Friday, April 29, 2011

I recently played a season of NBA 2k11... and by recent, I mean a month ago. I was using the Nets--my team sucked until I figured out how to dominate with the point guard I was using, then everything came easy and I won something like 40 of my last 45. And ended up in the Finals.

I expected that I'd be facing the Lakers in the Finals, since they always f***ing win. And I'd have to somehow figure out a way to stop Kobe Bryant, who I had had trouble with during the regular season. And even though I was on a roll, I still was pretty worried that maybe the Lakers would prove too tough to me.

Instead... inexplicably, I faced the Memphis Grizzlies in the Finals.

"Wow, that's weird," I thought. "Be kind of crazy if it happened in real life."

And now, as the lowest seeded team in the Western Conference, they just upset the #1 seed San Antonio Spurs. It is only the 4th time in NBA history an 8 seed beat a 1 seed in a series.

Does this indicate that the game has predicted the NBA Finals and that you should put all your money on beating the Thunder in the next round and the Lakers in the conference finals? Well... if you just substitute the Nets for the Bulls, then YES.

Ladies and gents, the 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies are going to the NBA Finals, and you can write that down in ink.

And then they'll get swept by the Bulls, when Derrick Rose scores 60 points every single game. But still.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

NFL draft:

I feel like saying something about this, because this is what I sat down with my brothers to watch tonight (outside from then watching Community and a GREAT, GREAT episode of Parks & Recreation), and the reactions to what the Vikings did kind of amuse me.

(And the reactions I've seen are forum posts that probably tend towards hyperbole rather than rational critique, so... that might be influencing this a bit. One of the current topic titles I'm looking at reads like "After 40 years as a fan I'm done!" People are weird.)

So the gist of it is this. Vikings drafted a QB in some guy named Ponder. Although it was a QB that some had going in the 2nd round. And people are pissed.

Here's my thoughts:

1) *blows raspberries*
2) So the entire fanbase has pretty much been clamoring for the team to draft a QB, and they do. You got what you wanted, and whether or not anyone pans out is pretty much a crapshoot anyway. What the hell is the big deal?
3) It was probably a reach to draft the guy that high--but honestly, people were probably going to complain whatever we ended up doing anyway. We take some defensive guy at 12, people piss about us not trading down and getting a QB later on in the 1st round. We trade down--someone else probably takes the QB we target and people whine that we traded down too far. This was always going to be a situation where you knew people were going to moan and complain no matter what happens. Not that it matters much when the whole team is playing in LA in a year anyway...
4) My personal pick? Well... there was a guy named Prince available. And if you have a chance to take a Prince and then put him in purple... you do it. But I don't know anything about any of the prospects, really.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Quick updates:

-One thing I've been doing all month is keeping track of the stats for this blog. This is because--well, I don't know. Intrigue into the question if anyone actually visits your site, I suppose. Anyway... I just passed my previous record of pageviews in a month, so April is the new record holder with something like 284 pageviews! Yeah!

Is it bad I'm excited about one person checking out my site hundreds and hundreds of times?

-So I have this orange track jacket that I wear--constantly. I think it was borne out of the fact that my winter coat didn't provide enough warmth in of itself, so I ended up using this other orange jacket I had to further cover myself. And then it just blossomed from there.

It's weird. I wear it a lot, so I feel people might look down on me for that... but I like the idea that someone could probably identify me from yards away just by seeing the jacket. And that a single piece of clothing becomes a part of your identity. Kind of like how Charlie Brown wears the same type of shirt for 50 years--the zig zag across the middle and usually in a yellow color. Not that it defines Charlie Brown or anything, but--he wouldn't look the same without it. So if I had a comic strip devoted to myself (which I think is a great idea), the artist would know how to dress me, I suppose.

Anyway... I was somewhat worried about the shelf life of my current track jacket, until I stopped into a thrift store the other day. And wouldn't you know it, I found the EXACT SAME TRACKJACKET right there... waiting for me. I bought it, of course. Why wouldn't I?

So now I have two. And now I'm thinking about what it would take or how hard it would be to find another one. And then just making my entire wardrobe the same track jacket over and over. So when I have a comic strip about me, there'd be a joke about opening up my closet and showing the same shirt over and over again--and it would actually correlate to real life. And it would be exciting.

I'm trying to think of what it was that used the "oh, he has 20 pairs of the same shirt" gag... but I'm struggling.

-I feel as if that trying to sleep in till something like 11 AM and then waking up at 8 AM anyway--is one of the worst feelings in the world.

Then I get up and I'm reasonably productive.

It's a very conflicted feeling.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

So apparently I do have internet this weekend.

Did you know that sometimes advertising companies use songs written years ago to sell their product, and sometimes don't actually write the music that plays in commercials?

Well, of course you do.



So I thought that the music in the commercial above was just some stupid new-age "written for a car commercial to indicate the car gives you peace and bliss" 30 second bit.

But as it turns out, it's a Simon & Garfunkel song! And it's actually a pretty decent one, too!



Sara asked me to put some Simon & Garfunkel on this huge playlist I'm creating for her. Which is OK, except that I'm not really familiar with their stuff outside the hit singles, and I've only listened to their albums a couple times whenever I found the vinyl copy. So I got out Bridge Over Troubled Water and played it... and this song came up.

And it's the first time I've ever played a song, liked it, then realized it was from a commercial... and then realized that I hated it in the commercial form. It's pretty simple to explain, though... the backing vocals are nice, but in the context of selling something--it kind of pisses me off. But the ambiguous upbeat-yet-lonely verses balance the ethereal background vocals pretty nicely in the actual song.

Moral of the story is this: f*** car commercials.

Friday, April 22, 2011

INTERNETTTTTTTTTT

I have it.

I don't know I'm going to have it this weekend, though, so I am going to quickly jot down anything I would write this weekend were I to have the internet.

-Holy crap, can't believe the Hornets and the Grizzlies pulled off the huge upsets and are primed to win the series. As you may know, I'm not a huge fan of the Lakers and the blah blah NBA blah blah.

-Starburst Jellybeans=God's greatest Easter present.

Except for... the other thing, you know.

-Easter is here!

Not actually that exciting, but... Starburst Jellybeans are great. As I mentioned in my last post.

-(Post about a band I'd be listening to. I post some YouTube videos. I might make a halfhearted attempt to connect it to something that I did that day, or maybe I'd try to describe it as "good Easter music" because I might be writing it on Easter. It wouldn't actually be, really.)

-I'm at Hard Times and I'm on the internet and I had hash browns and Sara had hash browns as well but she didn't know that I was also getting hash browns since we have to write down our orders and if she had known she probably wouldn't have gotten that but oh well I am writing and other things happened in my life today.

(Last one would actually be today's post, for the record.)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I sometimes make mix CDs for Sara. And by that, I mean... I'm planning one right now, which would probably put the number of mixes I've made for her up to about 20, I'm assuming.

The necessity of this mix CD is that I've been going through a huge 60's phase, and mix CDs for Sara need to be made in order to properly document my various phases. That and I like it when she pretends to like the stuff that I do (she might not pretend, but even so...)

At some point I determined that I needed to include some of The Band on this huge 60's mix. I had given her "I Shall Be Released"... and I think that's it. Which seems like too little. So I started listening to their stuff to try to narrow down the list of what I should give her.

There was a problem that occurred.

I only own their first two albums ("Music From Big Pink" and their self titled), haven't been terribly impressed with anything else they've done and have no plans to acquire the rest of their catalogue. So I have about 23 songs to choose from, which really isn't a whole lot. And before today, I probably could have thrown out half of them.

Now I just want to give her both of the CDs I have.

I mainly had this problem with their self titled--probably because I listened to it twice. Essentially I was going to just include "Rag Mama Rag" and "King Harvest (Has Surely Come)" because they've always been my favorites from the album. Especially "Rag Mama Rag." The Band was essentially the most bad-ass 1890's group to ever perform.



The next song was "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down"--which might be one of their most famous songs, but I never really dug for some reason. Well it clicked today. The chorus is killer, basically. (Unfortunately, I couldn't find an appropriate version on YouTube--just live versions that either suck or are un-embeddable, and one that seemed OK but is slowed down just a little bit and annoys the crap out of me. So... here's Across The Great Divide, which is another great song that I feel is worthy of inclusion.)



(For the record... all the rootsy-folk/rock/whatever stuff that's popped up a lot recently on the indie stations/websites--doesn't hold a candle to any of this.)

After a while I'm considering pretty much everything. Including the following song... which I would never include if I could only pick 2 or 3 songs by The Band... but if we're getting into 5 or 6, then why not include this one too? I mean... it's weird, and you'd have to really like their music in order to enjoy it... but still.



I would include more songs, but... Sara might be the only one to read this. And I don't want to show my entire hand.

(My hand, by the way, is "Music From Big Pink" and the self titled album--both of which are easily downloadable and streamable, illegally and legally. But still.)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Early predictions for the 2011 Vikings season:

OK. So the NFL's schedule for next season just came out. Allow me just a little bit of your time to go through the schedule to prognosticate how the Vikings will do this upcoming year...

What I'll do is I will post what week it is, then post who the Vikings are playing... and then tell you if it'll be a win or a loss. It sounds amazingly simple... and probably so simple that I didn't need to write about it. But nonetheless.

Week 1: At San Diego--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 2: Tampa Bay--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 3: Detroit--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 4: At Kansas City--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 5: Arizona--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 6: At Chicago--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 7: Green Bay--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 8: At Carolina--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: At Green Bay--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 11: Oakland--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 12: At Atlanta--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 13: Denver--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 14: At Detroit--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 15: New Orleans--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 16: At Washington--CANCELED DUE TO LOCKOUT
Week 17: Chicago--WIN!!!

So... to recap:

Final projected 2011 record for the Minnesota Vikings: 1-0.

Which would put them in the playoffs, and... depending on the tiebreakers, could possibly give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs.

So really, right now... the season's looking pretty good from my vantage point.
Why don't they make animal crackers in non-animal form?

Seriously, it's a completely awesome snack, but I feel that if it were available in other non-mammal shapes, it could greatly improve its overall popularity. Like, what if they made crackers shaped like jets and battleships or something like that? I would buy more crackers just so I could have the battleship kind...

Why am I not in charge of more things?

Monday, April 18, 2011

I found my old iPod today.

I sort of stopped using it after a while because its battery life ended up being something like 20 minutes or so, which wasn't really effective when I was routinely taking 30 minute bus rides. Then I sort of forgot about it--and then I lost it. My brother got a newer iPod, gave me his blocky old one--and that's the one I use now.

My old one was in my coat pocket. I took it out. The slip case it was in was a faintly red color. It's supposed to be white.

It's also really dirty.

But I plugged it in to my computer, expecting that it was long gone and done... and it looked that way. You could hear it as it tried turning on, but then it just gave out. It gave me a "please wait--battery very low" screen that I've never seen before, which I took to just mean "start arranging your next iPod purchase" or something. BUT THEN--!

It started charging. It still had life! I would be able to relive those special times in which I listened to it--to and from class, whenever I didn't want to listen to my roommates conversations--it wasn't actually special or a unique experience for me in any way, but it was an iPod and it served its purpose, and it was nice.

I was going to write in this little box here about the stunning resolve about Apple products--how this thing survived all the crap that I put in my pocket and came out looking like crap but singing like roses (the appropriate phrase is "smelling like roses", but... I can't think of any phrases that might work right here), how I felt like traveling back to campus and then walking to Nicholson just for the hell of it, how I was considering making the switch to Apple for everything--so to celebrate was was going to be a celebratory post here, I got out my headphones and plugged it into my iPod. I picked some random song that was going to be loud and glorious, and then the words would flow out of me through the sheer beauty of the sound emanating from this resilient little machine.

The song started. And... there was no sound emanating from the right earphone. Tried another song--same thing. Tried headphones in my computer, not sure where the problem was--headphones worked fine, the problem lied within the iPod.

Lesson to be learned--don't leave your high tech gadget in your pocket for two years.

Sunday, April 17, 2011





I really have no way of knowing what you might think of Norm Macdonald. He's one of those guys that you find absolutely amazing or just flat out stupid. You might guess my own opinion on him considering that I'm wasting a couple seconds of my life talking about him.

To me, what makes him great is the delivery. And I don't mean that he just delivers his jokes in a humorous way. It's more about how he just doesn't really care if his jokes aren't inherently funny--all that matters is that whatever he's doing humors him. And through sheer determination he forces the joke to somehow become funny. I also like how he can just lay right into a person--yet it doesn't come off as bitter or angry... but rather just a completely tactless troll.

It's weird how subjective humor can be, though. I mean, I find these clips absolutely funny... but a perfectly reasonable person might think this is completely humorless while enjoying whatever the hell you'd say Dane Cook likes to do. And I'm not trying to be elitist or say that I have a better sense of humor because I hate Dane Cook or whatever. I guess I'm just not really sure what tickles people and why, although I find it interesting nonetheless.

Anyway... back when I was 9 or so I started watching Saturday Night Live one week. I can't remember why, but I did. And what really caught my attention was Norm at the Weekend Update desk, and it was just blunt and funny and not something I had ever seen before. I turned in the next week expecting more of the same... and then it was revealed that Norm was fired for most likely insulting OJ Simpson too much. That was pretty disappointing.

He has a new Weekend Update-esque show on Comedy Central now. I watched the first episode with my brothers--it was alright. My brothers enjoyed it too... which is good. I think my sense of humor rubbed off on them. Not that I influenced them in any other useful way--but any little bit is nice, I suppose.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

NBA playoffs

I love playing with this playoff simulator more than I would probably care to admit. (I.E. maybe doing a thousand simulations over the course of a couple weeks.)

I've been playing it with the hopes that somehow, someway I'll be able to get the two worst teams to advance to the finals and face each other (two worst teams being essentially the Grizzlies and the Pacers). I tried doing the odds of that happening--I couldn't figure it out, but it's just about close to zero. So really, I've just been completely wasting my time.

I decided then to waste my time even more. Using the simulator linked above, I went through the playoffs a hundred times to see who has the best chance to win it all--according to this, of course. This might be interesting to one of you--if I'm allowed to count myself as one. But, I was bored, the playoffs start today, and this post will be extremely funny when the Grizzlies and the Pacers face each other in the finals in a month or two.

WESTERN CONFERENCE WINNERS:
Spurs--33%
Lakers--27%
Thunder--18%
Mavericks--11%
Nuggets--6%
Blazers--3%
Grizzlies--2%
Hornets--0%

EASTERN CONFERENCE WINNERS:
Bulls--38%
Heat--28%
Magic--21%
Celtics--12%
Knicks--1%
76ers, Hawks, Pacers--0%

NBA FINALS WINNERS:
Bulls--25%
Spurs--19%
Lakers--17%
Magic--11%
Heat--10%
Celtics--6%
Mavericks--5%
Thunder--4%
Blazers, Nuggets, Grizzlies--1%
Knicks, Hornets, 76ers, Hawks, Pacers--0%

THINGS TO CONSIDER:
-The odds are sort of unfairly in the Spurs' favor. Cause they most likely won't get past both the Thunder and the Lakers...
-Also, the Magic should not have the 4th best odds to win it all. 7th or 8th would be more fitting.
-If this is at least somewhat accurate and the Thunder make it to the finals, BET AGAINST THEM BECAUSE THEY WILL LOSE. Record in the finals for them: 4-14--and that was before pulling two wins out right at the end. Heat are also a good team to bet against.
-Grizzlies made it to the finals twice--both on consecutive simulations. Blazers 3 times, all within 5 simulations. Two combined made it to 5 finals over the course of 7 simulations. Kind of interesting... if you're me and are interested in boring odds for a sports playoff.

My own personal feeling is Lakers/Thunder in the West, Bulls/Celtics in the East, and then Lakers over Bulls in the finals.

I actually think the Bulls will win, but I'm going with the Lakers in an effort to jinx them. Actually, let's go with Heat/Lakers if I'm going to be jinxing anything...

Friday, April 15, 2011

My brother's birthday is today.

Today's a particularly cool day to have a birthday. One, the Titanic sunk on this day about 99 years ago--the world mourned, bad movies were made--heavy stuff. Two, Abraham Lincoln died on this day after getting shot in the head by that scoundrel John Wilkes Booth the previous night. Three, Jackie Robinson played his first Major League Baseball game, becoming the first African American to play in an MLB game. Four, in 1924, Rand McNally published its first road atlas (OK, so not actually interesting, but... I just wanted you to know I know how to use Wikipedia). Five, it's tax day--except not this year, for whatever reason.

So in essence, it'd be pretty cool to share a day with the death of the arguably the best president, a huge maritime disaster, and the IRS's moment in the sun.

One year when I was younger, my birthday coincided with the celebration of Victoria Day in Canada, and I was pretty pumped to share the day with some obscure holiday. I was going to learn all I could about the holiday and observe all the practices that Canadians followed on the day (I assumed it'd involve making celebratory Victorian cakes or something)... and perhaps, one day, even travel up north to celebrate my birthday and Victoria Day together.

But then the next year it was either on the 19th or the 21st, and was a holiday that only took place on Monday or something. I never forgave Canada for that.

Although looking at Wikipedia now, I might get over that... cause apparently in Cambodia on my birthday, they celebrate a National Day of Hatred. Which is simply AWESOME.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Random things:

-The Twins lost again today--and Joe Mauer was added to the DL. I think they are something like 4-9. I haven't watched a lot of games, but... that's not a good start.

So to recap the current state of affairs within the world of Minnesota sports--the Vikings came off a crappy year, might move, and might not even play next year. The Wild apparently fired their coach--which I didn't even know until looking into it right now. And the Timberwolves *should* fire their coach after they finished with the worst season in the NBA--and this league also might not play next year. But they have the best chance at a #1 pick? Does that mean they're in the best shape out of all four Minnesota teams? How is that even possible?

-I missed tonight's Parks & Recreation--plus The Office with Will Ferrell (not that I'm huge into The Office nowadays, but I figure that the Steve Carell leaving arc is interesting enough to tune in. And I like Will Ferrell from his SNL days, so he will always get a pass from despite how annoying he's kinda become). I check out Hulu on the off-chance they have the episodes up already... but no such luck. I feel like websites should cater to my needs and instantly satisfying me when I demand it. Get on it, Hulu.

Community was pretty great, though, in that it was a "crazy hijinks happen at a community college" episode instead of a "we're paying homage to whatever the hell we feel like this week" episode. Which I like. Homages are cool and all, but they've relied on them too heavily this season--Season One was essentially a show about people at a community college with a pretty healthy dose of pop culture, whereas now it's all about "we're gonna do a Pulp Fiction spoof--but it's *actually* going to be a tribute to a movie you've never seen before."

The problem is that I think I'm in the minority in that belief, and everyone else loves them. Oh well.

-This post isn't really constructed very well, and my thoughts aren't particularly cohesive... but it's nice to just say things from time to time. Without having to worry whether or not it is particularly well thought out.

Another not particularly well constructed thought: I kind of wish steroids were more prevalent in baseball... mainly because then bulls*** sports journalists would then at some point overdose on "steroid users ruin the sanctity of the game" articles if usage never really went away.

At least I'd hope so. Journalists seem to be romanticizing the game to the point where Barry Bonds using and then lying about said use is equivalent to Adam & Eve eating the apple from the tree. It's just a game.

In other words, couldn't care less that Bonds is now a felon or whatever, annoyed that articles are popping up saying that this is "shaming the game". People are getting away with *much worse*... whereas Bonds just cheated at a game that's pretty much a small diversion for people. Really not that big of a deal.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nintendo 3DS review: Based off a six second experience looking at a Best Buy demo

I HATE IT. I HATE IT SO MUCH.

MY EYES MIGHT BE BLEEDING FOREVER.

---

As far as I can tell, this is the most definitive review for the system yet.

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BONUS VIDEO:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Going to go get my van soon, which has been in the shop since Friday with brake troubles.

It is exciting because I'm really looking forward to seeing what possible new way my van will break down on me this time. (That last sentence may or may not have been 100% serious.)

The funny thing is that I am the only one who ever has any troubles with it. Of course, that might be because I drive it the most and thus will be more susceptible to encountering all its troubles--but I don't drive it *that* much more than anyone else.

Here's what has happened with me and my van that has never happened with anyone else:
-Brakes deciding suddenly not to work (I mean... it's only happened this one time, but it happened with me, so....)
-Stalling randomly during a drive (happens to me ALL the time, but never to anyone else. My sister borrowed the car one time and was going to a museum in St. Paul and pick me up nearby. She drove most of the way--no problems, I get picked up, start driving the 5 minutes it takes to get to the museum--stalls on me 3 fn' times.)
-Battery dying (has happened to me *way* too many times to count.. never to anyone else.)

I think essentially that the van just doesn't really like me. It can be the only explanation. That or I drive in an internally destructive manner. It'd be nice to have a car that wasn't failing me--but, can't afford it. So that sucks. Plus I grew up with this car, so... sentimental value might persuade me a little to keep it around for longer than I ought to.

So I'm ready. I'm ready for the van to break down on me on the way home from picking it up. I'm thinking that the windshield will just suddenly and without warning burst into a million pieces... or that my gas pedal becomes stuck, and I'll be cruising down the highway at 10 miles per hour.

Or it'll just stall a lot more.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I just want to take the time to say that Youtube is great. I mean, seriously... it's great. I mean, it sucks that you have to sit through ads on half the videos, and then suffer endless pop-ups on them as well--and it sucks when those ads prevent them from loading properly, but STILL. I just spent the past few hours watching videos--not just anything, but rather various versions of The House Of The Rising Sun, and it just blows me away how I can pretty much trace the development of the song and hear multiple versions of it in an hour when it would have taken me ages of careful and calculated collecting to do so in the 90's.

I was playing around with my record player and some old 45s--and one of the 45s happen to be The Animals version of the song. So I took the 45 and played it on the 33 1/3 setting, which essentially slows down the song and sometimes drastically changes the overall mood of the song. For this--it didn't necessarily change the haunting tone, but it did make the vocals sound like some centuries-old shaman trying to rid my soul of the devil. It's really kind of excellent.

That is, of course, because the version The Animals has is just brilliant. And it kind of pisses me off that some 22 year olds could put something out this assured and affecting.



And then I saw this version--which predates the Animals version by a couple of years. And although I thought I had listened to Dylan's debut a couple of times, I can't remember ever hearing this, because it's just as good. Not as haunting, but definitely more hopeless. Also, thanks to this, learned that the Animals version changed the gender of the narrator--which I didn't know because I am an idiot.



And *apparently* Bob Dylan stole this arrangement from a guy named Dave Van Ronk--who was forced to quit playing the song because everyone assumed *he* was stealing it from Dylan. Then apparently, Dylan had to stop playing the song because people assumed he took it from The Animals, quite ironically. This was all on a clip from the No Direction Home documentary. But instead here's Mr. Van Ronk's version. It took a while for me to get used to his singing--but it's nonetheless quite impressive.



I don't want to bore anyone by posting every single version of the song that ever existed--but that's what I'm going to do. I don't know. I guess I find it interesting in the way that folk/blues standards sort of develop and evolve when different musicians get their hands on said song. HERE'S THE FIRST KNOWN RECORDED VERSION OF THE SONG.



Here's a completely different take.



Here's one that is set to the lyrics of Amazing Grace.



And here's some crappy versions of the song. One's crappy because they were drunk while recording it, the other sucks because they're kind of a crappy band that I like nonetheless. Try to guess which one's which.



Saturday, April 9, 2011

My dad wanted to go see a movie today. The options he presented to me were Sucker Punch, Source Code, and Your Highness. Sucker Punch looks like it's the worst ever... and Your Highness looks like something you wouldn't want to watch with your father... so I guess it was Source Code, since I feel like I should support the film career of Zowie Bowie.

I think it was the first film I've seen that's been released this year, so ladies and gentlemen, let me announce loud and proud that Source Code is the best film of the year that I've seen so far.

I don't really know what to say about it--other than it was a fun, gripping, and smartly plotted psychological sci-fi/thriller that was good enough that you didn't mind all the little implausibilities. I'd say that Mr. Zowie Bowie's last movie--that being Moon--was better in almost every regard, but this was still pretty damn good. It's just that the ending really, really sucked.

I don't want to spoil the movie--but essentially, the film begged for a more emotionally complex resolution, and instead we got one that was unnecessarily happy. Not that there's anything wrong with happy endings or anything--I mean, as it was playing out, I was thinking to myself "oh good, everything is going to work out". But then I realized it was kind of dumb and convoluted.

I'm assuming that the studio demanded a happy ending, and the filmmakers sort of shrugged and said "well, we could possibly make it work." Which I suppose isn't the worst thing in the world--I don't know if this is something the casual moviegoer is really going to go for completely, but as a fairly commercial film--it's smart and unconventional, and something you probably won't see from a typical Hollywood action movie (unless you've made the studios hundreds of millions--then you get to do whatever the hell you want, as is the case with Nolan and Inception). So I guess if the ending was the deciding factor in determining whether or not audiences really warm to the movie, I'd be OK--since the ending wasn't *that* bad judging by my own reaction to it. Just kind of dumb is all.

I'm not sure if that made a whole lot of sense. Basically, I went because it meant free popcorn... and I'm dating someone whose least favorite food happens to be just that. How that is possible I'm not really sure... but as it is, I'd sit through Sucker Punch if it meant free popcorn.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Haven't watched a lot of Twins games this year so far, because a) I wasn't particularly excited about the season in the first place, b) I was busy opening night and they proceeded to stink the joint up the first two games/they were playing the Yankees and... well, we won one game, but going into the series it seemed like watching would exercising self-torture , and c) I'm starting to get a little annoyed with a bit of the self-righteousness surrounding the team. So today was the first time I saw them play.

I thought it was going to be a loss for a while, which would have put them at 2-5 and thus would have triggered a state-wide panic button for being 3 games under .500 in a 162 game season. And then I would have written something stupid like suggesting the team bring back Doug Mientkiewicz and Corey Koskie... but they ended up somehow rallying and winning after all.

Twins record when I watch the game: 1-0.
Twins record when I don't watch the game: 2-4.

Not to imply that I am the sole reason the team won... but I am, kinda.

Not only that, but... the Red Sox's record when I watch a baseball game: 1-0. When I don't: 0-6.

So essentially that's TWO teams that should put me on the payroll. And if the Rays win tonight, that'll make it three.
I saw this article about an upcoming Rocko's Modern Life Season 1 DVD release, and I started freaking out a little bit.

Then I remembered that this wasn't 2005, and that the entire series is on Netflix's Watch Instantly.

Then I felt kind of sad.

...

I hate it when times change.

(Not that having it all at my fingertips on Netflix is a *bad* thing (cause really, it's quite amazing)--but I've been waiting for a proper DVD release of Rocko for about 10 or so years, and now it has come--and I realize that I don't need it anymore. That part sucks.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Nicolas Cage is probably my favorite actor and this scene from Wild At Heart (which I just watched this afternoon) is a perfect reason why although I wish I could embed this instead of including it as a link since videos look so much nicer.

I think I'm at the point where I can't even begin to understand why I adore him as an actor so much. Because really... he's been mailing it in for the past 5+ years (barring certain films, of course) since he's dead broke and all I can think is how awesome his mailed in performances are--even though they pretty much aren't. I haven't gotten around to seeing it, but when I do, I'm going to enjoy the crap out of Drive Angry. And I feel that might not be healthy, considering the vitriol directed at his movies as of late.

But I guess it's like this: he's a weird guy. And that usually translates onto the screen--sometimes for the betterment of the overall film... and sometimes the movies just suck so badly that his weirdness might seem like a flaw. But overall I just like the nutso characters he plays... and that's just it.

(Also, just stumbled upon this Cage interview and it's kind of great. My favorite part is when he says his reasons for doing Drive Angry.)

(Also also, Wild At Heart's pretty good. Fun, disturbing, absurd, insane... pretty much the usual from David Lynch.)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

A ranking of condiments:

1. Steak sauce
2. BBQ Sauce
3. McIlhenny's Milder Tobasco Sauce that I have to have on my burrito at Chipotle otherwise the whole trip is pointless
4. General hot sauces that you would find at other Mexican places
4. Ketchup
5. Soy sauce
6. Franks' Hot Sauce
7. Purple ketchup
8-1285434540311. Other condiments I can't be bothered to name at the moment
1285434540312. Mustard

There's really no point to this. I'm just particularly hating mustard at the moment.

Sometimes this happens with me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

So... Butler just made a shot.

...

You'd know why this was worthy of its own post if you were watching the game.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I am watching 127 Hours with my brothers, and the scene in which the dude cuts off his arm is about to come up.

I am the most squeamish person in the world. I don't know why I am even in the room right now. I don't know how I got through it the first time. My brother wanted to watch this for weeks and I put it off just because I didn't want to see this again.

OH GOD I'M NOT EVEN LOOKING AT THE SCREEN AND IT'S HORRIFYING.

Hey, I did my taxes today. I mean, sort of... I still have to put it all together and mail them in, which is going to take a while for me to get around to because it's boring and I always think I'm going to screw up and put the wrong form in the wrong envelope or something. But nonetheless--let the record show that I was indeed productive.

I'm also working on a script at the moment. Sara directed me to this one month-long challenge for screenwriting--pretty much similar to the novel writing exercise I did back in November. Which I stuck to pretty well--I didn't finish it, but I took a bit out of my day each time to do it. It's actually pretty good for me, even though I can essentially write whenever... because usually when I do that I give up 10 pages in or so. Whereas this gives me a silly goal that nonetheless keeps me a little accountable and not worrying too much about the perceived crappiness of what I just wrote.



The scene in which the dude gets rescued is playing now, and it's kind of funny... because the swelling music (Sigur Ros, actually) makes the scene play out like it's a really triumphant moment for the man. Which it is... but at the same time the people who find him look as if they're going to be traumatized by the sight of a dude with a freshly sawed off arm for the rest of their lives.

I guess I'm spoiling it for people who hasn't seen it... but it's based off of real-life events that were in the news, so I can't spoil too much. Another spoiler: at the end of the film Gandhi, he dies a painful, violent death.

...I've never seen Gandhi, but I'm assuming that's what happens.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

So I think it's pretty apparent that beer commercials unmistakably suck. And if you somehow don't agree with that, and you actually enjoy the majority of commercials beer companies put out, then you have poor taste in life. And that is a fact.

And the problem that I have found with watching so many NCAA Tournament games this year have been the overabundance of Bud Light commercials. And it's not like their current ad campaign just debuted and pissed the hell out of me--I'm pretty sure it's been around since at least the Super Bowl--but the amount I've seen during the past few weeks has resulted in a sometimes execrable viewing experience.

The main offenders:







Note the attempts to make the phrase "here we go" synonymous with Bud Light. In short, I hate it I hate it so much. It comes off extremely awkwardly, just like any catchphrase marketers decide to force into a scene's dialogue (see also: TV shows getting paid off by Microsoft to say "Bing it" instead of Google), and overall it seems overly contrived and calculated.

The only problem is this: it's kind of working.

A couple of times during the past few weeks, someone has said the phrase "here we go." And every single time--after they say it, my initial thought is "damn I hate those Bud Light commercials." And then I curse myself, because I assume I'm letting them win by associating the phrase with the beer.

Not that it really matters all that much. The fact that they have successfully made the phrase synonymous with the product in my case means nothing since I don't drink. And even if I did drink, I probably wouldn't drink Bud Light--especially because of their commercials.

But if this is their intent, and I'm susceptible to their little ploy (I thought I was not so easily manipulated by ads--perhaps that was just a total crock) then that means that other people might be falling for this. And that people who are less vehemently opposed to crappy commercials could hear that phrase and then suddenly and inexplicably find themselves craving crappy beer. And that's *wrong*.

Anyway, I'm going to watch the rest of the game now. I find myself kind of pulling for Butler, despite my having VCU in the final/general rule of cheering for the underdog. But whoever wins this I want to win the championship... it's just that I think Butler would probably have a better chance of winning.

LCD Soundsystem

People love them!

Everyone's sad to see them go!

...

...

Umm... were they *that* great to warrant all this unflinching adoration?

The band's probably going to be back in about 3 years anyway...

Friday, April 1, 2011

Just a quick public service announcement to everyone out there that might be reading this, but I know that there's going to be a lot of pressure from your social groups and others who are partaking in the activity, but please:

DON'T APRIL FOOLS.

Whatever humorous thing you've got concocting in your brain--even if it's the most clever little joke you've ever thought of in your entire life--it becomes lame and unfunny simply because you chose to do it on this day.

April Fools *ruins* humor, people.