Tuesday, December 30, 2008

There's dancing behind movie scenes

Six months, it's been. Six whole months.

You could see the changes coming, if you read carefully -- the posts about despair and angst slipped away, replaced by images of light. Happiness, sorta. In one piece, I made an off-hand mention of the fact that I was so happy I could barely stand myself; in another, I was coasting on joy to the degree that I didn't mind admitting that I liked Fall Out Boy. In two separate posts, no less.

Six months later. Still going. I still have a smile on my face.

I'm writing a year-in-review thing that's kinda required if you have a blog. I plan on publishing it in early in the new year, as a way of clearing the cobwebs and starting this thing anew. For reals, this time.

In the meantime, here's a song that's been playing over and over in my head for the last six months. If you want to know exactly how I've felt for most of that time, just have a listen. In particular, listen to the way the strings come in on the line "Seventy-seven thousand piece orchestra set." That's it.

Happy new year, everybody.

Now playing: Cornershop - Brimful of Asha
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Reason #345 Roy Oswalt is my hero

He just offered to restructure his multimillion dollar contract to help the Astros sign some better players. Take one for the team, indeed.

It doesn't look like it will actually work -- big shock there -- but it's the thought that counts, is it not?

I don't see Tejada or Carlos Lee making that kind of offer, do you?

Good for you, Roy. Maybe Drayton should buy you another tractor.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I love the internet

Thursday, December 04, 2008

He's not even nominated, but the voters will find some way to screw Kanye West over anyway, I'll bet

So the Grammy Award nominations were announced yesterday. I'd list them, but sweet Jesus, there are 110 categories. Go read them all if you want, but I can't imagine anyone really caring about the nominees for Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra). Other than the nominees themselves, that is, and I'm fairly certain none of them read my blog.

A few random impressions, though:
  • Radiohead is the other band the voters like to hose, so don't get too excited over the Album of the Year nod for In Rainbows. Even though it's the best record on that list. That doesn't matter. Not even a little bit. At all. The award will actually go to, as it always does, the oldest and/or deadest nominee -- in this case, Robert Plant, who's been dead since 1989.
  • Nice to see Coldplay recognized for their evolution on Viva La Vida, easily their best work to date. And they're vanilla and mainstream enough to actually win some of those awards, like Record for the Year, which they actually deserve. Seriously, "Viva La Vida" is a perfect pop song. You couldn't get away from that damn thing.
  • Do I see Jason Mraz's name listed under the nominees for Song of the Year? Really? I mean, really? Jason "Wizard of Oohs and Ahs and Fa-la-las" Mraz? That asshole? Really? I can't say I've heard the song in question, tell the truth, but I've got twenty bucks that he sings "de doo doo doo-doo-doo" a bunch of times in the chorus. Just a hunch.
  • The Jonas Brothers? Die in a goddamn fire, Grammy voters.
  • Kid Rock?! See previous.
  • Strangely competitive category: Best Pop Performance. I think it's gotta go to Coldplay, but "Apologize" is a good one, too.
  • All those fantastic songs on In Rainbows, and the voters pick "House of Cards" for the single-track categories. This is what I'm talking about.
  • Your real Album of the Year: Narrow Stairs, by Death Cab for Cutie. Your Song of the Year is "Roc Boys" by Jay-Z, and your Record of the Year is "You Don't Know Me" by Ben Folds and Regina Spektor. You're welcome.

Now playing: Death Cab for Cutie - Pity And Fear
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Yeah, and Lost is coming back in a couple months, too, so get ready

Hey, remember when I wouldn't shut up about the Decemberists? Like, every single bloody post would either mention them or post a video by them or reference them in some way or another? Too bad I ran out of their music to post, huh? Good thing they stopped recording for a while after The Crane Wife came out.

Oops: here's "Valerie Plame," one of the best songs of the year.

They've put together a series of three singles called Always the Bridesmaid, and they've got a new album out next year.

Seriously, if you just buy all of their back catalog, I'll let it go. I promise.

Now playing: The Decemberists - Valerie Plame
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Oh, how it's been so long/We're so sorry we've been gone...

I woke up this morning next to the woman I love. It was the first time we slept in our new apartment, which is magnificent. We stayed in bed together, watching television and combing the internet for adoptable puppies. (She wants a Saint Bernard. Actually, she wants five. Or seven. And a whole menagerie of other creatures: "I want to be like Noah," she says. But we're gonna start with a puppy. And, of course, Rufus, her guinea pig, who's hiding underneath the bed lining in his little house as I write this.) We stayed there until nearly five in the afternoon, watching Animal Planet and celebrating when the new BCS standings were released. (I have become a fan of Alabama college football by proxy, and thus I say to you, Roll tide!) Eventually, we went out in search of food. We ate delicious hamburgers at Fuddruckers, returned to her old apartment for a few items, stopped to pick up a football game for my PS3 we can play together, and then came back home. I set up her DVD player, and the two of us watched an entire disc's worth of episodes from the second season of 24 -- have to catch up before the two-hour movie event airs in a few weeks, and there's a lot to get done.

A few months ago, when I was mired in bleak, hopeless depression, a friend asked me to imagine what a perfect day would be like. I couldn't do it.

This day, though? I'd have to say this day was pretty close.

My blog missed me. I missed it, too.

Posting continues now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

No worries...

Swiped from Chez.

Saturday, September 06, 2008


I'd like to solve the puzzle!

I'm going to try to avoid yelling "MILD SAUCE!" for no reason. I will probably fail.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


McCain's running mate. Our future commander-in-chief.

I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn't even matter

The inevitable -- and, yet paradoxically, seemingly impossible -- happened last night.

I quit Pizza Inn.

The story is long and will be told at another time.

I should feel jubilant, and I do, sorta. But mostly, it's just...

...why didn't I do that a long fucking time ago?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Dan Quayle 2K8

You have got to be shitting me.

This is who John McCain settled on for his vice president?

I mean... I mean...


She -- she's -- ...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

A first-term governor? A first-term governor of Alaska? What, was the Rhode Island assistant state comptroller not experienced enough with national security?

Are you fucking kidding me?

The thought process goes like this:
  • Lots of women wanted Hillary to be the nominee.
  • Some of them are bitter she's not.
  • Sarah Palin is a woman.
  • Those women will vote for McCain if he has Sarah Palin as his running mate.
That's pandering so obvious that it's insulting. The implication being that women will simply vote for anyone who has ovaries, simply to support the sisterhood or whatever.

Did I say implication? I meant she came right the fuck out and said it:
Palin mentioned Clinton by name in her speech, saying, "Hillary left 18 million cracks in the highest, hardest glass ceiling in America. But it turns out the women of America aren't finished yet, and we can shatter that glass ceiling once and for all."

The remark brought a mixed reaction from the Republican crowd; some women cheered, but there was also some low-pitched groaning and booing.
Forgetting, of course, that the "Obama doesn't have enough experience to be President!" argument is lost immediately. Palin makes Obama look like Teddy Roosevelt.

Forgetting, of course, that John McCain is 147 years old and has battled cancer four times and could, conceivably, fall over and die at any moment. This is who he'd want leading the nation if that should happen? What a revealing look into his decision-making prowess, no? Hell, if they were going to pick a woman, at least pick one who has some clue, right? A resumé with a little more beef on it, rather than just twenty-one months running Alaska, right?

Seriously: what. the. fuck?

It's a move of such naked desperation that I'm stunned. Are you really that afraid of Obama?

Perhaps you should be. 38 million people watched his convention speech last night, after all. A speech that was gorgeous, even by his standards -- we're talking Bartlett-level speechifying, folks.

Oh, the vice presidential debate is now must-see TV, is it not? Joe Biden will swallow this poor woman whole.

Am I being too harsh on her? Perhaps. Hey, after all, she was commander-in-chief of the Alaska National Guard.

How utterly, completely baffling.

Can't wait 'til November.

Now playing: Metallica - My Apocalypse
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekly Chart: 8/18-8/24

Hey, remember these?

This week's chart is dominated, of course, by Dave Matthews Band. First, the continuing euphoria from Friday's concert -- in fact, I spent quite a bit of time listening to the bootleg of that same show. And then the tragic news of LeRoi Moore's passing kept them in rotation for a few more days. I still can't believe he's gone, ya know? Still can't quite get a handle on it.

In other news, we've got a new Metallica single, "The Day That Never Comes," which gets an A-plus in my book. Lewis Black released a new stand-up album, which is also fantastic. An article I ran across in The Onion A.V. Club inspired me to listen to Stone Temple Pilots for the first time in years. And then there's the usual suspects. You know them when you see them.
  1. Dave Matthews Band (46)
  2. Metallica (22)
  3. The New Pornographers (18)
  4. Radiohead (15)
  5. Our Lady Peace (14)
  6. Stone Temple Pilots (11)
  7. Lewis Black (10)
  8. The Hold Steady (7)
  9. Muse (6)
  10. Flight of the Conchords (6)
Now playing: Stone Temple Pilots - Army Ants
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, August 21, 2008

It's not the colors that matter, only that they all fade away

It's been a few days, obviously. But you know by now: LeRoi Moore is dead. The great saxophonist died from complications from injuries sustained in an ATV accident in June.

There are no words, of course. But Roi never spoke much, anyway.

Instead, here's some music. I've posted this video before. But it's my favorite LeRoi performance -- you'll have to wait to get there, to about 4:40, but you'll be glad you waited.

Rest in peace, sir. You were an inspiration.

That's our blood down there
Seems poured from the hands of angels
It trickles into the ground
Leaves the warehouse so bare and empty
But my heart's numbered beat will echo in this empty room
And fear wells in me
But nothing seems big enough to go
So I'm going away
Though you know I'd love to stay

Now playing: Dave Matthews Band - Warehouse
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I have nothing to say about this...

...except that it fucking rocks.

Metallica plays one of their new songs, "Cyanide," at Ozzfest in Dallas a couple of weeks ago.

Now that's more like it.

Now playing: Metallica - Cyanide
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ask not for whom the bell tolls

Bobby Fischer. Heath Ledger. Roy Scheider. Anthony Minghella. Sydney Pollack. Bo Diddley. Jim McKay. Tim Russert. Stan Winston. George Carlin. Don S. Davis, the guy who played Scully's father and the commander on Stargate SG-1.

Then, yesterday, Bernie Mac.

Today: Isaac Hayes.


A tough year.

Arcade Fire and David Bowie say it better than I do.

I guess we'll just have to adjust....

Now playing: Oasis - The Girl in the Dirty Shirt
via FoxyTunes

Friday, August 08, 2008

Okay, now they're just screwing with me

The release date for the new Metallica record -- titled Death Magnetic -- approaches; the Countdown has been changed accordingly. Obviously, I'm excited. I mean, it's Metallica, right? And the brief clips I've heard have been encouraging. Everything suggests a return to an older sound and style -- not the head-fake that was St. Anger, but a genuine attempt to pretend the tenure of Jason Newsted never happened.*

That's all well and good, to be honest. Like I said, I'm excited. But there's such a thing as trying too hard. And from the bleak title to the grave on the cover, it feels like they're trying too hard.

And that was before I caught sight of the album's track listing, which they leaked a few weeks ago:
  1. That Was Your Life
  2. The End of the Line
  3. Broken, Beat & Scarred
  4. The Day That Never Comes
  5. All Nightmare Long
  6. Cyanide
  7. The Unforgiven III
  8. The Judas Kiss
  9. Suicide & Redemption
  10. My Apocalypse
I beg your pardon? "The Unforgiven III"? That "The Unforgiven" is one of my very favorite songs is no secret; I also hold its sequel in high esteem.

But a third? Guys: you already have my money. You already have me -- literally! -- counting down the seconds until I can hear your record.

This is just...showing off.

You bastards!

* Of course, your humble evil genius has no problems with the tenure of Jason Newsted, and respects him as a musician. But in the eyes of Metallica's rabid fanbase, he's come to represent everything that went "wrong" with the band in the last two decades, so I'm willing to play along with the revisionist stance Death Magnetic puts forth.

Now playing: Randy Newman - A Few Words in Defense of Our Country
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lil' Jon, he always tells the truth

A police officer woke me up at eight this morning, knocking on my door.

"Are you the owner of a green Nissan Sentra?"

I told him I was. Actually, I just grumbled my assent. I couldn't really talk yet.

"We've had some break-ins," he said, "and it looks as though someone may have gone through your car. Could you come take a look for me?"

I woke up a little. "Someone went through my car?"

"Maybe, sir," the cop said. "Your glove box is open, and there's stuff everywhere on the seats and floorboards. It's a mess."

I groaned. "That's...kinda how it looks anyway."

I followed the cop out to my car, shuffling through the parking lot in my bare feet. Another officer was talking to one of my neighbors, huddled around a red Mustang. That neighbor didn't look pleased.

We arrived at my car, and I looked inside. The glove compartment was open, revealing a mess of papers and books. Assorted junk filled the floorboards, and paper and garbage were strewn everywhere. The car looked like a tornado had formed inside.

"Yeah," I said. "That's how it looks anyway."

"So...you don't think anyone broke in?" the cop said. He didn't sound like he believed me.

"I'm pretty sure," I said. "Even if they did, they didn't take anything." Not that there's anything to take, I thought.

"Um, okay," said the cop. "Sorry to have bothered you."

Yeah. Sure. I returned to my apartment, which looks pretty much like my car.

If someone broke in here, I probably wouldn't even notice.

And now here's a college choir performing a rather awesome a cappella cover of Vampire Weekend's "Oxford Comma."

Good stuff, huh?

Now playing: Vampire Weekend - Oxford Comma
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, August 02, 2008

It sounds like a good opportunity with an honest, well-meaning company that I have a lot of faith in

Wandering around the internet today, and discovered the new recruitment site for the Dharma Initiative, Dharma Wants You. Now, there's a high-class organization that is always above-board and open with the public. You should take the recruitment test -- it's only seventeen questions, quick and easy. I did, and I passed. I wonder what wonderful opporunties await me!


Now playing: Fall Out Boy - You're Crashing, But You're No Wave
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The takeover, the break's over

Been awhile. But I'm back. And of course, it's with rage and righteous indignation.

How dare you.

Screw up The Day the Earth Stood Still, and there will be hell to pay. There will be retribution. There will be blood.

Hear me?

In other trailer news, have you see the Watchmen trailer? No? Then here you go. If you have, then watch it again. You know you want to:

That's what I'm talking about. (Ignore the idiot who inserts himself after the trailer, by the way. Jerkass.)

Now playing: Jay-Z - Takeover
via FoxyTunes

Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekly Chart: 6/30-7/6

Okay, so Fall Out Boy leads the chart this week. I can explain, honest.

See, Fall Out Boy makes me wish I was still fifteen. Because if I was, they'd be the greatest band to ever stride the earth: they'd be witty, funny and clever, and the fact that their live act sounds like a drunken junior high school talent show runner-up wouldn't bother me. The rampant overproduction on their records? Not an issue, were I fifteen. I'd be so damn blown away by their colossal wit -- and song titles like "I'm Like a Lawyer with the Way I'm Always Trying to Get You Off," or "The Carpal Tunnel of Love," or "I've Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers" -- that I wouldn't notice how badly most of the songs suck. The idea that a band had named themselves for a Simpsons character would be so awesome it would override my good sense. Of course, I haven't been fifteen in a long time, so I can see Fall Out Boy for exactly what they are: a slightly-better-than-average rock band with middling composition abilities, desperately in need of a talented production team to mold their off-key moans and screeches into marketable pop music.

However: a few of their songs actually are as clever and witty as the band seems to think, namely "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race." So when you see all the plays for Fall Out Boy this week, keep in mind that's almost all the good songs, and just enough of the bad ones to realize they were bad, kick them off my iPod and never listen to them again.

Does that make it better, or do I have to surrender my music snob credentials now?

1. Fall Out Boy (66 plays)
2. The Beatles (31)
3. Harvey Danger (25)
4. Spoon (24)
5. Jay-Z (22)
6. Jonathan Coulton (18)
7. Jim Croce (12)
7. The New Pornographers (12)
9. The Decemberists (9)
10. Van Morrison (7)

See the entire list here.

Now playing: Van Morrison - Jackie Wilson Said (I'm in Heaven When You Smile)
via FoxyTunes

Friday, July 04, 2008

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Don't stop believin'

I didn't finish the Saying Story I was supposed to write this month. I've posted what I've done over at the site, if you'd like to take a look. Yes, it does just sort of cut to black in the middle of a conversation. But so what?

Hey, if David Chase can get away with it, goddammit, so can I.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Know what I'm sayin'?

I'm in such a good mood right now I can barely stand myself. So to share in the happiness wealth, here's my favorite video ever.

Now playing: Fall Out Boy - Thnks Fr Th Mmrs
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekly Chart: 6/23-6/29

When you see the Decemberists riding the top of this chart, it's because I've been in either a really bad mood or a really good mood. Thankfully, it's the latter this week. In fact, the same can be said for several of the artists you see here: Ben Folds, the Proclaimers, Bob Marley, and especially Van Morrison -- if I'm listening to them, things are looking way up or way down.

The Stones take their place near the bottom of the ten, as usual (I always end up listening to the Stones near the weekend, for some reason), and Weezer gets new life thanks to the addition of a few of their tracks to Rock Band. And then there's Fall Out Boy. And, um...uh, no, wait, I can explain. Honest.

No, I can't.

Shut up.

1. The Decemberists (32 plays)
2. Ben Folds (27)
3. Death Cab for Cutie (25)
4. Van Morrison (13)
5. Fall Out Boy (11)
5. The Proclaimers (11)
7. The Rolling Stones (8)
8. Weezer (7)
9. Bruce Springsteen (6)
10. Bob Marley and the Wailers (6)

See the entire list here.

Now playing: Fall Out Boy - I've Got All This Ringing in My Ears and None on My Fingers
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 23, 2008

"Thanks to our fear of death in this country, I won't have to die...I'll pass away! Or I'll expire, like a magazine subscription!"

George Carlin is dead. I'm glad I got to you see you perform live, George. Even if you had ventured long into the goodnight of crankiness and bitterness. You just might have been the funniest man I've ever heard or read.

You once said that your job was "thinking up goofy shit." You did your job and did it well, sir.

We'll miss you, George. You cranky old motherfucker.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Weekly Chart: 6/16-6/22

Shortly after its release, I picked up Death Cab for Cutie's new album, Narrow Stairs. I was completely taken with the first single, "I Will Possess Your Heart," but after downloading the entire record, I promptly forgot about it and never listened to it. I finally caught up with it this week, and guess what? It's one of the greatest albums I've ever heard in my life. To say that it's dominated my iPod since is an understatement: not only does it win, and win handily, and easily eclipse any mark by any artist in any previous week, but all those plays are since Thursday. Seriously, find this album now. No, right now.

The rest of the chart is filled out by other fantastic music I couldn't stop listening to. Coldplay's new album remains incredible, and only gets better every time; Vampire Weekend doesn't sound anything like their name would imply, and is one of the best new bands out there right now; and where has the Hold Steady been all my life?

1. Death Cab for Cutie (81 plays)
2. Coldplay (52)
3. Vampire Weekend (32)
4. Bright Eyes (31)
5. The Hold Steady (30)
6. Dire Straits (17)
7. Devo (16)
8. Genesis (14)
9. The Hives (12)
10. The Vines (8)
10. Michael Jackson (8)

...Yeah, that's right, motherfuckers. Michael Jackson. Do something.

See the entire list here.

Now playing: Death Cab for Cutie - Bixby Canyon Bridge
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Just what the Dr ordered

In January, I swore off caffeine. I did this because I was a rampant insomniac, and only getting 3-5 hours of sleep a night and then trotting to two jobs every day was kind of killing me from the inside. I thought -- hey, if I stop drinking soda, maybe I can sleep some more.

It's June now, and I don't get any more sleep than I used to. And I've descended into foul, pissy depression. I mean, even more than usual. So last night, I said fuck it: I drank Dr Pepper for the first time in half a year. And it was like someone took a broom inside my head and brushed out the cobwebs. Sunlight flooded my soul, I think.

My gods! I can see! I can see again! I can feel again!

I'm drinking Coke right now. Life feels so much goddamned better I can't begin to tell you.

Have a nice day!

Now playing: Death Cab for Cutie - You Can Do Better Than Me
via FoxyTunes

Friday, June 20, 2008

Karma police, arrest this man!

Sometimes, people do get what they deserve: CNN political commentator/minion of Satan Glenn Beck missed his TV show last night because he fell down a flight of stairs.

That'll put a smile on my face all day today.

Now playing: Bright Eyes - If the Brakeman Turns My Way
via FoxyTunes

A violent argument erupts over whose day was more pleasant

Now playing: Death Cab for Cutie - Your New Twin Sized Bed
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So many friends to backstab, so little time

The Usual Suspects and I gathered together last night to try out White Wolf's excursion into board games, Vampire: Prince of the City. It's a fun game, though the conditions for victory seem a little arbitrary to me -- whoever has the highest score when time runs out (meaning, the prearranged number of turns expires) becomes Prince and wins the game. It works, but it feels a tad strange. I guess, though, it's to prevent games from stretching into infinity, as there's no way to actually defeat any of your opponents for any considerable length of time.

This setup, in fact, makes the final turn an interesting one, as those out of contention for victory can simply choose who they'd like to win. Last night, Brandon and I decided -- with very little debate -- that FRINAN should win. As so he did, as the two of us helped him gang up on René and secure an easy victory. Why did we do this? Well, for Brandon, it was pure, raw spite, I imagine.

Prince of the City captures the shady, untrustworthy nature of the World of Darkness perfectly -- does it better, in fact, than a lot of the White Wolf material itself. The opportunities for alliance and betrayal are plentiful, and add a dimension you almost never see in board games. It mirrors the self-nature of the vampires we're supposed to be portraying. (Yes, we're supposed to be vampires and such. Thankfully, we didn't take that element too far -- I didn't embarrass myself.)

So, if you've got a group of friends who enjoying screwing each other over rampantly, particularly in pursuit of a victory in something as pointless and arbitrary as a board game, Vampire: Prince of the City is excellent.

There are times I'm not grateful enough for the friends I have.

Now playing: Bill Withers - Use Me
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Quien era el mas poderoso

Hi there. How ya doin'? Good? Good. I've got something interesting to share with you. Most reading this probably already know it, but it's good to say it once in a while, so you remember who you're dealing with. Here we go.

I liked Lady in the Water.

Now. I'm not going to try to convince you that it was a good movie -- gods, no. It was downright terrible: poorly written, badly acted, and plodded forward like a sloth on Robitussin. It deserved its critical thrashing, and it deserved its Razzie nomination for Worst Picture. And yet...I liked it anyway.

Why? Because of M. Night Shyamalan.

There's something about the way he makes his movies that connects with me. Is it a dorky film geek thing? Of course it is: Unbreakable is one of my favorite movies ever, and it ain't because of its airtight screenplay. The Village -- which I will tell you was a good movie, and have said so before -- worked because of his tense camerawork and built-up atmosphere. I just love watching the guy work.

But I have drawn a line in the sand here, dude: I will not watch The Happening. No, sir.

The trailer itself -- which I won't bother to post, because I'm sure you've seen it already -- looks like nothing more than a silly self-parody. In fact, if I were making a YouTube video, a mock trailer to skewer his style, that's exactly what it would look like. False tension, overbearing score, and laughably vague dialogue: "There appears to be some kind of event happening!" is exactly what I'd write.

Mr. Shyamalan has long been painted as a egotist, and it's hard not to buy it. And it gets even easier after reading his recent interview with CNN.com, which comes across as downright delusional in the wake of The Happening's paltry box office and flat-out virulent reviews. It's sad to see a filmmaker I respected so very, very much falling so very, very far. And hard.

Here's my favorite part of the interview: he not only claims The Happening is a B-movie, but declares it "the best B movie you will ever see." I really don't think Night understands what a B movie entails, do you?

But hey: I could be wrong. I am condemning his film without seeing it, which is something I don't like doing. I'll tell you what -- you go watch the movie and get back to me.

I'll wait.

Now playing: Coldplay - Death and All His Friends
via FoxyTunes

Weekly Chart: 6/9-6/15

Sorry about the dearth of material in the last few days -- I've had other distractions, some spotty internet connectivity, and I...well, frankly, haven't had anything to talk about. Steady posting resumes this evening.

For now, here's the chart I would've posted on Sunday had I not forgotten about it. An offhand comment made in an email sent me scrambling for the crazy comfort of my Mars Volta albums, and they take this week easily. It helps that their best song, "Cassandra Gemini," is split into eight separate tracks.

A strong showing also from Coldplay, whose new album -- Viva la Vida, or Death and All His Friends -- is the best of their career by far (and the best U2 album since Achtung Baby -- *rimshot*). Also, Devo. Because they are awesome, goddammit.

1. The Mars Volta (62 plays)
2. Jonathan Coulton (42)
3. Queens of the Stone Age (34)
4. Coldplay (32)
5. Devo (24)
6. Bright Eyes (19)
7. The Rolling Stones (10)
8. Elton John (9)
8. Radiohead (9)
10. The Kinks (8)

See the entire list here.

Now playing: Dire Straits - Money for Nothing
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Quiet lies the locust tells

Apparently, there's a documentary out called Dreams with Sharp Teeth that focuses on the life and career of Harlan Ellison, one of my favorite writers and a profound influence. Suffice to say, I'll have to wait for DVD.

But in the meantime, here's a fascinating interview with Ellison from The Onion A.V. Club. It's lengthy, but worth the read.

Part One.
Part Two.

Now playing: Vampire Weekend - I Stand Corrected
via FoxyTunes

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Weekly Chart: 6/2-6/8

Hey, a five-way tie for first. I used shuffle quite a bit more this week, resulting in a wider spread of artists. And if only Weezer's new album hadn't been so lackluster, they'd have grabbed the top spot, easy.

1. The Shins (20)
1. Van Morrison (20)
1. The Tragically Hip (20)
1. The White Stripes (20)
1. The Rolling Stones (20)
6. Weezer (19)
7. Radiohead (12)
8. Elvis Costello (11)
9. Counting Crows (10)
10. Queens of the Stone Age (9)
10. New Order (9)

See the entire list here.

Now playing: Bob Dylan - Visions of Johanna
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Radiohead is awesome even when played through a copy machine

You may have heard the amazing song "Nude," one of the standouts from Radiohead's most recent album In Rainbows. (One of the many, many standouts.) If not, watch this:

Now then. The band made individual pieces of the track available to the public, encourage fans to remix it themselves. Some of those remixes are good; some are bad. And then some are like this.

(And stick with the video, please; the song itself starts about a minute or so in.)

Big Ideas (Don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.

I can't be the only one who thinks that's awesome.

(A voice rises from the back: "Yes, you can be." Thank you, sir, thank you. Security!)

Now playing: Radiohead - Nude
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Like a dart stuck square in your eye

YouTube is filled with videos of people covering songs in their living rooms. I find myself perusing them at random sometimes. Most of them are, unsurprisingly, bad. But every once in a while...

This is katem3, and her version of "A Comet Appears" by the Shins. It equals, or perhaps -- dare I say -- surpasses the original. I can't stop listening to it.

The internet is a good thing, kids.

Now playing: The Rolling Stones - I Got the Blues
via FoxyTunes

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

While you make pretty speeches, I'm being cut to shreds

Hey there, Senator Clinton. I know you won in South Dakota last night, and you gave a speech to rouse your supporters and everything, and you have a plan and you said you weren't going to be making any decisions. I know that. I just wanted to tell you something.

Scoreboard, Senator. Look up at it. You've lost. For reals this time.

Now. Go away. Before you start to do serious damage to the party. You've already destroyed yourself.

Oh, and Senator Obama? First of all, congratulations and good luck in November. But don't even think of naming Clinton your running mate. Don't you dare. Say it with me now: "unmitigated disaster."

That is all.

Now playing: Radiohead - Like Spinning Plates
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

I am certifiably insane

I am. It's true. What else can explain it?

I went into Job Number Two this morning. About twenty minutes after clocking in, the cooks made a startling discovery: the natural gas that powers our ovens was, well, out. No gas. Meaning no ovens. Meaning we can't cook anything. You see how that might be a problem for a restaurant. In any case, with customers walking in and walking right back out again, I was told my services would not be required for the day. So I came home, grateful for a few extra hours off.

I did some reading. (Chuck Palahniuk is an odd duck, ladies and gentlemen.) I took a nap. It was good -- very, very good. And when I awoke, what was the first thing that popped into my head?

"Whoa -- Brent from Corner Gas was in an episode of The X-Files!"

He played a coroner in "Bad Blood," one of my favorite episodes. He appears for maybe a minute, has three or four lines. The last time I saw the episode, I hadn't seen Corner Gas. But now I have, and now I realize that it was him.

This information, of course, came from nowhere. I haven't seen the episode in years. But a quick trip to IMDB confirmed it. I was right.

And I'm a goddamn lunatic, is what I am.

Now playing: The Strokes - Heart in a Cage
via FoxyTunes

Weezer: The Red Album

Weezer - Weezer Well, this much is clear: Rivers Cuomo and his band of merry men no longer give a fuck what you think. That's certainly commendable, given the "Let's pander to the masses!" sound of their last three records. (You may recall us discussing this before.) So instead of a disc of tried and true three-chord power pop numbers destined to scale the charts, we find the band spreading out as far as they can. Rivers plays the drums. Rivers raps. Other band members write songs. Other band members sing. It feels truly experimental, which is not a word I ever thought I'd associate with Weezer. It's a nice breath of fresh air.

Now, if only it were really good.

It starts well. After kicking off with the snarling, snarky "Troublemaker," we move on to the album's standout, "The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)," which is no less that ten songs crammed into a six minute medley. They let it all hang out here, ranging from Beach Boys-esque harmonies to Queen choruses to police sirens and drunken rapping. It's all glorious and loads of fun, even if it shifts gears with the ease of a semi. After that is "Pork and Beans," and that's still one of their best singles ever. It's catchy, it's funny, and it's compelling in a way they haven't been in over a decade.

Unfortunately, that's when the wheels start to come off. "Dreamin'" is a great song, but the rest flails about for purchase without finding any. "Heart Songs" and "The Angel and the One" are both overlong and dreary, "Everybody Get Dangerous" is a jokey song that's not funny, and "Automatic" is just bad. It's nice to hear them spreading their wings and trying new things, sure, but it would have been nice to get a good album out of it.

It's time to face the cold, hard truth, kids. It's time to stop hoping that mommy and daddy are getting back together. Weezer -- the blue album Weezer, the Pinkerton Weezer, the Weezer we love -- is never coming back.

Which is truly a tragedy.

Rating: **1/2 (out of *****)

Now playing: Gabriel Mann - Someone Else for One Day
via FoxyTunes

That's one of the best casts I've ever seen

There is no one is this trailer I don't love. Plus the Coen brothers? Oh, I am so there.

Now playing: The Tragically Hip - Blow at High Dough
via FoxyTunes

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weekly Chart: 5/25-6/1

I stopped doing my iPod shuffles a while ago, after growing bored with them. But now I've found another weekly habit to torture you with that you might find interesting. I've started using last.fm to keep track of my music -- maybe you've seen the new blue box over there in the sidebar -- and one of the cool things it does is give you weekly charts, showing various stats for the week. Starting this week, I'll post each week's list of my top artists -- the music I listened to most that week. (I'm using artists instead of tracks because I think that's a more interesting list; this week's top tracks, for instance, are split among only two artists.) We'll see how long this goes before I get bored with it, huh?

This week, I discovered a few albums on my hard drive I'd forgotten I had -- namely, Maroon 5's It Won't Be Soon Before Long, which is nowhere near as bad as I remembered it being. In fact, it's pretty good. Also, Blind Melon's Soup, which was as underwhelming as I recalled, unfortunately. I also gave Green Day's Dookie a spin for the first time in four or five years. Some classics never get old. (Random nostalgic memory: I seem to recall that, back in high school, Josh somehow got his graphing calculator to play a tiny, garbled sound clip of "Basket Case." I recall thinking this was awesome. My iPod -- a device an eighth of the size of that clunky calculator and which holds twelve days' worth of CD-quality music -- thinks this is hilarious.)

The top ten (well, eleven; there was a tie for tenth):

1. Jonathan Coulton (66 plays)
2. Maroon 5 (35)
3. Harvey Danger (26)
4. Genesis (22)
5. Spoon (14)
6. Beth Kinderman (12)
7. Blind Melon (10)
7. Radiohead (10)
7. Green Day (10)
10. Billy Joel (9)
10. Coldplay (9)

You can see the entire list here.

Now playing: The Tragically Hip - Cordelia
via FoxyTunes

Nice one, Mom

FRINAN was called for jury duty today. Stunningly, our even-handed, fair-minded friend didn't make the final cut. I can't imagine why.

But I'm reminded of the time my Mom got called for jury duty. She actually found herself seated: it was a drug charge, a guy arrested for dealing drugs in a school zone. Oops. So they picked her, and she prepared to do her job as a decider of his fate.

One problem: the defense attorney realized the entire jury was made up of white people. The defendant? Hispanic. He made a plea to the judge, who agreed and dismissed everyone, starting over with a new set.

Mom came home furious. She hadn't wanted to spend a few days on a jury, but she felt she'd been personally insulted. In the kind of impassioned rant you've probably heard from me, she railed against the defense attorney and the judge, screaming about the implication that she was somehow unable to make a fair and impartial judgment of the evidence simply because of the color of her skin.

"And besides," she concluded, "I knew that kid was guilty just by looking at him."


Now playing: The Tragically Hip - Three Pistols
via FoxyTunes

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hey, is that Jerry O'Connell?

Now playing: Jim Rome - Wed, May 28th, 2008 Hour 1
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

There was also that time he and I spent twenty minutes in his front yard trying to draw the Undertaker's logo in the grass...in fire

So, Stephen is trying to get into the Houston Police Academy. I fully support this. Apparently, he put me down as a personal reference, because I received a call from the HPD this evening, running background. I got the typical questions: how long have I known him (I said ten years, but later realized that was wrong -- it's been twelve years, kiddies, no shit), how did we meet (high school, which honestly seems like time spent on another planet right now), that kind of stuff.

After providing decent background and acceptable information, the guy hits me with the final question: "Can you think of any reason why Stephen wouldn't make a good police officer?"

And in that nanosecond, my mind flooded with a very vivid memory: Stephen portraying a hitman in a stupid movie we were trying to make. We'd been watching Good Will Hunting a lot around that time, so we decided his character needed a thick Boston accent. He also said the word "fuck" every five seconds...only he was Bostonian, so it came out fahk.

Then I remembered a few months earlier, and Stephen taking his frustrations out on a hopelessly scratched copy of WWF Warzone...with a BB gun. He blasted that fucking disc to pieces.

I remembered other stuff, too. All in a fraction of a second, mind you, because before I was even done thinking about it, I was already talking. "Not at all," I said. "He'd make a terrific police officer."

And he will, too. Good luck, buddy.

(And if I'm ever accused of murder in the city of Houston, I will expect the evidence against me to become, ahem, "inadmissible," if you follow me, sir.)

(That was a joke, by the way.)

(No, it wasn't.)

(Yes, it was.)


(Seriously, though, dude.)

Now playing: Jonathan Coulton - Millionaire Girlfriend
via FoxyTunes

And I thought I got strange email

We all get odd emails from time to time. Most of them end up caught in our spam filters, but they still happen. But I've never received anything as batshit as the glorious slice of insanity MaryAnn Johanson just posted on her website. Ye gods! No question, the greatest email ever sent.

Now playing: Rush - YYZ
via FoxyTunes

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's nice to watch this every once in a while

Randy Newman is, quite possibly, the most sarcastic man to ever walk this planet.

Now playing: Maroon 5 - Makes Me Wonder
via FoxyTunes

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hang on a damn minute

As you may know, I tend to ascribe nicknames to baseball players. It's a habit. Conversely, I tend to disdain the nicknames such players ascribe to themselves -- that's my job, buddy.

Take, for instance, Lance Berkman. I've been calling him "Fat Elvis" for, oh, three years now. Lance, on the other hand, self-glossed himself "the Big Puma." I was unimpressed, and so was most of Houston -- I never heard anyone outside of Milo Hamilton call him that, and Milo's certifiably insane. (In a good way, mind you -- Milo's awesome. The greatest baseball announcer of all time, hands down.)

But now that Berkman's hitting like Mickey Mantle, the nickname is starting to actually catch on, despite how stupid it sounds. There's an article on the Astros website discussing the nickname and its popularity, and I find this:
It was Berkman who came up with the name. He was tired of being called "Fat Elvis," and during a semi-regular appearance on a local radio show two years ago, Berkman told the hosts he wanted to change things up.

"I'm like a Puma," Berkman said. At that moment, a cult hero was born. He's Lance Berkman, the Big Puma.

Nowadays, his manager refers to him as Big Puma. It's catching on with his teammates, too. And all because of Berkman's desire to replace the Fat Elvis label with a brand new image -- even if it's tongue-in-cheek.
Whoa -- who was calling Lance Berkman "Fat Elvis" and not telling me about it? That was mine, goddammit! Who stole it? Who?!

Oh, well. He's still Fat Elvis to me. And mean that in the nicest way, Lance, honestly. You're my favorite Astro (at least, current Astro). But...you're not a damn puma, okay? I don't care how far into your cheek you cram your tongue.

Now: is anyone else out there calling Morgan Ensberg "the Voyeur"? Because I will sue, damn you.

Now playing: Jay-Z - Can't Knock the Hustle
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I must admit, I like your enthusiasm

The cancellation of Firefly is still an open wound for many on the internet. Not to mention the countless other beloved shows that met premature ends -- Jericho, or Arrested Development, or my precious, glorious Veronica Mars. So geeks have reason to worry about their shows.

But fans of Joss Whedon have taken it a step further: they're gearing up a Save-Our-Show campaign to save his newest creation, Dollhouse...eight months before it even airs:

Fearing Dollhouse will get booted off the air, just like the Joss Whedon-helmed show Firefly, fans are plotting and organizing their efforts in online forums.

Led by DollhouseForums.com, the campaign urges followers to organize viewing parties, watch the trailers online, buy Dollhouse-endorsed merch and create more fan sites.

DollhouseForums' trailblazing leader Nathan posted the following as a call to arms: "After seeing some of my favorite television shows get canceled in the past -- as well as the 'save this show' campaigns that followed -- I had the idea that a fan campaign BEFORE the show begins may be the best thing to do."

Okay. Now. I like the idea of a preemptive strike. I really do. But...come on, people. Isn't that just kinda-sorta rampantly obnoxious? Let's wait until we've actually seen it before we try and save it. I mean, we don't even know if it's going to be any good. It might not be worth saving in the first place.

(Huh. I didn't even a chance to finish typing that last paragraph before the Browncoats started teargassing my apartment. Hey, I'm one of you! I loved Firefly! All right, okay, okay, I take it back! It'll be the greatest show in the history of television! Jesus. Gorram lunatics.)

Now playing: Slipknot - Before I Forget
via FoxyTunes

And she deserves every goddamn word of it, too

Now playing: Metallica - The Outlaw Torn
via FoxyTunes

Friday, May 23, 2008


BioShock is coming to the PS3!

And thus I have now literally no reason whatsoever to desire an X-Box 360. Ha-ha!

So then. Here's a Weezer video.

Now playing: Jonathan Coulton - Creepy Doll
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


When you play a song in Rock Band, you're given a star rating based on your score. (It's not based on accuracy, which is a little annoying. But whatever.) You are ranked from one to five stars. If you're playing on Expert difficulty, and you get a super-duper-awesome score, you can get even higher: five gold stars. This is exceedingly difficult, and requires true mastery of the track.

I've made it my mission in life to get five gold stars on every song we have -- all 99 of them. Since I suck with the Rock Band guitar and I'm not that good a drummer, it'll have to be on vocals. I'll keep track of my successes here. Why? Because I have to be able to brag about something, don't I?

Gold Stars achieved on...
[* denotes a perfect 100% performance]
  • "Maps"
  • "Creep" * (27th place on the PS3 Rock Band Leaderboard)
  • "Go with the Flow" *
  • "(Don't Fear) the Reaper" *
  • "Wonderwall"
  • "Buddy Holly" (28th on the Leaderboard)
  • "Interstate Love Song" (37th on the Leaderboard)

Monday, May 19, 2008

When it comes to chess...

...there's winning. And there's losing. And then there's losing. To wit:

I'm white, in case you're wondering. FRINAN is black.

Why didn't I resign long before it got this stage? Because I'm an enabler, that's why.

Man. Man, oh man.

Now playing: Toadies - Possum Kingdom
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part

There are people in this world who enjoy torturing me. Metallica? They're those kinds of people.

Their last album, St. Anger, came out in 2003. I loved it to pieces at the time -- as you'll recall -- but it's aged as well as episodes of Saved by the Bell. For the next record, they decided to go back an old-school sound and style, and to that end employed the Greatest Producer Who Ever Lived, Rick Rubin. They've been working on the thing for, like, ever now, and word has been slow in coming. Typical for Metallica, really, and I've been mostly ignoring any advance word or news, because I know it'll be ages before we get anything definitive.

Until today, that is. When I find Mission Metallica.

Yes, let's go inside the studio with the band as they're writing and recording the album. Yes, sneak peeks, please. Keep me informed at all times of the interminable wait for the record's release.

This is the greatest website ever. This is the worst website ever.


(Oh, and please ignore Monkey Man's rapping. He's a goofy guy.)

Now playing: Metallica - Hit the Lights
via FoxyTunes

Monday, May 12, 2008


There is no God.

Now playing: The New Pornographers - Testament to Youth in Verse
via FoxyTunes

O Canada!

I don't know why, but I have a love affair with Canada. All things Canadian seem to connect with me on some deep level.

Such as:
  • The Tragically Hip.
  • The Barenaked Ladies.
  • Arcade Fire.
  • Our Lady Peace.
  • Joni Mitchell.
  • Leonard Cohen.
  • The Kids in the Hall.
  • Corner Gas.
  • Rush.
  • My favorite pro wrestlers growing up were all Canadian: Bret and Owen Hart, Chris Jericho, and He Who Shall Not Be Named.
  • The first five seasons (read: the watchable seasons) of The X-Files were filmed there.
  • So is the new Battlestar Galactica.
  • The entire cast of SCTV.
  • James Cameron, who was one of my favorite filmmakers until Titanic -- he's Canadian.
  • And so on.
Those are just the ones off the top of my head. I've found a new Canadian band to love: the New Pornographers, whose "The Electric Version" has become one of my favorite Rock Band songs. The album of the same name is great, too.

Now playing: The New Pornographers - All for Swinging You Around
via FoxyTunes

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Trust me: you're completely dead

Time to face facts.

Actually, no -- the time to face facts was about a month ago.

Hillary Clinton has lost. It's over. Not even her precious Superdelegates are staying -- scurrying to Obama's camp like rats off a sinking ship.

Please go away. Please?

Pretty please?

You're turning the Democratic party into a joke. You're hurting our chances to beat McCain in November. And you're turning yourself in a laughingstock. Just stop, okay?

Please. Because after Tuesday night, your campaign looked a lot like this:

Don't delude yourself -- and try to delude us -- into thinking that if you just win West Virginia, you'll be back in it. You're not in it. It's over.

I beseech you, Hillary. Go away.


Now playing: Elvis Costello - I Can't Stand Up For Falling Down
via FoxyTunes

You'd hate for the kids to think that you've lost your cool

Weezer - PinkertonMy love for Weezer is not unconditional.

Rivers Cuomo has a singular talent for writing self-deprecating songs that nevertheless explode with Marshall-stacked power pop sound -- fist-pumping sing-alongs about loneliness and longing. Their first album, colloquially referred to as "the blue album," showed that off to considerable success: "Buddy Holly" and "Say It Ain't So" are just as popular today as they were fourteen (!!) years ago, and the blue album remains one of my favorites. Cuomo sang about surfing to work, playing Dungeons & Dragons in his garage, and the agony of sweater destruction, turning idiosyncrasies into outcast anthems. Millions of high school freshmen found their kindred spirit.

Weezer's next album, Pinkerton, improved upon the blue album in every respect -- it's one of the most raw, confessional records ever recorded. (Pitchfork, while naming it one of the best albums of the '90s, called it "the catchiest LiveJournal blog [we've] ever heard.") And it isn't just raw in emotion, but in sound, too: Pinkerton is infamously underproduced, packed with feedback, screeching and off-key backing vocals. The shaky sound adds urgency to the desperation of the songs, which all ache with that same loneliness and longing. But this time, Cuomo made his lyrics fiercely personal: "El Scorcho," one of the greatest unrequited love songs ever written, burns with intimate details. "Goddamn, you half-Japanese girls do it to me every time/And the redhead said you shred the cello, and I'm Jell-O, baby," he sings to the object of his affection. "Across the Sea" is an even more personal story, inspired by a fan's letter: "They don't make stationery like this where I'm from/So fragile, so refined/So I sniff and I lick your envelope/And fall to little pieces every time/I wonder what clothes you wear to school/I wonder how you decorate your room/I wonder how you touch yourself/And curse myself for being across the sea."

Sure, one might think that such specifics would make it harder for the listener to relate to the songs, but really, that frankness makes it easier to relate -- rather than giving vague, clichéd platitudes, Cuomo tells you exactly what he's going through, drawing you in. I've never longed for an eighteen-year-old Japanese girl who wrote me a letter about my music, but I have felt a disconnect from all of the people around me, and sought desperately for someone to connect with...and found just as much success as Rivers does in "Across the Sea."

But Pinkerton failed, both commercially and critically. (At the time, anyway -- critics and fans have since discovered the album again, with Rolling Stone even giving it a new five-star review.) And when Weezer returned with another self-titled album five years later, something had changed. Those frank details were replaced with...vague, clichéd platitudes. Songs like Pinkerton's "Pink Triangle" -- an achingly sad but funny tale about falling in love with a girl, only to discover "I'm dumb/She's a lesbian!" -- were nowhere to be found. The green album wasn't a total waste -- Rivers still has his gift for pop songcraft, of course -- but it felt like a letdown.

And it didn't get any better with Maladroit. And in 2005, they released Make Believe, an almost entirely forgettable waste of time. So, as I said, my love for Weezer is far from unconditional.

But this morning, I heard their new single for the first time. And while I don't like to give in to hyperbole, "Pork and Beans" may just be the best song they've recorded since 1996. Here, have a listen:

The new album -- which we're calling "the red album," apparently -- comes out next month.

I await it eagerly.

Now playing: Weezer - Pork and Beans
via FoxyTunes

Friday, May 09, 2008

I've been saying some of this stuff for years

Particularly that stuff about Arlington Road.

It's the 5 Most Needlessly Complex Terror Plots in Film History, courtesy of Cracked. It's good stuff.

Now playing: The Decemberists - The Tain
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A few notes

I've decided on the name of the next Revolver episode: "Hey Jealousy." It works on a few levels, as you'll see. (Assuming the title remains the same. Which it probably won't. You know how it goes.)

I've also resumed posts at A Great Disservice, if you hadn't noticed.

And now I see that there are new things on each post here: a place to give star ratings for my posts. I didn't ask for this. I don't know why it's there. But it's there. You can rate my posts if you want. I certainly won't mind. If the ratings are good, anyway. Never mind. It's gone now. What the hell?

And then here: watch this.

Now playing: Gin Blossoms - Hey Jealousy
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The cake is a lie

So, the last few days have been good as far as life goes. If by "life," I mean "the world of movies, music, books, and video games, which I hold up as a shiny fireworks display to distract from my miasmatic personal life," then yeah, it's been good.

Friday -- Iron Man. A fantastic film, and one of the better comic book movies. You should definitely see it if you haven't already, and it wouldn't hurt to see it again if you have.

Saturday -- the Usual Suspects dropped by for what has become a weekly event: a combination of Rock Band and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fortunately, I have many episodes of the program on DVD -- this week, I believe our feature will be Monster A Go-Go. You guys thought Girl in Gold Boots was bad? Oh, you ain't seen nuthin' yet.

Sunday -- I caught up on last week's House (good), several old episodes of Corner Gas I had cluttering my DVR (very good), and the last few episodes of Scrubs (spotty). I also watched a few of the South Park episodes that had begun to accumulate, and I have to ask: are Matt and Trey completely out of ideas? Because every episode this season has just been a rehashing of an old movie. I know they do that a lot, and it's fine, but this season already we've had The Lottery, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Grapes of Wrath, Stand and Deliver, and frickin' Heavy Metal.

Monday -- I (finally!) picked up the Orange Box for the PS3, and got to play Portal for the first time. Six hours later, of course, I was finished, but I was well-satisfied with my purchase. And as much as I love playing "Still Alive" in Rock Band, it's a billion times funnier in context. And now I'll finally get to play Half-Life 2's Episodes 1 and 2! And play Half-Life 2 again! (You remember how enthralled with the game I was the first time.)

Today -- I finished reading Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, which is easily one of the ten best books I've ever read. Then I returned home to find that Trent Reznor has decided to release the new Nine Inch Nails album, The Slip, totally for free.

Ah: good times.

I also must now fulfill a promise, and offer thanks to my Pizza Place co-worker Al, who stayed for an extra few minutes the other day to help me out while I was closing. He also read this blog -- all of it, apparently. A truly Herculean endeavor, sir. Thanks.

Now playing: Nine Inch Nails - Head Down
via FoxyTunes