Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ol' Glory Energy Drink

A few weeks ago, I was at Wal-Mart picking up a few things to write about, when I stumbled upon what is quite possibly the most epic $1 drink ever created:
It's an energy drink named Ol' Glory, made by a company of the same name. Ol' Glory! Like the American flag! It has a Bald fucking Eagle on it, with the stars and stripes providing a gaudy and incredibly patriotic background. But wait, it gets better:
Yes, the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE is on the other side. As if we need to recite it before indulging in what is most likely a horrible-tasting energy drink. My favorite tough is the capitalization of the words "UNDER GOD" and nothing else. Like that's the only part that matters.
But before I taste test this beverage, I'd like to show you a few things from their website.
On the homepage, there is a photo montage containing horribly Photoshopped images, like the two below:

I'd love to see this as a magazine advertisement, with the tagline reading: "Ol' Glory: It's so fucking patriotic that Civil War-era soldiers walk straight out of the fucking can playing drums and flutes and shit."This is actually the poster promoting the new Will Smith action movie, "When Giant Floating Statue of Liberties Attack Hot-Air Balloon Festivals." Coming summer 2009.
After the front page, there is a section titled "The Drink" that contains the following passage:

Ol' Glory combines a variety of energy enhancing ingredients including Taurine, Caffeine, Sugars and Essential B and C Vitamins to create a unique, delicious flavor that can be consumed straight, on the rocks or in combination with many adult beverages of choice. Cheers!

Go to any bar in America, and ask for an "Ol' Glory on the rocks" or "Jack and Glory," and I promise you that the bartender will punch you in the face. Plus, isn't alcoholism rampant in the US? You'd think they'd refrain from promoting it. But I guess liquor is part of Americana, so whatever.
The "About US" page (nice emphasis on the US) gives an excuse for why they decided to capitalize "UNDER GOD" on the can:

The graphics were designed using red, white and blue, the American Bald Eagle, the American Flag and the Pledge of Allegiance with the words "Under God" emphasized. Ol' Glory was positioned as a product that reflects the pride and values that make the United States of America a great Nation.

Isn't the "we love God and that makes us a great nation" mentality exactly what is wrong with every country in the Middle East? You know, the ones that have been fighting for thousands of years?
But my personal favorite section of the site is that which is marked "Freedom." It basically speaks for itself.
But on to the drink. It looks like every other basic energy drink on the market, which means it resembles beer without the foam:

Pretty standard-looking, correct?
Well, it smells very citrus-y, as if you combined a lemon and an orange. It's appealing, and makes me wonder if it tastes good. I don't think it will.

*Taste test here*

I am incredibly shocked right now. It is actually really, really good. It tastes like the makers mixed one part Rockstar and three parts Sprite. It's almost uncanny how much it reminds me of it. I thought this would have a very generic, medicine-like taste, like most energy drinks. I drank the whole thing, easily. It doesn't even burn your throat. I guess you really can't judge a drink by its website.
In all honesty, I can easily picture myself buying this again. It's delicious. I'm surprised, and feeling a bit more patriotic. I reccomend it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Why I hate mainstream music part 2 of 3: Country

The country part of this terrible trio is the song "Bob That Head" by Rascal Flatts:

Part of the lyrics are as follows:

Bob that head
Every Friday night
Got the windows rolled down
The seat reclined
Givin' everybody that rock on sign
Yeah, turn it up to ten
Hey, y'all join in
Bob that head
Come on, bob that head
Bob that head

Hot girl wants a ride
Climbs up inside
Feelin' that rhythmn
Right along with him
Now he's cruisin'
Don't want to lose it
Loop around Sonic
And right back on it
Low gear, drive by
Up and down
That's right
Yes, seriously. I bolded my favorite line, in which the lead singer says that the person is "Givin' everybody that rock on sign." This chorus is quite possibly the worst excuse for lyrics that I have ever encountered. "Rock on sign?" Could he not incorporate the words "Devil horns" into the song, or would that be too offensive? We wouldn't want people thinking Rascal Flatts is associated with the dark arts. I mean, they already look really sketchy as it is:Blue plaid?! He may as well have tattooed a pentagram on his forehead. Devil-worshippers have no place in country music.
But lyrics and appearances aside, it saddens me slightly that this is considered country music. Whatever happened to Johnny Cash and Hank Williams Jr?

Superjail!: Now a television show

Well, apparently the execs at [adult swim] listened to me. One of the most beautifully made shows I've ever seen was taken out of pre-production hell and given a full season (at least). It shows brand new episodes every Sunday night after Robot Chicken. The first season started last night.
Watch it, so that it may have several more seasons. It's a great show, I promise.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Why I hate mainstream music part 1 of 3: Rock

For the next three days, I'll be writing about one of the "big three" music genres that are generally heard on the radio. Today, rock. Tomorrow, country. The next day, rap. I will be critiquing that genre's chart-topping hit via music video.
Today's video is for the song "Too Drunk to Fuck," by the extremely terrible band Buckcherry:

Before I begin to comprehend the artistic value of this video and song, allow me to first consult a Buckcherry fan (via the video's comments).
h0ttchic10 writes:

"this song rocks!!! i love buckcherry! i have almost all of thire songs on my ipod"
Oh, do you? You must be the biggest fucking Buckcherry fan there is. I can tell. I mean, you have almost all of their songs on your iPod. No one can compete with that shit.
Anyways, let's take a look at some of the...inventive lyrics in this song:
I hit the bottle in the morning in the summertime
I quit my job 'cuz it gets in the way
I find a party by the ocean, buy the cheapest wine
Call up my friends to come and waste the day

I got a dimebag, corduroys, colored sleeves
And a bindle and some LSD
Now I'm just looking for a girl to meet
To help me to forget my name

I could spend my lifetime getting high
Never wanna live in a suit and tie
Most of us are just living a lie
That's why we get fucked up everynight

I'll get drunk all night
Oh, I'll get drunk all day
Oh, I'll get drunk all night
I'm sorry but I have to say
I'm too drunk to fuck

Now the party was jumping, and the girls were fine
With their lipstick, summer glaze
I got so many women coming after me
I put some pussy on layaway

I was smoked out, tore up, drunk as fuck
And I wouldn't want to change a thing
Young and dumb and full of cum
With a sugar-loaded candy cane
And this is just the first 2/3 of the song. My personal favorite verse is the last one, in which he calls his penis a "sugar-loaded candy cane." This is not an accurate metaphor, unless his dick is curved, striped, and minty. I also love how he's too drunk to fuck, but not too drunk to write shitty songs about being too drunk to fuck.
But seriously, Buckcherry is trying far too hard to recapture the 80's image of a badass. If Axl Rose was a shitty songwriter, he would have written a song just like this back at the beginning of his career. Look at the way they dress! It's insane.
This song is like that friend that everyone has that always brags about how many drugs they do, or how "fucked up they were this weekend." It's annoying, immature, and makes them look like the pricks that they are.
The girl in the video is foxy though.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Roger Ebert

When world-famous film critic Roger Ebert didn't review Disaster Movie, he recieved the following e-mail:

Yo dude, u missed out on “Disaster Movie,” a hardcore laugh-ur-@zz-off movie! Y U not review this movie!? It was funny as #ell! Prolly the funniest movie of the summer! U never review these, wat up wit dat?
Note that the genius bleeped the word "hell." Wow. Anyways, being the absolute badass that he is, Ebert replied with this:

Hey, bro, I wuz buzier than $#i+, @d they never shoed it b4 hand. I peeped in the IMDb and saw it zoomed to #1 as the low$ie$t flic of all time, wit @ lame-@zz UZer Rating of 1.3. U liked it? Wat up wit dat?

I'm sorry for saying this so bluntly, but he is by far the coolest old dude ever. At 66 years old, it's clear that he is still in "the know." I especially loved his spelling of the word "shit" ($#i+). What a slim thug.
It's good to see Ebert in good spirits, especially after losing part of his jaw to salivary gland cancer.

Via /Film.

Letterman makes John McCain look like an ass

This was last night on Letterman's show. Apparently McCain cancelled on him at the last minute and claimed that he was going to go "fix the economy."

Fast forward to the 7:00 mark for the good stuff.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Javelina attack!

I'm putting the food and drink-based articles on hold for today, because I want to write about something that happened to me the other morning on my way to work at my new job.
I was recently hired by a local donut shop, and work mornings. By mornings, I mean 4 AM (usually). Well, since I don't drive, I have to leave my house around 3:30 AM and bike the whole way there, which is about three miles.
There are absolutely no cars out on weekdays around this time, so I was riding my bike in the middle of the road to avoid getting randomly attacked by coyotes or something (for those of you that don't know, I live in Arizona, so it isn't out of the question). Well, I had my headphones in, and was listening to "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay, when something caught my eye in the bush-filled median that divides the left and right lanes. I turn around and see ten of these things chasing after me:

This is called a javelina. They are incredibly violent feral pigs that are known to ram people for no apparent reason. They weigh anywhere from 40 to 90 pounds, so this isn't exactly something to joke around about. There were six adults and four babies hiding in the bushes, and they were about to cross the road when I passed.
Now, I was going downhill and was in a hurry, so these things had absolutely no chance of catching up with me. In fact, I'm 99% positive that they were just protecting their young ones, and they did a good job of it. I was scared shitless. If they would have knocked me off of my bike, I would have probably been seriously injured or killed by them. I can see the headline now: "TEENAGER, 18, KILLED BY WILD PIGS WHILE BIKING TO DONUT SHOP." Can you think of a more embarassing way to die?
This is exactly why nature scares me sometimes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hungry Howie's Howie Bread

Never before in the history of delivered food has there been something as great as Howie Bread from Hungry Howie's. I mean, it's quite possibly the greatest way to spend a few bucks. The only varieties out of the four that I personally have tried are the "three cheese," "cinnamon," and "regular" breads; though I hear the "cajun" one is good. I'll have to try it soon.
The cheesy bread is hands down the best one. They overload a piece of extremely buttered bread with three different types of cheese, then give you a butter garlic dipping sauce for dunking it in. It is easily the most delicious thing I have ever had in my entire life.
I remember a day a few summers ago, I discovered this miraculous baked butter bread, and it changed my life. A friend and I were low on cash and wanting to eat something extremely tasty, and she suggested that we get some Howie Bread. I had never been to HH before, so I was daft as to what she was talking about. She then bought two whole boxes of bread, and we shared them. It was one of the greatest culinary experiences of my life. (and I've eaten a fillet Mignon from Paul Prudhomme's restaraunt in New Orleans).
For those of you poor, poor souls in the midwest and northwestern United States, I'm sorry. From the deepest, darkest, dankest parts of my heart. You won't get to experience the Howie Bread like I (and many others) do. But if you do live anywhere near one, order some ASAP. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mozzarella Stick & Marinara-flavored Pringles

A few months/weeks ago, Pringles released a series of chips called "Restaurant Cravers." Each flavor in the series is supposed to taste like something off of a menu at an average restaraunt. The flavors are:
-Mozzarella Stick & Marinara
-Cheesy Fries
-Mexican Layered Dip
-Slow-Cooked BBQ
-Onion Blossom
For the sake of not being completely grossed out by a potato chip, I chose the Mozzarella Stick & Marinara one to review. The full-sized cans were only $1 at Wal-Mart, so I'm assuming these flavors didn't really go over all that well with the general public. Things like this rarely do, unless you are in Japan.
It looks like a normal Pringle with a hint of red. From the second you open the can until the second you close it, all you smell is the "marinara" half of the flavoring.
I have to admit, the first chip tasted like shit. The marinara totally overpowered the "mozzarella," to the point of being disgusting. But after two or three more chips, it actually didn't taste that terrible. Suprisingly, I ate about half of the can before getting grossed out by myself and not wanting to touch them ever again.
The aftertaste is terrible; it felt like I had just inhaled an iron-coated tomato. Horrid.
I don't think I'd buy them again, unless I was craving something incredibly bizarre.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Steven Segal's Lightning Bolt: Cherry Charge

I know it seems semi-lame, but I've decided to dub this week "food and drink week," because I'll be primarily writing/reviewing different strange food (and drink!) that I've been saving for this sort of thing. It's fun for me to write, and hopefully fun for you to read. I'm only doing it until Saturday, so you'll have to put up with it until then.

The first on my list of bizarre food and drink is this:
Steven Segal's very own energy drink. For those of you that don't know, Segal is an action movie "star," and was especially popular in the early 90's. On a scale of awesomeness, he's about a 2, right next to "itchy balls" and "McDonald's." He's incredibly corny, and not in a good way.
There are two varieties of this drink, "Asian Experience" and "Cherry Charge." I didn't feel like drinking anything that was flavored like an ethnicity and sounded vaguely sexual, so I chose the fruit-flavored one: Before I crack this sucker open and pour it down my gullet, let's read a bit from the website, shall we? From the "learn more" section about the Chi symbol that he uses for a logo:

When Steven Seagal traveled to Asia searching for the ingredients for Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt, he wanted a universal Asian character to summarize it's energy and power. The character known as "CHI" stands for power, and energy in many Asian languages and cultures.
Oh my, Steven WENT TO FUCKING ASIA SEARCHING FOR INGREDIENTS just for me! I love how in my mind, I see him in a boat paddled by an extremely old Asian man across a foggy lake with bamboo shoots on either side, wearing one of those ridiculous Chinese hats that look like extremely flat cones, on his quest for ingredients. It's terrible. He's copyrighted a fucking ancient Asian character for a fucking energy drink! That's like copyrighting the letter "F!" Not to mention, it's completely disrespectful to the Buddhists he apparently studies under. I wonder if they drink this?
Next, we have the website's absolutely stunning excuse for naming the drink "Steven Segal's Lightning Bolt":

The name Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt was an inevitable afterthought. When Steven Seagal finished creating a drink that holds untold natural power, there was only one equivalent in nature - The Steven Seagal's Lightning Bolt. Both mysterious and powerful, it's a symbol of the untold energy the earth has to offer- Such is Steven Seagals Lightning Bolt energy drink.
The drink holds so much motherfucking untold natural power, that they felt the need to repeat themselves for emphasis. THE POWER OF THIS DRINK IS LIKE LIGHTNING: UNEXPLAINABLE AND POWERFUL. Is that why I got it at Wal-Mart for $1.24?
Also, isn't this sort of comparing Steven to God? I mean, Steven himself (allegedly) created this drink, which they claim is as powerful as lightning. And God himself (allegedly) created lightning. So Steven Segal is (allegedly) as powerful as God? I'll buy that logic any day.
As for the drink itself, it tastes like maraschino cherry-flavored medicine. The coloring is a bit odd, too:
I don't think I would buy it again. I don't really feel all that energized, even after finishing the entire can. It just doesn't seem all that great to me. Maybe it's because I'm desensitized to caffeine.
Oh, and I also think I should mention that the smell is absolutely repugnant. Before I took my first sip, I was completely taken aback by how strong it is. I could barely take a sip, it was that bad.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The best of en-tur-tain-munt (part 3)

Damn, this blog feels like it has existed for ages, but it's only been around 3 months. Crazy to think of, isn't it?
I've noticed that my posts lately have turned into news, rather than just posting random shit like the early days. I know in part two of the "best of" I said I was going to fix this (and sort of did, for a while), but I guess I have a fear of failure. This time, I promise it will only get better.
Thanks to everyone that has contributed and supported us in the last few months of its existence. Special thanks go out to Jarrod Scully and Adri Leya.
But enough of that. Onto the "best of."

The best of Ty Walters
The Weekly Shuffle (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
Repost this!

The best of Danny Ford
Redefine part 1: Space
Redefine part 2: Time
Irrelevance (D.F. #1)

The best of Nello De Angelis
Condemned Cinema Pt. II - Dead Alive

Here are parts one and two of our "best of" segments.

The Weekly Shuffle: Week 7

It's really strange to think that I've been doing this for seven weeks. That's almost two months. It feels like longer, but then doesn't. It's a strange feeling. Anyways, here is my last.fm. It's getting too time consuming to make links to all of the previous weeks now, so just type "weekly shuffle" into the search bar at the top of the page for the archives.

Song #31: "Dealer," by Say Anything (no album)
This is a cover song, originally by the band Safety In Numbers. It's especially interesting, because Jake and Jeff Turner, the guitarists for Say Anything currently, used to play drums and guitar for them. Cool, isn't it? It always fascinates me when musicians are like that.
My favorite lyric from this song is in the beginning, and it goes "disrespect me and I'll smash your face." I don't know why I like these lyrics, they just sound brutal. It's all about a drug dealer, obviously. It's one of the few covers I like more than the original. But not only because I love the band doing the cover.
Rating: 9/10

Song #32: "Jason" by Sufjan Stevens, off of his album A Sun Came
For some reason, I don't listen to this album all that much. I guess I'm more into Come On, Feel the Illinoise! like everyone else. I do, however, absolutely love the cover art for this album. It's beautiful: How awesome is that?!
I'm about two minutes into the song, and it isn't all that bad. It's a bit repetitive, and sounds like just plain noise towards the end, but it's alright nonetheless. Not his best, though.
Rating: 4/10

Song #33: "You Help Them" by Say Anything, off of the Dormroom Demos
Wow, I think this is the first time I've ever had the same artist twice on a Weekly Shuffle. It's only fitting that it would be my favorite. Fuck yes.
This song is awesome. It's not my favorite off of the Demos, but it's still really good. It's a fairly decent breakup song, and it involves a lot of Max yelling at someone. Those are always the best ones. This song comes up on my iPod's shuffle a lot for some reason. I think it's rigged.
Rating: 8.5/10

Song #34: "Lolita's Medicine (From Autumn to Ashes vs. Dead Poetic)" by The Legion of Doom, off of their album Incorporated
I strongly dislike both of these bands, so hearing them together like this is really fucking terrible. For those of you that don't know, the Legion of Doom is a mashup group that takes two songs from different artists and combines them into one. They are good at their jobs, even though most of this album involves shitty songs by equally shitty artists. So I guess it evens out.
Rating: 2/10

Song #35: "Pink Moon" by Beck (no album)
Yet another cover song, this time by Nick Drake. "Pink Moon" is the only song I've ever heard by him, and it's really soft and really popular.
This cover is acoustic and (I'm assuming) in the studio. I'd hazard to guess it was recorded in the late 90's. It's a really good cover, sounding pretty close to the original. It's a bit too slow for me, though.
Rating: 6.5/10

This week's total: 6/10

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chuck Palahniuk teaches people how to shoplift

Okay, not exactly, but it's still a mildly funny video.

I've always wondered if Chuck is gay. The way he talks in this really has me wondering. It wouldn't shock me. EDIT: Yep, he is.
I'm going to have to read some of the books he reccomends. Some sound really good. Though, he does say that 30 Days of Night is the best vampire movie in the last ten years. Good taste in books, bad taste in movies, maybe?
There is a similar video with Jason Schwartzman and Wes Anderson located here. All of these are filmed at the fucking Ann Arbor, Michigan Borders store. Fuck you, Anna Atanassova, for living in that general area (but not really).

Irrelevance (T.W. #1)

For those of you wondering, Danny and I are going to start doing these regularly. They are basically a bunch of non-sequiturs that are too short for an actual post, but too good to not post. It was his idea, and I sort of stole it. Love you, Daniel.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
One of my favorite comedians, the late and great Mitch Hedberg, once pointed out that the candy Reese's has an apostrophe followed by an "s," signifying ownership. He then went on to say that if someone named Reese walked up to you and asked you for your Reese's, you'd better give it to him. It's a funny joke, but is only used here so I can write about one of my least favorite things in the world.
Have you ever peeled the wax paper off of the bottom of a Reese's peanut butter cup, only to have the bottom layer of chocolate come with it too? I personally believe that that is one of the worst things that can happen to a human. Fuck AIDS, fuck cancer, we need to start a charity dedicated to figuring out how to prevent this tragedy from happening to normal, everyday people.

I love politics, but dislike how divided America has become over this next election. Maybe it's because I'm extremely aware of this one and haven't noticed it in the past, but it seems to me like this election is a lot more divided than any one in recent memory.
Barack Obama has my vote, shoot me. McCain and Palin seem like they would do little to no good for us (especially that twat Palin); and I definitely am with the people that think McCain would be like G.W. Bush part deux.
Does that anger you, McCain supporters? This is the exact sort of division that I am talking about. You are living proof!

Brain Thrust Mastery
We Are Scientists is one of my absolute favorite bands (as evident by my last.fm (fuck you, Danny)). When their newest album, Brain Thrust Mastery was released a few months ago, I didn't like it. At all. But lately, I've fallen in love with it. It isn't as good as their major-label debut, With Love and Squalor, but it definitely isn't terrible. It's weird how you can warm up to music like that, isn't it? I do that often.

Modern Guilt
I don't mean to turn this into a bunch of mini-album reviews, but since I'm talking about warming up to albums, I think this would be a good time to bring up Beck's new album Modern Guilt. I hate this album. Beck is an absolute genius, but I can't bring myself to like or listen to this album. To me, it's one of his worst. And since rumors are circulating that he might retire, I'm especially down by this. I wish it was better, at least to me. Everyone else seems to fucking love it.

I was at Fry's grocery store, and the very obviously gay cashier was flirting with me. I didn't return his advances (obviously), but he flirted on. I don't have a problem with gay people at all, but why flirt with me when it is clear that I myself am not gay? I'm not going to have a sexual epiphany just because you throw a few winks my way. I don't get it.

It's weird how the smallest things can make you think about death. I sliced my finger open on a broken Snapple bottle, and immediately thought about how fragile we are as humans. It doesn't really take that much to kill us, and that thought scares me sometimes. Death doesn't, but being unaware of the fact that I'm dying does. If I grow old and am on my deathbead, or have a fatal disease, I'll welcome it. But if I get in a car accident and have to spend a week on life support, I will be more scared than I have ever been in my entire life.
Then again, I cut my fucking finger on a piece of a Snapple bottle.

Tobacco products
I want to say this: I don't mind cigarettes and cigars. They are fine by me. As the son of a parent that has smoked for 24+ years, you'd think I would have an aversion to it, but that is not the case. I'm not going to pick up smoking myself, nor am I going to look down on others for doing it, but it simply is not for me. Sure, I smoke a cigar or cigarette every once in a while, but only socially. But like I said, I refuse to let myself do it more often than that.
I just think it is really, really funny when people say that they aren't going to become addicted. Numerous tests have been done, and the general consensus is that TOBACCO IS ADDICTING. Shocking, isn't it? The last two or three generations have been obsessed with smoking. You would think we'd learn something from them.

Organ donations
It blows my mind when I hear that some people aren't organ donors. Assuming you are a moderately healthy person, why wouldn't you want to donate them if you were in a car accident or something? Save a life! Just because you don't have yours anymore doesn't mean they shouldn't either. And hey, it's not like you'll be using them.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Metal for Monsters

Every once in a while, the internet will vomit something that is absolutely awesome. Metal for Monsters is a new project made by Blend Creations that engraves artwork by nine different artists onto steel pendants to benefit UNICEF. This is such a neat idea, and one of my absolute favorite artists is involved, Jon Burgerman. It really does make my day to see artists doing something this cool for charities like this.
My personal favorites are these:Each pendant is $81, and $16 goes directly to UNICEF. There are only 100 of each made, and they start shipping on October 1st. Get one!

Found on Neatorama.

The sixth Hitchiker's book

My foundation was rocked to the core yesterday, when I read an article on BBC stating that Eoin Colfer (pronounced "Owen"), will be writing a sixth book to finish out Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. From the official press release:

Penguin announced today that it is to publish the sixth novel in the ever-more increasingly inaccurately named Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy. Eight years after the tragically early death of its creator, Douglas Adams, widow Jane Belson has sanctioned the project to be written by the international number-one bestselling children’s writer, Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl novels. The new book is entitled “And Another Thing…” and will be published in hardback by Penguin in October 2009. The deal was done with Sophie Hicks and Ed Victor of Ed Victor Ltd., agents for both Colfer and the Douglas Adams estate.
I have very mixed feelings about this. Douglas Adams is my absolute favorite author of all time (I collect different editions of his books, and I have 28), so it's a bit unnerving. On one hand, I want the story to continue on like Douglas intended. But at the same time, I don't want the sanctity of the Guide to be ruined. Eoin is a good writer, from the little I've read by him, so I suppose I trust him if Jane does.
I'm just curious as to what to extremely hardcore fans think. I'm sure most of them share my sentiments.
I guess I have a year to freak out about this. Also, I'm pissed off that this will ruin the alphabetical order of my bookshelf. Expect more updates and information as it becomes available.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The ten Nicktoons that should have never been cancelled (part 2 of 2)

Ah, yes. Part two of this Nicktoons special is even better than the last. Let's get started, shall we?

Freakazoid! (1995-1997) Oh gosh, this show. A parody of modern-day superheroes Freakazoid! was about the titular character fighting villains with goofy names, the internet (which was still "new" at this point), and whooshing around with his arms in front of him. It was really, really offbeat and hilarious. One of the most famous villans from the show is a boogeyman that abducts anyone that says his name, Candle Jack. He's an interes-
Executive producer was Steven Spielberg, surprisingly. Also, it was cancelled because they were attracting more adults than children. I don't understand why it matters; viewers are viewers.
The first season has been released on DVD, and there are plans to release the other two. You can also buy the first season on iTunes.

KaBlam! (1996-2000)
Ah, Henry and June. This show was like SNL for kids. It featured many different types of animated shorts, most appearing more than once on the show (including the spun-off Action Leauge NOW!), and all being extremely different. The most famous of all of these is probably Prometheus and Bob, a story about an alien that tries to teach a caveman basic survival techniques, most of which are ruined by a monkey.
It was a great show, and only ended because they ran out of content. There was apparently a spin-off named The Henry and June Show, but it only lasted for two episodes.
There are no plans to release it on DVD or iTunes.

Invader Zim (2001-2002)

This is, and will forever be, my favorite cartoon. Created by comic book writer Jhonen Vasquez, it's about a clueless alien invader named Zim. He is accompanied by his near-retarded robot GIR, and is often thwarted by his nemesis, the human Dib. It's a lot deeper than that, but you get the idea. It's a really original concept, and the humor is extremely dark. In fact, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did.
Though it only ran for two seasons (or one and a half, if you really want to get technical), it remains an extremely popular cult hit, still selling shirts, stickers, toys, and anything else you can imagine. They claim that the show was cancelled due to lack of intrest, but that is clearly bullshit. It's probably because they were "attracting the wrong audience." Apparently Jhonen was offered to bring the show back with little restrictions on another unnamed network (probably MTV or Comedy Central), but turned it down to focus on other projects.
Every episode is on DVD, including five unaired episodes. It is also available for download on iTunes and XBOX Live.

The Ren and Stimpy Show (1991-1996) I have vivid memories of this show from when I was a child. I was prohibited from watching it, because of the "semi-mature" nature of the jokes, so I would always turn it on while my parents were in the shower, or in the other room. I was a sneaky bastard. I also remember being caught once, and having TV taken away for a while. I think I was six or seven.
Anyways, it follows the stupid cat Ren and overzealous dog Stimpy. They have nonsensical adventures, in which they often get themselves into absolutely vile situations. It's one of the most controversial cartoons ever aired on television. I fucking loved it, though.
Another "adult" series was made for TNN (now SPIKE TV), titled Ren and Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon. It was rated TV-MA, and cancelled after a month.
Most episodes are on VHS, and a "best of" collection was even released on LaserDisc. All of the original episodes and the second series are now on DVD, as well as on iTunes.

Rocko's Modern Life (1993-1996) Damn, today was full of my favorites as a kid. I was allowed to watch this one, though. It chronicles the misadventures of Rocko, a wallaby, and his two best friends, Heffer the cow and Filbert the turtle. The show was filled with offensive humor and double entendres, yet still lasted for three seasons. This seems like the kind of show that I would enjoy more now, because I would get most of the jokes. They rarely show it on TV anymore though.
This is interesting. Stephen Hillenburg worked on this show frequently. He's the creator of Spongebob. I would have never guessed that.
VHS has been released, and DVDs are allegedly in the works. Apparently the creators are trying to buy the rights from Nickelodeon, in order to release them. Six out of fifty-two episodes are on iTunes.

I've never had a chance to say it to the public before, but FUCK HEY ARNOLD! Everyone seems to have a hard-on for this show but myself. I thought it was shitty, refuse to write about it. Fuck that show and its shitty storyline.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Irrelevance (D.F. #1)

Sobriety v. Drunkenness
It’s an interesting debate, an interesting conceptual disagreement. There are some factors involved that we, as human beings, have yet to fully comprehend. Granted, food has an effect, as does water consumption, as does elevation, &c. My question comes with the presentation of “Tanks.” Throughout my escapades as a Northern Arizona University Designated Driver, I’ve met people who’re hugging toilets after two or three shots, and I’ve met those who manage to put away upwards of ten or twelve ounces of the same liquor, showing little to no side effects. I’ve discovered, recently, that I am one of these people, and the concept continues to bewilder me. Why am I, and those like me, capable of such madness? And how can others feel the effects when I’m just getting started?

The Internet has ruined our generation. Granted, there are resources that simplify our lives, but those that complicate us are far more frequent than the otherwise. I admit to using and referring to Wikipedia on a daily basis, I frequently use Merriam-Webster dot com, &c, but I resent the use of MySpace and sites similar. The concept of “social networking,” along with its bastard brothers and sisters like Fantasy Football Leagues, Last.FM, YouTube, &c. has, quite literally, destroyed our generation. Our societal connection to our friends, our music, our lives is relevant throughout life itself, but to exploit such connections, presenting them for all to see… that’s just irresponsible. Additionally, we allow these things to affect our lives, judging people by their MySpace layouts, finding friends based on musical tastes… and don’t even get me started on porn. We make and break relationships online, we circumvent what used to be the social phenomenon of shopping in real stores or meeting people in actual forums like coffee shops, bars, &c. all in favor of this new technology, the blessing and curse of the twentieth century: the Internet.

The Smiling Swine
A song by The Dear Hunter, presented exclusively on the album “Act II: The Meaning Of, and All Things Regarding Ms. Leading.” This song can, quite literally, take any negative feelings I’ve got and kick their asses. Never before has any song had such a positive effect on my life as whole, and never before has anything been presented to me with such grace. The ballad (I suppose you could call it that) opens with a powerful riff, followed quickly by a beautifully composed series of verses, peppered, occasionally, with an extremely lo-fi chorus, featuring counting, finger snaps, and irresistibly sexy shrieks and screams. The Dear Hunter manages to strike a chord in my soul that no song before it could manage to find, and for that, I say: “Thank you, Dear Hunter.”

I moved up to Flagstaff just shy of a month ago. I’m attending Northern Arizona University, majoring in English Education. Since I’ve been here, I’ve visited and/or patronized the local coffee shop (best nationwide, in my opinion) fourteen times, the rock climbing gym seven times, Applesauce (poetry, cafĂ©, deli, venue, hookah bar) three times, and I’ve pulled four all-nighters (three of which were academically necessary). I suppose this looses relevance without reference to my time spent in class: three hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, five hours on Tuesday, and one on Friday (I apologize for the lack of chronological fluidity). College is fun.

For the sake of admitting, for all to know: I have man-crushes. Adam Brody is an amazingly attractive person (completely superficially, of course). He’s a decent actor, but I get the feeling he’s a bit of an asshole. Then there’s Beck: a musical genius, a seemingly extremely nice guy, a relatively heinous individual otherwise. Sufjan Stevens is the same way, but he’s prettier, and his musical genius definitely rivals Beck’s. Jesse Hughes, aside from being gay (I’m pretty damn sure), is a stud. He’s got that rugged, raw charm, and his music is wonderful. Last, but most certainly not least: David Grohl. One of the best songwriters of our generation, an amazingly talented musician, and goddamn is he sexy.

Jeph Jacques
The author of Questionable Content, the catalyst for about 50% of my musical discoveries in the past two years, one of the funniest people I’ve never met, and the proud recipient of one of the most painful body modifications I’ve ever heard of. A 6-gauge hole, punched out of the flat cartilage of each upper ear. No stretching involved, this a hole, quite literally, punched out of his ear. It’s impressive.

Laundry is a little ridiculous. I wear a pair of pants for a week, and I change out shirts every day, sometimes two. When I’m done with each, I throw them in a laundry bag and move on to the next: one pair of pants, five to seven shirts, seven pairs of underpants per week. When I run out, I do laundry. While I’m here at NAU, that amounts to about five dollars per Laundromat visit, which, considering my collection of shirts, is about once every two weeks. My beef is this: with the exception of underpants (which I understand, should be worn only once), I could manage to go a good month and a half without doing laundry by wearing the oldest pair of pants and shirts again once I’m out of “clean clothes.” This could keep me going for quite a while. They return to their normal size, they don’t smell, &c. I need forty-five pairs of underpants, and I’m good to go. (disclaimer: I don’t do this… I do laundry every other weekend)

I like sounds. I have some favorites. I love the sound of a baby laughing, I love the sound of a match being lit (from a matchbook, not from a matchbox), I love air raid sirens, and I love feedback.

The ten Nicktoons that should have never been cancelled (part 1 of 2)

On Nickelodeon, there are two types of shows. One is the type aimed at children and children only; any adult would find the storylines boring and predictable. The other is a the type of show that appeals to all age demographics, and is usually cancelled because of this. The two shows that have survived this potential cancelling countless times are the ever-famous Spongebob Squarepants and the comedically brilliant Fairly Oddparents. Both of these shows have been to the edge and back, and have rewritten what is considered "tasteful" in a children's cartoon.
But not all shows survive this trip to the edge. No, a lot of shows are tragically cancelled in their prime, to many a cartoon connoisseur's dismay. This is my tribute to those that have fallen in the line of duty.
This is part 1 of 2, and they go in alphabetical order.

Aaahh!!! Real Monsters (1994-1997)I won't lie, I hated this show as a kid. It was just too bizarre for me. I wanted to like it, but I found myself becoming bored with the storyline every time I tried. It follows three monsters, named Krumm, Ickis, and Oblina, as they complete "school assignments" that involve scaring people and children. Sounds a lot like Monsters Inc, doesn't it?
Anyways, I started watching this show a few months ago on Nicktoons Network (where they show cancelled shows and older episodes of ones that are still-running), and was amazed. It's a lot better than I remember, even if the animation is identical to that used on the semi-terrible show Rugrats. Yep, I don't like Rugrats. Shoot me.
Though they were released on VHS, no DVD has been released, or is planned. You can buy episodes on iTunes, though.

Angry Beavers (1997-2001)

My love for the Angry Beavers is infinite. It's all about the shenanigans of Norbert and Dagget, two beaver brothers that get themselves into some pretty bizarre situations. Norbert is very clearly smarter than Dagget, and often gets them out of the aforementioned situations that they are in. If I had to name a favorite show growing up, it would be this. It's wonderful, funny, and innovative. YouTube it, if you've never seen it.
It also popularized the non-curse word "spoot," which I like to consider the "shazbot!" of our generation. I used to say "spoot" all the time. I was lame.
The show was cancelled because the creators made an episode spoofing Nick's extremely strict TV show guidelines. It was never aired on the network. At least they went out with a bang.
Just like Monsters, there are no plans to release any episodes on DVD. You can apparently buy a few of them on iTunes though. I want to get these on DVD more than anyone will ever understand.

CatDog (1998-2004) This show is what inspired me to write this post, actually. I was watching the Nicktoons Network with my brother, when they played a clip from CatDog as a commercial substitute/segway. It was just a five-minute clip, but it reminded me of how bizarre this show's premise was.
Cat and Dog are connected, clearly. They were born from a wolf and bird (as explained in the theme song), and are often made fun of because of their condition; usually by the Greaser Dogs, a three-piece gang in the show.
It's a strange show, mostly because the mood constantly switches between happy and sad. I liked it, and still do.
Two VHS tapes were released, no DVD is planned, and most of the series is available on iTunes.

Catscratch (2005-2007)Funny, as I'm writing this, I can hear this show playing in the other room. Created by comics genius and Earthworm Jim creator Doug TenNapel (and very loosely based on this comic), this is officially the youngest show on this list. The three cats, Gordon, Mr. Blik, and Waffle, inherited an extremely vast fortune, and spend it in interesting ways. Though it only lasted two seasons, TenNapel claims that the show still remains a massive cult hit, and is working on getting it back on the air. This information could be completely fabricated, but I believe in him. The show itself is very amusing, but only every once in a while.
Apparently there is a DVD in the works. No word on when it will be released. It isn't on iTunes.

Doug (1991-1994)Like Catscratch, this show remains incredibly popular after being cancelled. After being dropped by Nickelodeon in 1994, it was picked up by Disney and given new episodes in '96, along with a feature-length film. It's an interesting story.
The show follows Doug Funnie, his best friend Skeeter, his crush Patti, and his nemesis Rodger. Doug is an 11 year-old boy with a vivid imagination, as illustrated by his constant daydreaming. It's almost like a kid's version of Scrubs. I loved this show when I was young. Of course, I was more into it during the Disney era, but I liked it nonetheless.
It was distributed on VHS, and seasons one and two were recently released on DVD. They plan on releasing all of the seasons, as well as a special edition of the movie.

Tomorrow I'll be writing about the following:
Invader Zim
The Ren and Stimpy Show
Rocko's Modern Life

WHAT IF: You were chained to a bunk bed with a raptor?

This is kind of a goofy way to waste three minutes. It tells you how long you would last if you were chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor. I'm not really sure why it is bunk beds specifically, but whatever.
I could survive for 1 minute, 13 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor
I managed 1 minute, 13 seconds. Not bad.

Found on Neatorama.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Motel Life's first EP

A while back, I interviewed a band from California called The Motel Life. Remember that? Well, that interview was three days before they began architecture on their new EP. Can you guess what I'm listening to?
We All Left Something Behind, not out yet to the general public, is shocking. It starts off warm and soft, but quickly launches into a heavily instrumented opening song. From then on out the EP carries a bittersweet and soulful vibe, with intertwined and sometimes haphazardly mixed styles, tempos, and volumes. Lyrics are top-notch as expected, instruments are right on key. Let's dive in, shall we?

The first really great song, titled Ghosts, is laced with dramatics. It opens with a suspenseful beat and painfully morose vocals, and gets sadder and darker until a spunky piano kicks in, followed by a nice upbeat. Next, what is in my opinion the best song of them all, titled Hunting Soldiers (Soldiers Hunting), is single-worthy. Everything about this song is perfect. From the slow, dark intro, to the unexpected jolt of what are definitely the best vocals. It has just enough sass and the instrumental execution of a fucking symphony. This track makes the whole EP.

The vocalist makes or breaks any band, and in this case, Michael Escanuelas makes it. Vocals are flawless throughout and have a unique, hearty sound, very unlike the whiney and outright identical qualities of most alt-rock bands today.

As far as downsides go, they're minimal. Piano placement is a bit sparse, and in a few songs the chorus is so saturated that for a second here and there, it gets dissonent. No shortfalls to really speak of.

Overall: 9/10.

The EP isn't good for a local band, it's good its own. This band has promise, I wouldn't be surprised if their big break comes around soon.

Check out The Motel Life's Myspace, and order/download the EP as soon as it comes out.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

State of the blog: September 14, 2008

This will be my only update for today, most likely. I'm hanging out with Jarrod later, so I doubt I'll have anything to write about. We'll see.

One of my projects, BookChain, has updated. It's the first official person that recieved the book. Exciting, I know. Check it out.

I'll be updating Quincy in a few days. It's taking me a lot longer than expected to get my "pitch" together, so chill.

IndieKit was deleted, I guess. I didn't get any memo about it, but the URL no longer works. Oh well, I hardly wrote anything on it anyways. I am kinda pissed that I don't have the two or three things I DID write saved to my computer though. Fuck.

Remember a few weeks ago, when Anna wrote about the album Alopecia by WHY? Well, I've been listening to that nonstop, and second her reccomendation. So check it out, okay?

I have a few things planned out for the next week, but I can always use more ideas. That's why I added the nifty chat box to the sidebar. You can talk to me and apparently Nello too. Oh, and Nello tells everyone: "Don't buy Rockband 2." Thanks for the insight, Nello.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld?! Part Deux: The New Family

It turns out that the Microsoft commercial that I wrote so much about last week wasn't alone. Bill and Jerry released a new one with some hilarious new shenanigans:

I like this one more than the first. It's a lot funnier, even though they compliment themselves through that Chinese food delivery boy.
I don't really understand the point of these though. Besides the ending and Gates himself, is there any relation to Microsoft whatsoever? How does Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates living with an average suburban family in a short film have to do with this company as a whole?
Also, the grandma deserves an Oscar, or whatever they give good actors and actresses in commercials.

The Weekly Shuffle: Week 6

Another week, another shuffle. I'm too lazy to make links to all of the previous posts this week, so if you really want to look at the last five weeks, use the nifty search option in the top left corner of this page.
But here is my Last.fm. Enjoy, everyone.

Song #26: "Dive (Demo, 1988)" by Nirvana, off of disc 1 of the box set With The Lights Out
I no longer have this box set, I saw no point in owning it after putting it on my computer. It was a Christmas gift from my parents about 4 years ago, when I was going through my "I want to be like Kurt Cobain" phase.
I don't really like Nirvana's demos. Especially their early ones. It's just...noise. But this one isn't terrible. The vocals suck though. I mean they really suck. God, he's growling. And screaming "DIVE DIVE DIVE DIVE YEAAAAAAAAAH" over and over again. Damn, I changed my mind. This sort of sucks. Especially for Nirvana. He's either saying "diamond ring," or "dive with me." I wish the first one was more likely.
Fuck, I still have three minutes of this bullshit. Might as well Google image search Nirvana and see what comes up. Wow, all three of these were on the first page:
Cool. I like all three, especially the Simpsons one (which was used as a Rolling Stone cover a few years ago).
Rating: 2/10

Song #27: "C'mon C'mon" by Sheryl Crow, off of her album C'mon C'mon
Man, my mom used to love Sheryl Crow. I wonder why she doesn't anymore? Probably because of Keith Urban.
I don't know why, but I always have trouble getting into bands with female vocalists. It's weird. I'm not sexist, I just find it difficult.
I dislike this song. It's too "studio" for me. It sounds like I could turn on the radio and find 387 songs identical to this one. Plus, it's too long, at nearly 5 minutes. Goddamn.
Rating: 2/10

Song #28: "Thank U" by Alanis Morissette, off of her album Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
I never understood what the selling point behind Alanis is/was. She's lyrically decent, but all of her songs sound the same, and she always sounds like she's trying to keep from yelling. Or that she just stopped yelling. It's weird. I've never heard this song before. She's saying "thank you India," I think. Maybe? But then she goes on to thank a bunch of emotions, so maybe I'm mishearing her. Let me check...yep, I was right. But maybe she's thanking India because all of the other emotions and shit are related to Buddhism? Who knows?
Rating: 3/10

Song #29: "Set Me Free" by Velvet Revolver, off of their album Contraband
There are maybe three songs by Velvet Revolver that I would classify as "listenable," and this is definitely not one of them. They just sound like a shitty combination of Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N' Roses. Oh wait...THEY ARE. Oops.
Last.fm informs me that this was for the Hulk soundtrack. Wow. No wonder it sucks.
Rating: 2/10

Song #30: "So Cold I Could See My Breath" by Emery, off of their album The Question
This is one of those bands that I've mentioned in the past that I have on my computer, but have never listened to. Judging by this song, there is a reason for that. Not to offend any Emery fans out there, but they aren't that good. They sound like a less gay version of A.F.I.
This sounds like every other "alternative" band on MTV at this moment in time. Gnarly guitars, screaming vocals, "deep" lyrics. Yep, they've got it all covered.
Rating: 2/10

This week's rating: 2.2/10
This is officially the worst week I've ever had on here. Figures, doesn't it?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Feed the Beat

Another day, another heartless corporation attempting to connect with the younger crowd. Taco Bell, purveyors of all things "fast Mexican food" related, has started a contest called "FEED THE BEAT" (YES, IN ALL CAPS) where they are giving out 100 vouchers for $500 in food at Taco Bell. But the only catch is, you have to be in a band that is touring this year. They claim that it is their "way of giving back to our late-night fans and supporting the local music scene."
But that's just the first prizes. The three grand prizes are much cooler. Your band gets to record a radio single with a "well-known rock producer," have it mastered, and sent to radio. The single will also be advertised on TB's infamous hot sauce packets, and if I'm reading this correctly, available for download on their site.
This is kind of a cool idea. I like it, but I dislike how they act all buddy-buddy with "hip" bands. I don't know, it seems a bit overdone.
I would enter this contest if I were in a band. But, I'm not. So tell all of your friends in bands about this, because it's pretty neat. I mean, why not enter?! I sent it to a few buddies of mine. It ends on the 18th, so hurry up.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

We've been duped

Well, the here is some hardcore proof that you can't believe anything you read on the internet. Remember a few days ago when I wrote about the extremely hilarious site Anti-Spore? Well, it was all a cleverly put-together hoax.
This morning, the alleged woman behind it posted a long post about beliefs (which apparently most people didn't read) that ended like this:
But the Bible teaches us that God was not done with man. For we were His creation and He then spoke to Noah in Genesis 8:21-27 after the flood.
“21. The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never gonna give you up.
22. “Never gonna let you down.”
23.”Never gonna run around and desert you.”
24. “Never gonna make you cry.”
25. “Never gonna say goodbye.”
26. “Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you.”
27.”Never truly believe anything you read on the Internet. There will always be cases of Poe’s Law.”
It’s these teachings that I’ve spent my life learning, believing and becoming, that have made me the woman that I am today.

Part of me wishes this was real. And part of me feels like an idiot. Sometimes I hate the internet. Oh well!

Downtown Owl by Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is absolutely brilliant. In the seven years since he released his first book, Fargo Rock City, he has been propelled to pop culture writer superstardom, releasing the incredibly popular follow-up books Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs, Killing Yourself to Live, and IV. Klosterman writes about most things that "normal" people don't give a shit about, such as the unbalanced nature of When Harry Met Sally, or how strange he thinks Val Kilmer is. But he makes people give a shit through his linguistic stylings and far-out commentary. These are (almost) always non-fiction, focusing on real-world events rather than hypotheticals.
But all of that changed with this book. His first fiction novel, titled Downtown Owl, deals with three different people in a very small town (named Owl) in 1983 and '84. The characters are a high school jock that cares about nothing, a young and fresh-faced high school history teacher that is new to the town, and a crotchety old widower that reads and gossips more than he should. I have to admit, after hearing this motley crew of protagonists, I was decidedly nervous about picking it up and reading it. None of the three seemed all that appealing. I didn't count on becoming this attached to all of them.
The book switches out between the three characters with each chapter, going in the above order, with few interruptions. All three of them are connected, in some sort of way. This interconnectedness, combined with Chuck's encyclopedia-like knowledge of 80's culture and events makes for an absolutely fantastic read. I finished the book in three sittings, the only interruptions coming when I had to write on here or work on school. I can safely say that it is now one of my favorite books ever; a title that is also shared by his third book, Killing Yourself to Live.
Klosterman's first toe into the pool of fiction was the final third of his 2006 book IV. In this semiautobiographical short story (which Klosterman claims was the beginning of his first attempt at writing a fiction book) deals with hard drugs, working for a newspaper in a small town, sex that isn't really sex, and extremely strange events. It's fucking amazing, because it is like concentrated Chuck. He manages to make you care about the main character's opinions about everything in only a few short pages. This is exactly why Chuck Klosterman matters to the world, and why he is by far my biggest inspiration. He can write about the most mundane of subjects and make it seem interesting. That's exactly what he did with this book. Klosterman makes small town's problems and gossip matter, and for that, I salute him. Think of this book as a mid-80's version of Richard Linklater's movie Dazed and Confused. Within a short period of time, we are shown every facet of the culture of that decade. Pick this up when it comes out on the 16th, even if you've never read any of his previous work. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy

To finish off our trio of strange pairings for the day, I present to you Seth MacFarlane's Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy:

Released by and paid for by Burger King, these one to two-minute shorts are all the rage on YouTube today. These short animated bits are (obviously) created and written by Family Guy and American Dad creator Seth MacFarlane. Apparently they'll be releasing one a week, and the following two have been done so far:

A Dog on the $25,000 Pyramid

This one is a bit dumb, because the only funny part is at the end. It seems like an outtake from one of the non sequitur jokes on Family Guy.

Super Mario Rescues the Princess

This one is a lot better than the first one, but it still feels like it would be right at home on Family Guy. I seriously wonder if MacFarlane is using all of the jokes that they didn't use already on these shorts. Probably.

The YouTube page for this allows you to enter a contest where the prize is an opportunity to buy Seth dinner at BK. Yep, that's right. You buy him dinner. Interesting concept. It goes on to say:
The winner of this sweepstakes will have the opportunity to buy Seth MacFarlane a meal at Burger King. That's right, the winner will buy the meal. But, you know, in the end you're still coming out on top. How many hours has Seth given to you? How many laughs have you recieved? How many times have you ripped off one of his jokes to impress one of your friends? Sit down, shake his hand, and buy Seth flame broiled deliciousness, you're still coming out on top.

I really like this. I mean, some of the jokes in the shorts (so far) are kinda edgy, and this "Buy Seth Dinner" idea is fucking brilliant, especially the "stolen joke" line. It's good to see a company take an interesting route like this in their marketing.

Kidrobot now making movies?

Well, for the second time today I'm presented with something that I can completely nerd out on. Apparently Nickelodeon approached Kidrobot president Paul Budnitz with an idea to start a live action/animated hybrid TV show and movies movies based on his products. Reports Cinematical:

Paramount family division Nickelodeon Movies is set to make feature films based on the cute and highly collectible toys manufactured by Kidrobot, according to Variety. The homogeneously shaped yet heterogeneously decorated toys, which are smooth, cartoon-like action figures adorned with limited-edition designs created by well-known international artists, are to star in a series of films mixing animation and live-action.
To be honest, I have mixed opinions about this. Yes, I want Paul (and KR as a whole) to be successful. Yes, this will help both go down that road. But I hate to see a fantastic company like this be popularized through mass media. It loses that "special" feeling every time I go on their site. I don't know, maybe I'm just selfish. I think so, yeah.
At least this proves that Paul wasn't kidding in my interview. Read the last line.

"You Don't Know Me" by Ben Folds (featuring Regina Spektor)

I've expressed my love for both Ben Folds and Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job! in the past, so when the two came together for Ben's new video for his single "You Don't Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)," I had a nerdgasm. This is my favorite song off of Ben's new album (out of the four that I've heard, at least), and is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites by him. I can't even begin to describe to you how awesome this shit is. Fuck yes, Ben Folds. Fuck yes.
Oh, and for those of you wondering where Regina Spektor is, look at the pictures in the background.

You Dont Know Me (featuring Regina Spektor)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Spore: teaching Darwin's theory of evolution

A few days ago, Electronic Arts (EA) released a computer game named Spore. Here is the official synopsis:

Create your unique creature and guide it on an epic journey through a universe of your own creations.
Basically, you make a creature and watch it evolve through five different stages, from cell to galactic conquest. It's rated E for Everyone, and is already being hailed as one of the best computer games in the "DIY" genre. The not-so-shocking mastermind behind this project is Will Wright, who also created every single SIMS game ever. I really want this game, and I'm not even into computer games anymore. It looks that good.
But as usual, Christians have their panties in a knot about this, because it promotes Darwin's theory of evolution. Shocking, right? Well, there is a blog dedicated to the "cause," with the extremely creative moniker "Anti Spore." On this site, some sort of extremely right-wing nutjob writes things like:

It takes a village to raise a child...
And 8,500 employees at Electronic Arts to corrupt a child’s mind.
8,500 people all working together and not a single one with enough Jesus to stand up and say what they are doing is wrong.
It makes me sick.
I wish I had as much Jesus as this writer seems to think he/she has. I mean, I want to own illegal amounts of Jesus. Jesus for everyone!
And here is another gem:

Today EA’s stock is down almost a dollar.
I hope that the information about Spore I am making available helped in some small way.
I'm not sure about you, but if I made a blog and effected a company's stock price the very next day, I'd be fucking floored. Things like that just don't happen in the real world. Don't tell anyone, but blogs don't really matter in the real world.
I don't know, this person seems like too much of an easy target. It's sad, because they post a few posts a day with meaningless content about something only the author feels strongly about. It'll never last.*
I just don't understand why the Christian culture is the only one that seems to have a problem with this. Do you really think it is EA's intent to turn every gamer into a firm believer in Darwin's theory? Are you really that paranoid? Can't we all just get back to whining about and defending excessively violent video games? Come on, put down the holy water and stop speaking in tongues.
Special thanks to Sean for showing me Anti Spore.

*I hope you all caught the irony here.

Crispy M and M's (Blogger won't let me use an ampersand, because its ridiculous)

Many of you know by now that I have a passion for hard-to-obtain or otherwise discontinued food. I don't know why this is, but part of me wants to think that it's some sort of massive conspiracy that states that anything deemed too "tasty" by myself is immidiately restricted from being produced any more (or at least made difficult to obtain). Then I realize that I don't live in The Truman Show (which would be creatively re-named The Walters Show in my world (The Ty Show is too short)), and life goes on.
But this one is different from the rest. Back in 1998, Mars Candy company decided to try something new with their ever-popular M&M's line:

Crispy M&M's, the name given to the semi-crunchy rice puff-filled chocolate candies they introduced, were some of my favorites as an adolescent. I'm assuming that since sales of M&M's Minis were so high, they were feeling a bit adventurous. Well, their tenacity paid off. Widely appreciated by people in all walks of life (the above picture is from Malaysia!), Crispy M&M's are often hailed as the "Best New Candy of the Late 1990's," a title I assure you is incredibly difficult to obtain.
But imaginary awards aside, Crispy M&M's kicked an illegal amount of ass. They kicked more ass than Bruce Lee (yes, that's a shitload of ass-kicking). Biting into them was like biting into a chocolate-covered Kix; delicious and crunchy. These were the candy I chose when offered as I begun aging into the double-digits, as well as my favorite when I begun hitting puberty; only to have them whisked away for no apparent reason in 2005. I have no idea why they would choose to end the production of these wonderful candies, but they did. I loved these more than I should have. And as a child with a very small sweet tooth, it was sort of surprising.
But like I said, I don't understand what reasoning they had for discontinuing these. Sales couldn't have been that bad, could they? Everyone I've talked to about them has said that they loved them, so I'm not entirely sure.
With the recent Indiana Jones M&M's, they had a similar "crispy concept," except these ones were mint-flavored. They just weren't the same. It was like drinking watered-down soda: you want to like it and compare it to its better-tasting "brother," but something inside of you won't let that happen. It's sad, really.

Here is an eBay store that sells them for a good price. I may buy some soon. I'm not sure how good they'll be though.
Click here to view/sign a completely pointless (but still active) online petition to bring them back to the U.S.

Save Your Sensible

Well, this is an interesting marketing technique. Austrailian juice company Spring Valley has started a website on which you can "re-locate your Sensible." It explains that all humans have Sensibles (little creature thingies that are by our sides), and that a lot of people are losing them. I'm assuming this is connected to a set of commercials or something, because it seems a bit random.
Anyways, after typing in your name, they give you a custom sensible to poke, slap, throw, or feed. It's entertaining for about 5 minutes. My Sensible looked like this:
Click here to go to the website, but epileptics be warned that the opening video has some flashing graphics.

Found on Neatorama

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Weekly Shuffle: Week 5

I guess I sort of forgot to do TWS this weekend, and I'm sorry. Maybe I'll do it a day earlier than usual this week, to make up for it. I know these are some of my most successful posts, and always hear about how much you all love them, so once again, I apologize.
A lot of people have been asking me what I would do if I came across a song that I've already played. Well, I would count it towards the total number of songs played, but I wouldn't write about it again (unless I had something to say), and would do one extra song that week to make up for it. So it would happen and be recorded, but not counted against the weekly total. Get it?
As usual, here is my last.fm page, and here are the previous weeks:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4

Song #21: "Exodus Damage (live)" by John Vanderslice, when he performed at the Independent in San Fransisco on November 5, 2005
This is an old bootlegged track I downloaded back when I was obsessed with John Vanderslice. Eagle-eyed readers will remember that John was the dude I interviewed a few years ago for the school paper. Apparently, he was in Phoenix about two weeks after I talked to him, and dedicated a song to me, saying "Ty, the kid who interviewed me" or something like that. I didn't go, because I was grounded at the time, but I saw it on YouTube after he told me about it. Awesome.
He's really good live. And this is one of my favorites by him. He apparently released a new record not too long ago, and for some reason I haven't downloaded it yet. Maybe I should get on that. This song is dragging on. I don't remember the album version being this long. Weird.
Oh, and many of you may recognize this song as the song that was played incessantly in Starbucks around the nation in mid-'05. Ha!
Rating: 8/10

Song #22: "Haunt While I Sleep" by Right Away, Great Captain!, off of their/his album The Bitter End
This is Andy Hull's side project. Some of you will know Andy as the lead singer of Manchester Orchestra, a decent band that plays pretty good music. Well, I downloaded this assuming it would be like MO, but it's really boring and quiet. This song is a prime example of that. It reminds me of Iron and Wine. I just can't get into this sort of music. You know, the type that has a bearded fellow with a good voice playing a guitar quietly.
I don't know why I can't get into it, but I think it's the beards.
Rating: 3/10

Song #23: "Seven Stop Hold Restart" by Bear Vs. Shark, off of their album Terrorhawk
I can honestly say that this is one of those albums that I downloaded and forgot about. I think I may have listened to two or three songs from it, but as a whole, it has gone completely unlistened.
They aren't terrible. I understand what the hype surrounding them is about. They sound like a sort of gnarly, punk-ish band. A bit too much screaming for my tastes, but alright nonetheless. I wouldn't buy the album or see them live, but I don't regret downloading it (assuming the rest of the album sounds similar).
Rating: 5/10

Song #24: "Purity" by Slipknot, off of their self-titled album
Damn, Slipknot is terrible. And to think, I was starting to think I wasn't having a terrible week.
Did you know that Corey Taylor (the lead "singer") is a die-hard Christian? I think that's sort of interesting, considering their band's masks have a lot of Satanist symbology.
Speaking of, can anyone take this band seriously?: I can hardly listen to this. I hate it when bands go from yelling and screaming to melodic singing. It's like they can't choose which type of band they want to be. Bipolar metal! Just what we need.
He's now yelling "PUR-I-TAY." Damn, Slipknot is terrible.
Rating: 1/10

Song #25: "Two of a Kind, Workin' on a Full House" by Garth Brooks off of his album No Fences
If I had to pick a musical artist to represent my childhood, it would be Garth Brooks. That man can entertain like no other. Okay, so maybe Michael Jackson is a better entertainer, along with Prince, but you know what I mean.
This is classic Garth. He has a good voice. And I don't mind this song. It isn't bad. Like I said, it reminds me of my childhood.
Rating: 6/10

This week's rating: 4.8/10

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Yoda: WTF?!

If you happen to be aquainted with me in person, you know that I am a pretty big Star Wars fan. I own the original trilogy on DVD and VHS (the VHS version being superior, because that was before George tinkered with it), have several million toys, and a few books.
Well, something has been bothering me about the timeline. Everyone knows that in the original trilogy, Yoda is in exhile on the planet Dagobah. We later find out that this is his self-punishment for letting the Jedi order down in Episode III. There is a 23-year gap between Episodes III and V. At the end of Episode III, Yoda is 877 years old. Considering the average age for his species is said to be "hundreds of years," I'm imagining he's probably akin to what humans would consider to be a senior citizen. We see in this film that Yoda must use a cane, but can still do backflips, spin around, use his lightsaber, and otherwise be active when needed. Given that he is a Jedi, this isn't that shocking.
But my problem lies within the aforementioned 23-year gap. In Episode V, Yoda is hardly the Jedi master he was nearly a quarter of a decade earlier. Assuming (bear with me here) that Yoda's species lives to about 1,000 years old, 23 years would be the human equivalent of about 3-4 years of aging.
So wait, after aging that little, he can be changed that much? 23 years should be a drop in the bucket for him. He should not have changed in mannerisms as drastically as he did.
And this is exactly why I hate the Star Wars prequels. Sure, it was neat to see Yoda fight like a badass. But at the same time, they raised some serious questions as to why he didn't act this way in the original series. Sure, he lifted an X-Wing out of the swamp, but you could tell that he was struggling. I just don't get it, George.
It should also be noted that there is a huge inconsistency in one of the books, where Luke says that Yoda has been on Dagobah for "one hundred years or more." It was clearly published before the prequels.