Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Pot Meet Kettle

Dear King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia,

I've been following with some amusement these WikiLeak releases of U.S. diplomatic cables in which you and your buddies repeatedly urge us to attack Iran in order to destroy its nuclear weapons program.

You all have been mighty vocal in your across-the-board opinion that Iran's leadership is evil, an existential threat, and will only lead us into a wider war in the region. The only way to stop this threat, you believe, is to cut off the head of the snake, by which I assume you mean Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Look, I agree with you. As far as Ahmadinejad is concerned, the fact that 1982 keeps calling to ask for its Members Only jacket back can only mean one thing, and it's not stability of mind. Then again, look at you guys. All that bulk around the middle? Not flattering.

Still, how about a little quid pro quo, here? We'll give you Ahmadie if you give us your boy.


Monday, November 29, 2010

Bow Down Before the One You Serve

So we finally get to the meat of it. The conflict that I've been waiting for, and the main reason why I'm a fan of apocalyptic tales: when things fall apart, who puts them back together again? Or, as several of last night's characters bottom-lined it: who's in charge, here?

The show opens during the morning after the fish fry zombie attack, where the living are faced with the important question of what to do with the dead. The zombies, they burn, but what about the former camp members who bit the dust? Obviously, their brains must be scrambled first (no reanimation allowed!), but then do they deserve a proper burial or should they, too, become part of the funeral pyre?

Concurrently, Andrea continues to keep vigil over her zombie-victim sister, Amy, in a series of scenes that finally manage to find the right note of tension, horror, and pathos. I found myself feeling sorry for the gal.

Still, let's be honest here; the show's female characters are nowhere near as strong or interesting as its male. Apparently, in the apocalypse? It's a man's world, too, and so the question of who's in charge comes down to the show's two alpha males: Sheriff Rick and Deputy Shane. Rick is just trying to do the right thing. Shane wants to be the boy with the most cake. So far, the jury's been out on Shane's potential to slip into good guy or bad guy territory, and even the scene in the forest where he holds Rick in the sights of his gun doesn't lead us to a verdict one way or the other. We could take it as either wishful thinking or practice for a future act.

In the end, however, Rick's plan wins out. The group decides to take his advice and head back into the heart of darkness, or in this case, the CDC, smack in the middle of Atlanta. Which is manned by a lone scientist who just may or may not be slightly mad.

Good stuff all the way around . . .

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today is a Birthday

Dear Chickory,

Moi called me up and asked me to come over here and wish you a splendid birthday, filled with everything you could ever want for a day of perfect happiness. So, just tell me what that is and I'll hunt it down for you.

Love, Burt

* * *

Cheers, chica, and thank you for making my life infinitely richer and more profound. If the NGMLF ever needs 'em, you can count on my pistols and my pesos.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Fall Dawn #2

16 degrees F at 7:03am. Wind chill, below zero.
At least it's a dry cold.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bounty, Grace, and Joy

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Blog Homies
Mmmmmm . . . Wah

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Sports Mov--



Oh, for craps sake, STOP IT! I'm not going to write Rudy, no matter how many gosh darn times you grab at my keyboard or run around the house chanting Rudy! Rudy! Rudy! at the top of your lungs and making the dogs all barky. And NO, you can't bribe me with candy, perfume, or whatever. Now, go away. This is my blog. Mine.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oye, Vatos

Show taught some lessons, homes:

1. Don't mess with the Cholos.
2. Don't mess with the Cholos' abuelas.

In my experience, few things in life are badder ass or tighter knit than a band of Mexicans. Hita and hito could go on a killing spree that makes Jeffry Dahmer look like an anorexic and family will fly in from corners of the universe you didn't know existed to spin a web of support so co-dependent, law enforcement is exhausted before they even start the paperwork.

Which is why I would have loved to have seen direct, hand-to-hand combat between the zombies and Guillermo and his gang. But, as it turns out, Guillermo is a bad ass with a heart, three trembling chihuahuas, and the Herculean task of just trying to do the right thing for all the old folks that were left behind when the zombies came a munchin' (what, zombies don't like old people?) Still, it was an effectively emotional sequence, one of the few of the entire evening.

Let's run down the clunkers and the highlights:


The opening fishing scene between sisters Amy and Andrea dripped with the kind of soapy emotion that gives me goosebumps in a bad way, until a light bulb went off in my head and I was all, ruh roh. This must mean one of these two chicas is gonna bite it. Goody.

The whole Jim-goes-crazy-with-the-hole-digging sequence seemed strangely flat to me, especially given what it ended up portending. If the zombie apocalypse actually produced a psychic or two, then they're going to have to be more compelling than dwoopy Jim.

Where was Lourdes? Mexican men, for all their machismo, are rarely without their bitches. This show suffers from a decided lack of interesting female characters and I would have loved to see a couple cholas with their eyeliner and hair poofs fixing Daryl with the ol' el ojo.


Sheriff Rick gets his guns and his hat back, thus completing his hot-man-of-principle-and-action persona.

Zombie fish fry. Truly scary stuff with gore flinging galore. Plus, Irritating Amy bites it.

Which of course, begs the question, who will have the courage to chop her head off? Where now for our merry band of survivors? Stay? Go? And, most importantly, where the heck is Merle?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All Over, No Crying

Wait . . . what?

Dear Johnny Depp,

I regret to inform you that effective immediately, your position as one of Moi's Long-time Movie Star Crushes has been terminated.

Let's face it; it's been some time coming, now. But the last straw was last week when, during a press junket to push that lame-o-looking new movie you have coming out with Angelina Jolie, you called your co-star a, "walking poem."

Johnny, the answer we were going for here was something along the lines of, "Nice gal." Even "totally hot," "boobalicious," or, "I'd hit that if neither of us were married," would have been perfectly acceptable. Because at least then you would have been thinking with your Hooter's Brain, and we all know that when men think with their Hooter's Brain, they're not really thinking at all. Those ancient genetic imperatives can be a bitch, but they're essentially forgivable 84.67 percent of the time.

"Walking poem," however, is pure Girl Brain thinking. And when a man enters Girl Brain territory, he's thinking more than just nookie. He's thinking the kind of feelings that eventually lead to picking out china patterns and dreaming about where to send the kids to school. If I were your wife, I'd be all, "Good. You can just go eat those poetic words, because this kitchen is closed."

Even if you're not married, dude, Girl Brain thinking is rarely attractive, whether in public or in private. What it usually ends up doing is making you look like a dweeb, the kind of man-child who, at 45, has yet to grok to what most men figure out by the time they hit 30, and that is most women really only want to hear three things coming from a man's mouth:

1. "Yours is the sexiest ass to ever grace a pair of jeans in the history of the universe, ever."

2. "Mmmm . . . honey, that dinner was the best."

3. "Don't worry, I already did the dishes (mopped the floors/cleaned the garage/took out the trash/mowed the lawn/put gas in the car.)"

Plus, Johnny, you are beginning to look an awful lot like like Jack White. A look that only works if, well, you actually are Jack White.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Most Sucky Sequel Evah

Hands down, Transporter 3. Which I hate with a white hot passion so white hot, it doesn't even matter how many times Jason Statham takes off his shirt, and believe me, if there's one thing that can make me perk up during a sleepy action flick, it's Jason Stratham taking off his shirt.

Unless he's doing so at the command of one of the most annoying female leads to ever pout her way through a B-Movie. Look, the first Transporter was by no means high or even medium cinematic art. But it was good dumb fun and featured enough shirt-taking off and other hair-raising action to keep things interesting. The second one? Not so much, but it didn't make me want to throw Cheetos at the screen, either.

But this is just horrifying. And embarrassing. And so not sexy. Where did the producers find this broad? Some kind of discount clearing house for all the heroin-cheeked East European models that Marc Jacobs didn't hire?

It's no small accident perhaps that You Tube has disabled embedding by request. But if you want to cringe and weep, then click here. And then join me as I mentally riddle this little red-headed twerpette with a slew of virtual bullets.

Then help everyone else do the same:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Whisper Tales of Gore

Dear Santa,

All I want for Christmas, is,


and #2,

A walk-on part in Walking Dead. Because I do believe it's in need of a little fashion victim zombie juhz. I envision head-to-toe Lagerfeld, including those hideous clogs from Spring/Summer 2010, or maybe one of Alexander McQueen's digital Geiger print dresses and horse hoof platforms . . .

Anyone else loving this show? Not much not to love, in my opinion. Based on the eponymous monthly comic book put out by Image Comics, Walking Dead airs every Sunday night on AMC (also home to the terrific Breaking Bad and Madmen) and it gives viewers plenty to sink their teeth into.

Honey, I'm home . . . and boy, am I hungry.

The gore factor is high, but so is the suspense and the human drama, which starts off with a literal bang at the beginning of the first episode when the small southern town sheriff Hero (who earns himself a solid 8.0 on Moi's Hero Hotness Meter) sends a point blank shot right through the forehead of a little girl.

Okay, so it's a zombified little girl, but still. Half of you wants to laugh because, well, she could easily have been one of those annoying kickers of airplane seat backs, so go Sheriff. But the other half is cringing because, well, it's a little girl!

And if you stuck around after that, tell me, can you think of anything in recent television history to match the tragic poignancy of one of the character's inability to put his zombie wife out of her misery or that beautiful horse valiantly carrying Hero into the wrecked heart of Atlanta, only to be sacrificed as zombie lunch and making it possible for Hero to live?

If you're watching, too, check back here every Monday and toss in your two cents. In the meantime here are some quick observations of Episode Three, "Tell it To the Frogs":

We got a much needed relief from the show's relentless Squick Factor. This episode's up close zombie head decapitation and subsequent brain scramble aside, it's going to be awfully difficult to top the giddy gross out of last week's "Guts" episode anyway.

Why yes, intestine scarves with dangly hand bits ARE all the rage for Spring 2011.

Over all, the show manages to uphold a high level of believability, but on occasion, a glaring WTF moment sticks out. Like this one: Red-neck-handcuffed-to-a-pipe-on-the-roof-dude doesn't realize until the zombies are just about to break through the barred door that he can just about reach for the handsaw that could quite possibly save his life?

Also, red-neck dude's equally red-necky brother. Both of these characters are in serious need of a bit of nuance or we're not going to be able to feel anything one way or the other for them; we're just going to feel embarrassed for the actors.

Also, Hero's wife. He was missing for, what, a month or so? Tell me, do you think that's long enough for her to forget about him and take up with his co-worker/best friend? Is this a case of girl's just gotta have it, or a short hand way to get to the warm squishy center of some Relationship Drama?

Girl can get with this . . .

Or girl can get with that:

Me? I think I'll take that bad ass Challenger, por favor. The ultimate zombie escape mobile.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Saturday Night Funky

And if you don't like Beck, then head over to Undaunted Baker and let me know what you think about apples and cheese and caramel. Together.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Goldfish Logic

Dear Ingrid Newkirk,

Please accept my deepest, most sincere apologies for being a member of the human race, the most exploitative and destructive species this planet has ever seen.

Please accept my apologies for our ancient ancestors, the Africans, the Vikings, the Eskimo, the Plains Indians, whose enslavement of the wildebeest, the reindeer, the seal and the caribou, and the mighty buffalo allowed them to flourish and expand across the earth. For had they not existed, the human race would never have advanced to its current degree.

Please accept my apologies for ever having killed an animal, purchased an animal that was killed, or eaten someone else's killed animal so that I could enjoy my good health. I apologize for ever having worn fur for warmth, leather for comfort, or carried a bag made out of alligator skin because it was just so gosh darn beautiful.

I apologize for ever having stepped on an ant or any other bug while enjoying the great outdoors. For I have come to realize that the great outdoors are not for us humans to enjoy, but should remain pristine so that the deer and the bear and silvery minnow can frolic in harmony. I apologize for ever swatting a fly, for what harm can regurgitated fly guts do to the cleanliness of my kitchen or the freshness of my food?

I apologize, too, for ever growing anything in my garden, for does not the carrot wince when I pluck it from the warmth of its earthen cocoon? Does not the lettuce leaf cry when I tear it away from it's brethren? Does not the tomato scream its pain as I separate it from the umbilical chord of its nurturing vine?

Finally, forgive me for ever feeling elation at hearing the news that science has found yet another cure for disease or advanced human knowledge with the assistance of our animal friends.

I understand, now, the error of my ways. And, as such, I feel I have no recourse but to remove the rotted flesh of myself from this great good earth so that my life no longer exists at the expense of another single mammal, insect, reptile, or . . . amoeba.

So, Ingrid, I'm going to go shoot myself now. I trust that you will show your solidarity and do the same.

You first.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Movie Clip Wednesdays: First Date Movie

Milk River Madman continues as our Host with the Most for this mid-week meme and has proclaimed today's theme, First Date Movie. Either first as in your first movie date ever, or first as in first with a significant other. Clerks was the first movie S.B. and I ever attended together, about a month after we first met. He showed up at my apartment on time, looked good, smelled good, laughed his ass off during the movie, and bought me margaritas and dinner afterward. I haven't dated anyone else since.

Okay, so a lot of Clerks doesn't hold up all that well some 16 odd years later, but there are still parts of it that are screamingly funny. Mainly because I think most of us have a similar kind of rootless period shoved in the back of the closet of our lives, a time when we briefly languished in a series of brain-numbing McJobs, invested the ephemera of every day life with Godzilla-like importance, and sparked up substance-fueled socio-political interpretations of pop cultural phenomenon. There's something to be said for the simple dumb purity of those days.

Head on over to Milk River Madman's place to see what other folks chose.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Where in Hell Can You Go

Dear Dallas, Texas:

I don't think I like you much. Not the way your crop of shiny new penny skyscrapers insinuate themselves into the sky like show-off children at a reality television talent contest. Not your endless shuttle of hermetically sealed worker ants over and along your snarl-knit flyover bridges and tangled crawl of five lane concrete conveyor belts. You are not San Francisco or Chicago. You are not London New York Paris Munich. You are pop music beating a tin pan alley beat. You are proof that there is indeed a health care crisis in these here united states, but it has nothing to do with the fact that 30 percent of us can't afford insurance, but, rather, with the fact that 70 percent of us are never out of our cars/offices/Starbucks/Chili's and Chick-fil-A's long enough to move our bodies into any semblance of good health. Your people, Dallas, they have no guidance or grace.

Dear All Situational Awareness Deprived Drivers Along I-20,

The left hand lane is not a cruising lane. It is not your living room, locker room, or confessional. It is not where you take the shiny new SUV your husband just bought you out for a Sunday drive while sucking on a non fat decaf soy macchiato and yammering into a cell phone to your BFF. The left hand lane is a passing lane, and when you see me coming up behind you in your rear view mirror, pull over and get the hell out of my way. It's late, I'm tired, and all I've had to eat today is a congealing compound of grease, sugar, and sodium that is not only infusing its way into my arteries, but also into my brain. So at some point, I'm not going to give a shit if I take the front end of this rental car and shove it up the backside of your ridiculously lemon-yellow colored Humvee outfitted with a winch and fog lights you are going to use . . . when? I am older, smarter, better dressed, and I have more insurance. Just be glad that because I chose to carry-on my luggage, I am also not armed.

Dear Shreveport, Louisiana,

You seem like you'd be a nice city to visit. If it weren't for those hideous casinos. What happens in Vegas really needs to stay in Vegas.

Dear Ruston, Louisiana,

I love the way you've charmed yourself up with historic homes and bustling boutiques and hopefully overpriced bistros attempting sushi and swank. Very pretty. Too bad it rained the entire time I was there and there was no way I could justify contributing to the local economy by buying another A-line tunic dress I just don't need, much less charge a meal at the bistro to my client, so instead I ended up with a couple limp attempts at Cajun/creole that put my tummy into yet another grumbled state. What, does everyone in the state want to be New Orleans? Although, it was a kick to see Grambling's head football coach piling his plate with lo mein at the local Chinese joint. Had I actually known who he was at the time he broad-smiled his way around me to the pot stickers, I would have asked for his autograph for S.B.

And I didn't even bring him a tee shirt this time, dang it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Imagine All The People

Living free from tyranny.