Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I don't usually talk about hockey, because... well, I don't really like hockey.

But today the NHL team Atlanta Thrashers officially finalized plans that would move them to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. This marks the 2nd or 3rd time that Atlanta has lost an NHL hockey team, and this marks the first time since the Jets moved to Phoenix that Winnipeg has an NHL team.

Now, I don't want to sound particularly callous, because I'm going to have to deal with my own team relocating in about a year or so when the Vikings move to LA, but a lot of the articles I've seen on who to blame for the Thrashers' failure in Atlanta. And my thought is this: why are we being so negative? Not that I'm terribly familiar with the situation surrounding the team and the city, but Atlanta's notorious for being a really fair-weather city, and not really supporting their teams as much as they should. Plus, hockey had already failed there. Plus, it's Atlanta. No one plays hockey there. Is it that hard to explain?

But really, we should be celebrating, because it means that Canada gets another team, which is good because... Canada actually cares about hockey. And because hockey is always going to be somewhat of a niche sport, and what better way to celebrate that than to put as many teams in Canada as possible.

Honestly, they need more teams in Canada, and they need to move every single southern team out of the south. Because I'd actively decide to support the sport if the territories somehow got a team.

I went ahead and did a little bit of my own relocating plans:

-Florida Panthers--move to Quebec, they become the Nordiques.
-Carolina Hurricanes--move back to Hartford, Conn. Resume play as the Whalers.
-Tampa Bay Lightning--they move to Nova Scotia. I was trying to come up with a proper name for them, so I tried Googling Nova Scotia, and while entering in the province, the second option was "nova scotia duck tolling retriever." So that's their name. The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers.
-Nashville Predators--they move to Newfoundland. But in a sign of solidarity with their province partners Labrador, they name their team the Newfoundland Labradors. That's a built in rivalry with the Duck Tolling Retrievers right there, people.
-Anaheim Ducks--they move to the territories! It could work... as long as like 20% of the entire population between the three territories buy season tickets. Anyway, they become the Northwest Territories' Mighty Ducks of Yukon and Nunavut. Because... yeah.
-Phoenix Coyotes--they move to the comfy confines of Saskatchewan, Canada. And immediately become the Saskatchewan Sasquatches. This is because I'm ignorant and always assumed Saskatchewan meant the same thing as Sasquatch. They don't, as far as I'm aware of now.
-LA Kings--they move to Alaska, because I don't want Canada to get too greedy. They embrace their former roots, and become the Alaska Soviets. This gives the NHL a huge Russian fanbase, as well as making them the most hated NHL team in the 1950's.
-San Jose Sharks--they go to Portland. They like hockey, right? They just stay the Sharks because I can't think of anymore stupid team names.
-Dallas Stars--Of course, they move back to Minnesota. Can we support two hockey teams? Probably not! But what the hell!

Seriously. This would be a hundred times better than what it currently is. Of course, it would lose craptons of money, since you'd need entire populations attending at least ten games a season. But still! If this type of relocation happened, I'd probably have about 12 favorite hockey teams...

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial day!

When I think of Memorial Day, the first thing that comes to mind is...

Well, nothing, really.

But now it's going to be thrift stores, because apparently it is a requirement when in possession of a thrift store operating license to have a 50% off sale on Memorial Day. I took advantage of that. I got a sweet shirt featuring the Cleveland Browns logo... which I feel should somewhat betray my loyalty to the Vikings, but I guess I'm supporting a town that has terrible sports luck like we do. So... uh, solidarity and all that stuff. Also, the logo is this:


One, it's a football elf. This is inherently great. (I thought it was a leprechaun or a dwarf or something, which would have still been cool... but elves are better in this case.)

Two, nobody would recognize it as a Cleveland Browns logo. Except people who are knowledgeable in the ways of sports logos. Like me. I knew this was a Browns logo.

I also got some other things too. Somewhat surprising is that I didn't get any records, which is some remarkable restraint on my part. (Really, they didn't have any decent ones, but still... remarkable restraint.)

Listen, I have been buying a lot of records recently. The problem is that I haven't listened to a single one of them. I haven't even brought them downstairs and put them where all my records are.

I'm going to go ahead and list them all here.

Bob Dylan--Greatest Hits Vol. 2 (bought because it has some songs I've never heard)
Bob Dylan--Highway 61 Revisited (marks on the cover and scratched on the record... but still for a dollar or two...)
Bob Dylan--John Wesley Harding
Stevie Wonder--Talking Book
The Association--Greatest Hits! (50 cents, plus it has this song:

Parentheses.)
Jethro Tull--Songs From The Wood (50 cents!)
Jethro Tull--Thick As A Brick (Not 50 cents! But worth it for the package alone!)
Sly And The Family Stone--There's A Riot Goin' On
The Rascals--Greatest Hits (I've never heard of these guys, but the album cover looks kind of cool and it was 50 cents, so... also it has Ann Hathaway's name written on the front cover. It's one "e" from being a collector's item of some sort. I could have been a 3-dollar-aire.)
Blood, Sweat and Tears--ostensibly s/t (it has Spinning Wheel on it)
Pink Floyd--Meddle (one dollar...kind of scratched, but I'll probably never listen to it anyway.)
CCR--Cosmo's Factory
Genesis--Dancing With The Moonlit Knight
Boston--s/t (did you know that the spaceship on the cover is shaped like a guitar? I did not. I'm assuming everyone did. I feel kind of stupid now.)
Duran Duran--Rio (hell yeah!)

And that's it. I think.

These were all accumulated over a period of maybe three weeks. And I trying to figure if I should feel bad if I don't use them or not. Because, really... I'm buying them just as much for the collection aspect of it, having that material thing in my hand to show off if I wanted to. But then again... maybe I should listen to them at least once or something.

Actually, I shouldn't feel too guilty. I did the math and I spent about $30 on 15 records.

Now I feel super resourceful for getting all this s*** for so little.

I have no clue why I'm sharing this all with you guys.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Villains

I'm pretty much to blame for the fact that the Miami Heat are in the NBA finals.

Well, they were probably going to win the next game had they lost tonight, but... I am the reason why they're in the Finals so soon. I turned on the game with 3 minutes left to go, Chicago 77 Miami 65. They then went on a ridiculous 18-3 run to close out the game and win the series.

Uhh, sorry about that.

I was listening to the radio on the way back from work today, and someone was arguing that the fact that the Heat are doing well is actually for the good of the NBA, that the fact that they so greatly fit the part of villains gives reason for everyone to turn in to see if anyone can topple them. And if no one can, then people will keep turning in until someone finally does. I kind of get that reasoning, but I don't think it's true. Or at least it's not true depending on how you prefer your villains.

Listen, in terms of the most hated teams, the Patriots are my favorite--to the point where I kind of cheer for them in the playoffs a lot (especially since they match up with the Colts a lot... and I kind of dislike the Colts). And really, if you wanted to create an easily hated team that makes your league overall better, I couldn't think of a better formula than the Patriots. Cause this is what everyone dislikes about them: they have a grumpy, misanthropic jackoff of a coach, a pretty-boy QB who everyone overrates because he always wins... and there's a lot of evidence that they cheat a whole hell of a lot.

But the reason why they're such a great villain is that the whole organization is completely brilliant. They've been able to piece together championship teams from athletes considered to be minor role players, they've gotten more value out of the draft than perhaps anyone else has, and they've out-gameplanned and out-maneuvered every single team in the league. And they've done this in a league which values an even playing field moreso than any other league--they've essentially gamed the system.

So essentially, you hate them, but respect them for being the evil geniuses that they are.

On the flipside, you could have a team so hated and so powerful, that beating them entails becoming just as evil as them. Which is what the Yankees are to me. See, baseball's popularity is probably 2nd only to the NFL's and I think is getting stronger every year, so it's not as if the Yankees' constant presence is causing a lot of attendance problems or anything (personally, I really only pay attention to the Twins nowadays, which I think is due to largely the Yankees and Red Sox and Phillies trying to outspend their way to the top (and now that the Twins' payroll is getting up there, I feel less invested in them as well)), but you have a clean-shaven team that has an astronomical payroll, takes your favorite player away from you, and expect to win the championship every single year. To me, it's boring.

I guess it sort of annoys me that the model of success in the MLB is to outspend your competition. I mean, sure, you're going to get your success stories like the Indians with their minuscule payrolls contending for best in the league, but while they might put up a fight for a championship this year, it's not going to be sustainable unless you start doling out cash.

And I mean, it's not like the Yankees and the Red Sox win every year out (the Premier League in England would drive me nuts, for example, since it's the same 3 teams contending every year), but they are always consistently contending and will always have an advantage over 90% of the league. The Patriots will have a shelf life--once Belichick leaves or loses his mind, or even when Brady declines in ability, they're not going to be the same. But the Yankees are a constant. They're not going to go away, they're always going to win, and the Twins will always get swept by them.

Essentially, it seems to me like some form of a backwards comic book--sometimes a good guy comes along and wins a battle or two, but the bad guys will win out in the end.

Anyway, this is a long way to arrive at a point (I'm writing this in a library killing time while I wait to pick up Sara/go back to work), but I'm expecting that the Heat are about to fall into the Yankees mold of villains, in that they become so powerful and deadly that they create an environment where the only way to win is through the Heat method. It's already happened, too... Carmelo Anthony demanded to be traded to essentially only the Knicks because it would be easier to attract more star players to play with him (like a Chris Paul). Hell, there's speculation that Dwight Howard is clamoring to get out of Orlando in order to play for the Lakers, who have only won 5 out of the last 10 titles.

And if this continues, there's only going to be 6 or so teams that actually matter out of a 30 team league. And with a league that's so reliant on superstars, that'd be killer for the rest of the league... and the best result a team like the Timberwolves could strive for would be a 2nd round appearance (this assumes that the Timberwolves are going to be anything other than cellar dwellers for years, but still).

And I know that there's precedent for the NBA flourishing when they have great superpowers (Lakers and Celtics in the 80's, the Bulls in the 90's), and I really can't say much other than this feels different. (Also, Jordan was an absolute God. I hated the Bulls because they always won, but I always watched because you wanted to see if the greatest ever to play the game could be toppled.)

Look, the Heat are probably good for the league. They make great villains. But they need to lose. I don't even really like Dirk and the Mavericks all that much, but he's been stellar so far this postseason, and it'd be nice to see him finally win one after years of toil, especially going up against the unstoppable bad guys of the league. This is sort of like a mashup of your classic story archetypes--a long-suffering, underachieving, aging hero steps up to the occasion to slay the fire-breathing dragon. The Heat win and it feels like another case of the rich taking from the poor and reaping the benefits. Which will then result in the Heat winning the next 3, until the Lakers and the Bulls and the Knicks stockpile their superstars culled from other teams in order to take them out. And again, that seems boring.

That said, though...

That comeback was amazingly impressive.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Updates!:

I meant to write earlier, but... didn't, because everything was busy.

-Birthday was OK... went to the Saints game, and was close to having it start on time, until it started raining like 5 minutes before the game. Then we got an hour and a half delay until they finally started it, so we actually got to see some baseball. We were tired and cold after about 6 innings, though, and the game seemed to always be on the verge of getting called at any moment, so we left. As it turns out, the game went 10 innings. And now I somewhat regret leaving.

-Things I got: a bunch of bobbleheads, which means my "start a collection so that people never have trouble buying for you" quest has somewhat paid off. Also, a book called "The Natural Superiority of the Left-Hander."

-My birthday was also a bit sad, since the Macho Man Randy Savage passed away. So look, he might just be the guy who Snapped Into A Slim Jim and had an awesome voice to most people. Which is fine. But I grew up watching early 90's WWF, and he... along with Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, were the three superhuman-esque characters that defined that part of my childhood. From what I remember, Macho Man was for the most part a bad guy, so I can't say that he was my favorite or anything (honestly, it was probably Ultimate Warrior... although apparently he went kind of nuts after a while), but he was this loose cannon bad guy that you easily see yourself cheering for. Which made his biggest moments (winning the title tournament at Wrestlemania 4 at a point where everybody expected Hogan to win, losing a retirement match at Wrestlemania 7 to the Ultimate Warrior but then reuniting with his long time valet Miss Elizabeth after the match) just as great as any other moments in that period.

Basically, it's just another part of my childhood that is gone, which is going to strike me as weird until I actually feel somewhat old.

(Also, at the height of my Timberwolves fandom back in the early 00's, Malik Sealy died in a car crash on my birthday. So, uhh... don't drive on May 20th if I have fond childhood memories of you.)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's my birthday tomorrow.

Sara and I have been talking about going to a Saints game for a while now, and we really just needed an excuse to go ahead and commit to it. So it was decided upon that we'd go on my birthday. And I'd teach her how baseball works, and then have her be bored during the actual inning part of the game and only be mildly entertained by whatever between-inning entertainment they provide. And then we'd eat hot dogs. This is supposed to be a great time.

And now it looks like it's going to rain all day tomorrow.

Fudge.

No one needs to wish me happy birthday. Just wish that it doesn't rain, and that'll suffice.

(You can wish me a general happy birthday too, but this is directly tied to my happiness, so... I've given you the chance to give the most specific birthday wish possible. Embrace it.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So I've been listening to Jethro Tull's Thick As A Brick a lot over the past few days. I've heard it before a couple times years or so ago but it's somewhat hit me hard recently. Meaning... it's just kind of ridiculously awesome and I have no qualms proclaiming that.

The band sort of strikes me as having not the greatest reputation, since they seem to either get classified as prog rock or hard rock band (probably because they beat Metallica for the Best Metal Album that one year...). But really, they're just sort of an English folk-rock band that happens to have a kooky flautist as the leader. But this album probably doesn't help matters, either--since it's probably their most well-known album while also being billed as just one 43-minute long song.

Which it is. But isn't either. I mean, there's definite overarching themes and melodies that connect everything together, but it flows so nicely that it just feels like the Abbey Road suite extended out to the next logical step (and lacking in individual song titles). Essentially, it's just a fun, enjoyable, and completely bombastic listen--and sometimes that's all you need from your music.

The only problem is that--considering that the thing's made up of individual little songs which have no titles, I have no way to discuss those individual pieces with anyone without learning exactly what the lyrics are. And I usually could care less about the song lyrics.

I don't know if this is *actually* a problem--the chance I'll ever discuss this album with anyone outside of this little post are slim to none. And even then, I could just state "minutes 5 through 10 on part 1 is my favorite part" and someone might get the drift. But it makes reading about the album kind of difficult, since the accepted way of discussing it seems to involve quoting each sections main lyric.

This is actually kind of annoying, because I'll open up some article, and then there will be an interesting paragraph or so on this one section of the song. The paragraph will eloquently effuse admiration for this particular piece, which will probably convince me to agree... until I realize I'm not actually sure what the paragraph is referring to. I'll then skip through the song to the section I *think* it might be in reference to, which will then fail--then skip to another section that might give me what I want. Again, no luck.

So I just listen to the damn song again. Which, you know... is fine. Just not an entirely efficient use of my attempt at edification.

I guess I could just look up the lyrics, figure out what segment the article is referring to and where it generally is within the album and then go from there--but then from there I figure I'll just have to learn the damn lyrics. Which was what I was hoping to avoid.

See, the thing is--I don't mind lyrics as long as they're interesting turns of phrases (and a lot of my favorites' lyrical writing process seems to be writing just interesting turns of phrases... which might influence why I like them), but I could usually care less what the actual meaning behind the lyrics are. Not because I hate depth and subtexts or whatever or prefer my art to hit me straight in the face or anything... but rather that my preferred mode of listening is to create my own meaning through what I hear in the actual music. And sometimes the lyrics contradict that... and it kind of annoys me.

The best example I can think of is Bob Dylan's "Don't Think Twice It's All Right" (which I guess is weird because people assume the main reason to listen to Dylan is the lyrics). The first few times I heard it, paying most of my attention to the music ad whatnot, I thought "oh, well isn't this a quiet but nice little love song." And it was good. I mean, I was ignoring pretty key lyrics like "you just kind of wasted my precious time", but the guitar sound is pleasant and sweet, so I preferred my interpretation. Then somehow I stumbled upon the lyrics (and maybe people's interpretation of said lyrics), and then it wasn't quiet and nice. It was a bitter as f*** breakup song. And... I didn't like it as much. I mean, it's still great, but it's not as pristine to me anymore.

(Sidenote: the song's spelled "Don't Think Twice It's All Right." Tried Googling it, and Google autocorrects it to "Don't Think Twice It's Alright." This really annoys me for some reason.)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I haven't looked at the lyrics for this album and pretty much know nothing about it, but since this is a different breed of album and since it most likely has a clear lyrical concept behind it--I don't want to seek out the lyrics and have it then overwhelm my overall impression of the song/album.

Also, because... again, I like interesting little phrases that pop up, and don't necessarily need or want context for them. So I don't want to know what "so where the hell is Biggles" means... I just want to appreciate it exists in song form.

This is just me complaining about trivial matters. It's OK if you have more important stuff going on.

I see that the entire song is posted on YouTube, so I'm going to go ahead and post it because I can.



Minutes 5 through 10 feature my favorite part.

Monday, May 16, 2011

It's my birthday this Friday. You know... pretty exciting.

(By the way, if you so happen to read this and stumble upon a cool looking bobblehead in the next three days... umm, I'll appreciate a birthday present from you. Especially because I started my collection pretty much solely to make it easier for people to buy for me for holidays... and no one has gotten me a single one.)

I did get an early birthday present, though, and it's pretty sweet. In fact, it's probably going to be hard to top it.

It's a VINTAGE Legend Of Zelda keychain. And by vintage, I mean... it's from 1988.

I actually found a picture of it online. On the internet. Which means that it's not a rare collectible, worth thousands and thousands of dollars. Which most vintage keychains are, I would assume...

(well, just try Googling Legend of Zelda keychain, and it's the most dated looking one.)

It's the logo from the first game, I believe... but mainly it reminds me of the cartoon, which is how I was familiar with the series during the formative years of my childhood.

The cartoon was some great Saturday morning viewing whenever I could catch it--maybe not as great as the Mario cartoons that it usually replaced, but still. A classic in its own right.



Well... maybe "classic" is not the word.

I have memories of it, at least.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One of the more vivid memories I have is of this one day where I wasn't feeling well. Well, it wasn't vivid enough that I can remember why I was feeling poorly, but I do remember that I fell asleep around 5:30-6 PM, which is the point of this whole thing anyway.

I woke up feeling amazingly well rested and even somewhat better. Usually when I take a nap I wake up feeling totally terrible, so obviously I had gotten a full night's rest and come out for the better. I looked at the clock... and it was around 8. The sun was just barely peeking out, but soon enough it would rise up to signal the start of the day. I thought it was pretty impressive that I woke up this early, although that was probably due to the fact that I slept for a good 14 hours.

I went upstairs probably to have a bowl of cereal, when I noticed that there was noise coming from my parents' room. And in it, every single family member of mine was huddled together watching That 70's Show. Which was a little weird, considering that a) everyone was up this early (which never happens) b) that That 70's Show would have reruns so early in the morning, and c) that my Dad hadn't left for work yet, as he usually head out before 7 AM. But of course I didn't think about it, so I went to eat.

Bit of time passed, and my Dad still wasn't leaving for work. So I went and asked him why he was still home, when I found out MUCH TO MY SURPRISE... that it was the PM, not the AM. And I had wasted my dinner by eating cereal.

The point of this is that this weirded me out, and anytime I feel like laying down for the night at a somewhat early time, I wait until I know I won't wake up and assume it's the wrong time of day.

I was pretty much tired all day yesterday, and thought about heading to bed as early as 4:30 PM.

But, I powered through it, and staved off sleepiness for as long as possible. I had dinner, FOUND THE LONG LOST DVD REMOTE IN MY ROOM THAT WOULD ALLOW ME TO ACTUALLY WATCH SOMETHING ON THE TELEVISION (that took about 30 minutes), and finally settled in around 8 PM, content that this was late enough, and turned on the Marx Brothers movie "The Cocoanuts" to watch as I slowly drifted asleep.

And then I watched the entire thing, so I turned on their next one called "Animal Crackers" (so I got a box set of their films at the library this week. It was a good selection), and then I fell asleep to that around 9:30 PM.

There's not a real point to this whole post. Just that falling asleep really early is usually a bad idea.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I'm trying to decide if I should or should not start responding to all the spam messages that I now get with my U of M email (which I would have figured they'd get rid of by now, since I don't go there anymore and I haven't deleted an email in years and all in all the email address' sole purpose is to take up valuable space for the U).

I don't know why. I don't want to lead them on or anything, cause that sounds kind of boring. But I kind of want to pretend to go along with it. And hope that one of them is some unemployed weirdo who has taken all his free time creating spam emails merely to educate people on the dangers of giving out personal information. Like, someone would respond with "well, here's my bank account number!" and the dude would respond with "NO. Don't ever give out information like that. You're just lucky I was testing you and not actually going to do anything with this bank account number!"

If I spent all my free time creating spam, that's probably what I would do.

-------

Another thing I was thinking about was that if I ever for some reason became ludicrously famous, I'd do everything in my power to completely undermine that fame. As in, I'd go from doing whatever the hell made me famous to being bit players in commercials. Or being in the front row for every game show that some network produces. Or I'd spend all my free time creating vlog responses to other vlogs. Or being the de facto taxi driver in every single piece of fiction ever created. Fun stuff like that.

It wouldn't really accomplish anything, except maybe humoring me.

I don't really know why I'm sharing this with you all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Random stuff

My DVD drive isn't working at the moment. Sometimes it does this. Always it is the worst.

I think my dad watches every single network television show ever. This is the only possible reason as to why he watches Glee.

...

I'm currently hearing a cover of "Friday", and it's not the greatest use of my ears.

If you haven't heard me talking about my opinion on the song "Friday," it is because I hate the internet and what it's become.

To me, the internet peaked with the golden days of AOL in 1995... and I don't think I'm alone in that belief.

That's it, really. I'm looking at apartments at the moment. It's not particularly enjoyable.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Way back when I was a wee lad (read: 18 years old), I had a small little blog. Sort of like this one, only not hosted on this site and much weirder/poorly written (or maybe that hasn't changed much...). It was fun. I kept it going for a while, and I had a goal to update it every single day. And with very few exceptions, I kept to that. For maybe two years? I don't know. Either way, it was a long time, and... now that I'm thinking about it, it's a kind of impressive display of commitment on my part.

At some point during that period, I started working at a grocery store, since... you know, having a job seemed like a good idea at the time. It kind of sucked, I haven't been back to that grocery store since the day I picked up my last pay check (if that conveys anything) and pay was minimal. The only thing that kept me going was that I actually tried to do a good job, while everyone else in my position didn't really care, so... the bosses liked me.

Which is good... sometimes it's nice to have the bosses liking you. But it came to the point where every time someone called in sick, the first person they would call was me. I didn't like my job, I wasn't getting a whole lot of money out of the damn thing... so I could've said no, but I usually didn't.

(I'm trying to go somewhere with this, for the record. Sometimes I worry that I veer off track, and that I'm not really trying at all to make this all somehow connect. I do try, for the record... but I veer off track nonetheless. Wait, is that worse?)

This caused me to work a lot of hours. Which meant that when it came time for me to plop down in front of the family computer in hopes of churning something out, it read something like this:

"Work was OK. I didn't screw up and it wasn't all that busy, so everything in that department was good. *Co-worker such-and-such* was working today, though... and since he/she doesn't really like me, that made everything worse. But I got through it, and I have the rest of the night ahead of me.

Umm... I don't know what else to write."

So, it wouldn't be the most riveting read in the short yet illustrious history of blogging, but it was better than not writing anything at all (at least for me). The only thing was that this sort of post started appearing more frequently. And then the majority of my posts became work recaps, since I didn't really know what else to write. Sometimes I'd mix it up with a profound yet brief closing line of "Hey, Led Zeppelin rocks." (They don't, actually... that was just an example.) Sometimes I'd just sort of trail off with a never ending stream of ellipses (which then influenced my writing style so much that I now use the damn things more than I use simple periods...) But essentially, the point of every entry was this: work sucks, I'm exhausted, I want to write every day but have nothing to say--pleasegodmakemylifemoreinteresting.

So with all that said... hopefully I'm not going to make a habit out of this...

Work was OK. I don't know what the hell I'm doing and I'm not sure my boss knows either... but I guess that'll make everything more interesting.

...and I don't know what else to write.

Friday, May 6, 2011

I've been busy. With things.

One thing that I have been doing--and that I've mentioned a couple times here--is listening to a lot of Simon & Garfunkel since I was told to include them in a playlist. It's been good.

I've always sort of had not great opinions on the duo, which I guess I could never really explain. I mean, Sounds Of Silence is a great song, I Am A Rock = also great. I liked some of their other singles, but for whatever reason I never really took them seriously and just devoted my time to other, more substantial musical pursuits.

I've been trying to figure out why I never thought of them as anything other than a lightweight band unworthy of sustained attention, and I think I figured out why. It started at a very early age, and was probably my first impression of the duo.

My mom owned either/both the CD and vinyl version of Simon & Garfunkel's greatest hits. This is the album cover.


...

Simon looks like f***ing Gallagher.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

If any of you are familiar with me just a little bit, you know that I geek out a lot during the Oscar season. You know, trying to figure out who's winning and what movie winning would crush my world more. That sort of thing.

But, there are other award shows too.

And today, what I might consider to be the 2nd most prestigious award to have next to the Oscar released its nominee list today. And I figured, given my extensive knowledge about this particular award ceremony, I will try to handicap who will win and who might surprise, so that you might have a cheat sheet when you join your office's award pool.

So without further adieu, here are my predictions for the MTV MOVIE AWARDS.

Best Movie
"Black Swan"
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
"Inception"
"The Social Network"
"The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

PREDICTION: Twilight New Moon wowed audiences last year, and picked up the big prize, so it's pretty obvious that it's the favorite. Harry Potter might surprise, but since it is only part 1 of the finale, might the voters be tempted to wait a year to bestow its ultimate honor? The other three have no chance, because really... they all sucked balls. Where the hell is the Karate Kid? Come on.

WILL WIN: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse


Best Female Performance
Emma Stone, "Easy A"
Emma Watson, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
Jennifer Aniston, "Just Go With It"
Kristen Stewart, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan"

PREDICTION: Kristen Stewart has taken this the last two years, and there's no reason to assume otherwise. Cause obviously, she's the best actress in the past 50 years and deserves as many awards as possible (yeah, f*** you Meryl Streep). The darkhorse in this category might be Jennifer Aniston in Just Go With It. The reasons? Well, everyone loves her... it was an Adam Sandler movie and who doesn't love Adam Sandler movies... and the award just might heal the wounds that Brad Pitt leaving her for Angelina Jolie caused. It'd be a great moment, that's for sure.

WILL WIN: Kristen Stewart--Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Best Male Performance
Daniel Radcliffe, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network"
Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Taylor Lautner, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Zac Efron, "Charlie St. Cloud"

PREDICTION: R-Patt (as I'm assuming the cool people call him) won it last year, and then two years ago picked up Best Breakthrough Male. So smart money's on him. But what if Team Jacob comes out in full force in the voting? I wouldn't be surprised, nor would I be with Zac Efron--who picked up Best Actor two years ago. Daniel Radcliffe will have his supporters, but he's probably been nominated 7 or so times, so voters might growing sick of him. Who the hell is Jesse Eisenberg?

WILL WIN: R-Patt--Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Best Breakout Star
Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network"
Chloë Grace Moretz, "Kick-Ass"
Hailee Steinfeld, "True Grit"
Jay Chou, "The Green Hornet"
Olivia Wilde, "TRON: Legacy"
Xavier Samuel, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

PREDICTION: It's a crowded category, that's for sure. On one hand, you got the powerhouse that is Twilight behind Mr. Xavier Samuel. On another, you got the FUTURE SPIDER-MAN. Plus, I've heard Olivia Wilde is super good in TRON: Legacy in what must be a huge breakthrough performance, cause I've certainly never heard of her or seen her on television before this movie came out. In the end, though... you have to go with who's better looking. And I'm assuming that will give the edge to Xavier Samuel. Because he's in Twilight. And everyone in Twilight is good looking.

WILL WIN: Xavier Samuel--Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Best Comedic Performance
Adam Sandler, "Just Go With It"
Ashton Kutcher, "No Strings Attached"
Emma Stone, "Easy A"
Russell Brand, "Get Him to the Greek"
Zach Galifianakis, "Due Date"

PREDICTION: Tough one. Zach Galifianakis won it last year for The Hangover (which was, of course, the greatest comedy in the history of everything), but he's not nominated for The Hangover II, so what the hell. Adam Sandler is a legend, so they might decide to honor him with this award in what is probably one of his better movies in recent memory. But Russell Brand is married to Katy Perry. Obviously, he has learned how to play the political game when it comes to the MTV Movie Awards.

WILL WIN: Russell Brand--Get Him to the Greek

Best Line From A Movie (New Category)
Alexys Nycole Sanchez, "Grown Ups": "I want to get chocolate wasted."
Amanda Bynes and Emma Stone, "Easy A": Amanda Bynes: "There is a higher power that will judge you for your indecency." Emma Stone: "Tom Cruise?"
Jesse Eisenberg, "The Social Network": "If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook."
Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, "The Social Network": Justin Timberlake: "... A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool?" Andrew Garfield: "A billion dollars. And that shut everybody up."
Tom Hardy, "Inception": "You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger darling."

PREDICTION: So this is a new category, so we don't know how voting is going to go. Will they a) go for the funniest line, or b) vote for the most attractive person nominated? If it's for the funniest line, it's gotta go to "Grown Ups," because who could forget that classic. But I'm leaning towards Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield, because one is going to be Spider-Man and the other guy sang SexyBack.

WILL WIN: Justin Timberlake & Andrew Garfield

Best Villain
Christoph Waltz, "The Green Hornet"
Leighton Meester, "The Roommate"
Mickey Rourke, "Iron Man 2"
Ned Beatty, "Toy Story 3"
Tom Felton, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"

PREDICTION: Tom Felton, all the way. Christoph Waltz? Who? Mickey Rourke? You're old! Ned Beatty? Wasn't that movie animated? Leighton Meester might surprise, though... because all the other nominees suck and people actually liked The Roommate.

WILL WIN: Tom Felton--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, Part 1

Best Fight
Amy Adams vs. The Sisters, "The Fighter"
Chloë Grace Moretz vs. Mark Strong, "Kick-Ass"
Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint vs. Death Eaters, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt vs. Hallway Attacker, "Inception"
Robert Pattinson vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"

PREDICTION: Another toughie. Got great fights from great movies (Twilight, Harry Potter), you have that cool hallway flippy scene which is probably the nominee from Inception (which I mostly slept through), and you have a 13 year old girl kicking the crap out of some dickhead! It was awesome! Oh, and Amy Adams, but... no one saw The Fighter. I'm going with Twilight, because damnit, R-Patt deserves another MTV. (That's shorthand for MTV Movie Award, by the way.)

WILL WIN: R-Patt vs. Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel--Twlight Saga: Eclipse

Best Kiss
Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Inception"
Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1"
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, "Black Swan"

PREDICTION: I've heard that the only reason Black Swan exists is because of the scene between Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis. But... it's hard to go against Twilight, especially in such a coveted category, where they will probably campaign for hardest. In the end, though... R-Patt and Stewart have won it the past two years. Can't bet against them.

WILL WIN: R-Patt and Kristen Stewart--Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Best Jaw-Dropping Moment
James Franco, "127 Hours," Cuts Off His Arm
Justin Bieber, "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," Performance Spectacular
Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page, "Inception," Paris Café Scene
Natalie Portman, "Black Swan," Mutilation: Pulls the Skin off Her Finger
Steve-O, "Jackass 3D," Port-A-Potty Bungee Stunt

PREDICTION: Duh.

WILL WIN: Justin Bieber--Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

Best Scared-As-Sh-- Performance
Ashley Bell, "The Last Exorcism"
Ellen Page, "Inception"
Jessica Szohr, "Piranha 3D"
Minka Kelly, "The Roommate"
Ryan Reynolds, "Buried"

PREDICTION: What the hell? This category is lame!

WILL WIN: Ryan Reynolds--Buried (he is the Green Lantern, after all.)

Biggest Badass Star
Alex Pettyfer, "I Am Number Four"
Chloë Grace Moretz, "Kick-Ass"
Jaden Smith, "The Karate Kid"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, "Inception"
Robert Downey Jr., "Iron Man 2"

PREDICTION: On one hand, you've got a 13 year old girl who kicks the crap out of older dudes and swears. On the other... you've got a 10 year old boy whose dad is Will Smith. Who, of course, won Best Male Performance twice (once for Ali in 2002, the other for I Am Legend in 2008). Has Chloë Grace Moretz's dad ever won anything?

WILL WIN: Jaden Smith--The Karate Kid

And that's all of them.

I'm reasonably sure I'm going to be correct on all of these.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I love Minnesota

It's not as if I particularly like the fact that it's 30 degrees outside right now, on the 2nd of May.

But I respect its stubbornness.

That's all I have to say, really.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Here's the thing about social media websites that I really, really don't like: whenever a major event happens, it empowers the masses of people--whose opinions or updates on these sorts of things I really don't want to hear about--to offer some pointless sentence on the subject just because everyone else is commenting on it.

I guess I don't want to complain about it too much--because it probably does provide a use in spreading news to everyone (although really, there's better ways to quickly get that info aside from having my 2nd cousin write something about it (I don't actually know who my 2nd cousin is, but still.)), but I guess it's just something that's been bothering me for a while and now it's really popping up because THAT GUY has been killed.

Sample Facebook update that I'm just making up right now: "OMG. Bin Laden's been killed? Wow."

REPEAT THIS TIMES 100 AND YOU GET YOUR TYPICAL NEWS FEED AT THE MOMENT.

I suppose I don't mind if you have something interesting to say, but that seems to be the exception rather than the rule. Which I guess could just be explained by the fact that I have friended the wrong people, or that this just happens when people have access to a platform that allows everyone to share whatever the hell is on their mind.

I've probably been guilty about it as well, so I don't really want make it seem like I'm trying to single everyone else out, but... good gravy is it annoying.

I could just say, screw it... I'm done with Facebook and Twitter and whatever else there might be, and then never ever have this problem again, but unfortunately it's all so ubiquitous now that were I to remove myself from said venues, I'd essentially be losing all form of contact with a large majority of people. (Also, Facebook is usually a good time waster if you need to kill 2 minutes, so yeah...) So I don't really know what there is I can do.

Except grumble about it to no one in particular, obviously.

I'm a dork















...Yep.