April 30, 2009

Air quotes as gang signs?

I like music, but I hate a lot the music I hear. Know what I mean? When somebody tells me about this or that band I'd probably really like, I know that I probably won't actually like them. I try, I really do.

Some people I trust more than others, because they really have my number, tastewise. Other people try passionately, and I try to be openminded, and sometimes it works.

I admit to my prejudices. Just as I'm predisposed to hate any film with a Verbing Proper Name title, I'm not likely to like a band with an apparently ironic one word name title. The exception is Cake.

I suspect that if I'd heard Cake back when I was trying to write songs, I might have just given up, not in despair exactly (as happened when John Popper squashed my harmonica aspirations) but out of ... what? Respect? The vague and probably erroneous impression that they and I would call the same people @$$holes?

Cake is a band I can go for months without thinking of, but now that I hear them weekly over the opening credits of Chuck, which I admit to watching (there are several fairly witty shows on my radar now), I have them in fairly heavy rotation on the old mp3 player. Less insistently whimsical than Jonathan Richman, less nihilistic than Warren Zevon, less oppressively intellectual than Timbuk3 ... good stuff.

April 29, 2009

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful

Many years ago in a faculty retreat I was subjected to some form of a personality test, and it turns out I'm the kind of person who is bugged when 0 of 2 people find my review helpful on amazon.com. Bugged enough to bug my wife into asserting that she found said review helpful.

So now, 1 of 3. And the 1 is a fake. Well, maybe it's a fake. She wouldn't click the damned "yes" button until she read my review and asked a couple clarifying questions. Sheesh.

April 28, 2009

Hey, Christian Bale!

Hey, Christian Bale! Where can I buy me one o' them fat-tired motorcycles that you can't lay down? Gotham Moto Mart maybe? I guess I need to buy one in case there's a robot apocalypse.

Seriously ... how many movies does something have to appear in before it's a cliche? Just saw a trailer for Terminator: Put Us Out of Our Misery, and here we go with these batcycle-style toy motorcycles again. I don't care if do they exist in real life (because I'm sure somebody is itching to tell me allllll about them) ... I don't believe in them. I don't find them credible. I deny their existence. And I don't want to see a movie full of them, any more than I want to see a movie where an annoying boy races an absurd flying chariot through the desert against a collection of malignant muppets. Where's that big old sandworm when you need one?

Back to the trailer. Did you catch that one giant robot that looks like a large version of the buffoonish Spy Vs. Spy robots from "Episode 1" of the Star Wars debacle? Seriously, if you're making a Terminator movie and can aim no higher than pretend motorcycles The Phantom Menace, the mindless soulless robots have already won. They're here already! You're next!

Remember The Road Warrior? That was a good movie. Muppet-free as I recall, and the vehicles, though fanciful, were real.

I guess I'm just tired of watching cartoons ... but if the director is named McG, I guess you have to be prepared.

April 24, 2009

Q: What might have saved Star Wars I - III?

A: Basically, an elite group wearing these.

INcidentally, at some point in the movie I insist on calling Star Wars, because that's what it was called, Darth Vader is addressed (by Peter Cushing, I think? Or Obi-Juan?) as "Darth."

Implying that it was his name, not his title. I'm just saying.

I know Star Wars wasn't that good to begin with, but Lucas's retrobuggering of Star Wars just ... bugs me.

Sorry, fandroids, but I'm not quite willing to believe that this line of Darth Vader's dialogue from "A New Hope" wound up on the cutting room floor:

"What the hell? I think I built that f---ing robot."

April 23, 2009

Blanketly II: Electric Boogaloo

Because I've been getting some hits from Google searches on "blanketly," I decided to check it out, and I found this link.

Allow me to declare my opposition to an "open dictionary" if it's going to imply validation of a nonword like "blanketly" and THEN call it a verb. Like most words ending in -ly, it's an adverb. Or it would be if it were a word at all. Which it isn't.

What contumely.

April 22, 2009

Setting the tone

Weird how the song or two I hear on the radio on my way to work can set the tone for the whole day.

Bonnie Raitt's version of the song is very nice, especially in this performance; I think it's a little too slow on the record.

The record!

April 21, 2009


Blanketly: this is a word I learned in a meeting yesterday ... as in, "we're not going to make these cuts blanketly." To be fair, the speaker was being grilled by an angry mob, or what passes for one at my place of work.

I also listened to a colleague describe an upcoming "Supposium." This one I like ... it suggests a group of people gathered together to discuss the possibilities. Maybe that's just the kind of outside-the-box thinking we need, where the rubber meets the road.

April 14, 2009

Hardy Har Har

Back when I taught Survey of British Literature, we'd be hitting Thomas Hardy right about now, hitting him the way the Titanic hit the iceberg.

(pause for laughter)

(pause for awkward silence broken only by the sound of chirping crickets)

Of course, one of the poems we discussed was "Convergence of the Twain," because it gave me the opportunity to speak disparagingly of "Leonardo DiCrappio" (who, I must admit," is actually pretty good, even if I don't like most of the movies he winds up in).

I would always ask them what "convergence" meant, and what "twain" meant, and then suggested that if they found poetry difficult they might begin by trying to understand what the WORDS IN THE TITLE mean.

A convergence is things coming together, you see (Mike--no.), and "twain" means two things, so it's two things coming together, like two twains on the same twack.

Two ... twains ... on the same ... twack.

Q: How come it's funny when Leno and Letterman repeat their bad punch lines during their monologues?

A: It isn't.

April 12, 2009

Before the rain came ...

... and before I wussed out and made us bail because I knew my crappy Buick was never going to get out of that hilly parking lock after the rain came.

The video's a better view than we had, that's for damned sure. But hey, I think you can see us in the shots from over the drummer's shoulder.

Oh, uh, embedding disabled by request, but here's the link.

If you ever let me drag you to a show, thanks, dare I say it, for the memories!

April 05, 2009


I think I missed my epoch. I would have liked to live in the 40s and early 50s, I'm sitting here watching a half decent procedural called Down Three Dark Streets, and I think I missed my calling. I should have been an old time movie detective.

1. Snappy dialogue, witty repartee
2. Everything looks cooler in black and white
3. Dames saying things like, "You boy scouts got names?"
4. Men in suits, pointy women in dresses
5. Unwavering faith in the law=good equation
6. Voice-overs to provide helpful context
7. Smoking and drinking

But it wouldn't work. I'd never fit in ... and it's all because of the beard. Bearded people barely exist in these films, and if they do, they're suspect at best. It's the kiss of death (if you will), like having a too-wide tie, an accent or an Italian surname. Any ONE of these makes you a suspect ... two or more and you're a marked man.

Fun film, by the way. Grandpa Fred from Sixteen Candles is in it, and so is Claude Akins of B.J. and the Bear fame.

April 04, 2009


Against my better judgment I went to see Knowing last night. If you're interested, you can read my review here.