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Monday, December 28, 2009

5 of My Favorite Things from 2009 (Jen, AKA "List Lady")

Who needs raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens (although, when he’s being nice, Garbage is one of my favorite things…) when you have hot new quarterbacks and awesomely Pixar-mated Asian children???

Here is my list of awesomeness (in no particular order):

1. NPH

Never in my wildest teenage dreams did I ever think I’d have a gay man crush on this guy:
Sure, I watched Doogie Howser weekly and thought that it was cool that he was smart and a doctor and all, but I would have never thought that one day this feather-haired teenager would turn out hot (and gay)!
I love him on HIMYM (even though I haven’t seen all the episodes from 2009 because of school work and a totally obsessive husband who often deletes them from the DVR for fear that it will “fill up and not be able to record the newest Hannah Montana…but I digress)…I loved him as the host of the Emmys (and I don’t even really like the Emmys)…I loved him on Craig Fergueson when I caught 5 minutes of it late on Friday night. Heart. Heart.

In the words Barney Stinson, my love for NPH in 2010 is “…gonna be legend-... wait for it... and I hope you're not lactose intolerant because the second half of that word is DAIRY!”

2. Russell from Up
Now, most people who know me know my (legend-dairy) love of Pixar and animated films. I am married to one of the most film literate people I know, and 80% of my top 10 movies were made for audiences under the age of 12…opposites attract, right? Pixar movies are probably my favorite children’s movies, and when I found out that the lead character in this year’s Pixar blockbuster was going to be an overweight Asian kid, my love for them grew in ways I did not think possible. Russell is awesome. It really irks me that Up didn’t get the love it deserved – I mean, come on, I’m so sick of seeing Lightning McQueen sheets – get over it! What kid wouldn’t want a house-balloon bed with Russell climbing out of it??? Sheesh! Up really was a great movie – check it out if you haven’t already (and not just for the Asian kid).
And if you’re really motivated, you can start on your costume for 2010 Halloween like this kid:
It’s really awesome for fat Asian kids to do this…not quite as awesome for crazy old white women…
3. Mark Sanchez
Staying with the ethnic male theme, I have chosen Mark Sanchez to make my list. There are two main reasons:

1. I love the NY Jets. Always have, always will. Don’t know why (I’m not old enough to remember the glory days with Broadway Joe), but I just always have. So, it’s exciting to have a young, talented (albeit interception prone) quarterback to help rebuild the team and finally allow me to triumph loudly and proudly over all those stupid Patriots fans (we split the series this year, but yeah, yeah, I know, Brady wasn’t Brady, blah, blah, blah).

2. He’s hot. I’m not usually into Latino/Hispanic men, but he’s hot. He has caused some revisions to my top five list. I’ll let this next picture say the rest:

4. Disney Karma

I won’t retell all of the awesomeness of our second consecutive summer trip to Disney World - the oppressive heat of Orlando in August, the meal plan which provides WAY too much food for any one human to consume – oh wait, I mean the upgrade to the Grand Floridian fo’ FREE, yo!
Trivia blurg – In “The House Meets the Mouse” episode of Full House, the family stayed at the Grand Floridian. I walked the same ground as the Olsen twins – jealous?

Aside from all the awesomeness – all yuks aside, we had a great vacation – we also had to deal with lots of obnoxious parents and equally obnoxious children. I think every trip we take to Disney world makes us meaner future parents. If we go a couple more times, it’s going to be military school from Day 3 for our future (distant, I’m not trying to make any announcements) child. One particular family really rubbed us the wrong way when we went to Animal Kingdom. They were rude. They lied. The woman touched me in the process of keeping me off of the bus that she lied to get her and her family on. But, in the end, karma won out. Somehow we get in the park BEFORE they did (after taking the later bus) – I saw her out of the corner of my eye and told Matt to run for it so we could beat them in…or just beat them, I don’t remember all of the details…After that, I thought our encounter was over, but I was wrong. Later, while in line to meet Lilo and Stitch, we looked back and they were right behind us, so we had to endure the mom’s bitchy overbearing commands on how to prepare the autograph book – get over yourself. But in the end, we got awesomer pictures and their video camera batteries died. So sad
5. Foody deliciousness

Thanks to Ashley, I have discovered this food blog http://smittenkitchen.com/. Talk about food porn…mmm…food…I’ve made several recipes and they have all been quite delicious. My favorite:
Dark Chocolate Tart with Gingersnap Crust

mmmm….food coma…..

That’s all she wrote…just a few more days in 2009 – hopefully nothing too totally awesome happens that would make me feel compelled to revise this post!

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year (most pointless holiday EVAR)! See you in aught 10.


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Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas from your friends at GEP

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ricky Nelson...
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wednesday Morning Music - Bob Dylan "Must be Santa"



To the ancients of old, Bacchanalia were crazy-ass parties in honor of the god Bacchus. This Christmas season your old (ancient?) uncle Bob has decide to throw a crazy-ass party for his good friend Santa. Should we call that a Santanal? What would a Christanal look like? Bacchanalia, Santanalia, or Christanalia, one thing is certain: you'll feel like shit in the morning.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

7 of My Favorite Things from 2009 (Matt)

It's that time of year again--time for the Giant Electric Penguin staff to reveal their very favorite things from 2009! Sure, 2009 largely sucked tanuki balls, but that doesn't mean there weren't some shining moments in the seemingly never-ending parade of awfulness. Here are my favorite things from a year I can't wait to watch wither and die like a Gremlin in a fountain at sunrise. Enjoy, won't you?

1. Podcasts, podcasts, podcasts: Yes, for me, 2009 was the year I feel in love with the delicate art of podcasting. And I didn't just dip a toe in the water neither. No, I jumped head first without swimmies into the oft times perilous world of podcastery and somehow lived to tell the tale. Heck, I even started up my own podcast with a couple of buddies. I'm fairly proud of the two episodes of the Giant Electric Podcast we released earlier this year and I look forward to putting out more in 2010, as well as premiering the Movie Penguin Podcast in mid-January.

But what were the podcasts that made my dull office job tolerable in 2009? I'm glad I asked.
-SMODcast: The official podcast of film director Kevin Smith and his longtime producer/friend Scott Mosier. I don't like to play favorites--I kind of view the podcasts I listen to regularly as Jim Bob Duggar views the members of his unholy brood--but SMODcast is probably my favorite, my special little guy, if you will. If you enjoy sitting around and shooting the shit with your friends about whatever the fuck and think that you might also enjoy listening to other people do it on your iPod, SMODcast is the right cast for you. From fat puking chick zombies to a detailed synopsis of the Biblical disaster film Holy Christ!, SMODcast has it all and with plenty of swears!

-The Pretty Good Podcast: I don't remember how, but I stumbled across the fine work of Mr. Tim Conway Jr. in early 2009 and was instantly hooked. I didn't know it at the time, but I was listening to the podcast version of a recently defunct radio program out of Los Angeles. Upon reaching the end, I found myself at a lonely crossroads without purpose or direction. What was I to do without Conway's biting sarcasm and blind faith in the power of rabid conservatism? Well, after some failed attempts at podcasting with his former radio partner Brian David Whitman, Conway left the podcasting game, but two members of his radio crew, the delightful Randy Wang and the hilarious and beautiful Gina Grad, struck out on their own. Nearly 150 episodes later, the PGP remains fresh and funny. I use it in place of whatever unfunny morning show zoo crew I used to subject my brain to on the way to work. I'm quite fond of their weekend recaps and their willingness to spend an hour bullshitting about their favorite TV shows. Plus, Gina and Randy are just as loyal to their regular listeners as we are to them. I've written to the show many times and have received a lovely response each time.
-Frosty, Heidi and Frank Uncensored: So, I get to the office around 7:30, push papers around for four hours or so, sadly eat lunch at my desk while staring blankly at the wall, and then fall back into the drudgery for another four hours. I know what you're thinking: "How have you not killed yourself yet? Have you at least attempted suicide? There's no shame in trying and failing. You've just got to keep getting up on that horse. You can do it! Someday you'll kill yourself!" Wanna know my secret to making to 4:30 without the taste of gunpowder in my mouth? Frosty, Heidi and Frank. Not only is their uncensored show great, but I enjoy the daily podcast version of their AM radio program out of LA as well. Talk radio at not only its best, but its most interesting by far. This is the kind of show we need on that joke of an FM talk station we've got in North Carolina, but I digress.

-Malibu Dan and Chrysta: I dare you to listen to The Malibu Dan and Chrysta Show and not fall head-over-heels in love with Malibu Dan. I don't care if you're a bitter old bastard living in a shack in the Colorado wilderness planning the destruction of the entire human race, spend a few minutes with The Monkey and you'll be a change man or woman. Chrysta's great too.

-I Love Movies: Doug Benson. My favorite comedians. Movies. I think you get why it's great.
-Comedy Death-Ray Radio: Hosted by Scott Aukerman, Comedy Death-Ray Radio has in one month become one of my favorite podcasts. The funniest podcast around hands down.

-The Hatecast: If we were to meet I'm certain Amelie Gillette and I would become the very best of friends. We, like, totally hate all the same things!

Other podcasts I listen to regularly and enjoy very much: The Single Life (TM) Podcast with Sam Phillips (R); Battleship Pretension; Langdon Nation; The Adam Carolla Podcast; A.V. Talk; and WTF with Marc Maron.
2. District 9: If regular readers of this blog don't already realize how much I love District 9 by this point, I don't know if I can in good conscience refer to them as "regular." What else can I say about one of the finest sci-fi epics ever?
3. Crystal Castles, Crystal Castles: All right, you got me. I cheated. This album came out last year--March 18 to be exact--but I only discovered it this year. It's been a long time since I've had my mind blown so thoroughly by a record, but Crystal Castles did it so effortlessly, so painlessly, that I almost didn't realize that it had actually happened. Crystal Castles is a sonic nightmare; a cacophony of blips and bleeps punctuated here and there by indecipherable yelping; a melange of melodic garbage vomited up by a friendly autistic robot who might also be kind of gay. Crystal Castles, the "band" and the album, are like a recurring dream I've been having since before I was a fetus and finding them is how I imagine it might feel for dorkwads who claim they've found their soul mate in a Worlds of Warcraft chat room.

Favorite tracks: Crimewave, Untrust Us, Air War, Courtship Dating, Reckless, Good Time
4. MF Doom: Crystal Castles wasn't the only musical act rearranging my gray matter this year. Somehow, for the last 20-some years, I've been fully ignorant to the power and the genius of MF Doom, the metal-masked savior of hip-hop. On a whim, I purchased the Danger Doom album--you know, the one with all the Adult Swim shit on it?--and, upon discovering that it was, well, amaze-tacular, I purchased Operation: Doomsday and--why the hell not--MM...Food, which has since become my favorite Doom album to date. Finding myself surprisingly still unsatisfied, I purchased the Madvillainy and Vaudeville Villain albums. Did I mention that all of this was done in the span of 24 hours? 2009, in my house anyway, was truly They Year of Doom.

Favorite songs: Rhymes Like Dimes, Hoe Cakes, Rapp Snitch Knishes, Potholderz, Doomsday, Sofa King, Space Hoes, Accordion, All Caps, Modern Day Mugging (you can't go wrong with these tracks, man. Trust me.)
5. Drag Me To Hell: Return to form perfection from the master of the genre, Sam Raimi. Silly, gross, fast-paced and scary, Drag Me to Hell had everything, including a demon-possessed goat.
6. The 24 Hours of Horror: The best part about Giant Electric Penguin's First Annual 24 Hours of Horror was the fact that my wife even let me do it. I've been wanting to lock myself in the basement and watch movies all day for a long time and Halloween 2009 just seemed like the right time. Not being invited to any Halloween parties finally paid off. And live blogging the thing was both easy and fun. I sat through my share of shit (The Ruins, the original Last House on the Left for a second time), but I discovered some new favorites as well (Christmas Evil, The Brood). Plus, I learned a lot about hippos. Special thanks to Gabe Sealey-Morris for keeping me company throughout the day.
7. Super Mario Bros. Wii: I've truly saved the best for last. From the moment I put the disc in my Wii video gaming console, I was addicted. The wife and I played for hours the first and second day. Jen then returned to the real world to pay bills, buy food, and take showers. I, however, remained in the basement, sucking at the teat of sweet lady Nintendo. To defeat Bowser, save the princess, and gain access to the exclusive Secret World, I was forced to gather a team of champions (Nathan and Jonathan) and together we beat the shit out of King Koopa and his brood of simpering bastard children. I love the smell of koopa krushing in the morning. Smells like victory. And mushrooms. And a little bit like garlic.

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Stop Already: The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas is a lot like the War on Farts: totally fictional but completely hilarious. Don't get me wrong, war was declared on Christmas several years ago, but as every history buff knows, the Wal-mart Corporation claimed victory and remains to this day the guardians of affordable holiday bliss.

Unfortunately, there remain fully evolved human beings under the impression that some kind of godless jihad has been called against Jesus Christ's birthday celebration and they are prepared to make gigantic fools out of themselves to prove it. Their commander, FOX News talking head Bill O'Reilly, is leading the charge once again this year, providing proof that the War on Christmas is realer than ever in this year's Christmas letter to his fans and followers:

Once again we are in the Christmas season, and the coal-in-your-stocking crowd is back at it. This year the American Humanist Association is putting up bus ads in selected cities that say, "No god? No problem! Be good for goodness sake." The picture accompanying the text shows a group of young people wearing Santa hats. Ho, ho, ho.

A second front was launched by the virulently anti-God group "Freedom from Religion." It is celebrating Christmas in Las Vegas with ads that say, "Yes, Virginia, there is no God."

Nice.

The question is, why bother? Why spend money at Christmas time to spread dubious will among men? The reason, I believe, is that the atheists are jealous of the Yuletide season. While Christians have Jesus and Jews have the prophets, non-believers have Bill Maher. There are no atheist Christmas carols, no pagan displays of largesse like Santa Claus. In fact, for the non-believer, Christmas is just a day off, a time to consider that Mardi Gras is less than two months away.

I am endlessly baffled by the fact that while idiots like Bill O'Reilly are allowed to speak to millions of Americans on a nightly basis and publish volume after volume of hateful drivel, I'm left to wallow in obscurity writing a blog that barely anyone reads. O'Reilly is a fucking moron! He is still under the mistaken impression, and many Christians are as well, that Christmas is strictly a religious holiday. Christmas is an American holiday with tenuous ties to Christianity at best. Sure, for the religious crowd it's a time to gather together and celebrate the birth of Baby Jesus, but for millions of others it's a day to exchange gifts and eat an extravagant dinner. Christmas is for everyone who isn't Jewish, Muslim, or a Jehovah's Witness.

Before I move on, I'd like to take issue briefly with a few of O'Reilly's points.

1. OK, maybe I do agree that it is a little dubious that these atheist groups have chosen the Christmas season to unveil their latest campaign, but is the message really that bad? "Be good for goodness sake?" This phrase alone illustrates beautifully why I personally have lost all interest in religion, specifically Christianity. I can't tell you how many sermons I've sat through at my parents' church during which I've thought, "Wow, this is a really powerful message. I want to do all of these things," and then been turned off in the last five minutes when the congregation is reminded that every good thing we do in life should be done to escape the fires of Hell. Don't donate your time at a homeless shelter because it's the right thing to do. Do it because you'll get a penthouse suite and golf club membership in Heaven. I've embellished a bit, but I heard this once in church. The sermon was about a man who had wanted to give everything he could while he was alive--his time, his money, his support--to various organizations that needed assistance, no matter how big or how small. I'd never been so inspired. I spent my teenage years in church constructing filthy sexual fantasies about my girlfriend during the sermon, so this listening thing was all new to me. Then the minister had to go and mess things up with the whole "extra rewards in Heaven" bullshit. Wow. That was quite a digression. I'm sorry. All I'm trying to say is that we should be good for goodness sake.

2.) You're telling me, O'Reilly, that "Jingle Bells" is a Christian Christmas song? "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town" is about the virgin birth somehow?

3.) To atheists: Is Christmas really just a day off to plan your upcoming trip to Mardi Gras? You don't call your grandma or bake cookies with your kids? You just wake up, piss on a Bible, and make a list of all the different cocktails you want to try next year?
So the War on Christmas is a farce created by FOX News to angry up conservatives. That being said, I am a big fan of the "Merry Christmas" greeting. I want people to wish me a Merry Christmas. I celebrate Christmas, so, you know, wishing me a merry one is kind of a nice thing to do. What some people forget, however, is that not everybody celebrates Christmas. There are a lot of holidays whipping around in the December wind and wishing shoppers, co-workers, and neighbors a "Happy Holidays" isn't a slap to the face of the infant Christ-child's face, but merely a way to not be presumptuous. Plus, there is nothing worse than an angry Merry Christmas. Have you seen this:

Cashier: Here's your bag, m'am. You have a Happy Holiday now.
Annoying Bitch: (angrily) And you have a Merry Christmas!

That's the holiday spirit. I had a guy at work wish me Merry Christmas so many times during a two minute conversation yesterday, I thought he was doing a bit.

Of course, substituting "holiday" for "Christmas" becomes a problem when you consider yuletide accoutrement. Referring to "Christmas trees" as "holiday trees" is probably the wrong way to go. Christmas trees are specific to Christmas, so you can probably just leave that alone. Plus, when you start selling "holiday trees" you get backlash in the form of, well, this: the CHRIST-mas tree, perhaps one of the most disturbing Christmas decorations in the history of man. Yes, celebrate the birth of Jesus by remembering his bloody, horribly death by crucifixion.
Listen, when we get hung up on the fact that the cashier at Old Navy wished us a "Happy Holidays" instead of a "Merry Christmas" and we try to steal Santa Claus away from children whose parents don't align themselves with any particular religion and we plaster city buses with atheist propaganda meant to poke at the perpetually sore ribs of a largely insufferable religious movement just to be assholes, it defeats the whole reason for the season. Now some of you may thing that's Jesus and that's fine. Others of you might believe Rankin-Bass' Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer special is the reason for the season and that too is completely acceptable. Whoever or whatever you feel is the reason for the holiday season, the holidays are a time when we can all stop with the petty bullshit and just get a long for a couple of weeks. So, can we just drop all of this War on Christmas silliness, turn off The O'Reilly Factor, and sing a few damn carols to the residents of an old folk's home, please? 2010 is just a couple of weeks away and we can all get back to hating one another soon enough. It's Christmas, can't we just...

STOP ALREADY?!?!?

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Porn Food Saturday: Erotic Cake

For much much filthier confections visit The London Cake Company Ltd here.

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Favorite Movies Aught by Aught: Part 3

And now our grand finale: my favorite films from the Later Aughts, which is how I refer to the years 2007 thru 2009 (It's true. Ask my friends. They hate it.)!

2007
5. Enchanted
4. Ratatouille
3. Superbad
2. No Country for Old Men
And #1...
THERE WILL BE BLOOD: Not only is P.T. Anderson's masterpiece There Will Be Blood my favorite movie of 2007 (much to the chagrin of my wife), it might be my favorite movie of the last ten years. Choosing a film to take the #1 spot for 2007 was a breeze, however, compared to rounding out the Top 5. What a fucking amazing year in film '07 was: my favorite installment of the Harry Potter series; Hot Rod, a film I regularly jerk off on this very blog; Hairspray, one of the few films I've ever declared "perfect"; Cronenberg's in-a-lot-of-ways superior follow-up to A History of Violence; an epic Tarantino/Rodriguez team-up; friggin' Smokin' Aces; Zodiac; Juno (Sue me. I like Ellen Page.). Obviously, I had my work cut out for me, but I'm proud of my list for 2007. Moving on...

2008
5. Forgetting Sarah Marshall
4. Religulous
3. Cloverfield
2. The Dark Knight
And #1...
WALL-E: I've proclaimed my love for WALL-E enough times on this blog to choke an entire herd of horses, so I'll just let its place in the #1 spot speak for itself.

Nerds: I know that most of you don't like the fact that I placed The Dark Knight in the #2 spot on this list. Please know it was a difficult decision. I could've easily declared another tie, but I was trying really hard not to do that sort of thing (Couldn't be avoided in 2003, I'm afraid.). Too many ties in a year end list such as this one shows weakness to other bloggers. Blogging is a cut-throat game, my friends. You've got to be alert at all times. There is always some sweaty-palmed, Cheeto-dusted slob waiting in the shadows ready to take your ass down. In conclusion, nerds, sleep peacefully knowing that I believe The Dark Knight to be the finest super-hero/comic book movie to date, but in the end I had give the #1 spot to the cute robots in love movie.

2009 (so far)
5. Up
4. Coraline
3. Inglourious Basterds
2. Drag Me To Hell
And #1...
DISTRICT 9: An amazing film. Tragic, funny, action-packed, and gory. District 9 is truly the sci-fi film I always dreamed about seeing when I was a kid. And there's probably some kind of message in there about something too. Probably.

There it is, kids, my favorite films of the last ten years. Feel free to share your lists with us in our comments section or on our official Facebook page. Here's hoping the next ten years are as chock-full of classic films as the last ten.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Wednesday Morning (Christmas) Music: Kids Choir 2000-"We're Having Fun At Christmas"

I'll be honest, I've been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. Apparently, all I needed was the sweet sounds of Kids Choir 2000 to turn my holiday frown into an upside down frown of near holiday joy. Thanks, KC2K for almost getting me there.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

My Favorite Movies Aught by Aught: Part 2

I'm back with my favorite movies from the mid-00's. I know you've been waiting patiently, so I won't make you sift through a bunch of silly nonsense to get to my picks. Although I do have this great story about getting an HJ at a screening of Kung Fu Hustle with my parents, but you don't want that, you just want lists. So, here they are: lists!

2004
5. Spider-Man 2
4. The Dreamers
3. Closer
2. The Incredibles
And #1...
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND: As I made my initial list for 2004, I found myself in a bit of a quandary. Every film I wrote down, I wanted to include on the list. Just look at what 2004 had to offer: Anchorman, the first Hellboy, The Kill Bill Saga: New Moon, Layercake, Intermission, Man on Fire (one of only two movies I've watched twice in one day--tell you what, name the other one in our comments section and you win a special holiday prize), I, Robot, Sideways, Team America: World Police, Sky Captain and the Something-or-Other, House of Flying Daggers...the list could go one...it doesn't, but it could. "How am I to choose," I thought. I consulted my wife who told me she was too busy with things that actually mattered to assist me. I called a suicide hotline, but they got mad at me for tying up the phone line with, I believe the woman said "stupid-ass shit." She didn't sound like much of a suicide counselor if you ask me. Then I did what I always end up doing in these situations: I prayed...to Satan. As usual, Lucifer was no help at all (His favorite movie of 2004 was Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, by the way. Yeah, he's the one who saw it.), so I tried God who suggested Million Dollar Baby and The Aviator, which I liked but didn't love. In the end I followed my heart and picked the best super-hero movie until The Dark Knight existed, a film full of hot naked French people doing it, the one where Natalie Portman plays a purple-haired stripper, the token Pixar flick, and Michel Gondry's brilliant and beautiful story about breaking up and moving on, albeit in the strangest, most Gondry-esque way possible. This movie also reminded me just how much I like Kate Winslet.

2005
5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin
4. Sin City
3. A History of Violence
2. The Squid and the Whale
And #1...
BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN: Heath Ledger's Joker is hands down one of the best performances in modern cinema, but let's not forget his quietly seething portrayal of homosexual cowpoke Ennis del Mar in Brokeback Mountain. Not only was this my favorite film of 2005, but it was also the best film of the year. I don't care what the Academy says, I'd rather watch gay cowboys frolic on a mountainside than a racist Sandra Bullock any day. Fuck, Crash. There, I said it.

2006
5. Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
4. The Descent
3. Stranger Than Fiction
2. Children of Men
And #1...
PAN'S LABYRINTH: I still remember the night my wife (she was my girlfriend at the time) and I saw my favorite picture of '06. It was my birthday and Jen had taken me to Kanki for a massive sushi dinner. I haven't been packed with that much raw fish since my second tour in Vietnam, but that's an entirely different made-up story that I don't have time to get into right now. Anyway, we're filled to the brim with sushi--seriously, if you'd stuck a flashlight into my open mouth you would've probably seen a stack of shrimp tempura rolls rising from my esophagus like the Tower of Babel--and we waddle into the theater, which I'm convinced is going to be fairly empty. "Nobody in this town full of philistines is gonna pay to see a creepy fairy tale for adults, especially when all of the dialogue is in Spanish." Yeah. It was a packed house. So I'm just barely crammed into a seat between my girlfriend and some old dude, and I'm belching and moaning and my stomach's grumbling and feel like I'm going to shit my pants and vomit simultaneously, and yet, it was one of the most rewarding movie experiences I've ever had.

So, that takes care of the mid-00's. Check back in the coming week for my favorites from '07, '08, and '09 So Far. And, hey, hit me with your lists. I'd love to see what your favorites were and ridicule you mercilessly.* Thanks to Jordan for posting his list.

*I'm kidding...or am I?**

**I am.

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Saturday Morning News Bits: mixed drinks, hot teachers, Jon Gosselin, Uncle Jesse, celebrity dish, and racism by Twitter

1. "I'LL HAVE A CORONA AND MY DATE WILL HAVE A RAPE-ON-THE-BEACH, PLEASE."
Who doesn't enjoy a humorously named alcoholic beverage? Recovering alcoholics maybe, but who else? I don't even drink that often and I can't get enough of colorful drinks with equally colorful names. Some of my favorite drink names include the Rowdy Bachelor, the Clit Pickler, Making-Out-With-Your-Uncle-On-The-Beach, Jizzm-Fizzm, and the Back Spackler. I don't know how to make any of these drinks, I don't even want them anywhere near my mouth, I just find the names endlessly charming.

Some party-poopers in Charlotte, NC don't feel the same way, as I learned from this story:

"I was immediately sick to my stomach," said Erin Lederer, a senior at UNC-Charlotte.

What made her sick to her stomach wasn't the food at the Wild Wing Cafe in the University area. It was the name of a drink listed on their menu.

"The idea that a drink can be a 'Roofie Bomb' is condoning rape and date rape," said Lederer.

Roofie is slang for Rohypnol, a sedative that's called the "date rape drug." The drink had been on the menu for about five months.

"I don't know why no one said anything," Lederer said. "Maybe no one said anything because they didn't think it would be worth it."

You got it, Erin. Nobody said anything because nobody gave a shit. It's a stupid name for a fluorescent drink made with bottom-shelf liquor that not even those with the highest tolerance for fruity mixed drinks could stomach, let alone consider ordering. People don't want Roofie Bombs, Monkey Glands, and Savoy Corpse Revivers, they want classic drinks like a Rum & Coke, a Whiskey Sour, or a Hanky Panky. Take the Roofie Bomb off the menu not because it somehow promotes date rape, but because it is probably terrible and guaranteed to give its drinker severe heartburn.

Getting a poorly-named cocktail banished from a menu sounds like something only a college student would give a shit about anyway. Spend a few years in the real world, Erin, slaving away for some heartless boss in a low-level position you have no hope of ever escaping and tell me then if you really care what some chain chicken wing dispensary titles their watered-down cocktails. Chances are you'll leap at the opportunity to guzzle two or five Roofie Bombs after hours just so you can blot out your youthful memories of wanting to making a difference in this piece of shit world. Seriously, get back to me then.
2. BROOKLYN NEW YORK'S TEACHERS OF THE YEAR
Call me old fashioned, but I love a good sex scandal, especially when it involves young female teachers galavanting nude with one another in a classroom during an assembly and being caught by the school janitor. To me, this is the set-up for an extraordinary porn scene, provided the teachers are super hot and the janitor is a muscular, well-hung black man with loose morals.

I can't speak for the physical fitness of Robert Colantuoni, the janitor in the real-life inspiration behind my above porn musings, but from the looks of it, Alini Brito and Cindy Mauro, the James Madison High teachers accused of enjoying one another nakedly, are so unbelievably attractive, it's hard for me to be an objective journalist and simply report the story. Plus, it's kinda difficult to type with one free hand. Oh, snap!

Both teachers were popular (i.e. lusted after) and the story has, not surprisingly, captured the student body's imagination:

The episode is the talk of the school. Students even set up a Facebook group to discuss the shenanigans - and it already has more than 500 fans.

"Now you guys wished we installed
cameras in our classrooms after all hmm?" wrote one student.

More than you'll ever know, unidentified student. More than you'll ever know.

Meanwhile, the school janitor who walked in on the beautiful moment is being a real dick:

Janitor Robert Colantuoni refused to comment Tuesday. "I can't talk about it, I'm sorry," he said.

You're not sorry, you jerk! I want to know what you saw! Were Brito and Mauro totally nude or were they in a half-dressed state? I love when a women is wearing a t-shirt and then nothing on the bottom. Oh, that's nice. Is that what was going on, Bob? Did you catch them in mid-smooch? Did you witness any fondling of the breasts or buttocks? These are the questions America demands you answer, sir! Why do you get to be the only one who enjoys this shit? It's not fair!
3. GOD BLESS YOU, MICHAEL MASON!
A judge in Maryland told Jon Gosselin to shut his stupid douchey mouth this week. It's a Christmas miracle!

A Maryland judge told the former star of "Jon & Kate Plus 8" and current press-starved monster that he must cease making media appearances that TLC, the network that aired his reality show with wife Kate Gosselin and their brood, views as a violation of his production contract, the Washington Post reported today.

Circuit Judge Michael Mason's Thursday ruling is considered a huge win for Discovery Communications, which owns TLC, and is suing Gosselin for breach of contract.


If anyone deserves an extra big present under the old Christmas tree this year it's Judge Mason. C'mon, Ms. Mason, give Mikey that threesome with you and your yoga buddy he's been begging for all year. Doesn't he deserve it?

The story goes on to report that Gosselin has not only lost the support of Hailey Glassman, but also the companionship of veteran douche-nozzle Michael Lohan, who apparently has been sharing some taped phone conversations between he and Gosselin with the media. Gosselin is quoted as saying in one particularly damning conversation with Lindsay Lohan's estranged father, "I put my kids out there to every pedophile on the planet and they never got paid for it." Ew. Party foul.
4. HAVE MERCY
Someone tried to blackmail Uncle Jesse this week! What the hell?

Stamos was allegedly blackmailed for $680,000 by a man and a woman threatening to sell photos to tabloid magazines that, according to Stamos' camp, feature the actor posing with fans.

Posing with fans? Seriously? You have got to be the dumbest criminals since, well, this guy:

Don't worry, Stamos is gonna be OK. The FBI says that the pictures will be made public more than likely, leading this journalist to believe that there's absolutely nothing unseemly going on in any of them. No butt-bongoing or questionable sex-capades with Thai prostitutes made up to look like the Olsen Twins or group orgies with the Beach Boys.
5. "...AND GOD IS EMPTY JUST LIKE MY GIRLFRIEND'S HEAD"
This one's a noodle scratcher. Reports this week have linked bubble-headed former-pop semi-star, Jessica Simpson (who I have never found attractive outside of this single photo) to Smashing Pumpkins frontman/only member Billy Corgan...romantically. Yes, apparently Billy Corgan is "hittin' that." Maybe he's just helping her with her latest comeback, but if that is the case the question remains, why? Why doesn't Jessica Simpson understand that no matter how many times she re-attempts to win our hearts, she will never succeed? We don't need you anymore, Jessica. America has moved on. Christina Aguilera is a stay-at-home mom who keeps to herself, Britney Spears is no longer Yahoo's top search, and you are horrible at everything you try. We're living in the Age of Gaga now anyway.
5. I'M TWEETING OF A MULTI-RACIAL CHRISTMAS...
For some reason "#IfSantaWasBlack" was the top Trending Topic on Twitter all day Friday. Here are some of my favorites, and when I say "favorites," please know that I mean "the most horrifying and racist things I've ever read."

*GettemYC tweeted "#IfSantaWasBlack he would leave a trail of weed an bread crumbs errywhere he go." (Why is Black Santa leaving a trail of bread crumbs? Is it from the sandwich he's eating because his marijuana habit has left him with the munchies? And if he is a fan of pot, why is he dropping his weed everywhere? I would think he'd keep a tighter hold on his stash. And would Black Santa be more inclined to smoke weed than White Santa? I don't think so.)


*chefwaites tweeted "#ifsantawasblack he would give females Chinese slippers." (I'm not up on my urban slang, so I wasn't sure what "Chinese slippers" were and why an African-American Santa Claus would be more inclined to give them as gifts. A visit to the Urban Dictionary proved fruitless. Could chefwaites simply mean these? If so, I'm still confused.)

*rickydew tweeted "#ifsantawasblack he wld b irritated @ Disney cranking out another movie with black ppl depicted primarily as animals." (In this scenario, Black Santa is viewed as some kind of avenging angel sent to Earth to rid the cultural landscape of all negative black stereotypes. Only I think rickydew is referencing Disney's The Princess and the Frog which is about a black princess turning into a frog. I don't think the frog is a metaphor for some negative African-American stereotype. I think she turns into a frog because of magic. If rickydew is concerned with negative racial stereotypes, he need to look no further than the "#IfSantaWasBlack" Trending Topic on Twitter.)

*heckmonwyke tweeted "#ifsantawasblack He would have camels drawing the sled so no raindeer." (I don't get it)

*Esmoov3 tweeted "#ifsantawasblack all da homies in da hood would get a new weapon for christmas." (That's racist. And dangerous.)

*lalabrittxD tweeted "#ifsantawasblack Christmas wud be a much more interesting time of year. I mean an old white sounds kinda rapist-ish to me." (Rapist-ish? When I hear the words "old" and "white" I think of my grandpa or a cuddly rabbit who is getting up there in age but is still a wittle sweetheart, but lalabrittxD things "rapist-ish." So, ever since your childhood, lala, you've associated Santa with a violent sex offender? You're dumb. Oh, and she's white. I'm not sure that means anything here, just thought I'd let you know.)

*mz_iverson tweeted sensuously "#ifsantawasblack i wud let him eat my cookies and drink my milk." (Nice.)

*decap88 tweeted "#Ifsantawasblack John McCain would have a heart attack! 'dammit, another 1'" (Why?)

*And finally, my favorite, AimGunner tweeted "#ifsantawasblack all white ppl wud b jewish."

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Monday, December 7, 2009

My Favorite Movies Aught by Aught: Part 1

The end of another decade is nigh, so it's time to follow in the footsteps of my favorite Web sites and podcasts and unashamedly declare my favorite films of the early-, mid-, and late-2000s. Keep in mind, these may not have been the best movies to appear at your local multiplex over the past 10 years, but they were my favorite and I think that warrants an end of the year/decade special feature.

2000
5. Wonder Boys
4. Requiem for a Dream
3. American Psycho
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
And #1...
DANCER IN THE DARK: I'm a huge Bjork fan and when I got the word from my contacts at the Bjork Appreciation Society that my favorite Icelandic pixie was going to be starring in a musical directed by Lars Von Trier, I almost couldn't contain myself. In fact, I remember my exact words to "Venus As A Boy" at the Society (we only know one another by our Bjork-related code names): "Oh my gosh, I can hardly contain myself." Then there was a lot of squealing.

Some people think Dancer in the Dark is nothing more than a cold, calculated emotion manipulation machine, but where they see deviousness, I see a beautiful film about one woman's struggle to save her son's eyesight as she slowly goes blind herself and falls victim to the deceitful manic depressive cop next door. Dancer in the Dark is more depressing than a crate full of shoeless orphans with cleft palates, but it's also quite moving. Plus, the songs, written by Bjork herself, are some of the best from an artist who only gets better with each album. You can make fun of her swan dress all you want, but Dancer in the Dark is a gripping film that I've watched again and again since 2000.

2001
5. Y Tu Mama Tambien
4. Donnie Darko
3. A.I.:Artificial Intelligence
2. Spirited Away
And #1...
LE FABULEUX DESTIN D'AMELIE POULAIN (or, you know, AMELIE, for short): I like adorable things and Amelie is stuffed to the gills with cute. But Amelie isn't just an exercise in googly-eyed, chubby-cheeked preciousness. Sure, look up the phrase "cute as a button" in the Common English Phrase Book (37th Edition) and you are confronted with a picture of Audrey Tautou, but there is more going on in Jean-Pierre Jeunet's film than non-stop sugary sweetness. Amelie is a quirky love story featuring two shy outsiders who relate to one another through a series of elaborately frustrating games. It's the kind of American indie rom-com story that I've largely grown sick of over the past fifteen years or so, but, I don't know, there's just something about French people doing it that delights me.

2002
5. Lilo & Stitch
4. The Rules of Attraction
3. City of God
2. The Ring
And #1...
PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE: Who knew Adam Sandler had it in him? P.T. Anderson did. A girl I was dating at the time of its release called Punch-Drunk Love "a perfect film" after we attended a matinee one Saturday afternoon. We didn't agree on much in our relationship, but I'd say she was right on the money with this one. Bitch. (FUN FACT: This isn't the only P.T. Anderson movie to score a #1 spot on my list. Can you guess the other one?

2003
5. Dogville
4. Kill Bill: Volume 1
3. Oldboy
2. Lost in Translation
And #1... our first tie!


FINDING NEMO and THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY: I'm cheating here on two levels, but let me explain myself. Firstly, Return of the King was released in 2003, but I chose to recognize the series as a whole here (much like the Academy did), because they really are meant to be viewed as one film. Right? Sure.

Secondly, I tried, but I can't choose between these two films, dudes.
Finding Nemo is still my very favorite Pixar film and The Lord of the Rings is my Trilogy (Eff Star Wars! Yeah, I said it. Wanna fight?).

Anyway, that's pretty much it for this installment. What do you think? Am I out of line? Did I leave off a movie you love? I probably did because this is a list of my favorite movies from the Double O's, not yours. Did you not understand the concept?

I'm curious to know what you think, so why not leave a comment. Take issue with some of my choices or list your own. Let's get a discussion goin'. Let's mix it up!

Next time: My favorite films of 2004, 2005, and...GASP...2006. Oh, boy!


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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saturday Morning News Bits: Meredith Baxter, X-mas uproar, signs from beyond, stupid teachers, stupid students, stupid dentists, Hulk Hogan, and Blake

Listen, I'm not that interested in writing about the whole Tiger Woods Situation because, frankly, I feel it's been flogged to near-death by this point. I just want to make sure I've got the facts straight. Tiger cheated on this lady:
with this lady:
and also this lady, who ironically once forced her boyfriend to appear on a television program called Tool Academy:
Does that about sum things up? Am I the only one who thinks maybe Tiger Woods is a complete idiot?

All right, I seriously do not care at all about this ridiculous story, I just thought I'd comment since it has captured the nation's imagination as of late. Let's get on with the Saturday Morning News Bits!
1. "BOUND BY A SECRET NO MORE" OR "SLOW NEWS WEEK? GUESS WHO'S GAY?"

Hey, Meredith Baxter is a lesbian apparently. Wow. Neat. I think Kevin Smith tweeted it best: "What would we do baby...without muff?"
2. XXX-MAS

A sexy depiction of Christ's birth is causing an uproar in Los Angeles:

Madison clothing store, located at W. 3rd Street and Robertson Boulevard, has put up a nativity scene featuring a scantily-clad Virgin Mary sprawled on the ground with a glittery, golden baby Jesus in her lap.

Three wise men, looking more sexy than wise, surround Mary, carrying gifts from the store.

Some people have complained about the display, calling it risqué.

I don't know. I'm looking at that picture and I'm getting "creepy" more than "sexy." It depends on what your idea of sexy is, I reckon. I don't find faceless scarecrows with glittery plates glued to the backs of their heads sexy, so the Madison's window display neither bothers nor arouses me. Plus, I don't care how scantily clad you make the Virgin Mary or how buff you make the wise men or how much glitter paint you slather on Baby Jesus, there's nothing about the Nativity that screams "sex appeal" to me. And if people are only outraged enough to call the window dressing "risque," is it really that bad?

Said one woman, "The way they have presented Mary in a very provocative position with a baby in her crotch, and that baby is supposed to be Jesus... No."

You are aware, madam, that Baby Jesus actually did emerge from Mary's "crotch" (i.e. vagina) when he was being born into this world, right? I mean, I don't think a miniature version of the Christ Child jump out from behind Mary's ear, ingested a dropper full of magical growth-berry juice, and transformed into the brooding, bearded, blue-eyed Jesus we all know and love today. Like any baby, Jesus plopped out of his mother's vag into a feeding trough filled with hay. Maybe you should crack a biology book, toots.
3. SPEAKING OF RELIGIOUS NUTS...

Ever wondered what Mother Theresa was doing in the afterlife? Well, apparently not much, because she had the time to appear on a cutting board in Boston this week. It's true:

A Melrose woman says her faith and prayers were answered recently when an image of Mother Teresa appeared to her in a coffee shop cutting board.

Wendy Golini, 43, said she knows the story sounds "surreal" but swears that she saw the image of the Roman Catholic nun Nov. 4 after praying to her.

Wait, Golini's prayers were answered? That was the extent of her prayers: to have Mother Theresa make an appearance on a cutting board? If I were Ms. Golini I'd pray for something a lot better than that because she obviously has a direct line to the other side. Just look at that hauntingly lifelike image of Mother Theresa. Maybe I need to start praying to someone other than God for awhile. He still hasn't granted my request to appear in my daily bowl of oatmeal. Mother Theresa just might.

Not to be outdone, the Virgin Mary appeared on a pancake in Glendale, Arizona:
A pancake is bringing peace to one West Valley woman.

Bianca Lopez said she was looking for something quick and easy to cook for her family the day before Thanksgiving.

She came across "Batter Blaster" pancake mix in a spray can and figured that was perfect.

When Bianca made her last pancake of the day, she saw something unique.

She said she recognized it instantly, the Virgin Mary right there on her pancake.

Lopez said seeing the image has brought her peace and comfort.

I know the feeling. Pancakes are a continuing source of peace and comfort in my life too. Mmmm, pancakes.

Also: pancake mix in a spray can? WTF?!?
4. ACT YOUR AGE, NOT THE AGE OF THE CHILDREN YOU TEACH

Brenda Sue Rawls is in trouble! Awwwwwwwwwww:

Brenda Sue Rawls, 50, is accused of using sardine juice, condoms and lubricant to vandalize a mini-fridge, a teacher’s desk and three lockers, according to the affidavit filed in Sumner County General Sessions Court. The incident is alleged to have occurred on Aug. 16.

According to Sumner County Sheriff Bob Barker, the vandalism was allegedly committed in retaliation against a teacher that made comments about Rawls.

Rawls is charged with vandalism under $500, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and criminal trespassing.

Authorities say a seventh grader assisted with the vandalism. After the incident, Rawls and the student allegedly discussed what they had done and returned to the school with air fresheners in an attempt to clean up the lockers, according to the affidavit.


Obviously, Ms. Rawls is a tad unstable. If I vandalized the private property of everyone who made negative comments about me, well, everybody's shit would be fine, because I'm beloved. No one talks bad about me. I don't know where I was going with that.

Well, at least she was fired.

Rawls, who had been a teacher a Portland East, was transferred to Watt Hardison Elementary on July 31.

Dammit. How many times do we have to go through this? Last week it was this guy, now it's Brenda Sue. Who the fuck is hiring this psychopaths? Sigh.
5. SMALL PICTURE ANGERS BEARDED BLOGGER

Charlie Patton is in trouble! Awwwwwwwww!

15-year-old Charlie Patton says she made a weird face because she was trying to make people smile. On photo day, she said the photographer hesitated before taking the snapshot.

"The camera girl looked at my mom and said, 'You alright with that, mom?'" Patton recalls. "My mom said, 'Sure, of course.'"

But administrators didn't approve of the image. School officials are comparing her expression in her school picture to gang signs.


Firstly, the picture is awful, but since the awfulness is intentional, the picture is awesome, but since it is the brainchild of an irritating 15-year-old girl, the picture is kind of lame.

Secondly, I don't get the correlation between Charlie's yearbook photo expression and gang signs. I thought a gang sign was primarily associated with the hands and fingers. Are there gang members in San Antonio who greet each other by widely opening their mouths like a couple of Muppets? If so, then I agree with James Madison High School officials who have decided to remove Charlie's picture from the yearbook. I suspect though that gang members in San Antonio do NOT greet each other in this fashion, so, to you, James Madison High School, I say, get a life.
5. THE SECRET LIVES OF DENTISTS

Ladies and gentleman, allow me to introduce you to the Worst Father in the World Ever:

A dental surgeon is under arrest after the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office says he left his 8-month-old baby in his running vehicle while he went into Flashdance, a local strip club.

Deputies say Omar Abdo entered the club shortly after midnight. A deputy on a foot patrol in the 4400 block of Purdy Lane noticed a white Jeep Cherokee with all four windows rolled up, doors locked and the keys in the ignition with the engine running. The deputy could hear a baby crying from inside the vehicle. He noticed a baby seat in the back of the vehicle with a white blanket partially covering the seat.

Parking lot security told deputies that the driver of the vehicle was inside of the club. Once inside the club, deputies met with management who pointed out Abdo. According to deputies, Abdo was dressed in dental scrubs and sitting in the company of an adult entertainer.

Abdo had a second set of keys on him which a deputy used to open the vehicle. The 8 month old baby was found face down crying hysterically in the bassinet in the back seat.


Omar Abdo is without a doubt one of the worst pieces of human filth on the face of this Earth. When your admiration for strippers outweighs your interest in the safety and well-being of your child, well, I think that you are a perfect candidate for my latest idea: curbside sterilization. I haven't worked out all the kinks yet, but the procedure is pretty simple: if a baby is discovered lock in your car while you are attending Happy Hour at a local bar, enjoying the companionship of a prostitute, or stuffing ones into a half-naked, unwed mother's sweaty g-string, the police are completely within their rights to pummel your penis and scrotum with either their nightsticks or tasers until your genitalia is rendered unusable. Easy as Granny's apple pie.
7. HULK HOGAN TO MARRY FUTURE-BROOKE HOGAN

Yep, Hulk Hogan, that old scamp, he finally mastered the art of time travel and journeyed to the near future to convince his daughter to return to 2009 and become his wife. Frankly, judging from his former wife's post-divorce shenanigans, I'm surprised he didn't go back in time. Defying all laws of physics, Future Brooke and Present Brooke have become fast friends and can be found outlet mall shopping every other weekend. Congrats Hulk, you pervy son of a bitch.
8. AND THIS ISN'T REALLY NEWS, BUT...

...did you see what they had Blake Lively wearing on the Thanksgiving episode of Gossip Girl this week? I had to change my boxer briefs three times. You can't get the full effect in the above photo, but it was sort of this skin tight catsuit thing with a zipper that stopped at the top of her ass crack. Kudos to you, CW, for stealing my attention away from Leighton Meester for the first time (Although, damn, did you see those tights Meester was wearing? Holy shit!). Lively's inappropriate Thanksgiving get up almost makes me want to watch her on SNL tonight. Almost, but not quite.


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