Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 CE

2008 was an ok year I guess. I got an MFA which was sweet, and also The Dark Knight came out which was also pretty cool if you ask me. There was some bullshit, though. Like for instance there was this economic thing I don't understand, but whatevs, I guess it was about time for a recession according to history who am I, Alan Greenspan? Also, war, starvation, poverty, and disease managed to go another year without being eliminated but on the other hand Iron Man was also great so it ends out of the red.

RATING: 51%

PS - That drawing is to scale.

Lake Ontario

Although Lake Ontario is the smallest of the Great Lakes it's the only one that doesn't border Michigan, which already makes it better than that so called "Great" Lake Erie. Michigan has a way of ruining everything it touches. If you don't believe me ask Dan Orlovsky. What I find most interesting about Lake Ontario is that due to it's depth it rarely freezes over in the winter. Hey, I said it was the most interesting thing about it (not that it was interesting). In conclusion, Lake Ontario is pretty shitty.

RATING: 0-16%

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cruel Baby Names

Sometimes your parents name you a name you can't grow into, like Messiah. Or else they try to name you after Cher's daughter Chastity, and misspell it. Sometimes your parents just hate you since the moment you were conceived.

I swear I am not making these up. I used to be a substitute teacher and a children's portrait photographer, and have either met young people with these names or have close, not-the-liar-type friends who have met them.

Messiah
Chastiry
Tiara
Hunter Green
Zaid Diaz (yes, you're reading that correctly, his first name is his last name spelled backwards)
Eucalyptus
Lukemia
Qvaunda
Velvet Celestial
Aristerical
Aquadeija

and my all time favorite:  La-a

pronounced: LaDASHa

Rating: Who's going to hire you? %

Monday, December 29, 2008

Superman: Red Son

I don't care about Superman. He's too powerful and nice, and his comics are often boring. But this one is an exception, imagining what it might have been like if Superman had crashed as a baby in the Soviet Union rather than Kansas. Basically, what happens is he embraces communism and becomes the leader of the USSR, trying to spread their message anywhere. This might be skeletal for a story, but Millar is genius in that he focuses much of the story on American Lex Luthor's attempts to thwart Superman over the years, even as the United States descends into economic chaos. It's a brilliantly written book, and one of the few exceptions to my "never read Superman" rule.

RATING: 91%

An Open Letter to White Anglophone Parents of North America

Dear White Anglophone Parents of North America:

Please don't name your children Haley, Bailey, Daley, Riley, Kylie, Briley, Austin or Madison. They're not dogs, they're human beings, and no one should have to grow up with a name like that. A whole generation of kids have already been molested by Dustin, Crystal, Jarret, Travis and Curtis. Please stop now.

Sincerely,

Internet John

RATING: Horrible names 2%
Grinning white ape 89%

(Image from www.weirdthings.org.uk. Names that don't sound fucking retarded can occasionally be found in the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, or one's own family tree.)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Seven Pounds

Wow it's Depressing Will Smith Movie Day and here I am with nothing to wear for the occasion. The theater by my parents' house had a broken computer system on Christmas, so they were writing out paper tickets and we had no way of telling what started when, and what was sold out. When it was our turn to buy tickets, my cousin was so frazzled that she just picked this movie, and her friend and I did nothing to stop her. That was a mistake for which I will suffer the rest of my life. This movie was SO BAD that I feel no remorse for disclosing the entire plot on R3. I had no idea what this movie was about from the (crappy) trailers I'd seen, and about an hour into the movie, I still had no clue what it was about. Finally, through jokes and over the snores of the couple sleeping in the row behind us, we figured out that Will Smith, to make up for a naughty thing he did that caused people to die, was going to donate all his vital organs to peoples. Even his eyes and his heart! But in order to donate those, you have to be dead! And also he wants to make sure that the people that get his pretty organs are very good people, so he lies about his indentity and stalks them in an awkward manner and makes them sad over the phone like when he yells at blind Woody Harrelson on a customer complaint line. He stalks Rosario Dawson which is not cool because she has heart problems and he could give her a heart attack and she could die, but instead he has sex with her and then kills himself by dumping a live jellyfish into his icy bathwater and Roasario gets his raw, icky heart. And Woody gets his eyes and at the end he meets Rosario and they look into each others' eyes (or rather, Rosario looks into dead Will Smith's eyes in Woody's head) and the tears flow. Not mine though, because I was busy puking. My cousin did cry, because she was so sorry she made us see it. But one day I think I will forgive her. After all, Christmas is all about forgiveness (or is that Yom Kippur?).

RATING: 7% (the movie practically rates itself)

I Am Legend

Do you like depressing movies starring Will Smith? Well, apparently everybody does, since that's the only kind of movies he makes anymore. Anyway, I thought all my friends told me this movie blew, but it was alright mostly. The plot is 28 Days Later happens in New York, except Will Smith is some fancypants immune scientist. The first half of this movie is actually great, and Smith basically holds down the fort of being the only non-monster alive in New York by talking to his dog and mannequins. Then monsters start happening and it's not as good because the effects are terrible, but all the barren, lonely stuff is good so why not check it out if you like seeing New York get fucked up like apparently everybody does.

RATING: 61%

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas

Christmas is a holiday that has loose Christian/Pagan backgrounds, but is now mainly about buying/getting shit. A long time ago some baby was born and then people started worshipping him and his ideas (I mean, his adult ideas) about peace, love, etc. Nowadays people want to turn those ideas into all sorts of anger, but Christmas is a time when mainly it's about peace. And consumerism, but I don't think that's a bad thing like other people/television specials. Anyway, if I had to pick my favorite aspect of Christianity it would probably be Christmas thank you goodnight.

RATING: 84%

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gator Sushi

Only in Florida, could you go to a sushi restaurant, and have the option to order sushi from the most delicious of water reptiles, the alligator.

I'd never eaten any form of gator before, but apparently, it should be deep-fried in tempura batter, then wrapped in rice, seaweed, scallions, and smelt roe. Slightly spicy, and tasting a bit like chicken, only stringier and gamy-er. It's not, uh, GOOD like tuna sushi, but it's not bad. When Steve Irwin spread his message of conversationism and stupidly wrestling dangerous animals, I believe this was the ultimate end he had in mind.


RATING: 55% (which means that its better than The Duggars, but worse than the twenty-fifth amendment)

(image courtesy of PenguinDisco)

Monday, December 22, 2008

This Fake Thundercats Trailer

Cheesy as hell, but kind of awesome anyway. Why doesn't someone actually make a Thundercats movie? I'm 100% certain it would make a boatload of money.

Rating: 65%

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Seattle




Seattle is not the capital of Washington state, but it should be! That's because Seattle is phat. Like, morbidlee obeze it's so phat (please excuse hip hop slang approximation of tragic medical condition). I was there a few days ago, and although it was cold enough to snow (and it did), I was informed that such temperatures are uncommon, even in winter. Hooray for the Pacific Northwest!

Seattle has some fabbo things to do and see: the Science Fiction Hall of Fame and Museum, the Can-Can cabaret (featuring lots of flesh and a phenomenal Johnny Cash impersonator), nature hikes and parks, and some really snazzy bars and restaurants.

Seattle also has some super douchey things to see, such as ONE of Bill Gates' houses and the original Starbucks. It also has the space needle, which I didn't feel the need to experience because I'm so afraid of heights that I have to gingerly step down from bar stools. Also, the lady on the plane said I should eat at Ivar's, which she made sound like a lovely seafood bistro rather than the freakin' fried shrimp stand on a pier that it actually was.

No Eddie Vedder sightings, luckily.

Rating: Smells Like Teen Spirit %

Peope who talk on their cell phones in the Library


Shut the fuck up. Can't you see I'm trying to write? My thoughts are way more important than where you and your stupid boyfriend and your stupid friends want to go eat. Your happiness is last, mine first.


Rating: go-and-die%

The Twenty-fifth Amendment

The Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution is another boring clerical one that basically clarifies some issues regarding presidential incapacity and vice-presidential succession. SNOOZE. What it means is that when Bush had colonoscopies he invoked this amendment to make Cheney president for like an hour. All the high-numbered amendments are tres boring. You know what kind of amendment they could make that would be one of those nice, pride inducing ones like the slavery sucks, women can vote ones? How about something about the government not being allowed to restrict personal rights and freedoms based on sexual preference? I bet that would get a rating somewhere in the nineties, Congress.

RATING: 57%

Friday, December 19, 2008

"The Pick"

"The Pick" is an episode of Seinfeld where Jerry's model girlfriend (who looks to be less model, more hot private school mom) thinks she catches him picking his nose. But better yet, it is also the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine sends a photo Christmas card to all of her family and loved ones that inadvertently includes a shot of her nipple. Julie Louis-Dreyfus is her best as an upset Elaine, and the upset Elaine in this episode gets Kramer and Jerry to expose their own nipples. The episode also features a fake Calvin Klein and a body-makeup covered Kramer posing in underwear and then falling against a wall, smearing his body makeup all over the wall. It's a fanciful Christmas episode, because it makes viewers believe that models in Calvin Klein perfume campaigns look like ordinary hot moms, and that any model anywhere would ever date a man who looked like Jerry Seinfeld. Happy Holidays!

RATING: 80%

The Intermittent Poster


You know, it's that guy you see wander into the bar like once every few months. He looks around, orders a cheap beer, sometimes he'll see a regular he once talked to a year ago, nods his head at people he thinks he recognizes, finishes his beer, because after all, he doesn't really drink, takes a leak, washes his hands in the bathroom, mildly disgusted at the guy next to him who doesn't, takes a look at the condom machine from the 50's that asks for 75 cents for a glow-in-the-dark-radiate-her-vagina-with-deadly-chemicals condom, laughs to himself then leaves the bar. Well here's to the intermittent poster, namely me.

Rating: Glow-in-the-dark condom%

Jack Frost

Jack Frost is a movie about a serial killer who gets into an accident with a truck carrying "genetic material" and becomes an evil snowman. He kills a bunch of people, blah blah blah, but I thought the best part was when he removes his carrot nose, uses it to have sex with his victim, and then puts it back on his face, which melts slightly around it. This is because I'm a bad person, and remember, kids--evil snowman rape is about power, not sex, and there's nothing funny about it.

Best line: JACK (referring to self): "Well, it ain't fucking Frosty!"

RATING: 50%, AKA the "Canadian 65"

(Image from www.mattniemi.com.)

The Duggars

This fucking family has eighteen kids. I don't know exactly why they're a media sensation. Some crazy white couple has twenty kids and they get a goddamn book, but if any other race did it white people all over America would point to it as a serious problem. Jesus, 20 and Counting!? Sounds like a threat. I guess it just proves that maybe I'm racist against white people though, because looking at them and all their kids I'm assuming it's because of Jesus or white supremacy. The lesson is birth control and abortions are a lot more affordable than eighteen additional mouths to feed, although I guess if it gets you a bestselling book then that might offset some of the costs.

RATING: 18%

Stories

Stories are a kind of thing that are fake and lies, but everybody basically knows that so they like them anyway. Stories have many words, and people or animals known as "characters," and the characters learn something during the story or else get in a big exciting swordfight at the end to give the person reading the story a reason to have read it. Sometimes white people in creative writing programs like to write stories about other cultures to show that they are not racist, but don't worry it's all make believe and we are all better people for reading it. Stories are different from poems because they are hella long, and also people who write them can maybe make money one day doing it, not like poets, so the lesson is don't get an MFA in poetry (too late for me).

RATING: 76%, or Wait-For-The-Movie%

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gandhi

Gandhi is a long, very well-made, boring movie about a guy named Gandhi, maybe you heard of him. I don't know, maybe I just don't have the attention span for massive historic epics anymore, but I bet if I saw this ten years ago I might have loved it. It was made in the 80s, but seems like one of those David Lean epics from the 50s/60s. Ben Kingsley is great, but one thing I wonder is how come in every movie about a famous person who was assassinated they always have to show the assassination in full gruesome glory? Although I guess in Mary Antoinette we were all a little sad not to see Kirsten Dunst get her head chopped off. Wait, what exactly was I talking about again? My attention span?

RATING: 58%

Schindler's List

#37 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

Here's a movie that's no fun, but is still an amazing film in almost every way. This was really the first place one can argue that Spielberg made it evident that he was capable of serious filmmaking. I mean, he tried with The Color Purple and Empire Of The Sun, but the former was a disaster and the latter was a box office failure. This is a powerful movie that has been accused of melodrama by some people, but come on, are you going to be subtle when dealing with the Holocaust?

RATING: 92%

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Route 666 Vol. 1: Highway to Horror

A while ago I mentioned the problem of rereading good beginnings of comic runs when one knows the stories would end up shitty and unfulfilled. Well, Route 666 suffers from a different problem, in that its publisher, Crossgen, went out of business before everything could get wrapped up. Whoops! To be fair, it wasn't that great to begin with, but it's a horror book so what can you do. The plot is that Cassie, a young girl, can see spirits and evil creatures who look like regular humans to everybody else. There is some big secret plot involving them harvesting the souls of the living, but she can stop them so they are trying to kill her. She goes on the run and kills a bunch of bad guys, and it also takes place during the 50s, so it plays off of a kitschy atmosphere. Don't bother reading it, though, because the story never gets resolved and there isn't much point in investing your time to just end up disappointed.

RATING: 68%

Naming Your Child Adolf Hitler

If you're a white supremacist, I can tell you one guaranteed way to make sure your kid will grow up to not become a white supremacist and instead hate you forever - name him Adolf Hitler. The linked article is about how the kid couldn't get a cake with his name on it or something. I don't know if it qualifies as news, but if it isn't about the economy I'll take what I can get.

RATING: 2%

A Clockwork Orange

#38 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

Whoopsie daisy! I forgot to put any Kubrick films on this list until now, which means there will be a ton in the next 37 reviews on my top 100. This movie is the ten billionth movie set in a dystopian future to appear on my list. Maybe I have a bleak world view. It's directed by Stanley Kubrick, which means it is visually stunning, and the moral of the movie is don't beat up or rape people kids. So now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

RATING: 93%

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ultimate X-Men Vol. 2: Return To Weapon X

Ultimate X-Men really sucks now. I mean, it's probably the worst comic I get, but for some reason I force myself to buy every Ultimate comic that gets put out. It used to be really good (see vol. 1), but then it got only pretty good starting with this volume, and I can't seem to remember if the downward trend continued. In this book, all of the X-Men get kidnapped and forced to act as soldiers for some military group, but luckily Wolverine saves the day. It's fine, but it kind of seems pointless to revise the history of these characters if nothing new was going to be done with them.

RATING: 63%

The First Hamburger

I'm not sure who invented the first hamburger, but I think it was the Apostle Paul who was instructed by Jesus, after his resurrection, to give the people something worthwhile for once. It seems it takes more than grace and redemption from sin to make man (and okay, woman) happy. I'm sure Paul was giving out burgers at the time of the first church to boost attendance and convert the Jews (hey, cheeseburgers!). But that's all hearsay, and I'd have to check my Gideon Bible to be certain. Personally I love burgers, but it won't get me to go to church. Nice try, guys.

RATING: 99%

The Dark Knight

#39 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

I'm really bummed that I didn't see this movie a long time ago while doing this list. The only movies that I'm doing in true order are the top ten, but I still knocked some movies out a long time ago that I would have felt a lot better replacing than John Carpenter's The Thing (like this, this, this, or this). But oh well, this movie is without a doubt the best superhero movie there's ever been, and one of the best crime movies, period. I mean, damn! Any time the Joker was on screen the whole theater was rapt. I don't know why I'm bothering to even talk about it since you've probably seen it already, and if you haven't, then JESUS, rent it now.

RATING: 93%

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Toast

Toast is what happens when you take bread and then put it into a toaster. It makes it all crispy and delicious unless your toaster is broken in which case it makes it all burnt and disgusting. Or maybe your toaster is really broken and it just makes it bread and regular. Toast is good because you can melt butter onto it, and then maybe put some jam or cinnamon or peanut butter or a BLT on it for breakfast. Toast is bad if you are really thirsty or if you have a sore throat, but that's ok just mail it to me and I'll take care of it.

RATING: 72%

The Shoop Shoop Song by Betty Everett

Everybody always makes fun of people for being one hit wonders, but damn I'd like to have one hit, especially if it was as good as "The Shoop Shoop Song." Betty Everett was a soul singer known mainly for her one crossover pop hit, but her greatest hits album is pretty good. One thing I love about R&B and soul music from the 60s is the way they overload songs with brass and drums. Man, that adds power! I mean, Everett wasn't the best, but she's still got some great tracks. The other one you might know is accessible through this link right here.

RATING: 66%

What If...? Comics

What If... used to be a comic series published by Marvel in which various elements of comic history would be rearranged, like "What If Punisher Had Killed Daredevil," or "What If Spider-man Had Joined The Fantastic Four." It was basically an excuse to kill heroes in gruesome ways. As a kid, I bought the second volume of this comic for a while, the one published in the early 90s. In the 13 or 14 issues I have, Dr. Doom shows up in 9 of them. But I guess that was ok because Dr. Doom is awesome. Anyway, to answer all of the "What If" questions posed in every issue of this book: "The comics wouldn't have sold as well the end."

RATING: 59%

Made In USA by Sonic Youth

This is the soundtrack to some indie movie from 1986 starring Chris Penn, I don't know I never saw it. Anyway, this is mostly just ambient guitar hums, with one actual new song and one track from EVOL. I guess I can say it's interesting as a curiosity, though I'm pretty much always a fan of Sonic Youth's ambient/noise work. Like almost all of SY's catalog, I'm going to have to again say this one is just for hardcore fans. Maybe I shouldn't have accused the Beatles of being pretentious after all.

RATING: 36%

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Magician: Apprentice

This is (so far) the worst book I've read this year and the worst high fantasy novel I've ever read. It's not like this book is deliberately offensive, or the like, but it's just not very good. There's no craft or style to the prose, the plot is dull, and the end of the book neither pays any attention to the main character, nor is it...uh...interesting. It's abjectly boring. I only finished it in the hopes that it would get better, and it didn't.

RATING: 16% (which means that it is better than Lake Erie, and worse than Lake Huron)

The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

This comic book had every opportunity to be truly awful. Consider the following factors: non-comic writer from an emo-esque band (Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance), obvious influence (from Grant Morrison's Doom Patrol), low-end marketing campaign (compared to Big 2), and artist I am not at all familiar with (Gabriel Ba).

Well, it was less truly awful, and more good - I have absolutely no idea how this happened.

There's absolutely no question that this was put together by someone who loves Grant Morrison, but the characters were clever (and surprisingly sympathetic), the art was evocative, and most of all, it didn't come across as a fan letter written by a fan, it was a legitimate piece of work by someone who has a lot of love and respect for the medium.

In closing, if you like weirdish superhero comics, I have no reason to believe you won't like this book, or the upcoming miniseries (Dallas).

RATING: 74% (which means that it is better than The Birthday Bat, but worse than Frank Miller on Daredevil)

Pasadena by Ozma

Ozma is a band that used to get compared to Weezer a lot, but now no one cares (about either band, I think). Except I like them (both), and Ozma's gone a little more towards synthesizers, more complex song structure, and multiple vocals. I don't know how other people feel about this album, but I like it, or more accurately, I like the first half of it. The best song (musically) on this album is Heartache vs. Heartbreak, and I'd totally link to the YouTube video of them playing it live, but I just watched it, and it's not worth it - the album track is much better than that crappy video. Thanks YouTube.

RATING: 64% (which means that it's better than a magazine, but worse than Supreme Power Volume 1)

The Beatles by The Beatles

The is probably one of the most pretentious albums ever made by a rock band, and I say that as a fan of Sonic Youth. Sure, it's got a lot of great songs, but does it need to be a double album? Does it need "Revolution 9?" According to Wikipedia, the most reliable source on the web, this album is "lyrically sophisticated." Yeah, sure, "I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping." The problem is when you believe too much in your own stardom, you forget about simple things such as revision and cutting the fat. In conclusion, this could have been one of the best single albums of all time.

RATING: Still a 76% (Back In The USSR, Dear Prudence, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Happiness Is A Warm Gun, Martha My Dear, I'm So Tired, Rocky Racoon, Don't Pass Me By, Why Don't We Do It In The Road, Julia, I Will, Birthday, Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey, Sexy Sady, Helter Skelter, Long Long Long, Revolution, Honey Pie, Savoy Truffle, Cry Baby Cry...)

Ok, RATING: 89%

Starbucks

Coffee's pretty good, I guess. Now that I live in the greater Seattle area, I'm supposed to love things like coffee, the environment, Alice in Chains, and rain. Anyways, if you've never heard of Starbucks before, its a mildly exploitative coffee shop with about six million locations, including one within walking distance of my apartment. Their espresso tastes a little overroasted (disclaimer: I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about), and I like their mochas slightly less than those from places like L.A. Burdick, but more than Seattle's Best (name = lie). Anyways, this review is completely redundant, because you know all about Starbucks so goodbye.

RATING: 57% (which is better than Captain Planet and the Planeteers but worse than Chris's magnificent teeth)

ALTERNATE ENDING: Here.

(image courtesy of AppleInsider)

Christmas Evil

As far as Christmastime horror movies that feature a killer dressed as Santa Claus go, this one is probably the worst. But that's kind of like saying "as far as times when I've had to puke really bad, the times when it it's mostly spaghetti and not beer are the worst." Whoops, that was a bit gross. Anyway, in case you're interested, the plot of this movie is a kid witnesses his mother being lovingly caressed by his father dressed as Santa, then later in life works as the foreman of a toy factory, so he paints the side of his van with a sleigh and dresses as Santa to kill people/give kids presents. I have no idea what this movie is trying to say. I am trying to say "Whoa, no I puked spaghetti all over my keyboard."

RATING: 13%

Gremlins

Imagine that you have just watched a movie about a killer Santa that looks like it was shot for the equivalent of $18 in today's currency. Next you pop in another holiday horror classic, and since it is Gremlins and had a lot of money and talent behind it it ends up looking like Citizen Fucking Kane (that's the sequel to Citizen Kane). We all know the plot, but this movie is pretty dark considering it's ostensibly a kids' movie--a lot of people get killed, and the Gremlins themselves meet with pretty gruesome fates (microwave, blender, melting, exploding, etc). This movie, along with Temple of Doom and Poltergeist, was responsible for the PG-13 rating coming into existence, so thanks Spielberg.

RATING: 71%

Silent Night, Deadly Night

As far as Christmastime horror movies that feature a killer dressed as Santa Claus go, this one is probably the best. But that's kind of like saying "as far as times when I've had to puke really bad, the times when it it's mostly beer and not spaghetti are the best." Whoops, that was a bit gross. Anyway, in case you're interested, the plot of this movie is a kid witnesses his family gunned down by a criminal dressed as Santa, then he gets abused in the orphanage, so he grows up to become a killer who dresses as Santa. The movie is trying to say something about the psychology of killers I think. I'm trying to say something about boring movies that don't make sense.

RATING: 27%

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changin' Tires On The Road To Ruin by Superdrag

(Preface: I like Superdrag a lot and as such, I've decided I'm going to review all of their albums. I apologize in advance.)

Superdrag is a totally jangly rock band of awesome, and (technically) this is their most recent album, being a collection of unreleased tracks collected by Arena Rock Recording Company. As a collection of C-sides, early demos, and two live tracks, you can't expect to find their best work on here...however, a few tracks spring up as diamonds in the rough cuts. 'Relocate My Satellites' is driven hard by the rhythm section with great pacing and 'Here We Come' is a short, straightforward primer on the Superdrag sound. 'No Inspiration' sounds like a love letter to simple 60's rock. Oh, and lyrically, its still heads and shoulders above 90% of modern American rock music.

Weaknesses are songs like 'Doctors Are Dead' (not their best slow jam) and the demo version of 'Keep It Close to Me' (the demo lacks the drama and intensity of the album track).

As far as things go, it lacks some of the polish of full-length Superdrag albums like Head Trip In Every Key and In The Valley of Dying Stars, but Superdrag doesn't usually suffer from lack of production.

Because this is a review of a Superdrag album, people who know me very well will probably assume that I'll rate it highly.

Both of those people are right.

RATING: 78% (which means that it is better than the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex and worse than Herr's Heinz Ketchup Chips)

Piece Of Cake by Mudhoney

I don't know why everybody hates on this album according to Wikipedia, the most reliable source on Earth. I think it's a great piece of grungedom. There's obviously classic songs like "Suck You Dry" and "No End In Sight," and you can really tell here that Mudhoney, like Nirvana, was obsessed with old blues and folk songs. A lot of standard blues riffs, etc. Man, you just can't get enough of Mark Arm's wailing here, either, damn!

RATING: 77%

An Afterlife

One thing that everyone who's alive has in common is their impending death. Some people think the idea of an afterlife is just a comfort blanket for weaklings who refuse to accept the possibility of a permanent cessation of consciousness, but I'm not sure about that. If I were some kind of technologically empowered entity in the distant human future, and I were able to, say, reconstruct space-time by "reading" the background radiation of the universe (or something like that), I'd certainly feel a logical, moral and aesthetic obligation to resurrect the dead, at least to ask them if that's what they wanted. Of course that's a big if, but what's wrong with hoping? Dreaming? Longing? Lots of us buy lottery tickets, after all. When the people you love most start dying this line of thinking seems a lot less ridiculous.

RATING: ??

(Image of Correggio's Parma Frescoes from www.wga.hu. I highly recommend clicking on the above pic--it's gorgeous.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Prodigy: Music for the Jilted Generation

When Fat of the Land came out, I was in grade 11 (what yanks call "eleventh grade") and I was all like, "This doesn't sound like Stone Temple Pilots! Techno is for e-tards!" Then I heard "Voodoo People" in my friend's car, and realized I had to get this album. I don't have an electronic music geek's taxonomic knowledge of sub-genre, but I like to think I know good music when I hear it, and this album is the shit. The songs are danceable, dark without being "bad trip" dark, and they stick to a kind of alt-pop structure so they don't get boring when you're not tripping balls. "Break and Enter" is probably my favorite (that broken glass sample is perfect), but "Speedway" and "3 Kilos" are also killer. Basically, the whole album is great from end to end. Most of Prodigy's stuff since then has tried too self-consciously to bridge the electronica/alt rock-metal gap, but Music for the Jilted Generation is timeless, even though it was released 17 years ago.

RATING: 89%

(Image from www.taringa.net.)

"Kick [sic] Ass Chicken Sandwich" from the Flying Saucer

If you're at the Flying Saucer and you get the munchies, do the right thing and call a cab to take you to fucking IHOP. Don't get this sandwich, because a) it tastes like old salami, b) the lettuce is nasty bad, and c) vegetarians will be sad because of all the ass chickens that died to make it. Also, don't believe them when they tell you there's jalapeño pesto mayo--that same bitch who talked you into ordering the Dogfish Head 120 is probably sitting in the kitchen laughing as your drunk ass wonders where the mayo is.

RATING: 19%

(Image from http://hoboken411.com.)

Bookmarks

Sometimes in life you might find yourself reading a book or something and then you have to put it down to go get the bite size pizza rolls out of the microwave. How will you ever remember your page number, which is almost certainly no more than four digits long? The best answer is to use a bookmark I guess. A bookmark will never save your life, but it will also probably never call you at four in the morning needing to get bailed out of prison for domestic assault. A bookmark can probably be used as a weapon if it is thick enough and you have the right training, but you can also give it to somebody as a peace offering if you want to stop the hate. Sometimes bookmarks can have designs on them, like maybe a funny joke about cats or a picture of Spock or some shit. I would never buy a bookmark, but I've been given them by friends or stores and that's ok, I use them 'til I lose them (motto). In conclusion I think I would have rather reviewed pizza rolls.

RATING: 61%

Fantastic Pepper Salsa Recipe

3 red or yellow peppers, cored and chopped (you can use green too, but they have a bitterer taste)
1 habanero pepper, cored and chopped
1 red onion
2-3 cloves garlic
Juice from 2 limes
A bunch of honey (add to taste--about 3-5 tbsp, or more if you wanna go tight out)
2 capfuls apple cider vinegar (about 3/4 tsp)
About 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Chop it all up, and then chop it up more in the food processor. Do a good job, because the last thing you want is a fingernail-sized chunk of habanero stuck in the back of your throat. There are no tomatoes in this salsa--the original recipe called for them, but one time I forgot and it was a lot better. There's also about twice as much cilantro as the original recipe specifies. You have to stir it well, because the lime juice and vinegar tend to separate from the vegetable mush, but it's totally worth it. Just don't eat it right before you go out on a date, or the day before you go out on a date, or maybe if you ever plan on going out on a date again.

RATING: 88%, or 94% if you can keep from touching your eyes like I never can.

(Image from http://linksdisk.aphanerdz.com.)

Chris' Teeth


So what the fuck is up with Chris Loll's teeth? Has he made some sort of Faustian bargain with the tooth fairy? I used to have nice teeth when I was younger, but then I started smoking, drinking, and grinding grains and animal parts into a fine paste before swallowing. Now I have yellow teeth like a man should. Chris' teeth ought to have their own T.V. show or something.

RATING: 90%--I haven't seen his molars and God willing I never will.

(Image from Chris Loll's facebook profile)

DIckey's BBQ

I'm of 2 minds about Dickey's BBQ: those giant smoked turkey legs they peddle at the state fair are dope, but their restaurants are another matter. First off, the layout is really confusing, and I almost ended up going the wrong way through their self-service line. The sausage was alright, if salty, but I hate how they cut it up into bite sized chunks before it even gets onto your plate. The brisket was so wet it was like they'd drowned the animal to death before smoking it. The mac and cheese was bland (and it's not a vegetable), and the green beans were soggy and tasteless. The biscuit started off OK, but it got nasty sitting in all the water from my brisket and/or green beans.

Next time you're in Dallas (and by "Dallas" I mean Richardson) don't go to Dickey's BBQ. Even if you don't enter at the wrong end, you'll probably just end up with a double handful of wet, salty meat and a soggy biscuit to boot.

RATING: 32%

(Image from http://fiveprime.org. Next time you're looking for an avalanche of porn, try googling "wet meat.")

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Siamese Dream by The Smashing Pumpkins

Well, we all pretty much know this album, but I think it suffers from severe top heavy syndrome. That is, it's strong right out of the gate, but it runs out of gas after Rocket. Five great tracks in a row ain't no slouch I guess. I do love Silverfuck and Geek USA, but that's about it on the second half. Anyway, if you slept through the past fifteen years you might not know this album after all, but it's good. I won't say buy it because of the depression, but you can probably borrow it from somebody pretty easily.

RATING: 80%

Daredevil Visionaries: Frank Miller Vol. 2

This collection features the classic first story of Daredevil and Elektra, in which DD's ex comes back into his life except now she's a master assassin and then she gets killed by Bullseye (spoilers). This is all hokey sounding now, but Frank Miller's art is fantastic (don't judge by the cover, he did that in the past few years), and Miller is great at bringing the tragedy into DD that is common now. One thing I never noticed before, but Miller actually has Bullseye break out of prison in virtually the same way Joker does in DKR, by manipulating a talk show host. Weird. Anyway, this story is classic, and I really recommend it.

RATING: 84%

NyQuil Sinus Capsules

I can clearly remember a time when NyQuil could knock me the fuck out. In high school, a neat little 30 ml cup would have me passed out in no time, killing everything living inside me as I slept, and when I woke I was feeling as good as new. I don't know what was in it then. And I don't know what's in it now, but my guess is crushed peppermints, Hi-C, and Vaseline. I took two of these caps last night and stayed on to edit a 15-page term paper, then to lie sadly in bed coughing at the ceiling for a good half hour before I finally fell asleep, only to wake up repeatedly to cough sadly again. What? What did I just pay $7.50 for? For a dollar less, I could've gotten a Bombay & tonic and slept a lot better, let me tell you.

RATING: 21%

Captain Planet & The Planeteers

People are always giving Ted Turner a hard time just because he built a media empire, owns more land than any other American (true story) and makes a bazillion dollars a year. But he also contributes a shitload to environmental issues and called Christianity a "religion for losers". What we should be blaming him for is garbage like Captain Planet and the Planeteers, which brainwashed young children like me for years. Let's be frank kids, Captain Planet had too many superpowers. He could fly, had superhuman strength, speed, and stamina, invulnerability, super-breath, telepathy, telekenesis, control over the elements, shape shifting, and matter transmutation. Plus the entire show was about saving the environment and recycling. So lame.

RATING: 34%