Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 2 Disc 3

"Second Sight" - Sisko falls in love with some woman's imaginary friend. Terrible.

RATING: 22%

"Sanctuary" - A bunch of ugly faced aliens come through the wormhole and ask if they can live on Bajor. Turns out they don't want the refugees, and they make the Bajorans feel real guilty which is the only good part.

RATING: 56%

"Rivals" - A con man gets some space device that can either increase or decrease your luck, and the station's luck goes all screwy. Pretty funny, and is devoid of sense in the way the best TOS episodes are.

RATING: 78%

"The Alternate" - There is some shapeshifting monster loose on the station. Spoilers - it's Odo, the only shapeshifter on the station.

RATING: 59%

Monday, September 29, 2008

Burn After Reading

When I left the movie theater last night I thought I had liked this movie, but it turns out my brain was just playing a trick on me, and I really didn't like it. It wasn't as bad as Ladykillers or Intolerable Cruelty, but it felt a lot like those movies. Basically the plot is some spy stuff that isn't worth summarizing, then Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand do some funny things while George Clooney has a beard. Somebody compared this movie to Big Lebowski, and that is accurate in that it is some story committed to celluloid performed by some people while music happens. In conclusion lame unless you are the guy in the back of the theater who was laughing hysterically at everything really loud.

RATING: 38%

Closer To God by Nine Inch Nails

I have always been a little obsessed with getting all of Nine Inch Nails' singles, mainly because they have really terrific remixes of the songs on them (with the exception of the Head Like A Hole and Down In It singles). This one may be perhaps the best one yet. First, it remixes a song with a ton of background layers ripe for remixing, Closer. Second, it's as long as a full length album so you get your money's worth if you're concerned about that sort of thing (I am poor so I am). Third, well, I didn't think of a third thing, but shouldn't those two be enough? Stop bellyaching grandma and buy this unless you don't like Nine Inch Nails in which case buy some stocks I hear they're cheap.

RATING: 68%

Not Having The Internet

Not having the internet is a thing that happens sometimes when you don't have money, live before 1995, or maybe a big hurricane hit your town, who knows. When you don't have internet you have to get all your news from network television, if you can stand it, and if you can't you get vaguely panicked sentences from people about a second great depression or something, but I sure as hell am not watching network news. Also if you go to the movies when you haven't internet for weeks you won't recognize most of the movies on the placard and somehow Kirk Cameron will star in a movie again. What did I do to deserve this, Jesus/whom it may concern?

RATING: 11%

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lameville, TX

There's nowhere to get a proper drink in Richardson that's even remotely close to campus. What the balls kind of university "pub" doesn't even serve alcohol? And what's the point of going to a bar if you have to drive there? Our local university's mascot shouldn't be a comet, it should be an alien (because everyone's alienated, get it?) who commutes his way around the field in a late model Toyota SUV. Or maybe a scowling, shrugging bureaucrat in a registrar's office t-shirt.

Welcome to Richardson, earthling, AKA suburban Hell.

RATING: 14%

(Image from playboy.com.)

Butter Too Cold To Spread

This is a real issue for those of us who use real butter over butter substitutes like margarine. I don't want to point fingers at anyone and laugh, but margarine? Well, if you use any butter substitute at least you don't have to deal with cold butter that fucks your bread up when you spread it. That really ruins my day. I always forget to let it warm a little and end up with a huge glob of butter in the center. Personally I like whipped butter better anyway, but at least cold butter and bad toast is better than having to live with margarine.

RATING: 39%

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Greyhound

Every time I go to the Greyhound bus station, there's one surly, foot-dragging employee behind the counter serving 30+ dishevelled customers. 2 out of 4 times I've attempted to take a Greyhound bus, I've waited for an hour or longer only to find out that my bus was cancelled. Once, a woman wearing a bright yellow vest told me, "Oh, your bus no longer exists." No longer exists? I didn't realize black holes were such a problem on the route between Dallas and Houston. Plus their shitty website doesn't work half the time, and they charge $6.00 extra to book a ticket over the phone. On the bright side, both the Dallas and Houston terminals had lots of characters willing to help me get rid of all my heavy spare change (one helpful gentleman even offered to valet park Glenn's car for him), and I wasn't beheaded like that poor guy in Canada.

RATING: 20% (how the hell else am I supposed to get to Houston?)

(Image from http://transit.toronto.on.ca.)

Dogs and Ponies

Dogs and ponies are our animal friends. Just don't ever feed dog food to a pony or try to put horseshoes on a dog.

RATING: 86%, because 12% of dogs and 2% of ponies will maul Glenn's face if he gets too close.






(Image from simplymarvelous.files.wordpress.com. Read Vicky Hearne's wonderful book Adam's Task for a philosophical discussion of animal personhood.)

Shipwrecks

Shipwrecks and pirates are like leprechauns and rainbows; they both usually indicate that gold is nearby. I'd like to find me some gold from a shipwreck so I don't have to work anymore. But shipwrecks can be pretty rough, especially if you're on one when they go down. Hey, there should be lifeboats, and it takes a long time for big ships to go down so don't give me some sad story about your aunt who was on a cruise when it sank because I bet she lived. If not I'm sorry and I'll share some of my gold with you.

RATING: 71%

University Pseudo-Parties

I went to my first (and probably last) student-faculty social event tonight. The jarring mélange of nerdy social awkwardness and schmoozy insincerity was almost enough to put me off my plate full of free food. Postgraduate academia is like a greenhouse full of brittle, overcultivated plants grown in shallow soil. Most of the people who go to these kinds of functions really only have 2 social modes: pretending to be cleverer than they actually are, or politicking and asslicking. Unfortunately, the institution of the university provides plenty of real incentives for both of these normally repulsive behaviours.

RATING: 34%

(Image from www1.istockphoto.com.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Girl With the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

This novel was quite boring. Also, the overwrought, self-conscious similes and metaphors invoked by Griet, the narrator, seemed to me to reflect a kind of narcissistic wish fulfillment on behalf of the author--a somewhat desperate attempt to prove her aesthetic sensitivity through a heroine fashioned in her own psychological self-image. Many writers do this to some extent, but the good ones succeed in giving their characters a life of their own, while the not-so-good ones come off as painfully insecure. It's too bad, because Vermeer's painting itself is simply gorgeous.

RATING: 45%

(Image from www.flickr.com.)

NyQuil

This week I have a cold or as I like to call them "an excuse to take NyQuil." I love the cracked out feeling of waking up at 3am and thinking wtf....of yeah, NyQuil....and then I pass back out to a restful sleep. A few years ago they really upset me by switching to a much less great formula that you apparently couldn't use to make crystal meth, but this week I was happily surprised to discover they have gone back to the original methy concoction. Hooray!

Rating: 82%

ps - I bought the cherry flavor this time, hence the photo. I'd say it's about 5% tastier than the green death flavor.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Curfew

When you were a kid maybe your parents said you had to be home by midnight on the weekends because they didn't want you shooting heroin or robbing convenience stores at night. When you're an adult and the City of Houston says you have to be home by midnight that's just bullshit. Someone at work told me it was a good idea because it's going to protect us from the "bad apples" since "it just takes one to spoil the bunch" (they really said that). First of all, that's the kind of crap your teacher told you in grade school, and I'm sorry but society doesn't operate like a local elementary school. I think adults should have the option to make decisions that are best for their situation. In conclusion, hurricanes suck. So does Center Point energy.

RATING: 12%

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Beverly Hills Chihuahua

#99 on Chris' Bottom 100 Movie List

I am giving this movie a slot on my "Bottom 100 Movie List" prehumously (sure, why not). It's not out, I haven't seen it and I don't plan to see it. But you don't need to see every movie to know it sucks do you? I'm actually too embarrassed to even put an image from the actual film on this website. I'll just leave you with the synopsis courtesy of our friends at Rotten Tomatoes:

"In the Disney comedy, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA, a pampered Beverly Hills Chihuahua named Chloe (voice of DREW BARRYMORE) finds herself accidentally lost in the mean streets of Mexico without a day spa or Rodeo Drive boutique anywhere in sight. Now alone for the first time in her spoiled life, she must rely on some unexpected new friends -- including a street-hardened German Shepherd named Delgado (voice of ANDY GARCIA) and an amorous pup named Papi (voice of GEORGE LOPEZ) -- to lend her a paw and help her to find her inner strength on their incredible journey back home.
"

Wow, the mean streets of Mexico? No, there's nothing wrong with that.

RATING: 3%

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Videodrome

If you like movies that blur the line between sex and violence, then have I got a film for you! It's called Videodrome, in case you couldn't figure that out. It's also called every David Cronenberg movie ever made. Basically the plot is something about lots of guts and every day appliances (tvs and videotapes in this case) turned into sex organ looking things, which is also the plot of most David Cronenberg movies. Anyway, I guess it's neat, but it's not his best. In my opinion that is Crash (not the racist one).

RATING: 57%

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Genesis

No, not the book from the Bible. Better! I'm talking about the band. Most people are like "I love those guys!" and what they love is Genesis post-Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins as lead singer. Okay, I like those radio songs too, but Genesis used to be a really prog/art rock group that would have really long songs that were also pretty weird, but were really good. One of my favorite Genesis songs is "Supper's Ready", which is pretty awesome, but long, and from their album Foxtrot. I also recommend you listen to Nursery Cryme if you like Foxtrot, which is another great album. Anyway, I want to set the record straight about Genesis. They are pretty badass and don't give them a hard time just because they later wrote "Invisible Touch".

RATING: 89% (Gabriel/Collins/Rutherford/Banks/Hackett) 61% (Collins/Banks/Rutherford)

Haircuts

I think haircuts are great. If you're like me you let your hair get too long because you're too lazy, but it's great because then people are like "Oh hey, you got a haircut?" And usually I just shake my head "no" because that was a rhetorical question, I think. They are also fun because you can totally change your whole look by cutting your hair, but remember, the haircut does not make the man. I tried to convince my parents to let me shave something cool into my hair a long time ago. Maybe I could have shaved a terradactyl onto my head. That would have been really cool. However once, on a dare, I cut my hair pretty short and that was a bad idea because I found out I've got an ugly head.

RATING: 84%

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

This Star Trek movie is the one everybody who doesn't like Star Trek enjoys most. It's got a clever message (save the whales!), the crew of the Enterprise (well, former crew since it got blowed up in part III) are in the 1980s acting all goofy, and Kirk swears a lot. Well, I think it is the worst Star Trek movie. It is funny, sure, but it's extremely heavy handed in its message (save the whales!, in case you didn't get it yet), and there's a lot of slow parts. I mean, I guess after all the death and direness of the second and third movies this is a nice break, but it's pretty dumb overall.

RATING: 43%

Hurricane Ike: Work Post-Hurricane...

Sucks when the electric company says, "Two weeks to restore power, fuck you!" Now I am typing in the dark. And it's hot. And the contractors are already pounding on the walls because the office is royally fucked. But on a non-work related note, at least the Silver Jews show is still on!

RATING: 3%

Hurricane Ike: Hurricane Blogging

It was probably a good idea in theory to live blog the hurricane like a real news source, but then when power gets knocked out that sucks and/or is impossible to do. Now I'm sick of hearing/writing/experiencing everything about the hurricane. The TV is all "disaster this" and "bullshit that," instead of "Family Guy" this and "Star Trek marathon" that, like it should be. Hey, I know lots of people are still in the dark (ha ha get it like they don't have power and don't know what the deal is) but lets go ahead and try to have a less mature website again, ok? In conclusion, the hurricane sucks, titties balls fuck ass.

RATING: 13%

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike: City Of Houston pt. 1

That place got its shit fucked up! There's pieces of crap all over the motherfucker, and most people don't have power or food and shit. There's a curfew, and that's a real bitch, and also some people have to work so what the shit is that about? All in all, Hurricane Ike was totally fucking lame but at least some ruined buildings look cool all fucked as long as you don't live there or own them.

RATING: 28%

(Sorry no photos yet, internet is sporadic)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Having Power

AMAZING. Especially after sitting in the hot dark for hours. Sometimes your AC will be broken by the storm, but you will have great friends with no power of their own who bring box fans over. And then sometimes wireless will spontaneously work. And maybe your local bar will be open, as will the Mexican restaurant across the street. Having power is definitely amazing.

RATING: 95%

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricane Ike: Drinking

Well, we've got to conserve all that water in case the power goes out, and the Lone Star beer certainly won't be any better warm.

Other things I've also used the hurricane as an excuse for: not grading, not reading poetry, not writing poetry, eating pizza and snacks all day long, playing video games and watching Arrested Development and The Office on DVD.

RATING: 82%

Hurricane Ike: 11:05 pm

video

The wind is gusting now and sometimes it's like "please, don't break any windows". Guessing by my meteorological estimates, this hurricane will hit around 2 am (CST) . It's this kind of quality hard-hitting journalism and videography that differentiates us from the rest. No hype, just the raw facts. In streaming video.

RATING: 35% or BORED

Hurricane Ike: Villa Roma Pizza


So let's say there's a hurricane heading towards your town and you're looking for a bite to eat, some simple takeout before you need to "hunker down," as the local news outlets like to say. Where to go? How 'bout those 24-hour joints like Burger King, McDonald's, Taco Bell, KF"We can't legally call it 'chicken' anymore"C? Pretty shitty options, huh? Well, even all of the above places were closed as of 3pm this afternoon. Just when we'd given up hope, we spotted Villa Roma Pizza on Holly Hall. I've gotten pizza from here before, but it tasted all the better for being open, serving fresh pies, and ready to prepare you whatever you wanted. I bet they brought in an assload of money. Anything that puts off me opening one of those cans of baked beans is a very very good thing.

RATING: 80%

Hurricane Ike: Preparing for a Hurricane

Look, I'm from New York, so I don't really understand how this all works. When it looked like this hurricane might hit Houston and be "serious" (i.e. not a pathetic drizzle that canceled my flight home last month, or the sunny day that was Gustav here), I'm more than willing to buy into the buzz and prepare in case I find myself without power and fighting with my boyfriend's cats over food. I went to Kroger (a supermarket, for all you Yankees) and stood in a surprisingly polite line after scraping the bottom of the barrel for supplies. There was no more water at all, only a few sports drinks and Lipton green tea. The bread was almost all out, except for English muffins, and, inexplicably, bagels. WHO DOESN'T LOVE BAGELS? I don't understand the south. So I wound up buying bagels, assorted canned vegetables, and baked beans. Have I ever bought baked beans before in my life? Are baked beans produced exclusively for hurricanes? I have so much to learn.

RATING: 36%

Hurricane Ike: 9:13 pm

A little better than that first Newcastle.

RATING: 49%

Hurricane Ike: Asshole Apartment Complexes

Sometimes when you move you schedule a date months in advance like we did, and then it turns out to be the date a hurricane is supposed to hit. So you might call up your apartment complex and say, hey, we're moving from one apartment to another one in your exact same complex and a hurricane is hitting, can we have an extra day or two? If they are nice they will say "sure, be safe," but if they are assholes they will say "No, you have to be out of your old apartment on Saturday and have the key to us then, by the way you can't have your new apartment's key until right before you're supposed to move, suckers." Guess which happened to us?

RATING: 1%

Hurricane Ike: 8:14 pm

Delicious.

RATING: 41%

Hurricane Ike: 6:23 pm

I wish we could have done an update earlier, but there's not much to update. I'd say the winds are picking up (can't you see the swaying tops of the palm trees!), there are less idiots like me on the streets, and everything is closed now. So this is like 3 hours ago, but way way more boring. Ike, you're letting us down.

RATING: 23%

Hurricane Ike: 3:36 pm

Well, it's pretty boring right now. There's like no rain, but it's gray outside. Windy? Okay, sure I guess. Anyway, I was driving around and there's still a lot of places open to eat or drink, which is pretty nice. In fact, I drove by a bar and a lot of people were out on the patio drinking. I wish I could say that's a pretty stupid thing to do but this thing isn't supposed to hit until 1 am. At R3 we're here to keep you up-to-date with all the "facts" and none of the hype.

RATING: 34%

Trooper

Everyone likes "Raise a Little Hell" and "Here for a Good Time" when they're drunk, but if Trooper come to your town and tell your friend that they'll buy him a case of beer if he can score them some weed, tell him not to believe them because they're LIARS.

RATING: washed up%

(Image from www.trooper.ca. Drugs are bad, m'kay?)

The New Facebook

A lot of people say they don't like the new facebook. I say, "Why not?" I griped for a day or two, just like I did when I switched from lamespace to facebook after I got sick of finding 20 messages from horrible bands and webcam skanks in my inbox every day. Even if the new FB is slightly counterintuitive, that just means you waste even more time on it. And that, after all, is what it's for.

RATING: 78%

(Image from http://talktech.files.wordpress.com.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricanes

A hurricane is a big mess of wind that "moves really slow and can totally fuck up your shit" (Lansing, Tropical Depressions and their Meteorological Origins, 87). Sometimes they are a thing I like, for instance when everybody gets scared of them and school is canceled for either a day or maybe a week (Rita). On the other hand, they can suck because they can destroy a city (Katrina), make you try to evacuate but give up after you get 30 miles in 11 hours (Rita), or maybe even cause problems for a move (Ike). In conclusion, it's total bullshit when a hurricane hits on a weekend because it messes up your free time, although to be fair I guess as professor I could cancel class whenever I want.

RATING: 24%

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Green Lantern: Emerald Dawn

Green Lantern is the 5th most famous DC superhero (behind Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash), and if he was a Beatle that would make him Pete Best. Most average people probably don't know any of his powers, so let me clarify: he wears a space ring that makes his imagination appear as weapons to fight evil unless that evil is yellow. In the late 80s they decided it was time to update his origin, so this trade was born, and I suppose it's fine. It establishes a lot of the mythos we know today about Green Lantern (by we I mean Bryan and I), and it's got complex undertones of guilt and inadequacy. Right now Geoff Johns is kind of doing an updated version of this origin in Green Lantern's main book and it's pretty awesome, but that doesn't mean this one isn't ok, too.

RATING: 64%

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine - Season 2 Disc 2

I'm not going to delude myself into thinking any of you know or care that much about Deep Space Nine, but let me just assure you that it's way better than Next Generation. Anyway, it's a Star Trek show about a space station in a politically unstable area of space made even unstabler by a new wormhole to an unexplored part of the galaxy. Season 1 was ok, but season 2 is largely boring. The show gets way better in season 3. Let me break this disc down:

"Cardassians" - Kind of interesting character piece (not any DS9 character) about a Cardassian (bad guy) child raised by Bajorans to hate Cardassians, so if you like kids you might like this one.

RATING: 61%

"Melora" - Awful, hamhanded story about a disabled person in the future (hint, she's an alien, way to be progressive).

RATING: 36%

"Rules Of Acquisition" - Quark, a Ferengi (a race who is singularly obsessed with profit, as though any one species could be singularly obsessed with anything, oh wait, Star Trek does that all the time post TOS) is involved in some trade stuff with some face paint dudes but also there's a Ferengi woman which is totally crazy because the Ferengi think their women are meant to serve and that's it, oh, and they fall in love or something I guess.

RATING: 41%

"Necessary Evil" - A great episode that weaves together past and present as Odo tries to solve a years old murder.

RATING: 85%

The Thing That Should Not Be

ME (spitting into sink): Gross!

ROBYN: What?

ME: I don't know what's wrong with that fruit juice you got, but I just mixed some with ginger ale and it tasted really bad.

ROBYN: What fruit juice?

ME (opens fridge, points to white 1 litre tetra pack): That fruit juice.

ROBYN: That's chicken broth.

There are two morals to this story: Ceres fruit juice looks an awful lot like Swanson's chicken broth if you don't read the box; and chicken broth and ginger ale make a terrible afternoon drink.

RATING: Ceres 80%
Swanson's 70%
Ginger ale 90%
Ceres and ginger ale 95%
Chicken broth and ginger ale 0%


(Image from www.dkimages.com.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Carrot Top in Vegas

I always hated Carrot Top because he was ugly and really fucking irritating, but now that he's a juice monkey in Las Vegas it's like the icing on the cake. Imagine rolling into Circus Circus in a psychedelic frenzy and seeing this freak onstage with an anorexic, snaggle-toothed Celine Dion--Bosch's Hell couldn't even compete.

RATING: 20%, as long as he stays there.

(Image from www.poprock80s.com.)

Reiner's Long Golden Flake

Reiner's Long Golden Flake is one of the most expensive tinned tobaccos in production. It looks fantastic, sort of like a leather belt coiled inside a gold-coloured paint can. LGF is made of various virginia tobaccos, louisiana perique (that's French for "prick"), and a little bit of white burley. Its flavour is predominantly grassy and a little bit citrous, while the perique stays in the background with a salsa-and-pine-sawdust kind of thing going on. It's also quite sweet, even for a virginia blend, which makes me wonder if the burley isn't flavoured ("cased," in pipe lingo) with something. It won't bite your tongue, even if you puff hard. Basically, it's so gentle that even a 15-year-old could smoke it. Worth every penny.

RATING: 90%

(Just kidding--15-year-olds aren't cool enough to smoke! Image from www.smokingpipes.com, which is also where I bought the tobacco.)

Grad School

Grad school is a place where pretentious, socially awkward people say "research" when they mean "reading" and pretend that "academic" is a compliment. It's an OK place to spend a couple of years if you have $20,000 and you like watching young nerds fawn over old nerds like they're movie stars.

RATING: Poindexter%

(Image from http://nerd-paradise.com.)

Vertigo

#48 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

My favorite Hitchcock film. The color in this movie is fantastic. I know that we've been mainly doing color films for about 50 years now, but can't modern directors still pay a little more attention to color, please? I mean, come on. In the 50s Hitchcock did, and that's basically like cavemen times or something. Also, I love Bernard Herrmann. This is the last film from my list to be from before 1960, so sorry all old film buffs. I am very pedestrian. Also in the olden days they were stupid so great films like this one were a rarity.

RATING: 88%

Aliens

#49 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

Typically the formula is that sequels suck. So what did James Cameron do? Make a totally different movie than Alien. This one is less of a monster movie and more of a pure action movie. Even to this day, 22 years later, it's tough to think of some action movies that hold up to the quality of this one. I guess the problem is that, in retrospect, the 90s was an awful decade for movies. Quelle dommage!

RATING: 89%

The Conversation

#50 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

This guy Coppola was totally on fire in the 70s. I really like a lot of his stuff from the 80s, too, but mostly he kind of fell apart. Too bad Youth Without Youth never came out here in the theater. Anyway, this movie is great and about some surveillance dude played by Gene Hackman with a mustache. Protagonists usually don't have mustaches anymore, have you noticed? Ah well! Maybe in the next decade they'll make a comeback, says Tom Skerritt.

RATING: 88%

Strawberries

Strawberries are a very popular fruit commonly found as a cereal flavor (Frankenberry, Strawberry Shortcake Cereal, etc) or candy flavor. You don't see too many bottles of strawberry juice around, and when you do it's like $10 for a half liter, and I wouldn't pay $10 for a half liter of anything unless it was endangered and/or would get you totally f'ed (fucked) up. Strawberries are pretty tasty, and make great jam, but if you've ever had to pick strawberries then you probably have a lot of negative associations with them like I do, since you have to be bent over all the time in the hot damn sun and if you eat one your mother yells at you. In conclusion, picking strawberries out from the grocery store is way easier and more satisfying, said the petite bourgeoisie.

RATING: 71%

Monday, September 8, 2008

Wells' Banana Bread Beer

I really like products that are gimmicks (especially when they're food related). They're usually fun to try, but awful to taste (the desired end result being the experience to try something different even if it's gross). Except, Wells' Banana Bread Beer is one of those gimmicks that's actually not that bad. The banana flavor dominates the noise but after taking a sip you'll only taste the slightest bit of banana underneath a hoppy bitter flavor on the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel is lacking, but what did you expect? Typically I hate any alcohol that's got hints of fruit, but this is a beer with an intentional fruit flavor that's not overly sweet. I feel they did a pretty good job rounding the flavors out given the obvious ploy to appeal to consumers like me.

RATING: 65%

Ultimate Iron Man Vol. 1

Marvel's Ultimate line of comics can be interesting, because they can start fresh with a lot of characters and change up their histories from the norms established 40-60 years ago. Sometimes they just keep them the same, and I say "Well, what's the point, then?" but I still buy the book anyway because I have a real problem. Other times, like this series, they totally change everything and it's awesome. Orson Scott Card, famous sci-fi writer, wrote both volumes of this book, and he changes Iron Man's origin from head of a weapons design firm who uses his genius to save himself and others once he learns the error of his ways to the completely new origin of a kid born with a brain spread throughout his whole body who must wear some kind of bio-armor all the time or he feels non-stop excruciating pain. The best parts of this series are when Card focuses on the viciousness of children, and the other best part of the series is when Andy Kubert is drawing because he is great.

RATING: 71%

Feast

Feast is a place in Houston everyone thinks is totally tits because it appeals to those dumb "foodies" that are into the head-to-tail movement. Well, I'm totally into that too, but the food has to be good. The first time I went I ordered testicles and tongue presented with a raw garlic, vinegar, dill and herb mixture which, while delicious, cut the faint taste of the organ meat too much. I also tried their kidneys, head cheese (brawn), and pork cheeks. The head cheese and kidneys were fairly decent, but either over or under spiced. Pork cheeks, however, were delicious and seared in the pan making them crunchy on the outside, but soft and warm on the inside. Tonight, I shared a merquez appetizer that was sadly only 4 small slices of the sausage. The chef was out of frisee for the accompanied salad and made a quick adjustment by creating a parsley/chervil and tomato salad (think tabbouleh without bulgur) instead. I had to give him credit for the quick thinking because it was pretty good. For my entree I had the best dish I've had there so far, a delicious sweetbread (I just can't resist them when they're on the menu), bacon and potato pot pie served with leeks, fennel, and mushrooms on the side. It was pretty damn good. Anyway, Feast is a decent place if you're into eating like a big boy. They've worked out some kinks they had in the early stages with their food, but it still isn't great. So go take a date and impress them with all the gross food you're not afraid to eat.

RATING: 59%

Things Falling Apart by Nine Inch Nails

One thing I like is remix albums of great albums, because it's kind of like a sequel to a great movie like Star Trek II or something. Sometimes the remix album is better than the real album (Supersexy Swingin' Sounds), but other times it's just a neat little kind of techno thing like this one. This one is pretty good I guess if you like The Fragile, Nine Inch Nails' best album. It's got a Gary Numan cover, so what else can I say?

RATING: 67%

Doen jang chi gae

Made with vegetables (as you can see from the photo, it's got some peppers in it), tofu and stanky fermented bean paste, doen jang chi gae burns your face and smells like a jalepeño yeast infection. In other words, it's absolutely amazing.

RATING: 95%

(Image from cookbook.rin.ru.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Iron Man Cookie I Bought At The Valero Gas Station

I saw this cookie at a gas station when I was on my way over to Glenn's apartment and I thought it looked totally awesome since it was (1) a cookie and (2) made to look like Iron Man. Plus, it said right on the back label it was "hand decorated" and I thought that was pretty cool that someone did that with their mechanical robot/machine hand. Anyway, I like sugar cookies, but this cookie was awful and probably made of a mix of particle board and post-consumer cardboard, which actually made me feel better because at least I was doing my part to be green that day. As bad as it tasted Glenn and I continued to eat it until it was gone. So the moral of the story is no one can turn down a cookie even if it's made of wood, especially if a machine ironically decorated the cookie to look like Iron Man (another machine).

RATING: 40%

Tags

Tags are useful, but I can't help but wonder if we've gone a bit overboard with them.

Rating: 50%

Y: The Last Man Vol. 1: Unmanned

This is another comic everybody told me was great but I never bought. In this case it was because every time a new series began I refused to buy it because I wasn't getting a new series of comics to write myself and was therefore jealous. Well, it turns out this first volume is pretty gripping, and it looks like it will be a great adventure story. Without giving away too many of the twists (although you can see a couple coming), this comic series is about a plague that strikes Earth and inexplicably (so far) kills all male humans and other animals. The only survivors are this guy Yorick (the Y from the title) and his pet monkey Ampersand. This is Brian K. Vaughan, so there's a lot of humor, but it's pretty dark and very excellent, so check it out in trade and do your part for our economy.

RATING: 72%