The Neurotic Monkey's Guide to Survival

"These STILL aren't my pants!"

Friday, January 15, 2010

Where'd I Go?

Far, Far Away -

Actually I've just moved to this site -

It's pretty much the exact same, just more consistent?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pretty Boy Ain't So Pretty No Mo': First Look at the Joker

Ahoy hoy!

(Quick aside--the reason why Mr. Burns answers the phone that way in The Simpsons is because that's how Alexander Graham Bell wanted people to say "hello" on the phone - like the French "allo" or the Japanese "moshi moshi." Clearly, this did not catch on - unless we bring it back. Now back to an even nerdier post)

So Ain't It Cool News first brought the following items to my attention through this article. In the past week, some interesting online ad campaigns have sprung up for The Dark Knight, the sequel to Batman Begins. In this movie, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) continues growing into his role as Batman while contending with The Joker (and possibly Two-Face). I personally hated Batman Begins (as seen here), and I understand I'm in the vast minority on that one. And that's okay - i believe history will vindicate me one day. But I still believe in the brothers Nolan, and with Katie Holmes and David Goyer absent from the project - plus the addition of Nestor Carbonell as the Mayor of Gotham - not to mention my own geeky proclivities, I will still see this movie in theaters. Sigh, cuz I'm a big pussy. But on to the cool interweb sensations that Warner Brothers is spreading on the web!

First, was the quiet marketing campaign of revealing Aaron Eckhart as Harvey Dent (who later becomes Two-Face) by using the clever political ad for Dent's run at District Attorney (seen below).

Then, came this piece of the puzzle - which was a viral site smearing Dent's political poster. The thing is, as you enter your email, the poster image begins to get broken down, pixels removed to reveal the face of....Heath Ledger as The Joker!!! Quint has since posted the image of The Joker sans all remaining pixels. Here it is:

Does it look vaguely reminiscent of Brandon Lee as The Crow? Yes, but it also looks like it good be cool. He just looks like a fucked up dude. Plus any time you can scar up a pretty boy and cake him in make up is a good day for me. Anyways, let me know your thoughts on this new look for The Joker.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Home

Thomas Wolfe once famously said, “You can’t go home again.” While I tend to shy away from clichés, I happen to think this sad adage about growing up and apart from our childhood selves has special significance in my life. Halfway through high school, I moved to a different town and school. While this is a pretty huge event in the maturation and formation of anyone, for me it didn’t just signify a change in zip code and social circles but instead it changed the way I thought about “home”.

I grew up in Lincoln, MA, but I don’t consider that my hometown. Sure, that’s where my earliest experiences and oldest friends come from, but I never saw it to completion. I never experienced all of the dizzying drama that the last two years of high school bring, never experienced the collective insanity of graduation with those people. I drifted apart from so many of them, since high school is all about immediacy and I lived 2 hours away. I don’t even know where half of my old friends ended up, what college they went to, or who they brought to the prom.

I finished off high school in Sandwich, MA located on sunny Cape Cod. I made a few good friendships there; mostly my social circle was comprised of casual acquaintances with a similar sense of humor. This was where I prepared to go to college, where I had some of my more important teenage experiences, and where my parents continue to live to this day. But Sandwich isn’t my home, it’s not where I grew up; I don’t know any of the old traditions or any of the old friendships. I never really fit in because I wasn’t truly from there.

I obviously can never go back to Vassar College. Besides being a ridiculous idea for a living situation (although perfect for a FOX sitcom), there’s something absolutely depressing and defeatist by simply holing up in the old alma mater. Reliving glory days that never happened and creeping out new incoming freshman every autumn is hardly a life worth living.

After college, I moved to New York City. In my tiny apartment in the East Village, where my room comprised of my bed and a lamp I made in seventh grade woodshop, I never really felt like it was my home. More like a layover until I found the place where I truly belonged. I’m too courteous, polite and meek to survive in a city where I get yelled at for apologizing. Every day was a struggle for the survival of my civility. It was too expensive for a man of my meager wages, and constantly forced this homebody to venture into the outside world. As Jim Croce sings,
Though all the streets are crowded
There’s somethin’ strange about it
I lived there ‘bout a year and I never once felt at home
I thought I’d make the big time
I learned a lot of lessons awful quick
And now I’m tellin’ you
That they were not the nice kind
And it’s been so long since I have felt fine, that’s the reason

That I gotta get out of here
I’m so alone
Don’t you know that I gotta get out of here
cause New York’s not my home

I just moved to Philadelphia. I’m living with my best friend and his girlfriend, in a bigger apartment for much less money. My sister and her husband are nearby, as is my other best friend. And yet, I can’t help but feel like a houseguest who will shortly be overstaying his welcome. The streets don’t make any sense, and the public transit system is practically non-existent. Add into that the fact that it’s not quite that big of a city, especially when compared to New York, and this doesn’t feel like home either.

I don’t really have roots anywhere, although most of my family is located in Massachusetts. But even then, that’s not really any place I want to live or feel personally attached to. And I think that all of these reasons and listings of malcontent produce this real feeling of homelessness (not houselessness) in me. And that’s why I’m such a sad and rabid consumer.

I have thousands of DVDs, videos, books, comics, CDs, mp3s. I collect all of these items (most of which will become technologically obsolete in about 6 months) so that I have some semblance of normality. If I surround myself with all of these items, these familiar bits of escapism that have informed me and my outlook throughout my life, then I can create a crude version of home. The walls are patches of DVDs strewn together, under a roof of comic books. I sleep on a bed of CDs and eat on a table of familiar books I read repeatedly. My makeshift house of media and distraction travels with me in bags and boxes, ready to be constructed—my misdirection for the magical act of appearing normal.

So will I ever have a home? Will I ever sit in a house or apartment and look around and finally feel AT HOME? Not just because all my stuff is there but because it’s the place where my soul rests and where I feel safe and comfortable? I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that I can create a home out of the people I’m with, the people I love, and not rely on the latest issue of Wizard magazine to remind me that I’m way I should be. And maybe when I reach that level, that moment of semi-contentment, maybe that’ll be the moment I finally feel like an adult. I’ll finally feel like I’m living in this world, instead of just wasting time until my fantasy life becomes real.


Thursday, May 03, 2007


I'm only a few hours away from seeing Peter Bjorn and John in concert, and this is still the best news of the day. This made my little nerd heart grow ten sizes bigger. Thanks to Ain't It Cool News for actually providing cool news for once.

Ladies and gentlemen...

The Monster Squad
is coming to DVD on July 24th!!!!!!!

That is the cover art for the DVD. Now if this helps bring Night of the Creeps to digital versatile disc, I will be the happiest nerd in nerdtown.

FRISKY DINGO THURSDAYS!!!! The Final Chapter (for now)

This is it - so now that you've seen all 13 episodes - tell me what you think. And make sure Adult Swim also knows what you think about the whole durn thing.

Personally, I think it, coupled with The Venture Brothers, represent a great and hilarious direction for the network (and if they had kept Perfect Hair Forever, it would make for a great trifecta of random genre parody).

Anyways, here it is:

Frisky Dingo
Episode Thirteen
"Thrust Issues"



Tuesday, May 01, 2007

But Who Watches the Watchmen? Apparently Tim Kring...douchebag.


This is an older story (I first read about it over a month ago on CHUD here), and one that is quite famously making its way across the web as nerds all over feel scorned by their mainstream acceptable entertainment. A recent storyline development in Heroes has started resembling a MAJOR plot point in Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons's seminal 1986 comic series, Watchmen. And by resembling, I mean Tim Kring and his team of writers have pretty much ripped off one of the most respectable and well known comic books in the history of the medium.

Before I get into the spoiler laden debate over Heroes's plagiarism, I wish to give a little background on both entities. Watchmen is one of the most influential comic books in terms of both within the industry and outside of it. Inside the industry, Watchmen changed the way a lot of people looked at superheroes, specifically the morality & psychology of people who dress up in tights to save the world and also what the realistic ramifications of having superpowered beings on our planet would be for the rest of the populace. Suddenly there were blemishes on Superman's cape, and Batman appeared like a bit more of a sociopath in long underwear. That's not to say that Moore's book was just a subversive attack on the superhero genre. It was also a love letter to creation, art, archetypes, and the human spirit. It told a story of misguided and fallible heroism, but it was merely holding a mirror up to us all. None of us are perfect and valiant all the time, but most of us aren't just plain evil either. It's a muddled picture where the good guys do horrible things, and horrible people can be good guys. If you haven't read it, I simply can't recommend it enough. Watchmen will be turned into a movie next year by Zack Snyder (of 300 and Dawn of the Dead remake fame), and apparently will still take place in 1985. For more information on Watchmen, check out the Wikipedia page.

That's a tough act to follow. But Heroes has been making a name for itself on TV since its premiere, which drew in 14.3 million viewers. Heroes is a character driven drama in which the main characters are all slowly discovering (or, in some cases, mastering) very special and unique traits, powers if you will, that set them apart from everyone else. Some find their new talents to be a gift and revel in the possibilities, while others see their new abilities as a curse and try their best to hide it. The show has a quick pace that constantly keeps its large cast moving, advancing the plot with every episode, and showing the interconnectivity of everyone involved. Fan favorites Claire (the indestructible cheerleader) and Hiro (the time travelin' transportatin' Japanese businessman/nerd) represent the divide in how people feel about their gifts, and also provide the show with its comedy and heart. There are a lot of mysteries that have been introduced throughout the show's first season, along with a bunch of horrible taglines (covered here). It is a good mainstream show that is occasionally clunky with its dialogue and yet compelling due to the constantly forward moving plot (which at times makes it predictable, but at least is never a cocktease like its serial genre father, Lost).


In its ever expanding story, recent developments have prompted politician Nathan Petrelli, who can fly, to allign himself with his mysterious mobster benefactor, Linderman. Linderman, who before his appearance on the show came across as a devious, manipulating cold-blooded villain, also has a power himself - the ability to heal. It turns out the Linderman used to be in a super group with other "special" people, who tried to save the world becoming fractured and pursuing their own paths and desires. However, Linderman never stopped wanting to save the world - and now has a scheme which will bring America together. His scheme? He wishes to set off a living bomb in New York City, killing millions (but only .07% of the world population, he is careful to point out), and hopes that the tragedy will unite Americans and get them behind then presidential candidate Petrelli who, in turn, will usher in years of prosperity and peace. It's actually a great idea, and the manipulative use of collateral damage and tragedy in hopes for advancing unity is something that has been used before in old issues of Weird Science and episodes of The Outer Limits.

The real problem? This is exactly the overarching plot of Watchmen. Ozymandias, the former costumed hero with super intelligence, sees that only by using a great horrible cataclysmic event can the world ban together. But to sell the tragedy he creates these horrible alien creatures which he will teleport into Times Square, killing millions in the process and staging what appears to be a failed alien invasion. With this attack from the ultimate outside, the world begins to pool together, and the rest of the heroes allow this new age to begin (although one is killed to ensure that it will happen).

So to recap:
-Ultimate villain a former hero with noble intentions? Check
-A devastating attack on New York City which will kill many, but are mathematically expendable for idealistic pursuit? Check.
-Other heroes who will tacitly comply once they begin to turn to the new reasoning of the Villain? Check.

The main issue I have isn't that Heroes uses THE SAME plot device as Watchmen. My problem is that it never gives credit for the story or acknowledges that it's been done previously. Tarantino rips off/pays homage to hundreds of movies in each of his films--but he gets a pass from nerds. Why? Because he acknowledges that he is using those movies, tells others about the movies he is borrowing from, and clearly is a big fan of those movies. Kring, on the other hand, continues in his "I HAVE NEVER READ COMICS IN MY LIFE EVER" stance, and refuses to publicly tip his hat to Moore & Gibbons. He maintains the position that since he has never read ANY comic books, his conscience is clear. Behold, from the official 9th Wonders website:
DL- I sent you the trade compilation of J. Michael
Stracynzki's "Rising Stars," a now fully complete story about a group of kids
all from the same town who develop supernatural abilities (and are thusly
labeled "Specials")... my question: Why didn't you read it? (and "no time" is
not an acceptable answer, pal!)
TK- I'm intrigued by this question because
obviously something I've done with HEROES proves to you that I didn't read it.
The problem is, since I didn't read it, I don't know what that is. Did I miss
something I should have stolen? Did I steal something and don't know it? I fear
the latter from the tone of your question. But the truth is I didn't read it for
a couple reasons.
First and foremost, because this show deals in the arena
of the super hero and comic book world, I didn't want to be tempted or
discouraged by other ideas out there. Very early on in the process, I went to
see my friend Jeph Loeb for just this reason. I told him I was not well versed
in this world and wanted him to steer me away from anything that was derivative
or just out and out stealing. Unfortunately EVERYTHING I pitched to him had not
only been done once, but many times in many ways. I literally went home that
night convinced that I couldn't touch this subject without reinventing the wheel
at best, and outright plagiarism at worst.
I finally decided, maybe
foolishly so, not to read anything. In this way, at least my conscience is
clear. And I have surrounded myself here with enough comic book folks who can
tell me what to veer away from.

So Jeph Loeb is to blame? I never did like Hush anyway (nerdy comic reference/joke). But the problem here is that he admits that he surrounds himself with people in the industry (not the least is Tim Sale & Jeph Loeb who have been working for a long time for the Big Two - DC & Marvel). Watchmen is considered THE cornerstone of modern comic book storytelling. You can't be considered at all knowledgeable about comics without knowing this book. You can't even DISCUSS comics after 1985 without bringing up this mammoth and legendary contribution to literature. So my problem isn't that he came up with the same idea - although I am INCREDIBLY skeptical of that, too. No, my problem is that a brilliant piece of work is being used without any proper recognition - and it's being used POORLY, i might add. And I worry that if/when Watchmen does make its way to theaters, if people (by which I mean the vast majority who have never heard of the landmark series) won't suddenly decry the movie's third act as ripping off Heroes!

has subsequently gone on to a botched plagiarism of the epic "Days of Future Past" storyline from Uncanny X-Men #141-142 in their latest trip to a dark future where the powered people are rounded up by the government. They've even included scarred cast mates and former villains turned allies in their vision of dystopia.

C'mon, Heroes! And to Mr. Moore - you would have nothing to do with the pretty good adaptation of V for Vendetta, but you allowed this to pass? Unleash Hell, Mr. Moore. By which I mean your legal staff!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays: MONDAY Edition!!!! - PART XII

Only one more to go after this one folks, so Drink it In!

Episode Twelve: "Penultimate Fighting"



Get to Better Know a Clone

This picture is equal parts hilarious, adorable, and deeply disturbing. It's from GQ. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays!!! - Part Eleventy

Episode 11: "Grate Escape"



Thursday, April 19, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays!!! - Part Xticle

Episode Ten: "Flowers for Nearl"

Part 1

Part 2

Monday, April 16, 2007

One Nerd's Opinion: The Top Films of 2006

Yes it is a bit belated, but I had to be sure to see most if not all the most buzz worthy of films. Although I still didn't see Dreamgirls...and to be honest? I'm okay with that. Also missed out on Norbit. I know that was in 2007, but I think that's what everyone should say if they ever wish to procreate--"Have you ever seen Norbit, and if so, did you watch it ironically?"

Anyways, without further ado here's my Top 5 films of 2006:

  1. Children of Men
    Cuaron's film is so many things at once: effective sci-fi, scathing political commentary, action journey film. It also does all these things while still having moments of wit and humor, and grounding everything in the real; nothing feels terribly manufactured, and that's perhaps while it's still able to convey such a powerful emotional message. Cuz while it's not nearly as moving as United 93, Children of Men is able to go for beyond just sheer tragedy and horror to actually discuss a great many things on a great many levels. Great soundtrack, too.

  2. United 93
    The best film I never want to see again, yet always feel oddly compelled to watch it. Greengrass made a film that feels like a documentary (helped most ably by his cast, which has most of the actual people reliving that horrible morning), in so much that it's showing the bare bones and realistic occurrences of 9/11, but it does it while also maintaining the growing sense of confusion, fear, horror and ultimately panic that everyone felt that day. Of course capturing the near primal scene aboard the titular plane in such a way that seems fearsome and grotesque while retaining its heroism and humanity, the film refuses to be used as a political soapbox for anyone and simply asks to look at the faces and listen to the words of the people who were involved in that entire tragedy.

  3. The Fountain
    Aronofsky's film was a huge disaster. At least that's how most people, including box office prognosticators, would have you believe. And I'm not about to take the gross nerd copout route of saying "people didn't get it". In fact, this film is fairly easy to get (although still open to interpretation and debate). However, the film is simplicity itself: it's about life and death and how love fits in between and among those two pillars of our reality. The Fountain is such a simple story of how we don't want to die, how we're so afraid of death, how the shadow of death creates a pall over all over our lives, that we don't even notice the great things like love. Kudos to Wolverine for proving he can act, by the way.

  4. Brick
    One of the best debuts of a filmmaker since the historic Sundance Class of '92, Rian Johnson's amazing film first takes a-so-obvious-I-can't believe-it-was-never-done-before premise (high school + film noir), and then actually makes a great film, not simply resting on the genius of that pairing. The plot and dialogue is pure Chandler (of who I happen to be a big fan), and the acting is so well done. Brick is simply a great exercise in characterization and style, and I can't wait to see what Johnson does next.

  5. Borat
    Funniest movie of last year. I don't care about the lawsuits, or how it destroyed Kid Rock & Pamela Anderson's marriage, or any of that jive--this movie had me laughing so hard in theaters that I literally was in pain. My head hurt and my sides hurt from all of the laughter, while my eyes hurt from looking at Ken Davitian's taint. It's not the great American satire or looking glass that it could've been, but it provided plenty of "Holy Shiite!" moments, that even such things are forgiven. High Five!

    And here's the remaining ten in my top 15:
  6. A Scanner Darkly
  7. The Descent
  8. Pan's Labyrinth
  9. Stranger Than Fiction
  10. Talladega Nights: The Ricky Bobby Story
  11. Slither
  12. Little Miss Sunshine
  13. Lady Vengeance*
  14. Volver
  15. Idiocracy
Thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Let me hear it!

*Yes, I know Sympathy for Lady Vengeance originally came out in 2005, but it didn't make it to our shores until 2006. So deal with it.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays - Part IX

It's back! Frisky Dingo's got sumthin for e'rybody!

Episode 9: "The Odd Couple"



Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Kurt Vonnegut, Amazing Man and Personal Hero, dead at 84

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. has passed away. And so it goes.

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can't see from the center.

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. is one of my personal heroes and true inspirations in my life. He told tales of morality, of lunacy, of passion, of life, of death, of heroic freaks and freakish heroes. His novels were daring and weird, bouncing between genres like ricochet bullets, dangerously blending the fantastic with the utterly mundane.

His science fiction tales were always rooted in the all too human characters, complete with foibles and flaws and funny expressions, that peppered his stories. They were funny and tragic without being caricatures. His words were simple, true and unafraid. He has informed more people with his silly stories than most people do with their solemn lectures. Here is a link to the NY Times article about his passing and his life.

What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.

He was the author of many great works that will stand the test of time and forever be staples in the bookbags and shelves of clever, passionate people for generations to come. His novels include Player Piano, Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, Galapagos, The Sirens of Titan, Jailbird, Slapstick, Deadeye Dick, Timequake, Breakfast of Champions, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Bluebeard. He was also incredibly adept at the short story, where he got his start, creating such amazing stories as "Harrison Bergeron" and "All the King's Horses".

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

My favorite book of his was most not his best liked, but to me it was the simplest and truest rumination on war, education, the penal system, families, and America at large. Hocus Pocus tells the tale of Eugene Debs Hartke, a former Vietnam vet, college professor and resident at the new prison. Vonnegut uses his protagonist to muse on the realities of growing older but not necessarily wiser. Eugene contemplates his place in the world amidst the new faces of war and government in increasingly cynical times. His sexual liaisons equal the same amount of people he's killed, and we're talking more than just a few handfuls. He is a sad, tragic figure that manages to still be quite charming and funny and is even allowed a few profound statements throughout the novel. It may not be the best introduction to Vonnegut, but it is an amazing read that has resonated with me since I've read it.

When I moved to Cape Cod halfway through high school, one of the few things that perked me up in my new location was the fact that I wasn't too far from where Vonnegut used to live. It's a nerdy and completely meaningless fact as Vonnegut had already relocated to New York by then, but for some reason the fact that a great man with such a gift had walked the same quiet roads in the nothing towns that I lived in managed to make me think I could escape and my lowly status wouldn't preclude me from attempting to try and bask in the man's shadow.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

Here is an eight part look at the man's work and life available on YouTube:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8

God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut. And so it goes, and so it goes...

Hilarity Ensues?

Some things to make you chuckle on this fine day in April (the cruelest month, donchaknow):

  • First Kramer, then Imus, and now...La-Z-Boy?: Yes, behold the story of the racist furniture! Who knew the Chinese had problems with black people? Maybe Yao's constantly muttering racial epithets when he's on the court and looking like an undead giant. Anyways, check out this story:
  • Who Knew Our Vice President Was Such a Skeev? Oh, that's right--everybody.

  • SHAMELESS SELF PROMOTION: As many of you may know, I've been working with my writing partner (and heterolifemate) Keith Doughty on The Goonies: The Musical. With the recent announcement that Richard Donner and Steven Spielberg are trying to make a real charge to Broadway, we're attempting to start an internet sensation. First stop? MySpace! So if you have a MySpace account, please add us to your friends. Head over to our page to listen to & download our songs:
  • A Great Song about Robots NOT by Jonathan Coulton? This song is amazing! It's like "Blinded Me With Science" meets Short Circuit. Well done, sir! I present to you "We're In Business" by Andrew Thompson:

  • Need Help Writing the Great American Novel? Try These!
  • Before the Fockers, There Was Comedy: And while the new Die Hard Trailer is red hot right now, behold the much better trailer featuring John McClane, back when Ben Stiller was funny (although already showing signs of being annoying):

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Quiz Time!!!!

Hey everyone!

Please fill out the quiz below. I'll give it until Sunday night at 11pm Eastern, and then I'll post my own answers. Remember - answer completely and honestly. Thanks for the anonymity, Interweb!

  • Favorite Beatle?
  • Last Book Read
  • Last Movie You Saw in Theaters
  • Favorite Sexual Position?
  • What drugs have you done?
  • What Drugs Do you want to do?
  • Who was your teenage celebrity crush growing up?
  • Favorite Bill Murray Film?
  • Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck?
  • Favorite Drink?
  • What’s the best sitcom of all time?
  • Name one unusual place that you want to have sex. Why there?
  • What would your porn name be? (first pet + first street you lived on)
  • Kicks to the Groin: Funny or Not Funny at all?
  • Favorite song by The Rolling Stones?
  • Who’s your favorite super hero (Spidey week in NYC, 4/30-5/6!)?
  • How often do you watch porn?
  • Most distinguished/pompous book you’ve read
  • Prince: Yay or Nay?
  • Would you rather have a boat or a plane?
  • What is your favorite Velvet Underground album?
  • Favorite word?
  • Favorite kids’ book?
  • Name of the company you would start is:

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


So what could rouse the sleeping giant that is the author of this blog?

Is it a post about etiquette in the men's room?

No (but I am working on that).

Is it a post about the dangerous threat posed by MechaJackson?

No (but I am working on that, too).

So what could possible lead me out of semi-retirement like some overacting Michael Corleone?

Simply put, today is my girlfriend's birthday. So, without further ado:


Today she turns 25 years old (rue the day when the words "years young" follow your age), and I bet she's having a helluva time of it in NYC. Meanwhile, I'm stuck in the anal bathwater that is Philadelphia.

We've been dating for almost 10 months (anniversary is on Monday), and it's been a helluva blast. There's been loving, and laughing, and fighting, and crying, and fun times and a case of a missing sandal. (inside joke, prepare for those peppered throughout this thing. sorry, we're just that cute.)

But today is her day, and she deserves nothing but the best. She puts up with all of my manic-depression with few complaints, and constantly helps me as I try to become a better person and a slightly better adjusted adult. She's amazing in the way that she is always so cool and so fun and so easygoing, and makes it look like it's not some herculean effort to put up with all of the bullshit this world flings at us like an irate monkey.

She's always really good at everything she tries her hand at: whether it be her cooking (my baby's a chef--like Raekwon!), her singing, any game she decides to play (best Guitar Hero player ever? at least, that's not japanese or Wil Wheaton), or anything else she sets her mind to.

She's an amazing woman who is so grounded, it rubs off on others around her. But it's not that boring type of grounded where she's just a walking buzzkill. If anything, she's the walking high school kegger and I'm the panicky older brother who has to warn her to keep it down cuz Mom and Dad are gonna be SO mad that they left me in charge.

She has great taste (except in men, obviously) in movies, tv, music (except who likes JT and Robin Thicke THAT much? that's not a gay guy, i mean...). her fashion sense is impeccable, and only adds to highlight just how beautiful she really is. And she is stunning. Sometimes you wake up next to somebody and you feel like you just wandered into the Jabberwocky. But with her, when I wake up and look at her, she is just so breathtaking that all I can do is smile and feel awkward for my own aesthetic shortcomings.

So get off your asses and raise those glasses--this is for Zoe. Happy birthday, gorgeous: I love you and I wish you the best day you've ever had.

See you soon, love!

(And in honor of her birthday i present you with the greatest music video of all time. In fact it's our it's not, cuz that would be weird. But still it makes us giggle.)

Samwell, "What What in the Butt" (not exactly safe for work)

PS. All haters and trolls can suck it. Yeah, that's right...suck it. And if you think it's lame that i'm writing about my girlfriend like a 13 year old gushing about how HOTTT Fall Out Boy is, then think about how lame it is to not understand the need to do that or the lack of an opportunity to do that in your own sad, lonely, pitiful existence. Bitches.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays - Part VIII

Episode 8 - "Blind Faith"

Part 1

Part 2

Gotta love blind Killface!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Saddle Rash

Somehow I missed this one.

It was on Adult Swim and came from a lot of the same people from Home Movies, which is one of my all time favorite shows ev-ah.

It's called Saddle Rash, and it's pretty durn funny, although it does take a lil while to get going.

This show has got H. Jon Benjamin, Sarah Silverman, Mitch Hedberg, Waylon Jennings and Todd Barry amongst others in a hilarious and weird send up of westerns. I guess only a pilot was ever made/shown (especially following the deaths of Hedberg and Jennings - mayhaps a gypsy curse felled this project?).

But here it is - thanks YouTube!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Frisky Dingo Thursdays - Part VII

This may be my favorite episode ever. It includes my favorite line which I'll quote at the end of this post.

Without further ado, I give you Episode 7 - "Meet Antagone"

Part 1

Part 2

The Line? "Once again, the mall has become my Waterloo."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tip of the Hat to You, Sir!

Well, here it is.

The winner for next year's Oscar, and definitely going to be THE movie to watch for in 2007.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you...Black Sheep

(No, it's not a joke. Although it is supposed to be horror/comedy hybrid - a la Slithers, Bad Taste, Evil Dead 2 - this movie is for realz. Pretty Awesome, right?)

Frisky Dingo Thursdays (Tuesday Edition) - Part VI

God bless you, Killface.

Episode 6 - "Emergency Room"

Part 1

Part 2

Friday, January 05, 2007

Real Life Pac-Man

Live Action Pac-Man of the Arcade Video Game. Only Japan can come up with something like this.

Friday Grab Bag

  • So This is WAS Christmas, Wasn't It? - Every year the good folks over at Venture Industries releases some sort of holiday treat (last year it was the Monarch & Dr. Girlfriend's stirring rendition of the Bing & Bowie classic "Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth"). Well this year is no exception. Over at Quick Stop Entertainment, the team of Jackson Publick & Doc Hammer - along with a plethora of their voice actors - has unleashed holiday Hell in the form of a superb cover of a traditional British christmas song. Right click here to download.
  • Direct to Podcast? That Makes Me the Premiere - Remember how you used to love Mystery Science Theater 3000? Remember those crazy halcyon days you would talk about the show (referring to it in the ultra hip, yet fairly efficient, manner of "MST3K") endlessly? Hoping there was someway Mike and the 'Bots could bring their snarky comments to more recent films? And what if I told you that you could have those voices in your head during the movie come from an iPod and not just your repressed traumatic memories of boy scout camp? Does that sound like something you'd be interested in? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, stop talking to your computer. People will think there's something wrong with you. Are you out of your damn mind? But more importantly, head on over to RiffTrax. RiffTrax is the revolutionary interactive commentary system by Mike Nelson (he played "Mike" on MST3K - not much in the character name stretching dept., but that's life) and usually features at least one fellow cohort (usually one of the voices of the bots!). Basically you pay anywhere from 99 cents to $3.99 for a audio file, download it to your computer, put it on your favorite Mp3 player, and then play it during the particular movie featured. It's a pretty cool idea and I wouldn't be surprised if this starts popping up all over the place. Anyways, head on over and check out some of the free samples.
  • Not Funny, But Still Pretty Friggin Cool - Yup, Giant Squids are all over the place. Do NOT fuck with them. I remember a time when we didn't even know they existed, and now it appears that we're gonna have to battle them all for the supremacy of our world. Oh well. They used a chainsaw to defeat the one in Peter Benchley's The Beast, so how tough can they be? Special Props to my Friend Erin who sent me this link with the note "Don't Go in the Water! Giant Squids are more plentiful than we thought!" Excellent use of the word "plentiful" - 5 points.
  • Prepare Mind for Imminent Blowing - Check this out, y'all! Gonna need some sound for this:

  • Trust Me, It's For Your Own Good - Listen, I understand no one really WANTS to see United 93. It's a too soon wound that many of us can easily recall what happened and how we felt that day. But you really should see it. To quote one of those oh so clever writers at Ain't It Cool News, United 93 is "the very best movie that I will never, ever see again". It's an amazing movie that is emotionally riveting. It feels like a documentary, and even though you know the general outline of the whole situation, you still seem to be waiting on the edge of your seat for the next moment the entire time. Since so many "real" people were used in it (real United stewardesses, the actual people from the Air Traffic Control offices on 9/11) it has a real sense of authenticity about it, which just ratchets up the tension and the emotion even more. Of all the films i've seen this year, only United 93 and The Fountain left me feeling emotional and truly moved by what I just saw. Both left me asking questions about how I was living my life and how I was showing my love to others. It's an important movie that people shouldn't be afraid to watch. I can't recommend it highly enough, and you shouldn't shrink away from the movie just because it makes you uncomfortable. If anything, you should encounter such a movie head on, and force yourself to undergo it in an attempt at finding some sort of resolution. Go see United 93!
  • This Is For the ONE PERSON Who Hasn't Been Sent This in a Mass Email Yet. So Keith, this One's For You - Here's a cool collection of pavement drawings this guy, Julian Beever (stop giggling), creates on sidewalks around the world. He uses forced perspective in his drawing to create some of these cool images. Some of them are pretty cool, and almost all of them leave you feeling like you're being lied to - which I guess is a compliment.
  • But What About "Best Performances By a Sassy and/or Ethnic Sidekick in '06"? - I love top ten lists. I do. I love when people start trying to codify things. Usually I don't agree with it, and often times I find myself realizing it's an incredibly subjective and futile effort to rank one artistic expression above another. But I'll be damned if I don't find myself reading all of them in December/January when all websites, TV shows, and magazines start printing them out. It serves multiple purposes for me: 1) it informs me of anything that's slipped under my radar, or reminds me of something I had meant to enjoy but forgot; B) It lets me know the pulse of the nation - how folks are feeling these days, what's enjoyable, what's not - it pretty much helps map out the critical landscape; iii) it tells me where the particular site/publication is in terms of its tastes, and if i can continue reading it in good conscience; Fourthly) it helps me hone my own thoughts about the previous year's output and debate the worth of the works. So yes, they are overly simplistic tools that continue our obsession with ranking things and comparing items that are incomparable, but they are also great ways to generate conversation, debates, and thought processes. So thanks again,, for the Top Ten Best Lindsay Lohan Farts of 2006 (although I think #7 - In Wilmer Valderrama's pool while Passed Out on Vicodin - is a little overhyped).
  • Speaking of Which - The Top Ten Best of The Best of Lists for 2006/2007 -
    10) Best ReCut Film Trailers of 2006 by Rolling Stone - The ironic juxtaposition gets a LIL tedious after a while, but some of these are pure gold, I tells ya!
    9) Best of 2006, The Guest List at Pitchfork - Yes, Pitchfork is pretentious and longwinded and everything else that is wrong with them. Still they introduce me to tons of new music, good and bad, and keep me feeling hip. However, I actually prefer the guest list which shows what the indie kids themselves are listening to when not slumming it in Brooklyn.
    8) Best Viral Videos of 2006 at iFilm - You know that annoying/hilarious/annoying video you and everyone at VH1 was obsessed with for two weeks and now kind of feel ashamed of it? Here's all of them compiled in list form!
    7) TMZ's Naughtiest of 2006 - I like seeing people act crazy. And I love the word "firecrotch". It's just good olde fashioned fun.
    6) Top Ten Disappointing Children of Artists - Ouch. Just Ouch.
    5) Massawyrm's Best/Worst of 2006...Sorta - Yes I referenced this list earlier, but I happen to like the way the guy writes, and his specialty categories are pretty damn hilarious. Also, despite his insistence, it makes me really want to endure Little Man. It's like my own Everest. But with a bad, long-running midget joke.
    4) Best Links of 2006 on Kottke.Org - Nerdy? Oh Sweet Jesus, Yes. But Nerdy can be fun AND educational.
    3) AV Club's Year in Film 2006 - Despite being associated with a "joke magazine", the AV Club is offering some of the best film criticism out there. Although I don't always agree 100% with them, the critiques are well written and generally tend to hewn closer to my tastes than, say, Joel Siegel (more on him later).
    2) Top Ten Gayest Moments of 2006 - If Jackass Number Two isn't on the top of this list, then they ain't doin' their jobs.
    1) eFilmCritic's The Whores of The Year - hilarious! compelling! a thrillride! this is actually a pretty funny example of all of those movie quotes from the same nobodies who seem to love every movie and proclaimed White Chicks the next Citizen Kane. Also, I love me some "Douche Bag Award".
  • WHAT AM I WATCHING: "The Office", "Scrubs", United 93, "Pardon the Interruption", Idle Hands, "Jeopardy", "Frisky Dingo", Oldboy (again), "Afro Samurai", "Robot Chicken", "Heroes", Pan's Labyrinth, Step Up, The Warriors, Cemetery Man, Little Shop of Horrors, "Attack of the Show", The Brothers Grimm, Road House, "Real World/Road Rules Challenge - The Duel", Alien Intruder, A Scanner Darkly, "Arrested Development" reruns, Talladega Nights: The Ricky Bobby Story, "Bad Girls Club", Beerfest, The Sound of Music.
  • WHAT'S GOING INTO MY EARS: The Dears, Gang of Losers; The Decemberists, The Crane Wife; Clint Mansell (featuring Kronos Quartet & Mogwai), The Fountain OST; The Shins, Wincing the Night Away; Neko Case, Blacklisted; Nas, Hip Hop is Dead; Belle & Sebastian, The Life Pursuit; Neko Case, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood; The Hold Steady, Boys and Girls in America; The Knife, Silent Shout; The Streets, A Grand Don't Come for Free; Jesus Christ Superstar London Cast Recording; Midlake, The Trials of Van Occupanther; Grizzly Bear, Yellow House; My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade; This American Life podcast; Little Shop of Horrors OST.

I hope everyone enjoys the weekend. I'll be back next week with a slew of Movie reviews, some random musing, an episode of Frisky Dingo, some top ten lists of my own, and maybe - just maybe - some Sexy Results? Til then - i leave you with this:

Lesley Grapka 1981-2007

Two poems for a departed friend. It's been kind of a fucked up week:

Sleeping at last

Sleeping at last, the trouble and tumult over,
Sleeping at last, the struggle and horror past,
Cold and white, out of sight of friend and of lover,
Sleeping at last.

No more a tired heart downcast or overcast,
No more pangs that wring or shifting fears that hover,
Sleeping at last in a dreamless sleep locked fast.

Fast asleep. Singing birds in their leafy cover
Cannot wake her, nor shake her the gusty blast.
Under the purple thyme and the purple clover
Sleeping at last.

Christina Georgina Rossetti
The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water

I HEARD the old, old men say,
"Everything alters,
And one by one we drop away."
They had hands like claws, and their knees
Were twisted like the old thorn trees
By the waters.
I heard the old, old men say,
"All that's beautiful drifts away
Like the waters."

William Butler Yeats

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Frisky Dingo, Episode V

Talon Party...on your face!

Episode 5 - "Kidnapped"