Sunday, August 31, 2008

And in this corner: Governor Sarah Palin!

Like many of you, I was at work when John McCain announced his VP choice on Friday, so I didn't get to see the news conference. I decided to search for the speech online. Here it is for those of you that might have missed it.

My fellow Americans. I come to you today with news the world has been waiting for; I have chosen my running mate for the 2008 Presidential Election. And guess, what: it's a woman!
Come on out here Governor Sarah Palin! Yes my friends, the Democrats aren't the only party with a feisty dame in politics. Nevermind that she has no foreign policy experience. Just look at her? She's hot! She's so much hotter than Hilary!

My democrat friends, I know many of you are feeling alienated by your party. After all of your hard work and dedication to Senator Clinton, you feel like you've been left out in the cold in favor of this brass rock star. Well have I got a treat for all of you. If you thought you liked Hilary, you'll love Governor Palin. She's got breasts and a vagina just like Hilary! Nevermind the fact that she probably would disagree with Hilary on every issue that's important to you and even called her a whiner.

Yes Governor Palin thinks creationism should be taught in school, yes she doesn't think humans are the cause of climate change, and yes I had only met her once before picking her for my VP, but come on, check out that rack, eh? She even makes Cindy jealous! And please, do not worry that Governor Palin is unsure of what a the duties of a Vice President are, come November she'll know exactly what is expected of her.

For critics that would say this is a cheap attempt to pandering to Democratic voters, I would like to remind you that when I was a POW we didn't have luxuries like women. I spent many nights in the arms of my fellow POWs waiting for a day to lead this fine nation, and with Governor Palin at my side this might finally be my chance.

My fellow Americans, on November 4th make the right choice when you enter that voting booth. No, you won't be able to vote for Hilary, but this is almost just as good!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

5's a Crowd

Sigh. It's happened again. We've fallen in love with a cat.

There is a Pet Smart not far from our house. We seem to end up there once a week so Leslie can buy something for her fish. Typically she'll poke around in the store and I'll walk to the Toys R Us next door. After a few minutes in the toys aisles, and being disgusted with their crappy Star Wars display, I'll retrieve Leslie from Pet Smart before she attempts to purchase a 10 gallon tank.

After a few minutes in Pet Smart together we typically make out way to the pet adoption section. There they have a pretty little cat named Sylvia. It's a simple black and white cat, but when you pet her she quickly falls in love with you, as I'm sure she does with everyone that goes in there. However, this 3 year old cat is having trouble getting adopted in a sea of adorable kittens. She's been there for going on two months now. And we feel awful about that.

Truthfully, we probably would have swept up the cat a month ago, but on her little information card it says she has dominant issues with other female cats. Being the our female cat Zam doesn't try to assert dominance over anything, we wonder if it's possible to incorporate the cat into our home. Then of course the realization that we'd then become a four cat, one dog, and two fish family, and that's a lot. I know the fish don't usually count as pets in most homes, but in our house they require the most upkeep. Christ, the idea of cleaning a four cat litter box alone makes me squirm.

I don't know what we're going to do here. Leslie's going to contact the agency and see if they'll let us give the cat a trail run. More news to follow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gum ball of DOOM!

Leslie and I went to the mall tonight. She wanted to pick up some jeans. As we near her store I figured I would delay the inevitable boredom and check out the gum ball stand. The colorful orbs called to me from their glass prisons, begging to be released and chewed on until their flavor was gone. I fished a quarter from my pocket and circled the stand, deciding which flavor was best, knowing full well whatever I would probably not taste like what the makers intended. I settled on the banana strawberry gum ball.

As you might imagine, it tasted like crap. I may as well have wadded up a piece of paper and dipped it in surgery water. But whatever, it was serving it's purpose. Until I noticed I was having trouble chewing it. I suddenly noticed it was sticking to one of my top molars. "That's odd," I thought as I worked the wad away with my tongue. It was then I realized the gum had adhered to one of my fillings. I just got my fillings a couple years ago so they're the fancy white ones and not the dark silver jobs I had growing up. As I forced the gum to the other side of my mouth, I suddenly remembered the filling in the same place on the opposite side. Of course it was already too late. I sat in the husband chair in the fitting room picking the neon colored gum from my teeth, cursing the manufactures and pledging my revenge. The whole way home I tried to free the little sticky piece with my tongue but to no avail. When we got home I went to work with my fancy electric toothbrush, and that got most of it, but I can still feel some of it back there, and I see some flossing in my future.

How ridiculous this whole situation was. I got depressed at the realization that I'm only 28 and I already need to worry about foods sticking to my dental work. Isn't that the kind of think seniors are concerned with? you can't really see it in the photo, but it's there, and what little is there is enough to cause a huge annoyance. And why does the roof of my mouth look like an alien?

Sigh. I need a cupcake.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Clone Bores

Ask anyone that knows me what I like and chances are Star Wars will be one of the first things they say. I grew up watching the original three films, or the Holy Trilogy as they're referred to in our house. At a very young age George Lucas had a tight grip on my heart, and my parents' wallets. When it was announced that the new animated Clone Wars was going to grace the big screen, I was all a tingle in my gentlemen parts.

The more I saw the trailers and read the reviews, the more worried I became about this film. It certainly didn't have the media blitz attached to it you'd expect from a Star Wars film; I suppose Warner Brothers also wasn't expecting much from the film.

Entertainment Weekly
gave the film an F and said George Lucas is becoming, "the enemy of fun." I tried to hide the issue of the magazine from Leslie but unfortunately she found it. The New York Times said, "
this new “Star Wars” saga (II.5?) completes the franchise’s divorce from photography-based cinema, as well as from any relationship to credible human feeling."

Doubt began to set in amongst the household. Even Prickers was seen sulking in the
corner, a Clone Trooper tucked tightly
in his paws. Everyone was turning against me, but like a Jedi facing the Sith, I would not be deterred. I had to see this movie. So I forced Leslie into the car and locked the door, and we went to the theater.Sadly, the world was right. The movie was pretty damn bad. I have defended the Star Wars films since the prequels started coming out, and I still stand behind my claim that Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is an amazing film. But this? This is just garbage. This film should have never happened. Not only is this film an insult to Star Wars nerds everywhere, it's an affront to anyone with a working set of eyes and ears.

The plot centers around a boring adventure of Mannequin Skywalker and padawan, Miley Cyrus. Jabba the Hutt's son is kidnapped and these two plucky Jedi are charged with his rescue. Along the way they encounter Sith, bumbling robots, and a baby Hutt that likes to burp. Sorry kids, no grown men getting kicked in the balls. There is also no explanation as to how this film fits into the existing Star Wars continuity. I mean, Episode III takes place after this, and Anakin's new padawan Ahsoka is no where to be found in that film. I'm pretty sure there is more Clone Wars to take place after this, but who really cares.

I really feel like the film makers decided to put out this contrived nugget of disappointment realizing that it would be a blockbuster regardless of how awful it was, and sadly they'll be right. The theater wasn't that full, but those that were there had little kids with them, who were definitely the target audience of this film.

If nothing else the film looked pretty. They could have taken the boring route and just made them look real, but instead they gave the characters a unique style. Sadly, the studio hardly holds a candle to seasoned computer generated filmmakers such as Pixar.

So yeah, this was a big bummer for me. I hope we can expect better things from the live action Star Wars series that's planned to come out in the future. Avoid unless you are under the age of ten.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me

I wonder how many blogs have started with that very same title. Who the hell has time for originality any more.

Last weekend Leslie and I traveled to Athens, Georgia to see The Hold Steady. We had never been to Athens before, and The Hold Steady was playing there on a Saturday, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to go up there
for the weekend. They were performing at the 40 Watt Club, famously known for being the starting point for R.E.M.

Athens is pretty cool, but much smaller than I had anticipated. It's a college town, and being that the semester hasn't started yet, the town was relatively dead. There were a couple cool shops. There were not one, but two indie record shops, and there was a comic book store that looked like it had gone through an earthquake moments before we got there.

But if you're reading this post you probably don't really care about Athens, and you want me to get right to the good stuff: the show.

Leslie and I have been fans of The Hold Steady for a little while now. We missed two other opportunities to see them because they were in town when we weren't, so there was no way we were going to miss this show. This time they would not escape our grasp!

The show wasn't as packed as I feared it would be. the 40 Wat
t is probably the smallest venue I've been to in Georgia. It reminded me of the smaller clubs I went to in Connecticut. The opening act was The Loved Ones, who we had seen open for NOFX a few years back. They remain refreshingly mediocre.

The Hold Steady hit the stage and nary a hipster wasn't on their feet and ready for the performance of their lives. Lucky for all of us Craig Finn and co. didn't disappoint. It was the greatest shows I had seen in a while. They played a ton of my favorites and a few songs I had never heard before. It would be difficult for me to pick a highlight from the night. The setlist included Stuck Between Stations, Chips Ahoy!, Stay Positive, The Swish, and Ask Her for Aderall, just to name a few. There are some pretty great 'Woah's in Slapped Actress and the entire audience chimed in to sing along with the band. They played two encores!

You really get this feeling that The Hold Steady are in touch with their fans. They act like they're more of fans then musicians themselves. They knew what songs people would like to hear, and slipping three B-sides into the act certainly is a way to pander to the diehard fans in the crowd.

Leslie was kind enough to snag one of the posters off of the wall of the club for me. It was just a simple gig poster, the kind we saw hanging up all over the city and someone had Sharpied the date of the show at the blank space in the bottom. I proudly hung the poster in my cubicle in office as soon as I got to work on Monday morning.

It was a pretty awesome show. I give them my highest possible recommendation if they come to your town. and if they do, be sure to give me a call and see if I'm busy that night.