Saturday, December 31, 2005

Yes, yet another blog is linking to "Lazy Sunday"



The most surprising thing of last night wasn't LSU's complete dominance of Miami (even though that was sweet, ACC bizzos). No, the most shocking fact was that out of the group of folks I was with, at least half of them had yet to see the brilliant "Lazy Sunday."

The short video, which is the first creative and hilarious thing to come out of "Saturday Night Live" in years (except for my homey, of course), has seemingly been linked to on every blog already.

I realize that most of you have already seen it 100 times. I'm not posting it to be fresh or original. But on the off-chance it's passed you by, now you can watch what all the cool kids are watching.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday Random 10: The New Batch

It's amazing how quickly I've fallen back into my old routine: go to bed at 3, wake up at 10:30, don't get dressed until,... well, dinner sounds about right. After months of working and tackling classes at the same time, I'm taking a little too much advantage of freedom. However, time is truly flying as I'm having fun, and I only have three more days of this before my classroom calleth.

I will enjoy them.

This is my first Friday Random 10 in awhile, so a quick recap for you newcomers: FR10 (what the cool kids are calling it) is an idea I stole from somewhere. With no edits for embarrassment or nerdiness, I list the first 10 songs that randomly pop up on my iPod. My twist to these shenanigans is added commentary, and the possibility that the songs have a psychic reflection on the weekend to come (like if the Georgia Bulldog fight song pops up, I should feel good about the Sugar Bowl. If "Straight to Hell" pops up, I definitely need to go to church).

Anyway, I think you get it. You're not reading this blog because you're dumb.

1) U2, "All I Want Is You"
Ah, back to Friday Random 10 regularity - Bono and Company. Of course, this song will always be the Reality Bites song to me, no matter how many times I hear it (it plays when Winona Ryder and Ben Stiller make out, if memory serves). Bites is a very underwhelming, incredibly dated movie that did use its music very well. I had a theory about it in high school, something that supposedly determined what kind of person you are. In the movie, Ryder is in a love triangle with jerk hippie Ethan Hawke, and soulless businessman Stiller. Who did you want her to end up with? Now that I look back on it, it's a pretty political divide - I'm willing to bet Republicans liked Stiller, and Democrats liked Hawke. I, as a rightie in high school, was definitely rooting for Stiller. Now, 11 years later, still conservative but independent with an increasing ferocity, I tend to think all three of them were insufferable asshats. It's my old age wisdom, finally coming to fruition.

2) Bedrock, "For What You Dream Of"
From the
Trainspotting soundtrack, and very fitting - the pulsing beginning makes you feel as if you're on drugs, and the awful vocals in the song's second half make you want to kill babies. I need to delete this bad boy.

3) R.E.M., "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"
Eh, I can stretch to find meaning here, but nothing is jumping out at me. R.E.M. is an Athens band, so does this portend a UGA victory? Or is it just a sad commentary on me returning to work? Or something I don't even know about yet? The mind boggles.

4) Karl Denson, "Family Tree"
Straight from the "Josh Wants To Learn About Jazz" phase of my life comes Karl Denson, a CD I own only because I interviewed Mr. Denson for the Athens Banner-Herald. I need to stop pretending, though - I'm just not cool enough to like jazz. In fact, I kinda hate it.

5) Andrew Lloyd Webber, "Think of Me"
Out of the 2,470 songs I have in my iPod, this song really just came up. Swear to the man upstairs. One of you will find this funny. The others will just think I'm gay.

6) R.E.M., "Texarkana"
Ok, it's obviously somebody is trying to send me an R.E.M.-related message. The opening lines don't help: "20,000 years will I burn?" Combined with "It's the end of the world,..." I'm not liking this. Oh well, as long as it has something to do with me dying, and not something serious like UGA losing the Sugar Bowl.


7) Lindsay Buckingham, "Holiday Road"
You know, the
National Lampoon's Vacation song. And don't pretend it isn't cool. Random, nerdy tangent: I was at Sam's Club a few days ago, and saw a DVD titled National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2, starring Randy Quaid. Now ignore the fact they are besmirching the classic Vacation title with straight-to-video crap with Cousin Eddie; I just don't get the logic of calling this Christmas Vacation 2. I mean, wasn't the original Christmas Vacation actually part three of the Vacation series? At the very least, call this Another Christmas Vacation or something. It's just like Rambo III being the third part of the First Blood series. I mean, there's no movie out there called Rambo for Rambo III to be the third part of. It's First Blood III, dammit! Sadly, this kind of stuff keeps me up nights.

8) Outkast, "Xplosion (featuring B Real)"
No real commentary here, except I want to one day record a song featuring B Real. That would be dope.


9) Josh Massey, "Workin' Dem Hoez (featuring B Real)"
I just wanted to see it written out. Damn, that looks cool.

10) Moby, "We All Are Made Of Stars"
I went to three concerts in 2005 - Hootie & the Blowfish, U2 and Moby. Obviously Hootie was amazing (and once again, I'm not kidding), U2 was U2, but the real surprise was Moby. I actually am not that huge of a fan, but it turns out my ol' bud Luci played keyboards for him on his latest tour. I met Luci well before her days of fame and glory, in Edinburgh, Scotland through mutual friends (we had actually gone to the same college, but had to go to Europe to actually meet). Luci introduced me to the Scottish club scene, something that yet again proves Americans are very young and, well, sorta posers when it comes to this kind of stuff.

Anyway, one night I'm waiting for Luci in this LOUD, completely insane club, standing against a wall with my eyes temporarily closed (I was one of those American posers, remember). I feel a tap on my upper arm, and open my eyes. Nobody there. I look right, I look left - and nothing. I close my eyes again. Another tap. Look right, look left - nothing. Look down,...

Pause the story right here. Imagine a chick dressed to do some seriously wild clubbing - her originally blonde hair is three different shades of purple with five different brands of hairspray within, her backless shirt showing the crack of her ass, her cleavage pouring out of a low-cut top, and her eyes showing a vibrating hint of ecstacy use... Now imagine that same girl as a midget.

"Hello, big boy." She shook my hand, I shook her,... paw? She introduced herself, I did likewise. "Do you have a kiss for me?" My jaw dropped almost far enough to hit the top of her head. "A kiss?" I asked. She verified I had heard her correctly, and reiterated her request. I fought out of my cloud of confusion, leaned down and kissed her on the cheek. She smiled, her eyes fluttered (not her eyelids, but her actual eyes), and she walked off. I look up, only to see Luci staring at me, having just seen me kiss a midget.

There wasn't really anything that needed to be said. We left it alone. Which was for the best.

Not so hot'lanta

Typically, I'm damn proud to be from Atlanta. Having been in 45 states and hundreds of cities, there really isn't any place I'd rather live. I've been here since the day of my birth, and nobody's given me a good enough reason to leave yet.

Today, though,... for shame, Atlanta. For shame.

Atlanta will be hosting this weekend's Sugar Bowl parade, typically held in New Orleans but moved for obvious reasons. And, as can happen from time to time, the Bible Belt has tightened up a few notches. From the article:

However true to Cajun tradition Saturday evening's parade turns out to be, it won't have beads. Along with open containers of alcohol and women baring their breasts, the plastic mementos apparently didn't make the cultural transfer from Bourbon Street to Peachtree ... No booze. No breasts. And no beads.

That said, this quote is hilarious:

"People take themselves too seriously here," he said. "In honor of all the victims of Hurricane Katrina who are here, we should waive all our moralistic opinions for a day and let them have their fun."

That reminds me of when I kept my penis out for an entire day in memory of 9/11. It was the least I could do.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

'Tis the season for a good soul cleansing

I had a dream last night.

In it, I had to report back to school this morning. People have told me the holiday break flies by, but that was ridiculous. I dreamed not of being at school, or spending time with the kids again - but of the 7 a.m. drive there. The radio was clearly on sports talk, the temperature was definitely cold, and I spent the entire dream grumbling under my breath about having to return to work.

Yep, on the "dream excitement" scale (where 1 is "9-year-old cousin's birthday party" and 10 is "Jell-O wrestling with Alexis Bledel backstage at a U2 concert with play-by-play announcing by James Earl Jones"), this was clearly a negative 4.

Thankfully, I woke up bright-eyed at 10, with a full 12 days to go before my alarm clock gets set once again. It turns out that, yes, I still have more than enough time to accomplish my...

10 Goals of Christmas Break


1) Write a personal letter to each of the 5th grade students, telling them how special they are to me.

2) Finish my long overdue book of love poetry, a particular passion of mine for a couple of years now.

3) Make my own Christmas tree. Of roses.

4) Work at least 10 hours in a homeless shelter.

5) Heck, adopt a homeless person.

6) Read a book to some senior citizens.

7) Watch Titanic, and cry my eyes out like the sensitive soul I am.

8) Totally ignore football, that brutish, ugly sport.

9) Write a song, dedicate it to Grandma.

10) Read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. For the fourth time.

None of this should take any of you by surprise, mind you. This is how I like to spend all of my free time.

...And I promise this has nothing - NOTHING - to do with the hot girl who recently told me she reads my blog. Promise.

NFL.com is on the case

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

C'mon Showtime!

"I've got this Christian girlfriend now, and she's trying to get me to be a better man, and reconnect with my son. And I'm trying to get her to renounce God and fuck me. And I just want to prove to her that I'm worth it!"

- Gob, on last night's "Arrested Development." Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's a Netflix world, and I'm just livin' in it

Today is December 18th, and I - the former movie dork, critic and theater employee - saw just my ninth theatrical movie of 2005 yesterday. I would see upwards of 70 movies in theaters in the late '90s! Granted, most of them were free, but it's obvious the advent of DVD - and more specifically, Netflix - has driven my moviegoing desire into the ground.

In the past few days, I've been able to relax on my own couch and watch Fantastic Four, The Dukes of Hazzard, Woody Allen's Melinda & Melinda, Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist, Jet Li's Unleashed, and the new Bad News Bears. And if I had actually paid $8.50 to see any of those pieces of shit - and yes, all of them were fucking awful - I would be livid. Instead, I just pop them back in the Netflix envelope, and wait patiently for my next disc of "The O.C." to arrive.

Here are the nine movies that got me to pay for a ticket this year. Looking at the list, there are actually only six that were my choice to go see. Two of them were dates, and one of them I went to see with my students - I'll let you figure out which is which.

1) Hitch
2) Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
3) Batman Begins
4) Wedding Crashers
5) War of the Worlds
6) The 40-Year-Old Virgin
7) Flightplan
8) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
9) The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

That said, I'll probably add a few more in the next couple of weeks, now that I'm on my "vacation" from teaching. I'm not waiting until DVD to see King Kong, Munich, The Family Stone and, yes, Brokeback Mountain.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Developmentally challenged

Sorry for the absence of late,... I know so many thousands of you depend on me for a little workplace relief. Well, I'm happy to say, output will soon improve. My classes are over for the semester as of yesterday, and I'm about to get a paid three-week vacation from work (there are perks to being a 5th grade teacher, besides the six figure salary).

For now, though, as my kids begin to file into the room, let me leave you with some potentially very good news.

Never Nudes, rejoice.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I am bold and beautiful, but...

With my right hand on a stack of Bibles and my left hand holding truth-telling scissors next to my nuts, I promise the greatest, most heart-wrenching promise anybody on this great planet has ever made.

This is not me.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Classic Kong

From Variety, the original March 7, 1933 review of King Kong.

But after the audience becomes used to the machine-like movements and other mechanical flaws in the gigantic animals on view, and become accustomed to the phoney atmosphere, they may commence to feel the power.

That's an interesting comment. We tend to think 1933 audiences were so blown away by special effects, they didn't even notice it didn't look real. Obviously, '30s audiences were quite familiar with suspending their disbelief, something we don't have to do as much of today (I'm still convinced they found a real T-Rex for that jeep scene in Jurassic Park).

Plus, even the supposed classics like the original King Kong - something that seems critically untouchable today - had their detractors back in the day.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Paging Dr. Darwin

From the AJC:

Rapper Kills Himself With Pen Gun

ST. PARIS, Ohio — Steven Zorn had put the pen gun to his head and clicked before, apparently thinking it was jammed and would not work.

But on the third try, the tiny silver pistol went off as the 22-year-old budding rap artist was drinking to celebrate an impending record deal. He died at a hospital.

The Nov. 18 shooting at Zorn's home in this rural village of 2,000, about 50 miles northeast of Dayton, is believed to have been accidental, according to family, friends and law enforcement officials.

"Steven had a career and his dreams all ahead of him," said Zorn's mother, Lisa McCoy-Horn. She said she wants lawmakers to outlaw pen guns, which are small-caliber, single-shot weapons that resemble pens.

Let's run through the mind-blowing (pun intended) aspects of this one-by-one:

1) A rapper died from a gunshot wound. Hardly surprising in itself, but rappers usually have the good sense to aim the barrel away from themselves. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I think this might be the first self-inflicted rapper bullet wound. Those are usually reserved for the indie rocker set.

2) Somebody out there actually makes a gun that look like a pen. In fact, thanks to Google image search, we can all see what one looks like:



I mean, I'm not a gun control-minded guy. Hell, I'm a gun owner myself. But THAT is pretty fucking absurd. Why don't they just go ahead and market it as "The Assassinator."

3) Somebody out there actually buys guns that look like pens. Aren't guns, when not being used for actual protection, supposed to help guys feel better about their small dicks? I mean, I know that's what mine is for. And while I'm not a card-carrying member of the gangsta community, I have to assume the same policy goes there. Who's going to actually take out one of these and attempt to, uh, represent - or whatever the fuck the word is these days?

"Yo bitches, I'm gonna pop a Bic in yo' ass!"

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"That's no moon."

A Canadian government official recently said we should start preparing ourselves against galactic invasion.

Some laughed. I didn't.

Fark everybody

I may not have a girlfriend, social life, or, well, anybody that likes me,... but I did win a Fark Photoshop contest.

So suck it.

(I'm "jgm1976," by the way).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dawn is dead



There is absolutely nothing more cloying and vapid than talking incessantly about your fantasy team.

It's the absolute height of self-absorption, believing somebody really cares how your fake team did in some fake game against some other fake team, or how your fake draft with your fake players did in a fake league. Guys in bars fall particularly guilty to this societal crime, cornering some poor uncaring bastard, lamenting Clinton Portis's 2-fumble day, or celebrating the latest 3-TD effort by LaDainian Tomlinson.

Yep, absolutely nothing more cloying and vapid than talking about it. Well,... except maybe writing about it.

So you might want to stop reading now.

Three games into the 2005 fantasy football season, I was feeling disgustingly confident. My team - Asian Dawn - had run up a quick 3-0 record, winning by an average of over 17 points (extremely good, for the uninitiated). Quarterback Donovan McNabb had thrown eight touchdowns in that time (including a wicked 5-TD performance against DAve's team), making him the most valuable player in fantasyland. Second round pick Corey Dillon rushed for five touchdowns, and receiver Darrell Jackson had games of 125 and 131 yards.

Not a bad start.

In the 2 months since, Asian Dawn has gone 1-7.

Let's take a look at my first few draft picks, round-by-round.

1: QB Donovan McNabb. Current status: OUT FOR SEASON.
2: RB Corey Dillon. Current status: ALREADY MISSED FIVE GAMES, POSSIBLY OUT FOR SEASON.
3: RB Ahman Green. Current status: OUT FOR SEASON.
4: WR Andre Johnson. Current status: HEALTHY NOW AFTER MISSING A MONTH, BUT STILL SUCKING ASS.
5: LB Zach Thomas. Current status: OUT AT LEAST NEXT TWO WEEKS, POSSIBLY OUT FOR SEASON.

And a couple more:

9: WR Darrell Jackson. Current status: HAS MISSED ALMOST TWO MONTHS.
14: RB Cedric Benson. Current status: OUT FOR SEASON.
16: WR Charles Rogers. Current status: SUSPENDED FOR DRUGS, NOW GETTING SUED BY HIS OWN FUCKING TEAM. SERIOUSLY.

Now the real question: Who hates me more? God? Or you, because you read this far?

Friday, November 18, 2005

Friday Random 10: The Other Side



Last weekend was The Tailgate. This weekend is The Concert.

And then The Tailgate II.

Tonight will mark my fourth time seeing U2, the first since 1998. Any regular reader of the Friday Random 10 (hey, all three of you!) knows not a week goes by without Bono and the boyz making an appearance. Seriously, not a week. You can check.

In case you missed it the first few times I said it, let me repeat as well: second row, ladies. Oh, and my date was named one of Atlanta's 50 Most Beautiful People a couple years back. I can smell your jealousy through my keyboard, and believe me, the scent is sweet and tangy.

If I survive the concert and its aftermath, I am supposed to meet friends at 7:30 a.m. Saturday to head to Athens. Whether or not I am suitably conscious for such an occasion is up for discussion, but I should be alert enough to see my Bulldogs clinch an SEC Championship Game bid (also up for discussion: whether or not we actually deserve it). Even if I fall asleep at The Tailgate, though, at least I'll snooze in style.

Fear not, friends: at least you can take solace in the Superman Returns trailer. (Big fan of the Brando narration and Williams music, but the editing could have packed a slightly bigger punch).

1) R.E.M., "Superman"
Holy crap. That song really just came up. Just after talking about Superman Returns... and Athens. Color me a little freaked. If the next song is "Kryptonite" or that one Five For Fighting hit, I'm just going to quit here. And burn the computer and The Evil Spirits within.

2) The Who, "Baba O'Riley"
Phew! Or maybe The Evil Spirits didn't want to make things so obvious...


3) Gary Glitter, "Rock & Roll, Part 2"
Didn't ol' Gar' get in a little trouble a few years back, with some child porn or something? Yeah, that's kind of like Pete Townshend from The Wh... EVIL SPIRITS! EVIL SPIRITS!

4) U2, "Staring at the Sun (Sad Bastards Mix)"
I can be dishonest when I want to be, but so far this Random 10 is dead solid truthful. And anyway, how can I be mad at the E.S. if they're gonna play me some gettin'-in-the-concert-mood music? Even if Bono likes this song a lot more than I do.

5) U2, "With Or Without You"
Now we're talking. Let this one thing be clear: I have NO singing voice. None. It's just horrible. But for some reason, this song escapes my lips like it's coming out of somebody else's mouth (except the really loud part, which I could never hit). This is my jukebox song - meaning if I'm playing the jukebox, the bar will hear it - and I've had multiple people over the years say, "Damn, you can really sing" when I'm blaring this... only to be disappointed when I keep singing whatever song comes up next. I will be taking part in this tonight, by God - and maybe Bono will compliment me. Because, if you haven't heard, I'm in the second row.

6) Stereophonics, "Doorman"
I have this in a special iTunes folder, marked "Stuff I downloaded to make me feel 10 years younger."

7) Hootie & the Blowfish, "Old Man and Me (When I Get to Heaven)"
U2 is my favorite band to see in concert. Hootie is second in line, though. And no, this isn't supposed to be one of the humorous Random 10 entries.

8) The Bangles, "Everything I Wanted"
I saw Susanna Hoffs play a few years ago at Lilith Fair (free tickets and a photo pass, had a date - a female one - and did I mention the tickets were free?), but crime upon crimes: they stuck the former Bangles lead singer on a side stage. In-between Indigo Girls and Sarah McLachlan performances (again, free tickets), Hoffs strode out to a throng of - well, pretty much a throng of me. (Everybody else there seemed to be busy). And man, that chick still flatlines me,
Allnighters-style.

9) Eric Cartman, "Come Sail Away"
The studio version, from the "Chef Aid" album. Speaking of "South Park," be sure to catch last Wednesday's episode, in which the boys take on Scientology. It's not the funniest episode they've done, but it might be the most biting and dead-on target - which is saying something for this series. I'm just wondering if we'll ever hear Scientologist Isaac Hayes play Chef again - because let's just say that punches aren't pulled as far as that "religion" goes.

10) U2, "Elevation (Quincy & Sonance Remix)"
And on that note...

Update: Gary Glitter seems to have made the news again. And of course it isn't for anything good.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Review: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"



For a moment I considered putting a "full disclosure" on this review - you know, something like, "Full disclosure: I'm a 29-year-old guy who's read all six Harry Potter books, seen all three movies, blah-de-blah-blah." These are the pains I went through when discussing the first couple of movies, or when I was reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets while others were enjoying the obviously higher brow tastes of John Grisham and Dan Brown.

The truth is, though, millions of adults read Harry Potter now. Quite a large percentage of my friends - friends that aren't Dungeons and Dragons followers, mouth-breathing computer geeks, Georgia Tech students, or 12 - have read and loved J.K. Rowling's universe. Such a defensive disclosure on my part is no longer warranted. And this will be even more evident once the masses lay their eyes on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, easily - easily - the best film in the series so far.

This film is dark. Very dark. It's PG-13 for a reason. And there will be controversy when it hits theaters on Friday, howls from parents who will be even more convinced Potter-mania was concocted by Lucifer. Goblet of Fire is violent, it is relentless, and it is at times even scary for adults. Young children should not see this film.

You should.

This review will dispense with a synopsis. If you've read the book, there are few surprises in the film. If you haven't read it, you only need to know Harry is back at Hogwarts for a fourth year, and, well, as the new poster says: "Everything is about to change."

Fans of the book - and the film series, for that matter - need to prepare themselves for the loss of certain elements. Director Mike Newell (Donnie Brasco) has relieved the series of its more comedic and fantastical elements. The one liner-spouting ghosts are gone, the Hogwarts portraits rarely move or talk, and the book's weaker elements (Hermione's PETA-like work with house elves, the backstage drama of the Quidditch World Cup) have been discarded entirely.

For a movie that runs 2 hours and 37 minutes, it is shockingly lean.

Director Chris Columbus, who helmed the first two Harry Potter films, continues to be shown up by his successors. Newell does superb work, as Alfonso Cuaron did with 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. However, Columbus needs to be recognized for the superb cast he put together.

Getting good work out of Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith and Robbie Coltrane doesn't exactly require a Masters in wizardry, but casting an 11-year-old Daniel Radcliffe with the foresight of him becoming such a strong actor is no small feat. Rupert Grint continues to do good work as Ron, and, well, Emma Watson has developed into serious eyecandy for the Tiger Beat set (and pervy adults) - though truthfully she is the weak link in these kids' acting chain.

The real test now is being able to wait until June 2007 for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - or, really, until probably late 2008 for the better storyline of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (I am dying to see the last 15 minutes of that film). After initially misstepping with the selection of Columbus as the first film's director, Warner Bros. has righted this franchise's ship - better directors, vastly improved visual effects, and the innate understanding that as this series goes on, it decisively leaves child's play behind.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Friday Random 10: X-Men United

The Tailgate.

That's what you need to know about this weekend. My friends and I have been in the vein of white trash tailgaters these past 10 years or so. I don't mean we've had an SUV up on cement blocks or drank (strictly) PBR, but compared to other groups we've been - well, a little bit on the peasant side.

While other tailgates had satellite TV, catered food, beer and liquor flowing, official red UGA tents, and the assorted fun that comes with those luxurious things, we have been stuck with green tents that take two hours to assemble, a couple coolers full of some iced-but-not-quite-long-enough beer, Subway sandwiches or if we're really lucky some Sam's Club hot dogs, and a radio with no batteries.

Not this weekend. Oh, not this weekend.

In honor of the UGA/Auburn game on Saturday - or more correctly, in honor of the 7:45 p.m. kickoff - we have planned a monster party. No catered food before? Catered food now. No UGA tents? How about five of them this time? A broken radio? Let's roll up that TV and DirecTV satellite dish, brothas. And let's add amazing amounts of alcohol, various places to sit and rest (and sleep, perhaps later), and perhaps 30 to 40 of my closest friends.

Anybody in the Athens area, feel free to join the party.

1) Paul Westerberg, "Dyslexic Heart"
Singles came out when I was in 10th grade, and this is one of two saccharine, generic Westerberg ditties on the soundtrack... meaning, of course, they were my two favorite tracks when I bought this album in '92. Thirteen years later, my musical taste has moved ahead two spaces, just enough to realize that - wait! - Westerberg was just phoning it in here, and I really need to head over to Pearl Jam's "State of Love and Trust" to experience the best that CD has to offer.

2) U2, "A Day Without Me"
This is the continuing beauty of iTunes's "The Complete U2" collection. I've been a U2 fan for going on two decades now, and I now get the chance to rediscover old classics - like this 1980 track from the band's first album, "Boy." I probably haven't heard this song since the '80s, and its almost new to me again.


3) Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Who'll Stop the Rain"
Good classic stuff. Is it sacrilege to consider John Fogerty a better music writer than Bob Dylan? Whether you agree with that or not (and I just might), it is inarguably awful CCR never had a #1 single.

4) Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, "Can You Feel It"
KDTU is a cool little funk band I discovered when I interviewed Mr. Denson for the Athens Banner-Herald back in '99. If they visit your neck of the galaxy, you could do worse than check 'em out.

5) Mike Jones, "Back Then"
I'm having a flashback to the '80s. Not because of this fantastic semi-new rap song - it's pure-as-the-driven-snow-2005, bitch - but because I'm reading about shootings at movie theaters. I mean, I know 50 Cent doesn't exactly carry on Fred Rogers's torch, but do these thugs really think this is 1988? Are they walking around singing, "Colors - COLORS - colors - COlors - coLORS...?" Get Rich or Die Tryin' is from the director of fucking My Left Foot, for God's sake. At the very least, they can pop caps at The Fog. People who'd pay money to see that deserve to die.

6) Tupac Shakur, "God Bless the Dead"
I just picture a head-up-his-ass Nietzsche-obsessed grad student analyzing this song between bong hits. "If God is dead,... could he still bless himself? Woah." Maybe that's just me.

7) U2, "Elevation (Tomb Raider Mix)
Eight days until U2 will rock my face off at Philips Arena. Not to brag, or continually repeat myself, but second row seats await my sister and I - and its been a painfully long journey since we bought these tickets way back in March. This will be my fourth time seeing Bono and Co., and I am shocked to be able to say the band might be a better show now than in '92 (when I saw them twice) and '98. "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" is easily the band's best work since "Achtung Baby," and the so-far-ignored "Love and Peace or Else" is arguably their best track since "Desire."

8) Outkast, "She's Alive"
Mike Jones, Tupac Shakur and now Outkast. And yes, I'm a southern white guy who voted for Bush - twice. I am feeling a mighty big hankering for some Pat Boone, however.

9) The Dust Brothers, "Space Monkey"
From the Fight Club soundtrack. In 50 years, Best Picture winners A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Gladiator, and Million Dollar Baby will be mere footnotes to cinematic history, but people will still be analyzing, watching and discussing Fight Club. Allow me to breathe on my fingernails and wipe them on my shirt, but I called that about two seconds after a critic's screening. One of the few I got right (except I thought it would gross $100 million, instead of the $30 or so it did).

10) Kenny Rogers, "Through the Years"
Tangent time. Kenny Rogers is a good guy. His music is great, I watched his movie Six Pack about 300 times when I was a kid, he lives in the Athens area, and perhaps best of all, he has hired my brother to be his plumber multiple times. However, there are certain things that make me, well, take a step back and reevaluate things. Case in point: ol' Kenny was announced as the halftime entertainment at the UGA/Tennessee game earlier this year in Knoxville. Having never seen Rogers sing live, I thought it was pretty cool. So the clock ticks down to zero, we're excited because of a great field goal Georgia pulls off, and the crowd's buzz continues as the legendary singer makes his way onto the field... in AN ORANGE SHIRT!!! The guy lives in Athens, and he wears Tennessee colors onto the field? Quite frankly, his treachery was so heinous I didn't feel the least bit bad when the microphone messed up (and obviously it did, because the words "Tennessee" and "functioning technology" have never gone together). Kenny: you disappoint me, man. But keep hiring my brother.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Menaces to society

Back in the yesteryear of the early '90s, I was a junior in high school and worked for a movie theater. It was a minimum wage, absolute crap job, but I swallowed it for a few years because I got free movies and posters. (Yes, I was a dork then too).

One of the rare highlights of my AMC experience was an early summer day in '93. It was before the era of color mylars above every theater entrance; instead we had to put bulky block letters over each door - and there wasn't a lot of space. So for example, if you were looking for A League of Their Own, we might just put "League" above the door. If you wanted to see Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (and who didn't), you best look for "Jason" or "Final Friday."

When Menace II Society opened, we didn't have quite enough room for the entire title. Thus, "Menace" was all it said.

About five minutes into an early afternoon screening, the movie theater door banged open, and a white woman sprinted out dragging two little blond kids by their collars. She looked at me with death in her eyes, snarling, "That is the worst Dennis the Menace movie I have ever seen!"

Still, that's not as funny as this.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Friday Random 10: Cruise Control

Soon, someday soon, hopefully someday soon, I will realize I am no longer 19. I have a job, full-time and all that, and people actually rely on me from time to time. If I don't do my job well, others are affected.

Going to Wild Bill's at 11 o'clock on a Thursday night is probably not the best way to prepare for a productive Friday. On somebody else's bar tab, no less.

You should have seen us, though. It was the Masseys in action - my brother, sister and myself. Hard up for entertainment, we concocted a scheme where one of us would go to a bar, and 30 seconds later the other two would come up and ask for an autograph. The chitchat between star and subdued-but-still-gushing fan would be brief, and the two would walk off. It was just enough of a show for people to notice, and spend the next few minutes really trying to figure out who the "celebrity" was. Justin, in particular, had a girl literally grab his arm and turn him so she could see his face. She was dying to know who he was, and probably still is.

Wild Bill's is so big, we pulled the same act about five times. And even if it doesn't sound funny, I promise you it was.

1) Modest Mouse, "One Chance"
I'll take "Albums I Heard Were Good So I Downloaded Them For Free But Haven't Really Given Them A Good Listen" for $100, Alex.

2) Stereophonics, "Girl"
Well, Alex - let's just stay in this same category. For $200.

3) Pearl Jam, "Last Kiss"
Hilarious song. Just phenomenally funny.

4) Lou Reed, "Perfect Day"
A damn near perfect song. I've actually never made a list of my 10 favorite songs, but this would be in it.

5) R.E.M., "The One I Love"
Ok, it's killing me. Now I have to make a list of my 10 favorite songs. Maybe it's best suited for a post of its own - a Friday Not-So-Random 10, maybe. Just throwing some possibilities out there now though, the first ones that pop into my head: Other than Lou's "Perfect Day," let's see... Peter Gabriel's "Solsbury Hill"... U2's "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses?"... Boston's "More Than A Feeling"... The Beach Boys's "God Only Knows"... Bob Dylan's "Tangled Up in Blue"... Bruce Springsteen's "Thunder Road"... Elvis Presley's "American Trilogy"... Green Day's "Jesus of Suburbia." And "Freebird," of course (long version, even more of course). Yeah, I gotta do this. Coming soon.

6) Prince, "Nothing Compares 2 U"
Prince has evolved into perhaps the most revered musical figure of the last 20 years. I mean, people go freaking nuts over him. I think this is mostly due to the complete devolution of Michael Jackson, and the increasing battiness of Madonna. Still, the man is damn near mythic. Sadly, I was just a little too young for "Purple Rain," so my first real exposure to him was - yes, "Batdance." And no, nothing compares to that. Except maybe some cleats to the nuts.

7) John Williams, "The Emperor Confronts Luke (from Return of the Jedi)"
Maybe it's just wishful revisionist thinking, but wasn't being a Star Wars fan much cooler 10 years ago? I mean, I'm downright embarrassed to have this in my Friday Random 10, and I know I wouldn't have felt the same way in late high school or early college. It was trendy to like Star Wars, dorky to like Star Trek. And then George Lucas showed back up with his three shit prequels (yes, the third one was shit, just less so), and Star Wars fandom went the way of "Live long and prosper."

8) U2, "The Ocean"
It's a rare day when I speak highly of Jann Wenner, but his profile of Bono in the latest Rolling Stone is a phenomenal read (other than Wenner practically sticking Bono with a cattle prod to get some Bush bashing - unsuccessfully, I might add). And the interview is validating for me, as well - I've always been the rare U2 die hard who believes the "Achtung Baby" era is preferable to the early days of "Boy" and "October" (the latter easily being my least favorite U2 album). Bono also believes that, I was relieved to learn. So that means, of course, that Bono and I could so totally be best friends if we ever met.

9) Old 97's, "What We Talked About"
When I was entertainment editor at ye olde Red & Black, the mailman was like Santa Claus. CDs, videos (remember VHS?), and books would show up on a daily basis, all for free. Journalistic integrity wasn't my forte, so I accepted all of this with gleeful open arms. I probably was sent about 1,000 CDs over the course of my four years there - and an Old 97's album is one of the very few I still listen to from time to time. I think I saw the band in Athens, but haven't the slightest clue if they're still together today. At least they had one rockin' album. Update: a little homework reveals Old 97's still lives.

10) DMX, "Party Up"
Tangent time. DMX starred in a movie with Jet Li, so I feel this is somewhat-a-little-bit-not-really-but-I'm-going-to-do-it-anyway relevant. I just watched Li's Unleashed, and it has a fantastic first 45 minutes. I mean, just great. Good plot, Li kicks some serious ass, Bob Hoskins is hilariously sinister - and then Morgan Freeman is introduced. In every Morgan Freeman film EVER, even his "just give me mah check" performances like Hard Rain and Along Came a Spider, his eventual appearance steps things up about 20 notches. And yet Unleashed comes to a crash test dummy-level stop when Freeman shows up. It isn't his fault, not in the least. But his storyline - he's a blind piano tuner who takes in Li's man-child character for absolutely no discernable reason - is just awful, plus he's saddled with a "stepdaughter." The girl is supposed to be 18, but they hired an actress who appears 30 - and acts like a retarded 12-year-old. It was the worst casting decision in years, with the possible exception of Joel Schumacher's The Phantom of the Opera (the phantom, even with scars and completely batshit crazy persona, was better looking and more likable than the simpering male "hero"). I hated this girl so much it completely and single-handedly destroyed the movie for me, and with it Freeman's scenes (because she's in almost every one of them).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Jesus is magic

"When I was in high school, I went out with my father's best friend. And that's embarrassing, you know,... my father having a 14-year-old best friend."

Jimmy Kimmel is one lucky bastard.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The subtleties of being a Dawg

At least something good came out of the Georgia/Florida game...



Speaking of UGA, Wikipedia offers a helpful list of euphemisms for "The Shocker." Read at your own risk.

* "Dos en el rosado, y uno en el morado."
* "Going to town, with one in the brown."
* "The Muckfish."
* "Two at Yale, one at Brown."
* "Two in her rut, one in her butt."
* "Two in the 'ooh la la', one in the caca."
* "Two in the baby maker, one in the patty caker."
* "Two in the bird, one in the turd."
* "Two in the boat, one in the moat."
* "Two in the bush, one in the tush."
* "Two in the cake, one in the pudding."
* "Two in the camel toe, one in the anal hole."
* "Two in the cat, one in the shat."
* "Two in the cheese, one in the whiz."
* "Two in the chute, one in the glute."
* "Two in the clanker, one in the spanker."
* "Two in the coin slot, one in the balloon knot."
* "Two in the condom muncher, one in the donkey puncher."
* "Two in the coot, one in the boot."
* "Two in the cooter, one in the poop shooter."
* "Two in the cooter, one in the pooter."
* "Two in the cootie, one in the booty."
* "Two in the crack, one out back."
* "Two in the creamer, one in the steamer."
* "Two in the crown, one in the brown."
* "Two in the cummer, one in the bummer."
* "Two in the curtains, one in the hurtin's."
* "Two in the flaps, one in the craps."
* "Two in the flower, one in the mud."
* "Two in the fowl, one in the bowel."
* "Two in the farker, one in the cucker."
* "Two in the furry, one in the curry."
* "Two in the gap, one in the crap."
* "Two in the gash, one in the ass."
* "Two in the gear, one in the rear."
* "Two in the go, one in the no."
* "Two in the goo, one in the poo."
* "Two in the grass, one in the ass."
* "Two in the gum, one in the bum."
* "Two in the gyney, one in the hiney."
* "Two in the hair, one in the derriere."
* "Two in the hair pie, one in the brown eye."
* "Two in the hanus, one in the anus."
* "Two in the hole, one in the... other hole."
* "Two in the hoo hoo, one in the poo poo."
* "Two in the hooty, one in the booty."
* "Two in the hump, one in the dump."
* "Two in the I see what you did there, one in the loo."
* "Two in the jam, one in the ram."
* "Two in the kitty, one in the shiatty."
* "Two in the lube, one in the tube."
* "Two in the meat pie, one in the brown eye."
* "Two in the meat, one in the seat."
* "Two in the monkey, one in the chunky."
* "Two in the muff, one in the rough."
* "Two in the mung, one in the bung."
* "Two in the num num, one in the bum bum."
* "Two in the one, one in the two."
* "Two in the pee, one you can't see."
* "Two in the pink, one in the stink."
* "Two in the pink, one in the doo doo hole."
* "Two in the pie, one saying goodbye."
* "Two in the pookey, one in the dookie."
* "Two in the poon, one in the moon."
* "Two in the pumper, one in the dumper."
* "Two in the queefer, one in the reefer."
* "Two in the randy, one in the dandy."
* "Two in the saddle, one in the paddle."
* "Two in the sexit, one in the exit."
* "Two in the skank, one in the stank."
* "Two in the slit, one in the shiat."
* "Two in the slime, one in the crime."
* "Two in the sludge, one in the fudge."
* "Two in the slut, one in the butt."
* "Two in the slutter, one in the poop cutter."
* "Two in the snail, one in the tail."
* "Two in the snapper, one in the starfish."
* "Two in the split, one where she shiats."
* "Two in the taco, one in the guaco."
* "Two in the taint, one in the ain't."
* "Two in the tank, one in the bank."
* "Two in the tart, one in the fart."
* "Two in the thump, one in the rump."
* "Two in the trap, one in the crap."
* "Two in the treat, one in the seat."
* "Two in the track, one in the back."
* "Two in the twat, one in the brown spot."
* "Two in the vagina, one in China."
* "Two in the valley, one up the alley."
* "Two in the whore, one in the backdoor."
* "Two in the winker, one in the sphincter."
* "Two inside a woman's vagina, one inside a woman's rectum" (medical terminology)
* "Two near the clit, one in the shiat."
* "Two where she humps, one where she dumps."
* "Two where she peeces, one where she feces."
* "Two where she menstruates, one where she defecates."
* "Two where you hump, one in the rump."

Friday, October 28, 2005

And I'm off

A couple of images for the weekend. One new:



One a couple years older:

Friday Random 10: The Next Chapter

The payoff of the rare Monday Random 10 - a Friday Random 10 just four days later. I hope you realize how lucky you are.

And even better, this is actually being written Thursday night. Cheating? I don't know, because some weird sense of honor prevents me from actually clicking the "Publish Post" button until midnight. So despite this being the thoughts of a guy living on a Thursday, they're foisted on the world in the proper 24-hour cycle. Do with that what you will.

Ok, ok - pardon the rambling. I'm just a bit juiced, as I'll be in Jacksonville in less than 24 hours. I keep hearing this moaning about Georgia's chances without DJ Shockley, but I can't join the chorus. Our coaches, while not the deities many UGA fans make them out to be, will fashion a different kind of offense for Joe to the T to the III, and our defense will be even more pumped to play Saturday than in weeks past.

Two things are take-it-to-the-bank, put-the-kid's-college-fund-on-it, the-media-will-continue-to-ignore-Rosa-Parks-was-originally-just-a- publicity-stunt-for-the-NAACP, rock-solid sure:

Georgia will win this game.

I will get drunk at the Landing.

Not necessarily in that order.

Three things.

1) Heart, "These Dreams"
Heart singer Nancy Wilson is married to Cameron Crowe, who recently directed Elizabethtown, which starred Orlando Bloom, who shares a name with a Florida city, just the same as Jacksonville, which is where the Georgia Bulldogs are about to demolish Florida's candyasses. Sorry, one track mind.

2) U2, "Lemon (Version Dub)"
No, never particularly cared for "Lemon." Of course, this remix is pretty good, only because you'd
never guess it had anything to do with "Lemon" from listening to it. Seriously, I bet they just throw a bunch of beats together and say, "Yeah, uh, let's call this one 'Staring at the Sun (Tranco Beatdown Saddlejockey Mix).' They'll never know the difference."

3) DMX, "What's My Name?"
And the correct answer is: "Joe T III, BITCH!"

4) Limahl, "The NeverEnding Story"
No, seriously - that song really just started playing. As for The NeverEnding Story - now, I am not a big fan of remakes. Well, I am not a fan of remakes the way Hollywood does them. They always remake good movies, movies that really don't need to be improved upon. Psycho, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Get Carter, The Longest Yard, etc. I know I'm not the first one to say this, but it would be such a better idea to remake bad movies, those movies that contained some promise, but for whatever reason didn't work out. I'm thinking of titles like The War, Punchline, Toys, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Family Business, and anything Richard Attenborough ever directed. These are all movies that might have had something had they been made by different people in different times. Hence, the remake. But no, studios are too busy taking the racial slurs and beer drinking out of The Bad News Bears to bother. Oh wait, I did say "As for The NeverEnding Story," didn't I? Well, as for that 1984 film, it is the rare case of a fantastic movie that absolutely needs to be redone. The story is timeless, but the effects are painfully dated, and, well, I'd just love to see what it could look like today. Keep the score, keep the morals, keep the exact same characters - and give it to a effects and story-oriented guy like David Fincher, who really could make a kick-ass children's film given the right material. If I ran Hollywood...

5) Air Supply, "Making Love Out of Nothing At All"
Let's move on...

6) Jerry Goldsmith, "Hoosiers (Main Theme)"
Somebody will eventually remake this movie. You know it as well as I. It will be a godforsaken tragedy. You know it as well as I. The persons involved will go to Hell. You know it as well as I.

7) Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Commotion"
Some good drivin' music. I'll have to remember this tomorrow.

8) Bon Jovi, "Bed of Roses"
I'll admit it, I thought for a second of skipping over this song and pretending it never popped up. But I can only look at it as a sign. Forgive the constant about-faces to the UGA game, but c'mon, Roses. ROSES! It's destiny... (I'm talking about the Rose Bowl, this year's college football championship game, for the uninitiated). Oh, and Bon Jovi kicks ass. It's true, I will always hold a special place for Jon and Co., because at their concert I saw my first set of boobs that weren't on the chest of someone named "Massey." I was in the 8th row, 12 years old, and this drunk chick right in front of me kept lifting her shirt during the show. It was phenomenal. I actually saw Jon Bon Jovi in Los Angeles about 12 years later, and almost - almost - went up to him and thanked him for that. I'm still disappointed in myself for not doing it. He would have probably laughed, only because he's cool like that.

9) Alabama, "Song of the South"
Man, another song that fits this weekend to a T. A Joe T, BITCH!

10) They Might Be Giants, "Sapphire"
Does everybody's iPod have about 500 songs they have never even heard, but only have because they're part of a larger album? This would be a primo example for me. Some day when I have 20 days to spare (like, maybe, the summer because I'm a teacher), I'll sift through them all and weed out stuff like this.

On to Jax.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Captain No Duh strikes again!

A WNBA star has come out of the closet.

And in similarly stunning news, Bill Gates announces he's rich, Michael Bolton admits he's white, Stevie Wonder reveals he's blind, and Rosa Parks refuses to stand up in her coffin.

Well, if I don't have a shot at WNBA players, at least I can still go after female softball stars and golfers. Them's all about the Masseynator.

"He was injured, injured bad."

Being an Atlanta Braves fan, my favorite commercial has always been the Greg Maddux/Tom Glavine "Chicks Dig the Longball" spot Nike put out in the '90s.



I mean, nothing has ever topped that.

Until now.

Update: Apparently it's not a new commercial. Here is an interview with the ad's director about it - from 1998.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Joke of the hour

Guy goes into a bar, bartender asks him what he'll have.

"Anything but a Budweiser."

"Why anything but a Bud?"

"I had a case last night and ended up blowing chunks."

"No shame, lots of people do that. What's the big deal?"

"Chunks is my dog."

Monday, October 24, 2005

Monday Random 10: Nerds in Paradise

Three days late, who knows how many dollars short (let's see if the Falcons can cover the spread).

Mucho apologies for the absence of Friday Random 10 - I could hear the wailing of virgins from miles away. Sadly, I headed straight to Athens from work on Friday and didn't have the time to regale you with witty bonmots about 10 songs randomly pulled from my iPod. I probably fell asleep 30 seconds after I got home on Saturday night, and Sunday was spent within the friendly confines of Russ and Brooke's wedding. (FYI: Sunday weddings are fine. Until Monday morning).

Anyway, my point: missing Friday Random 10 won't happen again. Or maybe it will.

Get well, DJ.

1) Macy Gray, "Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak"
I have 2,447 songs currently in my playlist. Some of them - well, I just have no idea how they got there. This is one of them. And no, it's not a untruthful defense of my love of crap music. I mean, I will gladly justify my iTunes inclusion of multiple Air Supply songs, White Lion, the entire "Miami Vice" soundtrack, and even a freakin' Bette Midler song. I just have no idea what happened the day I thought, "Yeah, Macy Gray. That sounds like it would hit the spot right about now."

2) U2, "Mysterious Ways (Apollo 440 Magic Hour Remix)"
As I've mentioned before, I purchased "The Complete U2" from iTunes earlier this year. It includes, well, damn near close to everything
U2 has ever recorded. It includes three complete concerts from various points in the band's history, every released album, every B-side, and remixes of almost all of the band's biggest hits. It's quite absurd, actually, but beautifully so. A quick check reveals I have 11 different versions of "Mysterious Ways" alone, including "Solar Plexus Club Mix," "Solar Plexus Extended Club Mix," "Solar Plexus Magic Hour Remix," "Tabla Motown Remix" and "The Perfecto Mix." I need this.

3) Hilary Duff, "Last Christmas"
Let it never be said my Random 10 isn't completely honest. I actually downloaded a few Christmas albums before my holiday party last year, and just haven't gotten around to delet... ah, fuck it.

4) Outkast, "Hootie Hoo"
I am all about Andre 3000 becoming an actor - the guy has charisma. However, my brother has to pick better scripts than Be Cool, which was the worst big studio film produced since Patch Adams. I'm sure Four Brothers was better, only because it really couldn't have been worse.

5) Frou Frou, "Let Go"
More Garden State love... although I downloaded this when I heard it on the original trailer, long before the "gotta have it to be hip" soundtrack was released.

6) Boston, "Amanda"
I've dated two Amandas in my life. Haven't felt the need to write a song about either one.

7) Mike Jones, "Back Then"
Very good - I mean very good - new rap artist. Check him out. Or most likely, you've already checked him out, because I get to all cool stuff about six months after everybody else.

8) Avril Lavigne, "How Does It Feel?"
Last week, Alanis. This week, Avril. Total embarassment: nada.

9) Eric Cartman, "Come Sail Away"
Be sure to catch the latest Hurricane Katrina-themed episode of "South Park," by the way.

10) Pat Benatar, "Invincible (Theme From The Legend of Billie Jean)"
Fair is fair! (Trivia moment: Fair is Fair was actually the film's title until shortly before its release). Why isn't The Legend of Billie Jean getting a 4-disc 20th anniversary DVD, by the way? Features can include a Yeardley Smith commentary, a documentary on how superhottie Helen Slater could fall for pimply-faced Keith Gordon, and an in-depth look at the film's super-subtle Joan of Arc message (just in case you missed the 40 times Joan was somehow mentioned). I mean, I still hum "Rebel Yell" when I'm in a shopping mall.

Monday, October 17, 2005

They're back!

Aggh! The towers have returned! And this time, it's personal!



Sorry, tasteless. Whatever.

Actually, in searching for that Rocky poster below, I found this cool little fan page dedicated to famed movie poster artist Drew Struzan. (Of course, Struzan has his own site as well).

If you were a movie geek at all in the '80s, it's a cool little trip down memory lane. And man, that guy did a lot of posters.

Burning heart, just about to burst

OK, if you put that age-old "If you could see only one movie this year,..." question before me, my answer is easy for 2006: Bryan Singer's Superman Returns.

Let's take that one step further, though, so I can make my point. If I could see only two movies in 2006,...

#2 with a bullet.

Seriously, make fun of this if you want. Break out all of the "He'll need a walker in the ring!" jokes. The truth is, four of the five Rocky movies have been damn enjoyable, with the first two actually being classics (rewatch 'em if you don't believe me).

Now will Rocky VI... er, excuse me, Rocky Balboa suck? It probably will, of course. Is there anything - I mean, absolutely anything - you can do to keep me away on opening weekend? Hell to the no.

Who doesn't want another one of these, really?...

In other news, Homer Simpson accuses Bush of being a cartoon character, and David Duke says the President is "just too darn white"

High comedy.

Some of the delegates applauded (Mugabe's) fiery anti-Western speech several times.

And liberals wonder what conservatives have against the UN...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

SI.com plays God

It's a truly sad time for the Atlanta Hawks, which lost 28-year-old center Jason Collier early Saturday morning.

Don't you think Sports Illustrated is being a little presumptuous of his afterlife destination, though?


Friday, October 14, 2005

Friday Random 10: The Smell of Fear

If you're cool like me, you already have your weekend planned out.

First, you're definitely headed to the Great Decatur Beer Tasting Festival tomorrow. Then, of course, you wouldn't miss the gridiron action of Georgia vs. Vanderbilt in the P.M. And finally, nobody can do without the musical stylings of Athens fave Mel and the Party Hats at East Andrews.

And finally, to round out your Sunday, watch my Atlanta Falcons whip a little New Orleans ass.

First things first,... let's get to the Friday Random 10.

1) U2, "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
A classic, to be sure. That said, if they don't play it when I see them in November (second row, bitches), I won't cry in my multiple beers. A song just loses a little something on the 42,323rd listen.

2) Zero 7, "In the Waiting Line"
From the Garden State soundtrack. Of course, having that soundtrack in my iPod automatically makes my musical collection a little bit cooler. Not that it makes up for my complete Van Hagar catalog, or absurd Hootie & the Blowfish obsession - I just said "a little cooler."

3) Pearl Jam, "Satan's Bed"
The question was put to me recently (in one of my many pop culture dork moments): What is Pearl Jam's best album? Of course, arguments can only be made for "Ten," "Vs.," "Vitalogy" and, well, maybe "Yield." I took the road less taken, and went with "Vitalogy." Upon listening to a lot of PJ lately (that's what the cool kids call them), I am comfortable with my choice.

4) Alanis Morrissette, "You Oughta Know"
Sadly, I can't get enough of angry Canadian girl rock. I'm not even embarrassed anymore to declare my love for A.A. - Alanis and Avril, of course.

5) Elvis Presley, "Always On My Mind"
My 5th graders didn't know who The Beatles were, but they all knew Elvis. Our society is still doing something right.

6) U2, "40 (Live - 1983)"
I still hear the stories of early U2 concerts, when they would close with "40" and the band would supposedly stay out a long time after Bono left. A couple older fans have told me the crowd would continue the song out of the arena, into the trains, and all the way home. I don't know if I really believe it, but it's a nice idea.

7) Indigo Girls, "Pushing the Needle Too Far"
I only learned this much later, but apparently I wasn't an easy guy to get to know in college. Multiple people have said to me, years into our friendships, "Man, I thought you the biggest asshole when we met." Only after beginning to understand my personality, sense of humor, etc., they began to warm to me. The Indigo Girls always remind me of this, because of something uber-journalist Erin McClam once said to me. Paraphrasing: "I thought you hated me, and so I hated you. But then one night, you got drunk and we sang Indigo Girls together - and you knew all the words! That was when I knew we could be friends." Of course, I don't know if that says anything positive about me, but it's out there.

8) Monty Python, "Medical Song"
Do yourself a favor and download this. Very romantic.

9) Outkast, "Aquemini"
Slow, cool, all Atlanta. Bizzos.

10) Ray Charles, "Hit the Road Jack"
Why do I feel racist every time I say the movie Ray sucked?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

"It's the end of your life, as you know it - nah, just kidding, you crazy kids! Good luck!"

Oh wow, how the mighty have fallen.

R.E.M is playing weddings now.

Has anybody actually heard of Kingpin's Bowl & Brew in Athens? And if it actually exists, why the hell have I NOT been to a place called Kingpin's Bowl & Brew?!?!

What kind of woman would have a wedding there, you ask? The answer: a perfect one.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Friday Random 10: The Year We Make Contact

By the time you read this, I very well might be in the lovely (read: rancid wasteland) of Knoxville, TN. We're headed up there, obviously, to see my beloved Georgia Bulldogs open a can of nuclear-powered crotchshot onto the orange hillbillies. I remember my dear readers, however, and will wave goodbye with a commentary-fueled Friday Random 10.

1) The Pogues, "Irish Rover"
I plan to do my best Irish impersonation all weekend in Knoxville. Which only means, of course, being hammered. No original stereotypes here, thank you very much.

2) The Doors, "Light My Fire"
Eh, I have some Doors tracks, but I can't honestly claim to have listened to any of them in years. I'm just having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that the Doors movie is over 14 years old.

3) Bruce Springsteen, "Further On (Up the Road)"
In 30 years, will music lovers remember "The Rising" with its proper respect? Probably not, as "Born in the USA," "Born to Run" and "Nebraska" will overshadow it. Unfairly, if you ask me.

4) Brooks and Dunn, "Red Dirt Road"
As I approach 30, I find myself listening to more and more country. And not only new stuff, but Cash, Coe, Jr. and Willie. I'm turning into my father.

5) U2, "All I Want Is You"
This song, played precisely at the right time, with just the right touch, guarantees sexual intercourse. It's true.

6) Blue Oyster Cult, "Don't Fear the Reaper"
As great as this song is, it's been indelibly linked (and nearly ruined) in my mind with not one, but two things. First, the obvious: the "more cowbell" sketch from "Saturday Night Live," which for some reason has suddenly become insanely popular five years after it aired. Second, the song was used to wicked precision over the opening credits of the Stephen King TV movie "The Stand." Basically, I just can't appreciate the song on its own merits anymore.

7) The Dust Brothers, "Hessel, Raymond K."
From the Fight Club soundtrack. It works better in the movie.

8) Green Day, "Haushinka"
A fairly solid track from "Nimrod," which - if we remember honestly - everybody thought signaled the beginning of the end for Green Day.

9) Tom Rothrock, "Briefcase"
A cool instrumental track from an even cooler movie, Collateral.

10) Eddie Money, "Take Me Home Tonight"
Who is Ronnie, and who cares what she said? And why is a girl named Ronnie, anyway? Ok, ok - I'll stop pretending I'm hip. It's a bit surprising even to me, but I actually have three Eddie Money songs on my iPod - this, "I Wanna Go Back" and "If I Could Walk on Water." You're lying if you say you don't know every word of those songs.

Does the FR10 prognosticate anything for the UGA/UT outcome? "Red Dirt Road,"... well, the Dawgs are red. And the Volunteers will definitely have to fear the reaper. And my real goal is to have a sorority girl take me home tonight.

Sorry, I'm stretching.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Heroes of Katrina, Part XLII

"You just don't realize what done happened until the person next to you hits you and says, 'Well, you done did it.'"

God bless Jacquelyn Sherman - a Woman With a Dream.

Her home destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, she summoned her hope along with a treasured $20 bill.

"I was on the road to Kmart...,"

She was intending to buy food for her and her family. Food, that precious commodity for our beleagured Louisiana residents. And her thriftiness and consumer smarts were evident - oh no, she didn't need the fancy food from Publix that we take for granted every day. Instead, she would get by on whatever K-Mart dubbed the blue light special that week. The blue light special of survival.

"...and decided to stop at the casino."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Tasteless, offensive, topical

I can't decide. Is this funny?



Personally, I'm inclined to think, well, of course it is.

By the way, it's one of the many T-shirt designs brought to you by the fine people at T-Shirt Hell, creators of the infamous "What about all the good things Hitler did?" tee. Their most recent design is the Mardi Gras-inspired "Flash Me For Food & Water."

Polley wants a crackdown

Even though I've seen Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen a couple of times, I guess it's always escaped my attention that the little girl was played by Sarah Polley (Dawn of the Dead, Go).

It's safe to say Polley has never forgotten, however.

Little children have enough trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Now imagine going through those self-doubts on, of all places, a Terry Gilliam set. What we remember and how we remember it often doesn't jibe with the truth, but Polley probably isn't overreacting when she reveals her emotional scars.

Monday, October 03, 2005

"Walk" this way

My favorite movie poster of the year:



Classy, no? And I gotta say - love Reese as a brunette. Let's just hope this Johnny Cash biopic is better than last year's wildly overrated Ray.

Goosed

"(Jeff) Daniels is sweet. He recalls his squeamishness on learning that Anna Paquin, who played his daughter in the save-the-geese weepie Fly Away Home, had been cast as his sort-of love interest in Squid. When they had to shoot a short sexual encounter, he says, "we tried not to think about ... you know, geese."

- From a pretty good Time Magazine feature on Daniels, one of those actors you like a lot more than you think.

Dumb and not-so-dumb jocks



A couple of weeks ago, I accused Minnesota Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper of being a dumbass. It's nice to be proven right.

Before the NFL draft, each potential player takes the Wonderlic Personnel Test, a standardized 12-minute 50-question problem-solving exam. These scores are used to help gauge the mental toughness of athletes, and will sometimes greatly affect where a player is picked.

Out of 50 points, Culpepper scored 15. On his third try.

Other interesting scores:

Eli Manning (39) - Well, that's obvious just looking at that picture, isn't it?
Brock Berlin (13) - Berlin not only received a Miami education, but a University of Florida one as well. Quite frankly, I'm surprised he remembers to breathe.
David Greene (21) - Uh, a misprint, I'm sure.
Casey Clausen (20) - Oh, thank God Greene beat him. Maybe Clausen had one hand tied behind his back, though.
Quincy Carter (30) - Really? Really?!?
Michael Vick (20) - I would think this is a little low, and then I reflect back to yesterday, when he broke a 25-yard run and dove headfirst at tacklers instead of sliding.
Donovan MacNabb (12) - Paging Rush Limbaugh. But before somebody sees this as an attack on black quarterbacks...
Jeff George (10) - ... I'll say it: the biggest waste in NFL history. This jerkass was blessed with the best arm I have ever seen, but couldn't spell "NFL."
Dan Marino (14) - Remember, he was drafted at #27, after QBs John Elway, Todd Blackledge, Jim Kelly, Tony Eason and Ken O'Brien. This score surely played a part in that - as well as his hard-partying reputation.

The only perfect 50 on this list belongs to third-string Rams QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, a rookie out of Harvard. Apparently, he's only the second person to do it (the first being a punter, also out of Harvard, in 1975).

And the beatings will commence in 3,... 2,...

God, I hate celebrities.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Friday Random 10: Dead By Dawn

I'm feeling honest today - quite an irregularity. Here's my completely undoctored Random 10, no matter what embarrassing song comes up (there are a few on the ol' iPod). And semi-inspired by DAve, it's the first ever Martians Attacking Indianapolis Friday Random 10 Commentary.

1) The Smiths, "Girlfriend in a Coma"
So I downloaded this because it was supposed to be great, hip, etc. Quite frankly, I don't see what the fuss is about. But you're insane if you think I'm deleting it and putting myself in danger of not hanging out with the cool kids.

2) Prodigy, "Mind Fields"
Prodigy takes me back to a much earlier time in my life, an ecstatic time if you will.

3) The La's, "There She Goes"
From the So I Married An Axe Murderer soundtrack. And that, dear friends, is the only time you will ever see So I Married An Axe Murderer mentioned on this blog.

4) U2, "Gloria"
Early U2 - and I'm going to U2 Hell for saying this - but this was actually before they hit their stride.

5) U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
Their stride.

6) Robin Harris, "Bebe's Kids (Side 2)"
If Harris hadn't died in 1990, Bernie Mac isn't a star today. Every one of Mac's early roles - Don't Be A Menace..., Above the Rim, Friday - would have been offered to Sweet Dick Willie first.

7) Van Halen, "Panama"
Or as my friend Dennis always thought, "Tearin' Em Up!"

8) Three Dog Night, "Eli's Coming"
I downloaded this for my dad, but keep it on there because it gives me a bit of street cred. With other 60 year olds.

9) U2, "Elevation (Influx Remix)"
Their fourteenth stride.

10) The Chemical Brothers, "The Big Jump"
Mmm,... ecstatic.

Eh, that was boring. I hesitate to even put the U2 songs in there, since not a Random 10 goes by without their inclusion (that's what I get for buying "The Complete U2" from iTunes). So let's cross out those U2 songs and add three more:

1) The Smiths, "Girlfriend in a Coma"
2) Prodigy, "Mind Fields"
3) The La's, "There She Goes"
4) U2, "Gloria"
5) U2, "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For"
6) Robin Harris, "Bebe's Kids (Side 2)"
7) Van Halen, "Panama"
8) Three Dog Night, "Eli's Coming"
9) U2, "Elevation (Influx Remix)"
10) The Chemical Brothers, "The Big Jump"
11) Strong Bad, "Circles"
12) Drivin 'N' Cryin, "Powerhouse"
13) Dave Grusin, "The Goonies (Main Theme)"

Ah, lesson learned: Ignore U2, the number 13 will bite you in the ass.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Coming soon

If you're like me, you sit around thinking things like "What if The Shining had been directed by Cameron Crowe?"

Read about it here.

Ok, after watching it for the fifth time, I've realized something that really bugs me. It seems they use only elements from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, but in fact they lifted something from About Schmidt. See if you can find it. I don't know, it just feels like a cheat, something that sullies the whole thing just a tad.

Geauxing to hell



Before Monday night's thrilling game between Tennessee and LSU (in which the ugly orange team beat the ugly yellow team in OT), apparently some of those poor, downtrodden angels of Louisiana expressed their frustration in the only way they knew how, the poor dears.

Their actions, only so obviously, included pelting the UT buses with beer bottles, rocking them, and cracking windows. And while I can get behind the impulse to damage Volunteer Nation in any way possible, I don't have to use my imagination to conjure up what these drunk Cajun hicks can be like.

My father and I were down in Red Stick for the 1998 UGA/LSU game, in which Quincy Carter made his name synonymous with Heisman - for about three hours, anyway. We took them down hard - the #4 team in the country at the time - and walked out with our heads held high. Granted, there were a few sincere "Good game, Dawgs" lobbed at us, but for every one of those, we had 100 things said that can't be printed here... the most memorable by a 16-year-old girl, in fact.

My father and I actually felt physically threatened a few times, as we found ourselves in the middle of some increasingly belligerent groups. I still don't know what would have happened if somebody had pushed me - or worse, my dad - but no matter what, we would have been very outnumbered. I've been in situations sorta, kinda like that, on a much more watered-down level (seen a couple in Athens, unfortunately), but that was the first time I'd witnessed raw hate coming out of someone's eyes and mouth just because a person liked a different football team. And yes, everything seems a hundred times more personal when you're with your father.

"We are working hard to address the problem presented by the small percentage of people who, by their actions, damage the reputation of an entire University," Bertman wrote.

Damage the reputation? DAMAGE the reputation? As anybody who has ever been to that sticky Hellpit can tell you, this only reinforces the reputation.

Al Qaida called Hurricane Katrina an act of God because it struck the US. I called Katrina an act of God because it struck Louisiana.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Oh so Atlanta



Krispie is making a little more noise than "snap, crackle and pop" these days.

"There are a million Tiffany Nicoles out there," she said. "There's only one O'so Krispie."

Damn straight.

The silence of her little lambs

Jodie Foster almost lost her famous cool in a cinema recently when she stood up to a woman who was upset about her young son's questions. The actress took her kids to see nature documentary March Of The Penguins and ended up confronting the bitter woman in front of her, who turned on her kid for quietly asking questions in the dark.

Foster recalls, "This woman went berserk. She started with the shushing from the get go ... and then she starts yelling at me. Finally, I just turn into the most perfect police officer where I was whispering, 'You know, you're really disturbing everybody, and I think it would be a good idea if you moved if you're not happy.' It almost came to blows. I'm pretty sure I did say something offensive at some point, something like, 'You're awfully young to be that bitter.' She really lost her mind. But I was insulted. I understand. I go to a movie, I don't want to be disturbed. But don't go to a noon Sunday matinee of a family movie. I mean, what do you expect?"


Um, Jodie, my little schnookums - I don't care if its a Sunday matinee, a Thursday late show, or Friday prime time presentation - if your kids are talking, it is YOUR JOB to get them to be quiet, or excuse yourself from the theater. If your children are prone to ask a lot of questions or talk in other ways during a film, stay home and watch DVDs.

That's such a typical attitude of today's parents. Her children are talking, yet she says the other woman is "really disturbing everybody." Her fellow moviegoer might have overreacted a bit, but I can't say I wouldn't have done the same thing.

That said, I saw Flightplan last night, and it might have been better if babies had cried the entire time.

Friday, September 23, 2005

A side benefit to voting Republican

A 4-day weekend.

Friday Random 10: The Island of Lost Dreams

Now this is what I'm talking about - freakin' Friday. This has been just a disgusting week in the life of yours truly. My trusty Honda failed me on Monday (I've had her since I was 17 - and yes, that is almost 13 years), and my replacement Caddy kicked out on me yesterday. My eBay account has been permanently suspended (long story for another time), my students have been testing all week and are therefore insane by now, I had two papers and a project due this week, and I haven't gotten a good night's sleep in at least a month thanks to long weekends spent in Athens.

This weekend, however, is MINE. Let me repeat: MINE. Most of my friends are going to be out of town, and as much as I love 'em, it's a relief. No plans, no commitments, no last minute phone calls I feel obliged to take. I'm looking forward to mowing my lawn, kicking back with some Netflix, and drinking by myself. If somebody wants to join me, I don't mind company. But realize: these days are - oh yes, they are mine.

1) Carter Burwell, "The Long Way Around" (from the Miller's Crossing soundtrack)
2) The Dust Brothers, "This Is Your Life"
3) Prodigy, "Funky Shit"
4) Creedence Clearwater Revival, "Proud Mary"
5) Tom Petty, "A Face in the Crowd"
6) The Bangles, "Where Were You When I Needed You"
7) Bruce Springsteen, "Working on the Highway"
8) Outkast, "Art of Storytellin' (Part I)"
9) The Chemical Brothers, "Left Right"
10) R. Kelly, "Ignition (Remix)"

Word.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

"Oregon" found; more beautiful, childhood-killing than expected

A quick correction to yesterday's "Oregon Trail" post...

It turns out today's "Oregon Trail" is actually much different than the ol' 1987 version of my dreams. When I played it a couple of years ago (the basis for my "it hasn't changed" sentiment), I forgot to consider it was at a fairly ghetto school, using computers that still relied on floppy drives. And not the hard floppys, but the bendy kind that looked more like square 45" records (computer nerds, if you feel the least bit obligated to make technical corrections to that statement, wipe the crusted Dragon Con make-up out of your eyes and take a long look into your D&D sticker-covered mirror).

I took my class to play the game yesterday - we're actually studying the gold rush and various ways folks traveled across the plains, so for once it's somewhat relevant. The "new" version is absurdly complicated, in fact - it took me 20 minutes to even get on the trail after buying all of my supplies. Not only do we have to decide between how many oxen, wheel axles and pounds of sugar to buy, but now players have to decide between an entire Publix worth of food, specific pieces of clothing down to underwear and socks, and non-essentials such as "candy" and "horses."

And though people in your wagon still die ("Mr. Massey" died in no less than 10 of my students' games - hopefully not on purpose), I managed to get "fired" from my job as trail leader. And that was the end of the game. Not one bout of cholera, a case of dystentery, or even a solitary shingle. Just a rash of incompetence.

It is the one place in American schools where students are still allowed to mention guns, however, so at least (for now) political correctness hasn't drained the flavor out of everything. Just give it time, I guess.

A screenshot from the new game:

One person gets it...

... it's just not the person I expected.

"Right now we need a president who will help. He's helping. I'm so grateful. Poverty and misery is humbling. I'm humbled to the core that this administration is helping the poorest of the poor. Why beat up on a president who's helping? When I'm calling around for willing hands, I'm not worrying about party affiliation. Like my aunt's a nurse. But she had no supplies. I called my friend Trent Lott, the senator from Louisiana. He got supplies to her. Kicking people who are working 24/7 to bring assistance? I don't think so. When I needed to relocate my family, some of whom were sick and on welfare, when I needed to find them housing, white people opened their hearts and homes. A Red Cross volunteer found my father. I've seen Anne Rice's house. It's in 5 feet of water. People, white and black, are reaching out to one another. If the government didn't act quickly, the people acted quickly. It's no time to play the race card."

- Donna Brazile, Al Gore's former campaign manager, in today's New York Post. I can forgive her, by the way, for one small error - Trent Lott is from Mississippi.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Strollin' down memory "Trail"



The creator of "Oregon Trail" comes out of hiding to answer our long-gestating queries about his superior product.

I am happy to report, by the way, that today's 5th graders still play "Oregon Trail," and even happier to report it hasn't changed much since 1987. I am not happy to report, however, I am slowly dying of dysentery.

Monday, September 19, 2005

"Excuse me, do these effectively hide my thunder?"



Public service announcement: The third season of "Arrested Development" - only the funniest television show ever - begins tonight (8 p.m. EST on Fox, check local listings).

If you haven't seen it yet ... I mean, what the hell? Get with it, cha-cha! The show could easily be cancelled if ratings don't improve, so do your part and spread the word.