Washington State feels that this is somehow unsafe, so I am prevented from doing this.
I brought this up the other day with coworkers, and had to explain how skunks get de-scented and actually make greal loving cat-like pets, just way cooler because no one has them as pets. They also have an amusing behavior where if for some reason they get pissed off at you, like if you forbid them from sleeping on the furniture or hanging out with that paint drizzled neighbor cat or something, they will turn around and try to spray you, just firing blanks.
This prompted a brilliant idea from Travis: install air-freshener reservoirs into the skunk, so if they get pissed off they just make the place smell better.
"Are you baking cookies?"
"No. I yelled at the skunk for clawing on the carpet again, and pssshft: Fresh Baked Cookiestm.
We've been house shopping, which really sucks ass.
Not even once has a matronly little old lady shown us around and said anything like the following:
"Now dearies, you understand that the contents of this closet will have to stay with the house. See, my oldest -- Johnnie -- was shot down and killed in WWII, and I just can't bring myself to even look at his comic book and baseball card collections, let alone throw them out. Even if I was emotionally able to do it, there's hundreds of big heavy boxes full, and my back just isn't what it used to be. This time of year especially, my rheumatis acts up frightfully. I'm afraid you'll have to send them off to the recyclers yourself. I hope you don't mind."
I recently learned of the plagiarism allegations Luixy Toledo has brought against Michael Jackson, and found them somewhat intriguing. Long story short, Luixy alleges that he sent Michael Jackson a copy of his CD in 1974 as a birthday present (because they share the same birthday, August 25th). This CD contained his song Exorcismo. A few years later, Michael released a song called Thriller which Luixy alleges is a copy of Exorcismo. His case was eventually thrown out, the court finding that any similarities are merely coincidental.
A couple days ago I got ahold of a copy of Luixy's song and am finally able to see for myself what the truth is. Rather than tell you what I think, I've prepared an mp3 for your listening pleasure -- Michael in one channel, Luixy in the other. Keep in mind that I did do a little bit of editing on Luixy's track to account for slight tempo variations, but I've included Luixy's original unedited mp3 so you can listen to it for yourself.
OK. I'm going to postulate a theory, which if correct, might cause me to disappear.
Isaac Hayes is going to die of "complications arising from a stroke" at or near 10:25pm EST on Wednesday the 22nd, at which time South Park will be making fun of him in an uproarious manner. The world will then turn against them for insensitivity, and they'll die alone and pennyless.
This is all part of the continuing plot by Scientologists to teach Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Comedy Central not to fuck with Xenu.
I was going through my backpack-turned-laptop-bag the other day, and found a few things leftover from the Vegas trip. Most importantly, I found my stack of callgirl cards. I was rifling through them on break at work when I discovered evidence of some sort of horrible deception.
First we have Exhibit H(eather):
Next we have Exhibit T(ami):
Notice anything odd?
Both "Tami" and "Heather" are actually different croppings of the same photo!
Here's a comparison shot, highlited for easy identification:
I'm not sure what is afoot here, but someone is lying to me. Clearly they aren't supposed to be the same woman, because they have different phone numbers and the hearts covering their naughty bits are different colors.
I wish I had noticed this while in Vegas -- it might have been worth the $70 to schedule both Tami and Heather for the same time and see what happens. Regardless of the outcome, I bet it would have blown my mind.
Everyone I passed on the trail around the lake was grinning at me as I went by, which seemed a little bit odd, but I attributed it to just how nice out it was.
Then I got back to where I had parked and found that the shape of the bicycle seat had conspired with my super-comfy worn out jeans to push what flowery romance novels refer to as my "manhood" out of the gaping hole in my crotch1.
Thankfully I wasn't "going commando" or anything, but everyone I passed could clearly tell what religion2 I am without too much effort.
1: when my pants begin to wear out, the first thing to go is always the crotch. I'm not sure why exactly that is, but I always like to mention that to people in a suggestive manner.
2: For what it's worth, I'm an Agnostic Deist. Figure that one out ;)
I'm out riding my mountain bike on the various trails around Lacamas Lake, and I'm finding more to complain about than I am to enjoy.
I've got chest pains, shortness of breath, disappointment at not being able to take the jumps anymore, the seat is killing my ass, and I'm giving serious thought to drinking some of this mostly full bottle of spring water I just found on the ground.
One of my favorite guilty pleasures over the last 10 years has been the occasional consumption of Arby's Chicken Bacon Swiss sandwiches. I don't partake of them often, because they're freakin' expensive (and really bad for me), but I really enjoy them. Today I decided to hit up Arby's and grab one, on account of how I haven't had one in over a year.
So I'm at the drive-thru, just finishing up my order when I begin to worry. Through the crackle and hiss of the drive-thru speaker, I hear the question that will change my life forever:
"Do you want that crispy or grilled?"
"Wait, what?" I inquire. "I don't follow you."
"You can have the chicken on that either fried or grilled. Which do you want?"
Upon thinking about it a little bit, I have absolutely no idea how they used to do them, but I decide on grilled. As I pull up to the window I see a big banner proclaiming how the chicken they serve is all 100% natural, grain fed, each feather lovingly removed by an aging Hippie.
Let me tell you, the new "improved" Chicken Bacon Swiss 100% sucks. The meat was as dull in flavor as it was in color and texture, and I doubt getting the "crispy" variation would improve matters much.
I guess that's one less thing I have to feel guilty about.
Whoa! I just saw a new Chips Ahoy commercial done by Wil Vinton Studios that was actually done in oldschool California Raisin style stop-motion.
I don't know a whole lot about how they do things at Wil Vinton Studios nowadays, but I remember reading an article in '96 about how they'd begun the transition from stop-motion to CG. Within a few months after reading the article, I began seeing the Chips Ahoy spots they had been animating with CG, which made me equal parts sad and glad, for at the time I thought computer animation was the bees knees, but had a fond place in my heart for stop-motion.
I recognize that CG animation can be equally technical, often surpassing the amount of skill and work required to create the same thing with stop-motion, but my opinion of it is generally very low these days. It seems like bad CG is everywhere, so much so that even good CG has lost its appeal to me and rarely impresses me. It's like when Frontpage came out; suddenly everyone could make crappy webpages with minimal effort, ensuring that every web page you saw was in fact crappy.
In comparison, I can look at the stop-motion stuff Harryhousen was making like 50 years ago, and it still blows me away. That stuff just looks so incredible to me, but I'm obviously biased.
That said, I'm way too lazy for stop-motion, so my various planned animations will be done with a 3D animation package, though hopefully without looking like it.
I'm sitting here crosslegged on the floor, playing with my big heavy red balls with the TV on to distract me.
No, heh. That's not what I mean.
See, I'm an extremely out of shape out of practice wannabe juggler. So, in effort to get some practice and build back up some juggle muscles, I'm currently repeatedly tiring myself out with my Exerballs. If you've never heard of them, they are big heavy lead filled vinyl juggling balls.
The crosslegged part adds a bit of extra motivation in that if I drop them, they either bounce and roll across the room, or they land on my other big red balls. As you can imagine, I'm really trying hard not to drop them.
In any case, this is the first time I've watched "live" TV in some time, and I'm blown away by just how fascinating I'm finding advertisements. I just saw a Gortons Fish commercial that cracked me up, and then saw a trailer for the Larry the Cable Guy movie that made me cringe. Also, simply trying to find something on to watch is nearly impossible. I don't know how people watch tv like this.
My whole life, I've always had difficulty sleeping. Nap time as a child was hell because I would never sleep, I'd just have to lay there for an hour, bored out of my mind. I've never in my entire life fallen asleep "as soon as my head hit the pillow," and most nights I could easily have watched a feature-length movie in the time between turning off the light for the night and falling asleep. My roommate falls asleep "as soon as his ass touches something vaguely couchlike," and his alarm clock frequently goes off for hours straight without him noticing it. This makes me extremely jealous and bitter.
In any case, lately I've been having less trouble sleeping, it's just that it feels like I'm not getting any benefit from it. Sunday evening I actually went to bed at 8:45 due to being completely wiped out, despite not having done a darn thing all weekend. I don't think it helped.
There's things that I've told people I'd do, like computery things, not actual physically active things, that I've actually put off rather than spending the 5 minutes they would take because I was just too tired to devote the time to it. This is not good. I haven't done a darn thing to further my efforts on any of my various creative projects in longer than I can remember. This is not good.
I just don't know what to do. I've found that taking sleep aids can often help somewhat, but I develop a "dependency" extremely quickly, and it always takes me half the day before I really wake up after taking such things, which kind of defeats the purpose.
In my thinking about my situation, I've likened it to a person who has worms; no matter how much they eat, they just never seem to get any benefit from it. That's exactly how I feel. Sleep worms.
I've been noticing an interesting trend lately: as television stars lose fame, they end up in space. Let's take a quick peek, shall we?
Scott Bakula, once star of Quantum Leap was last seen captaining one of the Enterprises on Enterprise.
Lorne Green, once a proud cowboy, eventually ended up on the original incarnation of Battlestar Galactica.
Richard Dean Anderson, once the best quick-thinking gadget maker of all time as MacGyver, is now on at least one of the many Stargate shows -- at least one of which I presume takes place in space.
Lucy Lawless, once the hottest ass kicking warrior princess on Xena is now a cylon (spoiler alert) on the new Battlestar Galactica.
Dana DeLaney, once the hot chick on China Beach, now a corpse on the new Battlestar Galactica.
Dean Stockwell, not to be outdone by his Quantum Leap buddy Scott Bakula, has wisely chosen a space show which is being helmed by people who aren't completely inept (unless of course you take octagonal paper into account).
Colm Meaney, once proud transporter operator on Star Trek: The Next Generation -- wait. Never mind.
Then there's that guy who does the priceline commercials. You know, the one that isn't William Shatner. Once again, corpse on Battlestar Galactica.
Seeing how Battlestar is pretty much the only space show I watch, I'm guessing there are many more of these outdated tv actors inhabiting spaceships, I just don't know about them. Care to fill me in?
(UPDATE: I got a bit carried away due to being passionate about the issue and this became really long. I apologize for this, and hope that at least a few people make it all the way through.)
So George Lucas has recently declared that the blockbuster is dead. What he is neglecting to point out is that it was him that killed it. Sure, it isn't entirely his fault that the blockbuster died, he did have a little help from those Wachowski wackjobs, Roland Emmerich and the double-threat of Jerry Bruckheimer/Michael Bay, but it was at least partially his fault. You really can't deny that people were repeatedly disappointed by the sheer suckiness of movies they've looked forward to -- some for more than two decades. People are finally realizing that making a film bigger, shinier and explodeyer does not in fact make it better. In most cases, it actually makes it worse.
George also doesn't point out that he actually created the blockbuster (with considerable help from Steven Spielberg) way back in 1977, dooming us to years and years and years of shitty movies. See, it was Star Wars and Jaws that caught people's attentions, and began making money at a rapid pace. Hollywood beancounters began to take notice, and suddenly they were pushing for even more bigger, shinier, explodeyer movies of increasingly crappier substance. Then along came megaplexes, overpriced concessions, product tie-ins, action figures, etc, thus cheapening the art form of movie making, and turning it into one big commercial.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Star Wars (and to a larger extent, Jaws) a great deal. They are very entertaining. Are they deserving of such fanfare from a technical standpoint? Not really. See, the brilliance in Jaws only came to be when the stupid rubber shark broke down, forcing them to shoot most of the movie without ever seeing the shark, thus accidentally exploiting one of the most misunderstood principles of movie making: the imagination of the moviegoers is a more powerful thing than latex and miniatures. Star Wars contains nothing new; nearly every aspect of the movie is cribbed from Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon serials1, with a bit of classic literature thrown in for good measure2. Upon seeing the "finished3" work of Episodes IV-VI, you might get the impression that there was some really subtle planning going on, allowing things to tie together in masterful execution, but you'd be wrong. No matter what you may have heard George say in the past, he did not write Episodes 1-6 (or 1-9, depending on when you heard George say it) and plan it all out before creating Star Wars, he went and made sequels after the unexpected success of his stand-alone original movie. The studio, Kenner Toys, and the gigantic friggin' boat-loads of money occupying George's living room helped make that decision an easy one, and he's been frequently lying about it (inconsistently) ever since.
What does all this have to do with blockbusters? Well, with the increasing presence of blockbuster movies occupying more and more of the (ever expanding) movie theaters, it became harder and harder to make movies that actually consist of substance. How frequently have there been One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nests, Cool Hand Lukes, Guess Who's Coming to Dinners (OK, so there was another one of those recently, but it helps make my case. Frickin trash.) and the like after the release of Star Wars? Sure it has happened, but it is no comparison to the pre-Star Wars era. Without question cinema has been hurt by these blockbusters, despite Hollywood making tons of money off them. George is right to point out that things are changing, and it's really about time. Finally we are starting to see excellent movies, with excellent reviews making plenty of money -- without a single action-figure, lunchbox, breakfast cereal4 or Burger King tie-in.
DISCLAIMER: In no way should a reader think that I am bashing on Star Wars, because I am not. I like them, especially Empire. I just don't like what they've helped do to the medium of cinema. It is OK to like Star Wars; I like them, and so should you. I'm just hoping you can realize the negative impact they've contributed to, and realize that action figures do not a good film make. Also, I hope you recognize that some really great movies don't have explosions or big stars or expensive CG pets, and that in many cases, they're better than the ones that do.
Explosions are pretty cool though.
1: Upon the release of the original Battlestar Galactica series, George and his cronies took legal action accusing them of stealing many aspects of Star Wars illegally. The Battlestar folk simply filed their own lawsuit, pointing out that every thing the Lucas people claimed was stolen was in fact originally stolen from Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, and miscellaneous other sci-fi serials from a bygone era, to which the Lucas folk had no reply, other than dropping the suit.
2: This is most evident in the whole 'overcoming the sins of the father' motif that encompassed the Vader/Luke relationship. This was not present in Star Wars until they were forced to come up with plot elements for the sequels. Note Luke making out with Leia.
3: Finished is a terrible word to use, as every subsequent re-release on every single medium has been different in some way than the prior. These movies are constantly evolving, and will probably never truly be "finished." This is a strong argument for why none of the movies are truly deserving of a Best Picture award; if it truly was a best picture, why the need to keep going back and changing things?
4: Brokebacki-O's would be pretty awesome though. "I just can't quit.. eating a balanced breakfast."