Tuesday, October 31, 2006

10 Tips For a Fantastic Halloween

1. Take all the loose candy corn you can find, throw them in a blender with a bottle of tequila and crank that sucker up to "frappe." Tell all you're friends it's called "Witch's Barf" and prepare to be the hit of the costume ball. Don't drink more than two of these, though, or your heart will explode like a microwaved Gremlin.

2. Carving the X-Files logo into that pumpkin isn't going to get you laid anywhere near as much as you think it will. It is, however, TOTALLY bitchin'.

3. That homemade Napoleon Dynamite costume you're wearing... yeah, everyone wants to poke you in the eye with a stick. Just a word of warning. I know, I know, you've been working on your impressions of ND and Pedro all week. Trust me when I say that this fact will only make the beatings more severe.

4. Same goes for you in the Steve-Irwin-with-a-Stingray-attached-to-the-front costume. Believe me when I say that you're not as clever as you think you are. My evidence:

Welcome to Bill Maher's level of discourse. I hope your friends never stop hitting you in the face.

5. Don't be so obvious as to rent the original Halloween for the entertainment portion of your bash. Go for part 6, The Curse of Michael Myers. It's got a young Paul Rudd in it and it's actually pretty scary and I guarantee you that no one you know has seen it. If someone at the party has seen it, they're probably me, so we're going to have to figure out how the hell I got your place. Nice house, by the way. Which way to the keg?

6. Have you actually listened to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" lately? That song still kicks ass and the Vincent Price part gives me chills every time I hear it. Not really a tip per sea, but still worth mentioning.

7. Candy you eat on Halloween won't make you fat. It's true. So eat that whole bag of mini-Almond Joys and wash it down with a pint glass filled with Pixie Stix and Jolt. It won't count against you and you'll be able to sprint up the side of a building when the sugar rush hits.

8. Remember, safety first. Nobody holds Haunted Houses in a windowless van behind a 7-11 and anyone who tells you different is trying to steal your kidney or is planning to put you in a large cage in a basement. That goes double if the person's dressed like a clown.

9. Watch out for the dudes dressed up like ladies. Those are the seriously repressed Christians who, under the guise of "Halloween wackiness," are getting one night of the year to go fucking nuts. They started drinking at noon and they think they look like Audrey Hepburn, though they actually resemble a sad closet-case in a dress more than anything.

10. Don't wear anything too complicated. After a few beers, you're really going to have to pee and you don't want to spend forty minutes carefully removing your intricately designed Transformers costume to do so.



Here's a little piece of Halloween candy for you. But... you know... in video form. Also, it's not about candy. I don't even know why I said that. Anyway:

Look familiar?

Monday, October 30, 2006

When Friends Come To Visit

I'm entirely too tired to be coherent right now. My friend Braden and his girlfriend, Katie, came to New York for a visit this weekend and, though a good time was consistently and thoroughly had by all, my brain and body both are now about as functional as that NES system that's been under your bed for the last eight years. Sure, you might get it to work for a bit, but it'll be prone to freezing up and half the time the graphics will come out all blocky and pixelated. You'll try blowing really hard into (in this analogy, blowing really hard into an NES to clear the dust = drinking cup after cup after cup of coffee) but you'll only succeed in getting through a couple of more levels before the whole thing just shuts down completely and you're forced to try your luck with the slightly-battered Game Boy that you bought at a garage sale so you'd have something to do while you take a dump.

So... what the hell was I talking about?

Oh, right, friends in town this weekend, currently whipped, etc. Anyway, here's a brief rundown of the highlights, presented in easily managed, bite-sized bullet points that will always be the mark of the lazy, lazy man:

Notes From When Friends Come To Visit:

1. Saw Evil Dead: The Musical. A full review is forthcoming, but suffice to say that it's exactly what one would expect as long as what you expect is silly humor, dancing zombies and gallons of stage blood. Despite a few nitpicks, it was a really great show and I'm irritated that I didn't have the idea first.

2. Inside jokes that were funny in High School... still funny now. Though not to those who did not attend said High School. To them, you're just a jerk.

3. Central Park is always a better idea in theory than it is in actual practice. It's beautiful, sure, and it's a part of New York's charm, but after a while, when you and your group have walked yourselves deep into it's heart, it occurs to everyone that frostbite is about to set in, the only people you've passed in the last hour have been rough looking junkies and you can no longer see any of the surrounding buildings. Only miles and miles of trees and the occasional squirrel. Panic sets in and you're forced to eat your scarves for sustinance while you blaze a trail back to the street. However you did get some killer pictures.

4. We passed by a group of student filmmakers announcing loudly that anyone who was willing to have their bare feet filmed would get a free cookie. My girlfriend, who's the daring sort, allowed her feet to be filmed and, in fact, received a cookie. I'm fairly certain that we broke some sort of law by doing this (Foot Prostitution, maybe?) and we'll be scanning the internet fetish sites for the debut appearance of her tootsies for at least the next couple of months.

5. There's not enough hours in the day, enough days in the week, or enough weeks in the year to hang out with friends who don't live where you live. That's life, as they say, but life is sometimes very lame.

Friday, October 27, 2006

"Confusion" by The Zutons

Going to be otherwise engaged this weekend; my esteemed matey Braden is coming up from Austin and we're going to show this city how we do things back home in Texas! By that I mean, of course, that we're going to make obscure British comedy references while we simultaniously drink beer after beer after beer and annoy our respective girlfriends.

A kick-ass weekend if ever there was one.

So, I leave you with The Zutons and their song "Confusion." Play it often and think fondly of me.

Be back next week with, among other things, a full review of Evil Dead: The Musical. Try not to let the excitement keep you from getting a good night's sleep. Mind your manners, kiddos!!!

My Tabasco Is Larger Than Yours

I'm not trying to start an ongoing "hot sauce" theme here, but I can't let this slip by unmentioned. Apparently, the Tabasco company is now selling this:

That's right... gallon jugs of Tabasco sauce. Now, I'm a fan of the spicy as much as anyone but, fuck dude, what kind of wild-eyed, rawboned cayenne addict is actually buying this? The questions that this product raises are staggering: Are there people out there who eat so much Tabasco that it's economically viable for them to buy in bulk? Can they even taste anything using that much hot sauce? For that matter, do they fart a blowtorch-like emission of pure fire?

Anyway, just curious. And, frankly, a little worried about humanity.

Mary Poppins is My Homegirl

Long time readers of Zombie Fights Shark! already know that I'm comfortable enough with who I am to admit freely that I dig musical theater. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a good tap number. Luckily, I live in New York City, the home of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and numerous drag acts performed in bars so emetic that merely sitting down on an available surface is enough to give you, at minimum, crabs.

Anyway, I bring this up because last night Em and I went to see Disney's latest attempt at holding down our city's tourists and digging out their fillings while the Seven Dwarves steal their shoes: Mary Poppins. Oh, but I kid the global entertainment monolith. And besides, it's hard to rag on a compay, evil though they may be, when they put out such a fine slice of Broadway entertainment. Em and I were both a bit tired and cranky when we sat down, but once the show got rollin'... well... I'd challenge even the crankier amongst our ranks (and believe me when I say that I count myself among that number) to not break into a goofy grin usually associated with the recently lobotomized.

The thing that makes Disney shows in general, and Mary Poppins in particular, so awesome is the never-ending abundance of "stage magic." Huge, multi-story sets shift around in near-silence, people float about the stage like... things that float (what, it's early), even basic magic tricks are incorporated into the show in such away that, when Poppins pulls an entire bedroom set out of a single duffle bag, you're left going "OMIGODOMIGODOMIGOD" like a 13 year old who just discovered breasts. Or maybe it's just that I'm a big hick who's still impressed by the big city and all it's glorious splendor. Whatever, the show kicked ass.

Coolest thing: During the big chimney-sweep tap number, the character of Bert (Dick Van Dyke in the movie) starts tap dancing up the side wall of the stage, carrying on North, and ending with a full dance routine on the ceiling, upside down. I would have married that man right then, had he asked.

Point is, should you find yourself in the Manhattan area anytime soon, go see Mary Poppins. It's Poppins-tastic!!!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

"Chips Ahoy!" by The Hold Steady

Not enough people write songs about blatant, rampant drug abuse anymore and I think that's a shame. Which is not to say that I advocate blatant, rampant drug abuse, of course... I just think it makes great song-lyric fodder. Take a listen to Warren Zevon's "Carmelita," The Velvet Underground's "Heroin," or pretty much every song Iggy Pop had anything to do with if you doubt me. Anyway, because I'm chronically a year or two behind current musical trends, I've just in the last week discovered the band The Hold Steady, who, it seems, sing about nothing but getting high on various narcotics. Nice to see a band really put forth the effort in committing to a theme.

So, that's basically a long-winded, name-dropping way of introducing their latest video:

Easily the best video to date that features 70's telecasters, Zorro and lascivious pool boys in a sleazy motel setting.

Award-Winning Critique

In case any of you were wondering what I thought of last night's LOST episode, I have good news for you... The wait is over! Now, some of you are I'm sure saying, "But C-Dog, I don't even watch LOST. Actually, I'm not even fully aware of what LOST is. Is it some sort of toothpaste or perhaps a new kind of liquor, because judging from your past posts, you talk about liquor a whole lot. I'm just saying that odds are, if you're talking about something I haven't heard of, it's probably a new kind of liquor that you're currently using to inflict damage on your liver."

Well, first off, glad you've been paying attention. Secondly, no, LOST isn't a toothpaste or a new fancy kind of liquor, though were it so, it would clean the living shit out of your teeth and get you mad-dog drunk with merely a sip, respectively. And third, even if you're unfamiliar with LOST (it's a TV show, just so we're clear), believe me when I say that you're still going to want to stick around for my opinions on last night's episode because, and I'm not bragging or anything, but I'm probably going to win the Pulitzer for Outstanding Critique with this one. Let's just say there's been some interest and leave it at that. Also, I bought all of the judging committee dinner at Sbarro's last night. I'm soooo a lock.

Anyway, enough talk. Genuflect and remove your caps, fellas, and ladies, make sure there's a sturdy fainting couch nearby. Here we go:

Last night's episode of LOST, which prominently featured the character of "Sawyer" and had quite a bit of action and drama, was... awesome! No, scratch that, it was totally awesome!

Top Chef was pretty good too, but my thoughts on that are fairly pedestrian. So I won't bother.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Breakfast Booze

For the last couple of years, the big thing in booze has been the fancy-pants, "specialty" martini. The trend all started with the advent of the Apple-tini and only got worse from there, producing a variety of concoctions so noxiously sweet and unnaturally colored that they make a bag of Skittles look like an organic fruit basket. While this isn't the first trend entirely supported by sorority girls and gay men, it's certaintly the worst (narrowly beating out belly-button piercings and Jennifer Lopez's music career), and it's an affront to those of who take drinking seriously.

Suddenly, though, things have changed. In our favor, for once, and away from the favor of those who frequent bars that feature wet T-shirt contests and bartenders who can't mix a Jack and Coke but can juggle twelve rocks glasses and catch marischinos in their mouths. Now we happy few, the men and women who know the joys of a beer for breakfast, who've been kicked out of a bar at closing time and who know in their hearts that a shot of whiskey can cure the common cold as well as make a steak taste better finally have a frou-frou martini to call our own.

Folks, I give you...

The Bacon Martini

My god, it's like looking into the sun. Here's the recipie, courtesy of the good folks at Liquor Snob.

"Lightly mist martini glass with vermouth, and rim the edge with bacon grease. In a cocktail shaker, mix 3oz vodka, one dash tobasco, and one dash olive juice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass. Skim excess bacon grease from surface of cocktail. Garnish with one slice of bacon."

Now, yes, I know that it looks, well, a bit septic; I don't disagree that drinks shouldn't be grey. However, that's part of it's charm. That, and the fact that it's rimmed with bacon grease. Can you imagine? That burn of alcohol and Tobasco, that slick, meaty taste of bacon, all co-mingling on your palate before you swallow it down, your craving for booze and your craving for protien satisfied by the contents of one wide-mouthed glass.

It's hard to speak of it without weeping. Now, we've got to figure out how to buffalo wings into a glass of liquor. Besides just dunking them into your whiskey, I mean. Which, of course, is perfectly acceptable.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Movie Poster A Go-Go: The Fourth

Things have been waaaay too gloomy around here, what with my girlfriend's brush with brutality and all, so, as a tonic, let's make fun of movie posters and their crappy marketing/graphic design skills. Seriously, it does more for the mood than a bottle of scotch and some free Playboy Channel.

Ghost Rider

You have got to be fucking kidding me. Was this poster designed by twelve-year-old boys? I know that the flaming motorcycle is part of the Ghost Rider's schtick but... man, c'mon. What works in the comics doesn't always translate to the big screen; why do you think they changed all the X-Men's costumes? Because nobody wants to see Hugh Jackman in yellow spandex, that's why. Especially when you can see him wearing yellow spandex live on Broadway. Anyway, this is a bad combo of the usual Hollywood photoshop job, a romance novel and the doodles off the backs of notebooks from 7th grade study hall.

The Host

Now this... this I like. A calm harbor being broken by a single tentacle that's snatching a woman back to it's murky depths. You can't beat that. They could've even left off the title, far as I'm concerned. Put just this picture outside a movie theater and I'll veer off course with money in my hand before I'm even aware of what's happening. I'll be sitting in the seats all scared and confused and then this movie will come on and I'll be all, "Ah yes... this is as it should be."

The History Boys

So... N'Sync made a movie with a fat British guy? Also, what's with the Star Wars angle font? You can paint it green all you want, but it's very presence makes me want to see a movie about lightsabers, Yoda and The Force and that's not the movie you've got, is it, The History Boys? No, it isn't. And no amount of standing around with your shirttails untucked can change that.

Let's Go To Prison

Well. That's certaintly a thinly-veiled anal rape joke on a major motion picture's movie poster. Um... kudos, I guess?


I get what they're trying to do here, I do, but... damn... am I the only one who looks at this poster and is only able to think of the word "Booty" playing endlessly on a loop? It must be Beyonce's involvement with the project; she could bring bootyliciousness to a movie about nuns.

Death of a President

Now, I'm of two minds here. One, of course, sees this and is filled with a warm glow akin to the feeling one gets after drinking wine in front of a fireplace right before everyone adjourns to the bedroom. It's just sooo comforting and happy. However, the other is reminded of all the screaming college kids who hang out in Union Square with the "Bush = Hitler" posters and are all loud while I'm trying to buy an apple cider donut at the farmers market. I don't like those kids. But I don't like Bush, either. Hmmm... what's an irritable Liberal to do?

The Paris Syndrome

Interesting article.

For those of you too sleepy/too hungover (I know my audience) to read the whole thing, it's basically about a psychological phenominon known as the "Paris Syndrome" that affects Japanese tourists when they visit France. Seems the Japanese hold the French up as some cultural, classy ideal and they long to visit the country to experience first-hand the sweet Gallic life. Of course, when they get there, it becomes clear pretty quick that life in France isn't exactly The Umbrellas of Cherbourg all the time. In fact, France is just as gross as any other country in the world (with the exception of Switzerland; those guys are neat freaks). So, after years of daydreams in their Salaryman cubicle about the majesty of France and all it's opulance, after they catch their first glimpse of a drunk man in a beret taking a dump in an alley after too much vin ordinaire at the cafe, some of the Japanese become completely untethered.

Some become ultra-paraniod, feeling like they're in danger and/or being followed. Some glom onto whatever knowledge they've got of French history and become convinced that they're, say, Louis XIV. And while, admittedly, I'd pay top dollar to see a Japanese tourist pretend to be the Sun King (especially if he attempts to break into Versailles), this has become a fairly serious problem, affecting 5 or 6 people a year. I know that doesn't sound like a lot but, in terms of mass-psychosis, that's a signifigant event.

Anyway, I just thought that the concept of being so let down by a vacation that you pretend to be French royalty was sort of interesting. And, as far as syndrome's go, it's certaintly better than the Jerusalem Syndrome. With that, you get all religious and nobody will want to hang out with you.

Particularly if you try to fit the word "crucifixtion" into every conversation.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Girlfriend: The Update

It appears that she's made it through her first day back at school after the assault and isn't dead.

So that's good. Pay special attention to the action that the principal has taken in light of this event with regards to my girlfriend's safety. It'll give you faith in the New York Public School System's unwavering stance on putting Band-Aids on bullet holes, metaphorically speaking. Although, at the rate things are going, that could soon be quite literal, too.

Thoughts on An Attack

Okay, where were we? We were discussing something mind-bendingly horrifying... oh yes... my girlfriend's assault by one of her students. So if you read the post that I linked to (see the post below), you're already familiar with the details of the event in question but, just for a quick recap's sake:

Em teaches the worst of the worst kids in Brooklyn. They're emotionally disabled, barely literate, prone to violence and, in general, the stuff of nightmares when it comes to the fact that my girlfriend has to be in a room with them for 8 hours, five days a week. Because Em is made of sterner stuff than I, she sees this as a unique challenge and actually, on occasion, enjoys her job. Conversely, it takes every ounce of resolve and fortitude I posses to not wet myself when she walks out the door in the morning. However, she's held up nicely and things hadn't gotten too Lean on Me until Thursday, when a student grabbed her by the shoulders and threw her to the ground. She hit her head, hard, got a concussion, was rushed to the hospital, etc, goodnight and amen.

So. As promised, my reactions to said assault and the issues surrounding it:

-There's a concept called "Southern Justice" that I've been rolling over in my mind. It involves me finding this kid's address, buying a baseball bat and a fifth of Jim Beam, and letting the night take me where it will. While this seems a fine idea in theory, it's flawed due to the fact that, of the four possible outcomes to this scenario, three end with me getting shot. The fourth ends with me in jail, which is an avenue I'm not terribly thrilled to explore either.

-The school where she works is utterly, criminally worthless. The student who assaulted her has been in jail before, is known to be a violent threat, and yet is still allowed to matriculate amongst the GP. Em has asked the school five times to have him removed from her class due to his constant frightening behavior. After the assault, they assured her that, finally, he'll be moved to a new class, though they'd really rather wait until he stabs her first.

-And another thing about her school... they're not thrilled with the fact that she's "making waves," i.e. Pressing charges against the student. That's right; the school would rather this just go away quietly. Seriously, the rage this makes me feel can only be expressed in screamed expletives and breaking glass.

-The NYPD... surprisingly helpful. The two officers that she spoke to were fast-acting, compassionate, pleasant and entirely resolute in their conviction that this student would see jail time for his doings. To the men and women in blue... thanks, tons.

-When I receive a phone call from my girlfriend telling me that she's being rushed to the hospital after being attacked by a student, my hands shake for a good three hours after the fact. I didn't know this about myself. Consequently, I've given up my dream of being a secret agent, combat surgeon or any other profession which I've seen on TV that looks cool but would require calm collectedness under pressure. I'm just not suited for that kind of work, damnit!

-Em's back at school today and I'm putting on a brave face, carrying on with my work in a diligent and efficient manner. Mentally, I'm in the fetal position under my desk, nipping from a bottle of whatever booze is the strongest and weeping quietly while staring at the phone, waiting for it to ring.

That's it for now. I'm sure it will all be fine and I'm sure I'm just a big overreacting sissy who should be wearing a pretty, pretty dress. And if that's the truth, well... fine. It beats the alternative.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Girlfriend in Emergency

Sorry I've been in absentia for the last few days. Things have been, to say the least, chaotic around here. Not to mention stressful, unpleasent, mopey and a bit harsh. Here's why:

My girlfriend was attacked by one of her students.

Follow the link for the full nuts and bolts of the story (courtesy of the attacked herself) and I'll follow up with my own hysterical impressions of the events (by that I mean that I was hysterical, not the events themselves).

Friday, October 20, 2006

No Joy in Mudville

The Mets lost to the Cardinals in game 7 of the NLCS. Their season is over. I think this pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject:

Thursday, October 19, 2006


It appears that this is my 200th post here at Zombie Fights Shark!. I know, I know... it seems like only yesterday that we broke onto the scene, bedraggled and drunk, vaugely menacing and full of typos, ready to take on the world and, after we'd taken on the world, have a nice sandwich and maybe a nap. And yet, here we are, 200 posts later, all cleaned up and ready for polite society, unafraid of picking up the wrong fork or farting loudly during the minister's sermon.

So proud, me.

I wanted to do something a little special to say thank you to all of the loyal readers but, apparently, my work has an "issue" with me taking three weeks off to travel around the world giving out individual lap dances. I guess, nevermind then. Bastards. So, plan B: Here's a clip of Cliff DeYoung and Jessica Harper singing to household appliances in a desperate bid to save their marriage. Trust me, it doesn't make any more sense in context.

Again, thanks for reading!!!:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

On Drinking With the British...

Never drink with the British on a weeknight. They will own your ass and you'll spend the following morning with the cast of Stomp performing an extra-loud version of their stage show inside your head. Then, when you get to work, you'll try to input some invoices but all the numbers will blur together and take the form of a comfy pillow and maybe it'll be alright if you just lay your hurtin' head down for just a second... mmmm... yeah... that's the best...

When your boss finds you an hour later face down on your keyboard, drooling like a sheep dog, she will not be pleased. In her office, you begin to cry because you can't afford to get fired but, because there's still so much booze in your system, your tears are at least 60 proof and the smell of them running down your face makes you spectacularly hurl all over the tasteful potted plants.

As you carry your possessions down to the street, escorted by a security guard who's roughly the size of a garbage truck, you'll silently curse the British for all this misery they've wrought.

They won't care, though. They can hold their liquor.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Don't Smoke

I am not a smoker. Never have been, never will be, if for no other reason than I don't like smelling like a Las Vegas bar all the time. However, despite my anti-smoking status, even I think this is a little much:

Equating smoking to a mass-casulity disaster isn't, oh, I don't know... in the best taste, let's say. Maybe that's just me. And, yes, I know that smoking kills more than than the number of people on that balcony a day; it just doesn't do it with a long drop and a hard stop.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Satan's Blood

A word of advice, if I may: Never, after many drinks, get into a conversation about hot sauce with a former member of the Air Force. Doing so will only inevitably lead to tragedy and heartache; a fact that was made abundantly clear to me on Friday night in much the same way that getting stabbed in the face elucidates the sharpness of knives.

Allow me to set the scene... A pleasent bar in Brooklyn; a group of friends, laughing and loving life; a crisp Friday night. Fairly close to the perfect start of a weekend if ever there was one. The beer and whiskey flowed as they do on nights like these and, yes, I will admit that I had my fair share of both. More than my fair share, if we're being entirely honest with each other. Okay, I was pretty well drunk. It was around then that the subject of hot sauce came up between Amy's boyfriend (the ex-Air Forcer) and I and it was shortly thereafter that my fate was sealed with the finality of a gunshot. Being a bit, as I said, in the bag, I began to brag about my tolerance of spicy foods. "Oh, I love the hot stuff; the hotter the better, I say! I'd sprinkle the Sun on my fried chicken were a man able to do so." And so forth. Actually, what I said was probably a lot less intelegible; something more along the lines of "Lovess hot sauce, yeah, right, you'renotsotough, wanna 'nother beer?"

At any rate, after proving myself the poster boy for hubris, I was quickly ushered to the bar and asked this question:

"Wanna try some Satan's Blood?"

The correct answer, of course, is hell no (no pun intended)! The answer that I gave on Friday night was, unfortunantly, something in the area of "Bring it on, baby. WOOOO!!!!" Even as the words left my mouth, I knew that this was a bad idea. However, as there were several pints of Brooklyn Brown and at least half a bottle of Jimmy Beam currently flying the plane, as it were, I had very little say as to what I was saying.

So I was handed a bottle that looked like this:

Ominous, right? It brought immediatly to mind the opening scene from Gremlins where the dad buys the Mogwai; I think this bottle was on the shelf behind the old Chinese guy. I was told to take a bar straw and use it to get one drop out of the liquid from the bottle. God help me, I did just that. I placed that one drop on my tounge and my first thought was, okay, that's not too bad.

My second thought was, I believe, AAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Tears ran from eyes like blood from a snipped artery. Snot flowed freely. My whole body broke out in a cold sweat and my hands started shaking. Every time I breathed in, it was like a Yugo being rear-ended in my mouth; "blooming fire" is the only way I can describe it. I staggered to my seat, attempted to drink my beer (that, of course, was like attacking a forest fire with the light mist from a spray bottle) then staggered back to the bar begging for water. The bartender, clearly having seen this little parable played out numerous times, looked at me with sad, kind eyes and said, "How about some milk?"

After downing my glass of whole cold goodness, I could at least walk without people mistaking me for a stroke victim. My lips still burned like an electric shock had run through them and my breathing was shallow, but I was back to being able to speak without fear of setting people on fire with my breath.

"So, what'd you think?"

"(half-whispered, gasping) That w-w-as pretty... rough. But not too bad."


Let me leave you with a few facts about Satan's Blood, just to complete the picture for you:

-Registers a whopping 800,000 units on the Scoville scale; a jalapeno registers about 2,500 units.

-Is only to be used as a food additive; it's recommend to only use three-to-five drops in two gallons of barbeque sauce.

-Gettting this stuff on your skin can burn you like an acid.

And this is what I put in my mouth, willingly, on a Friday night in Brooklyn. Because I am a moron.

Friday, October 13, 2006

80's Music is How I Say "Sorry"

Okay, to make up for my embarrasingly nerdy "I wanna be a Spaceman" post from earlier, I've dug deep into the depths of YouTube and unearthed some really sweet 80's videos for a couple of unhearlded songs that don't deserve that distinction.

First up is INXS with "Beautiful Girl," which, I know is technically from 1992. However, your Mom! Ha!!! In your face!!! Anyway, this is a gorgeous song with a kinda-gross video about eating disorders and women being tormented by measuring tape and primary colors:

Next, we've got what is actually one of my favorite songs of all time, "Together in Electric Dreams" by Human League. This apparently was the music video made for a movie called, unsuprisingly, Together in Electric Dreams and clips from said film play throughout. But ignore that; just listen to the song. It rocks:

Now, excuse me, I'm going to put on my leg warmers and thing about how dreamy Simon LeBon is while I open and close my Trapper Keeper in my room decorated with posters of Ricky Schroeder.

Or go back to work, whatever.

I Will Fight Upsilon Andromeda b's Wars

I'm a closet space nerd, you should know, and occasionally I'll stumble across something like this that totally makes my head spin around with unrequited geektacular euphoria.

It's a planet made of half fire, half ice!!!

How fucking sci-fi cool is that??? I want to live there! I want to help lead the Ice People in a war against the evil Fire people! Of course the Fire People are evil. They're made of FIRE, duh. I'd totally be like Buck Rodgers or maybe a less-whiny Luke Skywalker and they'd probably end up carving awesome statues of me out of ice. And... uh...


I'm never going to get laid again, am I?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Album Covers Come Alive!

This has been setting the internet on fire the last couple of days and with due cause... it's unbelievably cool. Love seeing something that can so hilariously bridge the divide between animation fans and music nerds:

This brings up the age-old question that always gets asked around innovative comedy: "Who thinks of that?" That can loosely be translated to mean, "What kind of psycho has the album cover knowledge to conceive of something like this, and to make it good? Surely we must crown him or her Ruler of All That is Awesome."

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

A Thank You To Seasonal Sugar

My show has been cancelled. My girlfriend has a shitty teacher in grad school that makes her life miserable. It's grey and nasty outside. North Korea's got the bomb. Baseball season's nearly over. I'm broke. Aircrafts are crashing into buildings on the Upper East Side. Sexual predators are roaming Myspace like big cats on the Serengetii. Everyone's going to get the flu at some point this year. Republicans are everywhere.


Although all of this is true, although times are tough and getting tougher, although life's not fair and never has been, although thieves get rich, saints get shot and God don't answer prayers a lot, one thing remains a stalwart, getting us through this hard scrabble up the great hill of existence:

Or at least they help us get through October. Thanks, boys, for being delicious!

Theater Drama: The Twist Ending

So it seems that, after my being pissy yesterday about not wanting to act, the fates decided to load a gun with the phrase "Be careful what you wish for" and shoot it directly into the back of my head.

Our show has been cancelled.

Apparently, we haven't "generated enough audience" for them to be bothered to leave the door unlocked and the stage lights up. Now, a couple of things that you should know to truly understand how close I currently am to buying a car specifically so I can ram it again and again into the front of their building:

1. They told me this, not with a phone call, but with an email at 11pm last night.

2. Their decision to cancel us is entirely based on how many pre-order tickets they've gotten on their website. Pre-ordering tickets costs more money than just buying tickets at the door, leaving no reason for anyone, especially our friends who are as broke as we are, to pre-order tickets.

3. They asked us to perform our show at their theater, despite the facts that it's already been performed (we had a five-month run early last year) and that the show it's self is only about 15mins long. I told them, specifically, that we might not be able to generate a huge amount of money from them because of these reasons. Now, these facts that they were fully aware of from the start are reason enough for them to pull our show 12 hours before it opens.

Does any of this make sense to anyone? Because all I'm seeing is a theater so lost in it's own faulty logic regarding their business that they've lost sight of the fact that they're there primarily to produce plays.

Ugh... okay, I'm probably not making any sense right now. A bit raged about all this. If you read tomorrow about a moderately priced sedan being rammed into a building in midtown Manhattan, that was me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Theater Drama

Tomorrow night, against my will, I am being forced to act. By that I mean I am being forced to stand on a stage in the Union Square area of Manhattan, wear a costume, and speak lines in an effort to make the people staring at me from out in the darkness laugh.

There are people on Death Row more relaxed than I.

So how did this come about? Why am I, an unseemly, oafish man who really shouldn't put himself on display like that, going to be traipsing about a small theater come Wednesday night? Well, obviously it's not by choice. What happened was this: I wrote a short play and a theater, specifically the TSI Playhouse in Manhattan, wanted to put it on. It's a funny enough play, I guess, and I'm reasonably proud of it, though not overly so. It's not what you'd call the deepest of material; we're not dealing with drug addiction or spousal abuse or even people who have really bad migraines. It's a fluffy romantic comedy-type piece, something that Meg Ryan might star in if she were apt to do short plays at unheard-of theaters for a dramatist that is frequently mistaken for a homeless person.

So. I directed the play myself (because I like to have complete control over my theatrical endeavors, for some reason) and I cast my good friend Amy, who's quite talented, and my friend Matt in the two and only roles. Things were fine with the world. Then, because the fates really enjoy giving me the cosmic finger, Matt was offered the lead in a national commercial for Best Buy that, of course, is shooting the two nights of our show. Because the good folks at Best Buy were offering Matt an obscene amount of money to stand in front of a camera and say, "Nice computer, no?", I couldn't in good conscience force him to honor our commitment. Especially since, were the roles reversed, I'd have been gone so fast the door would have caught fire.

This, however, left me with two options:

1) Cancel the show and lose my good standing with the theater. This would be bad because they, for whatever reason, seem to like my particular flavor of dramatic shenanigans. Blatantly turning my back on a venue that actively wants to support my work would be, to the say the least, a thickheaded move. Which is not to say that I didn’t consider it. I did. But, in the end, the only choice, really, was…

2) Tackle the now-vacant role myself. Now, yes, I did originally perform this role when it was first produced but… meh… that doesn’t mean I want to do it again. I don’t like acting. I’m not comfortable on the stage, preferring to be in the back, quietly drinking. But, as it’s such short notice, and I know the lines anyway, and because I just can’t catch a break, ever… it’s all comes down to me.

So that’s where I stand, at the moment. About 36 hours away from Opening Night and about 37 hours away from drowning my post-show embarrassment in a container of Scotch large enough to bathe an infant.

Curtain! Lights! Discomfort!

Monday, October 09, 2006

"Consolation Prizes" by Phoneix

Apparently, using stop motion effects with live band members is the hot new effect to use in music videos, finally replacing the fish-eye lens and up-close shots of jiggling booty. Shame... I did love me some jiggling booty. And the fish-eye lens was really handy because, if you saw it in a video, you knew immediately that this was a band not worth your time, kinda like how the red bits on a frog denote poison.

Anyway, here's the French pop band Phoniex with a catchy tune and some herky-jerky movements:

The Mighty Mets... Ignored?

Oh, don't give me that look. I know... I know that I didn't post this weekend and I know that, consequently, you spent the last couple of days teary-eyed, frightened, hitting the refresh button in the hopes that new content would spring forth to soothe you like the Balm of Gilead. Well, what can I say... there was a lot of baseball on this weekend. Also, I'm lazy.

But all is well now because Mama's here. Every little thing gonna be all right.

Speaking of Baseball... so I guess the complete and utter collapse of the Yankees in the post-season is going to be a yearly thing. Fantastic! That will be fun to watch. What really pisses me off about the whole situation is that the media here in New York is still giving the Yankee's more coverage than the Mets and the Mets are friggin' advancing in the playoffs!!! Case in point: I picked up a copy of the Daily News yesterday, specifically for the sports section, and was dismayed to find that there were 6 articles about the Yankee's untimely demise, while only 3 articles about the Mets sweeping the Dodgers. Maybe it's just me, and I know the Yankee's are King Shit of Fuck Mountain around here, but shouldn't we maybe focus a little more of our attention on the team that ACTUALLY won?

Make's sense to me, but what do I know. I'm just a Texan and we've never had a good baseball team.

Anyway, it's going to be a slow-ass day here at work, so more later, for reals.

Worry not.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Leatherface: The High School Years

My Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The New Class review is going to go up sometime this weekend on Freeze Dried Movies but, until that happens, here it is, for your reading pleasure:

Back in 2003, when the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre came out, I was one of the louder voices of dissent against it’s very existence; my main point being: Why does this movie need to be remade? The original is easily one of the best horror films ever (debatable by some, but true in my mind at least) so why mess with perfection? After months of whining, I finally got around to seeing it and found, to my surprise, that the remake was… good. Not great, not better than the original, but still a surprisingly well-made, beautifully lensed, actually frightening film. I wouldn’t have thought it was possible, but there it was. In other words, they got lucky.

So why would the producers want to tempt fate a second time?

Now, making a prequel to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre isn’t a bad idea, theoretically. However it’s an idea that, if brought to fruition, must be done so carefully. There must be a perfect balance of new information that ties into what we already know and, of course, it must be a gory, scary good time. Also, if you’re going to purport to tell the tale of how Leatherface came to be the icon that his, then you damn sure better deliver the goods.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, unfortunately, fails on both counts.

TTCM: TB’s first mistake is its marketing. Claiming, loudly, that we’re about to “witness the birth of fear” strongly implies that we’ll be treated to the story how Leatherface became, well, Leatherface. What turned him into the psychotic madman we all know and love? What was his childhood like, what hellish torture was he subjected to, etc.? This does not happen. We do “technically” get to witness the birth of fear in the sense that we see his actual birth (which is gross) and we get a few glimpses of childhood photos during the opening credits and… that’s it. Soon after, the jeep-full of teenagers show up and we’re right back into the standard TCM fare. This isn’t a bad thing, exactly, but it’s certainly not what we were promised.

The second problem here is the lack of originality. I’ll be the first to admit that the set-up and overriding plot of the Texas Chainsaw series doesn’t really give a lot of wiggle room when it comes to fresh ideas, but the folks behind The Beginning are just being lazy. Whole scenes are lifted from the original film and from the remake, sets are reused, individual SHOTS are directly copied… it’s a greatest-hits collection posing as a new movie. The crowing moment of lax filmmaking comes during climactic moments; I won’t ruin anything, but lets just say that Leatherface seems to have had the ability to break the space-time continuum early in his career.

Despite all that, there are some things about the movie that make it, if not good, then at least watchable. Like the remake before it, The Beginning looks amazing. Somehow managing to look both grimy and slick at the same time, the cinematography is the movie’s real star, especially during the first half of the film, before the sun goes down. The horrors are surrounded by a honey-gold sunlight that makes the violence and gore all the more shocking. Also of note is R. Lee Ermey, as the psychotic patriarch of the Hewitt clan. Please note, I’m fully aware that Ermey has exactly one shtick that he pulls out to varying degrees in every single movie he’s in. What can I say, it works for me. While perhaps a bit jokey here, he’s still the most interesting member of the cast. Certainly he fares better than Jordana Brewster, who represents our Final Girl. She is easily the worst horror heroine we’ve seen since Neve Campbell’s narcoleptic turn in the Scream franchise. Brewster is the poor-woman’s Jessica Biel in a poor-man’s version of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake. Which was, in and of it’s self, the poor-man’s version of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Which, essentially, tells you all you need to know about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Website of My Nacho-Cheeze Flavored Dreams

Stumbled across this website as I ate my peasent's meal of Ramen and Goya crackers. It made me sad for all the wonderful snack foods that I wasn't currently eating, but it also made me happy that there's such a bounty of salty goodness out there just waiting to be sampled. Possibly with beer.


They have a section on "Meat Snacks." Truly this was a site created with me in mind.

"Starman" by David Bowie

Have to focus today at work; apparently my performance has been slipping and it's time for me now to knuckle down, put my shoulder to the wheel, cowboy up and a few other cliches if I want to remain gainfully employed. Also, I've got to cease all activity with my in-cubicle bookie service; it's just taking up too much of my time. Man, the mob's going to pissed. Meh... deal with them later, I suppose.

In the meantime, here's some live footage from a BBC recording of one Mr. David Bowie, looking appropriately odd, singing "Starman." This song never really took off as well as, say, "China Girl" or "Changes," but it's one of my favs.

Enjoy! And pray for me.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mr. Crankypants On... Audience Behavior

Saw the new Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie last night and, while the movie it's self left almost no impression on me (it was the very definition of "meh"), the actual screening served as reminder of how much I hate seeing movies with large groups of people in much the same way that a violent car crash reminds you to wear your seatbelt.

A little backstory: Occasionally, when reviewing movies, I get sent to things known as Promo Screenings. They suck. Promo Screenings are where tickets are given out on the street and/or at a specific location to any yahoo who wants to see a movie for free. These things attract the very worst of humanity; I've been to a lot of Promos and never, not once, have I been within earshot of a person who attended their high school graduation. As you can imagine, this makes it extremely difficult to apply any sort of critical thought to the film at hand, what with all the cellphones going off, the constant switching of seats and the never-ending chatter about how that one character shouldn't go in there, better run, should just KILL HIM!!! and so forth. Horror movies are particularly miserable to watch at Promos because any sort of tension that the filmmakers are hoping to foster is taken out into the woods and shot dead by the audience's rudeness.

Anyway, last night... the screening was sponsored by Hot 97, which, for those of you not in the NYC area, is the local rap station. I don't mean to generalize here, but rap/hip-hop fans are idiots. Also, they've apparently never been to the movies before because they clearly had no clue that were supposed to be actually watching the moving images in front of them. What I found particularly amusing was that the middle three rows were reserved for critics, thus turning our little cluster into an island of eye-rolling, shushing exasperation amid a roiling sea of bleating ringtones and people "holla-ing" at their respective boys.

It wasn't, however, the worst one I've ever attended... The Scorpion King with it's WWF fans earns that title, and the Jurassic Park 3 screening that had in-theater fist fights comes a close second.

Still not a fun way to spend an evening and not something I want to do ever, ever again. Ever.

Okay, I'm done being cranky.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Making Fire

I'm kind of torn about posting this... it's not really enough of a video to count, technically, as "content." Then again, ooooh... pretty! I'm kind of a nerd for high-speed, slo-mo photography because it does stuff like make somebody flicking their Bic look like a space shuttle taking off.

I mean, I could do that too. If I wanted. I just don't want to.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Undead Boys Singing

Living in New York can be a total bitch. It's expensive, it's smelly, there is an abundance of rats that make medieval Europe look like modern-day Canada, you'll get asked for spare change by a wide variety of crazies who are as likely to pee on you as not... basically, New York can be one motherfucker of an ordeal and there are days that packing it all in and moving to a tent in the woods seems like the greatest idea since drinking before noon.

Then, something will come along that will remind you why, precisely, you moved to New York in the first place. Something like this:

That's right... some mad, magnificent, handsome-I'm-sure genius has created an Off-Broadway musical of the Evil Dead movies. Seriously, words fail me. Never have I lusted in my heart so powerfully for a theatrical performance. This is, for me, the culmination of two passions unrivaled since the time I dunked a Marshmallow Peep in my beer; musical theater and horror movies! Together at last!

The best part: Tickets for the first three rows are only 25$ dollars because the first three rows are in, as they put, the "Splatter Zone." The fucking Splatter Zone!!!

Seriously, I'm giddy. I'm walking on air. I'm a girl on her wedding night. Evil Dead: The Musical, take me... I'm yours!