Monday, June 29, 2009

Brüno Ist Coming

Brüno is going to be great—Sacha Baron Cohen is hysterical. How he does this without ever breaking character is beyond me.

I must say, Conan did an excellent job setting this up and—for the most part—playing the straight man (heh... both literally and figuratively).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Human Nature

And it cuts like a knife
She's out of my life

I found out this week that an old friend who I had not seen in years had committed suicide. I was surprised at the sense of loss that I felt for someone I knew only through other friends and I’d not seen in several years. She had a great husband, a beautiful daughter and a thriving business. I wondered how her family could recover from their grief.

I've got to get stronger
And I won't give up the fight

When I heard the news about Farrah Fawcett’s death yesterday after her extensive—and quite public—battle with cancer, my thoughts on my friend’s death turned from sadness to anger. How could she throw away her life when there were so many people out there fighting tooth and nail just to survive?

It's Too High To Get Over
Too Low To Get Under
You're Stuck In The Middle
And The Pain Is Thunder

I can’t imagine how dark it must have been for her that she couldn’t see light. What a horrible and lonely place that must have been. To be in that kind of pain where she could not see her husband and daughter’s love is unimaginable. I feel guilty for being angry with her when she was in so much pain. I find myself waffling between anger, empathy, and sorrow for her that I wonder if I will ever be able to think of her without a broken heart.

Every day create your history
Every path you take you're leaving your legacy
Every soldier dies in his glory
Every legend tells of conquest and liberty

My feelings for Michael Jackson have never really waffled. I enjoyed his music when I was younger, but—truth be told—in the battle of the family bands of the 70’s, I preferred the clean-cut but soulless Osmonds over the urban and funkified Jacksons. I enjoyed the Jackson’s music—but I had a crush on Donny.

I loved Off The Wall, but never bought it. I finally bought Thriller after the fourth number one was released. I became a big fan of Michael’s music, but I was never really a fan of Michael Jackson the person as he never rang true for me. Dating Brooke Shields while carrying Bubbles the Chimp caused warning bells to go off in my head while the rest of the world tried to Moondance. His behavior became more erratic and Michael became less about the music and more about being a bizarre spectacle. Whenever there was a discussion of his behavior, we had to be reminded he was talented.

Beat me
Hate me
You could never
Break me
Will me
Thrill me
You could never
Kill me
Do me
Sue me
Do me
Kick me
Hike me
Don't you
Black or white me

When I heard he was ill yesterday, my first thought was Michael was trying to get out of his tour in the most spectacular fashion he could devise. I was as shocked as the rest of the world about his passing. I was less a fan than ever, but he just seemed too famous to die. At least too famous to share his passing with another pop-culture celebrity.

I wondered to myself if I could ever hear his music and not think of the tragedy that was his life and early death. As I walked to the train station I turned on my iPod and searched for a Michael Jackson song, to my surprise there were four of his tunes. As the drums pumped through my earbuds at the opening of The Way You Make Me Feel, I immediately burst into a smile and started to tear up. In an instant it was just about the music and nothing else—everything else faded away.

Just promise baby, you'll love me forevermore
I swear I'm keepin' you satisfied
'Cause you're the one for me

Michael, Farrah and my friend are gone. Three lives ending far too soon. All that’s left are the memories and how they effected the lives of so many. I guess we each have to decide how we’re going to remember them. The good, the bad, or some mix of each. I’ve decided to remember them and smile.

Help me sing it, ma ma se, ma ma sa, ma ma coo sa

Lyrics by Michael Jackson:
She's Out of My Life

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
They Don’t Care About Us

The Way You Make Me Feel
Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’
Spank Bank Friday

Meet Benny Feilhaber, US Soccer Team player, with the most stunninly beautiful eyes. I happened upon him while watching the US Soccer Team beat the number 1 ranked Spain.

click for a LARGE pic

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon: First Rate Second Banana

Ed McMahon passed away at the age of 86 [obit]—he had been ill as of late. It’s another bit of my childhood that’s gone away. His infamous “Now he-------re’s Johnny!” takes me back to when I would covertly stay up late to watch The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. I would try SO hard not to laugh out loud and alert my parents to my presence. Rest in Peace, Ed.

Losing Ed makes me wonder “who’s next?” Now in the old days, I would say that Delores Hope would be out in the Rolls trying to knock off other celebs to keep Bob Hope alive… someone told me that they don’t get the joy out of celebrity deaths since he died. Does that make them an asshole or me for making fun of it so much?

I’m going to say “me” because since celebrities die in threes, my first instinct is start a list of potential candidates. In no particular order, they are:

Walter Cronkite – 93 and apparently rather ill.
Annette Funicello – she got MS in the 90’s and has been blind for the last few years… I had to Google her to see if she was still alive.
Elizabeth Taylor – Dear Lord, she’s looking like those shrunken apple heads from the 70’s…
Karl Malden – Jeezo, he’s freakin’ 97!
Patrick Swayze – I’ve seen the cover of US Weekly, he should be lucky to make it through this post.
Kirk Douglas – I know what you’re thinking, “He’s still alive?” He’s in his 90’s…
Ernest Borgnine – I’ve been waiting for him to die ever since I heard that he died in the arms of an underage hooker back in the 90’s.
Nancy Reagan – 80 something… She was at the White House recently. Looked like a twig
Mickey Rooney – 105 (I’m guessing, but I can’t be that far off), Again: “still alive? Really…?”
Delores Hope – 100 (Seriously... she's 100!), At this point it is just a matter of time.

Farrah Fawcet – Thanks to Cav for reminding me... after her TV special, how could I forget?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mama, Don't Take My Kodachrome Away

Kodak announced it is killing off Kodachrome color film, which I thought had already been done by digital film a while back.

As much as I love digital pictures, there is something magical about the color film process that I think we're going to lose. Sure, the digital pictures are flawless--or can be made so with Photoshop--it's the imperfections that sometimes make the shot more interesting, much the way vinyl records added something to music. With only a limited number of frames to shoot, one either had to get the shot, or lived with the imperfect shot. Today, I can shoot 200 frames and either pick the best, or morph several inferior shots into one perfect image. Perfection isn't romantic.

Most of my childhood memories are relived through photographs--many of them stamped with the Kodachrome mark at the bottom. (For those of you too young to remember: we took the pictures, and then sent them out to be printed, and got them back weeks later with a white border around our small 3x3 picture... and we liked it! Then Polaroid came out with their instamatic and photography went to hell...). I feel for those people that love their film and won't go digital, what will they do now?

Truth be told, I haven't bought film in years... and even then I used Agfa film (it was European and so much cooler if you were a photography student...).

Life moves on, but we still have Paul Simon's song...
Fast-Talking Funny

Below is a commentary on video games by Yahtzee, "a British-born, currently Australian-based writer and gamer with a sweet hat and a chip on his shoulder. When he isn't talking very fast into a headset mic he also designs freeware adventure games and writes the back page column for PC Gamer." All I know is that he's damn funny--even though I can't understand half of what he's saying!

Friday, June 19, 2009

What the Hut?

Pizza Hut has had declining sales of late--gee, who hasn't?--and, in order to beef up sales have decided to 'rebrand' themselves as The Hut.
No shit.
They took the best part of their name and dropped it for the worst part of their name. The Hut.
What the fuck is wrong with people nowadays? I only ate at Pizza Hut on two occasions in my almost 45 years... wanna know why? Their pizza sucked. I'll have no problem avoiding The Hut...
Wow, that name just rolls right off the tongue, doesn't it? It actually makes me hungry just saying it... anyone got the number for Roundtable? Cuz that's some good f'ing pizza!
Long Life, Short Reign

Meet British World War I veteran Henry Allingham, 113, now the World's Oldest Living Man. The previous record holder, Tomoji Tanabe of Japan, died this week... he was also 113. If the title comes with any coupons or prizes, he'd better claim them quickly... tick... tick... tick...
Spank Bank Friday

This is Kerry Degman. Pretty amazing, right?


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Revolution Will Not be Televised... will be Twittered. Twitter announced that it was rescheduling it's preplanned maintenance so as to assist (or not hinder) the ongoing protests in Iran. Twitter has been essential in the communication with the dissadents and the planning of protest rallies.
We live in very interesting times, don't we?
The Day the Music Stopped

Seventy years ago today, Jazz and Swing great William Henry “Chick” Webb died.  Only 30 years old, he was the first “King of Swing” band leader.  He introduced the world to Ella Fitzgerald.  Ella continued the band until her solo career in 1942.

You may never have heard of Chick, but you have felt his impact.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Video Spank Bank Friday

School’s out and it’s time to enjoy summer. In particular, guys in tiny swimsuits (can we pass a law banning board shorts, please? Especially, if you’ve got a rockin’ bod.)

This bit of summer relief is Kerry Degman, a Southern boy who makes my pants get tight.


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Get Your Springfield On!

Dean is a clever fellow and the owner of the blog Springfield Punx. He creates Simpson-esque characters from TV, movies, comics, etc. The above pic is an example of his work. I highly encourage you to check it out, it's a lot of fun.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Monday Memories

How many hours in the late 80's/early 90's did I waste playing this game? I used to think that it would be harder for the graphics to get any better.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Spank Bank Friday

Welcome to Spank Bank Friday! Not sure who this guy is, I know he's a model for TitanMen, but other than that, he's a mystery. And seriously hot. I had to crop a few of these pics...

...but let this one slide. Hey, with a smile like that, why look anywhere else?

Masculine, thy name is... er, does it matter?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Greatest Toy Ever Meets Greatest Architect Ever

I don’t know how I missed this story that Lego has a Lego Architecture division and will be creating sets based on Frank Lloyd Wright structures. Coming in August is Fallingwater—perhaps the most spectacular home in the world.

The sets are smaller, but very inexpensive ($20 – $40 range)—especially when compared to their other products (Taj Mahal is $300!). Currently, they're selling a tiny Empire State Building, but will be adding more soon. Most can be ordered at

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Holy Freakin' Crap!

Check this out! If it actually works, it will change video gaming forever.

...IF it works (it's Microsoft, so I'm sure they'll find a way to f*ck it up.
Let’s Class this Place Up!

I don’t post enough political commentary on S&T and I think it’s time to change that. I know this isn’t timely, but Sarah Palin continues to push for the Republican nomination in 2012, and I think we should get a look at how she could really handle foreign relations.

Yep, folks… that’s about as classy as it gets around here. Huffington Post is that away, kids…

I was reading Deus Ex Malcontent today and he was rehashing a post he made when the final Harry Potter came out and Chez gave away the ending. Actually, he didn’t give it away—he’s never even read the books. He just made up an ending and even said it was made up. However, rabid Potter fans bombarded him with comments threatening him. To his credit Chez said “I might've feared for my life had the threats of physical violence I received not come from, well, Harry Potter fans.”

Amongst the cries that he’d ruined lives, came this ultimate spoiler gem from Votar… enjoy.

[Caution: spoilers ahead]

Hey I'm reeally drunk right now so fuck all yall

The empire gets defeated by Ewoks.

The Titanic sinks.

Fredo opens the window blinds in Michael's bedroom.

Tracy Mills' head is in the box.

Verbal Kint is Keyser Soze.

Colonel Tigh is a cylon.

Every single character in "Identity" are imaginary figments of the death row inmate's imagination.

Memento was filmed backwards.

The aliens can't use door knobs and water hurts them.

Quaid is suffering a free form delusion resulting from a schizophrenic embalism based on the vacation he purchased from Rekall; in his mind he'll rescue the girl, free Mars, and in the end, he'll be lobotomized.

Deckhard is a replicant.

Rosebud is a fucking sleigh.

Dil is a man.

Tyler Durden is imaginary.

Kevin Costner is Ivan, the Russian agent.

Andy DusFrensne escapes.

Jigsaw is laying there the whole time.

The Game is, uh, just a game.

The Force is just some bacteria in your blood.

The Wizard of Oz is just some old guy behind a curtain fiddling with a steam engine.

George Taylor is on Earth the whole time.

The chick in Mullholland Drive is already dead.

Rosemary's baby is the Devil.

John Milton is the Devil.

Louis Cyphre is the Devil.

Jacob is already dead.

The tanker truck was full of sand.

Donald Sutherland is one of the body snatchers.

Ash is a robot.

Patrick Bateman is "utterly insane."

Vic and Blood kill, cook, and eat the girl.

The killer was Jason Voorhees' mother.

Police Chief Exley was the mastermind behind the Night Owl Murders.

Carousel is really just a population control murder ritual.

The Maltese Falcon is a fake.

The Matrix is a computer program.

In Million Dollar Baby, she dies.
She also dies in Boys Don't Cry.

Lionel Twain is not killed, and does not kill anyone. It's all a ruse to embarrass the most popular crime novelists.

Peyton Farquahr is already dead.

Grace Stewart and her children are already dead.

Griff gets away with murder and marries the girl.

Norman Bates puts on a wig and kills people.

The Ark of the Covenant is stored in a top secret military warehouse.

There are two killers in Scream.

Soylent Green is people.

Old Yeller dies.

The Village is just some stupid 19th Century Utopian Society experiment gone awry.

Seriously. Fuck you.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Work Break

Empire magazine--probably the best movie magazine out there--is celebrating it's 20th anniversary with a wonderful online game called "The Cryptic Canvas". The object is to find the FIFTY movie titles in the painting that have been released in the last 20 years.

So far, I've managed to find a paltry 25. There goes any hope for productivity from me for the week...

UPDATE: I did it! Holy Crap... this was not easy!