When I was growing up, my parents tuned in to a steady stream of easy listening and Christian rock stations. My formulative years were spent in our Isuzu Trooper with the two Michaels- Michael Bolton and Michael W. Smith.
So, for better or worse, I wasn’t introduced to the classic rock my parents grew up with until later in life, when in middle school my friends and I started buying our own CDs.
That was when Boston came into my life, like an angel made of multi-tracked guitar harmonies.
Now Boston is not a complicated band, which is why they have been disregarded by most rock critics. They don’t possess the complicated song structure of The Beatles, or the bravado of The Rolling Stones, but they do have one thing neither of those bands does: a catalog full of songs you can just straight up blast at any time.
Okay, the Stones have their fair share, but for simple, singable songs, no one beats Boston.
Everyone knows the opening piano notes from “More Than a Feeling,” and everyone can sing the song’s chorus. The best part about Boston’s self-titled debut, though? It was recorded in guitarist Tom Scholz’s basement, yet went on to sell 18 million albums.
Any way, I stumbled across WXPN’s list of the 885 All-Time Greatest Artists a few weeks ago, and looked for Boston. I expected them to be in the top 200, maybe 250, since WXPN skews more towards indie/blues acts. They clocked in at 535, after such luminaries as Jason Mraz, Garbage, and My Chemical Romance, and only two spots ahead of Collective Soul.
Nothing excites me more than early 1990s professional wrestlers playing croquet with rich British men.
Nothing, I suppose, except this awesome song. And when I say awesome, I mean this might be the best song of the year. Scratch that. It IS the best song of the year, and it might be the best song of the past five years. No joke, just listen to it.
And, just a gratuitous still of Macho Man Randy Savage.
Props to Makin Paper for the Macho Man video.
Now, watch this video, where a Cleveland television reporter uses A CUTOUT of a black bear in his story to recreate a black bear sighting.
"Tina was too stunned to get a picture, but this is what the bear probably looked like...except real."
At 37 seconds in, when the reporter takes off through the woods, holding the cardboard cutout of the bear? Man. Stop counting the local Emmy votes and just send it to him.
Thanks to Andrew U. for pointing out this gem.
I love game shows. I've tried out in person for Jeopardy twice (both unsuccessful, though I think the judges were biased as I wore blue shirts both times...) and watch them whenever I can. My love of all things quizzical made these next two clips all the more interesting to me.
In this first clip, a gent (is that what they say in Australia?) tries to make some quick money in Deal or No Deal. The only thing is, he happens to be the worst player in the history of the show.
This next guy however, I couldn't have been happier that he lost.
Some background. This guy, Ken Basin, graduated high school at 16, the University of Southern California at 20, then went right to Harvard Law. Then he made an ass of himself on Who Wants to Be A Millionaire, after being a cocky putz for 25 minutes.
If you need to, skip ahead to 3:40.
Spoiler: he loses the $1 million, and I literally jumped off the couch and cheered.
Quick, which burger is new, and which one is 12 years old? Harder than it looks isn't it?
One of these burgers is a few days old (when this photo was taken in 2008), and the other is from 1996.
Now I'm not usually one of those high-horse, "Well, I certainly don't eat fast food" types of people, but this is disgusting. Unless you've salted your meat to make the journey across the American Plains, it shouldn't last this long.
To further illustrate my point, watch this video. Fast forward to 2:35, sit back, and try not to regurgitate your lunch. Unless, of course, it's McDonald's. Then feel free.
P.S.- The burger on the left is from 1996. Yuck.
First of all, let’s put some things aside.
Terrell Owens is an undeniable ass. He’s spit in Deangelo Hall’s face during a game, called Jeff Garcia gay, and torn apart just about every team he’s been on. That stuff is off the table, though, because he is such a fantastic player.
(49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys fans may want to stop reading now, because you’re just going to be upset with the rest of this post.)
Statistically, Owens is one of the top five wide receivers of all-time.
For his career, he’s averaged 14.8 yards per reception, the same average as Jerry Rice, and a better average than Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison or Ark Monk, all Hall of Famers or soon-to-be inductees.
By the end of this season, he’ll rank second all-time in receiving yards, trailing only Jerry Rice. He’s currently behind Rice, Isaac Bruce, Tim Brown, and Marvin Harrison, but should surpass each of them this year, considering Bruce’s role in San Francisco and Brown and Harrison’s inactivity.
His 139 receiving touchdowns rank second all-time, above nine Hall of Famers, plus Randy Moss, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Harrison, and Brown, all of who will eventually be enshrined in Canton.
I guess in the end, it comes down to this: would I want Terrell Owens playing on the New York Jets? The answer is simple: yes.
Oh, and his middle name is Eldorado. Eldorado! I have yet to figure our whether his parents named him after the mythical city of gold, or the Cadillac model. Either way, I hope it was chosen because it was where he was conceived.
First off, one of the best t-shirt ideas I've seen in a long time. You can find the below beasts at Hirsute History. I'm trying to decide between these two, with the possibility of a Jean Paul Sartre thrown in for good measure.
Thanks to friend of the site Ross for the link.
One of the more stunning/pointless things Pitchfork has ever done (in a long line of stunning/pointless things) is currently being undertaken. They're ranking the top 500 songs of the past decade, digging up old tracks from Scarface, Mclusky and Modest Mouse along the way. It has been a remarkable way to remind me that I'm quickly approaching 25, since it's the first decade long list that I can fully appreciate.
The one song that has stuck with me the most is #88, The New Pornographers' "Letter From an Occupant." Dare I say, it's a perfect song.
Listen for yourself:
Letter From An Occupant - The New Pornographers
And finally, I found this old clip from The Dana Carvey Show last night. And it stars Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell. Enjoy.
P.S.- This is a screen capture of the Dana Carvey Show's writing staff. Insane. What's more insane is that this show only lasted SIX episodes.
I mean, come on. Colbert, Carell, Dana Carvey, Robert Smigel (who does Triumph the Insult Comic Dog), Louis C.K., Bob Odenkirk, Spike Feresten (who wrote the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld) and Charlie Kaufman. Brilliance.
I haven't decided yet, but every few weeks I might do a little rundown of the night before's Top Chef. And since last night was the season premiere, a few notes:
-Extremely glad that Kevin Gillespie will be able to quit his day job of being in Verizon Fios commercials:
-Jennifer was gone before the episode even started. Anyone with gauges you can fit rolling pins through will not be Top Chef. Although it would be fun to think of Wolfgang Puck with his earlobes down to his shoulders.
-You. Michael Isabella. I do not like you, so here is a picture of you wearing what appear to be men's clogs.
c/o Minnesota Vikings
900 South 5th Street
Dear Mr. Favre,
Hey! It’s Brad Pearson! You remember me right? I was the guy screaming with joy from my Maryland apartment when the New York Jets signed you August 7, 2008.
Yes, yes, the guy who yelled “Finally!” and immediately Googled “Brett Favre + God +franchise savior+ sexy gray beards.”
And yes, this is the same Brad Pearson who went bananas in Week Four when you threw six touchdowns against the (eventual NFC Champion) Cardinals.
So, how ya been?
I’ve been great. You know why? BECAUSE YOU’RE GONE.
While your predecessor Chad Pennington was singlehandedly leading the Dolphins to the playoffs, you were singlehandedly dismantling a playoff-caliber team. Thomas Jones had a career year, and Dustin Keller and Leon Washington became two of the most exciting young players at their respective positions.
Sure the defense had some/wascompletelyfullof holes, but they needed a leader, and you weren’t there.
And now, after a summer of throwing button hooks to high school players in Biloxi, you’re in Minneapolis. Sage Rosenfels and Tarvaris Jackson (if he doesn’t get cut) will put on a happy face, say they’re honored to learn from one of the greatest players of all time, and quietly sit on the bench while you throw from your back foot into triple-coverage.
Me? I’ll be sitting on my couch, watching my 7-9 Jets. And you know what? I won’t care they’re 7-9, BECAUSE YOU’RE GONE.
P.S.- I would like you to return that “BP + BF =BFF” needlepoint I sent you.
So I spent this past weekend with my family and K at my grandparents’ house in the Poconos, swimming in the lake, playing shuffleboard, hanging out at night.
And, since I’ve (unfortunately) spent most of this summer away from any type of beach, I got a wicked sunburn. Mostly just my back, but it crept its way a bit onto my neck and shoulders as well.
ANYWAY, I was taking a shower when I realized how much I loved it. The sunburn that is, not the shower, though that too was quite refreshing.
See, a sunburn means something. You don’t get sunburns in an office (Ed. note- This originally said "at work," but Chris noted that I was an elitist for saying so, since some people do get sunburns at work. I contend that people who work outside are probably already tan, and thus don't burn. But I changed it anyway.). You don’t get sunburns at funerals. You don’t get sunburns when you’re grocery shopping.
You get sunburns when you’re having too much fun to feel your skin LITERALLY BURNING.
Most instances of burnt skin (house fire, acid thrown in your face by a mad scientist) are reason for alarm, but not a sunburn. Because while those examples may horribly disfigure you for the rest of your life, a sunburn will turn to a beautiful glow within a few days.
Oh, I should mention cancer. Skin cancer. Um, it sucks and I hope I don’t get it but if I do get it I hope it’s so late in life that I spent my teens, twenties and thirties looking awesome with copper-colored skin and I mean old people are supposed to look old right (?) so if when I’m 70 my face looks like a beat-up catcher’s mitt that’s a sign that I led an awesome life so I’m totally okay with not wearing sunblock.
My back hurts.
I get Twitter updates from a Web site called DealNews.com. It's basically an aggregator site that collects internet deals, like a flat screen TV for 50 percent off, or $7 Nikes.
The product above popped up two days ago. A desk forklift.
Yes, it's a toy, but it's still marketed as a "desk forklift," giving the illusion that this is something that might be useful to corporate America.
"Do you have the Peterson file?"
"I do, but it's quite heavy."
"Well, what did we buy you a desk forklift for? Pick that baby up!"
And if it couldn't get any worse, here is their infomercial. I've probably watched this 15 times.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays the same role in nearly all of his best-known parts: sad with a dash of joy. But he does it so damn well that it's all you want him to do. Shall we explore?
Angels in the Outfield- 1994
Role: Roger Bomman
Reason to be sad: Roger's father drops him in foster care. Since it's a Disney film the script doesn't indicate it, but Roger's father is what we would call a dick.
Dash of joy: Roger is inexplicably adopted by Danny Glover. The film ends ambiguously, however, as the viewer learned in Lethal Weapon that Glover was "Too old for this shit," making it physically impossible for him to raise a precocious 12 year old.
10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
Role: Cameron James
Reason to be sad: Cameron shows up at Padua High School, and like, totally falls for Bianca Stratford. But, surprise! She doesn't like him, because, oh my god, Joey Donner is soooooo dreamy.
Dash of joy: Totally gets the girl at the end. Presumably gives Joey the finger off-screen.
(500)Days of Summer (2009)
Role: Tom Hansen
Reason to be sad: Summer is a total bitch, all trampling on his heart and whatnot. Getting married a few months after they break up? YOU WILL BURN IN HELL FOR WHAT YOU DID TO TOM, SUMMER.
Dash of joy: Autumn. Oh and the fact that Summer was also very attractive.
G.I. Joe:The Rise of Cobra (2009)
Role: The Doctor/ Cobra Commander
Reason to be sad: Well I would certainly be super-pissed if half my face was burned off in a friendly-fire air strike.
Dash of joy: Um, the movie is named G.I. Joe: The RISE of Cobra, so it seems like the next G.I. Joe movie will feature Cobra Commander on top. Still not a full face though.
Ahhh the penny. Universally scorned as a worthless coin, more bother than its worth, the runt of the U.S. Treasury litter.
Thrown away into fountains and flipped off the top of the Empire State Building, to some pennies have become the equivalent of Pauly Shore: worthless.
To me, however, a penny is a site to behold.
Heads up or heads down, I always pick up a penny on the sidewalk (This may be because of my well-known frugality/ cheapness, but I maintain that I think they're really, really shiny). My desk (from where these magical blog updates leap every night) holds a large ceramic jar brimming with the zinc/copper beauties.
And now there is talk of eliminating the penny. In 2001 and 2006, Arizona Rep. Jim Kolbe introduced legislation to remove the penny from circulation, citing its diminished utility. Well, Mr. Kolbe, YOU FAILED. The people have spoken, and they want to keep their pennies.
And, sir, as a congressman I suspect you own at least one pair of penny loafers, correct? What are you going to put in them? Nickels? Dimes?
And how do you think Abraham Lincoln would feel? Jefferson and Washington would still have coins. FDR would have one. Even Sacajawea.
Don’t do this to Mr. Lincoln, Congressman. After all, it’s his 200th birthday, and the U.S. Treasury is releasing a set of FOUR NEW PENNIES illustrating his life! Aww snap! Deal with that, Mr. Kolbe.
Jay Reatard: awful name, awesomely tight, melodic pop songs.
Lucero was introduced to me by my good friend and old roommate Matt V. I found this video the other day and this kid Henry just kills it on stage. Oh and the song is pretty awesome too.
Early next week I'll have a post about Joseph Gordon Levitt, and an analysis of his characters in 500 Days of Summer and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. But for now, here's just an awesome picture of him from GI Joe:
Now I know I posted this trailer a few months ago, but tonight's the night. Me, two friends, and G.I. Joe.
It's like there's been a Christmas present sitting in my house since I was five years old, and I'm allowed to open it tonight.
Anyone else going to see it tonight?
P.S.- Ignore the ramblings at the beginning of the trailer. She has no idea what she's talking about.
For the uninitiated, Delonte West is a former Saint Joseph's University student (note I did not say alum) and a guard on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
For the past four years, he's been peppering the internet with YouTube highlights, but his most recent video takes the cake. Hands down, his best work to date.
For a good time, do a YouTube search for Delonte West. You will not be disappointed.
So I went to go see this film on Sunday. To be fair to Funny People, though, less than 24 hours earlier I had seen 500 Days of Summer, which I thought was fantastic. That may have skewed my thoughts on Funny People a bit, but I’m sure not much.
Unlike my first “An Objective Look at…” which broke down Parks and Recreation, this time I’m going to critique Funny People more methodically. Oh snap, it’s a pro and con showdown ya’ll!
Seth Rogan- I think Rogan is pretty funny in most of his work (especially Freaks and Geeks, his first role), but my favorite character of his has to be Ira from Funny People.
Not to give anything away, but at first he kind of comes of as a dick, in a backstabbing kind of way. By the end of the film he’s the only (albeit misguided) voice of reason in the whole movie.
Kudos to Rogan for stepping up his game.
The Ray Romano cameo- In Judd Apatow-associated films, I’ve gotten used to cameos (Elvis Costello and Mos Def in Talladega Nights, to a lesser extent David Koechner in 40 Year Old Virgin), but this Ray Romano bit was hilarious. Without giving away too much of the film, he shows up at a restaurant. That is literally the smallest amount of information I could’ve given you, and it sheds no light whatsoever on his role in the film.
Raaaaaaaandy- Just click on this link. The content is NSFW, but there’s no like, naked women prancing around or anything. It's just some dirty words.
Length- I remember when I saw Wedding Crashers in theaters I thought, “Man that movie was long.” And it was 119 minutes. Funny People clocks in at an astounding 146 minutes. That’s only eight minutes shorter than Gladiator.
And I wouldn’t have minded the length if the pacing was the same throughout the entire film. After about the one hour mark the movie slows down considerably, and for all intents and purposes becomes an entirely separate movie. It’s hard to explain without giving too much away, but you’ll know it when you see it.
I guess that’s really the only con, but it was a huge one. The length (and hence its bloated script) dragged down the whole movie.
That being said, I still enjoyed the film. There are plenty of penis jokes to make teenagers (and me) happy, but it’s a serious step in the mature direction for Judd Apatow. Whether or not he stays on that course remains to be seen.
P.S.- I just realized I’ve only done two “An Objective Look at” features, and both involved Aziz Ansari. He played Raaaaaaaandy in Funny People, and Tom in Parks and Recreation.
His blog is also fantastic, so check it out.
I am by no means a gamer. I never grew up with video games, rarely played them as a child, and am god-awful at them now. My gaming skills pretty much stop at Internet trivia.
That said, I’ve recently picked up Nintendo 64, since it’s the console of choice at my new house in Baltimore.
Damn! This is what I’ve been missing? I’ve been playing Mario Tennis, Tony Hawk Pro Skater, 1080, Mario Party, you name it.
I’m still awful at the games, but I think I know why I’ve taken such a liking to N64: it’s completely unrealistic.
I’ve played Xbox and PS3, and their characters freak me out. I’m controlling people, on a screen, who look like me. It’s kind of like The Truman Show. Okay that’s a bad reference point, but hopefully you get what I’m trying to say.
With N64, the avatars look so unlike humans that it allows for disconnect. This is reality; this is a game. With X Box 360 and the like, it seems like I’m watching Tiger Woods putt at Pebble Beach, not watching me control Tiger Woods putting at Pebble Beach.
I know the serious gamers will talk about N64’s VR4300 CPU, and how it doesn’t compare to Xbox 360’s 3.2 GHz PowerPC Tri-Core Xenon, but you know what? I don’t even know what that means. I just copied it from Wikipedia.
And who really cares as long as the games are fun?
Ooo ooo! And look at the pretty, colorful controllers! So shiny…