Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sorry I've been absent

We've been busy playing with Christmas gifts - this one, mainly.

I never thought that the game that would get me back into video games after a 20 year absence would be something where you play along to music on fake instruments. But it's a complete blast.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

picture promised in earlier post

A while back in a post about being antsy, I mentioned buying a hat. Well, I did that, too.

I'm soooo hooked

Last night, I discovered the second hour of this countdown. I went ahead and recorded it, and then found and recorded the first hour, and now have a series recording set for the rest. I just started the first hour tonight, and two minutes in (not even into the countdown, yet), I'm hooked.

Oh, and I just realized that both my high school and college experiences fell fully within the 90s. So this countdown is wild because it's just unbelievably full of memories. Yeah, I know it's a decade, so that means 10 years of memories. But it just seems like there are so many more memories crammed into that decade than the only other full decade of my life so far - the 80s. I know, I know, it's logical - a LOT happens to a person between 15 and 25 - but sometimes it's still kind of wild when the simple things hit you like that.

Oh, and is it wrong that I really want to watch Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew?

Monday, December 17, 2007

A great post

I've been meaning to link to this post by my new blog roll buddy for some time. Actually, this one is the post that made me want to add the link to the roll.

You gotta dance.

Will someone please go dance with me soon!?

More Drew Carey

I'm a bit behind, so you'll get two today.

This one on eminent domain.

This one on poker raids by police.

New TV-Based Drinking Game

Drink every time the narrator says "extruder" on the The Science Channel's "How It's Made".

Am I too old to be coming up pathetic drinking games? Yeah, well, I'm probably too old to get my nose pierced, but I did that this weekend, too. Pictures as soon as I get a decent one.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Such High Hopes

I had such high hopes for the Movies Rock special that's on TV tonight. I should have known better. So far, Beyonce has sung "Over the Rainbow," John Legend and Mary J. Blige have teamed up for "As Time Goes By," and some guy I don't recognize by name or face just did "Jailhouse Rock." None of these performances has been the least bit impressive.
I guess I should give them points for reaching so high right of the bat, but so far the only emotion this show has evoked in me is a sadness that I don't have any of these songs in my collection. I would prefer to just go ahead listen to the original versions. I could drop Casablanca in the DVD player, but then I'd have to watch the whole thing, and it's late.

Jennifer Hudson almost knocked "Somewhere" from West Side Story out of the park, but they she started squealing.
I kind of like the funky take on "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend."
I'm eh on Carrie Underwood's "Sound of Music."
Usher's version of "Singin' in the Rain" is the first one I've really enjoyed. His voice is incredibly smooth, something that never quite came out in "Yeah!".
Again, I like the funky arrangement on "Mrs. Robinson," but am not a big fan of Marc Anthony's style - too sing-songy, if that makes sense.
Oh, Fergie. Really?
The part that made me happier than any other was the Disney montage. I always forget how much I truly love Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Jungle Book, The Little Mermaid, and The Lion King.
There was another half hour or so, which was better than the beginning, but nothing that really knocked me out. I do love it that they closed with "White Christmas," though. That's a nice touch.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Mid-Week TV Watching

The last movie to come in from Blockbuster Online is Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt. Most, if not all, of my favorite songwriters count Townes among their favorite songwriters, so I've wanted for some time to learn about this guy and hear his work.

He's a classic folk singer-songwriter who lived through the 60s and 70s among people like Kris Kristofferson and Guy Clark - no real home even though he had a wife back in Texas, lots of alcohol, and lots of drugs.

Guy Clark, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Lyle Lovett, Emmylou Harris, and Norah Jones have recorded his songs, among many others.

One of the most moving scenes in the documentary is a shot where he's singing Waiting Around to Die in his trailer, and he brings an old black man to tears with the simple song. Waiting Around to Die was the first song he ever wrote. That's one hell of a first song to write.

For better or worse, Townes Van Zandt seems to have been completely unaffected by anything around him - wives, children, friends, success, even - and he, in turn, deeply affected everyone else around him.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Working on Saturday

is no fun at all, especially when things don't go as planned.

I wanted to go to a shindig at our friends' house, but when I finally finished up, I was just wiped out. I'm totally sandbagging at home tonight.

So far, I've watched Sweet Home Alabama, which I love, and now I'm watching The Last Sin Eater.

I'm sleepy, but will probably finish the movie.

Sorry, this is kind of a crap post. Oh well.

Saturday afternoon TV watching

A few weeks ago, I noticed that Reefer Madness was coming on IFC. I went ahead and recorded it on the DVR, and finally got to watch it today. Wow.

From the Forward:
Marihuana is that drug – a violent narcotic – un unspeakable scourge – The Real Public Enemy Number One!
Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter; then come dangerous hallucinations – space expands – time slows down, almost stands still …. fixed ideas come next, conjuring up monstrous extravagances – followed by emotional disturbances, the total inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions … leading finally to acts of shocking violence … ending often in incurable insanity.
In picturing its soul-destroying effects no attempt was made to equivocate. The scenes and incidents, while fictionized for the purposes of this story, are based upon actual research into the results of Marihuana addiction.
If their stark reality will make you think, will make you aware that something must be done to wipe out this ghastly menace, then the picture will not have failed in its purpose ….
Because the dread Marihuana may be reaching forth next for your son or daughter …. or yours …. or YOURS!
[emphasis in original]

It is described later as a narcotic “more vicious, more deadly, than even [the] soul-destroying drugs” opium, morphine, and heroin.

Oh, and then there’s the modern irony of a movie made solely to scare people about smoking marijuana while almost everyone is the movie is smoking cigarettes; there’s even a Philip Morris ad in the background of one scene.

It is pretty neat, though, to see that the federal government actually stuck with its constitutional limitations at one time. A high school principal concerned about the “marihuana” addiction among his students goes to see someone at the FBI in the Department of Narcotics. “You people in the government have got to find a way to put an end to it.”
To which the FBI man replies, “Of course I agree with you, Dr. Carroll, but do you realize that marihuana is not like other forms of dope? You see, it grows wild in almost every state in the union. Therefore, there is practically no interstate commerce in the drug. As a result, the government’s hands are tied.” [emphasis mine]

If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend watching this propaganda. Even outside of the ridiculous message, it’s a really horrible movie, but it is an enlightening view into the early years of our “War on Drugs”.