Monday, July 31, 2006

The Altered State of Druggachusettes

If only this skit were longer...

Be sure to check out some of the other Mr. Show clips after you watch this one. Within minutes, you'll want to own everything Bob and David ever did.

Excepting Run, Ronnie, Run... of course.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Where Do I Start, Where Do I Begin

It has been really busy around here. I can't even begin to touch on all the stuff that has gone down over the past few days.

And I certainly can't touch on it in any coherent order.

***

In much bigger news, however...

My computer, knock on wood, has been fixed! Which is to say that Joe Comcast came to my apartment, fixed the problem, and within minutes after leaving, the computer all but blew up again.

After this happened, I called Joe and asked him to come back. Thankfully, he had not yet left the premises (it only having been 3-5 minutes or thereabouts)... and so, having replaced my router previously, this time he decided to bring in his computer, to see if he could draw any further conclusions.

Wouldn't you know that his computer connected to the internet without a problem?

Following this little experiment, he suggested that after all this time, the problem was likely not with Comcast, after all, but with my computer.

Which, of course, only made me angrier than I'd been before. Why had no one been able to tell me this in the first place???

I was angry... until he suggested that he once had the same problem, because he used both Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer, often both at the same time. He told me that his problems ended when he deleted Mozilla from his computer.

Wouldn't you know it-- I did that, and (knock on wood), the computer hasn't gone down, since?

Thanks, Joe Comcast!

***

In more earth-shaking news, Teso is on the verge of putting in an offer on a new place. Which is thrilling for many, many reasons, but gives me a slight bit of extra satisfaction because he used my old realtor, John Randolph of Long & Foster.

The guy is f'g fantastic. If any of you are ever looking to buy or sell properties in the Northern Virginia area... please let me set you up with him. He did Teso a world of good this weekend-- whether he ends up getting a place immediately or not-- and he'll do the same for you.

(end commercial)

***

I finally hung the picture of Ryan that Michelle gave me.

It looks so much better on display (front and center, I'll have you know). What an unbelievably cute kid.

***

What might have made me happiest of all this weekend?

I went kayaking this morning for the first time in a year or two.


By myself, 8am, on the Potomac.

Just me and the water, some herons, some seagulls, and the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, Georgetown Harbor...

I MUST do this more often. It gave me such a rush (apart from the nearly-capsizing part) that I'd like to turn it into a monthly or even weekly thing during the remainder of the summer.

***

Oh, yeah. I finally finished season 5 of The Sopranos, so I'm done with that. Finally.

And I watched Dave Chappelle's Block Party at some point, too. If you have even an ounce of love for hip-hop, it's an absolute must-see.

If you care not for the hippin' and the hoppin', the bippin' and the boppin', though, I'd advise you to stay far, far away.

***

the pipettes - pull shapes
darryl hall (yeah, you heard me) - dreamtime
lily allen - alfie
toots & the maytals - let down (from the radiodread album)
nina simone - wild is the wind

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Simpsons Movie

I thought the new Decemberists' album would have leaked before footage from this, but there you go.

Two very brief clips of works-in-progress, but... better than what I've seen from the show over the past few years.

(worst. seasons. ever.)

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

That No-Talent Ass Clown

Yeaaaaaaah.

TV Pilots

Yesterday, I bitched about my paltry contribution to Harmonium.

Well, today sees a considerably better post, as we somehow snagged an interview with the lead singer of Snow Patrol.

Not too shabby.

***

The pilot for Heat Vision and Jack was pretty terrific, huh? Sucks that that never got picked up.

Between that and Super Nerds, which also missed the cut (tragically), it's amazing that anything gets on TV.



***

I'm rambling.

You should probably check out Matthew McConaughey as he tries to take out the Death Star with the power of his yoga poses.

Yeah, you heard me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Updates / Heat Vision

Imagine my surprise when I woke up this morning to find I'd contributed the morning's entry at Harmonium.

I'm sure he's a nice guy, but really-- why did Mr. Rieger even bother to answer my questions if he was going to be so short?

edit: Of course, I whine about this, and what happens? Wonderful, uber-mega-site largehearted boy links to it-- probably the worst thing ever to appear on Harmonium, by the way-- and now hundreds (or more) will be checking it out, perceiving it as representative. Just my luck, right?

***

A number of long-dormant projects have seen updates in the past few days:

1) Andy's blog is back!

2) The Arcade Fire are working on a new album.

3) The Decemberists have announced details concerning their new album and new tour. And look, gang, Laura Veirs is involved!!!

4) The Jaker has updated his Presidential Odds for the 2008 election.

5) Click on any of the setlists on the right of the page, and scroll down (paying special attention to the encores)... Pearl Jam is going absolutely nuts.

***


Trust me: you're going to want to set aside 30 minutes and see this. Just when you think you know everybody in it... there's Mr. Vargas!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Top Ten Thoughts I Had Immediately After Watching "Clerks II"


10. "Randal" is spelled with only one "l"... who knew?

9. On that note, Randal has put on some serious weight since we last saw him. Jesus, dude, lay off the nosh.

8. Dante looks exactly the same as he did ten years ago, for better or worse, and he takes... wow. He just takes a lot of crap for two hours.

7. They sure are having a lot of serious conversations, aren't they? Where'd all the jokes go?

6. Whoever that "Elias" guy is... he needs to come back for Clerks III. Affleck doesn't. Neither, with apologies, does Mrs. Smith.

5. Whatever happened to the title/subtitle The Passion of the Clerks? Just wonderin'.

4. The phrase "porch monkey" did not need to come up in every other scene... less because it was offensive (despite the, er, "debate"), and more because there was simply not enough of a comic payoff, given all the repetition.

3. Making fun of The Lord of the Rings and Transformers, however, is perfectably acceptable, and funny as shit.

2. Only thing funnier? Jay dancing to that Silence of the Lambs song. Unbelievable-- I think I spat out a kidney or two during these scenes.

1. Rosario Dawson is the hottest woman on the planet... when dancing atop a Mooby's to the Jackson 5.

Friday, July 21, 2006

"ROBERT DUVALL!!!"

* My problems with Comcast continue. The connection at my apartment goes up and down more than the stock market... and I've been so busy that I haven't been able to call my Navy SEAL of a tech guy. Problem being that if you don't make three calls/complaints per month, they don't think there's much of a problem.

God, how I hate Comcast.


* My little "run" is over, and I had fun. I'll have more fun taking the odd night off, and reconnecting with people I've missed over the past few weeks.


* I'll admit it... I really, really dig the new Keane song, "Is It Any Wonder." There. I said it. So sue me.


* Going to see Clerks II tonight with Steve from work. Really looking forward to it.


* Also looking forward to purchasing more furniture this weekend. Possibly.

***

Not only does this look like a cool sci-fi/action/drama/whatever movie, but it evidently features Michael Caine as Professor Dumbledore.

AWESOME!

Anyway, it's a Cuaron movie, so it's gonna be awesome, of course... but when the Sigur Ros kicked in at the end of the trailer?

My heart skipped a tiny bit.

***

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Too Early

We have a marketing meeting this morning, scheduled for 7:30am. And as a result, I'm not going to the gym for the first time in a few weeks.

Not a big deal to you, but as I'm a creature of habit, I'm a bit worried about this. I don't want to end up hitting the snooze button a few times tomorrow morning and missing day #2.

This is the type of thing I worry about.

Anyway. I need coffee. Stat.

***

(congratulations)

***

Hey, look! My review of the Acid House Kings' newest EP is up at Harmonium!

Hooray, and all that!

If you haven't visited Harmonium in awhile, by the way... do yourself a favor and surf around. In addition to a review of the new (horrendous) Killers song and the new Sufjan Stevens CD, well, there's a lot of quality there-- including some short essays by my editor a week or so back that were particularly solid.

***

I know everyone's supposed to like Gnarls Barkley, and that "Crazy" is the song of the summer, even at this late date-- but can we agree that they're much more fun to look at than to listen to?






Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, Exhibit A.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

"TV History! TV History!"

Somehow I missed Will Ferrell's drunken tribute to Lance Armstrong at the ESPYs last week.

Funny, but nowhere near as funny as the timely cut to Matt Leinart that appears 3:33 in. The shot, alone, has to rank a solid 91 on the UCR.

And yes, Mariah Carey is still working on that envelope.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Yes, I Like It a Lot

If you live anywhere close to me, then you already know that it's going to top 100 degrees throughout the day, or thereabouts. So yes, it's going to be hot, hot, hot.

Please make your parents happy and be sure to drink a lot of water today. We wouldn't want you getting headaches, now.

Maybe if you thought about these guys, it would you get through the day?


***

Completely and totally speechless.

***


I had a nice weekend, though my time with Andy and Laura was cut short when Peyton got sick in Best Cellars. Hope she's doing better today, guys!

Got a lot done around the place, had a great time at Chris and Noel's, went out a good bit... it's all good.

I'm even looking forward to going to work this morning.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

"You're All Mad At Me, Right?"

Long, but very, very funny. Stay with this one for awhile before you click away.

Absolutely, completely terrific, and very possibly one of the greatest things I've ever posted here.

For serious.

Movie Magic

As I've always had a soft spot for magic (the small and efficient performances in particular, as opposed to the pompous Copperfieldian showboats), I'd ordinarily be more than thrilled to watch Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel in The Illusionist, later this year. Even though it looks to be more gloomy than thrilling.

Like I said, though, I've got a soft spot.

Somehow, however, I missed this other movie entirely... and The Prestige looks, in fact, to be one hell of a lot better.

Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson, and f'g David Bowie??? Are you kidding me?

And it's directed by Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, Memento)??? That's one hell of a cast and crew.

But guess what? Someone else is involved, too, who's far more vital to the film's success (honestly).


My boy Ricky Jay.

Consider me there.

Albums of the Year

Last night, Ben asked me what I was listening to these days... and, following the two of us owning up to our mutual crushes on Lily Allen, I blanked.

So, in the compulsive list-making spirit of nerds and mp3 bloggers everywhere, here's my Top 10 albums of the year so far:

1. Lily Allen - Alright, Still
2. TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain
3. Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
4. Belle & Sebastian - The Life Pursuit
5. Thom Yorke - The Eraser
6. Destroyer - Destroyer's Rubies
7. Pearl Jam - Pearl Jam
8. +/- - Let's Build a Fire
9. Beirut - Gulag Orkestar
10. Flaming Lips - At War with the Mystics

Honorable mentions:

Lupe Fiasco (Food & Liquor demos)
Division Day (Beartrap Island)
Girl Talk (Night Ripper)
Casper & the Cookies (The Optimist's Club)
The Vorstand Circus (Sworn in on a Stack of Dictionaries)
Twilight Singers (Powder Burns)
Devotchka (Curse Your Little Heart EP)
Voxtrot (Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives EP)
Morrissey (Ringleader of the Tormentors)
We Are Scientists (With Love and Squalor)

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Storytellers

Teso ran into Tico Torres once, at an airport.



Not only did he know who in the hell Tico Torres was in the first place, not only did he recognize him... but Jeff knew for sure because he recognized Tico's wife.

Staggering.

I'm just posting this little anecdote for posterity... and out of sheer terror.

***

Psssst.

Good Morning

Hey, peeps. Hope you're having a nice morning.

I woke up on the right side of the bed... learned that I have now lost five pounds in two weeks, doing nothing but losing some mind-numbingly bad habits and replacing them with some common sense activity. Still got a ways to go, but I'm happy with the progress I'm making.

***

Nothing all that special, I know, but this might amuse you for a minute or so:



***

As may this. I've been sleeping on The Daily Show as of late... shame on me.

***

Ladies, thoughts?

***

Hey... have you voted for Miss Hoosegow, yet?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Last Night

I shouldn't have gone out in the first place.

Shouldn't have gone to the bookstore after work, shouldn't have gone out for drinks... I should have just gone straight home.

Should have known better.

Why? Because when you feel borderline-ill and/or overtired for the majority of the day, what's the sense of going to a bar for a few hours at the end of the day?

Why push?

Yet I went out, anyway... and, predictably, promptly bailed on Jeff and Jay after an hour or two. I felt (and feel) like shit for doing so.

Sorry, guys.

***

Maybe this will make all of us feel better.

***

As will this. Aziz Ansari got to interview Jeff Mangum in what has to be the scoop of the year, if not the decade.

Unbelievable stuff for Neutral Milk Hotel fans here.

And if you buy that, then you might believe that Pope Benedict rocks the dreidel in his spare time.

Still, the interview is completely and totally awesome.

Aziz kicks ass.

***

Someone reviewed the novelization of Snakes on a Plane. The review is what it is, I'm sure, but what really counts is the helpful graphic the reviewer provided:


***

Seen this?

***

jesus and mary chain - just like honey
marble valley - computer man (pavement alumni band, hooray!)
tom waits - closing time
neko case - fox confessor brings the flood
jarvis cocker - running the world (song of the year candidate despite its unprintable chorus)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Guarantee(s)

This is the best link you'll click on today. Or this.

Benny Hill music makes anything funny, by the way.

***

Related, but nowhere near as good.

***

One last link, which demonstrates that I may have spoke too soon. The surprisingly not-all-that-bad trailer for Rocky Balboa.

Worst thing about it is that Antonio Tarver plays a guy named (eek!) Mason "The Line" Dixon.

Mason "The Line" Dixon?

Really?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Zoinks!

Big news for geeks like me.

And speaking of, Ricky Gervais has a new video podcast available this morning. Get to iTunes, stat.

***

Also... if you're still wondering why Zizou went Pamplona on Marco Materazzi, this possibility from an article at ESPN.com:


"The Paris-based anti-racism advocacy group SOS-Racism issued a statement Monday quoting "several very well informed sources from the world of football" as saying Materazzi called Zidane a "dirty terrorist." It demanded that FIFA, soccer's world governing body, investigate and take any appropriate action.

FIFA, which reviews all red cards at the World Cup, would not comment on the specifics.

"This is a disciplinary matter now. I can't give any statements now," FIFA spokesman Markus Siegler said.

Materazzi, meanwhile, was quoted as denying the terrorist comment.

"It is absolutely not true, I didn't call him a terrorist, I don't know anything about that," the Italian news agency ANSA quoted Materazzi as saying when he arrived with his team at an Italian military airfield.

"What happened is what all the world saw live on TV," the Italian player said, referring to the head-butting."

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Reminder

Pete Townshend owns. Watch this clip if you need convincing.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Can't Get "You: The Owners Manual" Out of My Head

First off, kudos to Best Week Ever for throwing these three commercials out there for all of us.

Jeff, take note:



***

I had a nice day yesterday with Rob at his place in Burtonsville. I'd originally thought it was just going to be the two of us, but happily wife Debbie and l'il Goldman twins Sydney and Alex were able to come along, too.

We went into Baltimore's Little Italy for lunch, and I had some gnocchi that made me very, very happy... until I hit a weird sort of wall. I don't know what happened, whether it was the food or not, but it put me into a funk for an hour or two. I'd really been enjoying myself, and then... WHAM.

As this was happening, we met up with one of Debbie's girlfriends (along with her brother), who happened to be in the area... the two of them came to the restaurant, and the girls had a lovefest while I was probably making horrible faces (however unintentionally) in the corner. Stomach was giving me trouble.

We ended up going back home to prepare for dinner. Rob and Debbie had invited a couple they'd recently met online who also just had twins. So, we had a barbeque (thanks, guys!) with five adults and four toddlers.

Toddlers? Is that the right word?

Anyway, I'd imagine that in print, this sounds like it could have been a traumatic experience-- the lone single guy at a dinner with four new parents of twins. Well, whether it was because all four kids were really (really) well-behaved or because... well, I don't know... it was actually pretty damned great. I had a fantastic time, even if by leaving a bit early (7pm or so) I probably gave the impression of having hated things.

***

The reason I left was because of (yet again) a wave of fatigue that hit me. I'm starting to realize that my recent exercise and attempted change in diet can only help what has become a recurring pattern... that the cause of this all-too-frequent exhaustion as of late has to do with my overall health.

Not to drone on and on about it, but... I've been obsessing lately. Admittedly. And I'm far less concerned with what I look like than I am my health. I can't keep getting tired-- I'm just not that old, yet.

I've continued to read the entertaining and informative You: The Owner's Manual, and it's making me realize I don't have that far to go to start feeling better.


That being said, the book is making me realize how much I let myself slide, and I think that's been getting me down. My appearance hasn't been depressing me so much-- it's more a disappointment, that I didn't care enough to be working out or watching what I ate all this time.

Uch.

***

Anyway, I got home last night all ready to go to bed, early, and what happens?

I can't fall off.

So I watched the movie Cache (Hidden), a French movie that came out last year. Very Hitchcockian, completely watchable, and... I hesitate to give much of anything away in terms of plot.

Just rent it.

I will note that it touches upon some aspects of French history-- relatively recent history-- of which I was unaware. I love that sort of thing... I was reading up on it this morning, and feel a bit better about myself for being just a little bit more in the know... even if the incident in question was completely and totally scarring to all involved.

***



***

Have you done today's crosswords yet?

***

Finally, I can't believe this guy did it.

One of the more interesting Internet stories of the past few years, in its own small way. For some reason, this always made me feel good.

So hooray for you, dude. Good job.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Thanks

Thanks to all of you for making yesterday such a great day. It was so nice hearing from everybody, and even my new co-workers joined in on the fun.

I've known them for all of a month or so, and so it actually meant quite a bit when, in spite of that, they surprised me with a cake and candles (and a card). Steve (the closest thing I have to a boss at the new job) even got me a DVD, which was completely above and beyond the call of duty.

Which begs the question-- where in the hell has this job been hiding for the last __ years?

***

By the way, here's a scene from yesterday's celebration:


***

Last night was great, too-- a few of us had dinner at Harry's, talking about doing awful things in the ocean, eating cheesecake (thanks again, Teso), watching the Nathan's hot dog eating contest and laughing in disgust-- it's a shame the day only rolls around only once a year.

***

Tomorrow... condo shopping for Jeff? Hmmmm...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another Sunny Day

A man told me to beware of 33.
He said, "It was not an easy time for me"...


***

Not safe for work (clip from Bad Santa).

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

A Very I-395 Fourth of July

I hope you had a Fourth of July that was as relaxing and as entertaining as mine.

The morning portion of the day was productive... I got a lot of odds and ends done around the house, did some shopping here and there, and then went to a park to hang out, lay out on a blanket and just read.

I never do that sort of thing.

I should, more often, though. If I did, perhaps I wouldn't be the same color as a piece of chalk.

Anyway, I won't bore you with the details, but the things I did yesterday I'd been putting off for so long... so it felt good to finally scratch them off the to-do list.

***

The bulk of the day was spent at Chris and Noel's, where I crashed their intimate family barbeque. Since I'd met almost everybody in Noel's family before, I don't think it was as traumatizing or intimidating (for me, anyway) as it could have been... though I still felt a bit odd, at points.

Thankfully, nobody pointed at me and laughed. Not for more than 2 or 3 seconds in a row, anyway.

Chris and Noel are terrific hosts; they offered more food than I knew what to do with. And though I had a great time, and ate and drank a fair amount (or at least *I* remember eating a lot-- Noel was insisting that I eat more, throughout the night)... I hit a wall out of nowhere at about 9pm and excused myself.

I was just zonked. And a bit upset, as I was enjoying myself quite a bit, but suddenly felt the need for bed.

***

So I left at 9pm, and got home at 11pm.

See, I was so tired (and I actually mean "tired," and not "drunk," in case you were wondering) that I probably shouldn't have been on the roads. I wasn't weaving or anything, but I was pretty groggy.

Which might explain why I missed my turn at some point and wound up on an absolutely mobbed I-395 North, heading into the city.

Now, when I say "mobbed"... I should note instead that it was actually a parking lot. I quickly learned that I had to get out of the two or three rightmost lanes, because of all the pedestrian traffic. See, thousands of people were parking on the highway, many in the middle of the road, to get a view of the fireworks on the Mall. Two or three times that number were walking about, in the middle of the highway.

Possibly the worst driving experience of my life-- being that tired and having so many people walking about on the Interstate.

So, because I unknowingly missed a single turn, and when all I wanted (all I wanted!) was a bed, I'd gotten on a road to nowhere. And I wasn't moving at all.

And though the fireworks were quite lovely (when there wasn't an SUV blocking my view)... the post-Adams/Dooley portion of the evening sucked. I was so desperately in need of my apartment, but there was nothing I could do. I couldn't cross over to the other side of the highway, couldn't get to the nearest exit for miles (and therefore more than an hour's worth of waiting)... couldn't do anything.

All of which goes to show: never, EVER leave Chris and Noel's house.

Ever.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Two Sports

This was the #1 "Top Play" on Sportscenter this morning.

You're kidding me, right? A 720???



***

Today.

Noon.



Kobayashi goes down.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Weekend Wrap-Up

Yup.

I just needed a few days to recharge. I'm already doing much better than I had been, thanks for asking.

Let's see. I had Jeff and Chris over for drinks the other night. Got my car fixed up and detailed. Heard from Steph for a few minutes before the stupid cellphone connection peetered out. Finished Augusten Burroughs' awesome "Possible Side Effects." Watched a few more episodes of the Sopranos. Got a ridiculous head-start on the revitalization of my apartment, thanks to Chris and Noel (and Pottery Barn). Took a nap. Watched a massive thunderstorm.

These are all very good things.

Of course, England lost their match yesterday... though I suppose if you're a historian regarding such matters... your star getting a red, your team going out on penalties in the quarters, your Swede dominated once again by a fat fifty-something guy on the opposing sideline... let's just say that these things have happened before. We shouldn't be surprised, really.


Just like being a Philly sports fan, I tell you.

***

I watched Munich last night.

I had no idea that one of the murdered Israelis at the '72 Olympic Games was named David Berger. When his name was mentioned (and when his image was shown) in the movie, I damned near had a heart attack.

Oy vey, indeed.

***

Hey Jeff!

***

Hey, Jeff (part two)!!!

***

Alright, enough of that.

The writers at the Inquirer? They are BRINGING it, as of late. Witness:

(1) The completely unbridled rage of the fat man, Bill Conlin.

(2) The not-too-shocking but just as depressing thoughts of Phil Sheridan.

***

Let's lighten things up a bit.

Noel's brother continues to be the funniest person we know, even if he hates, hates, HATES soccer.

Philistine.

***

I've been meaning to ask you, by the way-- how did you allow this nugget to slip through the cracks?

Why wasn't I notified? Comic gold, people. Comic gold.

Gotta give me the IN-FO.

***

I don't know whether this short clip has anything to do with the movie that's coming out next Summer... but it's pretty cool.

At least my inner twelve-year old thinks so.

***

Thoughts?

***

TV on the Radio is the best band you've never heard of.

Or one of them, at least.

Anyway, they're opening for Nine Inch Nails and Bauhaus this summer, and... here's two awesome videos of them soundchecking their own "Dreams" and Bauhaus' classic "Bela Lugosi's Dead" (check out Trent sneaking a peek at the lyric sheet throughout... for shame!).

I have never seen Peter Murphy in the daylight, before. Kinda cool, kinda frightening... just like you'd hope and expect, right?

***

johnny cash - god's gonna cut you down
tom petty and eddie vedder (live) - american girl
nelly furtado w/ chris martin - all good things
casper & the cookies - kiss a friend
bloc party - like eating glass