooling-off rinse and our morning showers caused a draught all along the Eastern Seaboard.

So it had to go. Me handcuffing myself to it was no deterrent.

The one we have now pales in comparison. It's like that femme, artsy cousin you have that always tries to help you move furniture but exhausts quickly and has to go sit under a shade tree and so he can fan himself with a copy of Mademoiselle. The new shower head is well-meaning, sure, but it gives one the sensation that they're being peed on by a very tall man.

Not ideal.

This all brings to mind the most perfect shower experience I've ever had... I was living in Austin, TX; my first apartment. The shower we (my roommate, Joel, and I) had would be illegal in today's enviro-conscious world. That fucker could strip paint off a car. It dispensed hurricanes out of it's tap and it was perfect for waking you up in the morning and knocking hangovers back to the hell from whence they came.

Ah, the memories. The wet, wet memories.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Music, Money and Misery in Massachusetts (Part 2)

Yesterday on Zombie Fights Shark!:

"In short, with the Commons and the wharf, we were having a great time. Good company, good food, pleasant day and exciting, interesting surroundings. Things were going great.

Of course, that can only mean that things were about to go completely to hell..."

And now... the exciting conclusion:

Okay, when I say "go completely to hell," I could be accused of slightly exaggerating. Nobody died, the ground didn't split open and swallow whole chunks of Boston, we weren't savaged by maurading bands of Red Sox loyals for accidentally letting the word "Yankees" pass from our lips... nothing like that. What actually happened was more like a series of increasingly-intense irritations that served to, if not outright kill our mood, than at least drive our mood out to the middle of the forest and leave it there to die.


The First Irritation: We realized after we'd already bought the tickets that the concert venue wasn't... ha ha... technically in Boston. No, that would be far too convenient. The Tweeter Center, as it's called, is actually located just south of nowhere in a town called Mansfield which is about 35 miles away from where the bus dropped us off. As we don't have a car (see: bus), we had to figure out some way to get from point A to point... well, let's call it point Z because any other letter would imply a closeness of points that just wasn't there. Now, because we knew about this ahead of time, I was able to use the magical internet to find out that, Yes!, Mansfield could be reached by train and that, Hooray!, the pick-up point for said train was in the same building as the bus station. Once in Mansfield, it was only a quick less-than-2-mile cab ride to the Tweeter Center. We were in business!!!

The Second Irritation: Turns out, the only way to get from the train station to the Tweeter Center was by cab and the cab companies had, long ago I'm sure, decided that they were going to exploit that fact like a motherfucker. A five minute, under 2-mile cab ride... 15 dollars. The sensation of being dragged into a back alley, beaten with a brick, and having my wallet taken washed over me like the onset of food poisoning. But, okay, fine... whatever... 10$ for the train, 30$ round trip for the cab... little more than what I'd hoped, but it's okay. At least we know what's going to happen and it's all somewhat good.

The Third Irritation: Of course, that 40$ plan only holds up if we can catch a train back to Boston after the concert. The last train out of the Mansfield station: 10:30pm. The concert's probable end time: 11pm. Because I have yet to learn how to manipulate time and am really lacking in my teleportation skills (I'm just lazy; there's no excuse), that 30-minute time difference might as well have been us just missing the last chopper out of Saigon. Nothing we could do. We would have to take a cab and pray it wouldn't be too expensive to take us back to Boston. But, okay, fine... whatever... we're here at the concert venue and we're ready to rock!

The Fourth Irritation: One forgets, living in New York for an extended period of time, how shitty concert venues can actually get. Here, we've got a bunch of converted warehouses that allow the average music fan to get within spitting distance to whatever messy-haired, ironically t-shirted rocker is currently setting the world on fire. Intimate environments breed good shows like rats in the subway. The Tweeter Center is your classic "amphitheater" style venue. Meaning, if you're not in the first 20 rows, you might as well be in the parking lot. Our seats, Row N, Sec. 11, weren't the worst in the place, but they were far from good. This, mind you, is no fault on the ticket buyer... the fault rests squarely on the shoulders of the venue builders; those who care much more about packing people in as deep and as widespread as possible. Hold your arm all the way out and give 'er the old thumbs up. Now look at your thumb. That's about how big the lead singers of each band were. Not exactly a rock and roll fantasy. Not helping matters was the fact that this was an open-air venue and, because life's just like that, it had started to rain. Also, we had this guy sitting in front of us: "Wooooo!!! Fuckin' WOOOOO!!! Hey, It's my bro's first concert!!! WOOOOO!!! How old are you girls? 15!!! WOOOO!!!! I'll totally buy you beer!!! WOOOOO!!!!!!" But, okay, fine... whatever... we're hear to see a band and, despite the distance, they're going to great.

Bands: We were there to see Counting Crows, a favorite of both Emily and I. Opening for them were The Working Title and The Goo Goo Dolls, neither of which we cared anything about. The Working Title started off and, despite the lead singer's eerie vocal resemblance to the Counting Crow's frontman Adam Duritz, they were spectacularly meh. Not bad, but not engaging in the least. Following them was The Goo Goo Dolls, a band I've actually broken fingers against car stereos attempting to turn off as quickly as possible. They weren't as bad as I'd feared; oddly-plastic looking Johnny Resnick had a good rapport with the crowd and they played a couple of songs that reminded me of high school, which is alright I guess, but again, meh. The one good thing, the lone happy stretch of time, was the Counting Crows. I've seen them a few times now and the guys just don't give bad concerts. I know a lot of people don't dig them and, honestly, I don't fault them for that... they're not for everyone... but for those of us who count themselves among their fans, seeing them live is worth just about anything.

The Fifth and Final Irritation: I should have seen this coming and the fact that I didn't irritates the crap out of me. We get a cab, we tell him were we're going and, like a virgin asking "Will it... hurt?," we inquire about the price.

Seventy-five fucking dollars.

I cannot accurately describe what it's like to have your brain implode, scream and weep at the same time, nor can I give you a good feel for what it's like when your stomach turns it's self inside out and your whole body just says, "Oh fuck this" and you go limp with shock. Suffice to say, not fun. We, of course, had no choice. We had to make our bus. So we grabbed our ankles, forced a smile, and the cab driver drove us back, the contents of our wallets now in his.

End: So, of course, we made it to the bus station. We made it through the midnight drive in the cramped, crappy bus. We made it through the long wait for an R train at 4:30 in the morning. We made it, finally, home. We slept.

I'm sure this will all be hilarious in a few months. Okay, maybe a few years. One thing is for certain, though... Boston is a beautiful city. But you can be damn sure we're not catching another concert there until one of us randomly finds a box of money.