Friday, June 30, 2006

Back in the saddle again

I've renewed my interest in a couple of internet thingamajigs lately:

First off, I overhauled my little corner of MySpace, thanks to my brother getting on the site and long lost friends getting in touch with me. Back in the day I would accept the friend request of any old band, even if they weren't my cup of tea. Well, my friends list is big, but bloated so I'm going to clear it out soon. But if you loyal MW readers want to be my "friend", drop me a line. Also, for those stalking me, snag my pictures now because I'm kind of bored with them and will likely update a few.

Also, because of my cousin Matt and Kate "befriending" me, I've recently got back into using (formerly AudioScrobbler) - pretty much a site that tabulates my listening habits. Getting my iPod has really changed the way that I've listened to music and rarely do I play tunes on my computer. But there are applications out there that send your iPod data to the site. I've tried a few, with varied results. I wish I could use the jscrob2 plug-in, which requires no effort on my part - but you need to autosync your iPod for it to work and I manually update mine. So, until there's a better solution, I'm using YamiPod, which is a bit clunky and makes me jump through a hoop or two. Again, want to be "friends"? Just ask.

(BTW, for those in the know, I did a long-overdue update of my Imagestation site.)

Okay, I'm going to mow my lawn now.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Tonight's forecast: sunny

Just a heads-up that the season premiere of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" is on F/X tonight. I know you don't watch it, but you should.

Quick movie reviews: "The New World" and "Night Watch"

Don't switch the blade on the guy in shades, oh no.

The New World: Beautiful to look at, great score, the rest...meh. I had high hopes for it, but it fell flat for me. There is an overabundance of hushed, poetic voiceovers which sound really silly. It's like a Calvin Klein Obsession commercial set at Jamestown. Plus, I swear at one point Pocahontas said "zoom zoom".

Night Watch: The second movie I watched last night and another one I was looking forward to. I love epic battles between Good and Evil, not to mention beautiful Russian women. The subtitle work was cool (believe it or not), some of the effects were a bit cheesy, but others were neat. Although sometimes I had no idea what the hell was going on, I dug it. Can't wait for parts two and three.

And you want to be my latex salesman

"We have tilted too far toward individual rights." - Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

Fear any politican that says those type of words.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I am the smartest man alive!

I've been having an involuntary vacation from work this week due to transmission problems with my car. I feel like a bum and am pretty upset about the lost wages (not to mention whatever this repair's going to cost me). But it's given me time to get caught up on a lot of music I've obtained recently. Tonight I'm going to see Thank You For Smoking for the second time.

One other thing that's occupied my time: don't ask why, but I have a free subscription to "Star Magazine", which is probably the most worthless rag I've ever read (and I've read "The New Republic"). But the magazine's crossword puzzle makes me feel like a genius. We're talking a sub-"People Magazine" level of difficulty. And it's great.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Which explains my proclivity towards candles, Morrissey, and gay anal sex

My brother (of course) e-mailed this to me: mitch, it turns out youre gay, even if you dont know it yet...

Men with older brothers more likely to be gay

Thanks, bro. I still get to kiss girls, right? (purely hypothetical, at this point)

Crush of the Week: Katherine Heigl

This week's Crush is actress Katherine Heigl. Although she's on some hit TV show that I don't watch, I know her from a movie that I saw recently - The Ringer. She's quite shapely.

Plenty of pics here.

As for The Ringer, it was...retarded (rimshot!). Given that the film had the blessing of the Special Olympics, it wasn't as "wrong" as the episode of "South Park" that shares a similar premise. But it also wasn't half as funny.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

They must've taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque

Driving around town today, I caught something that I never thought I'd see: the Girls Gone Wild bus came off of I-95 and entered my little corner of the world. I was on my way to the store to buy stuff for tonight's dinner (red beans and rice*), so I couldn't stop. Nor did I want to be "that guy", anyway. Now, I am sure that the bus was here just to gas up because, based on my high school experiences**, the girls in this city don't "go wild". I imagine that they were on their way to more happening locales, like Fayetteville or Hagerstown.

*Did miss her.
**Of course, that was pre-Britney.

How can something so wrong feel so wrong?

To help promote the show's second season premiere this week, iTunes is offering a few free "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" downloads: a compilation of funny moments, a making of the pilot featurette, and the full "Underage Drinking" episode. Go get them now and enjoy the (so wrong) hilarity.

Friday, June 23, 2006

And Matt Damon could be Higgins

Rumor has it that the producers of the "Magnum, PI" film remake want to cast Ben Affleck in the title role. Uh, no. Hey, I dig B-Fleck (he was the bomb in Phantoms, yo), but I think he's all wrong for the part. I don't care if he's thought of as "too old", there's only one Magnum: Tom Selleck. Personally, I think all of these movie updates should be scrapped, as more often than not they turn out to be craptacular.

Give me a

My score on the "Are You a Yankee or a Rebel?" linguistic test: 65% Dixie - just under the Mason-Dixon line. That sounds about right, given my Ahia heritage and Southern upbringing.

I can die happy

"Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp" is finally out on DVD*. Peep the opening credits here.

Chimps are funny. Chimps wearing clothes are hilarious. And when they are overdubbed with human voices, they are comedy gold. Don't even get me started on when they "play" instruments, as Link's band the Evolution Revolution does.

*The regular stores around town don't seem to be carrying it - I don't know why not - so, it looks like this'll be an internet purchase.

Getting the Led out at work

Sometimes you just wanna rock out. I bought Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy ($7.99 at Circuit City!) - upgrading yet another cassette. Man, is that album a classic. I never realized that Prince Paul sampled beat of "The Crunge" for De La Soul's "The Magic Number".

Listening to this in my cubicle at work I was a thunder-cocked sex god.

That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

Before I let the beach go, I thought I'd repost the drink that we imbibe while down in HHI:

1 fifth vodka
1 12 ounce can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 12 ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
2 cups cranberry juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 2 liter bottle of 7-UP

Mix it in a bowl, put it in the freezer and let it get all slushy.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Home again (naturally)

Well, I got home last night and went to work today, jealous of the rest of my family still in Hilton Head. I'll just have to envision my beach breakfast nook each morning:

Yeah, it was a great place to have your coffee.

For the curious, here is this year's family t-shirt (designed by my sister and brother-in-law):

I don't expect you to "get it".

I had better get a real job soon, to ensure ample vacation time for next year.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Well-fed and well-read

Generally, the families each take turns making dinner while on vacation. Mom had a redneck-themed dinner (corndogs, corn on the cob, potato casserole). Last night Uncle Mike (who every day makes ice cream for us) and Aunt Barb made chicken with morel mushroom sauce. Uncle Chuck's making ribs tonight. Mmmmmmmmmm. Unfortunately, since I'm leaving tomorrow, I won't be around long enough to cook for everyone, but I'm already planning for next year. I'm thinking I'll go Cuban.

Currently, I'm knee-deep in A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain and quite liking it. Bourdain's a great food writer (though I've never actually tasted his cooking). This book details his worldwide search for the Perfect Meal. Love this passage:

"Of course, I knew already that the best meal in the world, the perfect meal, is very rarely the most sophisticated or expensive one. I knew how important factors other than technique or rare ingredients can be in the real business of making magic happen at a dinner table. Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life. I mean, let's face it: When you're eating simple barbecue under a palm tree, and you feel sand between your toes, samba music is playing softly in the background, waves are lapping at the shore a few yards off, a gentle breeze is cooling the sweat on the back of your neck at the hairline, and looking across the table, past the column of empty Red Stripes at the dreamy expression on your companion's face, you realize that in half an hour you're probably going to be having sex on clean white hotel sheets, that grilled chicken leg suddenly tastes a hell of a lot better."

I love his unpretentious attitude. Since I'm hardly finished reading the book, I can't quite recommend it. But in the meantime, pick up his Kitchen Confidential - it's a wonderful read.

Our beach house is a very, very fine beach house

Jealous, bitches?

The steam room is currently out of service. Unacceptable.

You never sausage a place

Gassing up at the happiest place on Earth - South of the Border.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Going to Carolina in my mind...and my car

After two grueling weeks of temping, I'm going to take a long weekend and chill down in Hilton Head with the fam. The (big ass) house is supposed to be internet-equipped, so I may make a post or five.

Crush of the Week: Katie Melua

This week's Crush is singer/songwriter/Georgia peach (from the country, not the state) Katie Melua. Her Piece by Piece album was finally released stateside and what I've heard is great. It sounds different from her last one, which should somewhat shake the "Norah Jones wannabe" tag she's got. I'm really digging her cover of the Cure's "Just Like Heaven".

I'd like to amend my cool new music post to add her "Nine Million Bicycles" song. Yes, the guy playing the flute on it also played on the theme to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. (Peep the pretty cool video here or here.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bono is the Antichrist

Well, not really (okay, maybe). I listened to the Rolling Stone interview podcast with him while working today and found out that "Until the End of the World" - one of my favorite U2 songs - is about Judas and Jesus, from the former's POV.

Haven't seen you in quite a while
I was down the hold just passing time
Last time we met was a low-lit room
We were as close together as a bride and groom
We ate the food, we drank the wine
Everybody having a good time
Except you
You were talking about the end of the world

I took the money
I spiked your drink
You miss too much these days if you stop to think
You lead me on with those innocent eyes
You know I love the element of surprise
In the garden I was playing the tart
I kissed your lips and broke your heart
You were acting like it was the end of the world


In my dream I was drowning my sorrows
But my sorrows, they learned to swim
Surrounding me
Going down on me
Spilling over the brim
Waves of regret and waves of joy
I reached out for the one I tried to destroy
You said you'd wait
Till the end of the world

It's all so clear now. And here I thought it was just about a couple, one a bit devious and one a bit dour. Of course, I could've just gone here (a nice place to surf) and found this nugget out long ago.

I know it's a pyramid scheme, but I can't resist the quiet storm

Go here and click on Video Email Sample -on the right. (Or you could just go here.)

I don't want to be misconstrued. They might think I'm being rude. And then catch an attitude.

Credit due: Relevant magazine podcast.

Oh, delicious irony

I forgot to tell y'all: I picked up another temp assignment* this past Saturday for...a union. Yep, cheap non-union labor is good for THEM but not anyone else.

*After a 45 minute commute, I showed up and it turned out that they didn't need me. The temp agency got them to pay me for 2 hours. Better than nothing, I guess.

Monday, June 12, 2006

The art of looking busy

So I'm officially a week into my first temp assignment. It's not that bad, really. Although, there are times when I don't know what the hell I'm doing. It's like when Costanza had the Pensky file plopped down in front of him. I'm probably inadvertantly taking this company down from the inside. My supervisor is sometimes gone for hours and I'm left with nothing to do.

Like on Friday, she cut out around noon and left me with about 45 minutes of work that I managed to stretch out over four hours. I am teaching myself to play Free Cell.

Sorry I've been absent around these parts. Work occupies a huge chunk of time (and no internet access at work), my commute a little less. I'm chilling at my sister's house, since it is much closer to work - and the wireless signal that I piggyback off of is weak (and I don't want to clog my brother-in-law's Mac with CotW pics and junk). I'll do my best to post some more crap for you guys.

Monday, June 05, 2006

I'm afraid that my retirement was short-lived.

Today was my second attempt* at hitting up the temp agency and, lo and behold, they have a three week assignment for me starting tomorrow. Just when I was getting used to being a bum. Oh, well. My savings will only take me until the end of this month, so it's for the best. Maybe.

1. won't default on my student loan and other bills
2. will have enough scrilla left over to actually do more than one social thing a week
3. more constructive use of my time than the PS2 and porn

1. have to shave everyday
2. have to wear shoes (summers are for flip-flops, dammit)
3. commute's a bitch
4. less time for PS2 and porn

I'll be spending my nights between the houses of my sister and spydrz. Otherwise, I'd be driving about 75 miles a day. I'd go into some lecture about our dependence on foreign oil, yada yada, but really it's just a damn long time to be in the car each day.

*I went to a more local temp agency last week, all dressed up in my suit, French cuffed shirt, Brooks Brothers tie, etc. ALL of the other potential temps were in t-shirts and jeans. It didn't really give off a "we have plenty of professional places to locate you" vibe. I don't think I'll be calling on that agency in the future.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Why, it looks like young men playing leapfrog."

Yesterday I went to the Richmond Greek Festival (slogan: "come for the food, stay for the George Stephanopoulos kissing booth") and had one helluva good dessert: loukomades. Basically, they're fried dough balls dipped in a honey glaze and topped with cinnamon. Standing with one handing holding a sweet tea and the other holding the container, it made for some tough eating. Especially when I got to the two loukomades that were fused together.

spydrz: "When was the last time you had two balls in your mouth at once?"
me: "Last night."

Forbidden love of the Greeks, indeed.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Some new music

Summertime's here and that requires some good crusing music. Here's some new discoveries (to me, at least):

I'm calling it: "Rainbows in the Dark" by Tilly and the Wall is the song of the summer. I've only heard it on this week's All Songs Considered podcast, but damn if it's not catchy. Yes, the percussion is done through stomps and tap dancing. Although my assets are frozen, I may have to do some shifting around so I can buy their album.

"Fidelity" by Regina Spektor - Love those strings. 'Nuff said.

"Ballad of a Wasted Bullet" by The Fourth Floor - Kind of has a "The Freshmen" by the Verve Pipe vibe to it.

Lastly, it wouldn't be right not to mention the All Girl Summer Fun Band. Loves me some twee pop.

The best series of commercials (that I saw for the first time last night)

At 1 a.m., after a few Modelos, Messin' with Sasquatch is even funnier.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Quick movie review: "The Break-Up"

The Break-Up: As a drama, it was just okay. As a comedy, it wasn't all that funny*. Even the score - composed by Jon Brion, whose work I love - wasn't anything special. Overall, very blah. However, it was good seeing Mikey and Double Down together on screen ten years later. The highlight of the film would have to be seeing Joey Lauren Adams again. Still nice.

Independent of each other, both my mother and grandma said I looked like Vince Vaughn. I think it's the hair and sideburns.

*The TV spots make it look like a light comedy, but it really ain't. Just a warning.

Green Day didn't make the cut.

In an effort to Make More Blog (i.e., filler), I'll let y'all know that I posted over at spydrzweb regarding National Review's list of the 50 greatest conservative rocks songs of all time.

More blog made.

There's no such thing as a free lunch, but you can get a free donut

Today being Doughnut Day and all, I thought that I'd just throw out the info that Krispy Kreme is giving out free doughnuts.

In other doughnut news*, from now on Dunkin' Donuts will only hire people who are in this country legally. I guess I can ditch my slip of paper that has sprinkles, cruller, and glazed translated into 15 different languages.

*Honestly, I'm amazed I have two doughnut-related things to talk about.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Crush of the Week: Shandi Finnessey

This week's Crush is former Miss USA and current game show co-hostess Shandi Finnessey.

Here she is...Miss USA.

One night while I was staying over at my sister's crib, I was flipping channels and happened upon "PlayMania" on GSN (a cable channel that I don't have at home)...and I couldn't look away. It's an interactive late night game show with puzzles that have all of the difficulty of the People Magazine crossword puzzle, set to an unrelenting pseudo-techno soundtrack. All the while Shandi kept things rolling with her little quips and comments (and eye candy).

I'm beginning to think that Chicago is the new culinary capital of the world

First I learned of Hot Doug's. Then, a couple of days ago I found out about the Weber Grill Restaurant, where everything is cooked over huge charcoal grills. I'm living in the wrong place.

Requiem for Principal Vernon

R.I.P. Paul Gleason, 1944-2006.

He's crackin' skulls in a better place now.