Archive for December, 2007

This Is What Happens When You Find A Stranger In The Alps*

December 30, 2007

There was a time in my life when gambling on football was the only reason to watch the games. I don’t generally bet any more. I hate losing money more than I like winning it. Now, with mouths to feed, I can’t really afford to lose what little money I have after buying baby formula, Xbox games and what have you.

So when little children decide they are going to bet on the Titans against a superior team, and that bet is based on nothing but unrepentant homerism, I can’t pass up that kind of action. It sweetens the pot when the child’s mother decides she wants in as well.

Parenting is all about teaching your children the difference between right and wrong. In this case, betting based on blind allegiance to the local sports franchise is just wrong. Never bet your heart, son. Always bet the spread. You might just wind up eating chocolate pudding out of a diaper.

Mrs. Sarcastro was the first to suffer the indignity.

I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.

Mr. Football Expert got his next.

You’re killing your father, Larry!

He won’t even wear his Vince Young jersey anymore.

*If you have ever sat through The Big Lebowski on Comedy Central, you know what I’m talking about.

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Christmas Blasphemy

December 23, 2007

**Fairytale of New York banned. Then not banned. Clearly, the BBC is run by bundles of sticks. One day, Coble and I will duet on that tune at the imaginary Nashville Bloggers Christmas party.

**Speaking of bundles of sticks, my Fascist wife is enforcing the banned book list around the house. She went into my Amazon wish list and deleted all the atheism books, and probably a lot of stuff she just didn’t like, so that Christmas present buying relatives wouldn’t see them. She has specifically banned the latest by Hitchens. It isn’t allowed in the house. A more cunning and devious man might have checked it out from the Antioch library and be reading it at work. The AV Club has an excellent Christmas interview with Hitchens.

**Let me say this about the Led Zep reunion. Massively over-hyped and about twenty years too late for me to give a shit.

**I’m sure I probably saw the Star Wars Holiday Special when it came out, but like any traumatic childhood experience, there are some things so horrible that the conscious mind intentionally represses the memory of.

**In the battle between U2’s version of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and the Darlene Love version, I have to go with U2. If we were comparing a recording of one of Darlene’s appearances on Letterman, then I might change my mind. However, the original studio version doesn’t hold a candle to her high energy live takes. Phil Spector just murdered the arrangement.

**The in-laws gave me Stephen Colbert’s I Am America (And So Can You!) I’m sure they weren’t aware of the content. Within the first fifty pages, we’ve got a picture of what may or may not be Bob Barker’s testicles and gems like this

After criminals and babies, seniors are the most coddled segment of our population.

and

Arbitrary rules teach kids discipline. If every rule made sense, they wouldn’t be learning respect for authority, they’d be learning logic.

Get out of my mind, Colbert!

**Edward Razorhands, er, Sweeney Todd hit theaters this week. Has anyone else noticed just how much Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter resemble one another? Tim Burton is one sick freak.

**If you were shocked by the little Spears girl turning up pregnant about the same time she got her driver’s license, then you are even more retarded than she is.

**I leave you with Ricky Gervais’ brilliant rant on the state of celebrity from the Extras Series Finale. Watch the whole thing.

I Am Almost Legend

December 15, 2007

I took the children to go see I Am Legend last night.

Why?

Because it is important for children to worry about mutant zombie vampires, that’s why.

Now I’ve been following this movie for quite some time. The Chuck Heston version has always been a personal favorite since childhood. I read the Mark Protosevich script online and found it to be acceptable, but for a troubled third act. It did not bring me joy to find out that the hackiest hack who ever hacked out a screen play, Akiva Goldsman, was brought on as a new writer. Nor was I pleased to find out that Will Smith was going to be playing Robert Neville.

My impotent and pointless objections from a few years ago to this news can be found here.

Pointless because this film exceeded my expectations. It isn’t great, but it’s good. As we left the theater, the boys and I agreed it was a solid B+. A couple of hours later, they upgraded it to an A-.

Here’s my only real complaint(s):

Minor spoilers follow.

The worst knock I can give this movie is that the CGI zombie vampires look like shit and aren’t that scary. Sure, they are creepy when it is dark and you can barely see them. But, when you get a good look at them, even Jar Jar Binks thinks they look lame. If you have seen any of the Brendan Fraser Mummy movies, you will feel a slight twinge of deja vu. The infected from the 28 Days/Weeks Later films are far scarier, because they were REAL PEOPLE. Trust me, there is a palpable sense of menace when a flesh and blood person is after you instead of something that the audience knows is essentially just ones and zeros. A couple of minor edits to the code and you’ve got the penguin from Happy Feet.

As an aside, we watched Transformers last night after getting back from the picture show. By comparison, Optimus Prime looked far more real than the mutant zombie vampires.

The Bob Marley stuff was a nice touch. Except, when you realize that the album that Smith is listening to is Legend. That’s when you start to groan audibly and can actually see Goldsman’s filthy prints all over the script.

The other example of his hackery is the butterfly plot device. The less said about this the better.

The third act is still problematic, but is an improvement over earlier drafts. My biggest gripe is that the title of the movie is fairly meaningless with the redaction of an important part of the original plot.

Taken without the context of the novel, it is still a good movie. The kids were scared through most of it and talked about it for hours afterwards. Hell, they are still talking about it this morning.

Now, at least they have a point of reference when I go on about our survival plans for after the mutant zombie vampire apocalypse.

Blood Simply

December 13, 2007

This is going to be a rare public service announcement.  Don’t act so shocked.

I would like to urge all three of my readers to donate blood platelets  at your earliest convenience.

Cancer patients, those receiving  organ or marrow transplants,  victims of traumatic  injuries, and patients undergoing open heart surgery require platelet transfusions to survive.

Many of you know someone who has one of the above mentioned medical conditions.  If you have ever wondered how you could help.  This is it.

I try to give platelets once a month.  You are allowed to give up to 24 times a year.  It takes about two hours for the blood to get sucked out of your body, the platelets to get filtered out, and the blood to be put back in.  It’s very similar to what Keith Richards does before getting up in the morning.

They have a DVD library and televisions with headphones set up for you to enjoy while the apheresis  is taking place.  I was planning on a morning of watching The Big Lebowski and my precious bodily fluids draining out, but Sarcastro, Jr. is running a fever.   It’s sick kid duty for me!

Contact the Red Cross and see if you can help them out.

Know Your Obscure African Capitals

December 12, 2007

The latest internet time sucker to completely take hold of my limited free time is the Traveler IQ Challenge.

Play at your own risk.

You are given a map of the world and asked to click on a specific city while being timed. Where you click is then measured off in kilometers from the actual place and added to your bonus for being a speedy clicker. It gets progressively harder.

I usually top out at level 11

Forgotten Haiku

December 5, 2007

Heather Mills

Cry me a river 
Pegleg the Gold-Digging Whore
Go work at IHOP 

Prevent Animal Cruelty

December 4, 2007

Come get this goddamn cat. Seriously. Free to a good home. Ok, I don’t care if the home is good or not. We are not a three pet home. Union rules dictate that in the case of pet layoffs, the newest pet has to be let go first.

That would be this one.

Disney’s <i>That Goddamn Cat</i>

He’s a nice enough cat, but he is an agent of chaos and must be eliminated.

Drop me a line or he gets dropped of at the discount Chinese food restaurant.

Oh Noes!  I be dead soon!

Headline Haikus

December 2, 2007
Hillary Clinton
Former First Lady
Democratic Front Runner 
You make my skin crawl 
 
Rudy Giuliani 
America’s Mayor
Endorsed by Pat Robertson
You lost my vote, pal 
 
Barack Obama
Endorsed by Oprah
If not for your skin color
Would anyone care?
 
Mitt Romney
You have five adult sons
And support the Iraq War
Send the neighbor kid 
 
Mortgage ‘Crisis’
Bad loans and defaults 
No one likes “I told you so” 
But, I told you so 
 
 Return of Imus 
Turkey-necked old fart
Welcome back to radio
Nappy headed ho’s
 
British teacher in Sudan 
Muhammad the Bear 
Muslim fanatics urge death 
Religion of Peace 
 
Evel RIP
Snake River Canyon
You were in the pantheon
Of childhood heroes