Saturday, August 15, 2009

500 Faves

326. Out of Touch - Daryl Hall & John Oates
327. Overture from Tommy/It's a Boy - The Who
328. Panic in Detroit - David Bowie
329. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
330. Party in the USA - Miley Cyrus
331. The Passenger - Iggy Pop
332. The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch - Brian Eno
333. Peace Train - Cat Stevens
334. Peaches En Regalia - Frank Zappa
335. Perfect Day - Lou Reed
336. Photograph - Ringo Starr
337. Pleasant Valley Sunday - The Monkees
338. Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
339. POD (The Pick of Destiny) - Tenacious D
340. Pools of Blue - Barclay James Harvest
341. Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
342. Pressure - Billy Joel
343. Prince Charming - Adam & the Ants
344. Promiscuous - Nelly Furtado featuring Timbaland
345. The Promised Land - Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
346. Puff the Magic Dragon - Peter, Paul & Mary
347. Punk Rock Girl - The Dead Milkmen
348. Queen Bitch - David Bowie
349. Queen Jane Approximately - Bob Dylan
350. Rainy Days and Mondays - Paul Williams

Virginia Davis 1918-2009

The charismatic star of Walt Disney's first successful film series, the Alice Comedies, passed on this morning. Here is the third film in the series, Alice's Spooky Adventure, from 1924.

Yo, Joe! Episode 24

NOTE: For who knows how long, I'm going to shorten these to individual episodes. I'm not sure if anyone really digs these all that much or not, but I kind of have less time these days and it's easier for me to do one at a time.

Cobra Soundwaves

Cobra Commander is warned by Major Bludd, disguised as a desert caravan leader, that three G.I. Joe Skystrikers are approaching the Cobra desert base. The Commander sends out Wild Weasel to deal with them, leading a team of Cobra Rattlers into the air.

Wild Weasel still sucks, by the way. He's just really lame and badly imagined; like, they just needed a distinctive pilot and made up a lame name. Wild Weasel? What do weasels have to do with snakes? I mean, a mongoose is a weasel, and it kills Cobras. The Commander is badly versed in Kipling.

The Joe pilots are Roadblock, Gung Ho, and crash specialist Ace. Wild Weasel leads them straight into a trap; Cobra Commander shoots the Skystrikers with shockwaves that destroy the planes and forces the Joes to eject. They do a good job of evading Cobra soldiers on CLAWs until they're trapped in a net. Roadblock: "Now I know what a tuna feels like."

Destro is, typically, angry with the Commander for using their new weapon too soon. Once again, Destro warns that the Commander underestimates G.I. Joe, and the Commander laughs it off. He's got a shiny new plan to destroy the country's oil production facilities. Granted, that would probably cripple every nation; they'd have nothing to go to war over. I don't remember them saying which country this Cobra base is in, but it's safe to assume the Middle East, which was just as much a hot button then as it is now. Sure, Cobra's plans keep failing, but I find them more charming when their plans are rooted in sociopolitical or socioeconomic reality.

The Commander even gets in a dig on Destro, telling him he's not the leader of Cobra because he's "grown too cautious." Oh, Commander. So reckless.

Back at some palace or other, Flint, Scarlett, and Wild Bill are making plans to defend an oilfield when Airborne walks in and announces that Roadblock, Gung Ho, and Ace sent out a mayday signal and then lost contact. Where could they be? I wonder if Flint suspects what Duke would have known right away...

Yes, it's Arena of Sport time! Zartan must've been away for some time, because the Commander is in need of stimulation, and he puts the three Joes in the Arena of Sport. (And by the way, can you imagine Cobra's architects at this point? They just know that Cobra Commander is going to come in and ask them to make sure to put in an Arena of Sport every time they're building a base. I mean, we've seen on in the Eastern European mountains, we've seen one in the Arctic, we've seen one in whatever that secret American base was in The Revenge of Cobra... they have them everywhere.)

Cobra Commander: "Your levity is inappropriate; you don't know what I have in mind for you."

Roadblock: "Cobra Commander has a mind?"

Seriously, how can you not love this guy? Especially when he can do this!

Sure, he looks disturbingly like Michael Steele (the Republican, not the Bangle) in this off-model frame, but the dude is lifting a giant boulder over his head. You know why? To fight a giant robotic crab. Roadblock, in the parlance of the internet, you full of win.

Sadly, Cobra Commander doesn't even get to watch the Joes fight the crab, because he has "more pressing matters." Dude, why set it all up and then just walk away from it? What kind of psychosexual sadist are you?

Scarlett is worried about the missing Joes; in fact, she's a little too wistfully upset over it. I mean, come on, this is Scarlett. She's the female Joe who's secure in herself, damn it. She can hold it together. Flint's worried, too, but they need to protect the oilfield. Like Scarlett really needs Flint to lecture her on duty. Come on, she's not Lady Jaye, for gossakes!

Meanwhile, in the Arena of Sport, Ace figures out that the robot crab has infrared sensors and, somehow, has enough time with a giant robot crab bearing down on him to use stones to start a fire to distract the crab. The rest of the escape happens very quickly, so let's just cut to the fact that they escape and leave them there.

Scarlett decides to just go for broke and try to rescue her colleagues, with the blessing of Prince Ali--the sheik whose oilfield G.I. Joe is protecting (see, kids! G.I. Joe does function just like the US military does!)--and the help of Wild Bill, and flies off while, at the Cobra base, Destro enjoys a moment of superiority over the Commander while watching the Joes escape. Cobra soldiers pursue, but Roadblock scares them off with a growl.

Bad. Ass.

Roadblock, Gung Ho, and Ace wander around the caverns looking for a way out, and blow a hole in the ground to find an underground river. As far as I can remember, this is the first time there's an explicit mention of lasers--the Joes and Cobra are definitely using laser guns, the subject of an insane number of debates my friends had when I was 9. It mostly comes from the schism between the cartoon and the gun-oriented comic book. But here, the Joes overload the laser rifles and blow a hole in the ground.

Making their way out, they're found by Scarlett and Wild Bill and flown off to the oilfield, where Flint is trying to resist a Cobra attack. The addition of five missing Joes turns the tide, but Prince Ali is captured by Major Bludd.

Then, we get another example of the single lamest aspect of G.I. Joe (at least 24 episodes and two miniseries in): Airborne's boring ESP rears its head once again. Yes, Airborne's ESP tells him that Prince Ali has been kidnapped by Cobra. And everyone just accepts that this happens. Airborne sucks enough without the ESP; the ESP, which is his only character aspect, actually makes him less interesting. Christ, he sucks. He just sucks so much.

So it's back up the underground river with Scarlett, Gung Ho, and Wild Bill while Skystrikers move in. Destro repels the Skystrikers with the soundwave machine, but Cobra Commander is overzealous as usual and takes the machine out too far and turns it on full blast. Then Airborne and Grunt attack in gliders and, well, you can guess the results.

Destro's pretty thrilled to think the Commander is finally dead, but he grabbed a cable just in time and lives to attempt to conquer another day. The Commander and Destro manage to get away using Prince Ali as a human shield, Scarlett rescues Prince Ali, and everyone has a nice banquet dinner.

Remember, he's a gourmet chef.

Yo, Joe!


Something with Jenna Haze, Please

Friday, August 14, 2009


I forgot to mention in my earlier post about the Comic-Con/WizardWorld/woozle-wuzzle that Nora O'Sullivan stopped by Becca's table to say hello! So I can tell you from experience that she's a thousand times cuter, sweeter, nicer, and more awesome in person than she is in her pictures. It was a real pleasure to meet her (one of two people I saw there, the other being Jason Chalker, who knew me as SamuraiFrog). Bubs, I'd tell you that you should be proud to have raised such a polite, cheerful, and completely awesome daughter, but I know that you already are.

500 Faves

301. My Way - Sid Vicious
302. Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer - Stevie Wonder
303. Never My Love - The Association
304. New Amsterdam - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
305. New York Groove - KISS
306. Nice Dreams - Radiohead
307. Night and Day - Frank Sinatra
308. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down - The Band
309. Nights On Broadway - Bee Gees
310. No Myth - Michael Penn
311. No Particular Place to Go - Chuck Berry
312. (Nothing But) Flowers - Talking Heads
313. O-o-h Child - The Five Stairsteps
314. Oblivious - Aztec Camera
315. Octopus's Garden - The Beatles
316. Oh Very Young - Cat Stevens
317. Ol' Man River - Frank Sinatra
318. Oliver's Army - Elvis Costello & the Attractions
319. One - Harry Nilsson
320. One - U2
321. One Way Ticket - The Darkness
322. Only the Lonely - Roy Orbison
323. Oops! I Did It Again - Richard Thompson
324. Our House - Madness
325. Our Love Is Here to Stay - Louis Armstrong & Ella Fitzgerald

Random Thoughts

Vanessa Hudgens is naked again. Actually, she's apparently naked and photographing herself all the time, from what I've read. Seriously, though, is this going to happen every single time she has a movie coming out? Because if it is, I really hope Vanessa Hudgens has a long and prolific career. I think it's a shame she even wears clothes, to be honest.

:: I wish I’d been online this weekend to see civilization collapse when Twitter went down. Seems like it was pretty hilarious.

:: I saw a couple of people who’ve seen Fanboys recently lament that it makes Star Wars fans look like dicks. I don’t quite agree, but I wanted to say a couple of things about it. First, that I’ve known a lot of fans of both Trek and Wars, and it’s almost 100% the Star Wars fans who are preoccupied with proving how cool they are and how cool Star Wars is to the outside world. It’s not true of every fan, obviously, but when it comes down to the most obsessive, the fans who choose one over the other, it tends to be Trek fans who enjoy having an insular world that’s inscrutable from the outside, and Star Wars fans who need the validation that their love of Star Wars is not only acceptably cool, but somehow makes them superior (which is why so many of them crumbled when The Phantom Menace reminded them that this was a series of kids’ movies). And second, I’ve never once seen a Star Trek fan punch anyone or key someone's car simply for thinking Star Trek is stupid.

Anyway, we all have our subjective reasons for liking or not liking a movie, and even though I could go on about people being angry with Fanboys for not being something it didn't set out to be, I guess what I liked most about Fanboys is that it reminded me of a great time in my life when fandom used to be about friendship instead of about proving how cool you are because nothing can touch you on an emotional level. Sadly, the response to the movie does just the opposite, but maybe it adds something to the movie for me.

:: The recent loving reverence of Saved by the Bell shows that even the worst show can be well-remembered by people who blindly love everything from when they were kids. Assuming there are worse shows than Saved by the Bell. Seriously, it was pretty shitty.

:: Whose bright idea was it to have Mike Tyson at the Teen Choice Awards? “Hey, you know what would be great? If we had noted rapist Mike Tyson come out on stage based on the strength of his cameo in one of the biggest R-rated hits of the year!” At least the Teen Choice Awards don’t waste time pretending kids don’t watch R-rated movies, but still…

:: HDTV is overrated.

:: First we’re hearing about a possible sugar shortage, and now Mother Jones prints an article suggesting that the sweetener in high fructose corn syrup is tainted with mercury. The president of NutraSweet must be having a great day today. I’ve said many times that the amount of developmental problems we’re seeing now could possibly be attributed to HFCS suddenly appearing in most of our food. I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just glad people smarter than I am are looking into this.

:: I don’t know why, but nine times out of ten I tend to find women who profess to be sports fans really phony and obnoxious--unless they’re hockey fans. Women hockey fans are always hardcore, and they’re always cool.

:: Steven Spielberg is going to direct a remake of Harvey. I thought it was pretty lame and underwhelming the first time around (I know, some people think it's pure magic, whatever), so I’m sure it’ll be much better with Jim Carrey in the lead. (That’s just a guess, but Carrey’s the kind of actor he tends to go for. Don’t want to make these things believably human, do we?)

:: I hate the way it seems now that if you don’t see a movie in the first five days of its release, you have to wait for it to come out on DVD.

:: I heard the Pussycat Dolls broke up. How does a group consisting of one singer and a bunch of tranny back-up dancers break up? Is that even possible?

:: Is Little Black Sambo a racist book? I was just thinking the other day how this is one of those things that’s forbidden now because of all of the racism. It was read to me as a kid a couple of times, and I didn’t remember any racist connotations. As a kid I just thought the idea of tigers running around a tree so many times they turned to butter was kind of magical (I was always into fantasy). But it’s another relic that’s been hidden away because God forbid we confront racism in our past instead of running away and hiding from it. I always thought “Sambo” was a name and there were a lot of nonsense words in it--I had to look it up on the Wikipedia to find out that “sambo” was actually a racist slur which, in my opinion, does make it a nonsense word. So, I don’t know, I heard/read it as a kid and it didn’t automatically turn me into a racist. But, you know, that’s what happens when your parents raise you to not be a racist. But why have a constructive conversation with your kids when you can just pretend something doesn’t exist?

(And to be clear, I'm not saying there aren't racist connotations in Little Black Sambo, I'm just saying I didn't remember any from my childhood experiences with the book.)

:: James Cameron wants to direct Battle Angel Alita. It's unusual for him to return to the scene of the crime and adapt something he's already heavily ripped off (Dark Angel). What's he going to direct next? Starship Troopers?

:: Being berated by people for shopping at Wal-Mart feels like being berated for being poor. Gee, sorry I’m so poor, fuck knows I’m not working on that because I’m enjoying every fucking moment of it.

:: I don’t know, I thought the idea of a live action/CGI version of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH sounded kind of cool. It probably won’t be, but can you imagine if something like that were handled well? Why does Jim Henson have to be dead?

:: All of this flap over a cemetery in Illinois hiding bodies in a scheme to sell the same funerary plots over and over makes me wonder yet again why we need cemeteries so badly. Just recycle the bodies for parts and scientific purposes and cremate the rest and get over your fetishistic attachment to an imaginary physical link to a made-up afterlife. This kind of shit, ruining perfectly good earth by filling it full of dead people in cases, is why humanity is really going nowhere.

:: From an actual news story: “A Boston, Massachusetts, police officer who sent a mass e-mail referring to Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. as a ‘banana-eating jungle monkey’ didn't intend to express bigoted views or cause pain, his attorney said in a statement Thursday night.” Then what the fuck could he have possibly meant?

:: No, they don’t put any pesticides in organic food at all.

:: The school curricula do keep getting dumbed down, yes, but I think the best argument for home schooling is to keep your kids away from other kids. When I saw Run Fatboy Run, I had the same thought everyone else did: Simon Pegg isn’t fat. But that’s the point of the title, isn’t it? It’s the way fit people who think very highly of themselves as morally superior because of their discipline or their metabolism sometimes look down on anyone marginally unfit or “average” as fat and slovenly.

I’ve been thinking back to when I was in high school. I wasn’t really much more unfit than Simon Pegg was in that movie. But so many thin people and fat people and family members told me I was embarrassingly fat for so long that I came to see myself as only a fat person who wasn’t worthy of having anything. I wasn’t that much overweight. I weighed 160 pounds less than I do right now. But people can talk about beauty being only skin deep and how it’s what’s on the inside that counts all they want; in reality, when you’re fat people mostly just see you as fat. Not as a fat person, or even a person at all, but as fat. And fat doesn't have feelings or desires or thoughts or opinions. And because I believed I was nothing but fat and would never be anything else, because I internalized all of that criticism and negativity over and over when I was at an impressionable age, I just let myself and my hopes go.

This is not to blame anyone else for the problems I’m trying to fix now, but it was legitimately the destruction of my self-confidence. So, you know, the best argument I can think of for home schooling your children is to keep them away from so much negativity when they’re very young. Kids define themselves too often by not being different or interesting in the slightest, because it's safer that way. Do kids need to socialize? Of course. But do it later, when they’ve learned enough about themselves and their abilities to see the cowardly negative comments and arrogant disapproval of others based on physical appearance for exactly how meaningless and tiny they are.

:: Birthers: please just admit that you’re so hung up on President Obama’s birth certificate because you can’t stand the thought of a black man being President of the United States. Stop couching your racism as some sort of concern for US laws.

I do love that the more the birthers and teabaggers complain, the higher Obama's poll numbers go. They disagree with Obama so much and yet they can’t construct a coherent argument and press on it. I guess we’ve finally passed the days where they can openly say “But… but he’s a black man!”

Seriously, GOP, if you want to lose and lose big, please, by all means, keep screaming and wailing like a bunch of deluded, racist lunatics with no plans.

:: Still, if the Democrats can’t characterize health care reform as what it really is--a fight against corporatized health--they deserve to lose. It’s too important for Democrats to keep making it so vague.

Oh, and loving all this talk about “death panels.” Just look at this image Dr. Monkey posted. These people have no idea what they’re outraged by, they’re just happy to be tools for the extreme right outrage specialists. They should more obviously be worried about education standards in the US.

If you actually believe that part of President Obama's health care reform is a "death panel" that determines whether or not you're too old and sick and "productive" to get care, then you are an irredeemable twit who should just stick your head in a gas oven and breathe deeply until the pain stops. What Sarah Palin in all of her dumbfuckery is describing is exactly what health insurance companies do already and what Obama is trying to do away with. The only difference is that when you're covered and denied that coverage because of a pre-existing condition or you're considered a death risk, they just call it the "profit margin" or "good business" instead of a big, scary media buzz term like "death panel."

So, I understand the need to vent in rage at these townhall meetings. I'm pretty defeated after the last eight years of government consolidation of power (and the resulting disempowerment of the people). And I don't think the people pictured above are un-American because they show up in protest and try to interrupt and shout down the reform meetings. But they're pretty fucking unconstructive and severely uninformed about something as fundamentally important to their lives as their own health care. And the fact that some people eat up Sarah Palin's insanity like it's candy just shows how far some people have gone off the deep end--that they would take health reform advice from a mother whose own son is likely to be denied health coverage because of his pre-existing Downs syndrome, an exceedingly common insurance denial in the US.

Seriously, if you have a cogent argument against health care reform, then put it together and give it in a civil manner. Shouting like an asshole while someone is trying to talk just shows you have no ideas and no self-control. We need to get something done and just ignore the right wing attempts to rouse their rabble to protect the corporations.

(And my Grandma lives in Asia. Should I worry?)

Catelyn Stark and Maybe More

The Hollywood Reporter broke the news last week (or so) that Jennifer Ehle has been cast as Catelyn Stark in A Game of Thrones. I think I've really only seen her in the BBC version of Pride & Prejudice, but I thought she was very good in it. Becca's certainly excited about this casting, especially since they've already got Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean in the thing.

I am getting excited about the possibilities of the TV series. According to George R.R. Martin, at least six other roles have been cast but not yet announced, including Jaime Lannister. He gives clues to some of the actors by saying "One has something in common with Harry Potter" and "Shows can get canceled and so can characters, but two of them have been seen recently on American TV." Both of these clues got Becca insanely excited over the possibility that her beloved Jason Isaacs could very well be Jaime, but I think they'll see him as too old for it. Granted, I think he'd be bloody perfect in that role, but I don't think it'll really happen. We've already gotten our two main choices for Tyrion and Ned Stark, it seems greedy to hope for a third.

That said, I can't wait to see who they cast as Daenerys.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bowser's Minions

500 Faves

(Today's picture comes from Retrospace Zeta.)

276. Magic - Pilot
277. Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me) - Cockney Rebel
278. Making Plans for Nigel - XTC
279. The Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
280. The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts - Sufjan Stevens
281. Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
282. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
283. Memo from Turner - The Rolling Stones
284. The Mercy Seat - Johnny Cash
285. Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out On Broadway) [live] - Billy Joel
286. Mind Games - John Lennon
287. Minnie the Moocher - Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra
288. Miss World - Hole
289. Modern Love - David Bowie
290. Mona Lisa - Nat King Cole
291. Mona Lisas & Mad Hatters - Elton John
292. Mongoloid - Devo
293. Moonlight Serenade - Glen Miller and His Orchestra
294. More Than a Woman - Bee Gees
295. More Than This - Roxy Music
296. Mr. Blue Sky - Electric Light Orchestra
297. Much Better - Jonas Brothers
298. My Back Pages - The Byrds
299. My Cup Runneth Over - Ed Ames
300. My Life - Billy Joel

Honest Scrap

I was given another blog award this week by the awesome When Is Evil Cool?

This is an award that comes with some instructions:

Here are the rules...
1) Link back to the awarder's site. (Done.)
2) Pass the award on to 10 other blogger sites.
3) Spit out 10 honest things about yourself.

Well, here are the other blogs I'm passing this on to (trying not to pick anything wiec? did):

1. I, Splotchy
2. My New Plaid Pants
3. The Urban Recluse
4. Calvin's Canadian Cave of Coolness
5. Geek Orthodox
6. Here Comes Johnny Yen Again
7. Confessions of a Half-Breed Prince
8. Sprawling Ramshackle Compound
9. This Is Why I Hate You
10. Valley Dreamin'

As for 10 things about me... Well, let's see here. Sometimes I feel like all I do on this blog is whine about personal developments (I'm sure a lot of you do, too), so I'm hard-pressed to think what you don't know about me by now.

1. I have a checkered video game history. Games that reward patience like the LEGO games are wonderful, but anything that has too much smashing and running and speed and killing makes me aggressive, frustrated, and destructive.

2. I'm working hard to be healthy, but if I could, I would eat nothing but Cap'n Crunch Crunchberries and drink nothing but Pepsi Throwback and Jones Gruesome Grape Soda.

3. I threw out 80% of my comic book collection a few years ago, and I have never once missed having them. What I do miss, though, is a stuffed mouse I'd had since I was born and which, like so many things in my life, disappeared one weekend during a garage sale when I was out of town.

4. I can barely read film reviews anymore because people place too much importance on what their opinion of a movie says about how cool and intellectual they are (or aren't). And they often have their expectations raised ridiculously high, which still effects their reviews either way.

5. At the end of the day, I'd rather watch a fun, trashy episode of Hannah Montana than anything else. If that makes me lowbrow, I really don't give a shit.

6. My wife and I have the only occupied unit in our apartment building, and even though DeKalb needs as much of an economic boost as anyone else, I just hope it stays that way. It's quieter here than it's ever been before.

7. I once stopped talking to a cousin because she laughed at the fact that I collected Muppet action figures. I haven't talked to her since. This was maybe, like, 5 years ago.

8. I'm wistful enough to wish there were more hours in the day, but cynical enough to know you'd just have to be at work longer if there were.

9. I hate people who say things like "Well, I don't actually hate anything/anyone/whatever you just mentioned hating, because [pick one or more: a. it takes too much energy to hate something, b. hate is too strong an emotion, c. hate is a relationship that places too much importance on something I dislike, d. it takes up too much mental space to hate something, or e. I try not to give in to baser emotional states]." What I really hear is "I'm better than you" and what I really think is "Go fuck yourself."

10. I think the world would be a much better place if all of the well-meaning hippies who want to lecture you about your food and your politics and your car and your consumption actually went out and did something about it besides lecturing you, which is the easiest thing in the world to do. Especially when you're as ill-informed as most hippies.

Me Blog Read Good?

Mob has bestowed me with a Good Read Award.

Thanks, Mob! To get this award once was weird, and to get it twice is just insane. Again, I'm always surprised as hell when anyone likes anything that I do, so it means a lot that a longtime blogging buddy still actually reads the junk I post here.

Mob, by the way, mentioned when honoring me that I was, after all these years, still blogging every day. Then I didn't blog for a week. Oh, irony! How you make me look like an ass!

So, here are five more fellow bloggers who deserve this award.

:: Culture Kills... wait, I mean Cutlery
:: Quit Your Day Job
:: Retrospace
:: Distributorcap NY
:: That's Why

Thanks again, Mob!

110 Years of Alfred Hitchcock

"Self-plagiarism is style."

A master, born today in 1899.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ballad of G.I. Joe

I just had to put this hilarious, star-studded video up here. And yes, I went to the Funny or Die page and downloaded the song. I haven't seen the movie yet, but I can't quite imagine having this much fun with it. Thanks to reader Aaron V. who was the first one to point this out to me!

500 Faves

251. Lil' Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs
252. The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh) - The Tokens
253. Listen to the Band - The Monkees
254. Little Bitty Pretty One - Thurston Harris
255. Little Girls - Oingo Boingo
256. Little Know It All - Iggy Pop & Sum 41
257. A Little Respect - Erasure
258. Live to Tell - Madonna
259. Livin' Thing - Electric Light Orchestra
260. Lola - The Kinks
261. The Longest Time - Billy Joel
262. Love - John Lennon
263. Love -> Building On Fire - Talking Heads
264. Love Comes to Everyone - George Harrison
265. Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) - Edison Lighthouse
266. Love Me for Me - Ashlee Simpson
267. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
268. The Love You Save - The Jackson 5
269. Love, Reign O'er Me - The Who
270. The Lovecats - The Cure
271. Lust for Life - Iggy Pop
272. Ma Belle Amie - The Tee Set
273. Machine Gun - The Commodores
274. Mack the Knife - Bobby Darin
275. Madman Across the Water - Elton John

Brief Thoughts on Chicago Comic-Con 2009

First off, I really recommend you go to my wife's blog and check out the pictures of many of the costumed folks we saw. There were some amazing costumes this year, especially Star Wars-related costumes. Our table was very close to the 501st Stormtrooper Legion table, and they had the best Star Wars costumes I've ever seen. And the remote-controlled Artoo unit is the coolest thing I've ever seen. Ever. It wins. I want one. I want five.

:: For the most part, the whole thing passed in a daze. Between the trauma of driving there and back (in the rain for most of it, which was nerve-wracking in the extreme since my car accident earlier this year) and the physical trauma of walking the three or so miles from our car to our table and back all three days, I was tired and dazed. Not much sleep to be had, either, and not much food. I'm still not eating as much; it's like my stomach shrank. But I did manage to avoid leg cramps once again, which was nice.

:: A lot of the excitement felt muted sitting in the artists' area. Although Becca did better than she had the last two years, a lot of people around us weren't doing well at all. It didn't help that this past weekend was also the start of Lollapalooza in Chicago, so that's some poor planning there. A lot of the people seriously into indie comics didn't show up. They were at the festival.

:: Becky Grutzik's new comic came out and I got it signed! More importantly, I got to see Becky Grutzik. She's a highlight every year, not only because I love her books, but because of my huge crush on her. She's like a cool real-life Lindsay Weir who draws comics. Can't help it, I just love her.

:: Casey Heying, the artist who draws The Oz-Wonderland Chronicles, was in a much better mood this year. I told him his comics were worth the wait to get them, because they are. I like to buy from him each year. We talked a bit about the sudden flood of Oz-related comic books. Skottie Young, the artist on Marvel's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz adaptation, was also there and had a huge line. I've wanted to read those comics like mad, but I couldn't find the first issue at any of the vendors for less than twenty bucks. I could've gotten the whole series for about $70, but my days of paying that much for eight comic books are long, long over. I'll just wait until the trade comes out. All of the little Tim Burton hipster idiots fell in love with Young's art and jacked the price up.

:: I did, however, manage to finally get the first three issues of Boom Studios' The Muppet Show for five bucks apiece.

:: I spent an inordinate amount of time playing at the video game expo. I spent a lot of time playing EA Games' G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, then promptly came home and bought it and am digging it like mad. One of the nice things about Playstation 3 is that new games coming out are a lot cheaper a lot faster for those of us still on PS2.

:: It was uncool of Marvel, DC, and the other major publishers to just pull out at the last second. Seriously, there was no major presence there at all. I think Wizard Magazine has finally just about abandoned the thing, too. Lots of artists were pissed; they were hoping that they could at least have their portfolios evaluated. Apparently there's a real danger of this being the Chicago Comic-Con's last year. Which is odd, because it was so much busier this year than last year. But it's seriously shitty of the whole comic book world to cut us out just because we don't live in New York or California, and they're too lazy and cheap to go anywhere else.

Striking Links

Most people really fascinated with animation history and Disney history have probably already seen this, but go here to see a reel of 8mm footage from the actual 1941 Disney strike.

:: Beautiful pictures of Britt Ekland at Sugar and Spice.

:: 15 Suicidally Depressing Comic Strips (Comics Alliance)

:: Must Read San Diego Comicon Wrap-Up (Mightygodking)

:: At a movie studio, once the pesky task of actually making a movie is out of the way the guys in the suits go to work. Their job is to bend and manipulate the movie footage into a short trailer that will tell you exactly what they think you want to hear. And it should be noted at the outset, they think you're retarded. (Cracked: 5 Things Movie Trailers Need to Stop Doing)

:: It is once again the summer. So since I have a ton of free time on my hands while the rest of you slave away at your jobs, I thought I would once again share with you the most memorable lines overheard in my classroom this year.

Once again, these are all real quotes from actual students and teachers …

:: So let's focus on those who seriously believe "Transformers" is one of the year's best films. Are these people wrong? Yes. They are wrong. (Roger Ebert)

:: 7 Obnoxious Assholes Who Show Up at Every Concert (Cracked)

:: Casper the Friendly Ghost By the 10s! Part 1 and Part 2 (Jon's Random Acts of Geekery)

:: My favorite ever episode of The Real Ghostbusters: The Collect Call of Cthulhu (The Retroist)

:: This started a conversation about how movies from the very late 1960’s till around 1984 contained unprecedented levels of gratuitous nudity - not an original observation by any stretch, so I won’t bore you with stating the obvious. But my question is what caused it to stop? (Amen, Retrospace)

:: McBeardo's Top 100 Cult Movie Nude Scenes

Monday, August 10, 2009

After the Ordeal

Becca had her show at formerly WizardWorld/once again Chicago Comic-Con this weekend. It was an exhausting, exhilarating, fun, nerve-wracking, extremely tiring experience. I took a blog break while we were getting everything ready and actually at the show; I barely slept or ate all weekend. And none of the stuff I queued up ahead of time for my blog actually posted, so it's all getting posted today. Today and maybe tomorrow are going to be a break, I think, getting some much-needed sleep in and getting back to normal. This week, I'll have some pictures up (lots of costumes) and some impressions and so forth. And I want to get back to my 500 Faves list in the next couple of days. But for now, it's time to rest.

Kristen Bell Mondays

Happy 30th Birthday, Joanna Garcia!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Song of the Week: "La Vie en Rose"

It was Louis Armstrong's birthday earlier this week, so I thought I'd finally put him up on Song of the Week. He's always been one of my favorites, and this is one of the songs that just, just narrowly missed being on my 500 Faves list. So here is this brief, but very beautiful song in my favorite version.