Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sons of Anarchy

If the writers could write and the actors could act, this might actually be a good show. They can't, and it isn't. The young, pretty actors have two acting styles—coy and stupidly perplexed—and the old, homely ones are character actors with no character: there's the rape guy, the needs-an-oxygen-mask-to-breathe guy, the Scottish guy, etc. It's basically The Sopranos-lite with white bikers, and once in a while a Wonder Years voiceover trots out a bunch of lame, pretentious hippy clichés. On a positive note, Ron "Sex Baboon" Perlman makes me gay for ugly.


(Image from

Mac Baren's Original Choice

Original Choice tastes like there might be some quality tobacco in there underneath all that fruity nonsense, but I'm still unable to find it in my heart to give this blend even 10%. The strawberry-banana-grenadine topping is simply ghastly. I don't mind the odd aromatic, but this stuff is like a whole year's worth of Friday afternoons when I was 10 years old. Like the package says, it won't bite your tongue, but the fact that this garbage cost good money will definitely burn your ass. About the only thing this absolute crap has going for it is the fact that I can send it to the landfill with confidence that its corrugated cardboard packaging will biodegrade. Fuck.


(Image from

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Stink Creek, TX

Yep, it's is a real place. It's eleven miles upstream from Sweetwater, TX, if you can believe that. If anyone bumps into Super Mario, they'd better tell him that the brown stuff in Soda Lake ain't Coca Cola.


(Image from


Much love to the benevolent employee who put NewsRadio on Hulu. This 90s sitcom about a NYC news radio station is just fantastic. It's funny and that Phil Hartman is a delight. It is a real shame about what happened to him. Watching hours and hours of this show really made having food poisoning today a lot less sucky.

Rating: 76+delightful%

Friday, February 26, 2010

Vonage and ATT

Vonage's broadband telephone connection service provides reasonably priced long distance that never, ever fucking works. The best part about having your phone attached to your Internet is that whenever you lose the Internet, your land line goes down too. This is great news for people who enjoy burning through cell phone minutes while they wait for a rude, mouth-breathing ex-convict at AT&T to take them off hold. In fact, if you want to be angry pretty much every time you (try to) use the phone, I can't recommend a better combination than Vonage and AT&T.


(Image from

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Toadies

I don't know much about The Toadies because I was like four years old when they were hott, but I know anytime some prick talks some shit about the Fatherland, I can say, "The Toadies," and they have to stfu for a sec. If they keep yapping, I just gotta say, Jeremy spoke in spoke in, and they cry a little. So.

Rating: 66%

Biggest Loser Product Placements

Trainer: Chewing This Sugar Free Gum will reduce your cravings and is a much better choice than delicious fatty snacks! Contestant: Really? WOW. Trainer: Yes, go buy some of This Sugar Free Gum! Right now! Contestant: I will totally go buy This Sugar Free Gum right now! Trainer: Yeah! This Sugar Free Gum will ALSO give you orgasms and pay your taxes! Contestant: HELL YEAH!

Rating: mustbuysugarfreegumnow%

The Act You've Known for All These Years

For lack of a better term, I guess you'd call Clinton Heylin's book, The Act You've Known for All These Years: A Year in the Life of Sgt. Pepper & Friends, a piece of Rock Journalism. The book centers around the recording and release of the classic Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Heylin does well to include sections in the book concerning other important musicians and bands from the era, including: Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys, Pink Floyd, Cream, The Velvet Underground, Jimi Hendrix, etc. Extensively researched, the book contains many quotes from the band and those involved with the recording of Sgt. Pepper's, though Ringo seems conspicuously absent. An interesting read that avoids excessive hyperbole and idol worship.

Rating: 90%

(Image from

Monday, February 22, 2010

Perfect Brownie Pan

The Perfect Brownie Pan is a thing that you put into the pan that molds brownies into squares so you don't have to cut them with a knife (because that is clearly too difficult and time consuming for the average american). I have a real problem with kitchen items that only do one thing that you rarely ever need (waffle iron? no thank you, I will go to a damn restaurant on the rare occasion I want a waffle). Now, call me crazy, but something tells me that the brownies I am sure to bake every day once I get this thing are less to slide right out of the pan than they are to get all stuck on it and make the pan a real pain in my ass to clean. Just sayin'.

Rating: virtuallyuseless%

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Pope Smokes Dope

Well so I watched this interview with Steve Almond and I saw he was wearing this weird shirt that claims the Pope smokes dope. For some reason the rhyme has stuck with me all week. Steve Almond is funny; he quit his job over a commencement speech given by Condoleezza Rice, and had to put up with the virile anger of Sean Hannity, who is a gay. Steve Almond is funny, but I'm not sure the pope smokes dope. I bet he drinks a lot. He's Catholic.

Rating: 77%

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Escudo Navy Deluxe

Smoking a bowl of Escudo is like sticking a delicious blowtorch in your mouth and holding it there for 50 minutes. Cigar aficionados will sometimes talk about a cigar’s “finish,” i.e. the duration and quality of its flavour as it lingers on the palate. Escudo doesn’t have a finish per se—it’s more of a plum-and-pepper tattoo on the inside of your face. Those who enjoy a full-bodied smoke will undoubtedly find it quite satisfying, while those who wish to taste or smell anything other than Escudo for the rest of their lives will be disappointed.

RATING: 92%, but there’s no going back.

(Image from

Shutter Island

Has there ever been a bad movie that takes place at a mental hospital?


My Crazy Neighbor

I first became aware of my crazy upstairs neighbor on Thanksgiving two years ago, shortly after I moved into my then new apartment. I was sitting at my kitchen table watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and diligently preparing for my upcoming exams (sadly true, but I did go to a friend's for dinner later that night) when I heard an incredibly whiny voice screaming down the airshaft in the middle of our building and into my apartment. She was yelling at her mom, something to the effect of "BUT I AM AN ADULT MOM! F-BOMB F-BOMB I'M 24 YEARS OLD AND I PAY ALMOST ALL OF MY OWN BILLS!!!!" I resisted the temptation to yell back that she certainly wasn't acting like an adult and btw don't talk to your mom like that, you crazy bitch!

Lately my crazy neighbor has been having some relationship strife with her ex-boyfriend. How do I know he is her EX boyfriend? Because she keeps going out into the hallway of our building to yell insane things at him on the phone (bitch is CRAZY if she thinks her roommate can't hear her). A couple of weeks ago she spent a full hour yelling at him for going skiing on a weekend she couldn't go. He was, apparently, going to go there and fuck some slut (because that is WHAT PEOPLE DO THERE) and should not go but instead tell his friends he wants to go on a nice date with his ex-girlfriend and then ski with her sometime in the future.

About a week later she came home at three in the morning on a weeknight and proceeded to ring the buzzer of every single person in the building for 20 minutes (ok, maybe I was home, and awake, but I didn't know it was could have been a crazy person, the speaker part of my buzzer has never worked..I live above a bar! a drunk person could have passed out on the buzzer!). This went on until my landlord texted me and asked if I was home so then I buzzed her in. I peeked out the peephole and saw her stumbling up the stairs with some dude carrying a six pack in tow. What a hot mess!

Today she is screaming at the ex again. No idea what about because I'm watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay (Bobby Flay!) and don't care enough to eavesdrop. SIGH.

Rating: 30% (it's annoying, but sort of entertaining too)

PS -- Sorry for the long reviews today, Glenn. I know you hate that.


When a movie has a trailer like this, I don't think it's unreasonable for me to expect the actual movie to have a substantial amount of action. Instead, Legion offers what feels like hours and hours of boring characters doing basically nothing. I knew I was in trouble when I texted a friend to tell him about one of the previews (this baffling remake of the fantastic 2007 British comedy of the same name) and he replied "oh yeah I saw that when I sent to see that piece of shit Legion." Piece of shit, indeed. I still can't figure out what the hell Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany were doing in this movie.

Oh did you want a few words about the plot? God "loses faith" in humans and decides to destroy them. Instead of sending an army of his badass fightin angels (who are mysteriously controlled by shock collars rather than faith) to do the job (or just snapping his heavenly fingers because he is after all GOD) God decides to possess humans to make them twitchy and confusing. For unknown reasons some pregnant lady's baby is the only hope. Paul Bettnay is a fallen angel who decides to protect her. Very little fighting ensues, many characters die offscreen. Laurie's friend falls asleep for a while in the middle. The people yelling/laughing at the screen proves to be the best part of the movie.

Rating: Seriously, 0%

Friday, February 19, 2010

A Month of Boring Things - Day Twenty-nine: Phone Interviews

Phone interviews are the first step towards self-implosion, especially if you hate the phone and only use it to call your lover. Even if you know the people on the other end of the line, you still sweat like a mafucka and wish to YHWH there was some better way of doing stuff. But there ain't, and nobody likes this shit, and so we beat on, boats against the current and something or other, I forget now.

Rating: 5%


Storesonline is the company that sent my parents a flier in the mail advertising a meeting they were having to show fine local persons like themselves how to set up a website from which they could sell things. Storesonline sounds like a giant scam. And guess what? It is! My dad is the most street-smart person I know, but when it comes to the internet, he knows squat. Of course, it only took me about 13 seconds to type "stores online" into Google before finding thousands of complaints. The most upsetting part of this whole ordeal is that, even after informing my parents, my dad seems to be unwilling to accept that it's a scam. It still sounds like a good idea to him, and he thinks that somehow I'm misunderstanding the situation. The most genius part of this scam is that, although there is countless documentation about how this thing is bunk, it's all on the internet, which storesonline banks on its victims not understanding. So bravo, inbred Mormon terrorists! Tomorrow I'm calling you as my mother and I dare you to stand my New York rage for five minutes without canceling my parents' charge as you piss yourself with fear. And just for extra revenge for screwing with Prop 8, I'm going to fuck and gay marry all of your daughters. At once. We'll live in different houses with a nice, big, shared yard.


Prison Tattoos

I deal with a lot of truckers at my job and I've come to notice that a lot of said truckers have prison tattoos. You know what I'm talking about, the faded and hastily scrawled tattoos that look like they were made with a safety pin, a ballpoint pen and something that was fermented in a bucket behind a radiator. Sometimes you see the classic LOVE and HATE knuckle tattoos, sometimes its a crude approximation of a cartoon character and sometimes its just some entirely cryptic symbol. Whenever you see someone with prison tattoos, you can be sure that there's a story behind that ink. You can also be sure that I won't be the one to ask them for that story.

Rating: Depends on how scary the guy looks%

(Image from

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Wolfman

Essentially a remake of the 1941 classic, The Wolfman stars Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving. While this movie was far from perfect, they did well in not trying to update the story with a modern day setting. The Wolfman got an R rating for violence, which I believe is a first for a Universal Monster movie, but even though I'm a fan of violence in horror movies, I thought that some of the gore in this movie bordered on absurdity. Also, a lot of the CGI effects were pretty craptacular. All in all, it's not bad but it's not great either. It should hold you over until the Creature from the Black Lagoon remake comes out.

Rating: 67%

(Image from

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Bloody Valentine 3D

My Bloody Valentine 3D is a crappy 3D remake of the 1981 slasher film My Bloody Valentine. When shown in theatres, My Bloody Valentine 3D used stereoscopic projection technology to acheive its 3D effects. When viewed on DVD, the film is shown in a crappy red and blue anaglyph format that won't really work on your TV. No big loss though, unless you're really into swinging pick axes.

Rating: 58%

(Image from

My Bloody Valentine

My Bloody Valentine is a slasher movie from 1981, filmed in Sydney Mines, Cape Breton. Like many of the early slasher films, My Bloody Valentine centers around an event linked to a holiday. In this case it's a mining accident on the night of the big Valentine's Day dance. Harry Warden, the miner/psychopath involved in the accident, swears vengeance on the town of Valentine Bluffs (no, that's seriously what the town in the movie is called) so long as they continue to hold the dance. The town bans the dance and a number of years pass before the local horny youths (they look too old to be horny teens) decide to bring back the Valentine's Day celebrations. Then, wouldn't you know it, people start dying.

Rating: 77%

(Image from

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Ocean: Precambrian

Cookie Monster drowns with stringed accompaniment as the Russian tanks roll into Berlin. This shit is bananas.

RATING: 92%, but it's an acquired taste

(Image from

Lookin' Out the Screen Door

Lookin' Out the Screen Door is, so far as I know, East Texas' own Adam Carroll's first full length album, and boy does it kick some ass. Included here is a ballad to Ol' Milwaukee beer, a crazy-awesome song about Sno Cones, a ballad for Blondie and Dagwood and the best song about Galveston I know of (I'm looking at you, Glen Campbell). Like Bone, Carroll is a better writer than about half the people in MFA programs. So praise be to Allah!

Listen for yourself.

Rating: 88%

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Harold Bloom

This review isn't about Harold Bloom. It's about Harold Bloom's Ratemyprofessor page. I hope it makes many of you feel nice and tingly inside to know that the difference between you and Yalies like me and Lollies is twofold: (1) The ability to spell; (2) A massive, literally incredible sense of entitlement.

Rating: 4%

Blue Menu Chili

President's Choice (Canada's favorite generic brand) Blue Menu products are food items that are marketed to today's "health conscience" consumer. I am not part of that target group, but I went ahead and tried their chili anyway. While I've never been asked to be a judge at a chili cook-off, I think I have a pretty good idea of how chili should or should not taste. So, I'm going to go ahead and call shenanigans on Blue Menu's chili, because it tasted like kidney beans, ground up Aspirin and ass. Thanks for the heartburn, assholes.

Rating: 3%

(Image from

Monday, February 8, 2010

No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men is a 2005 novel by Cormac McCarthy (which was turned into a kick-ass 2007 film by the Coen Brothers). A thriller of sorts, the novel follows three interweaving character arcs which all stem from a central plot event, a botched drug deal near the Texas/Mexico border. It should be noted that the 2007 film version of No Country for Old Men was very faithful to the original novel, with only some minor variations and additions. McCarthy's writing style is somewhat more accessible in this novel, as compared to The Road, with less poetic language overall and with punctuation only suffering in the dialogue portions.

Rating: 90%

(Image from

The Road

The Road is a 2006 novel by Cormac McCarthy. It's the story of a father and son on an arduous journey in a post-apocalyptic future America. Also, it's chock full of cannibalism. You may have heard of it because it was selected to be part of Oprah's Book Club a few years ago (Yay? Boo?). While I don't keep up with Oprah's Book Club selections, I have to assume this one was a bit out of the norm for her club. Even though I recommend the book, it should be noted that McCarthy's minimal punctuation style may frustrate some readers.

Rating: 87%

(Image from

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hott Nuts

These are great, if you don't feel like eating hot nuts. I suppose the artificial flavoring does chew through the lining of your stomach, so at least something's getting fed!

Rating: 9%

Thursday, February 4, 2010

School Daze

Spike Lee's second movie is some bizarre piece of auteurism masked as a college sex comedy set at an HBCU. It's got all the expected weird and wacky characters who get into college hijinx, but then there's a Broadway-style musical number in the middle, racial tension between light and dark skinned girls, and a strange tonal turn in the last five minutes where a girl (basically) gets raped and there's all these nonsensical angles and Laurence Fishburne yelling at the camera. I don't hesitate to call Spike Lee one of the three or four genius directors alive, but often, like Tarantino or PT Anderson he'll just make a movie that so abrasively bucks audience expectations that it's difficult to know what to make of it as a film. Also, I'm glad he stopped putting himself in his own movies because he is NOT A GOOD ACTOR.


Technology And The News

Hey, I know technology is a wonderful thing, especially for news media. The omnipresence of cellphone cameras allows any amateurs who suddenly find themselves on the scene of a newsworthy event to record it for broadcast later. The key word here is amateur - they're not professionals, and their footage is terrible quality because they just so happened to be in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time, and started recording in the heat of the moment with whatever shitty camera they had. But let's stop sending out reporters with cellphone cameras or using Skype to interview people as if it's giving us broadcast quality video, ok? If I wanted to watch a indiscernable blob of flesh pixelate its way across my screen I'd go back to 1999 and watch internet porn over dialup. La la la, olden days!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

My Dentist's Waiting Room

Thanks to H1N1 and the Norwalk virus, they no longer have magazines in my dentist's waiting room. Now sure, those magazines were horribly out of date at best, but they were better than nothing. I'd rather risk my health thumbing through a five year old issue of Maclean's or Reader's Digest than engage in idle chit chat with strangers. Thanks a lot horribly infectious viruses, you've gone and turned my dentist's waiting room into the bus.

Rating: 9%

(Image from

Live at the El Mocambo

Live at the El Mocambo is a live album recorded by Elvis Costello and the Attractions at the El Mocambo Tavern in Toronto in 1978. In the 1970's, the El Mocambo Tavern was a popular spot for bands, a number of whom recorded live albums there (See also: The Rolling Stones' Love You Live and April Wine's Live at the El Mocambo). Costello's Live at the El Mocambo was originally issued in 1978 as a heavily bootlegged promotional album, then reissued in 1993 as part of a box set and then reissued again in 2009 as part of the "Costello Show" series of archival live recordings. The El Mocambo recording, renowned among Elvis Costello fans, features energetic performances of songs primarily from Costello's first two albums. The 2009 reissue also restores some of Costello's stage banter which was absent from the 1993 reissue, including a speech where Costello informs the audience that he and the band have come from England to reclaim Canada.

Rating: 88%

(Image from

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Month of Boring Things - Day Twenty-Eight: Oil

No, I'm not talking about the Middle East, or American dependence on blah blah blah (though that would be totally boring). I'm talking about mixing prescription cough medicine with Sprite and Jolly Ranchers and then drinking it to get higher than a motherfucker. A lot of people credit DJ Screw and the Houston rap scene for this phenomena, though "sneaking grandpa's cough medicine" is a fairly old, poor white/black trash way of copping a buzz. I'm fine with a can of beer, thank you. Anyway, if you're gonna do something like this, you probably shouldn't post pictures of it via your Twitter feed, like one of my old high school pals does about twice a night.

Rating: 9%

Monday, February 1, 2010

Worst Cooks in America

I do not get cable because I am poor and busy and well, Hulu. However, I plugged my tv into the wall and so the network stations and, mysteriously, the Food Network come through my tv. I don't understand it, but I'll take it. Anyway, the Worst Chef in America is the Food Network's newest addition and damned if it isn't the best show on the whole damn network! (Damn damn damn) The premise of the show is that a whole bunch of the most delightful, endearing, and determined terrible cooks you've ever seen are put in a competition to learn to cook. The only downside is that I love all the contestants so much that I want them all to win. Well done, Food Network. (Much better than this shit.)

Rating: fooddisastertastic%