Thursday, August 30, 2007

What the folks from Scranton did on their summer vacation

As usual, Creed steals the show.

MW Top 25

Here they are, the top 25 songs burning up my iPod (as of 8.30.07):

1. "Love You" - Jack Ingram
2. "Lights On" - The Pierces
3. "For the Girl" - The Fratellis
4. "LDN" - Lily Allen
5. "Finding Out True Love Is Blind" - Louis XIV
6. "Grace Kelly" - Mika
7. "P Control" - Prince
8. "Elephant Stone" - The Stone Roses
9. "You Know I'm No Good" - Amy Winehouse
10. "Feed the Tree" - Belly
11. "Song Without a Chorus" - Butch Walker
12. "I Knew You Before" - Dustin Kensrue
13. "Sink to the Bottom" - Fountains of Wayne
14. "Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night" - The Fratellis
15. "I'm Not Hypnotized" - Freedy Johnston
16. "God's Cop" - Happy Mondays
17. "Brainy" - The National
18. "A Better Man" - Nick Lowe
19. "Pull Shapes" - The Pipettes
20. "Nothing Better" - The Postal Service
21. "Little King" - Robbie Fulks
22. "Kiss Me" - Sixpence None the Richer
23. "Missing You" - John Waite
24. "More Than This" - Roxy Music
25. "Here Come the Fuzz" - Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

A big shake-up from the last chart, due in no small part to my playing a bunch of songs on the Micahpalooza road trip this past weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Not just a pretty face.

Speaking as a U.S. American, I'm all for alleviating our country's map crisis.

Are you ready for some college football?

College football starts this weekend (well, technically there are some games tomorrow) and I couldn't be more excited. I guess I could be more excited - maybe if peanut butter and attractive women were involved somehow. But let's just say that I'm looking forward to some thrashings administered by the Buckeyes and Spiders.

Anyway, I set up a Pick 'Em group* at ESPN's website. If anyone wants to join, let me know and I'll send you the group name and password. The deadline is Saturday at noon. And, yes, there will be a prize.

*Basically, each week you pick the winners of some selected games.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Micahpalooza '07: fear and loathing in Atlantic City

This year's Micahpalooza was one to remember. Sure, Atlantic City is the poor man's Vegas, but it's still a fun town and the talent is pretty implantastic.

But before we could get there, we stayed overnight in Philadelphia. There we got sucked into a marathon of "Coming Out Stories" episodes on Logo. I'm still not sure why we were watching it, but each episode that we saw was disappointing. First, they all dealt with lesbians (and not of the lipstick variety). Even more of a let down, though, was that all of the people that were on the receiving end of the outing was cool with it. Where were the fireworks? The feelings of betrayal and anger? Yeah, it was cool for the folks on the show, but it made for bad TV.

(Click on all of the following photos to enlarge them)

On Saturday Spydrz, Shamrock, MandaPanda69, and I had dinner at Mia, where I had some excellent shellfish risotto with a side of some kick-ass lobster mashed potatoes. We even met chef Chris Scarduzio. Good stuff.

The Tony Bennett show was awesome. The concert was sponsored by AARP, so the crowd was mostly made up of blue hairs. Backed by a small combo, Tony was in good form, blasting through shortened versions (pretty much just verse-chorus) of a bunch of songs. But hey, the guy's 81 years old. He's entitled to rush through his act. He punctuated every other song with a shout out to that song's composer. And every now and then he'd add a "Boom!" He even dedicated "The Good Life" to Paris Hilton. I know it sounds morbid, but I'm glad that I got to see him perform before he left this mortal coil.

Yes, the paparazzi got some snaps of us. We had some post-show drinks at Bobby Flay's restaurant at the Borgata. When I ordered a Rob Roy the bartender asked me if I wanted it "up or down." Not knowing what those options meant, but not wanting to sound like an idiot, I confidently replied "up." Well, that means the drink is served in a martini glass, not a highball or Collins one. So, from then on I was likely perceived as "unthreatening" to the Asian hottie bartender and the rest of the women present.

We did our gaming at the Borgata. Unlike my past trips to Vegas, I was not flush with student loan money. That coupled with my meager pay meant that I couldn't afford to wager much. I lost $45 on the nickel slots (in the same amount of time that MandaPanda69 lost $20) until I found him: Mr. Lucky. This friendly fellow was always good to me in Sin City. I consulted via cellular telephone my buddy Fraley, who was able to get $1000 from this Chinaman during one of our Vegas trips. After getting his super secret nickel slot system, I won $10. I then decided that I should cut my losses and accepted my $35 net loss. Spydrz, MandaPanda69, and I left Shamrock at the blackjack table, where he stayed until the wee hours of the morning.

Breakfast the next morning was spent at the AC Diner. I was excited to pop my pork roll cherry. This regional breakfast meat product is always being trumpeted on one of my favorite podcasts (the New Jersey-based Hometown Tales), so I was eager to finally try it. Well, it tastes like Spam. Fried, somewhat spicy Spam. It was okay, but I don't think I feel the need to get it again. But I might.

And I was crowned Miss America! I felt so beautiful!

As with the trip up, there was hella traffic on the way home. But it wasn't so bad because it gave me time to muster the courage to try the Reese's Peanut Butter & Banana Creme cup with Elvis's likeness on the wrapper. It wasn't bad. It wasn't great, either. But it wasn't bad. Coincidentally, Al Dvorin, the man who coined the phrase "Elvis has left the building," died in a car crash on my birthday in 2004. Thank you, Today in Music History podcast!

So, that was the weekend in a nutshell. I'd like to thank my friends for my making my birthday a special one. I can't wait to see what you guys pull out of your hat for next year. As long as it involves booze and scantily-clad broads, I'll be happy.

I'll end this Micahpalooza wrap-up with a picture of Monty and his blue balls.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Micahpalooza '07: My super sweet 32

Today (well, actually yesterday) marks another Micahpalooza. Last night the fam gathered for a birthday eve dinner at The Boathouse, where I had a most excellent steak (and a couple of Jack & Diets). Afterwards, it was back to my brother's house where my sister-in-law served up some liquery truffle, destroying a month's worth of Atkins work*. But it was well worth it. The evening was topped off with an impromptu viewing of Jackass: The Movie. All in all, a very satisfying and fun night.

This weekend sees trips to Philadelphia (tonight) and Atlantic City (tomorrow), where I'll be seeing Tony Bennett perform at Caesar's Palace. Joining me on this odyssey will be MW readers/commenters past and present (spydrz, MandaPanda69, KPMD, Shamrock). I can't wait.

*I gots to fit into my suit for this weekend, you know.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Scarn Ultimatum

For those who can't wait until Threat Level Midnight is produced, this is kind of clever.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

"Pepper Jack, are you serious?"

"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" fans, rejoice! To promote the new season, a brand new episode ("Mac is a serial killer") has been posted on the show's MySpace page. And it's pretty funny. September 13th can't get here soon enough. Actually, the DVD set for the first and second seasons comes out on September 4th, so I'm really looking forward to that, too.

Is it sad that one of the reasons why I want a new phone is so that I can get the show's theme song as my ringtone (which my current phone is incapable of doing)? I thought so.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Stone Cold Steve Austin checks it daily

As proof that there's a site for everything, I present to you, a little nook of the internet dedicated to people wearing jean shorts.

Credit due: the Relevant Magazine podcast

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Requiem for a 24 hour party person

R.I.P. Tony Wilson, 1950-2007.

You're no doubt Heaven's biggest promoter now.

I heartily recommend his biopic 24 Hour Party People. Put it in your Netflix queue now.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Crush of the Week: Alison Sudol (A Fine Frenzy)

This week's Crush is singer/songwriter/redhead Alison Sudol, who records under the name A Fine Frenzy.

One of her songs ("You Picked Me") is iTunes' free download this week. I'm quite digging it. I, uh, acquired the rest of her album, but haven't listened to it yet.

And now I'm on some government watchlist

Well, an era has come to an end: my law school parking permit sticker was curling and had to be removed. Sigh. I guess it was about time, as it expired August 15, 2004. Plus, all of the numbers faded long ago.

But I quickly replaced it with a Gadsden flag. Is it a warning to other nations or our own government? You decide.

In other "era" news, the old lamp in the room that I crash in at spydrz's house was a piece of junk, so I brought my old halogen "Hellfire" torchlight out of retirement. Now when I'm in the room, I'm reliving my sepia-toned college years. I just hope the R.A. doesn't write me up.

I don't think I was meant to have a car

A brief summary of my automotive week:

-Failed my state inspection; car needs a new serpentine belt and rear struts
-Car literally stopped moving on my way home from inspection, so I was out of commission for a few days; some mechanics said it was the transmission (which I had rebuilt last month), but it turned out to be some some broken bolts in one of the axles; missed a day of work.
-After picking up my car from the transmission shop (who fixed said bolts for free - mad props), my front passenger side window fell into the door and wouldn't go up.
-Took car to the VW dealer to get window fixed; "free" 40 point inspection illuminated some big problems and ended up costing me $1,000+; missed more work.

I love my car, but this week really opened my eyes to the fact that it needs to be destroyed before it strikes again. Or at least taken off of my hands. I had planned on keeping it for quite a while after I got a "real" job, but now I plan on getting rid of it as soon as it is feasibly possible.

Anyone want to buy a Jetta?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Quick movie reviews

The Bourne Ultimatum: A good end to the series of movies. It would've been a great end if director Paul Greengrass would just KEEP THE FREAKIN' CAMERA STILL. I actually felt a little sick watching this movie.

Spider-Man 3: Not as bad as everyone said it was, but not as great as the second movie, either. Sam Raimi tried to cram too many ideas into this one, methinks.

Ocean's Thirteen: I had a blast watching this film. From the interviews that I've read, Soderbergh, Clooney, Pitt, et al. were trying to atone for their sub-par second effort. They succeeded.

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer: This was a very enjoyable popcorn flick. I don't like the trend that every superhero must be dark and brooding (the latest Superman movie, anyone?). I'm glad that they didn't go that route with the FF.

1408: This Steven King thriller was pretty good. I swear, John Cusack has taken the Dick Clark Time Defying Serum. The man doesn't age. Anyway, this was pretty creepy without resorting to gore or torture. Refreshing! Added bonus: there's a line of dialogue that had to have been added once Samuel L. Jackson was cast.

Live Free or Die Hard: This movie had every right to suck, since a) it is the fourth in the series and b) the title is incredibly stupid. But it turns out that it is freakin' awesome! Wall to wall action. This is probably the surprise of the summer.

Ratatouille: I loved this film. The animation was amazing. Sure, seeing tons of rats in a kitchen is kind of disconcerting, but it was funny. Pixar really rebounded from Cars (my least favorite movie put out by them).

The Simpsons Movie: I am a Simpsons nut. That said, this was funny, but not the end-all be-all of Springfieldian humor. But seeing as how the TV episodes aren't all that great anymore, this could have been a lot worse.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Today's lyrics

No longer angry
No longer young
No longer driven to distraction
Not even by Scarlett Johansson

A few moving parts
Need to be replaced
The engine starts
But only on Tuesdays

-Lloyd Cole, "Woman in a Bar"

I'm all over the latest albums by Lloyd Cole (Anti Depressant) and Nick Lowe (At My Age), both of which deal with settling down, aging, and whatnot. Good stuff.

Monday, August 06, 2007

New blogs. New design?

I've updated my blogroll to include blogs by musicians Lloyd Cole and Gerald Collier, as well as the Relevant Magazine blogs. I still need to do my periodic sweep of outdated and non-reciprocally linked blogs. If you want to be listed on the ol' blogroll, let me know.

Also, I'm getting kind of bored with my site's design. I found its free template online a couple of years ago, but am thinking about going the custom-made route this time. Any ideas?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

No time for Lego love, Dr. Jones

"I hate Lego snakes."

Just in time for the fourth Indiana Jones movie (!), comes news of the release of a "Lego Indiana Jones: The Game". Personally, I find this news to be awesome (but not in regards to my productivity). I've enjoyed the two "Lego Star Wars" games immensely. They were a whole lot of fun, pretty witty, and at my preferred level of difficulty*. I would expect this game to share all of the qualities. Watch out whoever employs me in 2008: I'm calling in sick for a week or so.

Watch the trailer here.

*That'd be "not difficult".

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Crush of the Week: Kat Von D

This week's Crush is tattoo artist Kat Von D. Honestly, I don't know much about her except that she's going to be in a show called "L.A. Ink". I've only seen her in some magazine ads, though.

Actually, I don't go for excessive tattoos on women*, but there's something about her. I think it's the pin-up style of the ads that gets me. Plus, I kind of dig "freaky" women every now and then, like my beloved Byrd Theatre Chix (a tiny bit freaky + vintage dresses = NICE).

*What're they going to look like when they are 80?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The return of Media Buying Tuesday

Fortunately for my wallet, there's only been a trickle of media releases that I've been intersted in lately...until yesterday. I don't consider it a Media Buying Tuesday unless at least two items of note are being released. Well, this Tuesday saw the release of two of my favorite movies of the year: Hot Fuzz and 300.

Buying the former has been an ordeal, which I still haven't finished. See, Wal-Mart has an exclusive bonus disc that contains pretty much every special feature from the UK version that was left off of the American release (and that's a lot). So I went to Wal-Mart during a break from work and the only bonus disc packs they had in stock came packaged with the fullscreen edition of the movie. Yuck! So, after work I hit up two more Wal-Marts only to find only more fullscreen DVDs. According to director and co-writer Edgar Wright's MySpace blog, 65% of the copies Wal-Mart ordered were fullscreen. Seemed more like 100% to me.

Anyway, I didn't want to totally miss out on the bonus disc, so I reluctantly bought one of the sets. Luckily, when you unwrap the set the copy of the movie itself is still shrinkwrapped. So last night I went back to the first Wal-Mart that I went to earlier and intended to exchange my fullscreen copy for one of the widescreen single disc editions, but they were sold out. That wasn't too surprising since Wal-Mart seems to have a fullscreen-to-widescreen ratio of 50-to-1. I guess I'll just wait another day or two for them to restock. Hopefully, I'll be able to enjoy some Hot Fuzz goodness this weekend.