May 30, 2008

Michter's Jug House


Too bad this place is no longer around. I would have loved to have taken a Saturday trip there with Gia sometime this summer. The article is a little confusing, but it appears that the distillery shut down sometime in the 1990's. Too bad...sounds really cool and historic. From what I understand, Michter's is now made someplace in Kentucky...maybe. Like I said, the article was confusing and there appears to be some kind of intentional amiguity going on when it comes to early American Whiskey distillers in the Northeast.

I was first introduced to this American Whiskey by a Bourbon guy who looks a lot like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons.


Yeah...just like that guy. But with more clothes...and creepier, for some reason. He found it at a local liquor store and upon some research into the subject, he dove in. Gave me a bottle for my 40th birthday a while back. It's really, really, really good. And not very expensive either. Lots of chewy caramel flavor and coloring. Smells great too.

Anyway, yesterday I picked up Gia from the train station after another interview in NYC and we headed out to a bar that neither of us had been to in a long while. I recognized the bartender from another joint that I used to frequent. I get around. Had a couple of beers and some nachos, and just as we were about to head out I saw it...


A brand spankin' new bottle...just waiting to be cracked. Our lovely barmaid poured us a small one, and Gia was quick to agree...very smooth and delicious. We wanted more. Hell, we wanted 10 more. But we had places to go and people to see. So we left. Now I am in search of where I can find the next bottle.

There is a mythic element to Michter's that purveyors of fine whiskey like to go on about. It may have been the forebearer of the whiskey that George Washington supplied to his troops in the American Revolutionary War. There is probably no way to prove or disprove that claim, but there is some evidence to it at least. It's roots, however, go back to the oldest distiller in the colonies...certainly before Kentucky became the whiskey capital of the US.

I know that there may be a consensus around the world that the best whiskey comes from Scotland. I don't necessarily argue that point. But generally, I prefer American Whiskey, mostly Bourbon, to Scotch. Hell, I even prefer Irish Whiskey to Scotch. But that's me. No accounting for taste...ever!

Hmmm...been posting about booze alot lately. Must be summer. Must be stressed. Must be thirsty. Something.

May 29, 2008

Death and Co.



From their website:

"In 1919 the Volstead Act brought a swift end to nightlife, and the refined craft of the American bartender was outlawed. It was thought that to drink alcohol was to live a life shadowed by death. It was thought by some that these were death and company. It's taken us nearly a century to restore flavor to the drink and class to the specialty cocktail. In our time, a night to celebrate life's simple pleasures with fine wine, exquisitely crafted cocktails, beautifully prepared food, and impeccable sipping spirits is a rare gift. To those who shun the night, we tip our hat. To those who shine after the dusk, we offer a warm embrace. Welcome to the new golden age. Welcome to Death and Co."

We just found out yesterday that one of our favorite bars in NYC is looking for a floor manager. Gia is sending them her resume today. She has had a bunch of interviews with places all over the map and it looks like she might be getting a few offers very soon. This one, however, would be nice! Because I like to drink there. Hey...I'm allowed to be a little selfish.

I'll keep you updated.

May 24, 2008

Serious Saturdays




A couple of little things to ponder on a long weekend Saturday.

I don't really know much about online communities. I guess many would feel like I'm part of one with the bloggysphere, but I'm talking about things like Myspace, Facebook, Flickr and Twitter. I may come out sounding like the cranky old man railing against today's kids, but I just don't get 'em. I am continually saddened to find out how many real-life creeps are using these on-line community tools to expand the reach of their sicknesses. For all you Twitter fans, please read this article from Ariel Waldman about her experiences with Twitter and their refusal to adhere to their own Terms of Service. Read the follow-up that she links to as well. Sounds like Twitter needs to wake up when it comes to cyber-stalking.

In her follow-up, she mentions a great article that Violet Blue wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle. It's about the trolling, baiting and general hating that goes on every day in on-line communities against women. It's an important topic for anyone (with a brain) whose lives are enriched by on-line communities. Here is a brief snippet:

"In Margaret Cho's "Beautiful" tour, she talks about recently being on a radio show and having the host ask her point-blank, live, on the air, "What if you woke up one day, and you were beautiful?" When asked, he defined beautiful as blonde, thin, large-breasted, a porno stereotype. Cho says, "Just think of what life is like for this poor guy. There's beauty all around him in the world, and he can only see the most narrow definition of it." "

It's very sad how some people choose to live their lives. Enjoy the rest of the weekend, kids! - Earl

May 22, 2008

It's the long weekend...Fuck yeah!!!

Nothing gets my inner lush going like reading about a really good cocktail. Tonight I blame Bobgirrl for making my liver ache with longing. She just posted about experimenting with the perfect cocktail...a bacon vodka martini. I think she is a little confused, because obviously the smoky saltiness of bacon is much better suited to bourbon (and we will get into that a bit later on).

Got me to thinking about my favorite booze concoctions and where I enjoyed the best version of them. But remember, cocktails are like blowjobs. There are great blowjobs and there are terrible blowjobs. But, c'mon...at least it's a blowjob!

Moscow Mule - The original Moscow Mule is made with ginger beer, fresh lime and vodka poured in highball glass over large ice cubes. I'm going to stress the importance of large ice cubes in all great cocktails because large ice cubes melt slower than small ice cubes. Less melting means less water which means yummy cocktail goodness. I'm a big fan of all cocktails with ginger beer (like ginger ale, but spicier), and my favorite version of this one was called a Gin-Gin Mule served at The Pegu Club in NYC. It substituted ginger-infused gin for vodka. Made it extra gingery. Yum!



Martini - Notice I didn't say "Gin Martini". All fucking martinis are made with fucking gin. "Vodka martinis" are really just vodka cocktails served in the wrong glass. Sorry...I just don't like vodka and sometimes I get a little angry for the wrong reasons. Anyway, as I told Bobgirrl, her favorite martini is my favorite martini. Tanqueray 10 with bleu-cheese stuffed olives. The best one I've ever had...and I've tried many...was at a Morton's in New Orleans. They served it in a silver-rimmed martini glass. I felt like a King!



Mojito - Muddled mint, simple syrup, fresh lime, crushed ice, lite rum and seltzer. Six simple ingredient that make up one of the most complex tasting of all cocktails. Is it the lime you enjoy? How about the mint? Damn, that rum tastes good too! So refreshing on a hot summer day or a cold winter night when you are pretending you are in the sun. My favorite was served at a place called Conch Republic in Key West about 4-5 years ago. Sadly, I've been back many times and it has never been as good as it was that first time. Many bartenders over-muddle the mint and now they serve it in a smaller (plastic) glass. But that first one...holy crap!



Vesper - Named after James Bond's love interest in Casino Royale. Originally part gin, part vodka and part Kina Lillet with a lemon twist. Kina Lillet is no longer available, so most will replace it with Lillet Blanc and maybe a dash or two of bitters. As I've stated before, I don't do vodka. Even when mixed with other booze. Fuck that! So I've played with the recipe some and my favorite was mixed by a bartender at one of the hotel bars at The Carlton at Madison Avenue in NYC. He made it with Hendrick's Gin (sooooo goood!!!), Lillet Blanc and an orange peel. He did this cool trick with the orange peel and a match to cause a small flame before adding to the Vesper. Well, I thought it was cool.



Old Fashioned - Kind of an, um, old-fashioned choice. Bear with me. Traditionally the Old Fashioned is made in a short cocktail glass with rye whiskey, simple syrup and bitters. Add a couple of ice cubes and a twist of lemon and you are all set. The best one I've ever had was at a place called PDT in NYC. They made it with bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup and homemade bitters. It was truly the most ridiculously incredible cocktail I have ever had. I want another. I want ten more. I want to stick my dick in it. I want it to stick its dick in me. Huh, what? I don't know how they infused the bourbon with bacon. Maybe they force fed bourbon to pigs for years and it just seeped into the bacony parts. That sounds like a fun job!

Have a great weekend everyone! I'm out of here....

May 21, 2008

Carry moonbeams home in a jar

Have any of you heard of the Internet dating (?) site with the oh-so-sweet sounding name called The Ashley Madison Agency? Me neither, but that's not too hard to believe since I have my head firmly stuck up my ass most of the time.

I first started hearing about it a few weeks ago as radio ads on The Opie and Anthony Show on XM Radio. Maybe because it was a radio ad...the easiest form of advertisement to ignore...but I didn't actually pay attention to what the site is all about until just a few days ago.

It's basically a personals/dating site for married or committed folks who want to cheat on their significant other.

Their tagline is "Life is short. Have an affair."

I guess it was only a matter of time before some entrepreneurial group of individuals created something like this. Maybe Craig's List just wasn't cutting it for some people.

Personally, this sickens me. I guess if you have an open relationship and both individuals agree to the specifics of the deal, then fooling around with someone outside of your partnership is okay. But clearly, those folks aren't the target demographic of this site. At least according to the advertising, which states that it is designed for discreet relationships.

Sure there is money to be made with an operation such as this. There are also hearts to be broken. I guess if you are planning on cheating or thinking about cheating then this is just a tool that you would use like a singles bar, a business trip or those back-of-the-magazine ads. Something you would have done anyway. I dunno...something really bothers me about it though.

I hope these bottom-feeding assholes sleep well at night, and I hope that their parents use the site to break the hearts of their loved ones. That's how I enjoy my irony.

PS - Everyone give a warm round of applause to Lizzie for beating out yours truly in Ookami Snow's contest. Way to go, Liz!

May 20, 2008

I CAN HAS CHIPMUNK-BURGER?

We live in the presence of a serial killer. Her name is Mina (short for Thumbalina...don't ask) and she is Death Incarnate.

Mina is one of Gia's parent's cats and she might be the toughest bitch on the planet. Birds, chipmunks, mice, voles, small squirrels and even one unlucky rabbit have all been shown the way to the next life by this graceful little killer. I don't know how she does it. Those chipmunks are fucking fast. Maybe it's her extra toes. Gives her greater swatting ability or something.

I read an article a while ago which talked about housecats as hunters, even comparing them to serial killers. The article went on to talk about how housecats aren't native to this country and that makes them an apex predator because in some communities much of the indigenous wildlife isn't prepared to defend themselves against puddy tats.

That sounds like Mina to a tee! She is up to 3 or 4 kills a week now that the better weather is here. Seems kinda unfair. She's not killing for food, although the corpses she drags into the house usually have a bite mark or two. She is killing for the thrill of the hunt. Just like a serial killer.

Here she is sneaking up on her mother, Bella. Well, it looks like she is sneaking up on Bella. She wouldn't harm a hair on the head of any fellow cat. Except Sydney. She hates him for some reason. She likes to sit outside our screen door (she's an outdoor cat, and Sydney is an indoor cat) and taunt him with her presence. She's evil. But oh-so-adorable! Very pretty animal.

Once you get past the stench of carrion that she carries around with her wherever she goes, that is. Gia's mother has put two bells around her neck so that the local wildlife can hear her coming. Hasn't worked thus far. She's adapted to the situation. Just like a serial killer would.

Oh, and I'm including this picture of our girl Sammi not because she is a serial killer, like Mina. No, Sammi is an indoor cat as well. But if you look closely at her paw there on the bottom you can see that she sometimes sleeps with her claws popped out.

Just to remind us that she used to be feral and you don't want to mess with her.

I've got the claw marks to prove it.

May 19, 2008

Soy un perdedor


I'm a loser baby...so why don't ya kill me.

Not only do the Yankees suck ballz (and share thongs...eww), but I'm now trailing Lizzie in The Greatest Contest in the World!

Only you can turn the tide. Are you gonna let Canada win? I don't think you should! Voting closes tomorrow, so be sure to rock the vote!

If I lose...well, I could always have cannibals feed on my body. You don't want that on your conscience, do you?


PS - No Canadians were hurt in the production of this blog. But there are a few that I've got my eye on! - Earl

May 18, 2008

Big Fat Movie Review Weekend

Saw a bunch of movies that were on my NetFlix queue this weekend. I also ate at a great Barbeque joint, went to another wake, spent Sunday in NYC and attended one of the Yankee/Met games at the Stadium. But this post is about the films. Thought I would give you my quick 10-second reviews of each of them. Watched some on the laptop and some on cable TV. I'm bi-viewal, I guess. {{Insert joke here.}} Here goes:

nnnnn - Loved it.
nnnnx - Really Liked it.
nnnxx - Liked it.
nnxxx - Didn't Like it.
nxxxx - Hated it.


nnnxx Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007) - I hope I'm not giving away anything, but the movie opens up will fully-nude Phillip Seymour Hoffman giving it doggie-style to an equally nude Marisa Tomei while looking at himself in the mirror. If that isn't enough to pique your interest, then you are much more grown up than I give y'all credit for. The rest of the movie is a story of a heist gone wrong and the consequences suffered by one family, in particular. The performances are decent, Marisa Tomei is naked a lot, the story is so-so, and not much else can be said for me to recommend this to anyone. It was okay...I mean I didn't hate it. The Tarantino-esque playing with the timeline was more annoying than helpful. I found myself waiting for it to end more than hoping it wouldn't. I would have given it 2.5 stars out of 5, but NetFlix only lets you vote using round numbers. So I rounded up. You know...for Marisa Tomei being nekkid and all.


nnnnx Rocky Balboa (2006) - I initially saw this one in the theaters with Slyde, but it's playing again on cable so I gave it another view. Call me a sentimental old fool, but I really liked it. It succeeded in evoking the feeling of the first Rocky film where most of the others in the franchise failed. I liked the inclusion of many of the characters from the first film...that helped a lot. Even the old neighborhood was back. The premise and the fight at the end were kinda ridiculous, but it's a movie...fuck it. I think that most of you can tell without watching it whether you are going to like it or hate it. I was the same way. I was pretty sure I was gonna like it, and it delivered on it's promise. To me, at least.


nnnnx Seraphim Falls (2006) - I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I only watched it because it was available online and it was a Western. I'm a huge fan of Westerns and this one stars the vastly underrated Pierce Brosnan and the, um, tall Liam Neeson. It's the story of one man who is running from an atrocity that he is partially responsible for and another man who blames him for the act while seeking a reckoning. It strays into some moral and ethical fantasy toward the end, but I enjoyed it on the whole. Some may be turned off by the pacing of the film...it's slow. I reveled in it. Left me wanting more.


nnnnx The Man From Earth (2007) - Imagine if a man were able to live for 14,000 years. How would he accomplish that, how would he be able to handle the changing face of humanity and/or God? How would he develop relationships, advance artistic development, find the truth? In this film, a college professor spends a night with his colleagues and admits to just that. Some decent writing and acting are the high points, plus one nicely-done plot twist that ratcheted the whole thing up a notch. Not your standard fare, but if you enjoy Science Fiction and thoughtful discussion even a little bit then it may be worth your while.


nxxxx Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) - I was hoping to fall into a nice little slumber while watching this pappy piece o' crappy popcorn. No such luck. I made it all the way to the end. Yup...all 168 minutes. I deserve a prize or a lobotomy or something. Hmm...a lobotomy may have helped. Let us all hope that Johnny Depp can move on to something a little more in tune with his talent now that this trilogy is over. It's over right? Please God(dess), let it be over!!! When the final tally is done on movie trilogies, this one is gonna wind up being "fail" along with The Matrix and the second Star Wars trilogy. The "wins", by the way, are the original Star Wars trilogy and Lord of the Rings. The jury is still out on the rest of 'em.


Way to end on a high note, eh?


PS - I'm still having spacing issues with new posts on Blogger. This time without including any pictures. And now it's changing the font size at will. When will the madness end? - Earl

May 16, 2008

Really Simple Stalking

I don't know if any of you have been following this like I've been following this, but Slyde has had about a month-long lime jello wrestling match with setting up an RSS feed for his site. You see, Slyde is a particular kind o' sonuvabitch. He likes to do things his own way. He decided to forego the easy way to blogging (Blogger, WordPress, etc...) and he used Front Page to create his own site. It allowed him some freedoms and it hindered him in other ways.


Like setting up an RSS feed.


To be honest, I don't know too much about the subject. I know that Blogger automatically sets one up for you and that people use it to read your blog, but until about 2 weeks ago I didn't even know what it stood for. Really Sexy Santas, right?


But watching Slyde persevere in the face of this daunting challenge got me to thinking about it. You see, the way that I knew that any of you had posted a new article or funny picture or graphic porn video (hope, hope, hope) is by scrolling down my blogroll, visiting your blog and then hitting the back button on my browser to get back to my blog/blogroll to visit the next blog.


Exhausting, right? But that's how I always did it. Truth be told, I'm stil kind of a novice at this game and I don't really work at it as hard as I should. It's all for fun and I thought it was just too difficult to do anything with RSS feeds.


Boy, was I wrong? Today I plugged all of your blogs into Google Reader and a whole new world has been opened up to me. I don't have to visit your blog to see if you posted something new. Google Reader does it for me! I feel so liberated. I'm going to use the extra 10 minutes in my day to write my novel, masturbate or do something equally as cool. I feel like a new man!


And I found out that a bunch of you are very popular with the Google Reader crowd. Some...not so much, but I've started four of you (you know who you are...maybe) out on the process by subscribing to your blogs. Now you have one subscriber...me!


There is one big winner in the "who has the most Google Reader subscribers on my blogroll" contest. Well, it wasn't really a contest. More of an idle waste of time on my part by looking at the site stats for y'all. But the winner is....


Avitable!


With 137 subscribers on Google Reader. Congrats, Avi! I only have 10.


Mother-fucker!

PS - Fucking Blogger with the fucking extra spacing whenever you fucking add a fucking picture. I'm so fucking done with trying to fucking fix the extra fucking spacing whenever I fucking do it. FUCK!!!!

May 15, 2008

Silly monkey


So today I created an email account for our cat, Syd.

It was an effort to cheer up Gia while she is in job-search Hell. I figured that Syd would send her life affirming messages every once in a while to make her laugh.

I've gone over the edge, haven't I?


If anyone wants to directly contact Syd he can be reached at fluffymcpurraction@yahoo.com. Thanks to Tequila Mockingbird (FrecklesMcFlaskAction) for the inspiration for the name. Of course, he's a cat...so you might not get a legible response.

May 14, 2008

Going Number Two

Every once in a while, for reasons that I can't possibly fathom, I head over to read Dooce's (no link provided) blog. I can't really tell you why. I don't find her interesting at all. I also don't despise her like so many fellow bloggers. I generally just choose to ignore her and her ilk.


By her "ilk", I'm not necessarily referring to "mommy bloggers". I'm referring to "boring bloggers". I've got no problem with a good mommy blog. Hell, I read a few of them on a daily/weekly basis. Perfectly acceptable entertainment, if that's your bag.

So I really can't tell you why with any certainty why I sometimes visit the Dooce (other than I think about taking a shit whenever I say "Dooce/Deuce" in my head). Maybe I am secretly fascinated by the blogger as an industry, which is what she has become. Maybe I am jealous of her massive popularity. I really don't think so. That's not why I blog.

(Note: Be sure to go over to here and vote for me! Lizzie has been working a strong viral campaign for herself and it is working. Um, thanks! - Earl)

Ahem...back to the action.

In her latest entry, the Dooce chats about her experience on the Today Show with Kathy Lee Gifford. It was a segment about the industry of mommy bloggers and the changing face of motherhood, in general. She's is confused about how Kathy Lee turned on her toward the end of the segment, and she wonders where it all went wrong.

I watched the segment, and I gotta tell you I don't think Kathy Lee said or did anything contrary to what an interviewer should do in her position. She didn't pander to her subject and she asked a few hard questions.. She spoke about her ignorance about the blog-world as a whole, and her reservations about putting one's family out there for the masses. Some of that may come from her own past experience with putting her kids's lives on public display back when she was on Regis' show. She also corrected her co-host when it was mentioned that there were some who don't approve of Dooce out there in the Interwebs. "Don't approve? They DESPISE her!" is what she came back with. Good for her for knowing the facts, and fuck Dooce for feeling uncomfortable with it.

I thought the most interesting thing about the segment was the focus on blogging as an industry. Dooce told them that not only has she been "getting paid" since 2001 for her blog, but it has been so lucrative that her husband has quit his job and is now running her "business" for her. I find that absolutely amazing! Do any of you actually look at the ads on a blog? I certainly don't, but I've long felt that advertising of any kind is lost on me. I want what I want, and I'm rarely persuaded otherwise by Madison Avenue. Wait...is Madison Avenue still the advertising capital of the world or am I dating myself?

Also of note from her latest entry - she opened it up to comments. I know this is a sticking point for many bloggers who hate her because she so rarely does. Like they, I feel that blogging should be an interactive activity that welcomes comments. Some wouldn't even call her site a "blog" necessarily because of how rarely she alows comments.

As of this writing she has about 600 comments from readers and fellow bloggers. A quick review of them prove to be extremely complimentary to the Dooce and critical of Kathy Lee. Once again, I didn't have any problem with Kathy Lee's questions or stance on the topic. Did I leave a comment? Nah...couldn't be bothered. I really don't think she reads them anyway. Plus I'm really not one to visit somebody's site just to leave a negative comment...unless it's Slyde, of course. Takes too much energy, and frankly...who really cares?

PS - Silly robotic awfulness over at MovieGrenade. After you read it, watch it transform into something much more interesting. - Earl

May 13, 2008

Random shit.


Not as in excrement. That would be gross.

Nope, just a few simple tidbits of cool stuff on the Interwebs for you to enjoy...or not. It's entirely up to you. But you will be a silly bitch if you don't. So there.

Our Princess of Hotness, Violet Blue (Gia is the Queen, natch!), turned me on to this website (NSFW) just the other day. In it are some of the hottest and real looking women in all their nekkid glory. Like the url says, it's naked girls photographed in the bed of the artist. I'm a huge fan of the anonymous girl in the fishnet body suit. Oops...I just came a little bit again.

This just might be the funniest and/or scariest picture I've come across in a while. I dunno what is worse. Damien in the background or the 12-year old whores up front. Yeah...probably Damien.

Do you like bacon? Yeah, I'm talking to you. You know you like it. You know you want it. But would you wear it for a bra? You would...wouldn't you? Sicko!

Esquire magazine believes that there are 75 essential things that every man should know. Most of them are crap, but I happen to believe very strongly in #24. Sapphire Gibson...up...dry, but not too dry. Snap snap!

Did you ever think that Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch from the Avengers were a little, um, too close for a brother and sister? Yeah, so does Cracked.com, and they include 5 other creepy comic-book characters for you to ponder. So ponder away, muthafuckahs!

Finally, it's the one you've all been waiting for...the Origin of Booze! OK, it's really not that exciting, but kinda interesting in a stupid way. Leave me alone!

Mad props to the kids over at GorillaMask, by the way. What? Do you think I find this shit on my own?

May 11, 2008

Bela Lugosi's Dead

The bats have left the bell tower
The victims have been bled
Red velvet lines the black box
Bela Lugosi's dead
- Bauhaus (1979)


So, perhaps, is the depiction of the modern vampire in literature and film.

This has been on my mind since last night when I watched the film adaptation of 30 Days of Night. It was a perfectly acceptable vampire film, I thought. But like so many recent efforts in the genre, it fell short of what it could have been. "Scary" is the word that comes to mind. While the premise was interesting - vampires descend on the northernmost settlement in Alaska to feed on it's inhabitants during it's extended period of night - I thought it failed mostly for not accomplishing what John Carpenter did so well in The Thing. It didn't play enough with the crushing terror of the cold and isolation of the town while dealing with the worst monsters from our nightmares.

I'm a big fan of the genre...too much so, most likely, for my own good. I've read everything from the classics ("The Vampyre" by Polidori, "Feast of Blood - Varney the Vampyre", "Carmilla" and "Dracula"...of course) to the neo-classics by authors like Dan Simmons, Anne Rice, Brian Lumley, S.P Somtow, Tanith Lee, Robert R. McCammon, Nancy Collins, Stephen King, Suzy McKee Charnas, Fred Saberhagen and so many others. All have a certain appeal, but only a handful are truly terrifying.

I would single out King's "'salem's Lot" as one that succeeds on all fronts. Scary, smart and it works as a Horror story on so many levels. Vampires, haunted house, ghost town...you name it. Peter Straub's "Ghost Story" - not a vampire novel - works for me the same way. Probably my favorite works from either author, although King wrote so many great books back in the day that it's difficult to choose a favorite from his catalogue.

F. Paul Wilson recently wrote a violent and very scary vampire novel called "Midnight Mass". In his forward he mentioned that he was tired of reading about the vampire in modern literature as a romantic figure. A not-so thinly veiled jab at Anne Rice, if you ask me. He wanted to write a vampire novel that brought vampires back to their atavistic, evil roots. Even if that's not entirely true per the classics of the genre. I appreciated his attempt although he doesn't quite hold a candle to some of these other author's in terms of quality writing. It was still a scary ride.

It's a bit more difficult to find a truly scary film in the genre. The classics like Nosferatu (still chilling) and Dracula (still campy) set the tone for the following 70+ years of film vampires with most serving as blatant ripoffs. Some of the Hammer series of vampire films in the 60's/70's and their ilk were actually quite scary and atmospheric at times, but also campy and silly at others.

More recent offerings like George Romero's Martin, Near Dark, The Addiction, Fright Night, The Lost Boys and The Hunger all work on various levels, but none really scare the bejesus outta ya. Then there is the latest trend in vampire films...probably started by Wesley Snipes in Blade. The vampire as the sexy superhero in an action-packed CGI blockbuster. Underworld and it's sequel, the Russian Night Watch and Day Watch (much more human and interesting than their American/British brethren), Van Helsing, I Am Legend and the rest of the Blade films fall into this category. Like I said earlier...action films, not vampire films.

Where is the next scary vampire film or novel? 30 Days of Night was a game try, and the vampires were nothing if not evil incarnate. But I just wish that the filmmakers would have tried harder to give us the more complete feeling of isolation and terror that the premise promised.

PS - Remember to check out the the awful Alba-ness going on at the MovieGrenade. You'll be sorry you did. Huh?

May 7, 2008

Of things "unread"

BLATANT SELF-PROMOTION - OK, we are down to the finals of Ookami Snow's Favorite New Blog of 2008. It's me against Liz in a steel cage match. If you wanna be involved in the process, you gotta go here to do it - the rules for voting are included in the post. He put up an actual survey now, so if you left your vote in the comments sections before ya gotta go back and vote the proper way now. It doesn't matter who you vote for, as long as it is me. - Earl

Nicked this from Steph of Incurable Insomniac fame. I've also nicked the term "nicked" from Andrew of White Rabbit fame. That's how I roll.

Here goes:

"What we have here is the top 106 books most often marked as "unread" by LibraryThing’s users. As in, they sit on the shelf to make you look smart or well-rounded. Bold the ones you've read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish." I've added a little flourish, as I often do, with some wise-ass comments. Once again, that's how I roll.


  1. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell - and it wasn't easy. Very long book.

  2. Anna Karenina

  3. Crime and Punishment - don't even know why I tried.

  4. Catch-22 - not even a Vonneg..., oops, Heller fan (Thanks Downtown Guy!).

  5. One Hundred Years of Solitude

  6. Wuthering Heights - wound up really liking it.

  7. The Silmarillion - but I tried. I really tried. Over. And over again.

  8. Life of Pi: a novel

  9. The Name of the Rose - after I saw the film.

  10. Don Quixote - read it in college, but turns out I didn't have to.

  11. Moby Dick - finally two years ago.

  12. Ulysses - ugh!

  13. Madame Bovary - I like saying "Gustave Flaubert". It's fun!

  14. The Odyssey - read it first on my own and then later for school.

  15. Pride and Prejudice

  16. Jane Eyre

  17. The Tale of Two Cities - my favorite Dickens work.

  18. The Brothers Karamazov

  19. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

  20. War and Peace - impossible!

  21. Vanity Fair - don't remember much though.

  22. The Time Traveler’s Wife

  23. The Iliad - same with The Odyssey. First on my own...later for school.

  24. Emma - This was made into the movie with Alicia Silverstone, right?

  25. The Blind Assassin

  26. The Kite Runner

  27. Mrs. Dalloway

  28. Great Expectations - my least favorite Dickens work.

  29. American Gods - hard to believe this is on the list. Are there really a bunch of people out there buying Neil Gaiman novels and not reading them?

  30. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

  31. Atlas Shrugged - I tried reading Rand when researching Objectivism, but I found her to be fucking ponderous.

  32. Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books

  33. Memoirs of a Geisha - I stopped when I realized it wasn't Asian erotica. Very sad.

  34. Middlesex

  35. Quicksilver - I've wanted to read Stephenson, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

  36. Wicked: the life and times of the wicked witch of the West - couldn't get through the sequel, though.

  37. The Canterbury Tales - Love me some Chaucer.

  38. The Historian: a novel

  39. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

  40. Love in the Time of Cholera - "It's about girls, right?" - Rob Gordon.

  41. Brave New World

  42. The Fountainhead - See Atlas Shrugged.

  43. Foucault’s Pendulum - One Eco book is quite enough for me, thank you.

  44. Middlemarch

  45. Frankenstein

  46. The Count of Monte Cristo - I think for school. Can't imagine reading it on my own.

  47. Dracula - read a lot of Stoker in my teen years. Also attempted to read Feast of Blood (Varney the Vampire) in those days, but never made it all the way through.

  48. A Clockwork Orange - once again, after I saw the film.

  49. Anansi Boys - what's with all the Neil Gaiman?

  50. The Once and Future King - I really wanted to like this series of books, but I found them boring as hell.

  51. The Grapes of Wrath

  52. The Poisonwood Bible : a novel - how could I have missed out on one of Oprah's book club selections?

  53. 1984

  54. Angels & Demons - why would someone own this and not read it?

  55. The Inferno (and Purgatory and Paradise) - I own a copy from the 1870's. My oldest book.

  56. The Satanic Verses - wasn't Rushdie the guy from the sauna who called himself Sal Bass?

  57. Sense and Sensibility

  58. The Picture of Dorian Gray

  59. Mansfield Park

  60. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey is a freak. This and Demon Box are his only novels I have made it through.

  61. To the Lighthouse

  62. Tess of the D'Urbervilles

  63. Oliver Twist

  64. Gulliver’s Travels

  65. Les Misérables

  66. The Corrections

  67. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - never heard of it.

  68. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - ditto.

  69. Dune - Frank Herbert bores the shit out of me.

  70. The Prince

  71. The Sound and the Fury - managed to avoid Faulkner thus far.

  72. Angela's Ashes: a memoir - ugh!

  73. The God of Small Things

  74. A People's History of the United States: 1492-present - I tried.

  75. Cryptonomicon - more Stephenson, eh?

  76. Neverwhere - even more Neil Gaiman??? I really don't understand this.

  77. A Confederacy of Dunces - it's on my bookshelf...just waiting for me.

  78. A Short History of Nearly Everything

  79. Dubliners - I wanna know who out there has actually read Joyce.

  80. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - "It's about girls, right?" - Rob Gordon

  81. Beloved - another Oprah selection.

  82. Slaughterhouse-Five.

  83. The Scarlet Letter

  84. Eats, Shoots & Leaves - there is a joke about pandas or koalas in there someplace.

  85. The Mists of Avalon

  86. Oryx and Crake: a novel - never heard of it.

  87. Collapse: how societies choose to fail or succeed

  88. Cloud Atlas

  89. The Confusion

  90. Lolita - read this during my Kubrick phase. Not for the under-aged girl. Really.

  91. Persuasion

  92. Northanger Abbey

  93. The Catcher in the Rye - I thought everyone but me had read this.

  94. On the Road

  95. The Hunchback of Notre Dame

  96. Freakonomics: a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything

  97. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an inquiry into values

  98. The Aeneid

  99. Watership Down

  100. Gravity's Rainbow

  101. The Hobbit

  102. In Cold Blood: a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences

  103. White Teeth - White Fang...yes. White Teeth...no.

  104. Treasure Island

  105. David Copperfield

  106. The Three Musketeers


So I've read a lot more books for school back in the day then I thought I would have, apparently. I would never have remembered reading all of these had I not done this meme. Cool!

My totals out of the 106 books:
Read on my own - 27
Read for school - 24
Started but never finished - 15
Never read - 40

That translates into 62% of the books that I've either read or partially read. Not bad, but it should be higher. Gotta give me credit for trying on some of those. I've noticed that a lot of the books that I haven't read are more recent works, and I don't read nearly as much now as I did when I was younger.

How did you do?

Livin' on a Prayer

I had a dream last night in which I ran into Jon Bon Jovi at a warehouse someplace outside of New York City.

It's not as scary as it sounds. It was during the day and there was a big construction project going on, so lots of people were also around. Jon, as I can now call him, was touring the site with some kind of supervisor and saying hello to the crew. I wasn't working there...I think I just happened to be walking by. But when Jon saw me he stopped and we had the following conversation:

JBJ - "Hey man! It's been a long time. How have you been Earl?"
BBE - "Um...are you talking to me?"
JBJ - "Yeah, man! How you doin' Earl?"
BBE - "I'm pretty good, Jon Bon Jovi. Do we know each other?"
JBJ - "Yeah we know each other. We went to high school together. BBP High...class of '84."
BBE - "Really? I thought you grew up in New Jersey."
JBJ - "Nah! Common mistake people make. I was born there, but I was raised on Long Island where I went to school. Don't you remember me from high school?"
BBE - "Well, yeah...I remember you from high school. I remember your songs playing on the radio when I was a junior in high school. Aren't you 4 or 5 years older than me, Jon?"
JBJ - "Got left back a few times. Spent a lot of time with my music back then so I let the grades slip if you know what I mean. Anyway, I gotta finish this inspection but it was cool seeing you again. We gotta hang out sometime, OK?"
BBE - "Um, yeah...sure Jon Bon Jovi. Bye!"

For the life of me, I have no idea what that was all about.

OK...maybe it IS as scary as it sounds.

NON-JON UPDATE - For all you Battlestar Galactica geeks, you know who you are, here's a little some-some for ya. He's got my vote.

May 6, 2008

Cloverfield - SPOILERS



Until I have something better to say, this seems to have become a DVD review site once again. For good movies. We already have a review site for awful movies, but I haven't seen any lately.

I watched the oddly title Cloverfield last night in the wee hours of the morning, and I got hooked. I spent more time online reading about it and checking out the viral marketing after my viewing than I did to actually watch it. It's less than an hour and a half long and it felt even shorter. Just like I said yesterday about No Country for Old Men, it left me wanting more...and that's what I want out of a movie.

Now I know that I'm probably the last geek on the block to see it. Most of you (yeah...I'm looking at you) most likely saw it in the theaters when it was released. I couldn't be bothered. I was probably getting laid or something equally as cool that weekend.
Anyway, I've spent a lot of time theorizing as to what happened back on April 27th (towards the end of the film) with the object falling out of the sky in the waters off of Coney Island and I think I have all of the answers. Without and further ado here is my top ten list:


TOP TEN STUPID EXPLANATIONS OF CLOVERFIELD ENDING
  1. It was merely some icy debris from the toilets of a an airliner passing over head. The ice melted in the warm waters off of Coney Island (yeah, right) causing an excrement monster of massive size to awaken and terrorize the denizens of New York City.
  2. It was Oceanic Flight 815 and the monster that attacked NYC is a mutated Locke. Hell-bent on getting back to the island so he can cuddle with Jacob. I was thinking Hurley at first because of the extreme size of the creature, but he's a widdew puppy dog who wouldn't hurt a fly...much less Lady Liberty.
  3. It was just a speck on my TV screen. I gotta clean that shit.
  4. I may have had a minor stroke there at the end of the film and I only THOUGHT I saw something plummet into the ocean. That would also explain why I woke up with my head in the cat's litter box. Kinda comfortable, actually.
  5. It was a Japanese satellite that fell out of orbit. Upon retrieval of the satellite, the Japanese conglomerate who owned the hunk o' junk discovered a huge reserve of a biological substance that they believed would taste great in their new soft drink, Slusho. What they didn't know is that there was a nasty behemoth that looks like a big cricket whose only source of nutrition was the secret sauce that the Japanese claimed for their own. So it looked for the most Japanese tourists it could find and it wound up in Manhattan - hoping to become the next Godzilla.
  6. That last one is one What a lot of fans believe is the actual backstory. Really.
  7. It was JJ Abrams now massive ego crashing down to Earth. I mean, does he really get to call this a JJ Abrams project? He didn't direct it or write it, he only produced it. I say that without any knowledge whatsoever of what a producer actually does. I'll leave it to Ginormous Boobs to learn me. I've been very, very bad and I need to be taught a lesson. Hard!
  8. It was a space shuttle filled with about one hundred thousand MacGuffins. That's a lot of MacGuffins.
  9. It was Will Smith returning to Earth after planting a virus in the mothership that would eventually bring down the advancing alien horde. He arrived alone in NYC to wind up fighting a horde of a different kind - CGI vampire thingies. He was quoting as saying "Aw...HELL NO!" upon arrival. It got even more ridiculous after that! (Note - "horde" is easily one of my favorite words. Just thought you would like to know - Earl)
  10. It was the long-awaited return of Xenu. He has come back to claim Suri Cruise as his intergalactic bride. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

OK...so that was only 9 things. Gimme a break. I haven't had my coffee yet.

Sheesh!

May 5, 2008

No Country for Old Men

I'm a big fan of the Ethan and Joel Coen. Huge fan. It's no surprise that The Big Lebowski and O Brother, Where Art Thou? are way up there on my favorite films of all-time. I'm not ready to put it up there with those two films because I've only seen it once and it usually takes a few viewings of a Coen Brothers film for me to truly appreciate their work, but No Country for Old Men is a fantastic piece of work - in my opinion.

We finally made the time to watch it last night after about three weeks of putting it off. We had it shipped to us from NetFlix in the middle of last month, but we always put if off for some reason or another. Now...I wanna watch it again.

Filled with great characters (performed by great actors), the film is so filled with nuance and intelligence that it almost manages to make you feel like you are reading a really good novel half-way through your viewing of it. It certainly didn't hold to the conventions of a typical Hollywood movie. If you are expecting things to be wrapped up in a tidy little package by the time the film is over, then No Country for Old Men is probably not for you.

But you should watch it anyway. Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem and Josh Brolin are enough reason alone to watch it. These three leads, while never sharing any screen time, captivate you with their quiet, often introspective performances.


This film, like all of my favorite films, leaves you with almost as many questions as it does answers. It leaves you wanting more. And that's all I really want out of a movie.


Well, that and some gratuitous boob shots.


PS - This was my first post using Blogger's new "scheduled post" feature. It allows you to schedule the posting of a, um, post for some time in the future like so many other bloggy sites out there already. Don't know if I'm going to use it often, but maybe. I tend not to have more than one post written and ready to go at any given time. But it's nice to have the option. Keep going Blogger...you still have lots to fix. Like the stupid way you add pictures to the text editor where it screws up the spacing on the rest of your post. I fucking hate that!

May 3, 2008

"There can be only one"


Enough of that sad bastard silliness from the past few days. I'm movin' on. It's time to play a game called "there can be only one". Clunky name, I know...but if you are a fan of the film Highlander (and really...who isn't?) then you know the game. I slice your head off with an antique katana and I drink your milkshake. How's that for combining movie ephemera? "Ephemera" is not even the proper word to use, but sometimes I like to pretend that I'm smarter than I actually am by using big words that kinda sound right until someone calls me out on it. So I'm doing it first. There can be only one.

Here goes:

There can be only one Kentucky Derby winner. Yeah, who cares...right? I don't approve of the riding of humans on the backs of any animals unless there is the appropriate amount of sexual tension. What I do approve of is a finely made mint julep. Only the best Kentucky Bourbon, only the finest shaved ice, only the mintiest, um, mint. And your good friend Earl as mixologist. That's what I'm doing later this afternoon. Don't you wish your boyfriend was hot like me?

There can be only one Democratic nominee for President. I've been going back and forth on this, and while Vice President Bob Russell seems to have more experience I think I'm going to have to go with Congressman Matt Santos. His ideas on Health Care reform and his Education initiative are enough to sway my vote. Plus I like the idea of voting for the first Latino President of these here United States. What's that you say? I'm confusing real life with season 6 of The West Wing? Nope...no confusion. I'm choosing fantasy over reality because reality is just too damn depressing with the two idiots we really get to pick. And when I say "we" I really mean a confusing delegate system. Plus I don't really think that either Hilary or Obama can beat Senator Arnold Vinick. I mean, c'mon...a moderate Republican from California? That's just unfair. Am I doing it again? Fuck!

There can be only one winner on Survivor. Yeah, I know....blah blah reality TV sucks blah blah. Fuck that! I still love me some Survivor. And this last episode was a really great one. After two weeks in a row where a contestant with a hidden immunity idol got blindsided and voted off without using it, we finally get a contestant who is smart enough to deserve the idol. Amanda played it on the down low. She knew that everyone except Parvati was going to vote her off. She even got Parvati to say who she was going to vote for in a real intelligent way. Then she turned the tribal council on its ear by playing the idol and blindsiding Alexis. It was a brilliant move. I've already been rooting for her to win, even though she is constantly sporting a sad puppy dog face, but now it's set in stone. She has to win. Either her or that furry bastard, Eric. He's not really that furry, but I would imagine his pubic area is. Huh, what?

There can be only one winner in Ookami Snow's New Favorite Blog 2008. Will it be litle ole' me? Will it be Liz aka FunnyGirl aka Spartanette aka the Kurgan? Ok, that last one was another Highlander reference. Sorry. He is looking for some help (vote for me!), so head over there and voice your opinion (vote for me!). It doesn't matter who you vote for (vote for me!), it only matters that you vote (vote for me!). I'm voting for Lizzie, because I'm too humble to vote for myself. You, oh my readers and only friends, should vote your conscience (vote for me!),



PS - (vote for me!)