Saturday, December 23

Really, I love the cute little animals

I've received some emails from readers concerned about the spate of animal death stories as of late. I can't tell you if there is a good reason for it. It is just that time of year.

But just know that I would never through a dead cat into the window at a McDonald's drive-thru. First, I prefer Jack-in-the-Box. Second, dead cats are really hard to throw.

One that note, Black Sheep.

Friday, December 22

Jet Blue & Nice TSAs

There is something about traveling with JetBlue that just changes my entire mood. First, my cabbie made fantastic time to JFK. Yes, I left the house at 5:45am but in New York you never know. Sometimes it just takes forever. He was also cheerful and friendly. Maybe it was just that he was just starting his shift. But somehow I think it was weird JetBlue Good JuJu.

I had gotten my boarding pass online at home but I was still checking one bag, so I expected at least some line and waiting. When I walked it, it was of course buzzing and crowded with holiday travelers... and some obvious add frustration because of storms in Denver and such. But the lines seemed to be moving quickly. I just wasn't sure what line to get into. Normally just finding someone to tell you where you need to go is a pain. Not at Jet Frackin' Blue. Not only is each counter staffed, but there are at least a dozen folks standing at the line entrances to help. A dozen! At least!

So one quickly directs me where to go to check my bag and I have to wait maybe 8 seconds before I'm at the counter. My bag is tagged and checked in under 3o seconds. I have been in the airport for under two minutes and my bag has been checked.

So off to security. This has been mildly problematic for me in the past because I share a name with someone on the Do Not Fly list. But that always gets hung up at check-in, so I figure I'm in the clear. Nope. See, I'm an idiot. Well, and idiot in NYC who uses his ID for 3 things: buying booze, occasionally to show when making credit card purchases, and getting on planes (oh, and the very rare getting into certain buildings). I don't drive with it because I live in NYC. I also somehow missed that it expired last March.

The TSA at the start of the security line catches it, gives me an apologetic sigh (Lady, no need to apologize... I'm the one who let it lapse and never noticed) and marks up my boarding pass with 4 large S's and some scribbles. The advantage of this is that I get to by pass the rest of the line (Yay!). It was short and moving quickly anyway. I go straight to the x-ray machine, go through and then get put into a glass box. It felt a bit like I was in a 50's tv gameshow sound proof booth and John Tuturro was about to out me as a cheat. In in a minute a very pleasant TSA agent led me to a table while a junior (and obviously a bit nervous) agent grabbed my stuff from the conveyor belt. They led me to a table and the senior agent went through my stuff and cleaned my laptop with a cloth on a stick (okay, maybe he was checking for explosives), while the agent McShakey-hands wanded me. But they were very nice and clear with their instructions and what they were doing. It also felt thorough. Short on some sort of plastic weapon attached to my yam sack (sorry, that is my current favorite euphemism) or inserted... well, where on 'inserts' things, I'd have a darn hard time getting anything through.

And it was quick. Maybe 4 minutes.

The food court was a bit swarmed, but Dunkin' Donuts had set up an extra coffee booth (medium only) at the back of their kiosk. So my waiting time to buy a coffee was under a minute. I then spent way to much on a thing of salted mix nuts. I've been craving nuts lately. I think I've recently cut my meat intake way down in a quest to eat healthier and I may be lacking proteins. Neither here nor there, really, just that it explains why I spent $6.49 on 9oz. of nuts. (They are tasty, though. Even the brazil nuts which I usually find dry and dusty.)

Anywhozits, the best think about flying with JetBlue before I've never even got on the plane? Free wi-fi. Free. Because they know the cost is negligible. And it makes me happy with my extreme lack of sleep over the last two days. (It occurs to me that sending the words "TSA," "security," and "explosives" might trigger something if sent through their system. Mmmmm. Let's see what happens.....)

Speaking of kitties...

How much change do you get with a dead cat for a Big Mac Value Meal?

I apologize. I'm in a mood tonight. Packing. Feeling antsy. Not about going to L.A.. I love going to L.A.. I just have somethings that I making me distracted.

January is going to be a crazy month. I can just tell.

Why The Wii Will Win: Adorable Edition

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Because of

(via Kotaku)

Thursday, December 21


I love Khrompf.. or Krompf... or Krohmpf... or Krumpht

My 2006 Movie List

It is that time of the year. Everyone gets to make their list. Far be it for me not to jump on the bandwagon. (Why is "jumping on the bandwagon" a bad thing? One, and band that travels in a wagon can use all the friends they can get. Two, they probably know where the party is. More the merrier!) Sadly this year I feel that I was super lax about seeing some of the best things out there. But I will just go with it.

Films I saw that I loved (in no real order):

The Science of Sleep
If there is one director working right now that seems to tap directly into my brain stem, my dreams, my way of seeing the world, it is Michel Gondry. The childlike wonder and aching sadness that only exists because of an even stronger sense of hope. And his use of practical special effects constantly amaze me with their simplicity and beauty. And his stories of love-that-doesn't-happen... sigh. Watch Sleep back to back with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and who'll get a glimpse of what's like in my head.

Casino Royale
I have always been a Bond fan by for so long I've walked out of them feeling empty. They've been feasts of cotton candy. I am also a fan of revisioning (which is not a real word) things. The reason I love the book Wicked. Casino Royale was EXACTLY was Bond needed. Daniel Craig captured a tortured soul of a cold hearted killer. And they managed to call out Bond misogyny and still make it hot. And thank you for making Bond fallible. For too long he had been to able to walk out of anything with is mood, body and tuxedo untouched. When Craig's Bond is washing off blood to get back to the poker game... that was the moment I knew this was a Bond I gave a shit about.

The Departed
I am not a huge Martin Scorsese fan. I am definitely NOT a Leonard DiCaprio fan. He's fine actor, but too often I just feel the weight of is performance and there is nothing natural about it. Not that he over acts, it's just something about him. But The Departed was such an exquisite dance of storytelling, performances and editing. Two men, trapped in their paths, knowing they were on the way to self-destruction, hurtling towards each other. I have yet to see the original, Internal Affairs, but it is now high on my list.

United 93
Not enough people have seen this movie, but hopefully with the Oscar buzz that will change. On the other hand, it is a movie that you should see when you feel you are ready to see it. It is raw and simple with out a single touch of melodrama. It is a call to not forget. Not to not forget that we are "at war" or whatever the hell it is we are at, but to not forget the emotion and feeling of that day. I wrote pretty extensively about my feeling right after seeing it here.

Happy Feet
Yes, the ending gets a little preachy. Yes, it is just a goofy little film about penguins, which are so 2005. But it is also a film so infused with joy. I was absolutely expecting to hate it but was so surprised. The music is used in wonderful witty ways, the animation is mind blowing, and it manages to shoot tap dancing the way tap dancing should be shot.

The Fountain
Here is movie that I can't quite shake. It is far from a perfect movie but it is also a movie that strives to something that may be unachievable. It is a glorious tone poem of a film, a rumination of love and life. Perhaps it's imagery can be over the top, but if you can let the film wash over you and filter into the corners of your brain, you will find yourself finding bits and pieces of it in your thoughts for weeks after.

Here are some that I really like for different reasons:

Superman Returns
Again, not perfect. But Bryan Singer managed to reboot the series, remove much of the campyness AND play homage to the first to Superman films all at the same time. Heck, it is in many ways a remake of the first film. Superman is an incredibly difficult character to deal with. He is basically a god. But Returns taps into his feelings of always being the outsider. I'm just happy when comic book characters get treated with respect (especially after the disaster of X-Men 3). One can only keep their fingers crossed that the Powers That Be look towards this and Batman Begins as how to do things right.

All the sex stuff aside, this is an almost cuddly love fable to New York and it's lost souls. If you analyze the film and it's characters it all begins to fall apart, but if you just let it be it will bring a grin to your face.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Yes. I said it. I really really liked Dead Man's Chest. I know this is not the common feeling. What I think everyone feels missing is that sense of surprise and discovery that came from seeing Johnny Depp's Jack Sparrow for the first time. But for me they managed to play the story and the characters in smart and intelligent ways... well, as smart as one can expect in a film like this. I know many people were turned off by the heightened fantasy aspects but I dug it. Maybe that is just a matter of taste. And the action set pieces... come on, people! They were Rube Goldberg-esque gems!

Dave Chappelle's Block Party
Just fun. It is not music I tend to listen to but it carried me right along. I felt just included in the party. (Also directed by Michel Gondry by the way.)

Movies I still needed to see that I somehow missed or have yet to come out:

The Prestige
Victorian illusionists. Tesla. Dark sense of foreboding. Not sure why I didn't make it to this one.

I heard so many good things about this one and I tried to see it numerous times. Noir is my big ol' cup o' tea.

Children of Men
This opens tomorrow I believe and sounds like just the sci-fi that I like. It is also tearing up all of the other top 10 lists out there.

Mike Judge's sci-fi comedy that was abandoned by the studio. Pray to go it makes it to DVD or this might turn into a lost treasure.

The Queen
Again, I tried to see it a few times. I don't know why I am still fascinated by Princess D.'s death since it had no effect on me at the time. There was a band in Minneapolis called Iron Lung with a song about it. I forget what the song was called. If anyone knows where I could find it, I would be grateful.

Pan's Labyrinth
Looks great. Reminds me that I need to return my DVD of Labyrinth that never worked.

Was recommended to me so many times by people I respect that I feel I have to see it now. It almost feels like a chore at this point.

This is where the bar as lowered for turning over security in a Iraq to the Iraqis

Iraqi soldiers eat frogs, rabbit at handover ceremony.
Iraqi soldiers bit the heads off frogs and ate the heart of a rabbit as signs of courage on Wednesday at a ceremony to transfer Najaf province, home to one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines, from U.S. to Iraqi control.

A U.S. general called the transfer, under a plan to gradually hand over security and allow the withdrawal of 135,000 American troops, a major step in strengthening the Iraqi government as it seeks to stop sectarian violence.
Well then. We can move along now.

Tuesday, December 19

Moderating comments

I don't know if anyone noticed, but some time back I switched to approving all comments. Sorry about that. I just got tired of having to erase a series of comments dealing with Nazis and porn. (Those two word should drive some traffic!)

Right now I am in a coffeeshop listening in on two women in their late 20's, clearly on a first date. They were introduced by a friend and are both awkward and nervous. It is very sweet. I feel a bit bad listening in, but is very very hard not to.

Support the Troops! Beat them with a stick!

The whole idea of piñatas is so weird. You usually take an animal, make it cute and colorful, stuff it with tasty candy, and then you smash it to bits and eat the inside. It is so close to burning something in effergy.

Sometimes they break away from animals. I've seen tons of beloved cartoon characters. I will admit that the idea of beating SpongeBob to death is appealing, but I'm not the market for these things.

But who is the market for the Army Humvee piñata? Really?

Update: They have removed the product. The page is still there, but they are no longer selling it. So either someone came to their senses... or they sold out.

(via Boing Boing)

Evil Dead the Musical

I've been wanting to see this show since I first heard about it a few years ago. So I am super super little boy excited that I am going on Jan 6th. Yay! Thank you, ttractor. But she has never seen the movie so here I present some clips, so she can get a taste.

Warning! Graphic horror and gore. And a chistled chin.

Worst Christmas Gift EVER

Monday, December 18

The Brick Testament

Those who know me know that I am fascinated by the Bible, in a way only a hardcore agnostic can be. Why? I don't know. In part because it is tied to so much Western literature and storytelling. There are also so many stories to be had. But a lot of it is that it is such a mess of contradictions and oddities. It still reads like a book in the middle of being edited. Or what a wiki-system would create.

I also love Lego.

So it is no surprise that I regularly take a spin through The Brick Testament, an illustrated Bible told through Lego. It is getting amazingly complete.

Sunday, December 17

"Who's Streets? Santa's Streets!"

(photo by 3rae)

SantaCon is just insane. It is like Halloween but you don't have to worry about making friends. Everyone is your friend. Maybe it is the whole conformist thing. You're all dressed relatively the same. You know everyone's name ("Santa"). You are all headed in the same direction. That is until the last series of stops. That's when folks start to break away. Be it too drunk, or too tired, or heading to another party, or having found that 'special' other Santa, or any combination of the above.

I'm not going to go into too much detail on my day/night. Just assume that I had a great time. Karaoke. Dancing a few jigs. A toast or two or five. Good talks. Good humor.

I do have to remember next year to eat.

I would show you the pictures I took, but my camera went missing at some point. Sigh. Casualty of too much X-mas spirit.