Saturday, November 29, 2008

SamuraiFrog in Art

I had to share these because they're awesome. Two of my blogosphere fellows have rendered SamuraiFrog artistically.

This first is by John, who has also come up with a great catchphrase for my blog.

And this second is from Lee.

You guys rock for doing those; I'm flattered and enjoying the hell out of these.

SamuraiFrog is actually the name of a character I used to draw in school. Maybe I'll tell that story one day. SamuraiFrog was, wait for it, a frog who was also a samurai. Ah, junior high. A time of creative flowering.

John and Lee, thanks again!

Even More Random Words I Love the Sound Of


110 Years of C.S. Lewis

Born today in 1898.

"For me, reason is the natural organ of truth; but imagination is the organ of meaning. Imagination, producing new metaphors or revivifying old, is not the cause of truth, but its condition."

"Only the skilled can judge the skilfulness, but that is not the same as judging the value of the result."

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."

"A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered."

"Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness."

"Everyone feels benevolent if nothing happens to be annoying him at the moment."

"When they have really learned to love their neighbours as themselves, they will be allowed to love themselves as their neighbours."

"All mortals tend to turn into the thing they are pretending to be."

"There have been some who were so preoccupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ."

"If we are going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things -- praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts -- not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They might break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds."

"100 per cent of us die, and the percentage cannot be increased."

"I fancy that most people who think at all have done a great deal of their thinking in the first fourteen years."

"Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival."

"You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you."

"The Value of myth is that it takes all the things you know and restores to them the rich significance which has been hidden by the veil of familiarity."

"We do not retreat from reality, we rediscover it. As long as the story lingers in our mind, the real things are more themselves... By dipping them in myth we see them more clearly."

"Critics who treat adult as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."


Friday, November 28, 2008

Links Not in Use

I don't have anything interesting to share today for a Throwdown, so I'm just putting up a links post for today.

[.] Michael Sporn has some excellent shots and art for the forest fire sequence of Bambi. It’s one of Disney’s four most artful films.

[.] Becca’s Doll Portraits

[.] A simple, beautiful story: The Delicate Disappearance of Debbie (Smoke Rings & Matterings)

[.] ”It's hard not to see this event in the context of growing fears about a SARS-like pandemic breaking out in China and spreading worldwide. In fact, the student keeps talking about how she's terrified that this is going to be like SARS, even though she knows cholera can be treated with a three-day course of medicine. Apparently the authorities were treating this like a beta test for a more dangerous epidemic.” (A chilling post on i09 about a Chinese college student who is blogging her time in quarantine. Her blog is linked in the post.)

[.] ”The new middle-class culture of intensive parenting has ridiculous aspects, but it’s pretty successful at turning out productive, emotionally resilient young adults. And its intensity may be one reason that teen-agers from close families see child-rearing as a project for which they’re not yet ready. For too long, the conventional wisdom has been that social conservatives are the upholders of family values, whereas liberals are the proponents of a polymorphous selfishness. This isn’t true, and, every once in a while, liberals might point that out.” (A fascinating New Yorker article that examines the different attitudes toward sex on the left and right, and the hypocritical acceptance of teenage pregnancy in the evangelical community.)


[.] The 50 Facts You Might Not Know About Barack Obama. The coolest of course is that he collects Conan the Barbarian and Spider-Man comics. (Telegraph)

[.] ”Experts agree that the Internet has the magical power to turn normal people into fuckwads simply by granting them anonymity and an audience. But there's another cause that gets overlooked. Specifically, that a comment screen abhors a vacuum and will quickly fill it with assholes.” (from Cracked: 5 Ways to Stop Trolls from Killing the Internet)

[.] ”Black people have gotten the shaft in this country since they were first dragged over here on dirty ships, yet they apparently find nothing ironic about voting against letting gay people marry because of what they’ve learned from a black-bound book of fairy tales. (Have you heard the one about the pregnant virgin? It’s a hoot.) I guess part of the fun of getting equal rights is finding a group to keep rights from.” (Hobo Trashcan)

[.] JA has gorgeous frame grabs from Spirits of the Dead, a favorite of mine.

[.] ”Out of the corner of my eye, I saw two people running across Sheridan Road. I came to the realization that they'd run right in front of my car, which was moving at the speed limit, about 40 miles per hour. Even worse, I realized that I knew them; it was Studs and Mrs. Terkel, running to catch a cab that was on the other side of the street.” (Johnny Yen nearly kills Studs Terkel.)

[.] Michael Sporn interviews Ray Harryhausen.

[.] Song of the Bell-toll Girl (Smoke Rings & Matterings)

[.] ”Did you know that James Bond has the power to turn lesbians straight? And that lesbians were only gay in the first place because they have the right to vote?” (io9 takes a look at feminism, Ian Fleming-style.)

[.] The 5 Most Retarded Causes People Are Actually Fighting For (Cracked)

[.] 1. No Bug-Eyed Monsters
2. No Tin Robots
3. No elaborate SF settings

(io9 has an internal memo from the BBC that would’ve killed Doctor Who before it even began.)

[.] ”Is the Twilight series pushing its own kind of morality along with its love story? I think so — and it is an element that parents and teachers need to be aware is in the books. The narrative suggests that it is better to submit and sublimate yourself to a superior being than to be your own person. Having a will of one's own is not conducive to Meyer's brand of love and living. Only heterosexual relationships are explored, and (married!) sex is always a power play with painful consequences. Plus it is preferable to be a teenage mother above all else, even if it kills you.” (io9 offers an analysis of Stephenie Meyer’s wish-fulfillment series I’ve never heard before.)

[.] ”You look at the auto company CEOs and ask why they took private jets to testify before Congress. I look at you in your monster vehicle and wonder why you think you need to drive something so big and ridiculous.” (Dcup on who needs to accept blame for the fall of the auto industry.)

[.] ”Skeletor’s grinning rictus of exposed teeth makes scrape-free fellatio impractical if not impossible.” (Peter Lynn debunks myths about Skeletor.)

[.] ”Wonder Woman's popularity outstripped nerdom long ago. She's iconic. I fail to see how her movie, in the words of the Movie Examiner, could ever be ‘a screamingly bad idea.’” (Hear, hear, Elisabeth Rappe! I want a Wonder Woman movie, and it want it done right!)

[.] ”A Joe Lieberman who owes the continuation of his career to Obama is far more valuable than a sullen douchebag who holds grudges caucusing with the opponents. By holding on to Lieberman, Obama and the Senate Democrats have cut the Connecticut Senator's nuts off, and you can bet that he will fall in line.” (The Rude Pundit)

[.] 7 Retarded Food Myths the Internet Thinks Are True: ”Have you noticed how all of these rumors seem to assume there's just nobody at all looking out for food safety? They make it sound like they could replace the filling in Ding Dongs with baboon semen and we'd have no defense if not for the dedicated email forwarders of the world.” (Cracked)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Congratulations, Zen!

Electronic Cerebrectomy's favorite nerd girl Zendulo was this week's number 8 Woman of the Web on G4's Attack of the Show. We knew all along she belonged on that list!

Although... number 8? Come on, Zen's way hotter than Megan Fox on her best day.

Happy Thanksgiving, Franklin

Man... why did they segregate the black kid to his own side of the table? Everyone's all crowded on one side so they don't have to sit next to Franklin.

80s Revisited: Two Halloween Movies

I actually watched these in the lead-up to Halloween and then forgot to write this. Why Thanksgiving seemed like a good idea, I don't know, but what the hey.

Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)
Written and directed by Rudy De Luca; produced by Thomas H. Brodek & Mace Neufeld.

This is a movie I thought I escaped. I saw it way too many times as a kid because my sister used to just love Transyvlania 6-5000, and whenever she thought a movie was hilarious, she'd watch it repeatedly. Turns out Becca loves it too. Loves it. As in, bought the DVD loves it. So, after years of trying to ignore this, I finally decided to cave in and watch it. What the hell, right? I could at least do it for 80s Revisited.

Transylvania 6-5000 was written and directed by Rudy De Luca, a Carol Burnett and Mel Brooks writer, and you can pretty much tell. That's not a compliment, by the way, as my general opinion of a lot of those comedy writers is that they did what a lot of successful writers do: got to the point where they started coasting and missed key changes in the comedy landscape. This is a movie that holds the possibility of being hilarious, but misses a lot of opportunities because it assumes what was hilarious in 1977 is still hilarious in 1985. But it isn't. It's just silly.

This is a silly movie. And not in an altogether fun way. And it's too bad, because the cast is pretty good for a 1985 comedy -- Jeff Goldblum, Ed Begley Jr, Jeffrey Jones, Carol Kane, John Byner, Joseph Bologna, they're all funny. They all jump into their roles and don't act like they're above comedy (the way Michael Richards does; he's doing some sort of conceptual thing that just doesn't work at all, and his bits are the most tiresome in the movie). The set-up is decent, and the title is clever (although not that clever, since it had already been used for a Bugs Bunny cartoon), and the spirit is there. But there's no real cohesion. It needed the benefit of a stronger directorial hand; too often the movie is just loose and laid back when it should be hysterically funny. It's like sitting in a room with friends and laughing at a joke to the point where you have no idea why you're laughing. There's nothing sharp and direct here. And that's the real problem. It's not really a bad movie. It's just not a good one, either.

That said, thank you to Geena Davis.

That did such a favor to my 10-year-old libido that I've never forgotten every vivid detail. I'm very grateful for her appearance in this movie. Between this and Family Ties, I was so in love with Geena Davis then...

Oh, and what's the deal with the contortionist? Did they really need so badly to throw in just one more member of the mad scientist's disfigured gang (Frankstein's monster, werewolf, mummy, vampiress, hunchback) that they just figured, well, contortionism is weird? It doesn't go anywhere. In the end, we find out the big secrets and why every monster is not what it appears, and the contortionist just kind of disappears from the plot. What was the point of that?

House (1986)
Directed by Steve Miner; screenplay by Ethan Wiley, story by Fred Dekker; produced by Sean S. Cunningham.

Now this is a real lost gem of the 80s. I saw this movie on a local station back in the late eighties and kind of forgot about it (I really only remembered that Richard Moll was in it and it had something to do with Vietnam). But this is just a damn good 80s horror movie.

William Katt stars as Roger Cobb, a bestselling horror writer whose young son disappeared. He's now divorced and moves into his late aunt's house (she commits suicide at the opening of the picture) to hide away and finally write a book based on his experiences during the Vietnam War. But, of course, strange things start happening at the house, and he's haunted by memories of his son and his best buddy in Vietnam (Richard Moll), who was captured and tortured by the Viet Cong.

The ghosts in this movie are great, along the lines of the zombies in The Return of the Living Dead. They look like William Stout or Rob Bottin creatures, though neither man was involved. The scares in this movie are genuine and, best of all, weird. There's a sort of Phantasm vibe here where weirder and more dreamlike is really unsettling, more so than violence. William Katt really embraces the role, and George Wendt is funny as his new next door neighbor. I wish George Wendt popped up more often (although it was neat just seeing him on A Colbert Christmas as Santa Claus).

I think what I appreciated the most about this movie is that it feels emotionally genuine. Roger Cobb has experienced real tragedies, tragedies which not only inform his character but which manifest themselves in symbolic ways. I'm not suggesting it's realistic, but it's believable. It feels right.

And it's a damn good horror flick.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some Perspective on the Obama Cabinet

I think it's really time for liberals and neocons alike to just kind of, you know, shut it.

Seriously, what's with the disappointment and toddler tears being displayed every time Obama makes a cabinet appointment? The guy's not even president yet and, to see the internet tell it, he's already failed because he didn't just blindly stock his cabinet with people who've never had government jobs before but had hopeful dreams. Are they serious?

For every liberal I hear whining that Obama is daring to surround himself with a staff of ex-Clinton officials, there's a neocon rubbing it in everyone's face that Obama isn't bringing about change and progress. Here's a couple of opinions on that:

1. Liberals need to shut the fuck up. You just fought a long battle in which one of the major arguments was that Sarah Palin didn't have the experience necessary to become the Vice President. Obama is not going to surround himself with political neophytes and college professors; it's a good thing that he wants to choose people with government experience. This way he can hit the ground running and get shit done. It's all about getting shit done right now. Yeah, he picked a bunch of Clinton's people. Look at the Clinton economy and tell me why that's bad.

2. Neocons need to shut the fuck up. Seriously, just shut the fuck up. Oh, you want a specific? Okay, well, your golden boy Bush Junior filled his cabinet with the same people his daddy did. And look at that, he ruined the economy, just like daddy! Actually, worse than daddy! So there you go, GW, you finally beat your father at something. You're better than him at failing spectacularly.

Seriously, everyone staffs their administration with people who know something about the job. Sorry he's not going to run off and pick Dennis Kucinich as Secretary of State, but there are a lot of problems to worry about, and at least Obama's trying to do something about them. He's not just sitting and letting his transition team take care of everything.

And conservatives, he's not going to do this center-right bullshit you keep yapping on about. This country rejected conservatism, and it showed in the election results. And the conservatives so far have had absolutely no plan for the economic crisis other than to keep giving more and more money to the same couple of rich people. How does that help? Seriously, tell me how that helps?

Jesus, America. How's your free market now? The entire point of free market capitalism is to concentrate more and more money in fewer and fewer hands--what the hell did you think was going to happen?

And, really, since Obama isn't even president, is it too much to ask that we remember to look at what Bush is doing in his last hours to the environment and the criminal justice system?

So, I don't know, it's just annoying, but so typically American. Obama hasn't even started governing yet, but everyone's already disappointed in the job they're theoretically certain he'll do. This is why I don't hold to conservatism or liberalism. I just dig on common sense and human rights.

Oh, and by the way cons, have you noticed that Barack Obama's new stimulus plan calls for cutting taxes and cutting big government spending? Your guy couldn't even get that part of conservatism right.


The Meaningless Meme

Becca tagged me with this one last week, so I guess I shall finally do it.

1. Five names you go by:

a. SamuraiFrog
b. TheRealSamuraiFrog (taste it, bitches on Google)
c. Mr. Frog
d. Hey, Asshole
e. Sexy Randal the Pharaoh Wizard

Well, one guy called me that.

2. Three things you are wearing right now:

a. a grey shirt that says "Hey, it's the middle of the day and I ain't at work."
b. sleep pants that say "Hey, I'm not taking a shower today because I'm lazy."
c. a Cubs cap that says "Comb my hair? Not today."

3. Two things you want very badly at the moment:

a. a triceratops skull (as a conversation piece, you know)
b. a pet elephant

I told you to turn off that damn car alarm! Ungawa, Tantor!

4. Three people who will probably fill this out:

Can't say, but I'll tag some peeps right here.
a. Mayren
b. Johnny Yen
c. Darius Whiteplume

5. Two things you did last night:

a. Watched The Big Bang Theory on DVD.
b. Had a very specific fantasy about Hayden Panettiere I won't go into right now.

I find her name a lot of fun to say. Seriously, "Haaaaaayden." Say it in a drawn out, exaggerated Peter Lorre accent. For some reason, it's hilarious.

6. Two things you ate today:

a. scrambled eggs
b. bacon

7. Two people you last talked to on the phone:

a. the Public Library
b. Batman

Don't look over at him now, but Robin told me you looked buff in those tights. It's not so much that he said it as the way he said it...

8. Two things you are going to do tomorrow:

a. Enjoy my new rule about not going anywhere for Thanksgiving.
b. Organize my Christmas music so I'm ready for the next month. I love Christmas music.

9. Two longest car rides:

a. Chicago to somewhere in Minnesota
b. North Pole to the tip of South America, I imagine

10. Two of your favorite beverages:

a. Coca-Cola
b. Coffee

Film Week

A review of the films I've seen this past week.

Moody version of the Marlowe play, with Richard Burton, a bunch of Oxford drama students, and Elizabeth Taylor in a pivotal, nonspeaking role. It reminded me very much of a Hammer movie or a Corman flick. Burton at his peak in a film that didn't disappoint me once. **** stars.

Incredibly stupid movie about an aging professor (Richard Todd) who advocates LSD use and hangs out with hippies. Far too much time is spent showing hippies prancing around the park. The film is incredibly naive in its portrayal of hippies and its portrayal of the establishment, and is absolutely pointless. Pretty decent psyche soundtrack, though, including the Chocolate Watchband. * star.

New Banner

I always loved the Coca-Cola Santa Claus ads.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Health Report, Year 2: Week 50

I'm giving up Thanksgiving. I forsake it. It's done. I'm out.

I hate this week of the year. Because, every year, I'm pulled in several directions.

First, my dad. He lives south of Chicago, takes hours to get to, and seems offended if I don't go over there. Granted, I don't see him often enough, but he acts like, you know, even though it was his choice to get a divorce when I was 12 and his choice to move out of the way, it's somehow my fault that we never see each other. As if the road to his town only goes one way. And he makes me feel bad for it, too. A lot. Because, you know, that's my dad. Forgive and forget? Yeah, right. He never forgets. This is the same man who is pissed at my cousin for taking the centerpieces from my sister's funeral two years ago. Because, you know, he didn't have anything bigger to deal with that day. He claims to forgive you, then holds it against you your entire life, which isn't actually forgiveness. Coupled with the normal father/son stuff, which is that he still treats me like I'm 12, still seems to think I'm some kind of disappointment, and doesn't seem to have any idea how to talk to me.

Second, my mom. Now that my sister lives in Australia, my mom's alone on Thanksgiving. She has a real complex that is absolutely foreign to me. See, I just want my family to leave me alone as often as possible, because I don't really feel like I belong around them. My mom, on the other hand, is desperate for this large family to be around her all the time and, in my opinion, take the responsibility off of her. She got laid off last month and, even though she starts a new job on Monday, is acting like she's unemployed and on the precipice of complete and utter financial ruin because everything with her is very dramatic. She's been emotionally needy like crazy lately, and she's been putting a ton of pressure on me to basically hold her hand and constantly reassure her. That she even needs reassuring is driving me nuts, but she takes the smallest problems personally. Add to that the fact that, as a parent, she was immediately irritated anytime I or my sister cried, and that impatience became something I internalized. Now I get irritated when she cries, and she cries like my sister: at the drop of a hat.

So, both of my parents are very caught up in being hurt and offended and self-absorbed. My mom panics and makes everything about her; my dad stands back and tries to be cool but also makes sure you know how above everything he is. And they both can't get enough of judging me.

And another direction is Becca.

Now, Becca and I have been together for 14 years now, and we've lived together for roughly half that time. My parents seem to be completely mystified that their 32 year-old, adult son would want to spend a holiday alone with the 32 year-old, adult woman he loves and lives with. Because to them I'm still a teenager and what I want to do with myself is both their concern and completely beside the point to them.

Becca always gets guilted into going to her mother's house on Thanksgiving (because, as has been promised for the last 13 years, her grandmother could die at any second). They have that kind of relationship. This year, I'm not even bringing anything up, because her mom's husband died a month ago and her mom could use the company (even though, as always, it's going to be up to Becca to do most of the work her mom wants her to do, because... well, that's her mom). I'm always invited, but I don't like going, because it's incredibly tense and I don't like having to sit there politely while the woman I love gets treated like a six year-old workhorse. I don't give a shit if it's her mother or not, I don't like sitting still for it. If anyone else came into my house and talked to Becca that way, I'd shove them down the stairs.

So, yeah, Thanksgiving sucks. Add to that my ill health. As you may have guessed by reading my blog, my health isn't very good. I don't take care of myself, and I've always been susceptible to illnesses. It's only worse now that I'm a substitute teacher and I'm around kids all day long. I get sick a lot, especially around this time of year. I usually get sick the week of Thanksgiving, to varying degrees. Today, for example, my sinuses are irritated, my nose is running, I have a cough, and my eyes keep watering. I have a headache and I'm very tired. I felt this starting on Friday and it's been making me miserable ever since. Last year, though, I got a stomach virus so bad that I could barely leave the bathroom and almost got dehydrated. My parents, of course, dismiss this as all psychological. Because, you know, I don't have any real feelings they don't want me to have or aren't interested in.

So the Thanksgiving week is usually that. I don't ever get to do what I want to do, which is just be alone with Becca and have our own Thanksgiving, but instead have to deal with two divorced parents who have various reasons for trying to guilt me and an illness to deal with and this fucking stress that is making me grind my teeth.

Fuck Thanksgiving. Fuck it right up its turkey carcass.

This morning it finally just broke for me, because my mom called and asked me what I was doing. I told her I was probably going to go with Becca to her mom's because, you know, the whole grieving widow thing. My mom, now, always wants to see me for the holidays, which I get. And to her, Thanksgiving and Easter are the "family" holidays where all you do is be with family (she will not get it through her head that I am not a Christian and don't give two shits about Easter at all). She goes in for the calendar-designated days of mandatory family love that tend to just make a lot of Americans miserable. I don't. So, I figured I'd see her over the weekend. Because she always tells me that she doesn't care about the exact day, just as long as she gets to see me. She's been telling me this for years. But, apparently, this year, for the first time ever, she needed to cry about how she wasn't going to see me on Thanksgiving and how that meant I didn't want to see her.

And you have to understand that I've been seeing her practically every couple of days for the last six weeks. Right up to and including her just showing up unannounced. Because she can't deal with things on her own. And it's not like I don't like seeing my mom--I really do--but she's been putting a lot of emotional pressure on me to be the adult and to parent her, and I'm beyond the snapping point with it. I think it's unfair. Especially given the fact that she treats me too often like a child for me to be comfortable as the parent.

So, of course, I didn't react well. Because she tells me, over and over, every holiday that the actual day isn't important. And because her neediness makes me recoil and her tears make me angry, because that's the way I learned to react to these things when I was a child, because that was the way my mother reacted.

So I've decided that, from now on, Thanksgiving is done for me. I'm not doing anything for Thanksgiving, not going anywhere, not dipping into the stress pool, not driving myself crazy, not feeling bad for barely being able to afford gas, not giving myself migraines shutting my mouth. Fuck it. Thanksgiving is over.

And you know what? I feel a lot better.

Because it's not about me running away from responsibilities or punishing my parents for putting pressure on me or something childish like that. It's about not forcing myself to do things that bring me stress for people I'm not even sure are grateful for it. I have to take something for myself, and this is it. Thanksgiving alone may sound sad to some, but it's something I've always wanted and something I'm going to have.

At least that way I only have to deal with this shit at Christmas.

Alternate Titles for David Archuleta's Album

David Archuleta's album just came out, and it's called Undefined. It's a perfect title for him: he lacks definition (physically, personally, and musically). Here are some other album titles that didn't make the cut.


* Sappy

* Unmemorable

* Between Crap Rock and Wuss Pop

* The Creepy Fixation of Women in Their Fifties

* Fake Sincerity

* Hilarious Attempt to Project "Brooding"

* For Girls Afraid of Male Secondary Sexual Characteristics

* Pointless

* AOR Background Noise

* Ol' Dead Eyes Is Back

* Soulless

* Insubstantial

* Unnoticeable

* My Creepy, Dead, Fake Smile Is an Act That Ingratiates Me to Idiots

* Seriously, Why Bother?

Monty Python on YouTube

The Pythons are just the latest to realize that YouTube can be an excellent source for advertising. It's frankly embarrassing that the movie studios can't figure it out... Of course, the Pythons are geniuses.

The Monty Python Channel


Another quiz harvested from Byzantium's Shores. The idea in front is to bold the things you've done.

Gone on a blind date (I existed in one of those vacuums in high school where you sort of fit in with every group but you don't really stick with any of them. I didn't get much in the way of dates in high school, but I bizarrely got set up on two different blind dates at the senior graduation party. One girl was, like, nervous, too. That was unexpected. Both dates were interesting, but didn't really lead to anything.)

Skipped school (Constantly.)

Watched someone die (Why is this question always asked on memes? It doesn't seem like something people would jump to talk about.)

Been to Canada

Been to Mexico

Been to Florida

Been to Africa

Been on a plane (When I was 6, my family went to Guam. We went again when I was 12.)

Been lost (In stores, as a kid. Driving. Etc.)

Gone to Washington, DC

Swam in the ocean (The Pacific, on Guam. One of the bays where we went surfing was dark and murky; you couldn't see your own hand under the water. A month or so after we left a surfer got his arm ripped off by a reef shark. We went swimming a number of places in Guam; every beach has its own personality.)

Broken a bone (Only my toe, but I've sprained a few others.)

Been in a traffic accident (Yes, and God help you if you're a young man because everyone just assumes it's your fault because you're in your twenties.)

Cried yourself to sleep (Sure.)

Been on TV (Indeed. I was on The Bozo Show once, I was accidentally onscreen during a news report about holiday shopping once, and I've been in a few local things here and there. I miss starring in Carl's video holiday greetings.)

Stole traffic signs

Played cops and robbers (Basically. When I was a kid we played Army or Star Wars or G.I. Joe.)

Recently colored with crayons

Sang Karaoke (Yes, I always enjoy it, but I don't embarrass easily. The people with me pussied out. You know who you are...)

Paid for a meal with coins only (Never a meal, but movie rentals.)

Done something you told yourself you wouldn't (Where do I start?)

Made prank phone calls (As a kid, though not often. I feel bad annoying people or inconveniencing them, so I was never wholehearted about it. Once, my sister and her friend were making prank phone calls to someone, and her older brother thought it was me--he was an adult--and called me to tell me he was going to "break your fucking legs." Now there's a fun call to get when you're 11. My dad took care of that joker.)

Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue

Danced in the rain

Written a letter to Santa Claus (When I was very young. I also found where my parents had opened it and stashed it, which is how I found out Santa Claus isn't real. I still dig the myth, though.)

Been kissed under the mistletoe

Watched the sunrise with someone

Blown bubbles (Another kid activity.)

Gone ice-skating (Not since I was a kid. And we used to do it on a pond.)

Been skinny dipping outdoors

Gone to the movies (I've also been out of doors, too. This seems pretty basic.)

Have a nickname (Not really.)

Body piercings

And now, just a bunch of random questions, I guess.

Other Questions:

1. Favorite drink?

I drink mostly water. As I've said, I don't dig most alcoholic drinks. I like Coca-Cola, the bane of my existence/most wonderful thing ever. I like the sodas like Jones and Boylan's that are actually made with sugar instead of HFCS. I finally let coffee back into my life, but only on the weekends. I'm drinking instant coffee with flavors now (mostly French vanilla) because it's a good substitute for what I used to do, which was fill up half the cup with sugar and cream.

2. How much do you love your job?

I think my job is great. I'm never to beholden to one building's rules, I get to go into different situations and not take the stress home with me, and man, there are some hot teachers in the area.

3. Birthplace?

Des Moines, Iowa.

4. Favorite vacation spot?

I get so much time off that it's like I'm usually on vacation, anyway. I'm not a destination type of guy. Plus, I'm poor.

5. Ever eaten just cookies for dinner?


6. Favorite pie?

Pumpkin. Then apple. I like cocount cream, banana cream, and cherry. I like most pies. When I turned 13, I had a chocolate cream pie instead of a birthday cake. I remember lounging on the living room floor that year, a quiet and sunny day, playing Metroid and finishing off the last bit of the pie with the cat. But my favorite of all pies is pumpkin. One of the great things about my favorite time of the year.

7. Favorite holiday?

Halloween, the Christmas. The overly-commercialized pop culture Christmas, thank you, not your Jesusy peace one.

8. Favorite food?

I always say pizza, but since I stopped eating so much of it, I find I don't want it that often anymore. I don't know what my favorite food is now. Probably hamburgers. Or nachos. Hey, just because I'm eating healthier, that didn't mean I was going to pick a healthy food.

9. Favorite smell?

Bacon, coffee, strawberries, certain perfumes that make me dizzy and, well, horny.

10. How do you relax?

Listening to music, mainly.

11. How do you see yourself in 10 years?

I don't even want to call that one.

Quick Note of General Science to Almost Everyone on Last Night's Heroes

You guys have had two years to figure this out now: YOU CAN'T LOOK AT AN ECLIPSE. Stop staring at it!

Monday, November 24, 2008

10 Reasons I've Decided the New Star Trek Trailer Is the End of All Joy in the Universe

1.Different actors are playing the characters. You're telling me William Shatner can't convincingly play a guy in his 20s? Feh.

2. Not only is John Cho not Japanese, but Zachary Quinto isn't even a Vulcan.

3. Added to that, Captain Kirk is supposed to be from Iowa. I'm from Iowa, half my family lives in Iowa, and I've spent a lot of time in Iowa. Chris Pine is not convincingly from Iowa.

4. None of the technology in the movie even exists. How am I supposed to trust storytellers who just make up things that aren't real?

5. The filmmakers didn't even have the courtesy to go and shoot the movie in outer space. I can't take it seriously when I know it was shot on sound stages.

6. I hold J.J. Abrams personally responsible for every frustration I've had with Lost, even though he didn't create the show and only worked on something like the first six episodes before leaving it in the hands of its actual creators to direct Mission: Impossible III.

7. I think Paramount just wants to cash in on the Star Trek brand they've owned since the mid-1970s, unlike the previous ten films, myriad comic books, cottage industry of novels, and four post-TOS television series. This one is taking the cash-in too far. Don't insult my intelligence.

8. Now that there's a new Star Trek, it's mere existence will automatically erase every single previous Star Trek film and TV episode from history. Now I have no choice but to accept that when I want to enjoy Trek I will only have one film that I've already decided I hate based on the four minutes I've actually seen. All of the experiences I've had so far in my past 30+ years on this planet are now meaningless!

9. I'm an overly-empowered Internerd who thinks Hollywood has an obligation to listen to me and seek my approval for anything geek-related just because I have a blog. Otherwise, they're just being rude and trying to take my money, and Hollywood must realize that, as a fan, I'm part of the creative process.

10. I can't come to grips with the idea that I could just, I don't know, not bother going to see or talking about the movie if it doesn't look good.

Hayden Panettiere Is Really Hot

See? Poor thing's sweating her ass off.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Song of the Week: "Handbags and Gladrags"

This is the original recorded version from 1967, by the undervalued Chris Farlowe. The song itself was written by Mike D'abo of Manfred Mann (father of Olivia and Maryam and the singer of "See the Little People (Gulliver's Travels)," one of my favorite completely forgotten songs). Farlowe's version knocks every other version out of the park for me.

Someone Has Terrible Taste

Becca has given me the "I Love Your Blog" award. It is nice to see someone proclaiming love for Electronic Cerebrectomy without all of the warnings and assertions that they don't agree with anything I say. I question her taste in giving it to me, but not her intentions.

This comes with a set of rules that basically boils down to linking the person what gave it to you (common courtesy) and passing it on to four blogs you love. So, here are four out of the many blogs I love.

Adventures in Nerdliness, a blog I've just started reading and am having a really good time with.

My New Plaid Pants, a blog with kindred interests to my own.

Man vs. Clown!, the blog I've been reading the longest (and which has remained the funniest).

And Gatochy's Blog, another recent addition to my sidebar and which has picked my day up.

Mila Kunis Pines

Come on, Mila. We both knew what that was. Let's not kid ourselves.

Happy Birthday, Miley Ray

At last, you're sixteen years old. And don't you feel better about taking all of those milestones as they come instead of rushing to grow up? Now you can drive your too-ridiculously-expensive-for-a-16-year-old-to-have car and take some more it's-okay-in-America-to-sexualize-teens pictures for a magazine and let your far-too-old-and-ought-to-know-better 20 year-old underwear model boyfriend fuck you in the ass because, you know, you can't get pregnant that way. Maybe, just for laughs, your hapless father can spin some ineffectual half-threats just for show while busying himself with his own career. (Imagine, all he had to do was have a marketable daughter and he's back on top!) You know, just like everyone does on their sixteenth birthday. Wooo!

Update 8:10 PM: Okay, that was harsh. I still like you, Miley Ray, I really do. I like your music, I like watching you on TV, I don't care how much pointless flack I get for it. It just bugs me to no end when I see, as a substitute teacher, the sheer number of girls who look up to you every day I'm at work and then see you acting like the life of a normal teenage girl doesn't really apply to you. So, you know, Happy Birthday for reals.