Hail to the king, baby...

Ok, I know I've been slacking on the posts, but I'll hit ya with a flurry over the next couple days. This can't wait though.

Click here for the coolest picture ever!!!

I'll be back with some movie reviews, pics and updates.



you know the rest!

I celebrated America's independence by rocking out to the irreverent left-wing comedy of Lewis Black, and the soothing, melodic ass-kicking of Mr. Ben Folds.

"And tell that French DJ Tricky to move out!" - Space Ghost

Well, after I recovered from Sunday night's misadventures, I met up with Kelsey and Brian, and we drove down to Summerfest. Interestingly enough, there was no traffic to speak of, which was nice. We went to JoJo's Martini Lounge first, for Lewis Black. Here's a pic:

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We were pretty close, eh? He did a great set, equal parts awesome and offensive to the right wing, which is just how I like it. Where else do you get a fully-developed theory about electing Ronald Reagan president in 2008? Nowhere, that's where.

After that, we kinda sauntered over towards the Miller Oasis to stake out whatever seats were available for Ben's show. I wasn't really concerned about seating, cuz if I was, I would have come much earlier in the day and not moved.

So we got a picnic table, and just kinda hung out for a while. Everybody always stands up on the bleachers, picnic tables, etc., that I'm surprised there aren't more injuries each year. Here's the view we enjoyed while waiting.

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Yeah, that's right. I guess I'll have to write to Miss Manners, and ask what the proper approach is for this situation. Probably not taking a picture, for starters, but that's why I'm not Miss Manners.

Ben put on a great show, as usual, and played a lot of new stuff, and a lot of songs I haven't heard him do live, or with a full band. So good times. And Brian, in his infinite wisdom, suggested we stick around by the stage exit. At which point I got this picture:

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Again, badass. We just said hi, and thanks for the show and all that. I'm always a little wary of "bothering" famous people, even though I know Ben wasn't really bothered by signing a few autographs and whatnot. So I just kinda hung back, but it was nice to be able to say thanks for a great show.

More later. I'm tired now. Sooooo sleeeeepy.

Drinky, drinky, drinky...

"I bet you do a number... in your tights.. on Broadway... which is where you moved to, after you left Texas Chainsaw Mascara, where you're from!" - Master Shake

Couple of posts tonight, to catch all y'all up on some events.

With photos!

Sunday night, which was the 3rd, I had some folks over to just hang out, and celebrate the fact that I didn't have to work on Monday. So here's a Conan-type photo montage to explain. Enjoy.

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So at the beginning of the evening, famed comic book artist Frank Miller of Sin City and Batman: Year One fame, stopped by to draw me as some sort of crazy bat/slash/man. He's got some wacky ideas. We also watched MST3K Shorts Volume One.

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We busted out the Karaoke Revolution, and everyone participated, to varying degrees of success. Once again, Collette kicked ass, but Tim busted out with some amazing scores as well. I don't remember who won. Pictured here are Jet, Mindy, and Mike, Mindy's boyfriend.

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Then came the makeouts. Well, not really.

There was also me being drunk, and somebody spilling something red on my carpet, and my drunken rendition of R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It", which Tim apparently has video of. If I can find a way to post that online, I certainly will, and link to it from here.

A good time was had by all, and next time, it'll be an ice cream social/barn dance.


Zombie Aliens

Here's two brief reviews, since I don't feel like making big ones:

Land of the Dead

Well, I had high hopes for this one. George Romero making another zombie movie? It's gonna be great! And it was good, but not great. I just felt too much time was spent on the stolen-tank-slash-Dennis-Hopper-slash-redemption plot, and not enough time on zombie mayhem, but if it were up to me, the whole movie would be nothing but. I can recommend it to anyone looking for a fun time, and a good zombie movie, but not to someone looking for a horror flick. Land of the Dead was just too self-deprecating and amusing to be scary. I give it a C+.

War of the Worlds

Tom Cruise has seemingly been on a career suicide mission, but if you can seperate yourself from all of his recent insanity, then War of the Worlds is a great summertime movie. Spielberg proves again that sci-fi and action are his bread and butter, not the Nutella that was The Terminal. Cruise seems to be cruising, only bringing real vitality and importance to his role when he is outside of his safety zone, i.e. stealing a car while Dakota Fanning screams at him non-stop, or straight up murdering a guy to preserve his own existence. Like Collateral or Magnolia, I'm more interested in seeing the dark side of Cruise, not the goody-goody action hero. Anyway, Fanning is great, and upstages Cruise at every opportunity, and the movie creates a pretty believable scenario, right down to reactions that seem appropriate in the wake of 9/11.

One note that was kind of weird for me. While driving away from the city, after the aliens first attack, Fanning asks Cruise if the attack was the work of "the terrorists." While I suppose this is a question that a kid would ask a parent in these times, it just struck me the wrong way for some reason. It seemed kinda tacked on, I guess. Was it necessary to the advancement of the plot? Not really.

One other thing: Are we really supposed to buy Tom freaking Cruise as a sullen dockworker who likes working on muscle cars? In designer jeans, no less? Come on, Stevie, give me a break. Make Cruise's character a business executive or something, and the story will have just as much impact, maybe even more. Nobody is buying Tom Cruise as the working-class hero.

Except maybe they are. Audiences have been flocking to War of the Worlds, bringing in over 57 million in it's first 3 days. Cruise's inane comments on every available media outlet apparently haven't kept people away from the movie. Which is good, because overall, it's pretty good. Probably better with a different star, but still ok with Cruise, and it gets a B.

Attention, people of San Diego...

I have just been handed an urgent news bulletin. I need all of you to stop what you're doing, and pay attention:


Ok, enough with the chitchat. Let's get down to business. What have I been doing?

Friday the 25th, Kelsey and I saw Land of the Dead.

Saturday and Sunday that weekend, I worked at Seven Mile Fair, which, again, was an experience. I made about $250 dollars the whole weekend, and my days were again filled with weird situations and great people-watching. I saw a senior citizen with a "hang out with your wang out" T-shirt, as well as a straight-up pimp. I was about to ask him where he got his pimp suit, but he looked like he could beat the hell out of me with both hands tied behind his back, so I decided discretion was the better part of valor. Also, the insane kid from the booth next door made a return appearance, jabbering at me for what seemed like hours in a language I'm pretty sure he made up. I mean, I can recognize Spanish, and understand some of it, and this kid was not speaking Spanish. So yeah, weekends mean bargains.. and insanity!

So after working those days, I needed something to cleanse the palate, shall we say. So Saturday, I made the trip to Kenosha for some White Castle, and Sunday I went swimming at Bag End or Hobbiton or wherever it is that Brian and Collette live. Which is convenient, since it looked like Mordor was taking over, due a scary looking, but essentially harmless storm rolling in while we in the pool. So that was fun.

Monday and Tuesday I worked at the store, and after work Monday Dave and I watched the WWE Vengeance PPV. I think Dave stabbed himself in the leg on my La-Z-Boy, then he fell asleep. Fun.

Tuesday was one of the most surreal nights of my life. I had heard from Brian that 102.1 FM was giving away backstage passes to the Ben Folds Summerfest show, and they were doing so at Kelly's Bleachers, which is a bar on Bluemound, not too far from my place. So I figured this was something I had to check out.

So first I went by myself, which I NEVER do. I don't think I've ever gone to a bar alone before, but Brian was occupied, as was Kelsey, so I made do. I walk in, and it'a apparently country night. There's some guy, who eerily reminded of Wyatt's old roommate Rich, leading a bunch of middle-agers and senior citizens in some ol-fashioned line dancing. I was confused. So I sauntered up to the bar, and ordered a MGD, and asked when the Summerfest promotion was going on. The bartender was confused. So I waited around, and sure enough, they were giving away Summerfest tickets, T-shirts, Kenny Chesney tickets, and Pat Green backstage passes. Oh, and Ben Folds passes, whoever that is. I swear, I had to be the only person there who even knew who he was, let alone would be interested in meeting him. So I bided my time, and drank some beer, watching the line dancers and the NBA draft. All of a sudden, the announcer says he's going to switch it up a bit, and play's Will Smith's "Men in Black". People rush out to the dance floor, and begin line-dancing to the song! I thought it kinda made sense, since in the video for that song, they do kinda have a dance that goes with it. So I let it go, even though the transition from "Redneck Woman" and "Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy" to "Men in Black" felt a little forced.

Then the DJ played Prince's "Cream".

And there were still people line-dancing.

To Prince.

Let me tell you, I had to put down my beer and gape in amazement, as grandmothers and mulleted Republicans broke out the organized country-western dancing to one of the most overtly sexual and anti-country songs you'll ever hear. OMG. I wanted to slap somebody, and say, listen, stick to Tim McGraw and Toby Keith. If I ever see someone line dancing to Prince again, I'll put a boot in their ass, since that's the American Way, according to Mr. Keith.

So some undeserving person won the passes for Ben, but I did win two free Summerfest tickets, and I only spent 8 dollars or so, so I came out ahead. Crazy, crazy night though.

Wednesday, Kelsey and I saw War of the Worlds.

Thursday and Friday, worked at the store.

Saturday the 2nd, i.e. today, Tim came to film more of William Steel 3: Redemption at my apartment. Good because I had a real good reason to clean the apartment, as well as get up early on a day off. So people died, and I'm sure my neighbors think I'm a serial killer now, but it's all good. They won't come over and tell me to quiet down then, will they?

Then I did some laundry and watched Live 8. See the profanity-laced tirade in my last post for more info on that.

That's about it. Tomorrow there will be work, then drinking and MST3K. Monday, I will celebrate out nation's independence by not working, and catching Lewis Black and Ben Folds at Summerfest. Transportation to be arranged later. Then Wednesday is the Chicago trip, where Kelsey and I will hit the Museum of Science and Industry, then the White Sox-Devil Rays game with my folks. So fun times abound.

And oh yeah, I got a flat tire on the way to Seven Mile Fair. That sucked.

Seacrest out.


Put the kids to bed..

This post is Rated R, so if you are easily offended, turn back now. Normally I try to reign in the language, etc., but all bets are off today. You've been warned.

So I'm watching Live 8, the sequel concert to Live Aid. The original was a benefit for Africa, organized by Bob Geldof, who I best know as Pink in Pink Floyd's The Wall. Geldof and U2's Bono put this new one together, not as a benefit, but as an educational tool. They feel that if millions and millions of people realize that there is a problem in Africa, then we can force our leaders to act.

I don't fault their reasoning, or their sentiment, but I do feel that their ultimate goal of eliminating poverty is impossible. There will always be poverty, just as there will always be a privileged upper class. If we reach a state where everyone is equal, and no one is starving, and everyone is happy, it will be at the expense of personal freedom and responsibility, as well as the death of the upper class. Which I don't see happening.

But that's just me. I applaud their efforts, and I looked forward to watching a day full of great performances.

That's not what I got.

What I got was maybe 10 complete performances over a 5 hour span, the rest being highlights, crowd interviews, video packages and commercials.

MTV and VH1 both aired the concert, but basically the same exact feed. Since there were 9 seperate venues, the should have had 9 channels of feed. Put London on VH1, and Philly on MTV, and put the rest on MTV2, MTV Hits, Fuse, VH1 Classic, BET and eith CMT or GAC. Let the viewer decide where they want to watch, and as artists change over at different venues, let you hosts talk about the issues, and show videos about the problem. That's how you do something like this. I remember somewhat when Woodstock 94 or 99 was around, there were several channels to choose from, maybe even pay per view.

Instead of my brilliant idea, MTV dropped the ball, and fucked up big time.

They didn't show complete performances.
They interrupted performances to provide analysis and interview the crowd.
They showed the same video package over and over again.

I was beginning to think the network was "getting it" by not doing anything during their set, and the reunited Floyd was amazing to watch, as they busted out "Us and Them", "Money", "Wish You Were Here" (which made me cry), and "Comfortably Numb." But as "Numb" wound down, but while they were still playing, the host said "Well, there you go! Pink Floyd reuniting after more than 20 years!" and went on to ramble about some homemade T-shirts he saw in the crowd.


I literally yelled that last piece at the TV, even though I was in my apartment, alone.

That was just an amazing moment for me, and for some jackass to cut in to throw to commercial, while the band was STILL PERFORMING was just infuriating.

The same treatment applied not only to Pink Floyd, but to such rock visionaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Elton John and U2, and established acts like Dave Matthews Band, The Killers, Joss Stone and Alicia Keys. The only act that even got as much airtime as Pink Floyd was the fabled Linkin Park/Jay-Z collaboration.

This is not fucking TRL, okay? If you want people to be affected by the performances, and messages of the artists, then show the performances, uninterrupted, and run a ticker across the bottom of the screen with information on what the viewer can do to help.

Constantly breaking in and telling us to do shit isn't going to work for me. I want to see the bands, not listen to some talking head tell me what the highlights of the day were.

As I'm watching right now, they showed the Black Eyed Peas performing "Get Up, Stand Up" with Steven and Rita Marley, and they cut THAT off. What the hell is wrong with these people?

MTV comes off looking greedy and ignorant in this situation. How much ad revenue would they have lost if they had gone commercial-free for 8 hours? Or let a sponsor put their logo in the MTV logo spot in the corner of the screen.

So, in closing, MTV is a piece of shit.

Sorry mom.