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December 21st, 2005

The truth will set you free...

I did it!! We've all waited for 5 years for something good to come from W's presidency, and after all that waiting and moaning and beating of your head against the wall, we finally have it. And I'm not even at all being facetious. (OK, I doubt he intended this. I can almost guarantee he didn't, but hey I'm giving the ol' coke nose credit anyway.)

Federal Judge John E. Jones III (a W appointee) declared yesterday that the teaching of intelligent design in public schools violates the establishment clause of the constitution. Hooray for reason! Yippee for science! And the best part is, not only did he rule on the side of every level headed person in the world, he bitch slapped the ID movement in the process.

"We have concluded that it is not [science], and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents," wrote Jones in his ruling. "To be sure, Darwin's theory of evolution is imperfect. However, the fact that a scientific theory cannot yet render an explanation on every point should not be used as a pretext to thrust an untestable alternative hypothesis grounded in religion into the science classroom or to misrepresent well-established scientific propositions."

Huh? How you like me now? Of course the whackos that lost are claiming both victory and that they will persevere, but I'm not giving them face time here even to mock them. The truth is, the judge made his decision based on rule of law, and that's all 'intelligent' people ever want. Sorry Flying Spaghetti Monster, those of us who have been touched by your noodly appendage will have to take our fight underground.

Posted 11:37pm

Shit, that didn't take long.

Completely forgot to put Spoon's Gimme Fiction on the top ten list. It actually belongs at 6, moving everything behind it down a notch. I also just got The Hold Steady's Seperation Sunday. I don't know if its top ten material yet, but at first listen its pretty fuckin' good.

Posted 11:16am

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December 20th, 2005

Best of 2005 - Music Edition

The year is winding down and while I'm sure that within the next 18 months I'll find some musical gem from 2005 that I completely somehow missed, I'm pretty ready to dole out my best albums of 2005. A fairly good year - including some old favorites, some new gems and a couple albums that took me by surprise and knocked me on my ass. On a personal note, 2005 was also the year I realized that I was no longer (and probably never was) a complete emo boy, because Bright Eyes sucks. On to the list...

10. Hot Hot Heat - Elevator
The 2005 re-release of Heartbeat City. And that's high praise. Let's see if they can come back a little grittier and become really interesting.

8. Kanye West - Late Registration
If I knew anything about Hip Hop, I might even have more appreciation for it. As it stands, I find myself shouting out 'We want pre-nup! We want pre-nup!' randomly throughout the day.

8. Nada Surf - The Weight is a Gift
I thought maybe when Nada Surf's last album came out it was a fluke. How good the guys from the one-hit-wonder "Popular" make such sublime poprock? Weight is little lyrically trite from time to time, but just try to not get swept up in it.

7. White Stripes - Get Behind me Satan
Not just one of the many great album titles of '05, one of the most eclectic amalgams of rock styles. Its almost like Jack White sold his soul to the Devil to be able to blow your mind with his guitar.

6. Franz Ferdinand - You Could Have it so Much Better with Franz Ferdinand
New year, same old Scottish dance rock. Its nice when you can depend on things. Especially things that are consistently this good.

5. Beck - Guero
Mr. Hanson returns to dance party form. While not quite the landmark album that was Odelay, certainly a conscious effort to return the style that made Beck the album to spin when I was in college.

4. Death Cab for Cutie - Plans
This is the album I will probably listen to the most of everything on this list. Yes, I'm a little gay for Ben Gibbard. But how many beloved indie bands can jump to a major label and make the album that's the the next logical progression for them? DCFC rocks a little less here, but breaks your heart all the more.

3. Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask
I'll admit, I checked this out based more on the fact that it was 'inspired' by Cartoon Networks adult Swim line up than the fact that it was Dangermouse and MFDoom. What I found was undeniable sonic goodness. And a lot of laughs. If you watch ATHF, Master Shake's voice mail messages sprinkled throughout the album are comic genius.

2. Sufjan Stevens - Come on Feel the Illinoise
Yes, the annual critics darling that no normal person has heard of. But this album sounds like nothing I've ever heard before. And it makes me want to get up, jump around and shake my ass. As scary as that may be for others in the room, for me its gold Jerry.

1. The New Pornographers - Twin Cinema
When it comes down to it and no matter what you call it, I will always come back to good ol' fashioned pop/rock with a side of raunch. Give me some dirty guitars with a 1908's Cars synth melody on top and I'm in heaven. If a I've never heard of before does it to me, I'm blown away. Thanks New Pornographers - for the great music and the great name.

Posted 11:01am

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December 13th, 2005

Thanks for sprinkling in the boobies

I've been noticing a new trend at the local multiplexes and its time someone says huzzah and kudos. Boobies are back at the movies and I for one say its about time. Last night I saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and much like other recent fare (The 40 Year old Virgin, Wedding Crashers, etc.) it was peppered with nudity. Sometimes it was gratuitous, sometimes it was a plot device, but it was always pretty cool. It used to be that if we went to see an adult comedy we'd expect a little boobage, but then all of a sudden it seemed like we were in the middle of a boobless desert with the only oasis being Shannon Elizabeth. Now it seems like the boobies are back. I'll never get the puritanical ideals that yawn at graphic violence and act like the world is coming to an end if we see a little nipple, but I now have hope that things may be changing. Viva la boobies! Now if we can just get them to stop making Vin Diesel movies...

Posted 9:07am

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December 8th, 2005

Emo washes itself in the 1950's (again)

How did I miss this? Well, I guess since I'm telling you about it, I didn't exactly miss it, just a little late. ANYWAY, Emo and the hipster nation has always kind of wallowed in the kitsch of yesteryear, what with the Chuck Taylors and black rimmed glasses. So leave to some unheralded video game to realize that these two things go together like peanut butter and chocolate and run with it. Stubbs the Zombie is apparently a video game. Great. Who cares? Not me. HOWEVER, they had the brilliant idea of taking your favorite indie rock bands and having them record the hits of the 1950s. Death Cab doing Earth Angel, Cake doing Strangers in the Night. You get the idea. You can listen a bit on their myspace page, and of course as always over at Amazon. Check it out and then find the whole thing in your local music store or floating out there in the ether.

Posted 3:00pm

Is 'Lady Lumps' supposed to be sexy?

No one is above being offended. That's been my stance for a long time. Anytime someone wants something removed or taken down because they find it offensive my pat response is always 'Who are you that you shouldn't be offended once in a while?' Of course that's easy for me to say as its near impossible to offend me. I can justify a lot and the things that others get their ire up over usually makes me laugh.

Of course I get completely indignant over things most people don't think twice about. And more to the point, its usually over things a lot of other people actually like. Take The Da Vinci Code. I used to tell people I found incredibly offensive. 'As a Catholic?' they would usually ask. 'No, as someone who knows anything about art.' I would scoff. (I also found the fact that a book that was so poorly written was so popular offensive as well - just for the record).

And of course the most common source of me being offended is music. When something god awful becomes popular it always makes me mad and occasionally it goes so far as to offend me. The latest perpetrators are the Black Eyed Peas. Their whorish success has pissed me off for the last 6-8 months or so, but their latest single 'My Humps' is down right offensive. And of course not because it talks about ass or boobies, but because its almost comically bad. It sounds like a song an elementary school kid made up to taunt someone on the playground. The fact that I hear it in bars and see people dancing and enjoying it is patently offensive. I don't mind gay people kissing, nativity scenes at Wal-Mart or seeing a nipple at the Super Bowl, but cartoonish, paper-thin techno beats and moronic lyrics about getting me drunk off the sight of your ass makes me irate. But I'm not demanding it go away, I'm not calling for a ban and I'm not insisting that since I don't like it, I shouldn't have to endure it. Now if we could get the easily offended to do the same.

Posted 9:38am

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December 2nd, 2005

Nerd alert.

OK, first let me say the king is dead, long live the king. Sort of. I used to love Salon.com. Great liberally slanted reporting and commentary. A lot of stuff I agreed with and some I didn't that made it a necessary daily destination. Then they started with the 'you must view this 30 second ad before you read our site'. Fine. I understand revenue streams (sort of). But then a few months back they redesigned the site and now it SUCKS. It may just be me, but it seems like the content has been cut in half and they topics they're talking about are things I could give a shit about.

Enter the new king - slate.com. Slate has picked up the ball where Salon dropped it. Its also the home of one of my favorite online features - The Explainer (now with podcast!), where they find an expert on some phenomenon or event that no one really understands but never finds the time to answer. Thanks Slate. Keep fighting the good fight.

Except of course we have to get to the title of the post. Slate gets a WTF? for its article on The Watchmen, Alan Moore's seminal 1980's comic book. It sounds like you understand the importance of the book and that you even might kinda like it, but why deride it for being high minded? That's like saying don't bother with movies that make us think, just let Jerry Bruckheimer produce everything. C'mon Slate, you're better than that. But then the next day you put out a great article on where Billy Joel belongs in the collective conscience of music and I completely forgave you. I just can't stay mad at you Slate, you precocious little devil.

Posted 11:48am

I laughed so hard, milk just came out my nose...

...and I haven't had milk since 1994. Normally seeing the name Scott Stapp is enough to illicit laughter from me. Never has there been a bigger joke of a band than Creed. I was almost sad to see them break up, because now who would sing for me with such laughable sincerity (and not to mention Jesus!)? Well Scott was in the news this week, once because he got in a fight with a band that's way cooler than him (311) and because he has a new solo album coming out. Somehow I saw this quote, and the laughter flowed like wine:

I think my record is going to speak for itself to the Creed fans, I think its going to be like when Sting left the Police.

Oh Scott. We always knew you must think quite a lot of yourself to perform the way you do, but please, comparing yourself to Sting? That's like Tara Reid comparing herself to Stephen Hawking because they both read a book once. (And I know that there are problems with that analogy, since Tara probably hasn't read a book much less know who Stephen Hawking is.) And not to nitpick, but I can only assume that Scott has never heard the Police. Not just because he obviously has no affiliation with quality music, but the Police sound NOTHING like Sting. OK, they both have Sting on bass and vocals, but Dream of the Blue Turtles ain't Regatta de Blanc. Now I just have to decide if I'd rather have him fail miserably and laugh for a little while, or have him succeed marginally so I can laugh a while longer. Decisions, decisions...

Posted 9:28am

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November 28th, 2005

Didn't we just have a Christmas like, last year?

Here's a shock - I'm a little bah humbug about the holidays. Lots of pressure to get appropriate gifts. Lots of running around to malls and family functions. Lots of people who want shit from you and very little relaxation and enjoyment. At least that's what it seems like going in every year. I'm barely out of Thanksgiving and already there's 1000 miles on the Mazda and $500 on the credit card. The reward for all this is? Hopefully you have some friends and family to spend 5 minutes with and convince yourself its all worth it. And alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

Posted 10:48am

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November 27th, 2005

Ladies and Gentlemen, the next Bob Stupak

In what can only be described as the most dramatic finish in Picks League history, I have won the 2005 Picks League Championship. Needing San Diego to beat Washington by 3.5 points, I was in the hurt bucket with the Chargers down 10 points in the fourth quarter. Then sweet, sweet Ladanian Tomlinson saved me. After tying the game in regulation with a 30yd TD run, he pulled the double dip in OT and turned what was surely a .5pt loss by field goal into a 2.5pt cover by touchdown. Thanks LT, the $300 swing from second to first will make the holidays a little brighter around the Brubaker household.

Posted 5:10pm

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November 21st, 2005

Monday morning inside the hurt bucket

Ah what could have been. So close to all being right with the world. But lets not relive it people. Its only football. Needless to say my body is fighting me right now. "Why?" it screams at me. My only solace is that I can still get it done at thirty like I did when I was twenty. The lack of differences is quite shocking. Thanks Stov for letting us decimate your house. Thanks Naptowners for coming up, and more importantly leaving. We'll see you next year down in the den of inequity. God help us if we lose that one.

Posted 9:33am

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November 17th, 2005

Oh how I miss the Coop-dog

Its finaly here. That weekend that takes Christmas, Easter, Halloween, St. Patty's Day and the Fourth of July and shoves it right up its balloon knot. Only God knows why I was born in Ohio. It makes no logical sense when you think about it. The only plus side of be being born in that god foresaken state is this weekend. Its Michigan/ Ohio State people. For the twelfth straight year I will spend the weekend before Thanksgiving going into a self-induced alcoholic coma. I haven't been able to sleep or concentrate since Monday. My nervousness is growing. My hatred seethes from every pore of my body. The mere sight of the color red makes me want to punch the person to my immediate left. And I wouldn't have it any other way. If only John Cooper were still around. I was going through some files of UM/OSU years past and found the remnants of a website that used to exist in this very space (you think my html is bad now, you should've seen it then). I would be remiss if I didn't include at least part of it here. So in the interest of good ol' days nostalgia, I give you the wisdom of everyone's favorite football coach, John Cooper:

(28-0, 1993)
"That's one of the most embarrassing games I've ever been associated with"

(31-23 1995) "I don't think I've been as disappointed in my life as I am standing here today"
"When will I get over that game? Never. Absolutely never."


(13-9, 1996) "Obviously, I'm tremendously disappointed for our football team, for our fans . . . for our senior football players".
"A good season? Yes and No. It's not a very good season when you don't beat Michigan."

(1996)"Blame me for not getting the job done."

(1996, referring to Streets' touchdown,) "They had a player make a play."

(1996)"They beat us up fron unmercifully."

(prior to the 1997 game)"I'm 1-7-1 against Michigan, in case you didn't know that, in case it hasn't been in your paper this week."

I miss the days of Coop when OSU ran there mouths every year. Which brings me to the closing of the last post before I leave you for sweet mistress alcohol. One of my favorite Michigan quotes ever, by fellow Ohio native Marcus Ray:

"I think they say they want it more and they have their pep rallies and former coaches talking to them...The way I see it, we at Michigan do less talking and more football playing..."

Go Blue. See you on the other side.

Posted 9:33am

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November 16th, 2005

Two in the Bush, one in the Cheney

Funny how you come across some things. I was reading an article in Salon today about how and when the baby boomers will roll over and die so subsequent generations can take their rightful control of the media. Near the end of the article the author mentions that when he sees the Times mention the shocker, he'll know the King is dead (long live the King). Of course 'shocker' was hypertexted, so I click the link the find the Wikipedia entry for said hand gesture. I laughed for a good five minutes reading the synonyms. Of course if you don't know the shocker, don't go to the link if you're easily offended. If you're depraved and have loose to no morals, go get a good laugh out of 'Two at Yale, one at Brown'.

Posted 9:33am

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November 15th, 2005

Sweet Home Chicago

I love Chicago. I've drunkenly wandered its streets more times than I can remember. St. Patty's Day pub crawls, Cubs games and of course the great eL train incident of 2003 - my memories of Chicago are vast and wonderful. Last Saturday night may me the best ever.

First it was the mother of all redeemers - The Promise Ring show. It may be closest I've felt to being truly part of a cohort of 1100 people. Everyone in their Chuck Taylor's and funky clothes, drinking PBR and feeling euphoric that they got one last chance to experience TPR. I may have teared up when Davey vonBohlen said "Pretty good chance this'll be the last time we ever play 'A Picture Postcard'." (OK, no tears, but a wry smile of satisfaction and pleasure).

Then it was time to cab it from Wrigleyville back down south of the loop to see the Meters at the House of Blues. While these weren't exactly 'my people' I felt comfortable going from the aging hipsters to the aged hippies. Drink prices shot up and friendliness of the staff went down, but to see any show in that room is an experience.

Then it was time for the after party. At this point I've had a dozen or so drinks, and the sensibility of the group being different from my own, I'm along for the ride at this point. So a guy knows a guy who's deejaying at some club where we can get 'on the list' and on our $20 cover will be waved. Now I'm not wont for places with velvet ropes and lines outside the door, but to walk right into one while the unwashed masses wait outside for a glimpse of the hotness indoors is a nice feeling. Of course that feeling lasted about five seconds when the bouncer looked at my Chucks and told me 'next time wear dress shoes'. Of course my neuroses occupied the rest of my night, wanting nothing more than to go tell the 250lb muscle bound freak of nature to go fuck himself. He was right in one respect, I was way out of my comfort zone. I used to pretend to like places like that, but life's too short at this point. Several vodka tonics later I started to enjoy myself again, but in my heart I would've rather been back in Wrigleyville, slamming PBRs and wondering if Davey vonBohlen and I would ever be friends.

Posted 2:06pm

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November 11th, 2005

All aboard.

I know that the posts have been infrequent at best lately, but I think that's just because I've been waiting for a story this good. Last night neighbor Troy and I went to the middle of nowhere to visit the Chief and his band - just to hang out and have a beer or two. The evening started out innocent enough. Sitting around the living room, talking about music and the proletariat. But of course eventually the time to go to the bar arrived, and that's when things got interesting. Chief and the rest of Embassy live on a lake. The local bar is on the other side of the lake. Locals warned them when they moved in that said bar is watched closely by the police. So how does one get to the bar and avoid the DUI? See where I'm going with this? Ten O'clock at night. 45 degrees. Pitch dark. Five people in a fishing boat built for two. The only two thoughts in my head the entire trip over were 'Man its cold' and 'Damn this is awesome.' Of course when we eventually crossed the lake and got off the boat, we found out that the bar was closed. I was barely disappointed. The trip back somehow seemed more precarious, and I found myself trying to calculate how long I could survive in the icy water. But still, I will never forget the image of the Chief standing in the back of that boat and steering us to alcohol. Thanks Naptowners. Its a great feeling to be thirty and still do the colossally stupid.

Posted 11:17am

I needed a fix...

Its been a while since we've had a post about America's creepiest couple Sweethearts, Tom and Katie. And while yes, this is from the Star, how much like an abduction does this sound?

Posted 10:58am

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November 7th, 2005

Why would a postmodern philosopher pee on a Chevy logo?

Never underestimate the ability of any art form, no matter how apparently lowly, to actually produce great art. Well, great is a subjective term, but there's certainly times when I would refer to Calvin and Hobbes, without reservation, as brilliant. There's a really nice piece in Slate today that gives a strong overview of what Calvin and his stuffed tiger were all about, and how they likely signaled an end of an era.

Posted 11:06am

I'm fuckin' dyin' Larry!

Brit mag Empire has compiled a list of the fifty greatest independent movies of all time. I could argue some of the placements and how its a little 'heavy' with recent films, but they got enough right for me to endorse you giving it a look-see. Although I can't resist noting that Sideways is in the top ten (?) and Cube made the list (?) WTF?

Posted 10:16am

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November 4th, 2005

Don't hate me because I look like I might eat you.

What is it that makes us enjoy seeing others fail? OK, dumb question. The reasons are obvious. Which makes seeing Kelly "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful" LeBrock look like this so much fun (click on 'meet the cast'). This is why you don't yell "scoreboard" at a sporting event before the final buzzer people.

Posted 10:20am

Worst... President... Ever...

Now I've never cared for the man, but I'm beginning to believe that history will judge this guy as one of the worst presidents ever, and subsequently view us as a society of utter imbeciles for electing him. Twice. And people may just be coming around to my way of thinking. To borrow a phrase, ball don't lie.

Posted 10:16am

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November 3rd, 2005

Let's make the internet interesting again

Ah 'blogs. Let's be honest, present company excluded - not that interesting. I mean, do I really need to read how you totally had deja vu last night over your server at TGI Fridays because they reminded you of your elementary school gym teacher? While I'm sure its totally Fascination Street for you, the answer is no. HOWEVER, 'blogs are great when they condense some aspect of the web into just the juicy center. Everyone loves fark.com, and I just found another that'll be sure to help kill an hour whenever you need a stress reliever and there's no hope of an alcoholic beverage. transbuddha.com offers some of the funniest and most interesting video clips from around the web. Its even got a great name. Check it out and pee yourself.

Posted 2:30pm

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October 29th, 2005

I can see your dirty pillows

Night #5, where the real life monsters come out to play. I'm of course referring to the high school kids in Carrie. There really is no way to go over the top with how brutal high school kids can be to each other. This of course is a pretty extreme example, and most of the time, the taunted doesn't have mind bullets (that's telekenisis, Kyle). Honestly, not that big of fan of this movie. For one, I loathe Brian De Palma. How a fifth rate hack like him ever became acclaimed on any level astounds me. And all in all, not that scary a movie. Its mid-tier Stephen King on the adaptation scale, behind stuff like Shawshank, Stand by Me and Misery. The story is really good, which I guess explains the longevity and saturation of the name Carrie being associated with a misanthrope's revenge. That and the fact that Carrie's date went on to become the Greatest American Hero.

Posted 11:30am

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October 28th, 2005

Do you like scary movies?

Night #4, the postmodern horror film of my generation (and the reason we have Dawson's Creek) - Scream. I admittedly hadn't seen this film in years, so I was worried going in that it would seem stupid and campy. But I needn't worry, I was in the hands of the master, Wes Craven (for the second night in a row no less). I am happy to report that Scream holds up pretty well ten years later. All the snarky goodness and in jokes are still there, waiting to be gobbled up again and again. Off the top of my head, this is one of the few modern horror classics (modern meaning say, post 80s) And more importantly, it seemed to spark a horror revival that we're still feeling the effects of today (Did we need a remake of The Fog? Of course the answer is no). I think I saw the sequels to this, but the fact that I can barely remember if I saw them should speak volumes about their quality. As always in horror franchises, stick with the original and pass on the rest. But oh that original, such bloody goodness.

Posted 10:55am

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October 27th, 2005

It's only a dream!

Night #3, another classic from my misspent youth - A Nightmare on Elm Street. Much like Halloween or Friday the 13th, this franchise-to-be quickly lost its way after the superb original, but lets not hold that against it. Wes Craven obviously knows how to scare people, and even though the entire movie is extremely dated and pretty poorly acted, it still holds up as a horror movie. Imagine how many people there are who know who Freddy Krugger (or Jason or Michael Meyers) is and what he looks like but have never seen an Elm Street movie? Its a pretty strange cultural phenomenon for the horror genre. I mean, you can't get through life not knowing who Darth Vader is and what he looks like, but that's because of television commercials, advertisements and passing by toy stores in the mall. But unless you spend a lot of time in Halloween costume shops, where does Freddy's high Q rating come from? If you're one of those who's never seen the original, check out. If nothing else you can watch a young Johnny Depp display absolutely none of the acting acumen he will later become known for.

Posted 4:10pm

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October 26th, 2005

Holy Sweet Mother F-ing Second Chance Jesus...

There's very few times in one's life that they get to right past wrongs. Very few second chances that help rid you of the gut wrenching feeling you get when thinking about missed opportunities. I am proud to announce that someone somewhere likes me, and has granted me such an opportunity.

I never got a chance to see the Police in concert. I can live with that. They broke up when I was 10. No one ever came up to me in fourth grade and said "I've got an extra ticket for the Police at the Silverdome tonight, wanna go?" HOWEVER, I had ample opportunities to see The Promise Ring between 1995-2000. Sometimes I'd find out about the show a week late. Sometimes I'd be poor and couldn't afford the $15 ticket. Sometimes I couldn't find anyone to go with me. When I heard they broke up a few years back I immediately became light headed. This was one of my favorite bands, and now I'll never see them. I know this is a stupid way to feel about something so trivial. But music is important to me, and so was seeing The Promise Ring.

Fast forward to today. As I scour the internet, I bring up eBay and I type in 'Promise Ring' as I am wont to do when bored and looking for T-shirts or new vinyl. When I see a listing under the heading 'tickets', my eyebrows raised. When I clicked through, I saw the words 'Reunion Show - Chicago' and the hair on my arms stood on end. As I sit here now (listening to Nothing Feels Good) I can barely keep my seat thinking about it. I may never get a second chance with all the women I swore were interested in me but I was too drunk to act, but I will get to hear Davey Von Bohlen sing 'A Picture Postcard', and that's more than most of us get.

Posted 10:30am

Heads will roll...

Its scary movie week, day two. Last night's feature was Sleepy Hollow, Tim Burton's 1999 take on the old Washington Irving tale. This is unfortunately only one of two good movies Burton has made in the last decade (the other being the enjoyable Big Fish). But I've always been a big fan of this movie. It works for me as horror, suspense, thriller and whodunnit. And I really like Christina Ricci's boobs. Johnny Depp gives a great performance as constable Ichabod Crane, walking the tightrope between ahead of his time supersleuth and uptight nancy boy. Speaking of Johnny, he's been pretty good to pretty fucking awesome in just about everything I've ever seen him in. But what was up with him as Willy Wonka? I don't know how anyone can view that performance as anything but really creepy. I guess you try and make interesting choices and eventually one will go awry. But I digress. If you're looking for something a little smarter than your average Halloween fare, this is a good place to start. A little gore, a little action, some good scares and a lot of fun. And it won't leave that sick feeling in your stomach like after watching The Exorcist.

Posted 10:30am

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October 25th, 2005

This house is clean...(whoops)

Its Halloween week, which means its time to watch some scary shit on the ol' TV. What better way to start off the week with what is, for my money, the best haunted house movie ever. This probably is largely due to me seeing it at a much-too-young age, but after watching it last night, I stand by it. Despite the fact that Tobe Hooper directed this film, its total Spielberg (except for maybe at the end when the closet turns into the world's scariest vagina. That could be Tobe's influence) Either way, if you haven't seen this movie, now is the time. Good scares, good gore, good comedy and really watchable front to back (which let's face it, most horror movies aren't).

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the best MST3K moment of the evening. The Buddha was watching the first part of the movie last night, right after the fit hits the shan the first time and Carol Ann gets abducted by the ghosts. It went something like this:
Buddha: What happened to the little girl?
T: The poltergeist took her.
Buddha: Where is she?

T: In the TV.
Buddha: If that happened to me, I would totally move.
T: What about the little girl?
Buddha: Well they can take the TV with them..
.

Oh I love the Buddha. Classic. It was almost as good as this one, when we were watching the shitball action movie Paycheck, starring Ben Affleck:
Buddha walks in while I'm watching Ben and Uma in a high speed motorcycle chase.
Buddha: What cha watchin'?
T: Paycheck.
Buddha: So what, this guys all pissed off because he didn't get his paycheck?

The next 8 years are gonna be interesting...

Posted 10:30am

Quick Hits...

- Pretentious British (read:redundant) Film mag TotalFilm has put out its version of the 100 best movies of all time. Number one? Goodfellas. If you think that's weird, wait till you see where Fight Club ended up. Seriously?
- Time has the 100 best contemporary novels. Its in the alphabetical cop-out format. Look through it and see how many you've tackled post-college. Best inclusion: Alan Moore's Watchmen.
- More lists? Premiere has the 25 most shocking movie moments. Number One? Jaye Davidson's penis.
- And finally, not in the best-of-list category, but a personal pet peeve of mine. Slate has an article about how people don't know how to drive stick anymore. Which in my mind, should prevent you from getting a driver's license. That and the ability to change a tire.

Posted 10:20am

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October 20th, 2005

Open mouth and insert foot... big time

I should have known the night I was in for when I was hanging out with a girl who had never seen Three's Company (turned out she was born in 1985, but that's neither here nor there) The second clue was that she was at the bar after she had been in the hospital that same day. Strange? Yes. But not out of the ordinary. I could imagine myself doing the same thing. So she takes her coat off to notice that she still has the hospital ID bracelet on. 'Does anyone have scissors?' She jokingly asks. 'I have a swiss army knife on my keychain,' say I. She holds her arm out and I gently slide the knife under the bracelet to cut it off. 'There,' I say 'Now no one will think you've just escaped from the psych ward.' Everyone laughs. I repeat the joke in several ways over the next 20 minutes, figuring that it'll be funny for me to continue to refer to her as 'crazy'. At one point she even says 'What if I actually did escape from the psych ward?' I say something to the effect of 'What are the chances?' and then that I don't think it would bother me. When she finally leaves the table to go to the bathroom, my friend leans over and says 'Dude, she was in the psych ward.' I look around the table and everyone verifies this. It had apparently been discussed before I arrived, and they failed to repeat it to me before she showed up. So I spent part of the evening calling an emotionally disturbed person crazy to her face. I guess it did make feel a little bad. But seriously, what were the chances?

Posted 3:52pm

Blinding me with science

Here's a quick question and answer that appeared in an article today on Salon.com:

"So you want to change the definition of science to include the supernatural?" "Yes," he says, "we need a total paradigm shift in science."

The 'answer' comes from the lawyer defending the school board in the Pennsylvania evolution case. Who'd of thought we'd have to go to court to prove that supernatural is an antonym for science? You're wasting everyone's time people. Go teach ID in Sunday school and keep science classrooms teaching science.

Posted 3:40pm

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October 19th, 2005

Its sacrilicious...

How often have you passed a bum on the street and wondered 'What if that's really Jesus?' Sometimes its hard to tell. The line between a bearded homeless man and a dirty Jesus is a fine one. That's why Homeless or Jesus is so much fun to play. Go try it and tell me I'm wrong. I'll see you in hell.

Posted 11:52am

It tastes like burning...

Everybody's favorite 'pedia (Wikipedia) has done it again. This time they've catalogued all (?) the made up words in the Simpson's universe. Take a trip down memory lane and add more than 'saxamaphone' to your standard Simpsons references.

Posted 11:46am

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October 18th, 2005

Dick is a Killer

I'm quickly becoming a hip-hop guru. Stop laughing. OK, now that's out of your system. Someone (apparently calling himself RX) has mixed himself some GW with some mad beats. A lot of it I guess is more techno, but we already covered and laughed at my whiteness, so lets move on. Join the party here. Be sure to check Dick is a Killer.

RX is even better than my former favorite Bush based music, the George W Bush Singers.

Posted 3:20am

Die you stupid bitch, die

Seriously, someone shut Yoko Ono the fuck up. Being a star fucker qualifies you to judge or comment on NOTHING. It certainly doesn't give you license to verbally bitch slap your dead husband's partner. But she did it anyway (here). And to add insult to injury, she went to say that John would have loved Oasis. Now I'm no Lennon expert, but that doesn't really seem like John to me. I take a lot of heat for being more of a McCartney fan than a Lennon fan, but let us all agree that Yoko is giant bitch.

Posted 3:20am

Three words: Catch and Release

If you're not watching/TiVoing How I Met Your Mother (CBS, Monday @ 8:30) before turning it to MNF, you're missing out. Especially the performance of Doogie Howser himself, Neil Patrick Harris. His character from the show has a blog (which he always references on the show) which you can read here (the link is to his '24 ways in which women are like fish'). This is apparently a trend, as Dwight from the Office is psuedo-blogging here.

Posted 3:10pm

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October 17th, 2005

Don't you get me started now...

I'll admit, I loved being edge-of-my-seat excited all day Friday and having no one understand the reason for it. I wasn't the oldest person at the Death Cab for Cutie show on Friday, but I certainly brought the average age up. I guess that explains why I had a hard time getting anyone to understand my excitement. The show was fabulous, despite the fact that they failed to play my three favorite songs. Eternal thanks to the lovely Kara for taking me to the show, even though she mocked me all night for my man-crush on Ben Gibbard.

 

Posted 10:20am

Will the A2 Tippy Cup All Stars go pro?

I've always considered myself to be at the forefront of drinking technology and a connoisseur of drinking games. But even I never imagined the day when I would see a story in the Times about Beer Pong and Tippy Cup (the story calls it 'flippy cup'. Please. Its tippy cup or flip cup. Not flippy cup. I expect more out of you Times). Its kinda cool, but kind of lame how main stream and accepted this has all become. But that's just the snob in me. I remember when all we had was Zoomie and P's and A's, and no one wants to go back to those dark days. Driving down Packard on a Friday night and seeing Beer Pong tables in the front yard of half of the houses brings a tear to my eye. Partly because its so beautiful, and partly because if I wandered into any of those front yards, everyone would be like 'Who's the old dude?'

Posted 10:09am

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October 14th, 2005

James Blonde

Its official. Daniel Craig is the new Bond. Not a bad choice. He's played an effective asshole in the past, and you need that smug, asshole quality to pull off Bond. But the more important 'news' (although its been known awhile, I'm just getting around to commenting on it) is that the next Bond movie (Casino Royale) will be directed by Martin Campbell. Big whoop you say? What if I told you that Martin Campbell was the guy who directed the last good Bond movie, Goldeneye? That's what I thought. Goldeneye is, in my opinion, the best non-Connery Bond film. And I grew up watching Roger Moore people. That sentiment may or may not have something to do with said film being the inspiration for one of the greatest video games of all time. In any case, hopefully Martin can bring some integrity back to the franchise and not have Bond surfing. Twice. In the same movie. This important stuff guys, lets try and get it right.

posted 2:04pm

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October 13th, 2005

We wants it, the precious...

The long rumored holy grail for geeks and technophiles alike has been brought forth - the video iPod. You can click here to get the specs and crap like that. But let's face it, you already want one. As if the iPod wasn't effective enough already at helping you avoid human contact, now your eyes have somewhere to go. No more of that pretending to be spaced out when you accidentally make eye contact with someone whilst under the spell of the white magical earbuds.

Posted 2:04pm

2 quick hits

- Someone managed to turn one of the great horror movies of all time into pure saccharine schmaltz.
- Finally well documented proof of what many of us have know for some time - Bill O'Reilly is the new Joe McCarthy

posted 2:00pm

Horseshoes, hand grenades and batting titles

It was a short lived victory. Going into last nights double header, I was sitting on top of the team batting average standings at something around .618. I was about one hit better than the next two guys. Anyone who has known me for any period of time would see this as amazing. I was the least athletic of all my friends growing up. A little awkward, a little clumsy, a little uncoordinated. Not a complete spazz, but given I hung around kids who worshiped sports, I was generally last picked.

Fastforward to 20 years later and I somehow have found a niche on my softball team. We're not great, but we've got several good athletes on our team. And going into last nights game, the title of best batting average was mine for the taking. In true flashback fashion, I couldn't hit to save my life last night. I eventually found my way to 3 for 6 with a walk. Not bad considering. And when the unofficial results came in, I was champion. The guys behind me had off nights as well, and somehow I managed to hang on. For a few hours at the bar, I was the champ. That was until the actual numbers we tabulated. John's 6 for 7 night sunk me. I lost the title by a hit. I should be happy with .586 (even after batting over .600 over the summer) but the victory would have erased a lot of demons.

Posted 12:00pm

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October 11th, 2005

Quick Hits

- David Lee Roth is replacing Howard Stern when he goes to Sirius satellite radio in January. Yes, that David Lee Roth.

- My Morning Jacket has a new disc out simply called Z. The other the day they played live on NPR (yes that NPR). You can hear it here.

- I've been saying forever that the Smurfs had it coming. Somebody should've smurfed them a long time ago.

- Finally this picture of nubile coke head Kate Moss is one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Its like a cross between ET and Mr. Fantastic.

Posted 10:15am

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October 7th, 2005

Did he say 'making fuck?'

Kevin Smith is headed back to the wheelhouse for a sequel his breakthrough feature film Clerks. Clerks 2: The Passion of the Clerks is in preproduction right now, and Smith is keeping a video diary of the whole process at clerks2.com. He recently posted a teaser trailer that basically edits together all the profanity from the original movie. Definitely worth a look for those of you who get nostalgic when thinking about snowballing and the number 37.

Posted 10:15am

Make the girlies wanna scream

Most of you who know me know what a hip-hop guru I am, so it should be no surprise to hear me rave about the new Danger Mouse/MF Doom compilation. OK, what if I told you its based on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup? Now you get it. Its called Danger Doom - The Mouse and the Mask. You can hear the whole thing right now on MySpace.

Posted 10:09am

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October 6th, 2005

Rosemary's Cruise's Baby

While we don't know if his name is Legion yet, the unholy union between Cruise and Holmes hath born ill fruit. USA Today (what does it say that this is America's newspaper?) is reporting that Katie Holmes is pregnant. I'm almost speechless. Which is what Katie is going to have to be when the kid is born, since Scientologists are supposed to have their kids in complete silence. I kid you not. Click the link and see for yourself. A woman having a baby isn't supposed to scream. Or even shush. You know how babies are born, right? You can at least imagine that its painful. What is going on in Katie Holmes head? And wasn't she supposed to be a virgin? Why aren't you more creeped out by this? Because your level of outrage is completely inappropriate.

Posted 10:20pm

What is your favorite color?

Two great interviews today. One with uberauthor Kurt Vonnegut, the other with former indie darlings Death Cab for Cutie. You should be into both of these entities, so read the interviews and then go out and read and listen to their work.

Posted 10:15am

Suck on this juicebox

The Strokes have a new album coming out soon, and you can download the first single 'Juicebox' here. Sounds a little Franz Ferdinand-ish, a lot Strokes-ish.

Posted 10:10am

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October 3rd, 2005

Two, two, two addictions in one!

From the 'I just quit smoking and all I got was 10 years added to my life' front, a company in Germany has invented nicotine beer. Finally I can get my two favorite drugs in one convenient package. Something tells me this ain't gonna make it, but of course given my proclivities, I'll be first in line given the chance.

Posted 4:16pm

But the rainbow has a beard...

I'm on my semi-annual quest to see if I can grow a beard. I take that back. I'm performing a semiannual ritual in where I prove to myself that I can't grow a beard. I'm a week in and its better than expected. Not that its good mind you, but its performing better than in years past. Who knows, if I tough it out another week I may actually be the proud owner of a new beard (assuming I don't get a date or anything of the sort that would likely require it to be shaved). I'll consider posting a pic (for comedic purposes only) before I 86 it. If you see me in the street before then, please don't point and laugh. We don't want to scare the hair back into my face.

Posted 3:02pm

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September 30th, 2005

That's so Facinelli

So last night I'm sitting at home, drinking a bottle of wine, reading the new Chuck Klosterman and watching Fastlane on the video game channel. Suddenly, I get a call from Stov to meet at our friendly neighborhood Applebees. He's says he and Dan are going for at least one beer. I've known Stov for some time now, and there's never been such a thing as just one beer. It actually turned out to be 19 beers between the three of us in a little less than two hours. I'd like to have some kind of vote or contest as to what is the saddest part of all that, but in truth, the only point was so that I could write Facinelli in the headline, because I think the name is inherently funny.

Posted 10:27am

Never trust a monkey

Ah evolution. What a hot button you've turned out to be. Who would of thought something so well accepted in the science community would be such a hard sell everywhere else. I love evolution because its an nice barometer for other peoples worldview. Those who don't believe in evolution are on some level a kind of ignoramus zealot who likely has never been to a museum or the grand canyon. Those who shake their heads and laugh at these people are the ones who paid attention in high school biology. Now of course there are those in the middle who understand the basic principles and tenets of evolution and believe them to be true, but have problems somewhere along the way. These are the people I'm interested in (beyond comedic value). In Slate today, there's two great articles about intelligent design and why it isn't science, here and here. And a little while back there was a fabulous article in the Washington Post about how the case for evolution only gets stronger. High school science teachers should be required to teach that.

Posted 10:27am

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September 28th, 2005

Things that go bump in the night.

I love my apartment. I've been here over three years, which means I've lived here longer than any other place during my 11 year tenure in Ann Arbor. I've hung my pictures, painted the walls, and become right accustomed to living here. Especially since for the last year and a half my building's been mostly empty.

A while back the complex got sold and long story short, people have moved out, but no one's been moving in. So in a way, I've learned to enjoy the quiet life. I like my hallways not smelling like other people's food, and my parking lot still having a space for me when I get home from the bar at 2:30am. But then - again to make a long story shorter - they moved 'em back in. The building filled up again and now my hallways smell like a China Buffet and I have to circle the parking lot twice if I stay till last call. Now spending several years in the apartment slums of A2, neither of these things should bother me terribly, they should just be mild annoyances.

I'm a modern apartment dweller. Or an Ann Arbor one, I'm not sure which is relevant, but either way, I don't get to know my neighbors. Other than one crazy lady who used to come by and tell me how she invented the phrase 'as good as it gets', I don't know anyone in my building, much less my complex. Yet now I have to smell their food, put up with their giant SUVs taking up two spots in the parking lot, and listen to them come home drunk at 1am when I couldn't find anyone to go out drinking with (OK that last one rarely happens).

I've been saying recently I will stay where I am until a miracle happens and I can afford a house. I pray it happens soon, because this semi-communal living is for the young. I need my space. I need to pull into a driveway and walk less than ten feet to get to my door. And most importantly, I need the smells around me to be my own.

Posted 11:15am

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September 25th, 2005

Sucking on chapstick

I intended to provide a detailed, blow by blow description of my 30th birthday and the rampant alcoholism that accompanied it. But I quickly realized that those two things don't go hand in hand. So instead, some highlights:

- I started Thursday evening with a trip to my old bosses house to wish her luck on her move out of town. Much alcohol was drank, stories exchanged and gifts given. I then headed home for some more alcohol and little food (for the soaking up of alcohol) before heading out to see The Aristocrats. I've easily seen hundreds of movies in a theater in my life, but this was the first time I can remember that the feature was preceded by a warning. A representative of the theater actually came out and warned us of the filth we were about to endure (and specifically that of Bob Saget). All I'll say is that she was right and I loved it. It was laugh out loud funny at times, interesting in others and unspeakably filthy throughout. I then went home for a nightcap and to wait for my gut to expand and my hair to fall out at midnight. Luckily neither happened (but I swear to God I was sweating waiting for it to happen.

- Friday was low key to start. Kara took me to lunch and suggested that since I was going to Heinygate, I should push my quit date back a day. I thought it a solid suggestion and immediately went out and bought more cigarettes. Then I went to go see The 40 Year Old Virgin. There's nothing more depressing people, than walking into see a movie by yourself, on Friday afternoon, called the 40 Year Old Virgin, and being one of three obviously single dudes in the theater. Its got the French stink of I-don't-know-what, but it isn't good.

-I've been driving down to Columbus on Friday nights in the fall for ten+ years - all to drink my face off for 48 hours. Stov and I found an unspoken comfort in that thought as we headed down for the 11th consecutive year of partying with Ohio's best all-gay band. After the oh-so-painful 3 hour drive through nowhere, Ohio, we got to the Barlows and began the drinking. The three dudes headed to the bar to play Golden Tee and other things that involve anything but talking to women. We were accosted by a drunk skank that was too nasty for even two guys as desperate as me and Stov - but it was a highlight for the evening.

-5 hours later its time to go to Heinygate. We've had insufficient sleep and its raining. We know that the beer will be cold and plentiful on our arrival and are buoyed at the thought. The next 8 or so hours are exactly what you would expect out of Heinygate. All I'll say is that everyone involved performed as advertised, doing nothing to illicit talk of anyone maturing after all these years. Next thing I know I'm in a cab headed to Mongolian BBQ, where I will cross a busy street to get cigarettes (falling twice in the process), piss off a bar full of Buckeye fans, and spill large quantities of sauced up meet on my shirt. I'd go into more details if I had them at my disposal.

-We get back to Barlows where I immediately pass out, telling Anee to wake me up when its time to go to the bar. Somewhere between 5 minutes and 2 hours later, Anee is ready. I trip over Stov's carcass and go to change out of my BBQ stained clothes. The next several hours involve lots of alcohol, a baaaaad cover band and the scariest group of locals you ever did see. We managed to close the place down and I vow to never smoke again. Its 36 hours later and while I hate myself, I'm committed to do this.

Thanks Barlows, Stov and everyone else who made the weekend special. What its possible for me to remember of it I will always treasure...

posted 2:00pm

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September 22nd, 2005

Old man take a look at my life...

OK. 12 hours left in my 20s. I don't want to be overly sentimental about any of this, but turning any significant number can give one pause for reflection. So I thought about a lot of ways to put down what's been running around my noggin - what angle to take, how serious to be about it, etc. So in the end, I decided to try and pass on the few nuggets of wisdom I've gained in the last ten years. Some of it has been suspected for a long time and only made its way into what can actually be called knowledge or wisdom recently, but I'm stalling now. So with out further ado, what I learned in my twenties...

He who holds his composure wins...
I've been in a lot of arguments. A lot. Now I'm a big fan of passion, its what makes life worth getting out of bed in the morning, but usually the person who can calmly state everything as fact in the argument ends up winning it. Or at least they can feel like they won.
Although a well timed rant that can completely silent your competition is much more satisfying (they're just harder to come by).

Parenting isn't that hard...
Most people don't spend their entire twenties as a parent, but its been the most rewarding and fascinating part of my last ten years. And don't believe the hype, its not that hard. Just keep your eye on your levels of love and discipline and keep both extremely high.
Although it is a little relentless - its like the mail, every f-ing day (without Sundays and government holidays off).

Stereotypes work...
If you see a drunk blonde in a tube top and a skirt she needs two hairdos for, she's probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Don't feel bad making assumptions about people, it saves lots of time and energy.
Although always keep an open mind - if that drunk blonde can liberally quote Shakespeare, she could be your dream girl.

Country music and Vin Diesel are here to stay...
Never underestimate how low the American public is willing to set the bar. Songs about how she done you wrong and physically fit dopes will never go out of style.
Although Garth and Shania are gone and people now seem to love the man in black (I have nothing positive to say about Vin Diesel).

Experience is a great teacher...
Without anyone popping up to bear witness, I do sex and drugs (mainly meaning alcohol) a lot better now than ten years ago.
Although, you never quite regain the awe and wonder of those first couple years.

Less than 1% chance off death, get in there...
I've done a lot of stupid things. Things involving alcohol and nudity and conversations with figures of authority. But there were times where I said no. Opportunities to do the truly head-scratching can dwindle with age as your cohorts grow up and get responsible and you have responsibilities of your own. So get out there and naked stage dive, tomorrow the opportunity may be gone.
Although if said opportunity could immediately lead to brain damage, VD, or loss of limb, take an extra second or so to weigh the options.

Cell phones, the iPod and TiVo are the greatest inventions of the last decade...
Let me get this straight, I can talk to anyone, regardless of where they are? And I can put my entire music collection on something the size of a pack of smokes?! And I can watch my favorite TV programs whenever I want?!? I never would have guessed these improvements on existing technologies ten years ago. I can never go back to landlines, CD players and VCRs.
Although the ability of anyone to get ahold of me anytime has its drawbacks - thank God for the phrase 'I couldn't get a signal' (FYI, there are no drawbacks to TiVo or the iPod).

TV is inherently better now...
Yes, there is an exponential more amount of crap, but cable now produces original shows, allowing them (and to lesser extent the networks) to produce stuff that actually has originality and can appeal to people in a real way. This weeds out middling crap like Full House.
Although the deluge of cheap reality tv is a stiff price to pay.

TV is inherently better now (part 2)...
How little did we know that back in the 90's the TV we were watching would be equivalent to a 13" black and white by today's standards. HD and DVD have made old analog TV its bitch. Once we get Blu-ray DVDs and all HD broadcasts, we will never have to leave the couch again.

Although the price of keeping up with all of this is getting a tad ridonkulous.

Never deny yourself enjoyment based on popular opinion...
I was never a big victim of this, seeing as how I tend to relish it when I can find joy in something few others have. But nevertheless, social instinct can steer people to the middle. Let me tell you people, the middle almost always sucks. Nobody wins. Never go with to see Armageddon with a group of people you want to look cool for when you can go see a Jean-Pierre Jeunet movie by yourself.
Although you should never shun anything just because its popular - always remember that everyone agrees that the Beatles were the best band ever.

Expensive beer is never worth it after the first two...
Let's face it, it's all the Beast after you've had a couple. Kegs of Honey Brown and Killians Red shouldn't even exist.
Although there's nothing quite like that first Oberon of the evening.

Nothing worth knowing is summed up in a list or pamphlet...
These are things put out by people either trying to get something from you or make you feel better by making the complicated seem easy. Guess what - its all complicated. You will very likely never get to the core of anything in your lifetime, and that's OK.
Although given that line of logic, I should stop with this right here.

And finally, as the MoeMan says, What goes around, comes around...
Nobody stays on top forever. Spielberg made 1941 between Close Encounters and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Honey Pie is on the White Album. Its a rollercoaster people, enjoy the ride.
Although it is OK to expect the best out of your significant other and your favorite sports team (just be ready to immediately forgive them or hate them and yourself until they fix it).

posted 12:00pm

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September 19th, 2005

Welcome to the end of life as we know it.

This is it. The last week of my twenties. The last week of a fifteen year adventure that has been smoking. The beginning of the end. Assuming the quitting smoking thing takes, lets be generous and call this the half way point. Its been a helluva ride so far. But lets try and keeps things less gloomy. Friday night I was victim to that I swore I was always too smart for - the surprise party. Thanks to all of ya who planned, prepared, kept the secret, wrote messages, called and (most importantly) bought me alcohol Friday night. It was a great time - even if those of us who attend Cubs regularly may now be on probation due to things like shirtless bowling. May those of you who will shortly follow have it so good. Cheers.

Posted 2:11pm

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September 13th, 2005

We're on a mission from God

Ah Google Maps. Soon to make us all forget that Mapquest ever existed. And someone has found a way to make it even cooler. Or at least put its coolness to good use. This site has taken every significant or even recognizable site from The Blues Brothers and mapped it out - including stills and descriptions - all in chronological order. Pretty damn cool if you're any kind of fan of John Landis' masterpiece. Now all we need is someone to do this for Ferris Bueller's Day Off and I smell one helluva road trip photo essay.

Posted 3:53pm

Don't Mess with Texas.

Someday we'll all look back and scratch our heads.
Go to www.google.com
Type failure
Click 'I'm feeling lucky'

posted 3:38pm

If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy.

Kurt Vonnegut was on The Daily Show last night. I spent an enjoyable while looking for a quote as the headline to this entry, and finally decided the above was too timely not to use (for more see here.) If you've never read Vonnegut or only read Slaughterhouse Five, take the time to read some(more). Absolutely a once in a generation mind and writer. He'll make you think and make what you think better. Or something like that. I'm no Vonnegut.

Posted 1:39pm

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September 12th, 2005

You could have it so much better...

Not due out for a few weeks yet, the new Franz Ferdinand album (You Could Have it So Much Better with Franz Ferdinand) is out there floating in the ether. Not that we condone those with loose enough morals to just go out there into the electronic information superhighway and steal the creative works of others. However, we are happy to report that it is the perfect piece of pop goodness that you were hoping for. It will complete eliminate the need to make a sweet playlist for your next party, as you can easily just throw Franz on and let it spin (at least for its 41 minute running time - then the heats back on). So look for it October 4th, or before if that's the kind of person you want to be, and enjoy being awash in its bouncy, jangly, witty, rocking, toe tapping aesthetic.

 

Posted 9:51am

Monday morning mourning

You'd think at this point I'd be old enough and experienced enough not to feel like shit after a Michigan loss. Especially by Monday morning. Ah well, I'm sure once the morning sports talk goes off the air and I get rolling at work I'll forget about it. Thank yous to the tailgate crew as always (although another week of so-so effort) and especially the Moeman, who is always a welcome sight in A2. Big ups to Vincent Young for making Saturday night a little less painful. And finally thanks Stov and your sub-zero basement for making hangover Sunday much more tolerable (due to the NFL Sunday ticket). And finally finally a reunion of sorts on Saturday. We were able to re-create a Rose Bowl moment at the tailgate. Its a little scary that 7 years later how little has changed. Or maybe its comforting. Jury's still out...

posted 9:51am

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September 8th, 2005

America's sweethearts return (kinda)

After what seemed like, weeks, of no news about Tom Cruise and his creepy relationship with Scientology Katie Holmes, we have a red hot bulletin! Katie is not only changing her last name to Cruise, pending the nutty nuptials, but her first name as well! In a turn of how-much-more-creppy-can-this-get, Katie Holmes will become Kate Cruise, because Tom calls her Kate and suggested she start going by that. Somebody needs to burn this girl with a torch a la Shortround to Indy in Temple of Doom. Snap out of it!

posted 11:15am

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September 7th, 2005

iPod mini, we hardly knew ye

Apple takes a step forward towards the brain-implant iPod with the new iPod Nano, which replaces that enormous iPod mini, which now looks like cell phone Danny Glover carried around in the first Lethal Weapon. Engadget has some details on the specs. I have to admit, its pretty cool. I may have finally found justification for the second iPod. The Nano can be my laptop to the original 20gb desktop version. In a related story, they also cited a study where it stated that the average portable audio player only had 375 songs on it. C'mon people, 375? Either upgrade your memory or start ripping those old Hootie and the Blowfish albums and get 'em on there.

Posted 2:50pm

Katrina Aftermath

OK, so I pledged to myself to stay away from this stuff, at least in this forum, but the things I've seen, heard and read in the last 24 hours prohibits that. First off, let us never have to be reminded that no one cries bullshit better than The Daily Show. Jon Stewart seems to have the appropriate take almost every time. Last night's coverage of Bush's ineptitude and disregard of his administrations bungling was no exception. He called the handling of the catastrophe an inarguable failure and to quote the man: "Was there bureaucratic bungling? The short answer is: yes. The long answer is: YEEEEEESSSSSS!" Kudos as always Jon. Secondly, if you haven't heard W's mom Barbara's comments yet, they're quickly making their way around the Internet In short:

And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this--this (she chuckles slightly) is working very well for them.

Swear to God its real. You can hear the audio here.

Posted 1:26pm

Don't let the door hit you on the ass...

Trev Alberts, ESPN college football commentator, was fired today. And there was much rejoicing. Bye bye you whiny fucker. You won't be missed. That is all.

Posted 11:01am

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September 6th, 2005

Death to Reality

I hate reality TV. I watched the first couple of seasons of The Real World on MTV - but that was back when reality TV didn't even hold that moniker. I've never watched Survivor. I could care less about The Bachelor. Some of this bullshit sits higher on the totem pole than others (I can understand why people get emotionally involved in Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, but The Apprentice? seriously), but I guess even with the dearth of quality television available, I've never understood the reality phenomenon. I have my own low brow pleasures (mostly teenage melodramas) but I at least initially get into those shows because of what I deem clever dialogue and plotting (they eventually turn into formulaic crap with hot chicks, but by that time I'm hooked). The truth is that 95% of reality TV is so contrived, it shouldn't even hold the term 'reality'. But I'll leave that argument to one of my biggest man-crushes: Steven Soderbergh. He's releasing a movie simultaneously on DVD and in the theaters that has a 'reality component'. Sounds a little like Gus Van Sant recently, which has all been very interesting (go check out Elephant if you haven't yet). Anyway, get the Soderbergh snippit here, then take all the reality shows off your TiVo and start watching Lost.

Posted 11:15am

Quick Notes on Katrina

I debated whether or not ot even mention the whole disaster in New Orleans. Its obviously devastating to see what has and is taking place, while heartening to see how we as Americans can rally to each other's side in the face of tragedy. I'm of two minds as to the New York Times Op-ed stuff. I agree with alot of the Bush bashing of course, but the timing is a little uncomfortable. I somehow caught Kanye West's rant during the benefit concert that appeared over the weekend, which was a sight to see. I felt bad for Mike Myers, who was there to show some Canadian support (though not in an official way I suppose) and ended up blindsided when Kanye went off the prompter. I don't want to turn this into a political rant or try to sit in judgement of how anyone responds to such a tragedy, I'll just say if you want to help, go see the Red Cross.

Posted 11:01am

Monday Tuesday morning Thank-yous

Another weekend and summer gone. Labor day weekend never seems to hold the special significance of Memorial Day around my house. It was especially true this year as it was near impossible to get me off the couch come Sunday/Monday. However, Saturday did mark the start of the college football season and another year of debaucherous tailgating. Thanks to all of the members of the TIC (Tailgate Improvement Comittee) who did a bang up job of getting DirecTV running in the parking lot. We've got lots of room for improvement, but its off to a good start. Then after 12 hours of tailgating, it was time for a trip to the Blind Pig for a little hard Lessons/Sights action. A great show. Thanks Markie C for dragging me out and letting me prove to myself I can still get it done. Yes, this will likely become a recurring theme here as the countdown to thirty begins. If I survive the next few weeks, it'll be a miracle.

Posted 10:20am

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September 1st, 2005

What'd you put in my drink?

Almost thirty and still getting it done. Three adults killed a fifth of tequila and twelve Coronas (it was taco night after all) and then scrambled around the house looking for more alcohol last night. And one of us had to work the next day. Unfortunately it was me. So here I sit, hating myself, trying to make the time pass at more than a slow burn. The fact that I'm less than 24 hours away from my first tailgate of the season can't even get me going. The fact that I was 3-0 gambling last night isn't even inspiring me. I guess maybe I'm not getting it done on the level I thought I was. Then again, when I was younger I could afford to sleep until my heart was content. Those were the days. Now I'm in the penultimate circle of hell.

Posted 11:11am

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This is me


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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.