Dec 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, another year is (almost) in the books and 2010 is just on the horizon.  It was a pretty good year, but I'm honestly hoping for more in the coming year(s).

But one thing I'm grateful for is the abundance of great reading availabe for me on all of your personal blogs.  I read alot of blogs.  Baseball blogs, beer blogs, sex blogs (yeah!), film blogs, etc..  But it is the personal blogs that y'all write that makes this little hobby worthwhile.

I did a little cleaning up on my feed reader and these are the personal blogs that I am currently subscribed with.  Some of them might not even know I'm reading their stuff, but I'm out there.  Like a ninja.  And there may be a blog or twelve that I am missing from this list due to human error.  Mine.  So take a look and let me know if I left you out or if I left someone else out or if I smell. 

(In Alphabetical Order)
1 Step Beyond
A Pile of Dog Bones
Always Home and Uncool
Artful Kisser
Banal Leakage
Bringing Sexy Back Since 1979...
Candy's Daily Dandy
Dogs and Jeans
Down With Pants!
E ~ Deconstructed
Eat, Bitch & Whine
Final Girl
Heart of Fire
I Am the Diva
I Really Don't Like the Word Blog
Incurable Insomniac
Jimmy Bastard
Just Some Thoughts...
Legal Mist
Lives By the Woods
Midnight Cliff
Minnesota vs. Texas - Bloggin' Through Life One Goat at a Time
Miss Britt
More Reverberation
Mrs. Hall
Native Born
No Touch Monkey!
Not Just Nouns and Verbs
Poppy Cedes
Raw Cool
Sandwich Flats
Savannah Marsh Mama
Secondhand Tryptophan
Shiny Happy Donna
Slightly More Than Less
Slyde's Blog
Smoke (Rom Sedona)
Snackie's World
Sybil Law
Tabbie. Like Cabbie, With a T.
Tallyhassle (Hiding Out In...)
That Blue Yak
The Erin O'Brien Owner's Manual for Human Beings
The Peach Tart
The Rumblings of a Modest Earth Dweller
Two Can Anne
Vaguetarian Tea Room
White Rabbit
Who Said Life Wasn't Funny?
Whole Lotta Trouble


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Let's all kick 2010's ass!

Dec 30, 2009

Mostly straight

Had an interesting conversation with Gia earlier today. We were in the car and listening to Ron & Fez on XM and someone on the show said something like "that's absolutely wrong". And so we started talking about if something can be absolutely wrong or absolutely right. Not the idea, but the use of the word "absolutely" in front of right or wrong. Isn't it enough to say that something is right or wrong without qualifying how right or how wrong that something is?

In other words are their degrees of right and wrong? Or is their just right and wrong without any qualifiers?


Then we started to think of other examples. And one of them was gay and straight. Can someone be a little gay or really straight? I know some folks like to test the waters and do a little swimmin', if ya know what I mean. And I certainly know a few dudes who might be a little gay without actually jumping in, if that is possible.

And then Gia said that she thinks that someone can be a little gay or really straight, but that it might also be possible that some people who consider themselves really straight are probably at least a little gay.  You know, over-compensating and all.  So they went so far to the straight side that they may have wound up a bit on the nude gay beach.  Or that they secretly want to go swimming there, at least.

I think she's right.

And I'll always have to admit to being a little gay.  If only for my man-crushes on Nathan Fillion, Mark Harmon and Dave Grohl

Otherwise, all man.  That's me.  :)

PS - Do NOT do a Google Image search for "mostly straight" with SafeSearch off, by the way.  Unless, that is, you're a little gay.  Just sayin'.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I also like an old Hollywood musical or two.  You gotta problem with that?

Dec 29, 2009

Captain Trips, is that you?

So the first case of a highly drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis hit the United States the other day. Or at least it was announced for the first time the other day. It actually was discovered a bunch of months back when a 19-year-old visiting student from Peru was diagnosed with it in Florida.

The strain, called XXDR, is highly-contagious, aggressive and almost completely resistant to the standard antibiotic treatments. It's so rare that only a handful of cases have been identified world-wide thus far. I guess we've been pretty luck to this point with containing the spread of this particular strain of a disease that still kills about 2 million people every year.  And that's the old strain.  You know, the one that can actually be treated with antibiotics.  


This is the kind of thing that keeps me up at night. Not terror attacks, financial collapse or the new Nic Cage movie.  But good old Mother Nature deciding that there are two many humans on the planet and she needs to do something about it.  Like re-introducing an old enemy who has gone back to school and learned a few new tricks.

I like to keep optimistic and I have a lot of confidence in the medical community to fight fire with fire when it comes to tackling these infectious diseases, viruses and bacterium.  But if it happens again it won't be the first time that mankind gets it's collective ass kicked by something so small that it can't be seen without a microscope.

And it probably won't be the last time, either.  If we are lucky.

So, um, Happy Tuesday y'all.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. This is how it begins in those sci-fi flicks, anyway.

Dec 28, 2009

Hit Girl Kicks Ass

I'm a little late to the party because this red-band trailer for Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn rocks so much) has been bopping around the Interwebs for over a week now. But when has that stopped me before?

Two things immediately come to mind. 
  1. It looks cool.  Little girl saying "fuck" and "cunt" and shooting people and drinking a milkshake with Nic Cage.  All cool.  And I haven't read the comic book, but it sounds cool.  And Matthew Vaughn is pretty fucking cool.  But...
  2. It looks really silly.  I don't know if it was the choice of music for the trailer or the bad acting on the part of the little girl, but it looks really silly.  And Matthew Vaughn is British.  A notoriously silly bunch.  And Nic Cage is silly.  Have you seen his bird hair?
Are you excited for Kick-Ass?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. McLovin is in it!.

Dec 26, 2009

Holiday Hangover

Not from drinking too much, although we did our share on Christmas Eve with those basil martinis. They were fantastic, by the way. I can't believe how smooth and easy of a drink it was. I wonder how it would taste with an infusion of cilantro instead. Gonna try that next time, but maybe it would be more of a summer drink.

Anywho, we plan on spending most of the rest of the weekend sleeping it off in shifts. Too much food, just enough family, not enough booze.  All of that adds up to a couple of tired polecats.  Haven't even played with our Christmas gifts yet.  Not really, anyway.

I have dabbled with the new Flip Video UltraHD camcorder that Gia gave me.  Seems real easy to use so we, of course, used it to make a "baby drinking a beer" video.  OK, so we lack imagination.  Like I said...we are dog-tired!

PS - Hmm...takes a while to upload a video to Blogger.  Gotta be a better way.

PPS - OK, Blogger's video embedder sucks. Let's give Vimeo a try, shall we?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. No babies were intoxicated in the making of this video.

Dec 24, 2009

Krampus says...

(click on that link to find out why)

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day.  Black Peter is kinda cool too!

Dec 23, 2009

Scar Tissue - a musical meme

So yesterday, Avitable re-did a musical meme that he had participated in some years ago.  He posted his current answers and his answers from three years ago.  And I thought "What a great idea!".  So I nicked it.  The meme I did a few years ago was a little different, but the concept was the same.

If you want to see my original post, you can do so here.  But I'm gonna show you what I posted here anyway, so I wouldn't bother if I were you.  Last time I did this there were some cosmically weird answers.  Let's see what happens in Round 2.

The Rules

1. Put your iTunes/music player on Shuffle (use a stereo or a list of your favorite songs if you don’t have an iPod)
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER WHAT(this is in capital letters, so it is very serious. No hiding your show tunes, folks!)

(OK...I have to make one thing clear. I omitted all Jimmy Buffett from my answers unless it wound up being from Havana Daydreamin' - my favorite of his albums. So I did fast-forward past some Buffett, because if I didn't then about half the answers would have been his songs. Everything else is honest.  Earl)

2007 - "Tiny Dancer" - Elton John. 2009 - "Skaravan" - The Scofflaws.

(I haven't said "skaravan" before, but I will now)

2007 - "Words and Guitars" - Sleater-Kinney. 2009 - "Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)" - Bruce Springsteen

(I do love that song)

2007 - "Me-Jane" - PJ Harvey. 2009 - "Girls Like Status" -The Hold Steady

(It doesn't really fit, but nice that it contained the word "girls")

2007 - "Awfully Quiet" - The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. 2009 - "Mad World" - Gary Jules


2007 - "The Dirty Jobs" - The Who. 2009 - "Time Loves a Hero" - Little Feat

(Little Feat is my life's purpose)

2007 - "Willin' " - Little Feat. 2009 - "More Whiskey" - The New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble

(I laughed out loud when I saw that pop up! Ha!)

2007 - "100%" - Sonic Youth. 2009 - "All Night Thing" - Temple of the Dog
(That's right, baby!)

2007 - "My Life" - Mary J. Blige. 2009 - "No One Knows" - The Queens of the Stone Age

(Always were a mystery to me)

2007 - "Havana Daydreamin' " - Jimmy Buffett. 2009 - "Charity" - Skunk Anansie

(Not so much)

WHAT IS 2+2?
2007 - "Left of Center" - Suzanne Vega. 2009 - "Fucking Boyfriend" - The Bird and the Bee


2007 - "Is This Love" - Whitesnake.  2009 - "Let's Call It Love" - Sleater-Kinney

(Yes, let's)

2007 - "Rub 'til it Bleeds" - PJ Harvey.  2009 - "House of Pain" - Faster Pussycat


2007 - "The Metro" - Berlin. 2009 - "Straight Outta Compton" - NWA

(I bet you didn't know that about me)

2007 - "Helpless Dancer" - The Who. 2009 - "Caribou" - The Pixies

2007 - "Ooo Child" - Five Starships. 2009 - "Everyday People" - Sly and the Family Stone

(That's kinda cool)

2007 - "Oh, Lonesome Me" - Neil Young. 2009 - "Barstool Boys" - Marah

(They do know I like bars)

2007 - "Romeo and Juliet" - Dire Straits. 2009 - "Everlong" - Foo Fighters

2007 - "Simple Man" - Lynyrd Skynyrd. 2009 - "Fade Into You" - Mazzy Star


2007 - "So What'cha Want?" - The Beastie Boys. 2009 - "Ecstasy" - PJ Harvey

(Never tried it)

2007 - "Italian Leather Sofa" - Cake. 2009 - "Somebody Told Me" - The Killers

(Well if it is a secret, I assume someone told me it.  I like how this one fits the question)

2007 - "Beercan" - Beck. 2009 - "Cold Beverage" - G. Love and Special Sauce

(Wow...that's a bit weird.  I mean, not if you know my friends, but weird that they are so similar)

2007 - "Jumpers" - Sleater-Kinney. 2009 - "Scar Tissue" - The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. There you go.

Dec 22, 2009

The Gramercy Tavern's Basil Martini

Besides the store-bought presents I'll be bestowing upon Gia this year for Christmas, I'll also be making her a batch of her favorite cocktails for Christmas Eve.

The Basil Martini using the recipe from The Gramercy Tavern in NYC. The recipe was printed in a book called Raising the Bar: Better Drinks, Better Entertaining a few years back, and I have to say that it sounds delicious. Even though I'm generally not a fan of vodka. But I'll make an exception for basil-infused Ketel One.

This is one of those "ya gotta plan it about three days before ya drink it" kinda recipes, dontcha know.

That 2-quart mason jar with a liter of vodka, a batch of fresh basil, some water and some dry vermouth is gonna sit in the fridge for the next few days and on Christmas Eve the resulting infused spirits should have a warm, greenish color.

A little Bloody Mary mix, some ice and a garnish of a sun dried tomato round out the delicious sounding cocktail.  I mean, the description sounds pretty tasting, doesn't it?

OK, now picture Gia and I in front of a roaring fire drinking those cocktails.

That's a Merry Christmas right there in a glass.  Green and red and Merry all over.

Ho ho ho!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. So when I said to picture Gia and I in front of a roaring fire, did you picture us nekkid?  Bunch o' perverts!

Dec 21, 2009

The 100th Avatar Review You've Read

But it's not gonna stop me.

Slyde and I had a movie date on Friday morning.  Bright and early...9 AM was when we met at a mutually convenient IMAX theater to be the first kids on the block to see James Cameron's Avatar.  Well, the second kids on the block to see Avatar.  Some folks saw it the night before at midnight.  Those dirty stay-ups.  And it's a good thing we decided to see the earliest showing of the day.  The line was massive for the next showing when we left the theater.

Anyway, since this is probably the 100th review of this film that you all have come across, I'm not gonna bother with any summary of the plot or give you any spoilers.  You've probably either seen the film by now or read those spoilers.  Or you have seen big Hollywood films before and you aren't going to need any spoilers.

Because the only negative thing I can really say about this movie is that the plot wasn't very original.  You've all heard of all the films that basically run with the same plot and there was nothing new and exciting plot-wise for this film.  It's all true.  Right from the very beginning of the film I knew what was coming next.  It was all so telegraphed.  Plot point A leads to B which leads to C which eventually leads to the inevitable X. 

But you know what?  I don't give a rat's ass!

Because this was easily one of the greatest film experiences of all-time!

The IMAX 3-D was ridiculous.  The sound and the sights...they really defy description.  I don't know about everyone else, but I felt like I was actually in the movie at certain points.  Like I had to take the 3D glasses off for a moment and look around to remind myself that I was watching a movie in a theater.  Thankfully I didn't do that very often.  Well, I did have to run to the Men's Room at one point.  It's a fucking long movie, y'all!

Since there was so much on the technical side that was new and exciting it was almost necessary that the plot was familiar.  It was comforting and it was handled really well.  The film was exciting and funny and heart-wrenching and everything else that you want from an epic film like this.  It was absolutely amazing in just about every single way. 

I can't wait to see it again.  And again.  And again.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. James Cameron, once again, delivers.

Dec 18, 2009

Blog Hero: World Tour

Seems that blog traffic is down lately. Could be the holidays or it could be a shift in online-related activities. There are some other other reasons that have been popping up lately as well.

"I can't access your site at work." or "Some of the content on your blog is restricted where I work."

Simple solution: Do your work at while you are at work and save blogging for when you get home.

Elegant solution: I can come to your house and just tell you the shit that I normally write here. Hang out over your shoulder while I show you where to go to find the silly videos I post. Maybe tickle you in inappropriate places while you are doing it.

Here's what I'm gonna need:
  • All travel expenses paid.  Upfront. With some extra spendin' cash.
  • Unlimited access to your liquor cabinet.
  • Three home cooked meals a day.  No mushrooms in anything, please.
  • For you men, I'm gonna need some alone time with your women.
  • For you women...well, you do the math.
So if you want to be a part of the Earl World Tour, and really...who could pass this up, just let me know. 

Not while you are at work, of course.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day.  You know you want to.

Dec 17, 2009

The Colbert Rapport

Update: Viacom and Youtube are a bunch of bitches.  Here's the clip from Hulu.  And the 16-second advertisement up front that goes along with it.  Fuckers!

Yeah, yeah, yeah

I love New York, King of all the Cities
Lived up by the Guggenheim, ’til I got some kiddies
Moved to Connecticut, ‘bye George Pataki
Volvo to the dry-cleaners, pickin’ up my khakis

Shoppin’ mall is close, my community is gated
My shorties are all private school educated
Home theater system, 60-inch plasma
Clean suburban air, much better for my asthma

Still hit the city, Times Square, keep it real
Hard Rock Cafe for the appetizer deal
M&M Store, Disney Store, I’m in heaven
I own this town from 41st to 47th

Take you to The Lion King, that show is fantastic
Leave half an hour early so I can beat the traffic
I can get home really fast, driver rocks an E-Z Pass
Land of cheaper gas and the upper middle class

lyrics provided by: The No Fact Zone


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Jay-Z, who?

Dec 16, 2009

Earl's favorite flim scenes: Volume I

This might become a recurring post here on The Verdant Dude. A little snippet of one of my favorite scenes from one of my favorite films.

This one is from Martin Scorcese's brilliant After Hours. Enjoy!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Surrender Dorothy!

Dec 15, 2009

Holiday Bullets

What goes better with the Holidays than a healthy helping of bullets? Yeah, I can't think of anything either.
  • It's true.  We should stop pandering to horses and just fucking eat them!  I've never really liked the way that they look at me.
  • Even thought the detailed pictures of it look a bit amateurish, I still want a Millennium Falcon bed.  And I want Gia to dress like Princess Leia just once fer Christ's sake!
  • And speaking of the Falcon, I see that Billy Dee Williams has jumped into the Tiger Woods game with both barrels blazin'.  He was Lando, don't you know.
  • And speaking of the Falcon, get in on LolAt-Ats while the getting is good.  It's the newest, most funnest Lolamathingies on the block!
  • And speaking of the Falcon, some of you are probably much too young to remember The Star Wars Christmas Special that ran on TV back in the day.  This right here wraps up why that particular program is so loved, I mean mocked, to this day.  
  • Yeah, I'm gonna stop with that "And speaking of the Falcon..." bit.  Sorry.
  • Racism is dead in America.  So says this white couple who black folks just love! Just check out the testimonials.
  • And finally, in anticipation of the "Snooki gets knocked the fuck out" episode of Jersey Shore this Thursday, here is your Jersey Shore Nickname Generator.  Mine was Danny Tan-ner.  Someone get me a Jägerbomb and a fucking fist pump!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Seriously, Han Solo was fucking cool.

Dec 14, 2009

Final Girl Film Club -The Wicker Man (1973)

Disclaimer A: This post is part of Stacie Ponder's Final Girl Film Club. She picks a film, oftimes obscure, and the cooler sheep in her flock watch the flick and review it on their blogs.  It's like a mini-meme.  Wait, what?

Disclaimer B: I didn't work very hard on this review.  Well, I did actually.  But I did the work over four years ago.  This was one of my very early blog posts back before I even had a blog.  How does that happen?  Well I started blogging over on Slyde's blog when he first started out and he wasn't posting very often.  So, like the good egg that I am, I started helping him out.  I think it will be fun to see how different my writing style was back then.  I've become a bit more snarky over the years.  So I'm going to re-read it along with y'all and add some editorial comments in parenthesis when I come across anything that really makes me squirm.  Fun, right?

Did that get your attention?

The Wicker Man (1973)

Hey kids! Have you ever watched a film and decided that you didn't really like and/or understand it at first only to decide at a later time that you actually did like it and that it has gotten under your skin a bit? This happens to me an awful lot. It happened just recently with a so-called classic horror film called The Wicker Man from 1973. As you know, both Slyde and I are big fans of the horror genre, but neither of us had ever seen this gem until I had the chance to purchase the DVD sometime last week.

Let me give you a brief set-up to the movie. In modern day (early 70's) Scotland, a policeman (Edward Woodward) from the mainland is lured to a small island in the Hebrides to investigate the disappearance of a young girl. He encounters a strange group of villagers who act as if they had never seen the girl before. He also encounters the islander's strange religious and sexual practices which is disconcerting to him as he is a devout (and quite repressed) Christian. Suspecting that the girl has been sacrificed or is about to be sacrificed as part of some neo-pagan ritual, he stays on the island in an effort to save the young lass. I'll not go any further in case any of you haven't seen the film yet, but let's just say things start to go awry for our young, repressed hero.

I'm not quite sure why I gave it a thumbs-down after my first viewing. It surely wasn't what I expected. There were horror elements to be sure (Ed. - nice use of "sure" and surely" in back to back sentences), but I certainly wouldn't classify it solely as a horror film. The first half of the film played out almost as a musical, if you can believe that. There were songs sung in pubs, in fields, around the maypole, and even one extraordinarily strange seduction sung by the landlord's daughter to the policeman while in different rooms! It also didn't go a long way towards explaining some of the strange imagery on the island, but I guess at that point I had already semi-given up on the film.

That next day, however, I found that it HAD gotten under my skin a little. I began to research a little of the background of the film and it started to fascinate me even more. You see, this film was the brainchild of writer Anthony Shaffer, director Robin Hardy and star Christopher Lee. In fact, Lee was not paid a dime for his acting in this film although he continues to call it his favorite film that he had ever worked in. This project was very close to his heart and he wanted to see it completed. Had he accepted his normal fee the film may never have gotten off the ground. Mr. Shaffer had wanted to do a smart, contemporary British horror film which then turned into a morality play, and partly made that weird left turn into musical/drama. The studio which had made the film (British Lion, I believe) was sold soon after shooting had completed and the new head of the studio, Michael Deeley, was not quite sold on the film. In fact, after an early viewing of the film with Shaffer and Lee, he asked them what they thought of it. They believed that it was one of the finest things that either of them had worked on. He replied that it was quite possibly the worst film he had ever seen.

Well, if the head of your studio believes that about your film it ain't gonna be easy to get them to distribute it. They tried to convince Roger Corman to distribute it in the US, but his offer was too low for the studio to accept. It soon found another distributor, but without the clout that Corman could bring to the table the film quickly shot to obscurity even though it drew rave reviews. However, it soon began to rise in the underground as a cult classic. Theaters were playing the film at midnight showings to sold-out audiences. With the advent of VHS (and DVD later on) the legend of the film has continued to grow. There are fanzines, websites and festivals dedicated to the film. One disappointing note is that the original negative to the film has been lost to history. It is believed that it was accidentally included in some garbage that was used for landfill in England's M3 motorway. Mr. Lee deduces that was a direct result of the dislike that Mr. Deeley had for the film!

So, with new information in hand I decided to watch the film a second time and damn if I didn't love it this time around! Even the weird musical scenes were a delight to watch. And the conflict between the repressed Christian ideology of Woodward and the neo-pagan joy of the villagers was especially juicy to behold. Britt Ekland (dubbed by Annie Ross to portray a Scottish accent), Ingrid Pitt (strangely, the producers kept her Polish accent) and Diane Cilento were all beautiful and quite magnetic on the screen. But it was the thoroughly delightful Christopher Lee as Lord Summerisle that stole the show. He was funny, thoughtful, smart and not at all outwardly evil as the ringleader of the neo-pagans. A very different Lee than the one I had grown up on when he was doing all those Hammer horror films. He didn't look so awful in a dress towards the end of the film either. I guess you have to see the film to understand that last bit.

(Ed. Okay, there was a paragraph here on the upcoming, at the time, remake with Nic Cage.  It was just me griping about taking the film out of Scotland and putting the awful Cage in it.  Turns out it was a hysterical comedic take on the film. mean it wasn't supposed to be funny?  Oh, I beg to differ!)

Anyway, as I stated in the opening sentence, I like when a film gets under my skin a bit. This one had me researching Celtic pagan rituals which ain't so easy since the history is murky at best. You see there was no written documentation of these rituals, so what remains today sometimes feels like a bad game of telephone...but played over a couple of thousand years instead of whispered around the room at a party. The maypole, the fire dance, John Barleycorn and the Wicker Man itself all are a part of early pagan practices although any specifics are hard to come by. This film left me wanting more, and I think that is one of the marks of a truly great piece of art.

(Ed. - I guess it's not too different than the way I currently write.  Maybe a bit less douchey, but not so different.  Hmm)


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the neo-pagan Scots are doing it.

Dec 11, 2009

Guilty Pleasure

I know it's wrong on so many levels. 

I know that violence is wrong.

And I know that violence against women is especially reprehensible.

But I can't stop looking at it.

I can't stop smiling at it.

Maybe it's that stupid fucking Ed Hardy hat flying off of her little guidette head.

Maybe it's the chubby guy in the middle who gets tagged at the same time.

Maybe it's the demonic look on the guy's face as he his punching her.

Like he had heard it all too often and it was enough.

Yet, I still feel guilty for watching this .gif file over and over and over again.

And in my head, I hear Chris Rock talking about OJ Simpson.  "Now, I'm not saying he shoulda killed the bitch....but I undertand!!!" 

Disclaimer: No Jersey Shore guidettes were hurt in the making of this post.  I mean, I guess one of them got hurt in the filming of that episode.  But since she was hurt already I guess that makes it okay.  Right?  No?  Crap!  Oh, and the guy who punched that little awful guidette was immediately arrested.  Consequences, people.  Consequences.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. This is really wrong.  Right?

Dec 10, 2009

The House of the Devil

One would suspect from viewing the above poster that The House of the Devil is an old Horror film from the 1970's or early 1980's.  And that's the whole idea, even though the film was only released a few months ago.  Writer/director Ti West pulls it off too.  So much so that you honestly feel like the film could have been made in 1980 or so and just "found" and released.  Except for the odd occasional familiar face like Tom Noonan or Dee Wallace looking a bit longer in the tooth than they were back in the day.

The plot is straight out of a simpler time.  A young college student looking to make a few bucks agrees to a babysitting job out in the sticks.  Once she gets there things turn all weirdsville on her.  Instead of a child she is supposed to be watching over this creepy old dude's even older mother.  Asleep up in her room somewhere in this massive old house.  That's when the booga-booga debbil stuff starts.  Pentagrams, sacrifices and demons...oh my!

It's a slow and painful buildup to the inevitable climax.  And that's what makes it all so much fun.  I think that some folks might complain about the pacing, but those folks are just stupid-heads.  I said it.

If you dig your horror on the retro tip or just if you wanna watch a flick about a good old fashioned satanic cult like your momma used to watch, then The House of the Devil might be for you.  Unless you are one of them stupid-heads.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Boo!

Dec 9, 2009

"No, my brother. You got to buy your own."

That is all.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Who knew that Melville was where you could find soul.

Dec 8, 2009

It Happened Before

It WILL happen again. It's just a matter of when. - Narrator (Chuck Heston), Armageddon

I don't think it's a stretch to say that The Day After Tomorrow might be one of the most ridiculous films ever made.  From a scientific viewpoint, I mean.  In a nutshell, the film is about a massive Ice Age that is brought on by global warming not over a period of centuries or millenia, but over a period of months or days.  The film was greeted with catcalls from those who think they know better.  Massive climate change just doesn't happen that way.

Except, ya know, maybe it does.

Turns out that the last mini-Ice Age called "The Big Freeze" or the Younger Dryas which occurred around 13,000 years ago may have gone from zero to freeze in a period as small as two months.  A bunch of Canadian scientists recently have completed some research in which they have determined that this particular mini-Ice Age was caused by switching off the North Atlantic circulation due to a large infusion of cold, fresh water into the Atlantic. 

This was caused by an ancient lake in Central Canada called Lake Agassiz which grew too fast and broke over it's banks into the Great Lake System and the St. Lawrence River basin.  All of that fresh water screwed up the circulation in the North Atlantic.  Warm water from the tropics that kept temperatures moderate in North America and Europe was suddenly mixed with cold water from Lake Agassiz and it flummoxed our entire weather pattern.  For 1,300 years or so.  And yes...flummoxed is a very scientific word. 

Why did Lake Agassiz, which was formed by melting Canadian glaciers, suddenly overflow it's banks?  Was it rapid global warming of the natural variety or was it caused by the explosion of a comet or meteor in the atmosphere somewhere above Central Canada?  These are questions that are being argued by minds much smarter than mine.  All I know is that it probably won't happen again.  Right?

Er, wrong.

You see, there is this massive ice shelf that covers Greenland.  Huge amounts of fresh water in glacial form that covers the entire island.  And it's melting.  At historic rates.  And it appears to be melting faster every year.  What if there is a sudden tipping point to the fresh water meltage rate that is currently pouring into the North Atlantic from Greenland?  What if the balance of the North Atlantic tropical circulation is about to break?  It would mean that the next Ice Age could be just around the corner.  It could mean that huge swaths of North America and Europe could be plunged into a deep winter that could last for a millennium. you feeling today?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Flummoxed is indeed a scientific term.

Dec 7, 2009

Payback: Straight Up

You know, there was a time that Mel Gibson was probably the biggest badass in Hollywood. And I mean that in a good way. From Max Rockatansky to Martin Riggs to William Wallace. No one brought the vengeance like Mel did. Retribution might be a better word for he brought to the screen. The hot and cold running violence that ran through his veins was truly something to behold.

And then he went batshit crazy.

Anyway, Mel Gibson going crazy isn't what I'm talking about here.  I'm talking about what I think is the last truly great (or at least very good) film that Gibson has given us.  Brian Helgeland's Payback from 1999.  Sure, The Patriot has it's moments, but it felt like a pale imitation of Braveheart in many ways.  And while I liked Signs, he was probably the weakest link in that film.  As a director he has given us The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto since 1999, but I hated the first and just kinda liked the second.  Neither were up to the standards of the guy that we use to refer to as His Melness back in the day.

Anyway, my point is that I think Payback is great.  Maybe that isn't the widespread opinion of the film, but I like it a lot.

If you haven't seen it yet, it's about a singularly-named thief (Porter) who is double-crossed by his partner and wife in the worst of ways.  He spends the bulk of the film tracking down the money that was stolen from him.  Working his way up the crime organization/syndicate from lieutenant to under-boss to boss until he finally gets what's coming to him. 

It was filmed in the fashion of a 1950's film noir hard-boiled private detective story.  Down to the washed-out blue tint that permeated the film and the wise-cracking first-person narrative.

But what I didn't know is that Brian Helgeland was fired from the project with scant weeks to go because his original vision was much darker than what eventually wound up on the big screen.  Test audiences were thrilled with this side of Gibson or how un-mainstream it felt.  Helgeland's version of Porter was colder and even more single-minded in the pursuit of his money.  And his final product was maybe a little too dark for the studio.  They wanted a happy ending and a more mainstream thriller.  So they wrote an entirely new third act, added some humor and the narration.  And it worked, for what it was worth. 

Well, the powers that be gave Brian Helgeland to the opportunity to re-issue the film in his original vision.  The blue tint was gone.  The narration was gone.  And almost the entire third act was gone.  The character that was played by Kris Kristofferson in the theatrical release was relegated to a voice-over job by Sally Kellerman.  It's amazing to me how much was changed in the two or three weeks after Helgeland left the film.  Even the non-linear structure of the first film was removed...mostly.  It simply became a story of a hard man walking into a city and pursuing his goal in the most straight-forward of ways. It's similar...but very different at the same time.

I loved the new/old film.  Even more than the theatrical version, which I still really enjoy.  If you are a fan of the original film or if you felt like it was just missing a little something then give Brian Helgeland's version a try. 

It really is a totally different film.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Lucy Liu as a dominatrix is a bonus.

Dec 5, 2009

A couple of tributes

Liam Clancy, Irish folk singer and last remaining brother and member of Tommy Makem and the Clancy Brothers, passed away this past Thursday at the age of 74. Bob Dylan in 1984 said "“I never heard a singer as good as Liam ever. He was just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life. Still is, probably.”

Torrie Zito, pianist, bandleader and music arranger, passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76. That's Torrie up there playing piano and leading the band for Tony Bennett in that video. One of the things that Torrie was well-known for was working with John Lennon on his Imagine album arranging the strings. One of the things that Torrie was less-known for is that he was one of Gia's uncles.

Rest in Peace, Liam and Torrie.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing.

Dec 4, 2009

Old Clothes

I think I'm gonna make this dish this weekend.

It's a Spanish/Caribbean dish called Ropa Vieja (old clothes).  When it's done well it is one of my favorite things to order at a good Spanish restaurant.  Basically, it is a shredded braised beef dish with onions, peppers and spices that is usually served over saffron rice.  The shreds of beef, onion and pepper might remind someone of shredded up old rags, or so the story goes.  Or the name could come from the original recipe which called for leftover beef.  I dunno and I don't care.  It's delicious!

My mouth is watering just thinking about it right now.  And that picture doesn't do it justice.

I found a decent recipe for it on Epicurious and I want to give it a go.  I'll let you know how it all turns out on Monday.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. It's interesting to know what I'm eating, isn't it?

Dec 3, 2009

Good Morning Moon!

Ah, it's grainy and fuzzy as all Hell because I took it with the camera on my cell phone instead of running back inside for a real camera.  And I had to crop it to keep my neighbor's license plate out of the picture, but this was what I saw yesterday at around 6:30 AM. 

A beautiful full moon reflecting on the harbor just minutes before it set and the sun rose on the opposite horizon. 

The weather took a turn for the worse later in the day and we are expecting storms tonight and into tomorrow, so it looks like I was lucky to catch it when I did.

What's your favorite sight first thing in the morning?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. M, O, O, N...that spells Tom Cullen.

Dec 2, 2009

Catullus 16

I'm gonna tell you right off the bat...I'm not sure about the veracity of this story.  But it's been going around the Interwebs the past few days and either it is too ridiculous or too funny NOT to be relayed.

So there was this Roman Poet from the 1st Century BC named Gaius Valerius Catullus, see?  And there was another poet who lived in the same era named Marcus Furius Bibaculus, right?  And this second guy had an affair with the first guy's boyfriend, okay?  Yeah, the were all a bunch of catty gay Roman poets in togas.

And this affair led to a poetic feud that puts the Ice Cube/Eazy E or the 50 Cent/Ja Rule feuds to shame.  Even the Biggie/Tupac feud, and those guys wound up shot to death!

Catullus, in his infamous Catullus 16 poem, raked both Furius and his friend Aurelius over the poetic coals.  In the most explicit of ways.  So explicit, in fact, that a full English translation of the poem wasn't published openly until late in the last century.  

Now I don't know a lick of Latin, but the Wikipedia translates the poem thusly:

Original Latin
1 Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo,
2 Aureli pathice et cinaede Furi,
3 qui me ex versiculis meis putastis,
4 quod sunt molliculi, parum pudicum.
5 Nam castum esse decet pium poetam
6 ipsum, versiculos nihil necessest(necesse est);
7 qui tum denique habent salem ac leporem,
8 si sunt molliculi ac parum pudici
9 et quod pruriat incitare possunt,
10 non dico pueris, sed his pilosis
11 qui duros nequeunt movere lumbos.
12 Vos, quod milia multa basiorum
13 legistis, male me marem putatis?
14 Pedicabo ego vos et irrumabo.

English Translation*
1 I will sodomize you and face-fuck you,
2 Cock-sucker Aurelius and catamite Furius,
3 You who think, because my verses
4 Are delicate, that I am a sissy.
5 For it's right for the devoted poet to be chaste
6 Himself, but it's not necessary for his verses to be so.
7 Verses which then have taste and charm,
8 If they are delicate and sexy,
9 And can incite an itch,
10 And I don't mean in boys, but in those hairy old men
11 Who can't get their flaccid dicks up.
12 You, because you have read of my thousand kisses,
13 You think I'm a sissy?
14 I will bugger you and face-fuck you.

I don't know about you, but I would think twice about pissing off any of these 1st Century BC gay Roman toga-wearing poets. 


*I threw some of these phrases into a Latin/English translator and, well...let's just say that some of the English Translations shown here are a bit of a reach.  Fun and obscene, but a bit of a reach.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I will bugger and face-fuck you.

Dec 1, 2009

Dirty Vikings

I watch a lot of crap. Figuratively.

But I enjoy bad movies, good movies, independent movies, foreign movies, extremely low-budget movies...well, just about any kind of movie. It's an obsession. I know that. I'm not a real big TV junkie so when nothing interesting is on any of the channels, I will put a movie on. And the available streaming of Netflix is like crack to a, um, crack addict.

So every once in a while I am gonna come across something unexpected. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I ran into the "sometimes bad" variety over this past weekend. It's a little film called Severed Ways that I didn't quite make it all the way through for reasons I will go into in a little bit. But it's about two Norse men who were stranded in North America during one of the Vikings excursions west of Greenland around AD 1007.  It was an odd film.  American, for what I can tell even though the men spoke in Old Norse.  Each chapter was punctuated by a brief bit of some black metal music by bands like Dimmu Borgir and Burzum (a pretty disturbing story with that band, by the way). The camera-work was shaky and the pacing was extremely slow.

But it wasn't the pacing, the camera work or the black metal that made me turn this one off.  It was something else entirely.

I remember the only time I saw Caligula some time back.  Slyde and I had gone to over to a friend's house who had just purchased the film on laser disc back when laser disc was the way to go when watching films. And the three of us were totally unprepared for some of the extra hard-core sex scenes that Bob Guccione added to the original film.  Like the brief scene showing one dude giving another dude oral pleasure, if ya know what I mean.  I had somehow managed to make it 30 years without seeing one dude give another dude a blowjob, but there it was.  I'm not a prude, by any means, but there are some things that I would just rather not see.  This is one of them.

Then there was the episode of Oz that showed Christopher Meloni's character peeing in a bucket while in solitary.  Now Meloni was never an actor who was afraid of showing off his hog on camera, but he took it to another level in this episode.  I remember Slyde calling me the next day as we marveled at his "acting ability".  I mean there was no way that was CGI.  He was really peeing in the bucket.  Lee Strasburg can't teach anyone better than that.  Peeing on command on camera.  But this is another one of those things that I really could have done without seeing.

And Severed Ways took it to a whole new level.

About a half-hour into the film, one of the Vikings took a shit in the woods. He took his pants down or his tunic up, whatever, he squatted down and he took a shit.  And then the camera panned down to show a close-up of the actual dirty deed.  Even the cleanup phase afterward with some leaves.

I couldn't get to the remote control quick enough to turn that shit off.  No pun intended.  I was done with this version of 2 Vikings 1 Cup, if you know what I mean.  And I think you do.  I just don't have the stomach for that kind of thing.  The ultimate "I really didn't need to see that" moment, if you ask me.

So, apparently I watch a lot of crap.  Literally.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Does a Viking shit in the woods?  Apparently he does.

Nov 30, 2009

Karaoke Turkey

That would be me. And the rest of my extended family.

After a sumptuous feast on Thanksgiving Day we break out the karaoke software, hook a few computers together with the sound system and we have a good 'ole time singing to the hits.  First the kids until around 9:30PM or so, and then we adults take over.  This year we cut the festivities off early and we were done by 2AM.  : )

I did a couple of solos to start things off. "Folsom Prison Blues" by Johnny Cash and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" by The Charlie Daniels Band. I don't know why, but I tend to go real country whenever I karaoke. The rock stuff is too hard to sing, I guess. Or maybe, like Marie Osmond, I'm a little bit country after all.  But I dance better.  Naturally.

One of the highlights was a silly duet (kinda) of the song down below that I did with a dude who smells like a wet dog.  Oh, and his duet with my Gia on "If I Close My Eyes Forever" by Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne.  That one rocked.

Hope y'all had a great Thanksgiving weekend.  And for those of you outside of the US, I hope your plain old ordinary weekend was almost as wonderful.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. And now Slyde will mention something about "Come Monday"...just watch.

Nov 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble Hey!

Hope you all have a Rock, Rock, Rock & Roll Thanksgiving!

PS - I think I'm missing a "rock" or two up there in that sentence.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. God(dess) Bless the Ramones.

Nov 25, 2009

The Big Night Out

It was in the not-too-distant past that the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving was THE night out for those of us who enjoy a raucous evening out at the pub.  Bellying up to the bar with good friends all around.  The harmonious tinkle of ice cubes as they tumble into a cocktail glass, just waiting for for some fine Scotch or Irish Whiskey or Bourbon.  A beautifully poured Guinness served at just the right temperature.  College basketball on the telly, good tunes on the jukebox and lots of laughs all around.

I guess it all started in college.  We would finish up our pre-break exams and head home for a long holiday weekend.  The bars at home usually would have a liberal policy toward those of us who were underage at the time.  It was a far, far simpler time and place. Bars packed with college and high-school aged kids all looking for a good time or some courage for the next day's sit-down with the extended family.  Maybe you got to see some of your old high-school friends.  Maybe you would hang with your new friends.  But the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving was something that you would look forward to.  A bold and epic night out on the town.

Then as we grow older, the importance of the night diminishes in a steady declining arc.  We no longer have to sneak into bars, in fact we would hold it as a badge of honor that we could get into any joint we wanted to get into on any given night.  But Wednesday night before Thanksgiving was still pretty special for a time.  Maybe we make sure to have a glass or two of water along the way.  Maybe we make sure we would have a designated driver, cab or drunken stumble home.  We weren't kids anymore.

And then the years pass and the night suddenly loses all of it's former glamour.  It finally happened for me a few years ago.  I just grew tired of my favorite watering hole being overrun by children half my age for one awful night.  And there comes a time when those of us well-versed in the language of the pub begin to refer to nights like this one as "Amateur Night".  New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day are also fine examples of "Amateur Night".  Those of us who have earned our professional standing in the sport of drinking eschew these nights out all together.  A quiet night at home or a small gathering with friends is the preferred event.

I just wonder when it was that I got so old that a night out at the pub seems more like a chore than a good time.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Drive safe everyone.

Nov 24, 2009

The Jackal

One of my all-time favorite TV shows is The West Wing.  Might be #1 on the list really, well...the first 3 years at least.  And Press Secretary CJ Cregg as played by Allisson Janney is my favorite character on the show.  Especially when she is acting the fool, like when she lip-synced her way through The Jackal.   Click on that link to see the magic.

Or just take a listen to the full version by Ronny Jordan and Dana Bryant.  This is one of the tunes that we listened to around the fire the other night.  Not sure why that is important, but there you go.  Enjoy!

The Jackal
by Ronny Brown and Dana Bryant

Did I ever tell you about the man who changed my life?
The one I thought, ohhh. Lord, when I saw him walkin' back in that bar, all tall and
lean with them broad shoulders, sweeeet lips, I knew that I had died and gone to. . .
Chocolate Heaven. . .

He had a real deep voice, white pearly teeth, his shoe was always shiny.
Long slender fingers manicured perfectly.
The man wore 800-dollar Italian suit, straight from, I dunno, what would they call it,
Milan or Rome or someplace like that?

I knew it wasn't local.
I said, I got to get next to that.
I haven't seen him in a long time.
The man was so fine, he could get any good girl into trouble. . .
Can you guess what his name was?. . .
Well. . . 'The Jackal'. . . 'The Jackal'. Say. 'The Jackal'. . .

He was fat back cat cool like a Friday afternoon martini, chillin' at a quarter after 5.
Twist of lime, Coke on the side.
The brother loved the high life.
Had a Ph.D. in street stride.
They called him 'The Jackal'.

He was big Mack daddy super black stylin' a diamonds in the back Cadillac.
Fur-lined boards, white wall wheels, cruise control, built for speed, chrome on evray-thang.
And stereophonic speakers, though he really didn't need them.
When they called him. . . 'The Jackal'. Say. 'The Jackal'. . .

Fly boy was in the buttermilk, hard, livin' fast, livin' large, 6 foot 4 and not an ounce of fat!
When women asked, 'is you a Cat?' He said 'I did more that that.
I'm the firmest of the firm
And in case you, hadn't known, they call me 'The Jackal'.

Served the 18-year bid first Riker's Island then they hid him in the state
penitentiary. Said the charge was Grand Larceny.
That was 1975, and today, if he's still alive, he'd be living in the park.
Hm. The brother whose claim to fame was that they called him 'The Jackal'. 'The Jackal'. . ."


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. CJ Cregg IS the Jackal!

Nov 23, 2009

A Promethean Gift

The gift of fire...

Friends of ours came over on Sunday with an unexpected birthday gift.  An iron outdoor fire pit.  And we put it to immediate use.  It was a beautiful crisp fall evening, so we grabbed some wood off the pile, a bottle of  Jameson off the bar and had ourselves a sit-down out on the patio. 

We are going to do this once a week.  Turn off the TV for a few hours and chill out in front of a fire on a cold night.

It's like camping, but we get to sleep in our own bed instead of on the hard, cold ground.

Now excuse me for a moment while I head to the store to get some graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate.   "Please sir...I want s'mores!"

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I am the God of Hellfire, and I bring you...

Nov 20, 2009

High-brow? Moi?

Thanks for all the suggestions yesterday. I'll put them all in the "figure it out" machine and see what pops out over the weekend.

In the meantime, French painter Joseph Ducreux may be dead for these long 200 years. But the brother was a pimp, as evidenced by one of his self-portraits.

He's got it all.  The pimp hat, pimp cane, the attitude, the clothes...Ducreux was styling.  And he is the newest darling of the Internet Meme scene. 

Go check out a whole gallery of LolDucs here, if it is in thine will.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. What I would give for a hat like that...

Nov 19, 2009


No, not that Avatar.  Although I'm holding onto cautious optimism for it.  It most likely will suck, but hey...Cameron has rarely let us down before.  Right?  Even if he does come off like a dick in some interviews.

I'm talking about my avatar.  You know, this one right here:

I'm thinking about trading it in for something new.  Maybe even a picture of myself like all the other adults out there use.  I am, after all, 43 now.  Oh, thanks for all the "Happy Birthday" wishes yesterday in the comments.  You kids are the fucking best!

So while I wrestle with this obviously life-changing decision, maybe y'all could jump in and let me know what you think.  Should the old Green Man stay or should I change things up a bit?  And if it's the latter, then gimme a suggestion or two.

No, Slyde...I will not be doing any full frontal nudity.  Nothing from behind either, ya big queen ya!

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day.  And no, I won't be going back to the blinking Bug-Eyed Earl.  That ship has sailed.