And the winner is....Stephanie, with her caption "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."
Well done, Stephanie, submit a comment or e-mail me for your prize. And now some other stuff...
New Coen Brothers movie! Check it out!
Oh and this trailer might be the coolest trailer I've ever seen. Okay, not MIGHT. It is the coolest trailer I've ever seen. Thanks to Charlie S. and Aziz A. for pointing it out.
You all know the deal by now. Come up with a clever caption for the photo, win a prize.
And, as an added bonus this time, YOU name the prize. I'll try my best to meet your sure-to-be outrageous demands.
Winner will be announced tomorrow. Godspeed.
Click on the picture for a more detailed view.
I recently finished the book Generation Kill, by Evan Wright. It's a fantastic account of the first wave of Marines to enter Iraq during the most recent Iraq War, and it really opened my eyes in a way a book hasn't done in quite some time.
That being said, I had had enough with civilian casualties and firefights, so I turned my emphasis to comedy. All comedy, all the time.
Here are a few lessons I've learned:
Mary Louise Parker is the greatest combination of humor and sexiness today.
(Photo via Esquire)
Her character in Weeds (which I'm physically watching as I write this) is brash and funny, without being over the top.
Lesson: Restraint. It's important.
Conan O'Brian is the funniest man alive, and has been for quite some time.
This video is well worth your eight minutes.
Lesson: You can't teach innate talent.
Comedy writing is difficult
After Generation Kill, I picked up Mike Sacks' new book And Here's the Kicker, a collection of interviews with the top comedy writers of the past five decades. Everyone from Harold Ramis (Animal House, Caddyshack) to Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show) to Buck Henry (The Graduate) is included, and they all reach relatively similar conclusions: comedy writing is not as easy as people think it is.
Lesson: Just buy the book.
Sports Night is the second funniest show to ever get canceled too soon (behind Arrested Development of course)
Brash, intelligent, and quick, it's basically a funny version of The West Wing. Which makes sense since they were both created by Aaron Sorkin. One of the first (and maybe the only on network television?) half-hour dramadies.
Lesson: I don't have a lesson for this one but I had to keep the pattern going.
What about you? Any lessons?
By now, I'm sure you've seen this video. Hell, 10 million people on YouTube already have, surely you're one of them.
And I watched it once, and then twice. I liked it better the second time around, then it started grating on me. It wasn't because of the idea, or the execution. It was because, at 24, I'm probably going to have to sit through (or be forced to participate in) two or three of these over the next decade.
I'll give it to Jill and Kevin: you are creative. The 1000s of couples in the next 10 years will not be so.
Someone will try to choreograph a dance to MC Hammer's "Too Legit to Quit," someone's grandmother will pass out from the excitement, and I will be forced to give her CPR.
Meanwhile, two months later, another creative couple will craft their aisle do-si-do to Rihanna's "Disturbia," will forget that she says "shit" in the song, and will subsequently get thrown out of their chapel.
Maybe I'm just a curmudgeon (is there an age minimum to be pronounced one of those? 60? 75? 24?), but next time, Jill and Kevin, just keep it to yourself.
P.S.- Kevin? Well done. She's cute.
Waking Up In Vegas
Recently I’ve had an insatiable thirst for pop music. And not like Belle and Sebastian/Beach Boys pop music, but pure, unadulterated bubble gum pop.
So while the new Jay Reatard and Mars Volta albums sit unlistened in my room, I have played Katy Perry non-stop. Well, let me rephrase that. I’ve listened to “Waking Up in Vegas” non-stop.
I find most of Perry’s songs unlistenable, but “Waking Up in Vegas” is a revelation.
First off, it’s the perfect length: 3:19. Case in point: Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” is also 3:19.
Secondly, the hook is just unbelievable. Like every good pop song, it just gets embedded in your brain and doesn’t leave.
The first week I listened to it I could only remember the chorus, so I would wander around mumbling “THAT’S what you get for waking up in Vegas.” (Ed. Note: I’ve never been to Las Vegas, so everything I know about the city I’ve derived from this song’s music video. I imagine the city is full of fulfilled dreams, free drinks, comped suites and new wardrobes every day. Please e-mail me directly if this is not the experience you’ve had in Vegas.)
And the video, while ridiculous, showcases Joel Moore (This guy), giving hope to lanky men around the world. May they all think that Vegas means waking up next to this:
Some funny lines, but overall, eh. Elizabeth Banks, though. Wow. She is attractive.
Up next in the Netflix queue: Broadcast News
Behold, Fancy Fast Food.
What you see above is the Wendy's Napoleon, created with only the ingredients found in the Wendy's Baconator combo and condiments, including:
* 1 Wendy’s Baconator:
* 1 large fries
* 1 small Coke
* 1 bottle of water
* 2 little cups (or packets) of ketchup
* 12 sugar packets
Sure there is some food processing involved, but the point of the site is to take fast food and make it, well, fancy.
Maybe napoleons aren't your speed, and it's a cold January night. Try The Colonel's Chicken Corn Chowder, derived from KFC Original Recipe chicken, biscuits, corn on the cob and cole slaw.
Or maybe you're looking for a taste of the Orient, or at least food made from Popeyes chicken that's supposed to look like sushi.
The possibilities are endless. I'm currently working on a McFoieGras that is going to blow away the culinary world.
Thanks to Andrew U. for pointing out the site.
This is a story of boy meets girl. Boy -Kelly Hildebrandt- receives a Facebook message from girl, also named Kelly Hildebrandt.
Narcissism be damned, they start talking, dating, then, yeah, they get married.
"Kelly Hildebrandt, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"And do you, Kelly Hildebrandt, take this woman, Kelly Hildebrandt, to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"You may now kiss the person you're going to spend the rest of your marriage in therapy with."
Seriously, though, this is weird right? I had a hard enough time as a kid wrapping my head around the fact that a fictional female character on "Hey Dude" was named Brad, never mind falling in love with a girl named Bradford Pearson.
I'm one of the most narcissistic people you'll ever meet (rightfully, though, since I'm the best at everything), and this is still odd to me.
Check out their appearance on The Today Show.
In the grand scheme of foods, there are relatively few named after countries: French bread, Spanish rice, English muffins, whatever.
In the wonderful world of cheese, there are even less. Actually, one: American cheese.*
Not French cheese, or Greek cheese, AMERICAN cheese.
And it’s the best.
What do you put in grilled cheese? Not Stilton, or Colby, or Manchego, but American. It melts better, and is delicious.
What is the best for omelets? Not bleu cheese, or Parmesan, that’s for damn sure.
Okay, to be fair, Kraft singles are awful. They don’t even qualify as cheese technically, since it’s so processed. But Land O Lakes? Or Boars Head? It’s like licking a tree in the Garden of Eden: pure.
Think about all the great items that grew from American cheese. It’s like the Yardbirds of cheese, but instead of launching the careers of Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton, it launched the careers of Velveeta, Easy Cheese and Cheez Wiz.
And for that the world is eternally grateful.
*UPDATE: I forgot about Swiss cheese. Dammit.
Any movie featuring a cell phone-toting, time-traveling Jesus wins my heart.
Up next in the Netflix queue: Zack and Miri Make A Porno
Note: Not an actual porno, Mom and Dad.
Via Mike S, I present Manbabies.
And yes, the entire site is full of these type of photos. Enjoy your Friday afternoon.
Up next, Andrew WK. I'm not really sure why he's on Fox News.
And lastly, The Roots. My man Marcus sent me the new Roots song "How I Got Over" yesterday, and it blew me away. I believe my reaction was "I feel like I want to wake up to that song every day for the rest of my life."
I couldn't find the mp3 online, so here's a live performance. And, I assure you, the studio version is 10 times better. Somehow.
Nothing’s more synonymous with the Iowa State Fair than a Michael Jackson statue made out of butter right?
Apparently, some Iowans disagree (HATERS!).
Immediately after Jackson’s death, Iowa State Fair officials announced that they would honor the King of Pop- who performed at the fair as part of the Jackson 5 in 1971- with a life-size, hand-churned, unpasteurized, artery-clogging butter statue. The butterizing is an honor at the fair, and is usually bestowed upon other Hawkeyes, like gold medal-winning gymnast Shawn Johnson.
Some people (again HATERS) didn’t WANT Michael enshrined in butter, so now it comes down to a vote.
Until 3 p.m. today, visit www.iowastatefair.org to place your vote for or against freedom and the American way. I hope you choose correctly, because who wouldn’t want to see this staring up from their corn on the cob:
So Monday night I went to a random open mic night in Baltimore with my new roommate Bert and my brother Tyler, who's in town for a few days.
I expected a few Bob Marley covers, an awful psych-goth band or two, and the requisite singer-songwriters.
What I got was a lesson in cymbal crushing.
When we first showed up at the club, I saw a kid walking around with only one arm. I thought that he must be a friend of one of the bands. Then the one-armed kid picked up a drumstick, so I thought maybe he was going to help the band set up.
Then the one-armed kid freaking taped a drumstick to his stump and proceeded to crush it on a drum kit.
Let me repeat that in case you missed it. The ONE-ARMED KID TAPED A DRUMSTICK TO HIS STUMP.
Man, I was blown away. My brother, Bert and I joked before he went on that he would only play Def Leppard songs, since Def Leppard's drummer Rick Allen only has one arm.
He did not, but I found this awesome video of Rick Allen explaining how he relearned the drums after losing his arm. Epic.
I assume Monday night was the only time in my life I'll ever see a one-armed drummer. Anyone else ever seen one?
My first car was a 1993 Chrysler Grand Caravan. Dark green, grey interior. A sound system that barely registered on the decibel scale. All Wheel Drive, in case I had to drive up the face of a mountain or pull a four-wheeler out of the mud. The turning radius of the USS Constitution, and about as sexy.
But it was MY car. (Sure the title still said my parents’ names, and they paid for the insurance, repairs, and gas, but it was close enough to MY car.)
The first day of senior year, I backed it into my spot in parking lot and cocked the wheels a full 45 degrees. It was the personification of cool, Miles Davis with a radiator. Sure I got made fun of, but eff it. I knew that as soon as two or more people needed to go somewhere, the minivan would get the call.
When Chrysler and Toyota first launched the mini-van in 1984, they had no idea the standard that it would set.
The minivan was everything the late 20th century sedan wasn’t: gigantic and ready to rock. Like sedans from the 1950s and 60s, it was everything that was great about America. It was excess to the max.
Need to pile eight kids in a car and go to soccer practice? POSSIBLE.
Want to have sex in a car and not worry about slamming your head on the ceiling? DONE.
Want to tint the windows super dark and grab kids off the street? ABLE BUT CREEPY.
Every single person reading this had ridden in a minivan, but you haven’t truly experienced a minivan until you’ve driven one. It’s like driving a tank.
“Hey. You. In the freaking Miati. MOVE IT.”
And you know what? They do.
"Billy Mays here!
For all those super fans out there who "Don't Stop Til You Get Enough," this is for you!
For the one time, introductory price of only $9 million, you can be the proud owner of www.OfficialMichaelJacksonMemorial.com! That's only nine payments of $1 million, or $15,000 a month for the next 50 years! This is history people! You can't "Beat It!"
You're looking at a once in a lifetime opportunity here people! Wouldn't it be just a "Thriller" to tell your friends that you own www.OfficialMichaelJacksonMemorial.com? It's like buying Microsoft stock in the 80s!
Hurry, time is quickly fading on this fantastic deal! "You Are Not Alone" in this bidding war! Buy! Buy! Buy!"
Click on the image to make it full size. FYI, www.OfficialMichaelJacksonFanClub.com is also available.
Away We Go fails in many, many ways.
So first, a few facts:
-The movie scored 46 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. This is not a good score.
- “You may very well enjoy Away We Go more than I did. But rest assured that you will never love this movie as much as it loves itself,” Christopher Orr, The New Republic
It has a predictable ending, the characters are too quirky for their own good, and it’s soundtracked by borefest Alexi Murdoch. But if you go into the theater thinking “Okay, I’m going to have super-low expectations for the next two hours,” the movie is actually not only palatable, but quite enjoyable.
The main reason? Maya Rudolph.
(Okay, so I should’ve titled this post “My Case For: Maya Rudolph in the Dave Eggers-written, Sam Mendes-directed ‘Away We Go’,” but that seemed kind of long. And douchy. Especially the Sam Mendes part. I mean seriously, what was I pretend thinking?)
I thought Rudolph was funny when she was on Saturday Night Live, but was often overshadowed by Amy Poehler and other female cast members. Prior to Away We Go, I wasn’t sure if Rudolph could carry a sitcom, never mind a feature film.
But with each passing scene, her character grew, then shrunk, then exploded. She seemed like an actual person, not just the hipster/ artist/ pregnant lady the movie portrayed her as.
In the first scene of the film, Rudolph and co-star John Krasinski are sharing an (ahem) intimate, oral moment where Krasinski’s character, Burt, is in the sheets and you know, well, okay I’ll stop there. But it’s about as tender a scene about oral scene can be, because Rudolph doesn’t overplay it.
Any way, you should go see the film, if for no other reason than Maya Rudolph. And she’s in almost every scene, so you get to see a good bit of her.
P.S.- Did anyone know Rudolph dates Paul Thomas Anderson? The thought of her manning an oil rig in Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood” brings a smile to my face.
Super P.S.- Has Rudolph always been such a fox?
Just like every other Tim Burton movie, but with more murder. Mucho blood.
Up next in the Netflix queue: Hamlet 2
The UK's Guardian newspaper is reporting that American Idol producers have offered Simon Cowell $144 million to return for the next season of the popular show.
One hundred. And forty-four. Million.
Perspective? You bet!
The world's highest paid athlete, including endorsements:
Tiger Woods ($110 million)
The President of the United States:
$400,000 per year, along with a $50,000 monthly expense account, a $100,000 non-taxable travel account and $19,000 for entertainment. Ooo and that wicked cool chain.
The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the 105,000 person nation of Kiribati:
Let me get this straight. This guy sits on his ass next to Paula Abdul for a few months a year, does appearances, "executive produces" and gets $144 mil. I sit on my ass all year too, but you'd have to move the decimal points over a few spots on the paycheck to see what I make.
So I propose an idea. Simon, please respond with your thoughts.
Every time you make someone cry, you throw $100,000 off the nearest skyscraper.
Every time you say the word "awful" or one of its synonyms, you fill one of those hot dog-launching guns with wads of cash and shoot it into any busy intersection you drive through, preferably in the Washington, DC/ Baltimore metro area.
Every time you wear one of those v-neck t-shirts that shows off a little chest hair and makes your man boobs more pronounced, punch yourself in the face.
Little ways YOU can make a difference Simon. Or you can just keep the $144 million and perpetuate the decline of American television. Your move, Cowell.