Monday, July 19, 2010

Words of Wisdom





More completely accurate and hilarious stuff here...,6502/

But really, go see Inception. It was great.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Quote of the Day

I believe that if, at the end of it all, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this, and am happy I lived long enough to find it out.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Lists Lists Lists

I like lists. Like a photo, they jog my memory and give me a snapshot of the things I loved during a certain period of time. And other people's lists give me motivation to update my Netflix queue/shopping list/etc. So I've been reading a lot of "best of" lists, and while they're interesting, they usually suck (seriously AV Club, Eternal Sunshine was the best movie of the entire decade?!). Probably because, like the Oscars, the movie lists usually sacrifice comedy and horror for more serious fare. Sure, Dancer In The Dark was a great movie, but I'm never watching that shit again. When I think of what I loved...and what I want to experience again and are my 25 "desert island" movies and albums of the 2000's:

Pan's Labyrinth
The Lives of Others
You Can Count On Me
The King of Kong
Children of Men
Brokeback Mountain
Drag Me To Hell
No Country For Old Men
District 9
Wet Hot American Summer
City of God
Shaun of the Dead
Trick R Treat
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Mulholland Drive
The Proposition
40-Year-Old Virgin
All The Real Girls
LOTR: Fellowship of the Ring

This one is a little weird, because I feel like I listen to a lot more hip hop/dance stuff than what's represented here, but those are usually singles as opposed to albums...

Katatonia - Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Immolation - Close To A World Below
Mew - And The Glass Handed Kites
Agalloch - Ashes Against The Grain
Cynic - Traced In Air
Opeth - Watershed
Wormed - Planisphaerium
Mortal Decay - Forensick
Aesop Rock - Float
Enslaved - Below The Lights
Porcupine Tree - In Abstentia
Necrophagist - Epitaph
Malignancy - Inhuman Grotesqueries
King Crimson - The Power to Believe
Daylight Dies - Dismantling Devotion
Outkast - Stankonia
Rapture - Songs for the Withering
Hellacopters - By The Grace of God
Ghostface Killer - Supreme Clientele
Spawn of Possession - Cabinet
Deftones - White Pony
Virus - The Black Flux
Primordial - The Gathering Wilderness
Hammers of Misfortune - The August Engine
Ulver - Shadows of the Sun

Let the list making continue! I have a spreadsheet for movies watched in 2010 and their ratings. And Twilight Zone episodes. Yeeeeee...

Monday, December 21, 2009

Monday Mini Movie Reviews

Drag Me To Hell
Holy god this was great. So much fun...from the car fight in the beginning to the completely awesome ending. Staples, weird puke, great sound, the fucking goat! I'll be watching this again soon. The rainy grave scene was especially cool. 10/10

Bad Santa
Annual viewing, still awesome.
"I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose"
"I loved a woman who wasn't clean"
"It's a wooden pickle"

Inglorious Basterds
I've been thinking about this one for the last few days (which is a good sign for any movie, right?), and for a movie about Jews killing Nazis, it was empty. Individual scenes were great, but they're wasted by having stuff like the Samuel L. Jackson voiceover, distracting music, and general Tarantino-ness. With all that talk about "The Jew Bear" I was expecting some huge badass, so when Eli Roth came out after all that buildup I was let down. Mike Myers?? There weren't developed human characters...just Jews or Nazis. And however justified, the Basterds were just as sadistic as the Nazis. It seems like Tarantino was using WWII to kinda write himself a blank check. Still, there was some great acting (Landa) and it was super watchable and fun at times. You could see a great movie in there somewhere. I Tarantino trying to make a great movie, or just a fun jerkoff reference-laden "watching Nazis die is awesome" kinda movie? Sometimes I think it's the former...and he would be wrong...but if not, ok. On the whole it was really well done. 7/10

The Village
Yeah, The Happening was completely horrible in many, many entertaining ways, but his premises are always intriguing. I'd rather watch his movies than most stuff coming out of Hollywood. The Village is not a bad movie. When this first came out, I think most people were so focused on the various twists that they didn't pay attention to the relationships between the characters and the themes, which work. The scenes between Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix are beautiful. When he grabs her hand during the wedding party...oh man. Sure, there are many ridiculous, convenient things about this movie. Why does everything in the village need to be historically accurate for 1897? A complete no-fly zone? The retarded dude finds a suit in the floorboards and conveniently knows how to use it? Why didn't one of the elders go get the medicine? Because there would be no movie. But really...those things didn't bother me as much as they should have. It's well acted, the love story is great, it's beautifully shot, and the themes are interesting. It's about human, fear, and hope. That makes up for some of the eye rolly Shyamalan devices. "Magic rocks"?? Come on... 5.5/10

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mew In Chicago - 12/7/09

I rarely write anything inspired by pure hate because, really....why? Plus it takes a lot to get me upset. But last night I was raging pissed like I haven't been in a while. Like "balling up your hands and wanting to punch so badly" mad. I had a perfect Scandinavian evening lined up - heading down to Ikea for some home crap shopping and Swedeballs, and then off to The Metro to see Mew. Awesome. I've loved Mew for a while but never thought I'd see them beacause they're from Demark, so why would they come to the midwest? So when I heard they were playing their own show in Chicago I was very, very excited. After a struggle through traffic (another reason why I have no desire to live in a super big city), we got to the venue right on time and got a drink. The openers weren't completely shitty, which was a nice surprise, and the bass player looked just like a grown up DJ Conner. Awwww.

So Mew starts. They open with the first few songs off And The Glass Handed Kites (my favorite), and sound AWESOME. Unfortunately I have this giant woman in front of me bouncing around with a dumb hat, but ok, it's not her fault she's giant, so I decide to move closer to the stage. There's plenty of room and Mew is now like 10 feet away from me. Since I'm way on the right side of the stage, it's much less crowded. There was space for at least 5 large people around me. So I signal for Holly to come stand up by me, because we're both around the same height at 5'3" and she's behind a super tall guy. And like I said, there's plenty of room. Fucking PLENTY. As I signal for Holly to come up by me, the giant asshole she's behind gives me the "cut off at the neck" "no" signal. I was honestly shocked. Seriously, you're not going to let this tiny woman go in front of you where many people could comfortably fit?? I yelled, "Are you fucking kidding me??!" Maybe I'm used to death metal shows, but shit was not tight at all. You're at a general admission show asshole, this is not the fucking DMV. People might move around, and maybe even touch you. What a giant pussy. Anyway...I have never understood the desire to punch more than I did in that moment. I'm a very, very easygoing person, but this fucking prick and his faux hawk and asshole face had my heart racing. I seriously felt like one of those moms whose fight or flight instinct kicks in and she moves cars to save her childrens' lives and shit. So I yelled at him a little more...I remembered I yelled "that's mean" and pointed out the fact that he had a foot on both of us, and he just looked at me with his smug hipster face (yeah the word is overused but it couldn't have possibly been any more accurate). God I wanted to kill. But he was too much of a bitch to even say anything back to me so it fizzled out and I went and stood by Holly.

So after a few songs of heightened adrenaline levels, I decide that this fuck is not going to ruin Mew for me, so I try to put it out of my mind. About a song later he leaves, we move up, and I instinctively say to the girl who was with him, "Your boyfriend is a fucking asshole". She looked at me with possibly the dumbest face I've ever seen and didn't say anything. I don't even know if she comprehended what I was saying. I'm sure her dumb hair and outfit made her look dumber, but seriously...either defend him or apologize for his actions, but that face...ugh. I think at that point I wasn't really mad anymore, I just wanted her to understand why her boyfriend was an asshole, and maybe learn something about how to treat other humans, but it wasn't getting through. But I guess for the most part if people are assholes, it's because they don't know any better.

Really...Mew was great. Just beautiful. The setlist went something like Circuitry Of The Wolf, Chinaberry Tree, Special, Zookeeper's Boy, New Terrain, Introducing Palace Players, 156, Repeater Beater, Hawaii, Am I Wry? No, Silas The Magic Car, Sometimes Life Isn't Easy, Snow Brigade, Apocalypso, Beach, Louise Louisa. Click here to see some live footage - it was like that with 6oo other people instead of a giant venue in Copenhagen. I got verklempt.

The asshole quotient at this show was higher than I've ever seen, but like I said, maybe I'm just used to metal shows in Milwaukee, where people are actually nice and into having fun. Everything on these people just seemed so put on...from the overly styled hair, ill fitting pants, stupid fuzzy boots, non-prescription glasses, train conductor hats while not train conducting, constant gazes around to see who's looking at them, etc. I just don't see it as much in Milwaukee. I have never been so happy to see the "Wisconsin Welcomes You" sign as I was at about 11:30 last night. I would rather hang out with a million West Allis white trash weirdos with feathered hair and missing teeth than than see another show with Chicago's "indie" crowd. At least they will give you a genuine version of themselves and probably a good time. So take a moment today and be thankful that you can enjoy things without the worry about how you look, who's watching, or how big of a heartless pussy you are. I'm going to listen to some Mortal Decay and maybe even some fucking Amy Grant and it's going to be awesome...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Morning Randoms

The coolest thing I've seen online in a long, long while, and a good morning meditation:
Go get your Cosmos dvds.

Kinda related - my new hero.
"Most people go through life recoiling from its best parts. They miss the enrichment that just a basic knowledge of the physical world can bring to the most ordinary experiences. It’s like there’s a pulsating, hidden world, governed by ancient laws and principles, underlying everything around us — from the movements of electrical charges to the motions of the planets — and most people are completely unaware of it. To me, that’s a shame."

There's something so inspiring about people like Carl Sagan, Carolyn Porco, or even someone like Steve Irwin...they're looking at the world with total wonder and want you to understand what's so wonderful about it. And that feeling comes across so strongly. It seems the more you know about something, the more awe-inspiring it becomes. How awesome is that?


A cool gallery on flickr:
More here:

An awesome set of comedy links:

Andy Richter completely dominated Celebrity Jeopardy. Lesson learned...listen to comedians, not news anchors...

I hope everyone is enjoying this beautiful fall.

Monday, October 05, 2009

For a second I considered attending my 10 year high school reunion next summer. I thought it might be fun to connect with a few cool people and see what the weirdos are up to. But after reading some "What have you been up to since graduation?" posts on our class's Facebook group, I might reconsider. Some excerpts:

Then there was a time that my husband and i thought that we werent going to work and we seperated for about a month but then found out that we were pregnant with baby #3 and that was totally unexpected and really wasnt part of my plan that is for my hubby and i got back together and well lets say that my husband is a brand new man.he has changed soo much sence we got back together and we are stronger more now then ever.

I plan on going back to school for a short time this fall for make up artistery.

My name was at one time Jeffrey Johnson Jr, but that has since changed. My name now is Jereth Weasly James.

I still live at home with my parents upstairs from them. I am still an active bowler.

Oh man...keep in mind this is a public group. I don't think I can hear many more stories like this. Over half of them bummed me out. The rest were just "I went to college, then immediately got married and had 6 kids" stories. Abort class reunion mission...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Even though I'm semi-hungover and very tired today, I'm excited for a couple of reasons.

1) Night of the Living Dead is playing in 3D tonight on the lakefront. Awesome. It's like the drive in except you're all sitting outside overlooking Lake Michigan. And they have beer.

2) The house has been fun. We've been painting, organizing, and buying way too much shit, but it's starting to come together. After 5 years of living in shitty apartments and getting my car broken into on the street, I'm appreciating everything about our home.

3) Fucking FALL. There's a crisp breeze in the air and it's such a distinct feeling. I had a pumpkin spice coffee this morning...shit, just seeing pumpkins outside grocery stores is the best thing ever. There's a little patch of yellow leaves on the birch tree in our backyard. Halloween planning is underway. Listening to lots of moody Swedish music. Sweatshirts. Now until the day after Thanksgiving = best time of the year.

4) Speaking of fall music, I saw Agalloch last week and it was amazing (I hate to use that word, but honestly, I haven't been that moved at a show in a long while). I almost missed it due to napping, but I woke up in time to get to the Miramar with about 15 minutes to spare before Agalloch played. Some aspects were eye-rolly (an "incense ritual" before the show and tons and tons of smoke), but who cares, it souded great and they were all clearly feeling it. So glad this came through Milwaukee, especially since they never tour.

Here are a couple photos, and a video of Falling Snow is here:

Have a wonderful weekend!