Halloween is Super(un)naturally Sexy

Let me get something off my chest: Halloween and me don't really get along. Even as a child I never had a sweet tooth and I've never liked dressing up. When I was forced to wear a costume I always stuck with the same unofficial theme and I challenge you to figure it out. When I was six I dressed up as a crying ghost. A year later I was the crying cowboy and the year after that I wowed my entire neighborhood as the crying and screaming pirate. Once I hit puberty I knew I couldn't top these gems so I hung up my fake spurs and peg leg and never wore a costume again.

Fortunately, as I've gotten older I've learned to appreciate other people's enthusiasm for Halloween. I especially admire Halloween enthusiasm when it's in the form of sexy costumes. This isn't to say I only like slinky bunny outfits, oh no sirreee. I like a wide variety of Halloween costumes, such as the sexy nurse, the sexy witch, and even the sexy street-walker.

Despite my newfound appreciation for Halloween enthusiasm (in the form of sexy costumes), Halloween still takes time out of its busy schedule to bust my chops. For example, I might innocently be following a very creative outfit like this one.

This costume has good tone and firmness.

I follow, follow, follow and maybe I bump into a pole or two whilst caught in the throes of appreciation. No biggie. Finally I catch up to the costume and find out that the creative sexy person wearing it is in fact a guy. Usually he is not as attractive as the woman I expected to see.

I don't understand how dudes with adam's apples and five o' clock shadows can have legs like that, I really dont. And you'd think I would learn my lesson after the first ten or fifteen times this happened. Nope. I swear something about Halloween gets into me and hairy man-legs magically draw my eyes like evil voodoo magnets. Just one more reason why Halloween and me aren't BFF.

Consider this a public service announcement to all you innocents out there and I hope your Halloween involved fewer sexy man-legs than mine.


Running with Scissors should actually run with scissors and in the process, trip, impale itself, and die so nobody else must watch it

Seconds before Running with Scissors began, my mother turned to me and whispered, “you know, this movie didn’t get very good reviews.” I laughed naively and nodded, secure in the knowledge that the movie was based on a very intelligent, funny and poignant memoir. I figured that critics can be too snooty for their own good and they trash quality movies all the time; unfortunately it became very clear that some movies, like Running with Scissors, get very bad reviews simply because they are very, very bad.

If you didn’t know, Running with Scissors is based on the odd childhood of Augusten Burroughs. It chronicles his life growing up with a psychotic mother and an alcoholic, distant father. Out of necessity Augesten moves in with his mother’s psychiatrist’s family, who make his real family look like the Cleavers. Most of what makes the memoirs so good is Augesten’s heartfelt search for meaning in the face of complete laugh-out-loud absurdity and disorder. Director Ryan Murphy apparently had a different take on the memoirs.

I can imagine Mr. Murphy gathering all of the actors and actresses into a circle and saying, “We’re going to play a little game and the goal is to make every scene as insanely depressing and boring as possible. Whoever does this the best wins a million dollars and by the way, you also lose points for being funny - go make me proud.” This is the only way I can explain how actors as skilled as Annette Bening and Alec Baldwin turn in such dreadful performances (although I should note that Joseph Fiennes' performance manages to claw it's way into mediocrity).

Imagine putting your nipples into this clamp. That's the same sensation as watching Running with Scissors.

Every scene is an exercise in masochism (minus the nipple clamps). Yelling, shouting, fighting, and crying all play a large role in this movie and are frequently used in place of meaningful conversations and good acting. And heaven forbid a moment of brevity and laughter should slip into the fold. Savor every chuckle you can get because those errant pieces of comedy get squashed in a matter of seconds.

The lone bright spot in Running with Scissors is its soundtrack. Ironically, the soundtrack is used to horrible effect since it often serves as a counterpoint to depressing, overly dramatic events on the screen. Whatever pleasure might have come from hearing Phoebe Snow’s The Poetry Man, or Elton John’s Bennie and the Jets gets lost under the suffocating dialogue and overacting. And when that wonderful soundtrack isn’t playing you can literally hear crickets chirping. And I’m not even kidding.

I have some advice for those of you who wanted to see Running with Scissors. If you liked the quirky, sharp-witted previews, go rent The Royal Tanenbaums by Wes Anderson. If you found Augesten’s story intriguing, go read the book instead. And if you’ve already read Running with Scissors, for god’s sake don’t see this movie.


9 Weird Things about Me
My first tag!

The last time I played tag I was 4 feet tall, my voice cracked with every other word, and girls gave me wedgies. Yes, last week was not kind to me. But Emma at All About My Movies is bringing tag back in a much kinder context - to talk about 9 Weird Things About Me. Hopefully this will not involve wedgies.

Before I dive into all that is strange and unholy about me, I'd like to give a quick hooray to the University of Hawaii football team! This past night I witnessed their complete dismantling of the Idaho Vandals (which is an awful team name by the way). The final tally was 68 to 10 and the score actually makes the game seem closer than it was. Awesome.

On to the unholiness.

1. I have an intense dislike of balloons.
I also really dislike kites and anything else that can fly out of my hand and up, up, up into space. Whenever I had a balloon as I child, I wrapped that sucker so hard around my wrist that it cut off blood circulation. I'm much better now, mostly because I won't come within ten feet of a flying object (and yet somehow I can still get on airplanes - go figure).

2. For as long as I can remember I've followed a fairly complex toweling ritual after every shower and bath. I won't go into specifics, but it's very thorough.

3. I take fantasy sports very seriously.
Case in point: tomorrow I'm waking up at the crack of dawn (read: 10am) to scour basketball magazines and the internet in preparation of my basketball draft. Another sports quirk is how I name all my teams after movie and tv references that only sometimes make sense. My current football teams are The Bad-Tempered Rodents and God is my Co-Manager while my basketball teams are named Dial M for MacGuyver. One of my old personal favorites is The Schwetty Ballers.

Via: VideoSift

4. I answer to the names Ma-foo, Matty-mo and Jedi-Warrior. My parents are the only people who use these names but they've been saying them for so long that I only occasionally realize how weird it is.

5. My nostrils take turns whistling.
I'm not sure why this is, or why my mouth can't whistle if my nose can. Basically my nose is my most musically inclined body part.

6. When I was 7 years old, my mom went on vacation while my dad took care of me and my brother at home. One day we went to a baseball game and I ate so many hot dogs and pizzas that my little body cramped into the fetal position. I don't clearly remember how this experience ended but it did involve the emergency room and my father's words, "Mommy doesn't need to know about this, okay?"

7. I have a twin brother who looks and acts nothing like me.
He's a little bit country and I'm a little bit rock 'n roll (okay, not really). We're fraternal twins but I like to tell him that he's adopted. Unrelated Funny Story: One night when we were 12 years old, my brother and I were having a heated argument even after we had turned off the lights and got into bed (separate beds, mind you). My brother suddently got very quiet, and under the cover of darkness he crept to my side of the room and peed on my backpack. I love that guy.

8. I can crack my body in roughly 20 different locations.
It doesn't hurt but it doesn't really feel all that good either.

9. Sitting on my desk beside me is a wooden, hand carved Buddha statue I recently purchased while visiting Thailand. Next to it is a bobblehead of Steve Young.

I don't know the etiquette of tagging, so if you want to write 9 weird things about yourself consider this a "tag, you're next."


Today's Birthday Boy
I check the Internet Movie Database more religiously than I go to church so it's one of my daily habits to see who is officially one year closer to death.

Today's Birthday Boy is Patrick Fugit. Patrick first caught my attention as the wunderkind reporter in Almost Famous alongside the glowing Kate Hudson. Patrick stars as the alter ego of director Cameron Crowe, who actually did lie about his age to write for Rolling Stone magazine while still in high school. This flick follows Patrick as he begins his very first writing assignment and in the process manages to hit every bump on the road to adulthood. I highly recommend Almost Famous for it's humor and integrity, and it's probably one of the most genuine films about growing up. If you're a fan of Elton John, Pink Floyd, or Simon & Garfunkel the soundtrack will also add an extra incentive to watch this one.

Also on Patrick's resume is a little movie called Saved!. Saved! is a darkish comedy about a young, very devout Christian girl and the trials she faces (and believe me, there are many) after she becomes pregnant from her homosexual boyfriend (yes, you read that correctly). It also stars Mandy Moore who is surprisingly adequate as the bitchy, holier than thou classmate and even Macauley Caulkin sneaks in an underrated performance as the handicapped and acerbic brother. Oh, and Patrick Fugit is in there somewhere as a potential love interest. He may not star in Saved! but I recommend it nonetheless.


Look Ma, I'm Psychic!
A Theoretical Look at Heroes
During Sunday’s episode of Heroes, I kept rubbing my hands the same way Dr. Evil strokes Mr. Bigglesworth. I couldn't help it; Heroes was finally delivering on all it's intrigue and set-ups and it was pretty darn glorious. And the best part of the episode (and the series in general) is how perfectly it lends itself to my favorite pastime of theorizing.

*******This is a big fat Spoiler alert. I'm going to talk about all things Heroes here so if you don't want anything spoiled, go read about Kitlers.*******

I'm terrible with character names and I bet you are too, so I'm going to give each character their own nickname for easier future reference.

Nickname ------------------Character description
Smooth Operator The police cop turned FBI agent who can read people's minds and pleasure his wife like no other.
Flyboy The male nurse turned idealistic super-hero-wannabe who can probably fly.
Flying Clinton Flyboy's older brother and kind of sleazy senatorial candidate (requisite joke warning: sleazy senator=redundant?). He can fly too.
Hot Tamale An internet stripper with an alternate bad-ass personality.
Hiro The dorky yet loveable Japanese dude who can bend time and space.
Peppy He's the tortured artist who can draw the future, but only when he's high (like we haven't heard that one before).
Pretty Betty The invulnerable cheerleader who can rapidly heal herself of any wound - even death. She's also underaged and hot.
Creepy McCreep Pretty Betty's step-dad and so far a likely candidate for supreme bad guy. No known powers... yet.
Black Dude Creepy McCreep's right hand man. At the very least, he seems able to erase people's memories and inspire bowel leakage (from terror, not... something else).
Doc The Indian Doctor who has travelled to NY to find the "heroes" that were the subject of his father's research and the likely cause of his early death.

Theory #1:
Flyboy will become the leader of the Heroes

Remember how the Terminator was sent back in time to warn and protect John Conner since he was the future leader of the human race? I think the exact same thing happened when the future Hiro traveled back in time to give instructions to Flyboy. Of all the “Heroes” Flyboy seems to be most eager to explore his powers and his background in saving lives makes him a likely leader choice (and Hiro is eliminated because he can’t speak fluent English yet). This is mostly a hunch, but a leader is needed and he’s the closest thing to a main character that this show has.

Theory #2:
Creepy McCreep has special powers too

We’ve already seen McCreep act threateningly towards his daughter Pretty Betty, kidnap and question the Smooth Operator, and most likely he killed the Doc’s father. However, we haven’t learned all that much about him. In my mind this means he’s got more secrets. He’s either got a super power we haven’t seen yet, possibly so big time that it isn’t easily used (like blowing stuff up? – aka the foretold explosion in NY) or else he’s simply a middle man to a more evil super boss. This could potentially set up McCreep to die in some manner in which he expresses regret at his evil ways but during this time the true evil mastermind is revealed. I’m keeping my eyes open on this one.

Theory #3:
Hiro’s friend will also discover special powers or die (maybe both).

We’ve already seen how Hiro and his friend are both in Peppy’s comics that show the future. But if Hiro’s friend is going to stick around he’s got to put up or shut up. He’ll either discover he has some new odd but probably surprisingly powerful ability (like turn invisible) or else die. I’m leaning towards death. There’s a tv rule that Death = Great Drama and who else is going to die? That’s right, Hiro’s friend is the only clear candidate.

Theory #4:
Flying Clinton will join the Anti-Heroes

Good guys fight bad guys right? So where are the bad guys? Yes there’s Creepy McCreep and the Black Dude (and we’ve also got Hot Tamale’s husband, more on him later), but there’s got to be more. There would be a certain amount of cosmic irony (or predictable tv plotting) if Flying Clinton and Flyboy end up on opposite sides of the battlefield. We know that Flyboy is practically Ghandi with more bangs and Flying Clinton not only is a politician (strike 1), but he’s had an affair (strike 2), and he’s willingly accepting a bribe from his blackmailers (strike 3). He’s shown an opportunistic nature and the bad guys are going to give him an opportunity he can’t refuse.

Theory #5:
Hot Tamale’s ex-hubby is a bad guy

Next week’s preview show’s Hot Tamale’s hubby walking through walls ala Kitty Pryde (from the X-men). If he’s got powers he’s either a good guy or a bad guy and I’m betting he’s a bad guy. Simple as that.

Theory #6:
Flying Clinton's blackmailer/benefactor is with the Anti-Heroes

Whoever is blackmailing Flying Clinton is not a good guy, therefore he's a bad guy. Who else is a bad guy on the show? Mmm, Creepy McCreep. I therefore predict that Flying Clinton is being backed by the bad guys and will in turn join them.

I’m all theoried out at the moment, but please leave your own thoughts and theories. Between all of us, we’ll share the satisfaction of knowing what’s going to happen before it happens, kind of like Peppy the crazy painter.


Bloggers Anonymous
Hello, my name is Matt and I'm addicted to blogs. Despite my suave demeanor and incredible good looks, I'm pretty new to the blogging phenomenon, but I've already found a bunch of quality blogs that are perfect for wasting time and contouring my seat to the shape of my butt. I'll list them here for interested parties and hopefully add them to my sidebar (assuming I don't accidentally delete everything in the process). If you've got an interesting blog/website that I should link to, feel free to leave a link in your comment and I'll check it out. No promises, but I'm always on the lookout for a new waste of time (I mean that in a good way).

Without further ado, the blogs...

Kissing Suzy Kolber - A group of rude, obnoxious and funny as hell writers collaborate to write this football sports blog. If you thought it was hilarious when a drunk Joe Theisman hit on Suzy Kolber on national television, then you'll probably like this blog.

Blog that Mommy! - A married woman with a few small children and no day job - sound boring? It isn't. The mundane becomes comedy fodder and every little chore is a treat to read.

Sadie, Sadie, Married Lady - For some reason I dig the married woman writing style. This one is cute and funny.

Life is falling to pieces - You thought typing a paragraph for your blog was hard? Try writing out entire pages and then illustrating them - by hand! Yeah, the author of this blog does just that and with a dry wit that makes it more than special.

More Cowbell - This medical student has a fresh take on a variety of topics. He seems like a genuinely good guy with quirky (and sometimes sad) anecdotes from his medical and real life experiences.

Expand Game - A few gamers have put together a clean, informative site that's worth checking out. They're pretty consistent updaters so I check this one out regularly.

All About My Movies
- This 16 year old Chinese girl has a loaded high school schedule but she still finds time to follow her true love: the movies. She's got colorful opinions interspersed with entertaining high school angst, not to mention a healthy following.

Like I said, these are just a few of the blogs I think are worth visiting. Hit me up if you've got another.


Technorati Profile

Here's a riddle my friend posed to me today. I don't want to look up the answer since that would be cheating (and cheaters never win), but if somebody were to figure it out and maaaaaaybeeee leave a little comment describing how said riddle miiiiight be solved.... then that'd be okay. Here's the riddle:

There is a corridor that leads into an empty room. the room is completely empty except for a lamp in one of the corners. on the other side of the corridor are 3 switches. you know that one of them turns on the lamp, the other 2 don't do anything. you can play around with the switches turning each of them on and off as much as you like, then you can go into the room 1 (only one!) time to check whether the lamp is on or off (there is a door so you can't know without entering the room). leaving the room, you have to know which of the 3 switches works and which 2 don't.

Hate kids? Play Fantasy Sports
Fantasy sports (check here for the Wikipedia definition) is like vicariously living through your children. When your kids do well (get good grades, get a hot girlfriend, stay out of prison, etc.) you can brag about it to all the other fathers and parents in your neighborhood. When they fail (get bad grades, teenage pregnancy, play for the Oakland Raiders, etc.) your neighbors will give you serious crap. But in order for your children to win, you've got to cheer that the other guy's kids fail. And literally, all athletes are somebody's kid so you're already rooting for some guy's kid to screw up so you can whip their sorry beeehind in a game about meaningless numbers. That's evil.

And what if you have several fantasy teams in the same sport? That's like having illegitimate families on the side and unless you're Mormon that's just not right. And eventually some of your babies are going to be playing against you in a different league and that's also messed up. It's like asking your kid to try out for the flag team instead of the cheerleading squad; they can't be total losers, but you don't want them doing too well either.

So when you boil it all down, fantasy sports are all about wishing evils upon your neighbor's (or your own illegitimate) children. Right now I'm wishing a debillitating STD upon Terrell Owens and sunshine and lollypops for Terry Glenn. Evil, man, evil.


The Totally Random Horoscope
Just because I can, I'm introducing a new segment I'm calling, "The Totally Random Horoscope." These horoscopes apply to everyone and should without a doubt, never in a thousand years, ever ever ever, happen. But if they do, please tell me and make my day.

Totally Random Horoscope - 10/22/06

Reprinted for those without microscopic vision:
You will be in the company of several acquaintances whom you wish to impress. During the course of your conversation a small fart will escape your buttcheeks. In your head you will wonder if they heard or smelt your butt leakage. The answer will be "yes."


My ESP Loses
If you'll recall, I used my ESP powers to predict what would happen in today's episode of The Office. Let's recap my losses.

1. Prediction: Jim and Pam talk on the phone. - Correct!
Yes, this was predicted based on a preview of them talking on the phone. Even Einstein had bad news, I'm sure.

2. Prediction: Jim's relationship with karen will take another step - Correct!
Not only did Jim and Karen have several moments together while fighting over a chair, they also ganged up on their crazy co-worker. I like Pam and I think she and Jim are perfectly matched, but Karen is pretty darn cute and I'd like to see some more sexual tension develop between them (Jim and Karen).

3. Prediction: Dwight will have a fight with Angela - Wrong!
While Dwight and Angela didn't fight with each other, they both managed to yell at other office mates. Dwight tricked Ryan into working on his beet farm while verbally berating him and Angela called Kelly a psycho after she put Dwight down. So I'm taking this one as a moral victory.

4. Prediction: Kelly will humiliate Ryan - Wrong!
Technically I'm wrong, but I think I'm correct in spirit. As I mentioned earlier, Dwight does humiliate Ryan on his farm so... yeah I'm still wrong.

5. Prediction: Dwight will eat dirt on his beet farm - Wrong!
This didn't happen, but did you see Dwight's cousin's beard? I tried growing a goatee a few weeks ago and that was a trying experience. I can't imagine what it's like facing people with a red neckbeard. Well, it's questionable if it was red, but it was unquestionably butt-ugly.

That's 2/5 or 40 percent correct. If I were a baseball player, I'd be making more than A-Rod with that average.


My ESP vs. The Office
Today is Thursday which means it's time for The Office! Because I can't stop my brain from guessing what's going to happen, I'm going to make a few predictions about today's episode. Afterwords I'll tally up the points for my ESP against the cold hard reality. Here's looking at you ESP.

1. Jim and Pam talk on the phone. (This is a gimme since I saw it in the previews)

2. Jim's relationship with Karen will take a another step - What I love about this show is that even after several episodes it's clear that these two have excellent chemistry and probably are attracted to each other, but there's still no certainty that anything will happen. Personally, I really want to see some love triangle action.

3. Dwight will have a fight with Angela - last week Angela was disgusted when Dwight asked her to freeze his head in the event of an accident. Naturally this leads me to believe that they're having relationship difficulties.

4. Kelly will humiliate Ryan. This is almost another gimmie. Remember when Kelli was double dating with Pam and kept stuffing food into Ryan's mouth? Yeah, it's going to be like that.

5. Dwight will eat dirt on his beet farm - I'm cheating a little and I read "Dwight's" blog post on nbc.com. You can check it out here.

Now that my poor little ESP is tired, I'm going to patiently wait for The Office. And maybe do some sports gambling. My ESP tells me that Oakland is going to lose every game this season.

Notable Shower Moments
I do my best to get to the gym on a semi-regular basis (read: whenever I can drag someone else along with me) and try as I might, there are still a few things that make me squirm. Some of them are small peeves, like when a woman hops onto a bike next to you and proceeds to chat on her phone for the next FORTY MINUTES (on second thought, maybe this isn't such a small thing). Also, people who prevent you from using a machine because of their excessively long breaks or fairly short naps. But these are simply things you get used to or so I'm told. One thing I refuse to get used to, however, is seeing a grown man's penis swinging in my direction. Yesterday I took a quick step into the gym locker/shower/bathroom to relieve myself and was immediately confronted with some perky male genitalia. In honor of this bathroom moment I've decided to compile a list of other notable movie moments taking place between multiple people in the shower. Don't ask why, just enjoy.

Maverick butts heads with Iceman

1. Top Gun
If my memory has decided to play nice today, there were actually a couple notable shower scenes in Top Gun. I'm pretty certain that there was a gratuitous Tom Cruise shower scene after the equally gratuitous beach volleyball scene. But the shower moment that stands out to me was when Maverick was talking to Iceman and then turns to the wall, pausing for a good five seconds so the image of his towel-sheathed butt could be forever imprinted in the minds of impressionable boys throughout the land. And in case you were wondering, yes, I am straight.

2. Starship Troopers
The shower scene in Starship Troopers truly reflects the surprise I felt at seeing another man's package. I really don't remember the scene's context, but I think the new army recruits are showering off after some kind of training exercise and then bam - glistening naked boobies pounce onto the screen. These were probably the first on-screen breasts I really remember seeing and they certainly left their mark. Hopefully this one balances out the Tom Cruise butt moment.

Trust me, you don't want to see any more than this

3. Any Given Sunday
Any Given Sunday is one of those movies where I feel like I've seen it all even though I've only watched it piecemeal for like half an hour. I managed to see it's notable shower scene when, in a moment of perfect cosmic timing, I surfed from Comedy Central straight into a large black man's toodley-doo (penis). On a related note, I wonder how you prepare to get naked in a huge production movie like Any Given Sunday. I guess you'd first make sure your underbits get all spiffied up with maybe some lotion or Banaca. Then you'd get the production crew to turn the temperature up and ogle the newspaper's brassiere ads like in There Something About Mary (also starring Cameron Diaz, incidentally).

4. Weird Science
I always enjoyed the television series version more than the movie version. I think it boils down to Vanessa Angel being more likeable and attractive than Kelly LeBrock (also, she was married to Steven Seagal - the baby seal clubber himself! (warning: Family Guy joke)). In the movie version, the young and funny Anthony Michael Hall and "the other guy" (who had some weird mole I didn't like either) took a shower with Kelly. I can understand the anxiety that drove them to remain clothed while she was not, but that doesn't explain why they were practically hugging each other. I guess some things just can't be explained.

5. Half-Baked
I can't believe I almost forgot this legendary movie. Of all the flicks on this list, only Half-Baked is a must watch. It's got stoner humor, great prison humor (is there any other kind?), and let's not forget a small time comedian named Dave Chappelle. Highlights of Half-Baked's shower scene include a dropped soap and a convict by the name of Nasty Nate who sported a "naughty, evil jungle of love (a reference I still use to this day)."


In the News
Rather than devote an entire blog post to a single topic, I've decided to throw out my two cents for a variety of topics. I'm not sure if this is creativity or laziness in effect, but I'm rolling with it.

Baby faced detective

Future star of Jade

1. David Caruso
Apparently David Caruso is an attractive (or at least striking-looking) man, and despite being a guy I can kind of see this. Something about his face has always bothered me, until I saw him on today's CSI: Miami episode and realized what it is: he looks like a baby. Granted, he looks like a very old and grizzled baby, but he somehow wields the soft pouty lips and crinkled eyes of an adorable infant.

2. Monday Night Football = The Waterboy
This past MNF game, Arizona couldn't buy themselves a victory, even when they were up by 20 points with 15 minutes left. The complete dominance exhibited by the Bear's defense transcended normal football achivements and soared into the rarified air attained in only one movie: The Waterboy. Brian Urlacher played the starring role of Bobby Boucher and almost singlehandedly giave the Cards their comeuppance. Matt Leinard was good, but he wasn't Bobby Boucher good.

3. Heroes
Now in the fourth episode, we're finally starting to see some action. Unfotunately, when I say action I mean a suicidal car crash during the last five seconds of the show. Still, it's nice to see some genuine humor (watching Hiro getting punched out) and some more oddly creepy prophetic stuff (Hiro coming back from the future - with a soul patch!). I'm officially hooked.

4. Chelsea Handler
I saw a clip of Chelsea's E! show about a week ago and yesterday I flipped through her new book, My Horizontal Life. Watching her show and reading her book is kind of like following the drunken ramblings of a potty-mouthed five year old in an attractive blonde's 31 year old body. I highly recommend checking out some of the clips on YouTube or her myspace site. Here's a sample clip where Chelsea tries to choose a personal assistant.


I always thought Robin Williams was kind of crazy. He's got enough manic energy to power a small town and let's not forget he's a pretty convincing alien life-form. Basically, I wouldn't consider Robin Williams the ideal candidate for President. But in Man of the Year Williams plays Tom Dobbs, a popular political pundit (score one for alliteration) who manages to combine the manic energy of Williams with the level-headed sense of responsibility of a much more realistic Presidential candidate.

In the movie, Dobbs runs for president after his political comedy show (similar to the The Daily Show or The Colbert Report) turns a lark suggestion into full-on campaign support. And let me let you in on a little secret: he wins.

But almost immediately, the audience is aware of a potential voting controversy. And what Man of the Year does very quickly and very cleverly is shift the focus from the general question of "What happens if/when everyone finds out?" to the specific moral dilemmas that the main protagonists (namely Dobbs) must face when this information does come to light.

And Dobbs really does work as a possible President. Part of what makes this movie so good is it's ability to take an outlandish plot and make it seem very real. It's fresh, it's idealistic, it's about politics and yet it also tells a tale of human nature that goes beyond Robin Williams playing at being the President. From beginning to end, Dobbs and everyone else around him must face serious choices about what is right and what is necessary. Throw in a ton of genuinely funny politcal humor and that's a recipe for a great movie.

In a day when every movie in the theaters is a sequal or rehash of another tired plot, Man of the Year manages to to be fresh, compelling, and timely. Political scandals have reached a new all time high (who thought that would be possible back in the Clinton era?) and Man of the Year manages to poke fun at the political scene while still seriously considering the question of "What's next?" Dobbs must find out for himself in Man of the Year and I suggest you join him.


episode on 10/12/06
For the life of me, I don't know a single character's name beyond James Woods' (it's Sebastian aka "Shark"). And really, I don't need to know because most of the action swirls around Shark and the latest episode continues that trend. When I do need to identify anyone, say his Assistant District Attorneys, then I refer to them with nicknames.

Assistant District Attorneys:
-The Hispanic Dude - Supposedly he's very well qualified but can't handle the real work environment too well. He seems to screw up about once an episode.

-Blonde Playboy - He's supposed to be a little on the dim side, but his wealthy father got him the position and he seems to do alright with his Playgirl good looks. Something about his face bothers me, though (his bottom lip bends funny, but I guess I'm critical like that).

-The Passionate Mother - This one is also a minority (I think she's African American) and she cares deeply about justice. And she has a small child. Yes, she's boring.

-The Ambitious Blonde - This is one of the more interesting characters and not just because she's good-looking. She's often willing to bend or break any rule to succeed and takes a lot after Shark. However, she's got a soft spot for the Blonde Playboy and signs of jealousy for him are surfacing.

Back to the Plot.

A woman calls in to 911 claiming that she's in danger. When the paramedics arrive they find the woman and a man both shot to death. Their bodies are found on the grounds of a notorious private investigator who has a reputation for dirty dealings.

Shark and his assistants quickly build a strong case against the dead woman's husband. Due to a legal boo-boo their entire case is nearly wiped out (is it just me or does this exact same thing happen in every episode? Just once I'd like to see them do everything right). As they try to regroup, they rely on the private investigator's testimony (who owned the place where the shooting went down).

The PI's testimony goes terribly, but Shark is able to bluff him into giving up the murder weapon's location (apparently he really was involved after all). The dead woman's husband goes to jail and Shark wins again!

Now if you're like me, there's at least one point in every Shark episode where you have to scratch your head and say, "huh?" It's a gimmie that something goes wrong, whether it's a bad legal decision, a witness buckling, or something else, and it usually happens so quickly that I'm spending the next ten minutes trying to figure out what the hell happened. Well, it happened again today. I'd like to tell you when it was, but it confused me so much I can't really say. Somewhere around when Shark realizes that the PI is holding back specific information about the murder. I'm probably not getting any smarter, so I hope future episodes make events a little more clear.

On the intriguing side of things, it comes out that Shark has had previous dealings with the shady PI. Turns out Shark even asked the PI to scare a witness in a previous case and said witness turned up dead. Fortunately for Shark this info doesn't really surface in the courtroom, but that's a heck of a secret to have.

In other news, Shark's daughter is getting friendly with a new boy at the cost of her schoolwork. It even looks like she's going to cheat on a paper to get ahead. I predict that she'll get caught and even though Shark will want to blackmail her teachers (what a cool dad), she'll tell him no, she needs to learn her lesson and so on and so forth. She's way too mature for her own good, although she is cheating.

See y'all next time. (I can't believe I just used "y'all.")


The Office
Episode airing on 10/12/06 (because I don't know the name, okay)

Today's episode centered around the grief that Michael Scott (Stevel Carell) felt when his old boss died and all of his many attempts to share his grief with his co-workers. As he told the camera (and I'm paraphrasing here):

"There are five stages of grief and right now everyone is in denial, which is the first stage. The last stage is acceptance and before that is depression. So my goal today is to get everyone into acceptance with their grief, but if we can't do that, then I at least want to get them all depressed."


Highlights also include Dwight and Michael's attempts to design a robot memorial for the deceased. However, Dwight decides it should be a 2/3 life-sized robot "in case it turns on us."

Regular viewers of The Office know that Jim Halpert has taken up residence at a separate branch of Dunder-Mifflin where his own story continues. His new co-workers range from the Cornell-educated crazy careerist Andy to the cute but competitive Karen. Last week's episode showed Karen and Jim having a moment and that little spark got a lot of fuel in this week's episode. Jim is asked to help Karen fix up some mistakes in her work. Despite her annoyance at this, Jim helps her hunt down her favorite snack and they get along with borderline coyness/flirtation. There is a definite possiblity of romance here.

Meanwhile, the other half of the Jim/Pam romance (that would be Pam), is again being wooed by her ex-fiance Roy. There doesn't seem to be too much behind it yet, but the seeds exist for a rekindling (cool, mixed metaphors).

Another great episode from the Office and I foresee some potential love connections developing. All the pieces are in place for possible relationships between Pam and Jim, or Jim and Karen, or even Pam and Roy. Keep watching or check back here for my own take on upcoming episodes.

What what Jesus Do - if he had the superpowers from Heroes?
A few days ago I previewed several of the more interesting television shows from this new season. You can check the previews out here if you missed them. But after watching Heroes, I had to wonder what the true reality would be if you discovered you had the powers depicted on the show. For example, people are people and it'd be unreasonable to expect everyone not to use their powers to check out really attractive women using the potty (to use a completely random example). Because this kind of thing is important to me at this point in my life (don't ask), I'll tell you the possible real-life implications of these powers that Heroes probably won't delve into.

Here's a list of the Heroes' abilities:
-Ability to predict the future (only when on a drug high)
-Criminal/Devious Alter Ego (only available during times of stress)
-Ability to manipulate time and one's own location
-Reading Minds

The power of flight is an old standby in comics, cartoons, and wish fantasies. It's also wildly overrated. Unless you're invulnerable in addition to being bird-like, you're basically just counting down the days until you have a major crash or beat down you're probably not going to flap away from. Let's count some of the things sharing sky you're so happily soaring through: birds, airplanes, helicopters, tall buildings, and trees are just a few examples. Yes, several items on that list don't move and the others are pretty darn large, but it doesn't take much at high speeds to kill a flying idiot. If you manage to head-butt a bird at 60 miles an hour, that's probably going to leave a mark, much less running into a traffic helicopter. And let's not forget that the only navigation system a flying person has is their own eyes. No radar, no air traffic controller, no evolutionary sense of flight control (okay, maybe this one, but I wouldn't count on it), nuthin'. So that ability to fly doesn't mean so much unless you've got some kind of navigation system and damage protection and by that point you're probably better off taking a plane.

(note to readers: I think I might've railed too much on flying powers, but if you couldn't tell already I'm kind of afraid of heights and I really dislike flying.)

The Ability to Predict the Future or Most Awkwardly described Power, Ever
In Heroes, the guy who predicts the future can only do so while taking heroin (or is it cocaine? I can never keep up on my drug knowledge) and then painting what he "sees." If I were this guy, I'd probably experiment with other drugs to get the same effect. Maybe he only has to get really, really drunk before he gets all prophetic. It wouldn't be the first time a drunk person thought they could see the future. I can picture it now.

"Hey baby...
You know I can see the future? *hiccup*
Yeah, it's awesome. *burp* F-ing awesome, man!
Like right now, I can see you and me going into the back and you take off your - *throws up*"

On the plus side, you might get the occasional sports bet out of this one. Okay, maybe there's a silver lining in there after all.

I really like this power. You can do pretty much anything using this power and not have to worry about dying or even losing a limb. If you've ever seen that show Highlander, that was one of my beefs. Those guys couldn't die unless their heads got chopped off, but if their hand got cut off and they still survived, they had to go through the next ten centures of life without that hand. That would really suck. So the good thing about this power is that you don't have to worry about losing limbs. But you have to wonder if this power also prevents things like baldness or STDs. Because it'd also suck to go through forever (I'm assuming invlunerability means you won't age too) wearing a wig and discharging all the time. So even if you're invlunerable it's a good idea to use protection.

Criminal/Devious Alter Ego
This is an intriguing yet ultimately frustrating power. Why? For starters, you never know what's going on, and this power basically has control of you. In the show, the character's life is threatened and next thing she knows, she's waking up hours later after killing everyone and then disposing of their bodies. Also, there's evidence that she's done this before under the control of her devious alter ego. But where's the fun in that? I'm not saying that killing someone is cool or even laudable (I also don't condone it for obvious legal reasons), but if you do do it and it's somewhat justified (he can't cut you in line like that!) at least you want to get some satisfaction for it. On the flip side, I wonder how this power gets triggered and what the alter ego is capable of. I think it'd be pretty funny if every time you got bills you mysteriously black out and then two years later you get thrown in jail for tax evasion and suspicion of child molestation. I mean, maybe your alter ego didn't pay his/her taxes and maybe he or she tapped some underage ass, that's not exactly a plea that'll fly in the legal system. So my final verdict is that this power is intriguing but doomed to end in prison.

Manipulation of time and space
The possibilities of this power are nearly limitless and it's especially captivating because it's relatively unexplored. In the Time Machine, the protagonist can travel anywhere in time but without being able to adjust his physical location. The Japanese guy in Heroes can do both and without the aid of a machine. Obviously there's the opportunity here to do some really nasty stuff. Commit any crime you want and then when you get thrown in jail, just turn back the clock and get the hell out of there. You could also try to help save people and do nice stuff, but you'd have to be extra careful not to get killed. Let's say you lose an arm, maybe you can go back in time and get that arm back and fix it. If you're dead though, you're dead. So the best defense here is anticipation and avoiding stupid mistakes. Even when you're messing around you'd have to be careful. Somehow you get it into your head to teleport to Mt. Everest. If you do that immediately, you wouldn't have the necessary amount of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the rest of your body and you'd go unconscious in a matter of minutes and die.
But with this power, you'd probably be the shiznit crime fighter. Hear about a crime, go to that location, freeze the time and right the wrongs before they happen. But once your notoriety increases, you have to start watching your own back.

And the final power...

Mind Reading
If you've stuck with me this long, you're probably reading for a break. All I have to say about this power is, handle with care. All the information you're getting from this one is from other people. Even when people discuss themselves and their own wants and desires they're wrong a considerable amount of the time. So when you're wife thinks, "Why won't he spank me anymore?" She may still get creeped out when you slap her booty. How embarrassing if you caught somebody fantasizing about you, acted on it, and then got slapped with some child molestation charge (why does it always come back to child molestation?). You'd be a good interrogator, sure, but this power would probably screw with your personal life. Although you might be pretty good at picking up one night stands. So there's that at least.

So these are my own takes on the powers from Heroes. But what would you do with these powers? Rob a bank? Catch O.J. in the act? Molest a child? Please post it.


30 Rock
Last year the 49ers won their first game and then lost their next 5 en route to a 4-12 season. Sure, everything looked rosy after that first game with that big, shiny W up there, but you just couldn't be sure if deep down inside they still needed another year to not suck. Unfortunately, I'm getting that same feeling with 30 Rock.

And after looking at the comments from the NBC blog, I'd say that most viewers are with me on this one. Two out of the first three comments on NBC's 30 Rock blog were downright mean spirited while several others had more praise for Tina's past accomplishments than her current work.

So why so much negativity?

The Bad
Supposedly this is a comedy show that takes place behind the scenes of a comedy show. Unfortunately, it runs a lot like the new SNL episodes; funny in brief moments followed by uncomfortable pauses where you have to sit and wait for the next laugh. You see that Dane Cook SNL episode? Then you know what I'm talking about.

Obviously this is a new medium for Tina to be involved in so I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. Still, the pacing and the funny (yes, "the funny") was uneven at best. I had a couple laugh out loud moments ("Here's that hemorrhoid cream you asked for"), several strained chuckles and a gasp when my Sprite went down the wrong way but that had nothing to do with the show so I probably shouldn't even have mentioned it.

But still, there's room for hope.

The Good
Alec Baldwin has proven his comedy chops at SNL (and also State and Main - or am I the only person to have seen this gem?) and he's got several good lines in this project. His character is already clearly established as the gruff, take-charge executive without a real clue how to get the job done or talk to anyone without being insulting.

But more than anything, the best thing going for this show is Tina Fey. She proved that she can write a joke with the best of them (Mean Girls) and she even showed that she could deliver them too (SNL Weekend Update). Now it's time to prove she can do it all over again.

The Delicious
Tina does some freak dancing at a strip club. Also, Tracy Morgan pauses in the middle of a heart-to-heart to urinate in public.

The Verdict: I'm watching it next week and crossing my fingers for a winning season.


Boob tube has good shows, no boobs
Not since high school have I sat down and actually watched consecutive episodes from the same show. During college my awake hours were way too irregular to catch weekly shows and after that I was in a different country with other things to do (plus my tv had like 3 channels). But now, there's absolutely nothing in the way of me and my television and, I have to say, I like what I'm seeing. Here are a few of my takes on the boob tube's offerings.

The Good
James Woods is an incredible actor and slips into the anti-hero role with all the flair and smugness that makes him such a great bad guy. The supporting cast features a standard group of cliche-ridden lawyers but they smartly give Woods enough space for him to be evil, brilliant, and cocky all while being the good guy. Plus, his daughter is really cute, even if her character is pretty unrealistic with Yoda-like wisdom.

The Bad
So far the show's theme is "Trial of the week," and there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of continuity from episode to episode. More than anything, we see the laywer back ups develop a bit and this isn't really all that great of a thing. I'd much rather see Woods' attractive boss strike up some kind of relationship with him. I'd watch that.

The Delicious
Woods' lawyer character blackmails his daughter's driving instructor into passing her. What a cool dad!

The Good
This show answers the question, "What would ordinary people do when thrust into extraordinary circumstances?" Seeming unrelated people throughout the world (read: the U.S. and Japan) discover that they have unique powers. The most intriguing characters are the down-on-his-luck beat cop who can read people's minds, the sweet but too-hot-for-her-own-good cheerleader who's invulnerable, and the nerdish Japanese office worker (or "salaryman" for any japanese readers out there) who can manipulate time and space. First they explore their powers and only time will tell what the hell they do with them besides picking up women and impressing friends at parties.

The Bad
So far there's a lot of intrigue (is this mysterious Sylar person a possible suppervillain? and how is he connected to the dead professor who theorized about the emergance of superpowers?) and a possible evil plot (New York go boom?) but not a ton of payoff.

The Delicious
While a jock tries to rape her, the invulnerable cheerleader gets a huge pokey branch impaled into her skull. How embarrassing.

Two and a Half Men
The Good
Charlie Sheen drops clever quips at the expense of his live-in brother. Said brother's little kid drops clever quips at the expense of everyone else. As you may guess, there are a lot of clever quips on this show, not to mention a lot of attractive women. Both of them do a good job.

The Bad
Unfortunately, newer episodes seem to include much less of both the quips and the women. I don't want to seem shallow here, but I'd at least like to see one of the two.

The Delicious
Lines like this between Charlie and his brother Alan...
Charlie: Drugs! Get me drugs!
Alan: No. Medication will only mask the pain.
Charlie: Fine, mask it! Give it a cape and let it fight crime, I don't give a damn!

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
To be perfectly honest, I've only seen about half of a single episode so while I'm not exactly qualified to comment on this show, I wasn't exactly qualified to comment on any show anyway.

The Good
As far as I can make out, this is a somewhat dramatic, somewhat funny, somewhat "realistic" take on the behind the scenes of a sketch comedy show. I've heard it described as being similar to "West Wing" and that seems doubly true since it has a lot of the same lighting and camera tricks and that guy Bradley Whitford. Also, Matthew Perry actually seems kind of edgy and funny again. Like most people, I stopped watching Perry about a decade ago when "Friends" became "Group of buddies who are a lot better looking than you but slightly less funny."

The Bad
I'm going to go with the whole, resembles the West Wing thing. I never did watch that show on account of it's occasional discussion of politics.

The Delicious
Matthew Perry makes a joke and a laugh track is not forced to play against it's will.

The Class
The Good
A reuinion of former 3rd grade classmates (now all in their mid to late 20s) brings a lot of people back into each other's lives, bringing with them the possibility of romances, fights, and varied relationships with one another. Hilarity ensues. One Funny Situation: Former flame has a one night fling with her old boyfriend (who still lives at home with his mother). While attempting to call it off, the old boyfriend inadvertantly gets hired by the new husband (a hall of fame quarterback, no less) to work on his home for the next 6 months, and, also inadvertantly, the old boyfriend becomes the new husband's best friend. Good stuff.

The Bad
While most of the relationships are filled with attractive people and good natured repartee, one of the relationships is now veering into the disturbing realm of drama. Drama wasn't what I signed on for when I momentarily paused my channel surfing.

The Delicious
The possibility of sexual tension between the hall of fame football player, his wife, and his new best friend. Rawr.

Ugly Betty
I don't have anything against this show, other than it's incredibly fortunate premier after The Devil Wears Prada (which I liked), it's "feel good" story, the constant mentioning of Salma Hayek as a producer, and the fact that it's on at the same time as my favorite tv show, the Office. So other than those reasons, it's probably okay. I also have the feeling that I'd like this show more if I was a fugly woman. Oh well.

The Office
The Good
This show is the real deal. Completely ordinary, daily-grind-office work has never been so damn funny. I realize that could come off as being very sarcastic, but it's actually awe you're hearing (or reading, if you want to get literal). The show's satirical edge is honed razor sharp and The Office has such a unique and eclectic cast that comic genius Steve Carrel is simply the first among equals. Rainn Wilson is truly a breakout star as the delusional and wildy hilarious Dwight Schrute. Here's a gem from him, while commenting on an attractive woman:
The purse girl hits everything on my checklist: creamy skin, straight teeth, curly hair, amazing breasts. Not for me... for my children. The Schrutes produce very thirsty babies.
There's also a plethora of office romances that range from the touching and soul mate variety (Pam and Jim) to the deeply disturbed (Dwight and Angela) to the train wreck waiting to happen kind (Ryan and Kelly), to the so sad it goes beyond pathetic and back into funny kind (Michael and Jan).

There's a lot of pathetic, a little romantic, some creepy, a lot of hilarity, and a whole lotta good television on this show.

The Bad
As with any award winning show, there's a lot of pressure to perform after a successful year. The Office won a lot of awards last year and the bar has been officially raised.

The Delicious
After the boss, Michael, has burned his foot in a George Foreman grill, his trusty lietenant Dwight drives off to rescue him, only to crash into a pole, suffer a concussion, throw up on his car, walk around in a daze, get back into his car and then continue with the rescue attempt.


My Facial Hair Adventure or How I learned to stop shaving and love my man-hair
I usually prefer to go with a couple days worth of stubble as a relatively easy and painless claim to masculinity (The obvious alternative being having a girlfriend). It brings a sensitive, yet dangerous flavor to my baby soft skin.

But last week I decided to take the plunge into a hairy new domain. A domain previously occupied by the likes of Don Johnson and George Michael. A domain I call "The Hairy Domain." Countless websites exist on the internet that teach men (in my own mind I pretend this applies to me) how to grow that perfect beard/goatee/soul patch/pubic hair. Most sites agree that the entire facial-lawn should be grown out for at least one entire week and several state that no blade should near the facial hedges for at least 6 weeks.

6 weeks seemed like a daunting task, but I had nothing to lose. I put my electric razor down and went back to watching the Princess Diaries.

I lasted 10 days.

That may not seem like a long time, but 10 days without shaving is a very long time for a guy who had never before gone beyond 5. I itched and scratched and I feared waking up, looking in the mirror, and seeing Matthew McConaughey's godawful scrotum-hair beard staring back at me. Well, this never happened, but I did end up looking mildly vagrant and flagrantly unemployed.

So this afternoon I went into my bathroom, grabbed my razor and went to work.

Initially I meant to shave everything off and forget about the entire experiment. But my nerves steadied and I went about sculpting my face-hair into a reasonable design. Of course, I took frequent breaks to look at googled photos of goateed men for inspiration. I also took several test pictures of myself with my camera, peering this way and that and smiling as if I were seeing an old friend for the first time in a while.

"Oh hi Ted! How are you?"
"What? I look different? Well, yes thank you I have been working out, but I've always been this ripped. I guess you never noticed before."
"What's that? You think I look like - like Matthew McConaughey? You goddamn bastard!"

It took almost forty minutes, but I'm reasonably pleased with the results.

I settled on a smaller moustache that extends out to the "smile lines" (a phrase I saw frequently on goatee websites) with a bottom thatch of hair that is rounded about my chin with a little extra on the sides. I find it rogueish and only faintly porn-starish (or is it pornstar-ish?).

I have no idea how long this facial-do will last, but I'll keep you updated. As if you really do want to hear about my facial adventures.

Also, if you have facial hair adventures you've been dying to share (there's gotta be at least one out there), please do so.