Thursday, January 26, 2006

Everything is easy, baby

I have nothing particularly interesting to say. I'd like to believe that this happens only once in awhile, but the truth is that I pretty much live in a perpetual state of, uh, non-interestingness (case in point: I can't think of what word should go there). In the spirit of my inability to keep anyone's attention, I'm just going to lazily bombard all one of you with links. Enjoy.

CP shit: Ben's ghost, bathroom graffiti and Quizzo Bowl.

From Philebrity: Bar gets shuts down for owing the city $44 in taxes. The city is wack. They sent us a $600 gas bill because they combined the balance for my house with the charges for my friend's apartment (the bill is somehow still in her name from back when we lived together). The eff?

Picked up this book at the store the other day. Haven't started it yet, but Michelle seems to like it.

The Onion has been absolutely stellar in 2006. I can only hope to someday have two percent of the ability that these dudes possess. Some favorites here, here and here. Ooh, and this.

Liz challenged me to chronicle five bizarre idiosyncracies that I have and write about them, like she did awhile back. Quick background: Liz is the only person in the Pacific Northwest with whom I've ever communicated, suggesting (maybe conclusively) that it is in fact a real place. I've heard rumors of the Supersonics being actual people, and not just actors, but I was all like "For the love of Sebastian Telfair, I'm not that naive." I also heard that Irene from RW Seattle was just Rockwell in whiteface. Questionable evidence notwithstanding, Liz seems to be the real deal, unless she's just another cog in the machine of Left Coast deception. I don't trust you guys.

Rick Moranis released an alt-country album. I hear you can stream it off his website. The world will most definitely end tomorrow.

OKP review: Stiffed.

High school basketball shit (for my own lonely reference, don't bother clicking).

Saigon gets stabbed in the temple, takes a cab to the hospital because he doesn't want to get blood in his car. I love this guy.

Inquirer piece about Gary Neal. I know dude was acquitted of all wrongdoing, but this makes him sound like he's up for sainthood or something. Regardless, dude is fifth highest scorer in the nation.

Nastack hit us with this amazingness the other day. It's obviously P-Shopped, but that's okay.

Good piece on how excellent Public League players aren't going to UPenn (I wonder why...), but still shine in the Big 5.

I should eat a dick because I didn't like an album that much. I'll take mine medium rare. Puerto Ricans only, please.

I'm thinking about a Collegian piece entitled "You Are Not Bill Simmons." Gonna be about since Sports Guy is so revered, he's given thousands of fratty dullards the impression they can analyze shit on his level, leading to an influx of Blogspots overrun with unfunny attempts to compare Troy Polamalu to Men at Work's Business As Usual. Takes?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

I thought it was a nice round number

Finally reached the fiftieth post. Thank you to Michelle and my sister everyone that reads this nonsense. In honor of this generally unimpressive milestone, a few 50-centric links:

- This is old, but I just recently saw it: filthy rich dude throws a bat mitzvah for his daughter, 50 Cent (and Aerosmith, with Steven Tyler wearing his own band's shirt) performs. His company makes Fiddy's bulletproof vests. To commemorate young Elizabeth's entrance into Jewish adulthood, 50 wrote a personalized Yiddish diss track for Melinda Greenberg, Elizabeth's sworn enemy at Hebrew School. She spit hard from the pulpit (of the Rainbow Room) and came at her with shit like "er zol hobn paroys makes bashotn mit oybes krets" (she should have Pharaoh’s plagues sprinkled with Job’s scabies). Damn, Liz. The writer dug up some interesting dirt on dude, too.

- MJ wants to take his tots to the London premiere of Get Rich Or Die Tryin', but is worried for his kid's safety. Mike, I'm sure everyone in attendance will share your sentiments.

- 50's got a cousin named Two Five (also goes by Quarter). Who knew?

- Kung Fu Cinema with their top 50 list. Need to see a lot of these.

Josh recently launched Antishave 2006, a blog chronicling his decision to not shave for the duration of the year. You're an ambitious man. I hope to see the beard in full glory sometime soon.

Gerard originally put me on to this, the bizarre Toynbee phenomenon. Anyone seen these around the city? I've caught one or two. It's seriously baffling. I'm trying to write a piece on this shit for CP.

Interesting piece on how MLK would react to the war in Iraq. I thought it was pretty good, but I was really struck by the fact that Juan Cole slightly resembles Peter Weller/Robocop if he had hair. Link from OKP, who shouted me out on their news section yesterday. Many thanks.

So, my dude Erich apparently totalled his car the other day. Very sorry to hear that. Help him out by purchasing some of his excellent stencil canvases. Got talent, no? The Bruce Lee canvas is coming soon, as per my suggestion. I'm jumping on that shit right after I board the Broncos bandwagon.

Kobe and Shaq are friends again. Heartwarming shit. Of course, in true Zen fashion, Phil called it (real quick, take a look at those two pictures. Kobe's got the my-dad-is-the-coach cheese grin going, while Diesel's rocking the I-collabed-with-Fu-Schnickens head tilt). You know those two crazy kids couldn't stay mad at each other forever...I hope they move in together soon. Shaq said that he made the decision to end it after speaking with Bill Russell, who told him that he never hated anyone he played with or against. Of course he didn't- it's effing Bill Russell. The dude is probably close to canonization.

Anyway, I really enjoy Kobe's attempts at humble diplomacy, because they will always reek of megalomania, regardless of what he says: "We've been through so many wars together. Now, just be able to move on, try to do the best for this team, wish him the best in South Beach. I think it's good for the city of Los Angeles, good for the NBA, good for the youth, being Martin Luther King Day.'' Good for the league? I'd say so. But good for LA, and the always-vague "youth" demographic? I think dude is slightly overcalculating the dimensions of his sphere of influence. I don't really see how kids are benefitting from you ending a juvenile feud that went on for way too long. If this shit is good for anyone, it's me, the Sportscenter viewer who is tired of sitting through glitzy Kobe-hates-Shaq infographics before the highlights come on. If MLK happened to be resurrected today, the first thing he would do (after strangling the Ying Yang Twins for tarnishing his life's work) would probably be to tell the pride of Lower Merion to reign it in a little. Concentrate on making unbelievable plays and hitting effortless jumpers from every conceivable spot on the court, please.

Trapper Juan on the Sonny Boy site.

Went to my friend Ryan's surprise birthday party the other night. Good times. At it, Emynd admitted that he's lacked the inspiration to write lately. Go here or here to try and convince him otherwise.

Lou hates the PSP ad spots, and so do I. They're trying too hard. Many Philly residents feel the same way. I've only played one a few times, and I guess they're pretty alright. But what is the appeal of watching PSP movies? The screen is tiny as crap. Then again, it's bigger than my TV and computer display combined. My dude Jesse recently invested in a 32-inch monitor, and it's the biggest thing I've ever seen by far. It's the size of West Oak Lane. With his newfound resolution powers, I feel like Jesse is going to start World War III from his desk sometime soon.

Bol with a review of the only book I've read cover to cover in the last three years.

I've got issues with using "blog" as a verb. It just comes off real disengenuous.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I heart Hostelbees

Miike and Roth with their latest PSA for the Minnesota Logger's Union

Usually don't make one-topic posts, but this merits one. Here are a few reasons why
Hostel is the greatest horror flick I've seen in a long, long time:

- Eli Roth is one of the best horror auteurs in the game right now. The dude is truly aware of his genre and audience and understands the limitations and responsibilties that go along with all of it. A lot of people hated
Cabin Fever, but I was a big fan for a number of reasons. Excellent gore and Rider Strong notwithstanding, I really appreciated his recreated-shot homages to some of his favorite flicks, most notably the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre. And you really can't top the mulleted redneck kid doing kung fu while screaming "pancakes pancakes pancakes!" 'Twas twisted and amazing.

- It takes place in Bratislava. If you've got
Slovakian heritage, throw your hands up. Okay, I'll stop now.

- The creepy, creepy cameo from
Takashi Miike shows that Roth really respects the OGs of masterful film violence.

- Ever since the success of
The Ring, American horror screenwriters and directors have been on some "it's scarier if you don't show blood" shit. As a result, dozens of terrible PG-13 horror flicks have come out that truly blow (and, judging by the coming attractions I caught at the theater, dozens more are on the way). The problem is that this formula only applies to scripts and concepts that are actually scary, like the Ju-On series. Suspense trumps flat-out gore if the shit is well-crafted, but the simple fact of the matter is that this cookie-cutter approach has produced nothing but anesthetized, Americanized films (remakes and originals) that just suck. Eli's movie was old-school graphically violent because he wanted it to be graphically violent, and he didn't deviate from his plan once throughout the entire flick. That's the shit.

- Thanks to those quasi-witty instapundit VH1 and E! shows, the movie has made people realize how annoying Europeans must find American backpackers. Also, it's motivated my decision to never, ever, ever even remotely consider trekking around, Europass-style. Which is good, since I don't even have a suitable backpack.

- My dude Justin, with whom I have watched a great number of horror movies, admitted that he came close to passing out during several scenes. That's the mark of a good flick.

- Jay Hernandez surprised me with a ridiculous performance. Before
Hostel, my only exposure to the guy was the ridiculous MTV series Undressed (remember that shit?) and that Crazy/Beautiful flick where he gets straight A's and rawdogs Kirsten Dunst, much to the chagrin of her congressman pop. Jay kills it in this movie, no joke. Without ruining anything, I can say that his character's second-half "quest for vengeance" or whatever you want to call it sealed the deal.

- While it's not the most unpredictable movie I've ever seen, it's certainly less predictable than, say, Must Love Dogs.

- An insane bit part from
Rick Hoffman (who seems to draw from the Jeremy Piven school of Judeo-smarm) made the movie for me.

- Roth can write dialogue in the QT tradition without completely dickriding him. Kudos. Go see
Hostel, you bastards.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I want to always be on film

Corso doing his best Henry Winkler

I've watched a lot of NFL playoff matches and bowl games (mostly the Rose Bowl) in the past few weeks. If I gleaned one thing from all this sedentary activity (other than the fact that Vince Young is good), it's that football commentary is trapped in an irreversible period of decadence. It seems to me that a lot of dudes just don't have anything insightful to say anymore, and would rather rely on Madden-esque boilerplate instead of original/creative thought. The people that first come to mind when gauging the sorry state of pre- and post-game analysis are
Mel Brooks Lee Corso and Aaron Taylor. It should be said that the college commentary game is not even remotely comparable to the NFL approach (it's like sizing up the winners of a county-wide high school science fair with MIT grad students or something). Regardless, it's quite frustrating that they constantly state the obvious, even though saying that is, by nature, stating the obvious.

Before the Rose Bowl, one of Corso's "keys to the game" was that USC "establish the run." I don't claim to possess a
Claytonian grasp on the science of playmaking, but this strikes me as a complete given. When you've got Reggie Bush and LenDale White in the backfield, establishing the run isn't so much a tip as it is the impetus for USC's entire offense. While it's difficult to develop any new thoughts about a team like USC (arguably the most overexposed college football squad in history), is it too much to ask that these dudes sit down with pen and paper for a few hours and come up with some better shit? Then again, I'm not sure if these dudes write their own copy, but still.

Corso strikes me as an over-the-hill senile uncle type that has to be constantly humored by his young nephews (Herbstreit and Palko). Taylor's involvement is more or less sad, like the
KG commercial or the former star tailback returning to his high school to help coach JV games. If there's one shining beacon of credibility, it's ESPN's Sean Salibury. Let me just say that I love the dude. He eschews a varsity-QB-that's-still-nice-to-the-band-geeks persona, and his simply-delivered commentary is shrewd and easy to understand for non-Madden players such as myself. That's not to say that Salisbury is perfect; the flaws in his arguments seem to show up most strongly when he's doing that back-and-forth bit with the aforementioned Clayton. Every time I watch dudes argue, I feel like Clay Money is one quip away from having Salisbury reach through the split-screen and bang his bobblehead on the corner of a coffee table. If I was God (or a network exec), I would research the possibility of melding Salisbury and Clayton into one man, "If They Mated" style, creating an unstoppable T1000-like being that would feature all the duo's strongest characteristics and none of its weakest.

I really respect the writer
here for being the bigger man/woman and not using the all-too-obvious joke in the headline.

Chuck Norris formally responds to the facts of his life. I'm glad he didn't come off too asshole-ish, because I've always thought that he would be a complete douchehandle in real life. If you take a look at Chuck's actual bio, however, you may notice that his real life is almost, if not more, ridiculous than shit like "Chuck Norris doesn’t wash his clothes, he disembowels them." Not only is he writing a series of novels set in the Old West, he also taught martial arts to the Osmonds and Bob Barker and started a powerboat racing team called "Popeye Chicken."

South Korean research fabricates an entire
stem cell study. Come on, guys. Similar sentiments regarding James Frey over at Secret Dead Blog.

MLK Day on Monday.
Here's some stuff you can do.

Stephen A. is at it again, being salty towards La Salle's basketball program. I remember when the first rape scandal broke, an employee of the university asked me my opinion of A's scathing criticisms of the administration. I tried to softshoe around the question but eventually ended up just saying that I pretty much agreed with his arguments. She wasn't too happy to hear that. But, with one of the accused threatening to sue the school and the other dropping 34 on a team that outplayed the Explorers a few weeks back, it's difficult not to think that the situation could've been reconciled in a more diplomatic manner. Lou with some La Salle game notes and photos here and here.

Try to get the
last five tubes of Pringles from the dude. It's tough.

OKP review of a book. Shit was entertaining.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Old Minnesota wisdom

What's better: Richard's glorious Canadian tuxedo, or the
star of Disney's Racing Stripes? I choose...I choose...both!

This guy is the
worst eBay seller ever. I quasi-admire his intuitiveness, though- dude somehow found a way to get himself a bunch of positive feedback at first, then robbed a bunch of people of their Christmas money, Grinch style. An undeniably scummy thing to do. Ineffective blog about the whole thing.

The cats at my house (well, Riley and Cleo, not
Steve) have worms. It's really, really gross. Their feline ass affliction did, however, allow me the opportunity to cover a pill in butter and shove it down my gato's craw, Manchild style. He knows who's boss now.

Few OKP reviews:
Sonny Boy and Psyche Origami.

Top 5 most humiliating restaurants to celebrate your birthday. I'm probably never going to be allowed into any of these restaurants again. Not that I'd go to any of them with the exception of Chuck E. Cheese.

What I didn't mention in this otherwise dull
high school basketball article- the "scrapping and shoving" that resulted in techs for two players really just involved one kid violently shoving the other in the balls (Manchild style?). Shit was gully; wish I could've written it like it happened.

Speaking of Chuck...article about the
Norris Renaissance. I'd like to state for the record that I loved Cordell Walker way before hitting women could be appreciated ironically.

Crazy talented dude makes amazing
sidewalk chalk art. Stuff is incredible. He's good at depth.

DJ Premier interview at AllHipHop. I also came across this, which should be used as a case study for a "How to Identify a Shamelessly Obvious Press Release" class.

Just in case you need an
Errol Flynn impersonator for a swashbuckler theme party or something. I'm here to help. Enjoy perusing the master list, which features lookalikes ranging from amazing to completely uneeded.

I interviewed
Yoni Wolf the other day for a Rockpile piece. Very nice guy. I also found this film site featuring some shorts with him and other Anticon artists. I really appreciate this intramural marching band one.

Go check
Emynd and Bo Bliz and their new tape, Electro Cute.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose is good as shit. Granted, I had quite a few beers in me when I was watching, but still- really, really, really good. See that. I didn't know the girl from White Chicks had it in her (acting chops, not six demons).

Michelle recently made Juelz's "Oh Yes" her ringtone, and the other morning, Santana's childishly endearing adlibs woke me from my drunken slumber. I find the song incredibly catchy and effective, just not at 10 am when I've imbibed my weight in lager.

Hapa Project added me as its friend on MySpace the other day. Interesting idea. Also, using VH as the page music is a stellar choice.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Grazing in the grass

Toothpaste for Dinner

I don't know what it is about "My Humps," but people seem to be obsessed with making their own
webcam dance renditions and posting them on the Internet for people like me to watch and ridicule (thanks Amy). I'm not sure what's more disturbing: the fact that most of these kids look like they're 11, or this dude.

Hipster Bingo. It's on point for the most part (but since when have hoodies and Parliament Lights been patently scene?). They definitely forgot Sparks. And the singular black dude.

When I was Christmas shopping the other week, I walked by Abercrombie and Fitch and noticed a shirtless jockish white guy in the front of the store. He was just standing there, Jordan Catalano-esque (it was his leaning, nothing to do with flannel/Frozen Embryos), with his arms crossed and a vapid smirk on his face, and a group of grossly underweight blonde girls were forming some sort of Aryan tableau around him. I found this odd because they usually only exploit the
non-white delegation. Later, as I enjoyed an overpriced Mexican pizza in the food court, I overheard three young girls gushing to their grandmother. They were all holding crappy Polaroids of themselves with the barechested wonder. Some more coy eavesdropping helped me find out that shoppers received a complimentary picture with dude if they made a purchase. I always knew that A&F was pretty shameless when it came to their smutty neo-Nazi catalogs, but I never thought they would go so grassroots on us. I hope that guy has an education to fall back on on which to fall back.

Dallas Penn- thanks for the link.

La Salle
lost a tough one the other day to Hofstra. Hofstra?! Fuck. They were holding a pretty good lead coming into the final minutes, but then they got super-sloppy and turned the ball over on three consecutive trips up the court. Still, 8-2 is their best record in years. Looking forward to Wednesday's game against Duquesne, which I always want to pronounce Doo-QUEZ-nee in the worst way.

Who the hell gets shot while driving? Shit sucks.

Hey, my fellow cooking dorks: peep some
kitchen myths. Who knew that you didn't have to scald the milk when baking bread? My life is so much easier now. No more milk-scalding for me. Also for the foodie set: good Philadelphia Restaurants blog.

CP article about a Goth mom who started her own Goth baby party at Ulana's. Such a nice lady. Not by me: piece on photographer Zoe Strauss.

I have quite a bit of work to do right now, but I'm getting sucked into watching marathons of Monk and Degrassi: The Next Generation. Man...I'm sick. I've also been watching a whole lot of Project Runway since it started. I like the show and all, but the smarmy bespectacled guy who goes around and criticizes everyone's designs really pisses me off. It's not that he deliberately tries to start shit, because that's his job; it's all his stupid faux-witty pop culture reference-laden "you're going for A, but it looks like B" comments. He's always whining on some "You want Audrey Hepburn, this looks like Marge Schott" bullshit. It's not that clever, buster.