Jan 30, 2009

And I salute you brother!!!

Went out for a fabu dinner in Queens tonight. Douglaston. Not my normal hangout, but it was fun nonetheless. Hey Poppy, you and Dawg should check it out. Great Italian food!

On the way home we tuned to a nostalgic 80's radio station on the old XM/Sirius dial. One of the songs was from the Jim Carrol Band. I know you all have heard it before. I'm pretty sure RW referenced it pretty recently, but I can't be bothered to check.

Enjoy and happy fucking Friday!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All my dead friends are doing it.

Jan 29, 2009

Kurt Warner

FYI - Liv Tyler screaming her balls off over at the Moviegrenade. What, she doesn't have balls? You sure?

OK, I promised Becky I would root for that OTHER football team from Pennsylvania in this Sunday's Super Bowl. And I will. Plus, I have no love lost for the Cardinals who used to be in the old NFC East along with my Eagles. Fuck them!

But I do have a bit of a soft spot in my heart for Kurt Warner.

The guy made me a bunch of coin back in 1999 in my office fantasy football league. No, I had never heard of him before the season. But I had drafted Vinny (from Elmont) Testaverde as my starting QB and he ruptured his Achilles tendon in the very first game of the season.

So I looked around the boxscores and the only starting QB that wasn't drafted in my league was a dude named Kurt Warner who won the starting job in the pre-season when Trent Green went down with an injury. I already had the Ram's RB, Marshall Faulk, on my squad so I figured I might be able to double up on some points when the two connected.

And boy, oh boy did I rack up the points that year. I rode Warner's hot ass (not literally) all the way to a Super Bowl win in our league that year. It wasn't even close. I destroyed the competition.

It was the only season I came even close to winning that league. And it wasn't because I drafted well or put together a well-balanced team. I got lucky when Testaverde got hurt for the year and Warner was available. I wonder how many other fantasy football fans that happened to in 1999.

So good luck to both teams this weekend. I'm hoping for a great game and a Steelers victory. But if my boy Kurt Warner does something heroic, I won't be surprised. He's done it before.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the lucky bastards are doing it.

Jan 28, 2009

Trivial shit

Note - scary chocolate new awfulness over at the Moviegrenade for y'all to ignore. Go ahead, ignore it bitches! - Earl

This is for those of you who are cool enough to play in my trivia game. You can get to it by the tab on top of my header pic, by the way. That would make me happy. Or I usually link to it at the bottom of each post.

So the end of the month is approaching and I wanna make some changes to the format. First lemme run through a few things about the quiz. I don't make up the questions. All I do is pick the categories. And some of them suck! Like the History category. What the hell is that all about? They include Spelling Bee questions, recipes and stuff about embroidery. I guess just about anything that is factual could wind up in that category, but I would prefer REAL history questions. Here are the canned categories available to us:

  • Animals - no difficulty levels
  • Celebrities - Easier and More Difficult
  • General Knowledge - 6 levels from Very Easy to Very Difficult
  • Geography - Easy, Intermediate, Difficult
  • History - Easy, Intermediate, Difficult (what a joke!)
  • Hobbies - no difficulty levels
  • Literature - Easy and More Difficult
  • Movies - Easy, Intermediate, Difficult
  • Music - Easy, Intermediate, Difficult
  • People - Easy and More Difficult
  • Religion - Easy, More Difficult and Bible Trivia (!!!)
  • Science & Technology - Easy, Intermediate, Difficult
  • Sports: Baseball - Easy and Difficult
  • Sports: General - Easy and Intermediate
  • World: Australia - no difficulty levels
  • World: UK - no difficulty levels
  • World Trivia - Easier and More Difficult
  • World: Canada - no difficulty levels
  • World: Europe - no difficulty levels
  • Fun Trivia Mixed Bag - taken from all categories

Another thing that I have control over is the difficulty level. I prefer the difficult questions over the easy questions because, frankly, the easy questions are retarded. The difficult questions aren't much better, but at least it's not a race to answer 10 questions the quickest. That's not very fun.

The one thing I do like is the Wednesday Custom Category Day. Where we get to pick the category from any subject. Today's category is Pirates and it was suggested by badgerdaddy. There were only 45 questions in the database on Pirates, but I thought that was good enough. So no matter how esoteric (is that the proper word?) you believe the category to be, keep the suggestions coming.

So for those of you playing the quiz, I have three (3) questions for you:
  1. What canned categories would you like to see?
  2. Do you prefer Easier or Difficult questions?
  3. What would be one custom category you would like to see on Wednesday?

For those of you who don't play the quiz...well, February 1st is Sunday. Sounds like a great time to join in, if you ask me. Invite your friends too. The more the merrier!

PS - Good luck to Adam and RW. With only a few days left in the month it's almost a dead heat between the three of us for the top score in January. A few more of you would be in there if you played everyday, but you have to be in it to win it.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the quiz kids are doing it.

Jan 27, 2009

Comfort Food

Psst - new awful movie goodness over at the MovieGrenade for you to ignore. Or you can get there by clicking on the tab for "Bad Cinema" up there over my header image. That would make me happy since I worked so hard on it. And I did it all for you!- Earl

Tuna and egg salad (mayo, salt, pepper, dill) on toasted English Muffin (sandwich size) with potato and celery soup (dill as well) and Salt & Vinegar potato chips.

Chased down with an ice cold Dr. Pepper and followed with a slice of NY cheesecake.

Best comfort food meal ever or best comfort food meal ever?

You decide.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the dill weeds are doing it.

Jan 26, 2009


Thanks everyone. For the kind comments and e-mails. Syd was a unique soul and we aren't dealing well with our loss. Gia, especially.

But you pick yourself up, you dust yourself off, yadda yadda yadda. Right?

Anyway, thanks again! It means a lot.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the cool cats are doing it.

Jan 23, 2009


Our big boy Syd passed away today.

It was sudden. It was unexpected. He died in our arms.

I started and deleted this post a half a dozen times tonight. I never want to get too personal and yet it was the only thing that I cared about and I needed to say something. It hurts too much. Tears like this haven't flowed since my father died 5 1/2 years ago.

I've never loved an animal as much as I loved Syd. I've only loved a handful of humans as much. He was my boy, my buddy, my best friend. He was the smile on my face in sad times. Now at the saddest of times...my smile is gone.

He was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw each night as he slept right next to me with his head on my pillow. He lived for 12 years, but I only knew him for 2 1/2 years. In that time we grew so close that Gia actually was jealous of our connection. She is dying inside tonight.

I don't care if you think he was only an animal. Only a cat. Fuck that! He was my heart and now it is missing.

I miss my little buddy.

Thirsty now!

I've talked (and talked) about the best cocktail I've ever had in this blog before. It's an Old Fashioned made with bacon-infused bourbon and I've enjoyed it at one of my favorite haunts in NYC, a neo-speakeasy called PDT (Please Don't Tell). I've had it a few times now and it only tastes better with each successive order.

Well the shiny, happy people over at PDT agree that it is the singular greatest cocktail in the history of cocktails and they don't mind sharing their secrets with the world.

Lo and behold...

Happy Friday, y'all!!!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the bacon-infused kids are doing it.

Jan 22, 2009

Simple Gifts

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where you ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.

- "Simple Gifts" Elder Joseph Brackett (1848)

One of my favorite moments from President Barack's Inauguration the other day was the John Williams' arrangement of "Air and Simple Gifts" performed by Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill. I was humming along with the tune when it broke into "Simple Gifts" and sort of, um, composing in mid-air. I don't know why. I'm not a fan of classical music at all. But the tune was unmistakable and I went along with it. I looked over at Gia and she was confused.

"How the hell do you know this?" she asked. She had never heard the tune before, which I found amazing because she knows so much about music. I even sang a bit of "Lord of the Dance" hymnal which was written using the "Simple Gifts" tune. Nothing. She had never heard it before.

So I went into a long explanation about "Simple Gifts" that I will share with you all now.

The song was written by an Elder within the Shaker community in 1848. His name was Joseph Brackett. The song was most likely written as a dance song, but it is often thought of as a hymn. There used to be a bit of confusion regarding the origins of the song. Some thought it was much, much older thinking that it went back to the Middle Ages and beyond. There was also some confusion about whether or not it was originally a pagan song that was converted to a Christian hymn (mostly to do with a neopagan version of the song produced in the '70's). Neither of those is true, by the way.

Most folks in the U.S. or U.K. will recognize the tune either from it's incorporation in the ballet "Appalachian Spring" around 1944 or from "Lord of the Dance" itself written by Sydney Carter in 1963. "Lord of the Dance" is extremely popular still today as a hymn in masses from many different denominations of Christianity. Oh yeah, and Michael Flatley. Yikes.

So why the hell do I know about this at all?

Because of the Internet. And comic-books.

You see, I was a big fan of this one title called "Hellblazer" in which the protagonist was a streetwise mage named John Constantine. Don't confuse it with the awful movie starring Keanu Reeves. That film was so far from the uber-cool that was "Hellblazer"! Ugh. Anyway, issue #49 was a stand-alone written by Garth Ennis. Constantine spent the issue re-igniting the holiday spirit to a, well...um, Holiday Spirit. The Lord of the Dance.

Ennis took the tune and it's neopagan faux origins and created a this wonderful story. And I, of course, believed that the Christian hymn I had heard all of my life had it's origins in paganism. Why wouldn't I? And I'm a huge fan of all things with pagan origins. Hello? Green Man! Anyway, great story, great issue, great fun.

A few years later I was at Mass with members of my family and my oldest sister and I got into an argument afterwards about the origins of "Lord of the Dance". Having read a whole comic-book on the subject, I was sure that it's origins were pagan. She, being smarter than I, disagreed. She thought it was always a Christian hymn. Turns out she was right, but I only grudgingly agreed after a night spent (on dial-up) looking into the origins of the damned thing.

So that's it. That's how my mind works. Something piques my interest and I dive into it. I really don't know how I would live without the accessibility of the Internet.

Oh, one weird thing I found out while looking all this stuff up again? The Shakers are pretty much all gone. As of 2006 there were only 4 practicing Shakers left in the world up in Maine somewhere. Their strict belief in celibacy ultimately thinned out their numbers to non-existence. They used to maintain their numbers through conversion and adoption, but the government put the kibosh on adoptions by religious organizations a while ago. And who wants to convert to a belief that is so staunchly celibate? I had no idea about all this. Weird.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the Shaker kids are doing it. Or they would, if there were any Shaker kids.

Jan 21, 2009

At last

No, I don't mean the Inauguration. That was pretty cool though. No, it means that since I changed my template I can finally post bullet points properly. My last template hated bullet points. Me? I love 'em! And so should you. Because you might be seeing them a lot once again now that this place can handle them. And I'm lazy and bullets are easy. So there.

  • Sure you saw the Inauguration yesterday. But did you see it from space?
  • Beyonce did a nice job with "At Last" for the First Dance by the new First Couple. That Neighborhood Ball was a little strange though. Nick Cannon as the DJ? What's up with that? And did anyone else notice how Sting is beginning to look like Billy Crystal? Shivers.
  • Now that we have our first African-American President, science (SCIENCE!!!) is working on a cure for racism. I tried that once, but I blew up the science lab in 9th grade instead.
  • My Eagles got beat by the lowly Cardinals of Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona. Fuck those birds! My birds should have won. That way I could have made fun Super Bowl bets with bloggy friends. Now I just have to root for the Steelers while I get my drink on. Crap!
  • Do these bullets make my ass look big?
  • The new season of "24" just started and I'm re-hooked. But I do wonder what Jack Bauer would do without his cell phone. They would have to call it "365" or something.
  • A little more than 3 weeks until pitcher and catchers report. Did your team get everything they wanted for Christmas this year? No? Just the Yankees? Too bad, so sad. Mwah-ha-ha-ha!!!
  • Welcome back, ya Bastard ya!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the Obama Mamas are doing it.

Jan 20, 2009

This post in 3-D!!!

OK, not really. Just pretend the words and pictures are leaping off the page. Like lemmings off of a cliff.

That's a really sad simile, isn't it? Or is it an example of anthropomorphism? I don't think so. I just really like the word "anthropomorphism".

What was I saying? Oh yeah. 3-D. I went to see My Bloody Valentine 3-D over the weekend, and it rocked the house! Oh, it wasn't a good movie. Far from it, in fact. It probably wouldn't be a stretch to call it terrible. But the 3-D fun made up for it all. It made it awesome!

Here's a bit of Earl trivia for ya: I had never seen a 3-D movie in the theater before this weekend. Nope, never. Me...a child of the 70's and 80's (well, I wasn't exactly a child in the 80's) had never seen a 3-D film in the theater before. I saw a few on video without the glasses, and I watched a kids movie a year or so ago on DVD that gave me a headache. But never in the theater.

Apparently 3-D effects have gotten much, much better over the past 25 years or so. Now it isn't just a handful of special effects that pop out every once in a while. The entire film was in 3-D. Every shot in every scene. Made for some very cool effects.

But you know the best part of seeing this particular film in the theater? I saw it in Jamaica, Queens in the middle of the day and me and my buddy were the only two white dudes in the entire building. One minute into the film we knew we were in the right place at the right time. Chatter and talking back to the film were accepted, even encouraged. When I'm seeing a piece of crap film like that I like to treat the viewing like my own personal episode of MST-3000. Slyde knows what I'm talking about. Ask him about the time we saw Cliffhanger in the theater sometime. That was a classic adventure.

My advice: If you want to check your brain for a little while and go along for the roller coaster, then go see this film.

(This is the part of the post when Slyde decides that he is gonna trash me in the comments section for going to see it without him. Sorry, dude.)


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the anthropomorphic lemmings are doing it.

Jan 19, 2009

Guitar victim

I've decided something.

I don't want to get any better at Guitar Hero.

I'm fine with "Easy" or whatever setting it is that I play on. I tried Medium and it wasn't for me. I enjoy the song and I enjoy the company. I don't need to get good at it. Especially when playing World Tour when you can play with friends and just have fun.

Besides, I can't make my pinkie hit the blue button at all. It just doesn't work. Or when they try to make you hit both the blue and red buttons at the same time? Fuck that!

I'm no hero. I'm a Guitar Victim.


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

Jan 16, 2009

Ein, Zwei, Die!

A couple of bits of fluff for ya!

To continue my week of posting nothing but crap, here is the trailer for the new Norwegian horror film Dead Snow.

Love the Temple of Doom reference in that clip.

Hat tip to Stacie Ponder over at Final Girl for bringing this one to my attention. Well, it wasn't really her. It was one of her fellow AMC-TV bloggers, but I wouldn't have found it if it weren't for her. So she gets the nod.

What a brilliant idea! Not just zombies, but fucking Nazi zombies! As if you couldn't hate zombies or Nazis any more. They are the two great tastes that taste great together! It's not totally original. Back in 1977 there was a movie called Shock Waves that tried to get these lovable fiends together, and I'm sure there have been others. But this one takes place in an isolated cabin in the remote woods of Norway. Huge win all around!

It's also supposedly playing at the Sundance Film Festival this year, although it isn't listed on Redford's official site. So who knows? All I care is that is coming soon to a freakin' theater near me! Slyde, you in? It's already in my Netflix queue.

Let me just say it one more time for effect.

Nazi zombies.

Thank you.

Also, Ookami of the Snow found this neat-o application from Marvel that lets you create your own superhero. I had tons of fun on this site (even with weird problems trying to download the pics) and so should you.

Here are a couple of superheros that I created.

I don't know why my superheros come out so violent. Particularly The Verdant Dude. Look at that guy. Some kind of an energy sword, an energy fist, a shotgun and a pistol. Plus those spikes on his knuckles. Don't know what I was going for there, but it was fun.

What would your inner superhero look like?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the Nazi zombies are doing it.

Jan 15, 2009

From Hell's heart...

...I stab at thee!

R.I.P., Ricardo Montalban.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I task you.

Jan 14, 2009

Dream job

So those kooky Aussies are offering what may be the "best job in the world" on a website (that keeps crashing because of all the traffic) where you can apply by sending a video application.

Like this one.

The job entails living on an island off the Great Barrier Reef for a year. That's it. Oh, you have to blog about your experience and take a few interviews along the way. Feed the fish too. Sounds like my kinda gig. Ocean-front villa. $100 grand for the year. Live on a beach.

Something sounds fishy to me.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the cool kids are doing it.

Jan 13, 2009

Death, Deadly Things, Religion, Animals and Badass Misspellings

OK, you have to clicky on the picky to make it go biggy. But even then it is kinda small. I think the dude who designed it is named Dodgie Horner, but it's late and my eyes hurt from researching the umlaut bands. Could easily be Doogie Howser.

Anyway, I found it at GorillaMask so I will give them the huzzah. Huzzah, I say to thee GorillaMask.

Um, Heff? What category would BUTLIK fall in?


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

Jan 12, 2009

My Annual Golden Globes Rant

For as long as I've been blogging, I've been posting about my hatred of the Golden Globes. This is my fourth annual posting of my original rant from Slyde's blog. I will not rest until everyone knows what a sham this event is. So enjoy! Or don't. - Earl

By B.E. Earl

01/19/2006 8:28 PM EST < - date of original post.

Hey kids! As you may have figured out, I'm a bit of a film fan. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that I like to watch the annual award shows to see who takes down the big prizes each year. I was a little bored the other night watching the Golden Globe Awards when I decided to find out who/what the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is. If you are not familiar with the group, the HFPA is the organization that determines the nominees for each award category and subsequently votes on the winners for the Golden Globes. But who are they? I mean it never made much sense to me. Are they Hollywood press reporting in foreign countries about the entertainment industry? Are they foreign press working in Hollywood? Who are these people that the media focuses so much weight on around award season? Surely it must be an astoundingly large number of critics and reporters from around the world weighing in on the best that Hollywood has to offer. Hundreds if not thousands of dedicated men and women working tirelessly to hand out awards that are the pre-cursor to the big daddy of all entertainment awards, the Oscars. Right? Wrong!

The HFPA is a non-profit organization of somewhere around 90 international journalists based in Hollywood whose purpose is to disseminate information about film and television to a world-wide audience. 90 JOURNALISTS! Are you kidding me? These 90 men and women are the only voices and votes for an award as seemingly important as the Golden Globes? Now don't get me wrong. The HFPA does some fine work. In 2005 they donated $1 million to various arts and cultural programs around the world in an effort to further the advance of the film and television. They also donated $250 thousand to the Red Cross. That's very nice.

Where do they get the funding for their charitable work, as well as the funding needed to run the non-profit organization, you may ask. Well, they receive a sizable licensing fee from the networks to run their annual event...the Golden Globe Awards. They also receive licensing fees from various cable networks for allowing them to report from the red carpet. Hm-mm. So let me get this straight. The HFPA (all 90 of them) collect licensing fees from an award show that they run in an effort to award excellence in a field that is already swimming with too many awards. And they give out those awards in the award show that they sponsor, which in turn provides them with the revenue that they need to keep handing out awards the following year? Holy self-sustaining strokefest, Batman! And I thought I used to get confused with The Terminator and all it's time-line questions. Wait...how was John Connor born if he needed to send his own father back in time to be with his mother in the first place, and, and...system failure!

This is bogus, my friends. It's just another session of mutual masturbation that the media machine that is Hollywood has fashioned out of thin air. It made me sick to read about this, and if I ever see another weepy, blathering idiot of a winner (like Felicity Huffman this year) crying about how this is the greatest night of their lives I may actually vomit on my television screen. "You really, really like me...all 90 of you! You really, really like me!" Actually, it's possible that only 25 of the members liked you, honey. Or whatever number of voters that is needed to beat out whomever came in second place. What a piece of crap award this is!

Once again, I applaud the charitable work that the HFPA does. But they could easily raise that much and more by just asking all the nominees for a little some-some in an effort to elevate their public relations profile. You telling me that Harrison Ford can't come up with a good chunk of the million donated last year all by himself? And let us not kid ourselves. Most of the money isn't going to help poverty and starvation in Africa, or to help relief efforts in India. No, most of the money is handed out in the form of financial grants to cultural institutions to help further their own causes. There is some good stuff in there, but most of it isn't of the do-or-die type of relief.

You can find out more about the HFPA on their website, that is if you can stomach it. Me...I'm done with this award show in the future. I always thought that some of the choices were a bit odd (C'mon...have you seen Geena Davis in "Commander in Chief"?), but I always thought there was some kind of integrity about the awards themselves. I don't know what goes into the voting for the Academy Awards, and I'm sure it ain't perfect. I just don't know if I have the heart to do any research on that right now. Sigh.

Oh, and if you were wondering why we placed a picture of the stunning Scarlett Johansson (decked out in stunning scarlet, thank you very much) at the top of this article, it wasn't so that we could make some blatantly obvious double entendre about the Golden Globes and her outfit. I just think she's got some nice hoo-has.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the winners and losers are doing it.

Jan 11, 2009

I want one of these

The one on the right is saying "You with the camera! Did I say you could take my picture? In about a year I'm gonna be big enough to fucking eat you!"


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the fluffy kittys are doing it.

Jan 9, 2009

They went full retard

I just watched Tropic Thunder last night for the first time. Eh. I thought it was a bit overrated. Maybe because I had seen many of the truly funny parts before on the Internet in bits and pieces. I thought it was perfectly acceptable, but far from genius is what I'm saying.

Except for Robert Downey Jr. That man is a freakin' maniac!

Whereas Tom Cruise was instantly recognizable (no matter what anyone says...he didn't even bother to change his voice, people!), Downey Jr. virtually disappeared into his role as Kirk Lazarus playing the black Sgt. Osiris. Brilliant.

And I really didn't mind Jack Black in this even though his schtick is beginning to wear a little thin with me. Jay Baruchel was tip-top as usual. I don't know who that Alpa Chino dude was, but he annoyed the crap outta me.

Okay...so most of you have seen the "full retard" bit from the film. If not, you can see it here. It got me to thinking about one of my favorite made-for-TV films from the 70's. A film where the starring actors weren't afraid to go full retard. It's called Like Normal People and it starred Linda Purl and Shaun Cassidy as a full retard couple looking to have a life and children together.

Whether it's the memory of Linda Purl calling Cassidy's character named Roger, "Rahjah" over and over again or it's the first meeting between the two in which Rahjah told her she had a nice Bugs Bunny doll or something ("Naw...it's MRS. BUGS. BUNNAAY")...this film makes me smile.

Too bad it's not available on DVD or else it would go right onto my Netflix queue. Some people think this laughable gem killed Shaun Cassidy's acting career. I call bullshit! Just being Shaun Cassidy killed Shaun Cassidy's acting career. The fact that he went full retard in this one could have only boosted his career...in comedy.

Anyone else remember this full retard classic?

No Youtube video and this is the best pic I could find - Earl


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the full retards are doing it.

Jan 8, 2009

If I Were a Talk Show Host

I'd have shitty ratings.

But that's besides the point. So, I don't know if this is an existing meme or not. No one tagged me for it, but I'm gonna get it going right here anyway.

If you were a late-night talk show host, name three guests you would like to interview and one musical guest to perform. To make it a bit more fun, try to come up with guests that are a bit off the beaten path. Maybe someone you've never seen on a late night talk show before. You'll see what I mean. They don't all have to be from the world of entertainment, but mine are.

Here goes:

Guest #1: Stephen Tobolowsky (actor) - You've definitely seen this guy in films and TV shows. He often plays a geek, a nerd or a professor of some sort. But I get the feeling that this is a hip, hip dude. He is a native of the great state of Texas and he went to high school (where he was the Debate Team Champ) with one Stevie Ray Vaughn. In fact, he was the lead singer in the first band that Stevie was ever in! How fucking cool is that? He's also good friends with David Byrne of The Talking Heads and he co-wrote the film True Stories with him. I think this guy has layers.

Guest #2: Danny Trejo (actor) - This dude has the map of Hell written all over his face, and he has barely aged a day in the 25 years or so that he has been acting. A former drug addict and criminal, he turned his life around and is now one of the most recognizable character actors in the game today. My favorite story of his was when he was hired to be the boxing coach for $350 a day for the Jon Voight film Runaway Train in 1985. He was told the actors might hit back. He replied "For $350 a day, give him a bat. I used to get beat up for free." Another dude with layers.

Guest #3: Kristen Vangsness (actor) - I've blogged about her before, I believe. Because I have a bit of a mini-crush on her. Heard rumors that she is gay, that she is dating that big guy from her show...who cares. I've got a thing for funny women in glasses with beautiful smiles. Just ask Gia. And I love her show, Criminal Minds. I love how she is the geeky brain center of it all. Geeks fucking rule! Some might dismiss her because she is a bit of a big girl, but I love all woman. Every size, every color, every whatever. Who cares. As long as they have the proper equipment and the right attitude...I'm in. And this woman fits those requirements. So I'm sure it wouldn't be creepy for her at all to be sitting across the interview desk from me on a late night talk show. Not at all. I might even wear pants. But I'm not going to promise anything. ;)

Musical Guest: The Pretenders. OK...cheating a bit here. Over the years, Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders have played on late night talk shows many, many times. But they are just kicking off their first World Tour since 2003 with the release of a kickin' new album so all bets are off. Plus, Hynde was my very first crush ever. And it's all about me, okay?

Since this isn't an official meme, I'm tagging no one. But if you are so inclined to do one yourself then by all means please do so. Who would you want to interview?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the talking heads are doing it.

Jan 7, 2009

Ramen Western

It's very rare that I get blown away by a movie that I was looking forward to. The film usually doesn't live up to my expectations. Occasionally I will see a film that exceeds my expectations, but those are films that I usually just happen upon. Not a film that I had been eager to see.

Sukiyaki Western Django is one of those rare gems. And I almost gave up on it.

Let me state clearly that this is not a movie for everyone. It's highly stylized, highly violent and pure popcorn in the best way. It's not gonna change anyone's world. But if you are a fan of Sergio Leone or Sergio Corbucci or any of the Spaghetti Western film makers out there, then you may appreciate it.

What is Sukiyaki Western Django? It's Takashi Miike's homage to those Spaghetti Westerns using a mostly Japanese cast (and Quentin Tarantino) speaking English. It's a Western set in Nevada in the Old West, but really it's a fantasy that belongs to neither a specific place or a specific time.

As another homage to Spaghetti Westerns, I have broken up my review into three parts.


Takashi Miike is a wonderfully prolific genre film maker with a distinct visual style. That style (carried out by cinematographer Toyomichi Kurita) is an important part of this film. The two warring clans in white and red garb, the lush greens of the main character's flashback scenes, the showdown in the falling snow. This was a beautiful film to look at regardless of the plot, pacing and acting. Which were all outstanding.

The film is based on the actual conflict between the Genji/Minamoto (white) and Heike/Taira (red) clans as fought in the Genpei War in Japan that occurred from 1180-1185 AD. It was fictionalized to bring it to the Old West and a mercenary stranger was introduced to act as a go-between among the two clans. Selling his services to the highest bidder. But does he have his own agenda? If you've seen Yojimbo or A Fistful of Dollars or Last Man Standing, then you know the story.

I love heartfelt remakes or homages to great films like those. I also love films that take a historic event like the Genpei War and turn them into something totally different. The basis in fact is there, but the stylized violence and the mythology of the genre morphs it into something totally different. I dig that. I dig that in a big way.

All the leads, and only one of them was I familiar with, were outstanding. Masanobu Ando I had seen before in Battle Royale. And I couldn't take my eyes off of him as the spiky haired leader of the Genji clan. Sadistic, intelligent, violent and human all at the same time. Kaori Momoi was absolutely fantastic as the elder woman with a shocking past. So was a subdued Hideaki Ito as a very Clint-like gunman with no name. The stick that stirred the pot, so to speak. Yoshino Kimura as the tragic, damaged woman torn between the two clans was another standout.

An extremely interesting character, almost Shakespearean in motive and depth, was the Sheriff of the town played by Teruyuki Kagawa. He had split his loyalties so many times between the two warring factions that he actually developed two individual personalities. You never knew what this guy was gonna do. He had a couple of extremely interesting Gollum moments going on, if you know what I mean. I don't believe I've seen him before, but he is a great actor rocking an over-the-top role in this one.


I thought the film started out a bit weak (I'll get to that in a moment). I actually started watching it late one night and promptly fell asleep during the first 20 minutes. Part of it had to do with the director's choice to have his Japanese cast do the film in English. And some of the accents were extremely heavy making it difficult to understand. For me, at least. But I also have some tinnitus issues in my right ear so maybe y'all will find it easier to comprehend than I did. But it did bother me. At first. As soon as the back story was developed and the protagonist was introduced, the film took off. Once I started watching it again the next day, of course. I could easily have decided not to go back to it. And that would have been a shame.

I just would have preferred watching the film in Japanese with English subtitles, is all.


Quentin Tarantino. Period.

He is awful. An awful actor, to be specific. He can hold his own when the material doesn't require him to stretch too much. But in this film he was asked to introduce the back story with a silly set piece right at the beginning of the film. A hokey piece of business with an egg. Ugh! I know these guys are part of a hip film makers clique, but c'mon!

His character, the wise mythical gunslinger, is an important one to the film. A necessary character. The choice by Miike to make him American is fine with me. Just pick someone with better chops than QT! A goofball like Michael Madsen would have even been okay. Stick to staying behind the camera, Quentin. That's what you are good at.

So that's it. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly about Sukiyaki Western Django. I can totally see how someone wouldn't enjoy this film, but if you go into it with an open mind then you might surprise yourself.

PS - Go check out Ookami Snow's review of it over on his blog. He beat me to it by a couple of days.

Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the funky Ronin are doing it.

Jan 6, 2009

The Zombie Survival Guide

Note: Hat tip to Cap'n Marrrk for hooking The Verdant Dude up with a leafy backdrop and some constructive criticism. Thanks, man!

I've been wanting to read World War Z by Max Brooks for some time now. But I figured it would be prudent to read his previous work, The Zombie Survival Guide first. Just to get an idea about how the dude's mind works.

It was a waste of time.

The book, sold under the guise of "Humor", wasn't humorous as all. It was barely interesting. And it was about twice as long as it needed to be as Brooks wound up repeating himself over and over again. It should have had more illustrations and fewer words, I guess. As it is and as it should have been, it isn't more than a book you may want to keep in the bathroom for 3 minutes of reading at a time. I went through the entire book in about 2 hours.

And never cracked a smile once. Or considered anything I was reading to be particularly clever.

But I'm still interested in World War Z, and I'm still hopeful. I started reading it last night and truthfully haven't gotten very far. I read more earnestly in the mornings on the weekend for some reason. At night, I just fall asleep. So I'll get to finishing it later on this week.

Have any of you zombie fans read either of these two books? What did you think?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the walking dead are doing it.

Jan 5, 2009

Say Hello to The Verdant Dude

As you can see, things look a little different around here. And it's been a pain in the ass. I still might not be done, but I'm gonna leave it alone until at least next week. Let's see how things work out.

Why did I make the change? I don't know really. I think I've wanted to change things around for a while, but I just haven't been inspired enough to do it. I also like the way that most of the Wordpress blogs look. In fact, I started a beer blog on Wordpress.com just to see if I liked it enough to switch this over. It's okay, but I am more comfortable on Blogger for daily posting. So here I stay.

What did I change? Well, let's take a look...

My Avatar - This is from a stained glass window by an artist named Dan Beal out of Paul Lucker Designs studio in West Yorkshire. The mythology and artwork depicting the Green Man has always fascinated me. And ever since seeing the original Wicker Man, I've always wanted to open my own pub and name it The Green Man just like the inn/pub in the film. Dunno why, but it has always spoken to me. Maybe I'm just a pagan at heart. So instead of a new pub, I'll use it as my new avatar. Ta da! For those of you that get my avatar through Gravatar, I used just one of The Green Man's eyes. Just because I thought that was kinda cool.

The Verdant Dude - That's the new name of the old Bug-Eyed Blog. It was an easy leap from The Green Man to The Verdant Dude. Verdant = Green and Dude = Man. And Dude = something else that I am obsessed with. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. Plus I hated having the word "blog" in the title of my blog. Seemed silly to me. Works for some blogs, but I just didn't want it in mine.

The Template - I went with a Wordpress-style template that seemed to fit with the whole Green Man theme. I tried a couple over the weekend, but this is the one that I like the best. So far. I may find a new one sometime in the near future that I like better. But this is it for now. Plus it was time to give Max Cannon his trademarked bug-eyed freak back. I had borrowed it for long enough. Not changing my name though. Still B.E. Earl. Always B.E. Earl.

More Template stuff - Since it was a Wordpress-style template, I wanted to get rid of the Blogger navigation bar at the top of the page. But I also wanted a direct link to my Blogger dashboard on the front page, so I picked a template with a menu on top of the header. I also added links to my Trivia Quiz (have you played yet?), the movie review blog I contribute to (go check out my review of Neil Marshall's Doomsday) and my beer blog that I promise to start updating more often in the New Year (you can start with my review of Smuttynose Winter Ale). I like that menu bar much better than the Blogger nav bar. What do you think?

What else? Hmm...I can't think of anything. Everything else works pretty much the way it did before hand. I have a few widgets I need to add to my sidebar, but honestly I forget what I had on the old template. I think I'll let it just grow organically. I didn't change my url because that could be a pain in the ass for you, my fair readers. See? I'm always thinking of you.

Feedback on these changes is always appreciated. Doesn't mean I'm gonna listen to any criticism, but it's always appreciated. I know some of you miss the little bug-eyed freak, but that one is a permanent change. I'm going with The Green Man from here on out. Deal with it, bitches!


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Even though the times are a changin', all the cool kids are still doing it.

Jan 4, 2009

Another test

Another test. The date stamp isn't showing up on my old posts. Hmm?


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the cool kids are doing it.

Jan 3, 2009

Nothing to see here

Just testing some stuff out.
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Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the cool kids are doing it.

Jan 2, 2009


My lovely lady is a bit laid up with some health issues that turned out to be minor (phew!) this weekend. So I'm gonna spend the time re-decorating things around here. The backdrop, the template, my avatar...lots of stuff planned.

Or I could just spend the entire weekend next to her in bed watching movies on NetFlix while she reads about 5 books. Or watching a bunch of NFL playoff games. Or catching up on some episodes of "Angel" on the DVR.

Come back on Monday to find out what I did.

I know. The anticipation is already unbearable.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I'm re-thinking this move to "difficult" questions after only a couple of days so far. This shit is hard, yo!

Jan 1, 2009

Happy "Just Another Day on the Calendar"

Hope you all had a fun and safe time last night. I'm supposed to be taking a dip in the harbor with a bunch of lunatics later today, but it snowed all day yesterday and it's supposed to be in the low 20's. Not sure if I'm gonna go through with it. I'll let you know either way.

On a trivial note, a new trivia quiz starts today. I played around with the categories so that each day is filled with "difficult" questions. Science & Technology, Literature and Geography make appearances this month as well. Along with our Custom Trivia day every Wednesday. Remember to leave me suggestions for the next few Wednesdays when you get a chance. Next week is open right now.


Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. All the calendar kids are doing it.