Thursday, March 31, 2011

Now THAT'S Racist!

It has been four whole years since the last Asian Arert. Well, here's a new one:  This clip is from the Tokyo shock flick 'Vampire  Girl -vs- Frankenstein Girl' and features a clique of Japanese school-girls that are taking the 'wanna-be' fad way too far.
Yes, it's offensive, but I also I think it's an inspired social commentary on the absurdity of the misguided emulation of (wrongly perceived) black culture.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Rewired: Part Three - The Minuses of Hulu Plus

Item: Hulu Plus
Price: $7.99 per month
Days to pay for itself (compared to cost of cable): 1.6 per month

It's been well over a month since we cut cable, and we're surprisingly happy with our new set-up... With one exception: Hulu Plus.  First off, here's what it is: Hulu Plus is a streaming service available through the PS3, Roku, mobile Apple devices, and a few select TVs/Blu-ray players. Hulu Plus has over 400 shows and 800 movies available for streaming to your TV/game console/mobile device.
They have some good shows (Nova, X-Files, Firefly, Law & Order SVU, Spaced, Little Britain, Daily Show, etc.). They have a plethora of crap shows (Airwolf, Time Tunnel, Major Dad, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, etc.). They have a bunch of shows I never watch, but that people seem to like (Family Guy, Glee, Jersey Shore,30 Rock, etc.).
It sounds like a pretty good deal for 8 bucks a month until you realize that the standard version of Hulu has four times the number of shows FOR FREE. I can watch Simpsons, Venture Brothers, Fringe, Walking Dead, Sons of Anarchy, etc for free on Hulu, but NOT on Hulu Plus. I realize that it's a licensing issue, but I really don't want to shell out $8 per month just to watch Nova with commercials (sometimes thrown in mid-sentence).
The selection isn't even the worst bit. I don't know if Hulu Plus won an online auction for a load of Soviet-era Bulgarian technology, but that seems to be what their running their service on. Damn near every show you watch will skip ahead, freeze, or (if you're lucky) completely lock-up so that you have to manually re-boot the PS3. It's ridiculous. I have never had that problem with Netflix's streaming service, but It happens constantly with Hulu Plus.
The one thing I can say that I really like about Hulu Plus is that they've started to make available a load of Criterion Collection films, and seem to be adding in more all of the time. That's good. When I was trying to watch Nobuhiko Obayashi's 'House' The film kept locking-up and it took me over 2 hours to watch an 88 minute film. That's not good.
Don't believe the hype - There's no "race" between Netflix and Hulu Plus, that'd be like a race between a Ferrari and a filing cabinet. Hulu Plus could be a great service if they work out the bugs in their system and focus on securing more licenses for current shows. That looks like it is a long way off, so until they work out their myriad flaws, I can't (in good conscience) recommend Hulu Plus to anyone. Then again, it's still better than Comcast.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Very Young Dog
Puppy, Puppy, Puppy, Puppy!

We just rescued a (12 week old) puppy last Friday (March 11th).  I didn't see this one coming.  I was out at Mutiny on Wednesday and was alerted by the bartender to a golden pup that was about to hit the shelter.  Less than 48 hour later, we had another dog.
This one is Jenny's, so I'm leaving the naming up to her, but it looks like she's going to be called Leela (I wanted to name her 'Amaterasu-Ō-Mi-Kami', so it's probably for the best that Jenny took over that duty).
And, yes, I know that the pic is out of focus, but it is nearly impossible to get a picture of the puppy that isn't a golden blur.  Deal with it.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Hasta la Vista, Crazy.

After five months of crashing out on our futon, Cheyenne (pictured) went back to live with her real family today. I'll be at a loss for rambling stories of adventure for awhile.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Rewired: Part Two - Broadcast n00bs

Item:  RCA ANT1450B Multi-Directional Digital Flat Amplified Home Theater Antenna (Black)
Price: $22.09
Days to pay for itself (compared to cost of cable): 4.5

It's funny how you you forget that there's free television floating in the air all around you. We're lucky enough to have one of the few functioning outdoor antennas jutting majestically from the side of our apartment - We've had the second TV hooked up to that for years. Once we cut the cable I bought a cheap digital antenna for the main TV. It took no time to hook up, and after a 5 minute auto-program we had 55 free channels. Some of them are even in English (It must be impossible to sell cable to the Spanish speaking populous of Chicago, hence my new axiom: He's so good, he could sell cable subscriptions to Mexicans). Anyway, after some acclamation to not being able to pause, rewind, or skip through the commercials and having to move the antenna around occasionally when a signal drops, it isn't all that bad. Plus, it's kinda cool to rediscover ephemera you never thought you'd ever need again, such as TV listings.
With our current set-up, I'll get all of the Bears games and most Cubs/Blackhawks games. I'm gonna miss NFL Red Zone, but I can't justify paying $1800 annually for 16 afternoons of football coverage. We get 7 PBS stations, which is pretty sweet, and I discovered that they telecast the Roe & Roper show everyday on NBC 5.2 - SCORE! All in all, I'm not noticing too much of a difference. It seems that PBS always has something on worth watching, and there are several news programs scattered throughout the day (this morning I had my coffee to Al-Jazeera English, which probably landed me on a watch-list somewhere). I'm good-to-go with my cheap-ass antenna, just don't bother me between 8PM and 9PM (CST) on Fridays - I'm watching Fringe, motherfuckers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rewired: Part One - Enter the TVoid

Several weeks ago The Girl and I decided to ditch cable, and as of 11AM this morning we're cable free. This isn't anything new to me.  Over the last 20 years, I've only had cable for about half of that time.  I came to the realization that in the times that I didn't have cable, I got a hell of a lot more accomplished than the times that I did have cable. Obviously.  Okay, it wasn't really a realization, more of a recognition.
I looked at the Comcast bill and saw that we were shelling out nearly $150 a month for HD cable with a DVR and HBO/Showtime (including the city tax). Then I made a list of all of the shows that I'm watching on a weekly basis.  Here is that list in it's entirety: Fringe.  I then expanded my list to all of the shows I watched regularly over the last year: Fringe, Venture Brothers, Dexter, True Blood, Boardwalk Empire, Walking Dead, and  Sons of Anarchy.  Then I threw in Idiot Abroad, which we just started to watch (but not V, which I watch but can't figure out why I'm bothering to watch it). I totaled up all of all of those episodes per year and divided it by the cable bill per year and came out to... It's costing me $20 per fucking episode!  Are you fucking kidding me?!?!  I'm being robbed!
Now I'm taking the cable money and spending (a small part) on several different technologies/services and will be doing a series of posts on each item/service.  Look for new posts in the days and weeks to come as I try out the alternatives (HD Broadcast, Hulu Plus, Netflix, etc.) and have some time to process my experiences.
Keep tuned.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Strange Saga of the Menstruation Gate

I'm still watching Nate's 'mentally different' dog (see preceding post). That I'm fine with. What I'm not so fine with is that Cheyenne is quickly approaching her special lady-time*, and I have nightmarish visions of my apartment turning into this:
Further complicating the situation is my belief, as a Dogon bushman, that menstruating females are unclean and must be confined to a menstrual hut for the duration of their shedding of the uterine lining. Unfortunately, I couldn't track down a menstrual hut seller on Amazon that was willing to provide free shipping to Chicago, so I opted for a metal baby gate instead, thus transforming my kitchen into a de-facto menstrual hut. I'm praying like fuck that the sky god Amma is okay with that. So, I order the menstruation gate from Amazon and it is scheduled to be delivered on the first of the month. You know what else was scheduled to be delivered on the first of the month? 20+ inches of motherfucking snow, that's what. The parcel was delayed a couple of days, which is completely understandable, even though our street was clear throughout. As of Thursday evening, the UPS tracking info indicates that the package is scheduled to be delivered sometime on Friday. Cool.

Day I (Friday):
Was up and going at 8AM just in case I got a go-getter delivery driver. There were a load of errands to run, but I decided to hang-tough (like a New Kid) and make sure that I didn't miss the UPS guy. I sporadically checked the UPS Track and Confirm status just to make sure that everything was on schedule. When I refreshed the tracking info at 1:30 I got "1:27 P.M. - The customer was not available on the 1st attempt. A 2nd attempt will be made." Dicks! Either they were outright lying, or the sign I had taped to the front door was overly vague:
My feeling on the matter is that if you are unable to decipher that sign, you probably shouldn't be driving.
Screw those guys. I decided that since I wasn't going to get the package, that I should focus on trying to get my Jeep out of the garage in case I had to go and pick it up. It took 30 seconds to get the Jeep out of the garage and an hour getting it dug out and the 10 feet back in**. I was stuck. Now I had to make sure that the menstruation gate was delivered to my door.
I called up the UPS 1-800 number to make sure that the parcel would be redelivered. I got through their automated telephone hell; "If you want to know where your motherfucking parcel is say 'motherfucking parcel'.. I'm sorry I did not get that", only to be transferred to a busy signal THREE FUCKING TIMES.
Okay, this is war.
I prayed to Amma to hold off the bloodworks through the weekend and begun waiting for Monday.

Day II (Monday):
Evidently there had been a 'Super Bowl' of some sort over the weekend, but I hadn't really notice as I had become menstruation gate obsessed. With the weekend gone, I was ready for those fuckers. By 8AM, I had a pot of coffee in me and all of my 'necessities' out of the way. At any time of the day I made sure that I wasn't any further than 50 feet from the doorbell. I spent lengths of time with my forehead pressed up against the window. Waiting... like a crouched panther.. strapped with a thermonuclear bomb. Hell, at one time in the day a doorbell rang in some fucking 1-800-Flowers commercial and I ran downstairs just to be sure. I was running to the window every time I heard a diesel engine passing. Listening. Watching. WAITING. Around 4:30 I caught the UPS truck driving by, and sure enough when I checked the Track and Confirm status it came up as: "4:41 P.M. - The customer was not available on the 1st attempt. A 2nd attempt will be made."
Again? So the were admitting that this was the first attempt and that they were just fucking with me on Friday? And now a 'delivery attempt' involves driving by at 30 MPH? Oh, fuck you guys! It's not like you have to deliver the fucking menstruation gate to some remote fucking fly-speck village in the Mopti region of Niger. I live on a main thoroughfare in one of the largest cities in the United States. C'mon, this shouldn't be too fucking hard, people! Yeesh.
Here's a suggestion; focus less on cheap buzzwords such as "logistics" and work on delivering some motherfucking packages, you brown-short wearing cunts. As for logistics, you suck at it.

Day III (Tuesday):
At this point it's me against the clowns in brown. I'm jacked up on a mix Red Bull and pure hatred which makes me slightly more high-strung than a methed-out chipmunk. I'm waiting... No, I AM waiting personified. To compound matters, they start doing construction on the empty storefront below us, so with every new noise the (not yet menstruating) dog freaks out and I run to the window.
Around noon the doorbell rings. I'm downstairs in 10 seconds flat, swing open the door with an "A-HA!" and scare the hell out of the mailman. I ask him if he's seen any UPS scum in the vicinity. He mutters "Uh-uh", shoves Jenny's catalog order at me, and runs off. I begin to suspect that he's in on the conspiracy, possibly an undercover UPS agent sent to check my alertness.
Around 2PM I catch sight of a box truck in the unloading zone down the street. I run out and stare hatefully at the Snap-On Tools truck that was brazen enough to deceive me. At 3PM I chase a FedEx truck down the street just for the hell of it. Around 4:30 I notice my landlord outside and decide to take a break from pressing my forehead against the window whilst swearing and go down and say "hi". I'm in front of the apartment talking to Jimmy for about 20 minutes... Well, talking for 5 - bitching about those UPS fuckers for 15. I head back up to recheck the order status and get: "4:31 P.M. - The customer was not available on the 2nd attempt. A 3rd attempt will be made."
Okay, let me get this straight: You tried to deliver the parcel to the apartment while I was standing in front of said apartment? Trust me, I would have noticed. Hell, I probably would have run-up and tackled the guy once he stepped on the block. I would have chased a truck down the street swearing, had one driven past while I was out there. You fuckers aren't even trying now. I go upstairs, make another phone call to the UPS not-line, get disconnected again, throw a tantrum, decide to send UPS an e-mail, compose e-mail, get stopped half-way through due to the '500 character' limit, remove all obscenities, finish writing e-mail, notice that I still have several characters left. At this point I AM a burning hatred of UPS.
Around 5:30PM a UPS truck stops across the street and delivers a package. Before he can drive off, I scream "Gimme my menstruation gate, you brown bastards" out the window. The driver looks around, quickly jumps into the truck, and speeds off, I notice (thankfully) that the driver is a white dude.
Around 11PM Dena calls up and asks me if I want to meet up with the Valtrex Squad for some drinks. Fuck it, I need to get the hell out of this place. Jenny agrees and shoos me out the door. I head down to Quencher's - Drink. Then head across the street to The Mutiny - Drink more. By 2AM I'm substantially less crazed and very drunk.

Day IV (Wednesday):
Roll off the couch at 11AM. Mutter something about "UPS cunts" and grab some aspirin for the fucking headache. I make some lunch, and around 1:30PM the doorbell rings. It's my motherfucking menstruation gate; Praise be to Amma! I was so damned surprised that UPS actually bothered to deliver the parcel that I was downright giddy when I saw that brown bastard (yet another white guy). I didn't even care that the package looked like it had been re-routed through Vanuatu - I had that fucker! Later that evening Jenny and I started to put it together. Some pieces were scratched and slightly bent from the shipping, but nothing too serious. Definitely nothing worth sending it back and going through that ordeal again. I actually had it, and then I knew a happiness that can only be known between a man and a menstruation gate.
Here it is in all of its majesty:
The dog hates it. Actually, it's more of a 'terrified of' than a 'hate', then again, she's terrified of helium-filled balloons so a new gate is bound to be horrifying. I don't care. We're ready for Cheyenne's special lady-time and I don't have to worry about the three week run of her menstrual-show. I'm fine with that.
To top it all off, UPS called in response to my e-mail and woke me up at 9AM this morning. I know it was exactly 9AM because the phone was ringing at the same time the alarm was going off. I was half asleep, so I started to say that I got the parcel and was going to let that be the end of it before the UPS rep foolishly mentioned that UPS had tried to deliver the package several times before I was available and that I was lucky that they allowed an extra delivery for me. I woke up damned quick and gave her the WHOLE bloody story. She seemed disturbed. Very disturbed. I was thoroughly amused by her horror. I win.

*Fun Fact: Dogs menstruate twice a year for 3 whole bloody weeks at a fucking time!

**4-wheel drive doesn't work if 3 tires are off the ground and the remaining tire is on a sheet of ice. In fact, 4x4 stands for 4" deeper and 4' further.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nate's Weird Little Dog -or- How I Missed the DeKalb Townie Christmas Party

It started off as a simple plan:  Head out to the hinterland, get the dog acclimated to new surroundings, run some errands, head out to D-Town, drink festively, return the next morning, head back to Chicago, the end.  Sounds nice, huh? Well this is what really happened:
We've been watching my good friend Nate's dog (pictured above) since September while he and his kids are in the process of moving.  It's a good deal.  Nate doesn't have to worry about the dog and Jenny gets to mollycoddle something other than the X-Box 360.  The dog is super-sweet, but how to put this mildly... um, er... nuttier than a sack of squirrel turds.
So, now Jenny is in Williamsburg, VA for the holidays and I'm home alone with the dog.  The parents were up in Wisconsin, so I figured that I could just take the dog out to their place and use that as my base of operations for some festive wassailing.  I headed out of the city around noon.  Well, noon-twenty. I should have known to end the adventure when it took 20 minutes getting the dog into the back of the Jeep.
I solved that challenge with an elegant flying tackle into shot-put technique after ten straight minutes of creative swearing failed to do the trick.
We got on the road and despite my repeated suggestions the dog insisted on standing for the duration of the trip.  This wouldn't have been a big deal if the traffic hadn't been stop-and-go for the first half of the journey and the dog didn't have the sense of balance of a turnip.  So what happened was: Accelerate - Dog slams into back window, Decelerate - Dog slams into safety gate, Turn - Dog slams into side window/spare tire.  Motorists were actually pointing and laughing, and I began to feel and equal mix of anger and humiliation often reserved exclusively for 14 year-old girls with their families at the beach.  I tried reasoning with the dog and even went so far to try and explain Newton's three laws of motion to her but it was no use.  We finally made it there just as I suspect she was just starting to grasp the concept of linear momentum.
I suspect she grasped the basics of linear momentum, because once I opened up rear door of the Jeep she shot off like a furry missile. FUCK. So I'm running through 2 feet of snow (in Converse) trying just to keep her in my line of sight. After much pleading, cajoling, and a bit of creative swearing I finally got her into the first fence on the far side of the house that wraps around the pool. Her first order of business was to run out to the dead center of the frozen pool and defaecate. FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!
Flash forward 10 minutes - I'm exhausted from chasing the dog in a circle around the pool, swearing, and waving a frosty pool skimmer trying to get her to go into the fucking yard. I give up, prop the gate open with a shovel, and head into the garage for a beer.  She finally wanders into the yard, I leap out of the garage, slip on the ice, spill my beer, lunge toward the gate, and slam it shut with an "A-HA, GOTCHA!".
I took her into the yard, set out some water for her (which horrified her beyond description for some reason), and attempted to show her how the doggie door into the (heated) garage worked. I sat there for another 10 minutes sticking my arm through the dog-flap and gently trying to nudge her through it.  It didn't work at all.  Fuck it.
With that ordeal in the rear-view, I unpacked some stuff and focused on some holiday-themed projects such as fishing frozen dog turds off of the pool with aforementioned skimmer, emptying several mouse traps, and affixing my new MP4 Smith & Wesson Q3 tactical flashlight onto my Rock River Arms LAR-15 rifle.  After I finished up my festive tasks, I left the dog out in the yard while I ran into town to pick up another one of my bad-ass machines that was out for repair:
I returned not even 45 minutes later and it looked like the dog had spent the entire time alone trying to jump over/dig under the 5 foot fence.  When I found her she was standing in a hole with her front legs poking through the chain-link fence looking like she was awaiting the sweet embrace of death.  We went inside and I filled up one bowl with food and another with water which she stared at with a look of unbridled horror and ran into the other room wherein she saw a vacuum cleaner which she stared at with a look of unbridled horror and ran into the other room wherein she saw a chair which she stared at with a look of unbridled horror and ran into the other room, etc. (repeat for one hour).
I was starting to suspect that my DeKalb drinking adventure was probably in jeopardy at this point, so I decided that I just make a run to WalMart and call it a night.  What to do with the dog?  I looked around and realized that I could put her in the entry way with her food, water, and a doggie bed.  It was about 8 foot square, so she would have plenty of room, and the doors shut on both ends, so she wouldn't wreak havoc in my absence.  Hell, this was nice enough that I could leave her there later and run to DeKalb, make a showing, have a couple of beers, and come back in time to let her out and go to bed.  I'm a fucking genius.  I left for the store incredibly pleased with myself and picked up some festive items from WalMart such as 4 bags of water-softener salt, Windex, paper towels, sugar-free Red Bull, a carton of Winstons, and a couple boxes of mint tea.
I came home to URINE... and lots of it.  I have no idea how one animal can piss so much.  It was rolling out from under the closed door.  I guess the trick is to miss anything absorbent, as the dog-bed remained unscathed.  I cleaned up that mess, did a few odd-jobs, made myself a sandwich, switched on the Steelers game, and settled down - my hopes of making it out to the party utterly crushed.  I got into the second quarter of the game before I figured out that the dog had planned to spend the entire night wandering around in circles, crying, and being horrified by every item in sight.
Fuck it, I'm going home.
I made good time heading back, the dog doing the hairy pinball act the entire way home.  I let the dog out of the back and she was ECSTATIC!  She was running around, hopping about, and looking at me like: "OMG! That was the funnest trip EVER!"  Fuck you, dog.
I went down to Fireside, grabbed a beer, hung out with Jimmy, watched the end of the game, and tried to put the whole fucking ordeal behind me.
And that's why I didn't make it out to the DeKalb Townie Christmas Party.

The End

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

New Little Big Planet 2 Trailer

I'm way jazzed for this. I just preordered the deluxe version from Amazon.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Heaven is Failing

Burning Qur'ans and building mosques... I don't get it.
I find it endlessly entertaining to watch both the left and right drape themselves in the 1st amendment and go apoplectic while completely missing the point.
The right is in a tizzy about heathens building Park51 (better known as the Ground Zero Mosque) next to America's gaping freedom hole, and the left has their pretty little panties in a bunch about some backwoods preacher burning paper.  I hate to break it to all of you, but these are both 1st amendment issues and you're both wrong.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf admits that he chose the location for Park51 because the existing building was severely damaged in the 9/11 attacks by debris from United 175.  He stated: "(It) sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11" and "We want to push back against the extremists."  Yeah, and then we'll all join hands and enjoy a Pepsi while skipping though a field of posies.  He seems like a smart guy, and can't be so blindly naive to think that there wouldn't be opposition to raising a Muslim religious center from a building destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.  He did it (by his own admission) for the publicity and to make a statement (whatever that might be).  Period.  End.  And you know what?  He has every right to do so.  This is America.

Terry Jones (not the guy from Monty Python, the Florida pastor) runs a small church of about 50 people named the 'Dove World Outreach Center' because (as everyone knows) doves are notorious for reaching out and whompin' up on the asses of the heathen masses.  Before the media picked up on his Freedom Day BBQ plans, he was relegated to hanging out with his buddies and making up anti-Islam t-shirts and holding misspelled "God Hates _" signs.  Now he has his 15 minutes.  Thanks a lot.  Still, if he wants to burn a pile of Qur'ans he has every right to do so.  This is America.

I don't see how this becomes a matter of Left -vs- Right.  It seems almost reactionary; as soon as the idiots on the right profess to support/oppose something all of the idiots on the left immediately take up the contrary position (and vice-versa).  Then every-fucking body else blindly chooses a camp and derides the other faction for being a bunch of inbred mouth-breathers or effete sheep (respectively).  Really?
Even more confounding is that both sides seem to be betraying their deepest held convictions in their opposition.  The right is essentially advocating government intervention in the regulation of private property, whereas the left is opposing the right to peaceably protest and acting to protect a work that is used to promote misogynistic and homophobic teachings worldwide.

Fuck 'em all.  I just don't get it.  Don't look for me at any of your Freedom Day protests, anti-protests, anti-anti-protests, or anti-anti-anti protests -  I'll be in my backyard drinking a beer and burning a copy of 'L. Ron Hubbard's Dianetics'.  Take that, Scientology!

Friday, September 03, 2010

What Comic Books I'm Reading (WCBIR)

A couple of months ago at Mr. Randy's bachelor pub-crawl I struck up a conversation with Devin about our nerdly pursuits. I decided to do a L&E post on comic books as a thread for *everyone* to share recommendations - Here it (finally) is:

Here are the series that I'm reading right now:
100 Bullets: I currently have all 13 volumes and am working my way through 'em. I'm between vols. #7 & 8 at the moment. If you're looking for a single volume to start with, I LOVED volume 5 'The Counterfifth Detective' - It's a great stand-alone volume with an excellent plot, plus you can read it out of order without missing out on too much background.

Y: The Last Man: I'm 2 volumes into this one, and am seriously jonesing to read more. So much so that I may be tempted to break my rule and buy the next few volumes of the trades at full-price. That's saying something.

The Walking Dead: Zombies, FTW! I've had these for awhile, and decided to get to reading a few volumes before the AMC television series came out. It took a few books to get into, but now I'm hooked. I really appreciate the way this series cycles through "main" characters. It is a Zombie apocalypse, after all.

The Boys: Gundy turned me onto this one and I'm loving it. Garth Ennis always does good work, but this one is a shitload fun to read.

Transmetropolitan: Another Gundy recommendation. Imagine Hunter S. Thompson living in a Neil Stephensonesque dystopian metropolis. Good stuff.

Here are a few stand-alone Graphic Novels/Collections I'd recommend:
Marvel 1602: I love Neil Gaiman so much that I'll even buy his Marvel title (the only other Marvel trade that I own is that mediocre Kevin Smith Daredevil book). I really, really, really liked this one. I never followed any of the superhero comics, but managed to piece together who was who from all of the terrible Marvel films I've watched on cable while hung-over. The fact that I loved a book filled with characters I'm ambivalent to (at best) speaks volume about how good this is.

Black Hole
: Since Gundy is always giving me advice on comics, I loaned him this one because I really loved it. He hated it. To each his own - I still say it's brilliant.

Superman: Red Son: Written by Mark Millar and penciled by Dave Johnson. Sign me up. It's about Superman in the USSR? With a soviet Wonder Woman... and Batman is a German anarchist?!?!
*Nerd Spazz*

EC Archives: I'm in love with these collections of the old 1940's-1950's EC comics. The collections are exceptionally well done and a lot of fun to read. Even if you don't recognize "EC Comics" you know the titles; Tales From the Crypt, Weird Science, Two-Fisted Tales, etc. My favorite of the bunch are the Shock-SuspenStories collections. I just wish that I had grabbed more of these before Gemstone went bankrupt and the price of these collections shot through the roof.

Here's what I have on my wish-list right now:
Batman: Year 100
Neil Gaiman's Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader
DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore
Johnny Cash: I See a Darkness

Any other recommendations?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Don't Order the Steaks at Google Chicago

-Click to Enlarge-Either a) Google fucked-up and merged its Chicago office info with that of some crappy restaurant -or- b) They've given up on the whole world-domination-through-technology gambit and decided to open up a mediocre steakhouse instead.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Introducing the Revolutionary iHold

The big buzz in the tech world today is that holding your new shiny new iPhone4 renders it unusable. Never fear, you iFlock of sheeple, I'm introducing the iHold so you can have your useless shiny toy and use it too. I'm cranking out these stylish bad boys for $750.00 a pop and I guarantee that with this miracle product your iPhone4 will be somewhat usable.*

Just send cash or checks/money orders made out to cash to: 2600 Worthless iCrap Blvd. N.W. Chicago, IL 60647.
*Guarantee void if using AT&T as your service provider.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Slider Army

- Yeah, It's another compilation.
- The artwork is an Animal Crossing reference (ask Old Dog).
- Y'all are gonna have to get this one from me directly, or beg like hell. Postage is expensive.Liner Notes:
1) KISS - Do You Remember Rock & Roll Radio?
from the 2003 album 'We're a Happy Family (a Tribute to the Ramones)'
I wanted a KISS song to go with the artwork - I settled on KISS covering the Ramones.

2) Teenage Bottlerocket - Bigger than KISS
from the 2009 album 'They Came From the Shadows'

I put on this one to balance out the previous selection.

3) The Yum Yums - I Lied
from the 2008 album 'Whatever Rhymes With Baby'
You like Swedish pop-punk? Ja!

4) The Manges - Another Day
from the 2006 album 'Go Down'
You like Italian pop-punk? Sì!

5) The Riverdales - Gemini Man
from the 2009 album 'Invasion USA'
You like Chicago pop-punk? Yea!

6) Akaikane - Fighting Spirits
from the 2006 album 'Kasumisou'
You like Japanese pop-punk? Hai!

7) Shoukichi Kina - Jing Jing
from the 1980 album 'Blood Line'
I've been trying to fit in this track on various comps for years. It sorta fits here.

8) Polysics - Hot Stuff
from the 2001 album 'Hey! Bob! My Friend!'
These guys are known as the Japanese Devo. You decide if that's a good thing or not.

9) Bad Livers - Death Trip
from the 2000 album 'Blood and Mood'
This song was played during the closing credits of an episode of True Blood last season. The Girl demanded it be include once she found out I had the album in my collection,

10) Gob Iron - Nicotine Blues
from the 2006 album 'Death Songs for the Living'
Jay Farrar redeems himself, now that Son Volt has devolved into some sorta weird hippie jambaroo band.

11) Tim Barry - Avoiding Catatonic Surrender
from the 2006 album 'Rivanna Junction'
I fucking LOVE this song. The lead singer of Avail flies the roots flag for several solo albums.

12) Against Me! - Holy Shit!
from the 2005 album ' Searching for a Former Clarity'
Damn! Check! Out! All! Of! The! Exclamation! Points! Up! There!

13) The Roman Line - Dawn After The Wreck
from the 2009 promotional EP '100% Bullshit Free - Album Preview'
I saw these guys open up for a Methadones side-project over at Ronny's last year. I really like them a lot. Can't wait for them to come back through, so I can pick up the full-length.

14) Lucero - Nobody's Darlings
from the 2005 album ' Nobody's Darlings'
No maybe Dena will shut the hell up on the topic of the lack of Lucero on my comps. Probably not.

15) Armchair Martian - Statler #3
from the 2000 album 'Hang on Ted'
Because every single compilation I make has to have at least one Armchair Martian/Drag the River track on it.

16) Two Cow Garage - Not Your Friends
from the 2008 album 'Speaking in Cursive'
Good band - Stupid fucking name.

17) Kepi - Down We Go
from the 2008 album 'American Gothic'
The Groovie Ghoulies are defunct (for now), but Mr. Kepi's last few solo projects have been much better than anything the Ghoolies have done in quite awhile.

18) The Raveonettes - Sad Transmission
from the 2008 album 'Lust Lust Lust'
Zombie kid likes turtles -I like the Raveonettes.

19) Electric Six - We Were Witchy Witchy White Women
from the 2008 album 'Flashy'
E6 keeps on rocking their way right up in you.

20) Future of the Left - Wrigley Scott
from the 2007 album 'Curses'
Remember McLusky? Same guys (more or less), new band.

21) Dillinger Four - Shiny Things is Good
from the 2000 album 'Versus God'
And they is.

22) Murder City Devils - Dear Hearts
from the 1998 albim 'Empty Bottles, Broken Hearts'
One of my all-time favorites.

23) The Dictators - Stay with Me
from the 1978 album 'Bloodbrothers'
Another of my all-time favorites. I put the Hudson Falcons cover of this song on one of my early comps -Here's the original

24) The Jags - Back of My Hand (I've Got Your Number)
from the 1980 album 'Evening Standards'
I've been listening to a bunch of late-70's early-80's power-pop lately. Good stuff.

25) Ben Weasel - Got My Number
from the 2007 album 'These Ones are Bitter'
I dig this song, but the reason it's here is because I really like the way it plays with the previous track.

The Travoltas - One for the Road
from the 2002 album 'Endless Summer'
Here's some more Nord-Punk for your sound-holes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Liar's 10 Favorite Films (For the Time-Being)

Note: I started this post back in April of '08 and never got around to finishing it (yay, me!). I started thinking about it lately and finally decided to rework it and post it. I kept the original list (more or less) intact, fleshed it out, and added 5 'honorable mentions' at the end. Here it is, two years in the making:

This isn't a list of the greatest films I've ever seen. This list is of those films that I just love. Some are truly great - some I just think are great. This is my list of films that I can't get enough of, each one of these films I've watched multiple times and will probably watch numerous more times. I'm sure that I missed a couple of films that should be up here - those ones that were so awesome that I forgot them entirely, but I think that this is a damned good list as it stands.

1) Dr. Strangelove (or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) - 1964
Hands-down my favorite movie of all-time. Leave it to Stanley Kubrick to craft a jet-black comedy about nuclear war right at the apex of the Cold War. Peter Sellers turns in one of the great performances in the history of celluloid by playing three separate characters flawlessly. George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens, Keenan Wynn, and James Earl Jones round out the exemplary cast. This an absolute pitch-perfect film from start to finish.

2) Kamikaze Girls (Shimotsuma Monogatari) - 2004
I LOVE this film - It's like catnip to me. I could watch this film three times in a row and still consider putting it in for a fourth viewing. The tagline for this film was: 'The extraordinary adventures of a Lolita-look aficionado and a tough biker gang chick', but that only scratches the surface of this frenetic blender-ride of a movie. This might not be Akira Kurosawa, but it's my favorite Japanese film.
Note: Just watched this one again last night with Jake & Maria & it's still awesome-as-all-hell.

3) Hedwig and the Angry Inch - 2001
Easily the best transgendered rock-opera of all time. Before this film hit the theaters, I got a free pass to preview this film in DC. I had no idea what it was all about. I just knew that it was a chance to see an indie-film for free, and that was good enough for me. This film hit me upside the head like nothing I'd seen before - Great film, incredible soundtrack, and possibly the most fun movie of the last 20 years.

4) Kwaidan - 1965
This film is truly a work of art. Masaki Kobayashi's stunning expressionist stylings make this not so much a a movie, but rather a moving painting of indescribable beauty. This collection of four separate Japanese folk tales is eerie and stunning with incredible visuals and surprising depth. Truly a superb film.

5) The City of Lost Children - 1995
Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet create a beautiful Jules Vernesque dystopia punctuated by a wonderful Angelo Badalamenti score. The dreamlike nature of this film lies between the worlds of Caro's Delicatessen and Jeunet's Amélie - A perfect middle-ground for an outstanding film.

6) The Man Who Laughs - 1928
This was one of the last great expressionist silent films directed by Paul Leni. By the late '20s the industry was moving away from the surreal styling of German expressionism toward a more realistic portrayal. Too bad. If you look at the Lon Chaney film of the same year, 'Laugh Clown, Laugh", it's amazing how two films of similar subject matter and released in the same month (April 1928) could be so different. Huge props to William T. for turning me onto this gem.

7) Altered States - 1980
This might not be a great film. Hell, it might not even be a good film, but I love it. Take the script from some forgotten Universal monster film from the '40s, load it up on psychedelics, add the overly verbose hyper-technical dialogue of Paddy Chayefsky, and stir. Not for everyone, but it suits me perfectly.

8) Kung Fu Hustle - 2004
I really wanted to include one of Zhang Yimou's wuxia films (Hero, House of Flying Daggers, Curse of the Golden Flower) on the list, but the more I thought about recent Chinese period dramas, the more I thought about how much I love this film. Sorry Zhang. Roger Ebert described this film as "Jackie Chan and Buster Keaton meet Quentin Tarantino and Bugs Bunny". Yeah, that sounds about right.

9) Santa Sangre
- 1989
I saw this movie in its limited US theatrical release back in 1990, and it changed my perception of what film could be. Alejandro Jodorowsky's films led me into the films of Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Luis Buñuel, Kenneth Anger, and countless others. This film still has a lasting hold on me, but it's influence has far exceeded its scope. I just wish that they would release a half-decent DVD of this film (ie: not the R-rated Blockbuster cut, or Chinese bootleg). I'm waiting.

10) The Iron Giant - 1999
Back in 2008 (when I started making this list) I was hard-obsessed with this movie. I was going to bump it, but the picture (left) was just too damned cool. Brad Bird directed this film after his work on the (golden-age) Simpsons and before his reign at Pixar. This is a smart, funny, touching movie that far exceeds expectations. Too bad Warner butt-fucked-up the release and tanked the movie out of the gate. Which left Bird to move on and make a bajillion dollars for Disney. Way to go, guys!

Honorable Mentions:
The Fog of War
Giants & Toys
The Night of the Hunter
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Sullivan's Travels

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Censor FAIL

Those m*****fuckers over on Drudge need to pay closer attention.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Big Brother is Undressing You With His Eyes

The above image (left) was taken straight from the Drudge Report header accompanying an article on the push to get advanced imaging scanners in place in every airport ASAP. The above image (right) is that same image with the colors inverted. That's some crazy shit right there. All I did was load up PhotoShop, hit Ctrl+I, and got government supplied nudie pics.
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about public nudity, but I like having the liberty to pick the time and place when it's appropriate to whip it out (ie: bars, taverns, saloons, bar-mitzvahs, bat-mitzvahs, weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc.). Do we really want the TSA to have unfettered access to this technology? These are the same slack-jawed motherfuckers that think that everyone's trying to down planes with yogurt, sandals, and bottles of Dasani (apparently, TSA training consists entirely of repeated MacGyver marathons). You're telling me that those glorified mall-cops arent going to find a way to patch all of the images into an EHD? Keep dreaming - We're dealing with TSA screeners here, these are the flunkies willingly embrace the most hated vocation since IRS auditor. They're a monomaniacal mob of mongoloid masochists - This is sure to end well.

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety - Richard Jackson