Friday, December 14, 2007

Random Thoughts of Crispin Glover

So this morning I'm driving into work and listening to my favorite morning show, Energy 92.7 because I secretly (or not so secretly) think Greg the Gay Sportcaster is my gay counterpart and I would love to buy him a Cosmo and dish. So I'm listening this morning and I squeal really loudly because their guest this morning was Crispin Glover. Crispin "my density" Glover. On my radio!!!

See, I have this strange thing with Crispin. And it's not a thing per say. I don't secretly harbor a crush on the guy, mostly because he rocks strange haircuts and relies on velvet a little heavily. But I find him really interesting. Not for the wacked-out, drinks-too-much-absynthe, dates a strange cadre of women including but not limited to: some Penthouse Pen-up from the nineties, some strange blonde chick, and of course my personal favorite, Courtney Peldon , way he is. But I like him for other reasons, partly because he's doing things the way he wants to do them and has no qualms about it. He's financing his own movies, he's always questioning the way things are done in Hollywood and regardless of his other personal quirks, I have to say I respect that.

Around the time Willard was released, which I'm ashamed to say I saw in theatres, and o.k. I don't mean to digress too much, but that movie blew. And it wasn't for lack of trying that it blew. R. Lee Ermey did what R. Lee Ermey does best. He got all growly and spittley and you hated him although you secretly loved him because he was just disgusting but he was having fun being disgusting and as usual you could see bits of scenery in his teeth because he forgot to floss. Crispin got in there and did the work and that chick from Mulholland Drive was doing her darnedest, but it was all for not pretty much for not. Again, not blaming any of principles, but the movie blew. But so anyway, at the time Willard was released I still had my Rolling Stone subscription and there was an article in there with Crispin and I found myself drawn to it for reasons I was unsure of and, long story short, I ended up liking the guy.

Sure, there are several times since then that I've seriously questioned if he's a few slices short of a loaf, but he's still never boring. Like this morning. I mean, he doesn't exactly radio interview very well. There's a lilt or an intonation to his voice that is kind of disconcerting and dude, using a lot of big words for the 8 A.M. "Don't bother me, the Starbucks hasn't kicked in" crowd, now aren't we?

Apparantly he's in town to screen one of his movies, which is supposedly the second in this wierd trilogy he has planned. So the screening isn't just a movie screening, but then he does a whole Q and A session plus he reads excerpts from his book and Oh my God am I tempted to go, for no other reason than to say I went and saw his special brand of off the wall in person for myself. I mean, I know it's a trek to San Francisco and I don't especially revel in the thought of going to the Castro, but still. To see his special brand of Crispinness, I'm really tempted. Whatever Crispin's ills are, he doesn't seem to take the easy way out. It could be argued that he's kooky and on the fringes just for the sake of being on the fringes, but I actually think it's geniune. I don't think Crispin has any other choice than to be Crispin and instead of doing what Hollywood and people expect, he instead becomes even more Crispin and does what they wouldn't. He turned down a part in the Back to the Future sequels. He turned up Charlie's Angels and didn't speak but yelled wierdly and it was awesome. He's a special breed unto himself and I kind of wish I could see it in person.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Beauty and the Geek Season 4, Episode 2

So last night Fighting Nun went to the last SF Giants home game of the season last night, which you'd think I'd bitch about, not getting to go and all, but actually going to do just the opposite. I mean first off, the Giants had a crappy season this year so I knew I wasn't going to miss much. Secondly, Fighting Nun's absence last night meant I got to watch a whole plethora of guilt pleasures that Fighting Nun would normally veto. America's Next Top Model followed by Gossip Girl (which, I didn't get to see last week's premiere, but Love! Flustercuck is now my favorite new word!) followed by the Tivoed episode of Beauty and the Geek that Fighting Nun didn't want to finish the night before??? Pop-culture knuckle-dragger heaven people! I absolutely basked in the glow of all the sugary nonsense. That is not to say that I didn't remember to record Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares because Fighting Nun and I are nothing if not Gordon's bitches. Or would it be better if I called ourselve's Ramsey's bitches? I wonder... Ramsey's Bitches is now my favorite new band name.

But I digress. My main purpose for starting this post wasn't to ennumerate my number of TV loves. My main purpose right now is to bitch, quite loudly and at length. 'And about what?' you might ask. And to that question I will point you directly to Sam, who was the male 'beauty' introduced in the second episode of Beauty and Geek. Oh my God I can not stand this guy. I shook my hand furiously at the TV last night in his direction I can't stand him that much.
I haven't had this much of an irrational hate on for a reality show character since Diggity Dave on Pimp My Ride. And believe you me, that's saying something. I mean I have had nothing but seething hate for Diggity Dave for two years. I constently find myself yelling insults at the TV while he's on it, like this: "Shut Up Diggity Dave and what kind of nickname is that anyway and stop with the punk rock preening because someone who either has a line of hair products or is shilling for a line of hair products (Yes I know he's involved in a hair care line, no I can't unlearn that fact, I've tried. Yes it annoys me.) can not be punk rock, because if you you're on TV and you schill hair products you are essentially Cher and if you are essentially Cher then you are not punk rock, you are a poser and you suck, DIGGITY DAVE and stop rocking the tattoos and the black nail polish and I hope your stupid hair spikes get caught in something and get ripped off your head not enough to kill or seriously injure you but just enough to wipe that stupid hairstyle off your head and your stupid sneering wannabe rockstar grin off your face. Stop preening and giving yourself a virtual handjob any time you do something you think is cool on camera. HAAAAATTTTTEEEEEE!!"

And the problem I have with Diggity Dave is the same problem I have with this Sam guy on Beauty and the Geek. The preening, the arrogance, and yet the outright obviousness that the lights are on upstairs up nobody's home. Drives me nuts. Not actually nuts enough to stop watching either Pimp My Ride (Xzibit is my co-pilot. Don't judge me) or Beauty and the Geek, but just nuts enough for me to rant irrationally about it (I SAID, don't judge me).
Sam is just so... actually he's so many things that it's hard for me to list them all. First off, I never need to see him with his shirt off ever again, because his precisely oiled pecs are blinding me. And if they show another clips package of him getting ready, I will absolutely vomit. Which makes me beg the question, why did give his preening special treatment but they usually gloss over the beauties going through the same routine? I don't understand it. Something else I don't understand? How somebody with that shiny a forehead things he's God gift to women. Clean and Clear called. They want you to schlock their Oil Blotting Tissues, Douche. And then to top it all off, during his challenge, which I pretty much put on mute because even in his voice grates on me, right after he finished his debate, he gives the judges and the room A Blue Steel and then, AND THEN, he makes finger guns. O.k., first off, there are only two people certified to operate the Blue Steel and that's Derek Zoolander and Micheal Scofield, and the fact that Sam even tried to attempt it tarnished both of their reputations. HATE!!! HATEY HATE!!! And then, to top that all off... He wins. He blue steels and finger guns himself to immunity???? What kind of world are we living in here??? I have to go lie down. And then his team put Tony and Amanda up for Elimination?

Which, tiny, off-topic nit to pick here. Is it just me or do the asian geeks frequently and summarily get the shaft early on in the show? Last season it was the guy who drew that boob and season before that? Rubiks cube guy both cut within the first two, three episodes tops. What is with that?

Anyhoooo, where was I. Oh yeah. Bit me Sam. No, I take that back Shut Up Sam! Shut up Sam's hair and Shut up Sam's beauty regimen and shut up the future storyline in which he 'hooks up' with one of the other beauties in the house (I just became a little bit barfy this then. Hooks Up. Blech). Just Grrrr. Shut Up. So, I'm not exactly sure what my point was but sometimes irrational rants are their own reward.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Beauty and The Geek: Season 4 opener

It's back on bitches. Beauty and The Geek is back!!!! And this season could be pretty darn good. I didn't get through all of the season premiere yet, mostly because Fighting Nun and I had the same fight, err I mean discussion, we always have about this show, to wit: "Why are watching this show again?" "Because of the potentiality for Awesome." "That makes no sense. This show is not awesome. It's lame." "No it's not!" "So why are you forcing me to watch this?" "I'm not forcing you to watch it. I'll watch it on my own free time if you're that offended." "But why are you watching it?" "Because, Krakow. You know what, just read my blog and figure it out. Shut up and watch a Tivoed episode of Dirty Jobs and leave me alone." So I've had to postpone my viewing for later.

I did get through the casting section of the episode this morning, which left in my mind two interesting points. 1) Do I really need to watch a casting episode? How is this really supposed to interest me? Do they have casting specials for Survivor or any of that junk? No, and if they do, I'm not watching it. But I am watching this casting special for one good reason and one reason only, which brings me to my next point. 2) Nate. And Jenny Lee. They hosted the casting special!!! And they still look like they are dating and they are soooooo cute together. And Nate! He looks are dapper and put together and awesome!!! And Jenny Lee still looks like Jenny Lee but she's all cute with Nate and somebody please tell me they're engaged to be married and are going to run off and have hundreds of cute babies!!! So awesome. I love Jenny Lee and Nate! He cut his hand on a tree for her! They must stay together. And if I am forced to watch the casting special for this show, then they must host it from here to eternity.

O.k., that's all I got. I'll report back once I've finished the episode.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Blades of Glory: Movie Review

O.k. so here's the thing. By all accounts, this movie should've been totally in my wheel house. I mean, I was all set to like this one. Remember? Remember? And I did like parts of it, but there were just so many things I just couldn't get behind. Amy Poehler's ridiculous blathering and guilt-tripping of her sister and Jenna Fischer's just utter pointlessness to the movie. It didn't work for me and I wanted it to so badly.

I mean from the get-go it had a lot of potential. I mean Fichtner!!!! You all know how I feel about Fichtner, and the fact that he can make any movie better just for the sole fact that he is in it. But this movie brought to light a new rule regarding Fichtner that I had not considered until this very movie, which I will call the Fichtner Proportion. Basically, Fichtner's tendancy to make any movie better is directly related to the actual amount of screen time he is actually given in a movie. Let me give you a couple of examples. In Prison Break (which, let me stop right there for a second. How awesome was the new season premiere and just how ruley is this new premise people? So ruley, so awesome!!! That's how.), he's currently getting alot of screen time which means a usually awesome Prison Break gets catapulted to an A+ just on principle. And then you have movies like Go and Ultraviolet which benefitted from his brief yet still very tangable appearances. But with Blades of Glory? I'd say he had 2 or 3 minutes with only a handful of lines tops. It's William Fichtner. The Ruley William Fichtner and you deign to give him just a smarmy cameo?!?!?! Fichtner deserves better than that and so does his hair!!! (I don't know why I said that, I've just always liked his hair). So basically, if Fichtner would have had a better role (Heder's adoptive father. As if Fichtner would ever adopt such a wet blanket!) and more screen time (Ten, fifteen minutes, that's all I ask!), this movie would've been a B+ easy. As it is, C, C- if that.

Regardless of this movie being Fichtner-lite though, it basically suffered from the same things I thought it was going to. To be a Will Ferrell vehicle is to be the same jokes recycled over and over again. To be a John Heder movie is to watch John Heder play the same hapless character over and over again. And Will Arnett. He could've been so good in this role, it's just that with the material given, he didn't have the opportunity. He was too busy being overshadowed by Amy Poehler who was in turn being overshadowed or devoured by her garrish wigs, I can't decide which. Although Will did have the best line of the whole movie ("We just disappointed Marky Mark.... And the funky bunch." Classic. I've got to remember that the next time I can't remember all the lyrics to Good Vibrations.)

Also, poor Scott Hamilton. Also, also, don't think I didn't notice the whole Cutting Edge take-off, and don't think I wasn't offended by it either, because I did and I totally am. Lame! Super Lame! Not as lame as Jenna Fischer's plotline, but still. You're on probation Ferrell. Don't screw up this bad again.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Movie Review: Sherrybaby

O.k., so here's the thing. It's not that I didn't like the movie. I mean, on some level I liked it o.k., I guess. It's just that this happens to be one of those movies that was better in theory than in practice. I mean, for starters you've got Maggie Gyllenhaal in it, who gets a lifelong pass for me on the strength of Secretary alone and then, to top that all off, you've got the Trejo. We all know how I feel about the Trejo. I've made it abundantly clear that the Trejo is awesome. And I have to stop right there to ask the following question: There is a documentary abou the Trejo and nobody told me???? Even though everybody knew that it would be right in my wheelhouse??? And then I have to find out about it through TigerladyT, as she makes an offhanded comment about it all "Yeah, I just netflixed the documentary on him awhile back. It was really good." and then I Kyle's mom it, all "What What What?!?!?" and she's all "Yeah, the docu on Trejo." and I'm all flabbergasted and an almost guilty feeling overcomes me because how could I, a Trejo Enthusiast, not know about a Trejo documentary? Ahem. Back to the point.

So if someone was to stick both of these very awesome actors that I like and respect in a movie together, what could go wrong? Alot apparantly, a whole lot.

It's not that they weren't working their butts off (although the less said about Trejo's butt in boxer shorts, the better off we all are), but you can only do so much with the material you're given and as far as I'm concerned, the material is weak. Super weak. I can't speak to how true to life Maggie's performance is, and, not that I'm knocking on authenticity or anything, but at some level it just didn't work, again not Maggie's fault but more the fault of what her motivation was at the time or what the script was asking of her.There were so many scenes that just felt overwrought and then there were others that just fell flat.

And then there were was one scene in particular that was unneccessary and kind of sickening.
The scene with her dad, which establishes the character's motivations toward drug use because of past abuse, was just there for the shock value. I get that it was somewhat of a plot pusher, but the way in which it was shown... look it's not like I'm some prude, or I don't get the director's artistic decisions or whatever, but no. First of all, I think they established early on in the movie by forcing the character into a lot of unsavory sexual relationship, that there was some form of abuse in the character's past. I was already aware of it before that scene. That scene didn't prove anything other than that she was in a screwed up family/ And I'm not saying this sort of thing shouldn't be portrayed, because it does happen and people have a right to put it out there, but I think there's a line in which things like that are maybe said not shown. It wasn't an artistic decision I would've made if I were in the director's shoes is all.

But then it was just left there. She never mentions it, it's never mentioned, it's just dropped while the movie rambles on its conclusion, which was what exactly? Look I don't need my hand held and I don't need it all in a nice tidy box, but I needed something that the movie just didn't feel like providing.

Shoalin Monks vs. Ninjas

O.k., so I read this story. I was lead to this story by the tag "Shoalin Temple: Our Monks could beat up your ninjas." which totally caught me because; Awesome. So I'm thinking this could be great, but then I read the whole story and it sounds, well, very high school. The Shoalin monks are up in arms because of some he said, she said crap posted on the internets? And they are demanding an apology for something somebody posted on a forum? Really? *Head Tilt* Really?

Is this what years of Kung Fu teaches you to do? Do you think this is how James Carrodine would've handled the situation? Let's just take a step back and ask ourselves WWGD (What would Grasshopper do)? I think the answer is obvious, he would've tried to turn the other cheek and walk the path to nonviolence, then he would've kicked some ass. So I ask the wonderful Shoalin Monks to do the right thing in this situation: Challenge some Ninjas to a duel and then make it a Pay-per-view event and above all else, let me watch, because Awesome.

But I must note from watching that one episode of Samuari Jack where he goes to the Shoalin Temple over and over, that the best and most likely outcome is that instead of fighting each other, They end up showing each other your best Water Beetle, become friends and then try to find a portal in time so that Jack can go back in time to destroy Aku. I'm just saying.

Assholes with Cats

I realize the world is full of assholes. In the close to three decades I've been on this earth, I've been around more than my share, so I don't usually comment on them. But today I came across a special brand of asshole-ry that has pissed me off enough to write.

We've had these neighbors for close to a year. They lived across the street from us, and although there were signs of douche-baggery, I didn't give them much time or space in my thoughts. Well apparently a lot of people in our HOA did and raised enough ruckus that their landlord renting the house out to them called paid to their bullshit and had them move. I hadn't really registered an opinion on this fact other than "meh, whatever" until this morning.

The main crux of the issue is their cat. It is this lovable calico-ish cat. Any time I was out in the neighborhood without my dog Kissinger by my side, the cat would be rather personable. It would come up while I was at the mail box and I'd pet it and it would pur and it was just a sweet cat with a nature and personality probably not well suited for the dilweeds it was living with.

This morning as I started my morning walk with our dog Kissinger, I spotted another neighbor standing in dilweed's yard. I asked what was up and she informed me that the neighbors left their cat. That's right, up and left the thing on the stoop, with a little tray of water and food and moved. No note, didn't go to the neighbors about the situation or anything, just left the cat alone, on the stoop of the house, terrified and anxious.

My heart plummeted. I asked what would happen to the cat and the neighbor informed me that another neighbor had offered to take it in. I said I'd happily take it if it didn't work out with the other neighbors because no cat, no dog, no animal in which we as humans have decided to take on as pets, which in my mind means a member of the family should be left so cruelly, should be abandoned and not looked after by someone. If you had the presence of mind to take in an animal at some point, you better damn well have the presence of mind to continue care for that animal even when an inconvenience such as moving gets in the way or don't get a pet at all. It's a simple fact. If these owners knew for a fact they couldn't take the cat to wherever they were going, fine. Beat down a couple of doors in the neighborhood and see if anybody would be willing to take it in. Do not, I repeat DO NOT leave the thing on the front porch and expect it look after itself, you uncaring jerk-wads of the HIGHEST ORDER. GRRRRRRRR!

I hope the cat gets a better home and people than it got before, I hope the douchey neighbors don't come back in an effort to get the cat back for the simple fact that I will have to give them a piece of my mind and it will not be pretty. I don't and haven't really gotten adamant about animal rights on this blog for various reasons. I didn't register an opinion about the Vick dog-fighting scandal because it wasn't my place. But as a loving owner of a dog, a wonderful, sweet natured by previously abused dog who is now a (somewhat) well-adjusted (yet still neurotic) member of our family, I am going to register an opinion about certain responsibilities and rules we as pet owners should respect and abandoning a sweet cat on your doorstep is one of those things you just DO NOT do.

If you're reading this today and are as angry as I am, consider donating a little time or a little money to your local no-kill animal shelter or SPCA. Let's undo a little of the bad karma that bad pet-owners put out there by acts like these.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's my birfday!

So, yeah, today's my birthday. Woo. (Streamers falling down, confetti in the air.) It's not that I could care less, it's just that more important, pressing things in my life have seemed to make having a birthday less of an issue.

For instance, this time last year? If pressed I would've asked for the Invader Zim box set (which I have now) and some other pop-culture related ephimera. Today, right now? All I want is a nap, a long, beautious, wonderful nap that last from here to Thanksgiving, followed immediately by a siesta and capped off with a bout of sleeping so furious and grand it makes Rumpelstilskin's sleeping fest look like naptime in a romper room. Is this wrong?

Don't get me wrong, any pop-culture donations (up to and including the new My So-Called Life DVD set) are welcome and appreciated, but if you could find a way to conk me out until, say the new Prison Break season starts, I'd really appreciate it.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Boys: Season 2

O.k., we all know how I felt about it last season, how it's this wierd paradox for me and every time I see Kyle Howard, I have all these complex emotions, because there are too many complicated memories of wierd movies he did as a kid, blah blah blah. But I still like it, which is odd, because we had put off watching any of the season 2 episodes until they were just sitting there on the Tivo, pouting at us. So we finally broke down and started watching them the other night and I think we've finally caught up on the season. Which brings me to my point, which is that I have to apologize to Fighting Nun for something:

Dear Fighting Nun;

I'm sorry for trying not to squeal when Jeremy Sisto suddenly appeared in the episode and ending up letting out a little mouse squeak any way because, well Sisto. I know I should be able to control that better, but Sisto. I wasn't prepared for Sisto. And yes, I know what your arguement is going to be, I didn't squeal at all during the episode and a half of Kidnapped that I watched, I should have impulse control but see, I have an arguement for that. I was prepared for the Sisto then. I knew he was on the show and was going to be all badass. I had a system of checks and balances to keep the Sisto Squeals at bay. (Yes, that's its technical term, yes I've been diagnosed). And finally, after five seasons of Six Feet Under, I was able to keep my squeals to a minimum when Billy unexpectedly showed up in an episode and I wasn't prepared for it. It took awhile and I thank you for being patient. I know my wierd thing for Creepy Jesus is hard to handle, but it's Sisto.

But last night? Sisto just showing up all scruffy and rough? It took me a second, because his first scene was of him on a computer screen, so I couldn't tell it was him until I heard his voice. My inner monologue went something like this: "Is that? Nooooo. Couldn't be. Oh my god it totally is. It's SISTO!" And then, well. I had no place for it. I let a little squee slip. He has the effect on me. And his character? Although somewhat douchey by the end, was totally perfect for Jeremy to be playing. That dash of mysteriousness, that hint of something deeper. It's Sisto. And God, the way Jordana Spiro's character kind of became all melty and cute-voiced whenever she talked to him? I totally get that, because hello! Sisto!!! And, O.k. Thorn? Awesome name for Sisto. It's the kind of awesome name you'd expect a hot, you-still-have-somewhat-unrequited-feelings-for ex-boyfriend to have.

My only complaint? Other than the douchey way his character left things with the main character? Please tell me the bloaty thing he was going through was for the role and he's not suffering from the spread. Because that would really depress me. It's the Sisto! He's better than that. And if it's actually for his new stint on Law and Order or Law and Order: Criminal Intent or some such crap I won't be watching, well then I have actual incentive not to be watching. Not that the Sisto isn't still worthwhile in all his forms, but I don't watch and of the Law and Order shows and now that Jerry Orbach's no longer with us, it would be even harder for me to tune in. I'm weird that way.

So, sorry Fighting Nun. And sorry for a three paragraph treatsy on the subject of Sisto as well. I'll try and do better next time.

Anyhoo, My Boys, Sisto. Good Combination.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Superbad Four Word Movie Review

As good As Advertised.

One more word: Seriously.

A few more: I mean it. Hilarious.

And four more words for good measure: McLovin is my co-pilot.

Monday, August 06, 2007

My latest TV obsessions

Before I get started, I know I've been away for awhile. I've been all over the place and yet totally stationary all at the same time. The one constant, it should come to no one's surprise, has been TV. You'd think polishing off the last Harry Potter book would've deterred or curbed my TV enthusiasm in some way (Yes I read it. Yes I loved it. Yes I want to read all seven books altogether again. And, because I am probably required, by law to say this: Yes Fighting Nun, you were right about that thing in the book. You called it. You are a smart, smart man. Now shut up about it.) and it did in some ways. I didn't really pay attention to Monk this week for instance. And, I haven't watched Psych for awhile. I mean, I missed the historic Lou Diamond Phillips's Abs episode (well I haven't it missed it exactly, it's still on Tivo, but anyhoo). But the crap, er I mean, TV I have been keeping up with? Well it adheres to my strict rules of mindlessness, as you might expect. Below is a run down of some of the stuff I'm still watching or have decided to tune into:

1. Ninja Warrior - You should not be surprised at this one, not in the slightest. The funny thing is that even after months of almost total overexposure, what with G4 playing like a bajillion episodes back to back and me watching said episodes in continued rotation, I'd be sick of it. But it's so to the contrary. My love for this show hasn't diminished but has instead blossomed. And it's specifically because this show is more subtle than you might think. There are so many layers to this show, so many carefully planted mini-dramas planted manipulatively that are at work in this show, you might as well be watching a soap opera. I came for the super hard tasks and the wild, bone-crushing eliminations, I've stayed for the carefully planted backstories and profiles. The beauty of the show is the regulars, the guys who have made repeated attempts to best the Ninja Warrior course. Thier repeated attempts and their profile thingies have had a peculiar side effect on me. They've gotten me to care, to care about these strange contestants a half a world away who I wouldn't give a hoot about otherwise. There's Professor Ninja Warrior (who was not on Wikipedia's entry of Ninja Warrior all stars! For Shame) for example, one of my personal faves, a third grade teacher somewhere in Japan who goes on the show to teach his kids by example, or something. His class would show up to the competitions and if he failed, they'd be all distraught and he'd bow to them all "Sorry I failed you", and then I just become a puddle of goo. Then there's the gas station attendant (recently turned Manager!) Shingo Yamamoto who always loses his cap on every stage, and then the crab fisherman turned massage therapist Kazuhiko Akiyama who has a degenerative eye desease (talk about pulling the heartstrings), the only man (that I can recall) every to best the whole Ninja Warrior course.

And then, of course, we have Yamada. Oh Yamada. Never have I seen a more well documented case of sad sackery in all my life. Well, that's not exactly true, a true sad sack does not have six pack abs and can't crack you like a walnut with his forearms, but the picture they paint on this guy isn't pretty. When I first started watching this show, Yamada was Mr. Ninja Warrior, he started talking at schools and everything. But over successive episodes, that guy's back story has been all over the place. At one point he was a propane distributor, at another, a construction worker, and then sadly, he wound up a Hot Dog vendor for a Japanese baseball team. From there, the show seemed to not only document his rather odd string of jobs but briefly highlighted roller coaster with his family the show seemed to document. First his family supports him and is at all the tournaments, then they are a little shamed by his showing, then there was this dramatic reveal in one of the episodes that they weren't showing up at the competition, and supposedly there was a letter he left in which he stated he wasn't a great husband, father or son, but he was a warrior and it was all very melodramatic, and everything was just crazy. And then, to top all that off, his subsequent perfomances have been heart breaking. Wikipedia lists his long line of Ninja Warrior failures better than I can (getting disqualified for wearing gloves. Yeesh!) He is the epitomy of heartbreak and has become an important reason for my continued support of the show. I am compelled to find out what happens. Yamada, don't forsake me!!! Anyhoo, so my point? It's still Me and Ninja Warrior sitting in a tree.... that's how blissful I am.

2. Rock of Love with Brett Micheals - Dude, I know. No, I seriously know. But dude. I've seen some trainwrecks so therefore I know from trainwrecks, but this is a trainwreck. It's a trainwreck, plus a three car collision and apparantly a collegan and silicon plant explosion and I should know better. And yet....

3. Scott Baio is Forty-Five and Single - Speaking of knowing better. I mean yeesh. And this show has no qualms about showing extremes. One second I feel sorry for him, the next second I think he's the biggest douche who ever douched. I mean, he's gotten reamed by his comedian ex-girlfriend who was on stage, he had a woman drive away from him as fast as she could. But then he would either give historic evidence and even evidence in the present tense why he would deserve such treatment and he's back to being a douche.

The one thing I don't not get at all about this show? That he's good friends with Jason Hervey. Jason 'One of my claims to fame is that I had a bit part in PeeWee's Big Adventure forever and a day ago' Hervey. Jason 'I was the most despicable Arnold on Wonder Years' Hervey. I'm just going to say this. Scott Baio and Jason Hervey are two 80's tastes that DO NOT taste well together because Yeesh.

4. The Two Coreys - Speaking of two 80's taste that no longer go well together.... O.k., I admit it. When this show was first proposed, I was seriously kind of psyched. But now that it's here, I'm actually kind of meh about it. That's not exactly true. My emotions roller coaster during this show. One second it's all cheesy goodness and the next its really heartbreaking. Like they already raped and pillaged all the fun loving nostalgia I had for them with bial like Rock and Roll High School Forever and that one utterly dispicable movie Feldman did regarding a post apocolyptic society and a drug war when it was totally obvious he was on drugs, and then that utterly dispicable movie Haim did with Allen Thicke, and then that other utterly dispicable movie he did with Wallace Shawn (Oh Wallace, why did you forsake me that once?). The point isn't to tear the remaining nostalgic love apart but to try and build it up. But if their brainstorming for a possible Lost Boys sequel that was featured on the show is any indication, they are attempting to drop a bomb on it, hoping to explode it to pieces. I mean, o.k. I'm not saying that there isn't room for a sequel, because my little chirpy ass was all excited a few years ago when I had heard of a possible Goonies sequel, so I have relatively little room to talk about not messing with total classic 80's movies, but still. If it's got to be done, it has to be done right. You can't just get The Coreys all amped up and call it a movie. And if we're being honest, the Corey's didn't make that movie. It was everybody else. Sorry. Just get a few of the principles. I'm sure the guy that stole Julia Roberts out from under Keifer needs some work, and what's-her-bucket, Jamie Gurtz needs some work after Still Standing. I know Keifer was killed off in the first one, but bring him back too. It shouldn't be hard. But if there is another Lost Boys only featuring The Coreys? I will seriously bring the hellfire. I'm not sure yet. But seriously.

Oh, and just to set the record straight, even though we're only tangentially on the subject. Haim is the superior of the two Coreys. Don't get me wrong, I love Goonies and always will, but Haim is the better Corey. Fight me on the fact if you must, but I'm with Team Haim, well you know, if I actually have to choose a team....

5. Confessions of a Matchmaker - Thanks Joe R. That is all.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Valerie Bertinelli Conundrum

Just the other day, Fighting Nun decided to mull over whether or not Britney Spears will actually have a career in the future, after what we shall call The Great Spears Implosion of 2007. It probably could've been a fairly good discussion, had I not invoked Valerie Bertinelli. Here's how the discussion went down:

Fighting Nun: So do you think Britney Spears will have much of a solid career in the future, or is she pretty much a punchline?
Bloody Munchkin: Well, she's got a tour, I think.
Fighting Nun: Yeah, but she's still pretty much a punchline right? I mean, will she actually be able to have a career?
Bloody Munchkin: If the career of Valerie Bertinelli has taught me anything, it's that there is always work on the Lifetime Channel.
Fighting Nun, looking perplexed: Who?
Bloody Munchkin: You know, Valerie Bertinelli.
Fighting Nun: No, I don't. Who is she?
Bloody Munchkin: Valerie Bertonelli. Married Eddie Van Halen. Divorced him not too long ago.
Fighting Nun: Is that her only claim to fame?
Bloody Munchkin: Nooooo. She was.... She did..... There was this thing.... back in the eighties, possibly involving Nell Carter. *
Fighting Nun: Nell who?
Bloody Munchkin: You know, Nell Carter. She had that series back in the eighties, about being a housekeeper, I think, kind of. I don't know.
Fighting Nun: Not helping your case for why I should know these people.
Bloody Munchkin: Leave me alone. I'll look her up and explain why you should know her.

I have since looked up her imdb profile and her wikipedia entry, and I'm no closer to figuring out what she was in that I know her so well from. There was that Cafe Americian tv show that I vaguely remember, but it seems to me, that all my non-vague memories of her have either been attached to references of her like on Best Week Ever or on E! or to snippets of her Lifetime Movie choices. That scene in Saved! where Jena Malone's character is watching a Lifetime movie involving Valerie Bertinelli and Valerie Bertinelli is talking about how she thought she was pregnant and then found out it was cancer and then in the next shot, the Jena Malone's character steals a pregnancy test and is all "Please let it be cancer, please let it be cancer." Yeah, that's the only other grown-up reference I have for her. So, other than her gripping work on Lifetime and her tour de force recurring role on Touched By An Angel, is there an actual reason that I should remember for why Valerie Bertinelli is even a blip on my culture radar? Because I can not for the life of me remember what that might be. Anybody care to help solve this conundrum????

* Side Note: When I mentioned Nell Carter, I was thinking Valerie was somehow involved in Gimme a Break, which yes, I watched. But she was not. However, she and Nell Carter were both involved in Touched By an Angel, which means I was right without actually being right, which wouldn't have mattered anyway because I can categorically say that Fighting Nun had nothing to do with Touched By an Angel back in the day. On another side note: I had no idea Nell Carter died. I was almost convinced she was somewhere out there, plotting her big come back in Gimme a Break Too or Touched by an Angel Again. I am saddened she isn't around to plot her comeback. Rest in peace Nell Carter, Rest in peace. Somewhere, Fighting Nun is reading this and rolling his eyes, thoroughly perplexed at my pop-culture geekery. That's what I'm here for. I'll be her all week. Be sure to tip your waitstaff.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Movies that Suck: Headspace

I hate horror movies. Hate them. Hate them with a passionate fury I usually reserve for Kevin Federline. This isn't a new revelation. In fact, it's something I've known about myself for a long time. This and the fact that I will watch just about any teen comedy ever invented over and over again with relish are undisputable facets of my nature. They just are. But this fact that I hate horror movies can leave Fighting Nun in a bit of a lurch. I wouldn't say that he's a huge crazy fan for the genre but, and I'm coming to terms with this, sometimes a guy needs a little blood and gore to satisfy his cinematic pallate.

Last night, I decided to let his pallate be temporarily sated and watched a horror movie with him. We watched it because I was recording Bring it on on the DVR and didn't want him to change the channel, so we happened upon a horror movie we recorded awhile back; Headspace.
Having sat through this big steaming pile, I can categorically say I don't have to watch something like that for a very, very long time. It was just wrong. All sorts of wrong, from the cast of unknowns who CAN NOT ACT AT ALL to the plodding pacing to the horrible dialogue to the schlocky effects, it was wrong. So I've decided to detail all the many missteps the movie made.

1. Leave Sean Young out of it. Especially if it's a bit part. I realize at this stage, her career is a parody of itself, but she deserves better. She was in Blade Runner for Christ's Sake. And I realize that its a moot point being as we are in the post Ace Ventura era. But still she deserved better than Ace Ventura and she deserves better than to be a lame footnote in this movie.

2. Also, on that same level, do not, I repeat DO NOT make William Atherton a part of your schlocky B movie doings. He Is William Effing Atherton. William 'Dr. Hathaway' Atherton. He has elevated righteous indignation prickishness to level so far beyond some crap horror movie. And then what do you happen to do with the most awesome-smug-shit-eating-grin-scenery-chewing part of your movie? You kill it off a third of the way through. And it wasn't even an awesome death scene. it was all plastic hands and fake blood. I have it on good authority, even though I might not have actual evidence to the fact, but I'm pretty convinced that William Atherton could rock the hell out of a good death scene. Because he's William Atherton. He smugs for the camera. He plays, and I quote, an 'unbelievable bastard' quite well. If you feel compelled to kill his character off, at least give him a death scene. That's all I'm saying.

3. Did you really have to tarnish the reputation of an IROC thusly? What did the IROC ever do to you?

4. Get better actors. My God get better actors. The over the top asian guy who was, what was he supposed to be exactly? I was too distracted by the effected accent to figure out if he was supposed to be flaming, retarded, homeless or all three. And the main character's friend? Whose whole purpose was to smoke cigarettes, try to emote, run his fingers through his hair several times and drive the aforementioned IROC? Oh, and to schtoop some poor girl that was apparantly dragged out of the local Hooters and told to effect a horrible British accent? The point of their characters was what exactly? Oh that's right there wasn't one. Which brings me to my next point...

5. If you're going to have a gratuitous sex scene not involving the main character in a movie, at least let said sex scene be in service to something, a hacked up death scene, something. I know Fighting Nun will disagree with me on this fact, what with him having no problem with boobs for boobs sake and nothing more, but it had no discernable point that I could see. None. Just that the main character was a pervy voyuer and was all the sudden beseiged with strange visions. Oh thanks. So helpful.

6. Udo Kier is not a priest, not in this universe, not in any universe. Udo Kier is a creepy little guy who has succeeded in giving me the heebie-jeebies since before I can remember. He can not play a member of the clergy realistically, I don't care how much you try and convince me of that fact. The only thing he can play convincingly is something creepy and terrifying, which he did well at the end of his scene. If you had only made William Atherton's death scene as creepily skin crawling as Udo's, this might've been a movie I could get behind.

7. The ending was quite possibly the lamest thing I have seen in a long long time, and I think I've made it clear that I sat through the whole of You Got Served willingly. I know from lame. The only thing this movie succeeded in was presenting me with the longest eye roll ever. Rivelling some of Fighting Nun's eye rolls even.

8. Your main character does not need to run that much. And let me just stop right there. The one place where the movie got it halfway right was in the casting of the main character and the artist guy. I didn't love the characters, but the actors at least tried to do them justice. The main character felt like an older, more gothic version of Nick Stahl, so I was cool with it. There were some things the movie got right, some plot twists I didn't completely hate, but I did call them, but said twists could've had a little bit better lead in, just better something. I mean there's got to be something better than running. I mean it.

So yeah. This movie sucked. It couldn't even live up to the B movie glory it was trying to achieve. I blame the strange Asian guy. Although I will forever try to get intonation just right so I sound just like him when he says "Beetch". You know, just cause.

Bloody Munchkin Plays Catch-up

I know, I know. It's been forever since I posted, and the last thing I posted was something about Silver Spoons??? So wrong. I've been very busy, with work but also other projects and I haven't had much of a head for the blog right now, as if I ever had to begin with.

I'm still recovering from a cold (THANKS ALOT Fighting Nun, really and truly), I just got back from a wedding, which I may or may not cover on my other blog, and I've just generally been busy.

I've been pouring a lot of energy into this short story project-thingie I've been forcing myself to write. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but stay tuned (as if anybody but Fighting Nun is tuning in to begin with).

I'll try to be better about updates and new content from now on. Stay tuned for my review of a truly terrible movie and other pop-culture related goodies.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Silver Spoons Drinking Game Discussion

So yesterday marked a monumentous occasion for me. It probably wasn't momumentous for anyone else, judging by the few confused faces I decided to share the news with, but it was to me. Ready for it? Silver Spoons was released on DVD yesterday. Yes I know! I could hardly handle the news either!!! Silver Spoons on DVD!!! The Train!!! Coming through my television once again!!! Young, cute puffy-cheeked Ricky Schroder on DVD! Not old, craggy, I have to be Sipowitz's bitching post Rick Schoeder!!! Available on DVD!!!

To tell the truth, I'm not totally utterly amped about this. To be honest, thanks to Crazy Micheal Jackson, can we take the plot line of a man who wants so desperately to recapture his youth again, that he has a train put in the house and buys his kid all that his heart desires and all sorts of wackiness ensues seriously? More to the point, can we watch all of this without shuddering?!?! I mean couldn't they have easily repackaged Silver Spoons, put Prince Whatever Jackson in all his masked and face covered glory and call it "My years under the House of Crazy: An Autobiography"? I mean if the creators of the show knew that life would creepily imitate art in the form of Micheal Jackson, they might've done things a leeeeetle differently methinks.

Even though this fact is running rampant in my brain, it has only tempered me, it has not deterred me totally. Because come on. It's Ricky Effing Schroder!!! The first kid to utterly rip out my heart with his tears in that movie where John Voight plays the boxer and Ricky was his son and he dies in the ring and Ricky is in the audience, watching every sad moment, tears streaming down his face. Ripped my heart out people!!! Ripped it still beating from my chest and marvelled at it, that's what his performance did.

And then Silver Spoons! And how there was that one episode where Ricky, I'm sorry, I mean Rick, was crushing on a girl who had a thing for Menudo, which God does that take me back, and so he goes out of his way to get Menudo to show up some place in person where the girl is and he surprises her with the band and she starts screaming and going crazy and yells "I love you Ricky" And then Ricky Schroder gets this beaming smile on his face, with his arms open wide as she's running in his direction, and then she runs straight past him and into the arms of, heh, smirk, Ricky Martin and then Ricky Schroder looks all crestfallen and I wanted to send daggers in that girl's direction. It's Ricky Schroder for Christ Effing Sake, bringing you Effint Menudo because you love them and he's trying to win you over!!! At the very least he deserves a hug. I can't believe I can actually remember a whole Silver Spoons episode with such accuracy. I'm suddenly very ashamed of myself right now. Maybe if I was to recount my favorite Punky Brewster Episode I'd feel better. No, I just feel sad and repentant for my mispent youth. Just kidding. My youth wasn't mispent, not to me anyhow.

I tried explaining all this to Fighting Nun last night and, as could be expected, it met on totally, completely deaf ears to wit:
Bloody Munchkin, effecting a five-year old's voice, bouncing up and down: Uhm, Fiiiiii-eghting Nuuuuun. Guess What. Guess What. Guess What. Guess What.
Fighting Nun, already starting an eye roll: What?
Bloody Munchkin, letting out a large squeal: Silver Spoons was released on DVD today.
Fighting Nun: Oh lord.
Bloody Munchkin, with a look of incredulity: What do you mean oh lord? That is totally awesome!!!
Fighting Nun: You know, I really don't think it'll live up to its nostolgic glory. I'm sorry to say.
Bloody Munchkin, somewhat crestfallen: You're probably right. It probably has not stood the test of time well at all.... Which would make it that more awesome!!! Imagine it! The Silver Spoons Drinking Game!! Somebody could be the train!!! I have to sit down and think up rules for this game right now.*
Fighting Nun, shakes head and leaves room.

Basically, I know I should know better, Fighting Nun knows I should know better, I when push comes to shove, I'll probably know better and not purchase it, but I'll keep it on a list of things I will purchase when I have oodles and oodles of money and can afford not to know any better, right up there with Eerie Indiana and the complete seasons of The Animaniacs on DVD.

*I actually did not compile a list of rules for the Silver Spoons drinking game. Instead I went into the kitchen and cooked dinner. I apologize to anyone who stumbled upon my site under the false pretenses that I actually have compiled said list and have it readily available.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ocean's Thirteen: Movie Review

It's hard to say for sure what my expectations were before I saw this movie. On the one hand, Ocean's Eleven got so many things right. On the other hand, while still a strong movie, Ocean's Twelve got so many things wrong. Ocean's Eleven did three things very well; It told a hiest story, a revenge story and a love story perfectly. Everything fit into place well.

Ocean's Twelve tried to do all those things, but failed to do so cohesively, and it took longer to get there. Plus, there were certain things added in that didn't have any purpose other than to be annoying (the meta scene involving Julia Roberts playing a character playing a character, I'm looking at you!). The only plus side was Eddie Izzard.
This time around, Soderburgh and crew went back to the basics and decided to do one element completely right, nailing down the revenge story, which with the addition of Al Pacino as the anti-hero was easy to do. It does so with such aplumb that its easy to watch.
It might be easy for the character's personality traits to get lost in the story, as I felt they were before in Ocean's Twelve. This time around, their quirks aren't hidden but brought to light in interesting ways. Warning! Spoiler Alert for those who haven't seen the movie yet. Casey Affleck's character sent to Mexico to cover an angle in a plastics factory only to start a labor strike? Awesome! Scott Caan's character sent down to call it off only to throw a malotav cocktail at the police? Even more awesome.

On top of getting the character we know and love right, there were some interesting inclusions/additions that made me squeal like a twelve year-old. Bruiser, who happens to be one of my favorite parts of Ocean's Eleven, showing up in a cameo? Totally Awesome. Getting all some of my favorite character actors to just start showing up all over the place? David Paymer? Eddie Izzard? Brilliantly awesome. But the awesomest part of all? The part I'm still not quite over yet? Super Spoiler Alert: Super Dave is Matt Damon's father. Super Dave. Is Matt Damon's father. That is the most classic piece of stunt casting I have ever seen in my life. I want to live in a universe in which that is actually true. I want to bask in the brilliance of that universe. In fact, I want it put in Matt Damon's contract that every movie he makes from now on involves Super Dave playing his father from now on. Sure, the novelty might wear off after awhile, but by then I'll be in a wheel chair, putting my teeth in a glass of water. That's how awesome that is. It didn't matter that I called it three-quarters of the way through the movie. At some point I leaned over and whispered in Fighting Nun's ear. "Super Dave! Is Matt Damon's! Father!" And when it turned out to be true??? Even that more satisfying. Thus Endeth the Super Spoiler alert.
Although I would say, I did miss to some small extent the inclusion of Julia Roberts, and her character Tess, I think the movie was better without her in it, than it would be if she had played some roll in it. Double ditto as far as Catherine Zeta Jones is concerned.
So yeah, it doesn't do all the things Ocean's Eleven did, but what it does, it does well. A- all the way.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


There are some times in my life I want back. The more innocent times, the time I dressed up as Cyndi Lauper for Halloween, the times I was surrounded by family and friends. The times before we lost all my uncles and things became very painful. Those times I could relive again.

There are other times I would not want back, time you couldn't force me to do over again at shotgun. I realized today that one of those times is junior high. Not for any money in the world would I revisit that time in my life. Sure, if I could there are several things I would've done differently, like say not gotten a perm, or not kissing who I gave my first kiss to (Homecoming 7th grade year was awkward to say the least). But even if I was given a chance to revisit and change those things? No way. Not on your life, my life, the life of that little cute panda. Not happening.

Because, and I'm just going to come right out and say this, that age sucks. That age for a girl? Sucks ten times worse. First off, you're not comfortable in your own body yet. On top of that, you're not sure if you ever will be. Nothing fits right. Everything feels off-kilter on a regular basis. Add to that being a self-righteous snot. At least, I know I was. That was the age where I felt utterly picked on and disliked, but what I didn't realize is that I had done a lot of that to myself, feeling above it all, which I most certainly wasn't, what with learning to spell Boobless on a calculator and all. And then I, or another friend, I don't remember now, decided to spell 'Debbie is boobless' on a calculator which actually brought the wrath of my best friend Debbie, because Debbie at that age was boobless and self-conscious and thought it was a slight against her, which it wasn't, it was just an unthinking joke on whose part? I forget. But that brought her ire and almost total and utter abandonment because she was not having it.

And that's the other thing about that age, fickle friendships, and girl bitterness and just overall evilness, on my part directed at someone else or from someone else directed at me. I could be cruel, but could receive heart-breaking cruelty in return. It was horrible. Add to that the discovery of boys and you have a potentially lethal cocktail of heartache, heartbreak and pain. Boys should not break up the friendship hierarchy, first off, but they do. And don't tell me there wasn't a friendship hierarchy, because at that age everything is fickle, so the person you thought was your best friend one week is easily replaced by a new best friend the next, or worse you're easily replicable, and so you have a friendship hierarchy that you think has a sturdy base but then one week you realize everything has changed and your friendship hierarchy is really just a house of cards, a house of cards ready to topple, only to be built up so that it can be toppled and built up again and again.

Boys were a different thing entirely. There were the boys that you liked as friends, then the boys you liked more than friends, and then there were the boys that were utterly god-like and untouchable to the point that you thought you might have to kneel down at pray at their feet. Forget talking to them. And your best friend had her own boy hierarchy, and at the level that you shared the same guy friends, and the same boy deities, everything was fine. The twin boys two grades older that didn't know your names?There was enough to go around there and besides they were beyond attainable, and also interchangeable. But God forbid you actually talk to the actual boy your best friend has a crush on? Or should I say friend now? Because you just got knocked down a peg on the friend hierarchy and if you keep talking to him, you won't be a card on that house at all.

Yeah, all of that? I do not want at all ever again. One thing I doubly do not want? That would be like five million pounds of salt on an open wound? To have to go through all that in this day and age. Tween girls can't even afford to be tragic anymore. Let's face it, I was definitely tragic. The hair, trying to pick out my own clothes and failing miserably to do so in any cohesive fashion. But nowadays girls can't even afford to do that anymore. It's all being fed to them, the way they should look, the hair, the highlights, the manicures, pedicures, shopping at The Limited Too. Girls have to face the firing squad of junior high on an almost daily basis and now they have to face increasing pressure to look and dress a certain way, and if they chose to do differently? It feels like they have even more strict codes to adhere to than they ever had to before. Wanna go punk or goth? It's not just a matter of dying your hair and dressing all in black anymore. I swear to God I'm convinced kids are issued a handbook for that nowadays. You can't just be yourself, which at that age you don't know what the heck that is anyways, but you have to be what your fed to believe is the correct you. That just ain't right. Just yesterday that same girl was playing with barbies and now all of the sudden she's got to think about bras and her boobs and the fact that Jennie's boobs are bigger and that Jimmy who she has a crush on seems to be looking at Jennie more and on top of that she's got to think about what she should by, and if she should get extension or highlights. That I would not do, could not do again to save my own life.

So what brought me to this major epiphany? I went to lunch with my friend Mia and was inundated with junior high schoolers fresh from their last day of school, all wearing their cutest outfits. I was trying to carry on polite conversation, but I just couldn't. Just to look in on them at that age, out from under their parents and to analyze it, look at it from an observational point of view even gave me the shudders. The way they talked, acted, dressed, carried on with each other, as if nothing mattered but it was quite obvious that everything mattered and they just teetered on the edge of inhibition and total vulnerability was kind of almost heartbreaking. I couldn't really keep a conversation together at that, just looking at them, listening to them as they talk inanely, going through their yearbooks and discussing school functions. All I could think of and articulate was that I could never do that age again. I wish that age was easier, easier for me to have gone through, easier for my friends who had it just as tough although I probably didn't recognize it at the time, and easier for the girls now, who have to live through it and walk that tight rope of blooming adolescence which seems an even harder feat than it was back then. I wish that age will be easier for my nieces, for possibly my own daughter when I have one. It's a right of passage, but it's own that seems harder and harder to pass through unscathed.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Movie Review: Children of Men

All the hype you've read about this movie? Every rave review it recieved? Totally true. Loved it. I give it an A+, especially for the Micheal Caine and his little "pull my finger" trick. I totally recommend it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Plight of the Onions

I've been wanting to write about this for awhile now, but either keep forgetting or am just persistently lazy (The answer is the latter, which is totally obvious, heh). So probably a month or so ago I noticed a rash of onions just flung across the left shoulder of the 238 interchange. I can't be the only person to have noticed this can I? It's just a small gaggle (would a group of onions be called a gaggle? In my world they are, so that'll have to suffice.) of onion strewn next to the concrete embankments adjacent to the Bart Tracks.

Every time I see them, I get all veklempt, which is strange but not surprising at this point. But it's just sad, because I tend to get really caught up in the story of objects and I've made up several scenarios that explain how they have met their sad fate and in all the scenarios the onions have done nothing to deserve being like so much highway detritus, some of which I've decided to share with you.

Scenario 1: Some onion, I don't know which onion, but I'm guessing it's now the onion closest to the drainage grate, given how fore lorn he looks, tired of being stifled in some burlap sack headed to, I don't know, say Buloxi, decided to stage a jail break with the following speech "I didn't just spend some odd months in a dark damp place to spend the rest of my life in a dark damp place. I want to live. I want to experience the world. Who's with me?" And then a group of them stages a breakout and somehow makes a whole in their bag, only to realize that the world they are now experiencing happens to be a heavily traveled interchange smack dab in the middle of California. The speechifying onion tries to turn him and his cohorts back, but they all make a mass exodus only to truly understand their fate to late.

Scenario 2: The bag stitcher person whose job it was to seal up the onion bags was distracted that day and one bag escaped his line only partially stitched. Said bag had the sad fate of being way back on the truck, the effect of which was something like "(Insert sound of bag of chips opening) dr-drop-drop-dr-dr-dr-dr-drop-dr-drop-drop-dr-dr-dr-dr-drop rollllllllll" All while speeding cars happen to be passing overhead.

Scenario 3: "Run free my oniony compatriots, run free. Oh dude, you're in the middle of a freeway. Don't Run Free. Come back. Oh. Dude. My bad. Sorry."

All these scenarios PLUS having the sad misfortune of spotting them on my commute everyday coming back from work just make me all sad. I mean, not only is their story sad, but now, a month after it happened, nothing, except them slowly rotting, has happened to them! The weird street cleaning vehicle hasn't been buy to either pick them up like so much wasted highway garbage, or it hasn't been by to mangle them even more (so I guess that happens to be a mixed blessing). Caltrans hasn't been buy to assess (oniony) damages yet. Nothing. Just the onions. Sitting there. They are all just hanging out on the embankment, in various states of decay, looking forelorning at the passers-by, lamenting what could've been.

I've wanted for some time now to take a picture of them so there would be a face to this atrocity, but sadly my camera phone has left me hanging. But if you ever take the 238 East interchange on the way to 580, look for them, right about at the Castro Valley Bart Station, right at the crease where the road meets those big concrete pillar embankment things (those things have a name don't they? I should probably look it up shouldn't I?). Not a one of them has moved since they originally fell there, all in various huddled groups. It's just horrible. I mean, they could've been on top of someone's burger by now, or in a salad, on some vegetable stand and purchased already, but noooooo. They have to live out the remainder of their days on an interchange embankment. Not even on a self-respecting highway shoulder, an interchange. It's just more than I can handle sometimes....

Thursday, June 07, 2007

American Inventor: Season 2

So the show I had a love/hate relationship is apparantly back, I'd say with a vengeance but it's more like a low "meh". And again, it happens to be driving me nuts (Hey, don't blame me for watching it. I have to find some way to pass the time between episodes of Hell's Kitchen). Starting with the judges, which. O.k., I think we all know how I feel about the snooty English archetype and how with the exception of honorbably chef Gordon Ramsey, said archetype kind of really drives me bazoo. I don't mind the new woman they brought on to judge, but she's got some big Catherine Ohara/Mom from Six Feet Under look-alike shoes to fill versus the female judge from last season. And then you have to Piston's owner/self made man or whatever, who, thanks to Mark Cuban, already has a strike against him in my mind (I don't know, something about self-made men turning Basketball Franchise owners that just sounds douchey to me).

And then lastly you have George Foreman. Before the show last night, I totally had this whole diatribe planned about how useless he'd be on the show that went something like "He didn't INVENT the George Foreman Grill, he just slapped his name on it blah blah blah, the man can't even 'invent' original names or names not a dirivitive of George for his kids how can he be expected to judge an invention contest blah blah blah." But then I saw the show and said diatribe became a moot point, and for reasons I can't explain either. Maybe it was too easy to get the whole "I'm George Foreman and if it's simple to understand I'll give it a yes vote" type of frame of mind he was in. I mean, he just sits there grinning stupidly through all these presentations and is all "I'd buy that" at the end of each one, and it's just perfect. Apparantly Georgie Boy is proof positive of the oldie but goodie "A fool and his money are easity parted" and after all the inane inventions he approved of I have to wonder how he could possibly have maintained his dynasty with the willingness to approve and possibly buy some truly stupid stuff. Dear George Foreman; I hearby salute your inane buying habits. Love; The Bloody Munchkin.

And then, dear God, you have the contestants. The only true bright spot was when the twelve-year-old girl said she wanted to punch the snooty English archetype-er I mean judge. That was the smartest thing I had heard all episode. Too bad she didn't get in. She was a little firecracker. The low spots are too innumerable to count at this point, but there are two that still have me reeling. First, Mr. Intense-guy. First off, Sammy Hagar called, he wants his hair back. Also, tone it down on the intensity. You're either going to pop a blood vessel or go postal, and based on your reaction to the judges, I'm going with the latter. Jesus.

And then we have the dude with The Therapy Buddy. O.k., where to start... The dude is wierd. Nice guy, well meaning, but dude. And then, the doll. Dear lord the doll. I ain't knocking the doll on the looks, it seems like a nice cushie little stuffed thing I'd see next to the strange heart with hands I'm always strangely attracted to at IKEA. I'm knocking it for the voice-over. Have you heard the thing? It's like what would happen if Gollum had been cast as Chucky in Child's Play. All kinds of wrong in that voice over. "Everything's going to be alright." *Shudder*. Yeah everything's going to be all right as soon as someone guts the doll to take out its little voice chip to ensure noboby hears the voice of my nightmares ever again. The inventor of The Therapy Buddy had this whole schpeel that since his appearance on the show, the product has really taken off, and everybody wants a Therapy Buddy, to which I can only shudder. The only people I can think that would by this are B-movie writers who have been battling writers block who just figured out what to base their new horror movie off of, because, did I mention? Stuff of nightmares? Lord.

And the guy gets in! He moves on to the next round!! For all the things the last season had wrong with it, it at least had the sense enough to pass on this thing. Sheesh. The only true bright spot of him getting in happened to be the sequence that followed and the monologue it produced from Fighting Nun and myself, to wit:

Fighting Nun: Is that his partner?
Bloody Munchkin: I think so, but they both look the same, and it looks like they are wearing matching clothing.
Fighting Nun: Are they swinging around in a circle?
Bloody Munchkin: Yes. Yes they are.
Fighting Nun (rewinds scene, plays it in slow motion): Dude, That's some funny stuff right there.
Bloody Munchkin: Yes, very Sound of Music.
Fighting Nun: What?
Bloody Munchkin: You know. Sound of Music? With the kids and the hills and the twirling around together and such?
Fighting Nun: No I don't know.
Bloody Munchkin: "The Heeee-illlllllls arrrrrrrreeeee A-liiiiiiive with the sound of Muuuuusic." You know, Julie Andrews.
Fighting Nun (stifling a laugh): Actually that sounds like your Cowardly Lion.
Bloody Munchkin: No it doesn't. I'll prove it. "If I were KING of the Fooooorrrrrrrrrrrest". See. Different.
Fighting Nun, (no longer stifling laughter): No, they're both the same in that they are both bad.
Bloody Munckin: Jule Andrews, The Cowardly Lion and I all hate you.*
*Actually this is what I would've said had I actually thought of it last night.

So here's to another season of American Inventor, the purpose of which seems to be that it forces Fighting Nun and myself into inane conversations.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Ninja Warrior

So this is a public service announcement, one that I wish the old me from five years ago would read and would say "Wow, that is? Awesome. I am so glad I know about this now." Because knowing that Ninja Warrior existed back then or even knowing back then that it exists now would have brought me five years of joy and lemony freshness, well maybe not lemony freshness, but definately joy.

Ninja Warrior? Is awesome. Teeming with Awesomeness. So-bummed-I-didn't-know-anything-about-it-til-now Awesomeness. To which I have to ask? Why didn't somebody tell me about this before? Somebody's dropping the ball again! Geez. I had to hear about it through a co-worker. Apparantly his adolescent boys love the show, which probably says something bad about my apparant choice in TV shows, but I don't fully understand what that is. Anyhoo. Ninja Warrior. It should be surprising to absolutely no one that I would like this show. Hello! Final-Fu! Duh! Ninja Warrior has so many things to reccomend it: Tasks that could be potentially embarrassing. The possibility for (non-serious) injury. Dominatrix Transvestites. It is absolutely perfect.

The thing that I like most about it though is that it takes itself way too seriously which means I can not take it seriously at all. Let me explain by using another show not unlike this one; MXC. For those of you not in the know regarding MXC, it's a show involving a lot of falling, tripping, running in to things and other means of torturing its contestants, all while some cheesy voice recaps every torturous fall, spill, impaling, and slip. Every part of that show, from the contests, to the hilarious over-dubbing to the replays are done to schlocky effect. Now I appreciate a good unintentional belly flop and/or groin pull as much as the next person, but with MXC there comes a point where it's all "Yeah. O.k. I get the joke. Ha Ha."

But Ninja Warrior? Does just the opposite of this. Every part of it is designed to show you how serious it is, from the over-serious contestants ("I will avenge my brother." Like What? Dude it's an obstacle course. He didn't die, he wasn't maimed. There is nothing to avenge.), to the obstacle course they have to complete (The WARPED Wall! Oooooh! Quaking in my boots), to the fact that it is a timed run (which, what?) to the Japanese Announcer guy they decided to subtitle instead of overdubbing (which has its own awesome appeal, because the Japanese announcer guy sounds all crazed and overzealous, but then the English translation of what he's saying is so mundane, and I stop reading the subtitles because they don't matter anyway and then I start thinking that this announcer dude and the announcer guy who does all the play-by-plays for soccer, you know the guy with the long drawn out "Gooooooooooooollllll" call, should have their own reality show), to the American Announcer used to recap the action (using his best Mr. Moviephone voice). Because this show. Is. So. Serious I have spent a good chunk of the time doubled over in laughter. I mean first off "The Avenge My Brother" guy. Take it easy on the righteous anger dude, geez. Then there was the aforementioned transvestite dominatrix in all her vinyl glory who ended up biffing it on the WARPED Wall of doom, because, let's face it, Fluevog clogs? Not what you should be running an obstacle course in, no matter how well they match your outfit. And to top it all off, they keep panning to shots of the crowd, looking all shocked and dismayed that somebody didn't complete the course. You hear them cheering, and then the guy, or you know, transvestite doesn't complete the course or falls dramatically and then you see the crowd all crestfallen, everyone wearing long faces. It is awesome. And to top that all off, you have the Mr. Moviephone guy giving a recap of the action and how upset everyone is that he didn't make it. It's cheesetastic and the great thing is that it doesn't know its cheesetastic so it ends up being even better!

And then, and then and then??? You have Women of Ninja Warrior. So apparantly they created an obstacle course more suited to test the strengths and weaknesses of women, which what? But I am telling you, Awesome!!! I have to say I appreciate any woman who decides to wear any of the following to an obstacle course; a skirt, a school uniform, repleat with knee socks and pleated plaid skirt (which Fighting Nun was very amused by to say the least), a field hockey uniform, a soccer goalie uniform, a postal worker's uniform, and a cosplay outfit, to which I have to ask; Did you really think you could run an obstacle course in a tutu and fairy wings, plus the wand, because let's not forget the wand? I mean talk about forethought. (The Cosplay chick, in case you were wondering, almost smacked her head into the camera stand in a spectacular splash down. Guess her wand couldn't save her.) And there was the woman who decided to run the course, said obstacle course being on top of a small body of water, who couldn't swim. Genius. Pure and utter genius. Because there are few things more rewarding than to see a woman biff a task and then flail in water for a good thirty seconds, until somebody rescues her and gets her to stand in the water. Perfect.

Did I mention I love this show? Because I love this show. I apparantly love this show so much that my brainwaves permeated Fighting Nun's thinking and he set it up on the season pass on our DVR. There might be a few things better than having all this cheesetasticness at your beck and call but I don't know what they are at this exact moment.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Adventures in iPod-Land

There's several things in my life in which I know are true, but I have a stubborn insistence to believe aren't true. Maybe it upsets my sense of fairness for instance (I'm looking at you ending of Suicide Kings, which I had to rewrite in my head. Not only did I have to put up with Dennis Leary Dennis Learying for a good 50 minutes, but I also had to deal with Christopher *Shudder* Walken, who was at the apex of his skeevocity right here. Between this movie, True Romance, and Last Man Standing he had really honed in his talent for skeeving me the heck out.), or maybe I just enjoy living in the fantasy world in my head so much that when I find out that said thing is different, I cling desperately to how I had it in my head. Yes I know. Very immature in that "La La La. Can't Hear You." kind of way. I should grow up and accept that certain things are how they are. But I can't. In fact, I kind of like that motto the dude from Mythbusters came up with. Something like "I reject your reality and create my own." I mean exactly.

Nowhere has my stubborn insistence been tested than with my new iPod. Yes I'm finally up to speed with the rest of the free world, what with fiiiiiiinally getting an iPod (Thanks Fighting Nun, for the awesome anniversary gift, socks included). I had been cleaving to my old MP3 player that I had received somewhere during Bush's first term in office (from Fighting Nun as well). As archaic as it had become, I still loved it implicitly. But what started out as a wonderful symbiotic relationship had deteriorated into the type of relationship you might have with your elderly grandfather. You talk to it in nice soothing tones as you listen to it complain incessantly. With my old MP3 player, I witnessed something I didn't know was even possible: a death rattle in increments. It didn't die dramatically all at once. Instead it kept puttering along, parts of it inoperable, it and I still cleaving to the parts of its memory that still worked. It was and is quite sad really, like trying to keep an old dog alive even though you know its time to say goodbye and he'd really be better off going to that big dog park or in this case MP3 player heaven in the sky. But I can't bare to do that to my MP3 player. Even though it's been replaced, I still have it hidden away in drawer somewhere, willing it to get better. We shared so many good memories together.

And it's because of those memories that I have a stubborn insistence that the iPod should work in much the same manner as my old MP3 player or, more to the point better. I was utterly happy to find out I could create a play list through the iPod, (which I couldn't do easily on my old player, but whatevs). But I have a very honed routine within which to hone my play lists that my MP3 player (through my computer) was more than willing to comply with. My process started with me scouring my music files and then throwing them up on a player (Winamp preferably) and seeing what stuck. Then I would begin the detailed process of listening and rearranging songs until I had a finally tuned play list of my choosing, which fit my mood, or a long list of moods. It was the perfect arrangement. (I have been able to get from Bloodhound Gang to Nick Drake in less than six songs. This makes me happy.) But the iPod itself? Doesn't let me do it that way. Listen, before you open outlook all bitter with sentiments of "Hey rookie...", trust me, I get that I can do such an arrangement on iTunes, or whatever the software is that comes with the iPod and I can still cull my play list anyway I want. I get that, but I also get that the IT Nazis here at work won't let me install that, so I'm pretty much stuck doing that at home. I want to be able to do it from the iPod though. I mean there's got to be a way right??? I throw a bunch of things in the On-the-go list and I should be able to move in any way shape or form once its up there, right? Right??? No?!? Why not??? Oh I get it, because it would make TOO MUCH SENSE!!! No, I'm rejecting this reality and creating my own. There has to be some button combination I can use to move the songs freely in the play list. I demand, it should supply!!!

I'm also insistent that the iPod, who I have lovingly named Itch (see because I got it on my seventh anniversary, which is consequently the anniversary in which you buy wool apparently, which is fitting because, you know, seven year itch and everything? Not funny?!? Whatevs. I reject your reality and create my own. That is hi-larious.), should obey what I'm thinking and not the key combination I press. Part of my brain is holding onto the notion that my iPod should predict what it is I want it to do. "No I didn't want to scroll past the P section. I wanted to stop at the P section. Don't obey the fingers Itch. Obey the brainwaves." (I might be stuck on its obedience and compliance with my every whim because I just got the box set of all the seasons of Invader Zim, which was my anniversary present to Fighting Nun, and have consequently been ordering things around way too much, amid bouts of singing the doom song and telling Fighting Nun, the dog and various inanimate objects that I need the tacos or I will explode.)

Oh, and the thing that has me the most mad? Apparently Itch and Fighting Nun did some communing before he gave it to me, because every time I use shuffle when playing all the albums, it gets stuck on things Fighting Nun really likes, like Rush followed by Yes followed by Queensryche, followed by Kings X. followed by System of a Down. What about what I like? Where's Garbage, Ladytron? Heck where's Peaches? Huh, Huh, Huh??? Which is why I tried culling a play list on it, which blah-blah-vicious-cycle cakes.

Don't get me wrong. I love Itch. I do. The Itch is all video and Fighting Nun lovingly put in some of my favorite movie moments. Like I now have the Truffle Shuffle at my beck and call, which is awesome because there have been several moments in my life in which I have either thought or uttered aloud "You know what could make this better? The Truffle Shuffle." Or, "I'm so bummed. If only I had the Truffle Shuffle, I could feel better." And now that I have the opportunity to either improve or enhance my day by watching the Truffle Shuffle whenever I want? Well, I won't say my life is complete, I mean I still need to see the Pyramids and the other eight wonders in order to say that, maybe, but I'm pretty damn close. I'm just.... so.... fulfilled. For that alone, Itch is a bringer of mirth and joy. All I ask is that Itch Obey Me!!!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What I did last week

Hamvention. Ham. Vention. A Convention. For Ham Radio Operators. I'll wait a moment for that to sink in. Go ahead, let the thought of me going to a convention like that wash all over you. Done? O.k., we'll move on so that I may let you revel in my adventures at the Hamvention. Enjoy my little recap and rejoice in the fact that you didn't have to be there.

The three days spent at Hamvention went something like this: Song and dance, pony show, song and dance, pony show. "So what is the legal number of radios you can have strapped to your backpack anyway?" "I believe it's five." "Interesting." Song and Dance, Song and Dance. Marvelled at the parade of off-kilter humanity that stands before you. Recited my theory that everyone I've met so far is a variation on various people in my life; my high school science teacher, curmudgenly great-uncle, uncle, other uncle, father, that cool professor in college that Fighting Nun and I ended up drinking and talking about theoretical physics with, my ex-boyfriend, the comic-book guy on The Simpsons and a whole smattering of other people I've known. Uttered said theory to guys working booth. Got hit on by a seventy-five year old man who looks not unlike my grandfather (God rest his soul). HaD him lay it on thick for a good fifteen minutes. Felt thoroughly skeeved out by it. Threw previous theory out. Went to Lunch. Saw the Haagan Das counter and the Haagan Das guy. Swore off ice cream for the trip. Dog and Pony show. "Oh my God, that guy has on a Schroedinger's Cat T-shirt. That man is awesome." "Schrodinger's What?" "I... Well you see... You know what, too hard to explain. Let's just say I spent a leeeeetle too much time with Fighting Nun's Physics buddies back in college and leave it at that?" Song and Dance. Saw some amusing hats involving antennas and helmets. Marvelled at them. Pony Show, pony show pony show. Finished the show, ate, went back to the hotel, tried to explain my glee at the Schrodinger's Cat T-shirt to Fighting Nun only to be left out to dry. Slept.

Woke up to do the whole pony show over again. Pony Show, song and dance. Skeevy old dude. Again. Got skeeved out, again. Walked around rest of trade show. Pony Show. Took a lunch and inadvertantly stumbled upon the second coolest thing that day. Middle-aged Tron. That's right. Middle-aged Tron. He looked like the guy in Office Space who gets canned and then tries to kill himself and ends up in a bad car-wreck but also makes his jump-to-conclusions mat in all his mustache-twitching glory but in a Tron suit. And he didn't bail out either. Most guys in his position would've at least felt somewhat shamed by this display but he went full fledged into it, arms akimbo, smug smile. In the immortal works of Eddie in Empire Records "Well outlaw man. We salute you." Took a picture of Middle-Aged Tron with camera phone and pressed Store button, or thought I pressed store button. Got lunch. Ate Lunch. Discovered THE COOLEST thing that day. Cheesecake. On a stick. A slice of cheesecake, pie crust and all. Dipped (DIPPED!) in chocolate and frozen!!! The person who came up with that might soon find a marriage proposal addressed from me in the mail, just as soon as I figure out who he or she is. Now, before anybody gets indignant or upset that I'd leave Fighting Nun for someone who makes chocolate dipped cheesecake (ON A STICK!!!), know that I would never leave Fighting Nun for a desert-wielding person or persons. There would just be an arrangement see? An open arrangement where I am still with Fighting Nun but the cheesecake-on-a-stick person provides me with all the cheesecake (on a stick!) that I can manage. Although I'm not sure Fighting Nun would be happy with the arrangement, I'm sure we could come up with a compromise. Song and dance, pony show. Reveledl in the simulatneous glory if the delicious aftermath of the Cheesecake (ON A STICK!) and having seen the middle-aged Tron guy. Openned my cell phone to procur picture of middle-aged Tron to show to fellow pony show workers. Looked at cellphone incredulously when that the picture was not (WAS NOT) there. Went through the five stages of grief regarding not having a picture of middle-aged Tron. Recieved no comfort whatsoever from the fact that you can google middle-aged Tron on the internet. "It's not the same." Went back to booth and realize middle-aged Tron was gone!!! Pouted. Finished Dog and Pony show for the day. Ate with sales guys. Listened to them argue about The Sopranos for all of dinner. Went back to hotel, watched the end of The Sixth Sense and cried big buckets at that scene with Tony Collette. Don't have any good excuse for it either. Slept.
Woke up for one more day of the Dog and Pony show. Listened as the sales guys come up with an estimate as to how much I was worth. To wit, found out that my presence at said show brought in approximately $3,000 more than if I'd stayed home. Muttered under breath that I should've sandbagged it because this means I'll have to go back next year. Despite my better judgement, went back to the cheesecake on a stick guy, only to realize he was all sold out of cheesecake (On a stick!) and experienced the five stages of grief regarding the loss of said cheesecake (on a stick!), tried to convince myself that I'd be better off without said cheesecake (on a stick!) but whimpered because I knew it is untrue. Cheesecake makes all things better. Considered begging and pleading but thought better of it and took in the rest of the tradeshow. Considered, however fleetingly, of buying a three-hundred-dollar ladder. Had inner monologue about said ladder, to wit "You know, Fighting Nun said we need one and our anniversary is coming up...." "You'd actually buy your husband a ladder for your anniversary? Are you out of your mind????" "But if I buy it today, I can get the workbench and autoleveler thrown in. For Free!" "You disgust me." Marvelled at the fact that someone happens to be selling laptops for three-hundred dollars at the show and wondered if said laptops actually still had visible serial numbers or if they had been filed off. Counted the hours, minutes and seconds left before I could pack up the show and go home. Packed up the show and went home. Sat in airport and read book for a long, long time. Got home late and considered never speaking of the Hamvention ever again. Hugged the husband, hugged the dog and prayed to the powers that be I never have to go travelling for work again. Dreamt of Cheesecake (On a Stick!!!).