Saturday, November 29, 2008

News Update

I went paintballing today for the first time in my life.

I don't think I would be very useful in a war.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Things That I Just Recently Noticed (But Which May Have Been Obvious to Everyone Else)

Nothin' But a Number

After recently stumbling across Sabrina and My Fair Lady on TCM, I wondered: has Audrey Hepburn ever had an on-screen love interest who was close to her own age? Let's look at the statistics!
  • Humphrey Bogart (Sabrina): +30 years
  • Fred Astaire (Funny Face): +30 years
  • Cary Grant (Charade): +25 years
  • Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady): +21 years
  • Gregory Peck (Roman Holiday): +13 years
  • William Holden (Sabrina): +11 years
  • George Peppard (Breakfast at Tiffany's): +1 year
  • Sean Connery (Robin and Marian): -1 year
I was surprised to see that George Peppard was only a year older than Hepburn, possibly because I automatically picture the gray-haired Hannibal Smith of The A-Team. Also, Hepburn had a nine-year absence from the screen between Wait Until Dark and Robin and Marian; during that time, she apparently reached some mystical age where she could star opposite actors who were (gasp!) younger than she. It's almost as though Hollywood's idea of romance is based on creepy sexual double standards or something.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fail Men

So this is the capstone on the careers of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes; co-starring in the latest movie to get an F from the A.V. Club.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Why Is This Not On My Wall Right Now?

This is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Christmas is coming, and if you love me, you'll start bidding on it right now.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Michael Crichton

When I was younger, I was an avid reader of Michael Crichton, who died yesterday after a battle with cancer. I remember reading Jurassic Park the summer that the movie was released and wondering what was up with all of the footnotes; I kept trying to figure out if this whole dinosaur theme park was based on a true story or something. Plus, I wondered why there were all those references to fractals and chaos theory. I just wanted to read about dinosaurs tearing shit up.

My interest in Crichton's books waned around the same time that Hollywood stopped making huge special-effects extravaganzas based on his books. His later books seemed notable mostly for their global-warming denialism and slanderous treatment of critics.

Still, when I was 13 or so, I tore through The Andromeda Strain, The Terminal Man, and The Great Train Robbery over the course of an 8-hour car ride. Whatever his flaws, Crichton knew how to keep pages turning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Did I Stumble Into a Science-Fiction Movie?

The networks are projecting a winner before midnight, Wolf Blitzer was talking to a hologram earlier, and a black guy is going to be our next president. A couple of years ago, I would have placed money on precisely none of those things happening tonight.

Also, I lied today about having already voted in order to get a free cup of coffee. Did I commit voter fraud?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Music Notes

  • There are two big features MySpace has that are absent from social-networking rival Facebook: music and the ability to make your profile the ugliest thing on the internet. And, oh, how their music sucks these days. Ever since they launched their new, supposed-to-be-revolutionary music site, everything I try to play is a herky-jerky, slow-buffering mess. It's like listening to the scratching of the least talented DJ in history. Add to that the screwing-over of independent labels and it's like Tom et. al. are trying to make themselves irrelevant.
  • I paid just about zero attention to WXPN's annual countdown this year. I like 'xpn just fine, but 885 "Essential XPN Songs" seemed like a death march of earnest singer-songwriters. That being said, I can wholeheartedly endorse the song that came in at #1:

  • I had kind of a slow day at work yesterday, but that's fine because it gave me a chance to get no fewer than six songs stuck in my head. And the remarkable thing was that they sort of organized themselves into thematic pairs. It's like my head was Noah's Ark, gathering the earworms two by two. Things kicked off with a duo of soft-rock hits from the '80s: Madonna's "Borderline" and Quarterflash's "Harden My Heart." It then segued into the more recent, less-embarrassing collaborations "Borne on the FM Waves of the Heart" by Against Me! with Tegan Quin and "Thank You Mario, but Our Princess Is In Another Castle" by the Mountain Goats and Kaki King. Finally, there was the double-shot of lengthy classic-rock story-songs: Springsteen's "New York City Serenade" and the Who's "A Quick One While He's Away." I actually really like five of those six songs, but "Borderline" is pretty fucking tenacious. It got to the point where I was thinking about Rick Astley just to get it out of there.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Home Stretch

Earlier today, I got a robocall from Kal Penn telling me to vote for Obama. I suppose it's conceivable that stoner movie fans will be the key demographic on Tuesday, but I'm not sure how my household ended up on the phone list. Now if Neil Patrick Harris had called, I would have done whatever he told me to, even if it were a write-in vote for Lenin's corpse.

Meanwhile, Hagar the Horrible has either (a) endorsed Obama, or (b) abandoned punchlines in favor of bleak examinations of the self-delusions created by people facing their impending deaths. If it's the latter, I would usually find it depressing, except I have a sneaking suspicion that tomorrow Hagar will be coming home late from the bar or playing golf or other such hilarious Viking hijinks.