Monthly Archives: May 2010

Portishead’s Dummy: 16 Years and Still Going Strong

Beth Gibbons

Portishead’s debut CD, Dummy, that came out in ’94 is one of the few CDs that never goes far from my player.  I still find it next to impossible to believe that this album is 16 years old now.  There are rarely such complete albums where every single song is just killer.   And even rarer still that I can listen to the same music over and over without ever getting sick of it.  Just Love Beth Gibbons’ voice..something so sexy and haunting at the same time.  Enjoy.


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The Most Sound Sleeping Woman In The World

Last night there was this story on the news that I just could not believe.  There was this woman who fell asleep on a plane and when she woke up it was 3 hours after the plane had landed and there was just her and a cleaning crew.   Very Langoliers-ish.  I will give the woman one thing, it would have been pretty freaky to wake up that way.  But this woman has already hired a lawyer and plans to sue for false imprisonment, emotional distress and negligence.

Seriously?!?  Can we just look at a few things first before this goes to court or before United decides to settle the case outright?

This woman was on a flight from DC to Philadelphia.  This was not a LA to New York flight we are talking about here…it was DC to Philly.  If you drive from Dulles to Philly it is 167 miles and takes right around 3 hours (without traffic).  Flying that distance takes around 50 minutes. How in the world can a person get to sleep, and to such a sound sleep, on a flight that short?

I don’t know about you but I could never fall asleep before a plane gets off the ground.   There is just too much stuff going on…the noise of the engines, the bumpiness of those tiny wheels moving along the runway, the sudden jolt as the plane starts down the runway and that stomach churning second or two when the wheels part from the ground and you take to the sky.  During a 50 minute flight you have about 10 minutes of take off and ascent and about 10 minutes of descent and landing.  I am going to assume that the woman fell asleep during that 30 minutes in between.

So during that 30 minutes this woman fell so deeply asleep that she slept through the entire landing process.  I can’t even sleep through the cat jumping onto or off of the bed.  This woman slept through the plane touching down, the announcements over the intercom of the pilot welcoming the passengers to Philadelphia and thanking them for choosing United, all of the lights in the plane being turned on and every other passenger gathering up their belongings and leaving the plane.  Being that sound asleep is bordering on being dead and totally reminded me of this:

How do you sleep for 4 hours on a flight that only lasts 50 minutes?  I just don’t get how a person can have such little control over themselves to allow this to happen.  I just don’t understand how you could not have that internal clock that just doesn’t allow this to happen.  And while I do agree that United’s flight crew should have noticed she was asleep, there is no way this woman has any kind of case here.

Story:  [USA Today]

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LOST – The Alternate Endings

LOST ended tonight and Kimmel really had some great stuff on his wrap up show.  These Alternate Endings are freakin’ hilarious:

Survivor.  Sopranos.  Newhart.   All Classics.

Sayid:   “I did not spend 5 years in the Republican Guard, get shot by Roger, get drowned in a pond, take a bomb to the stomach on a submarine to get eliminated by Jeff-Fucking-Probst”

Loved it.

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Goodbye LOST

 

LOST Last Supper

The Last LOST

Dear LOST,

Thank you.

I tried thinking of some much more profound way of expressing my gratitude but couldn’t come up with anything.

No other show has ever had me sitting and discussing every little detail with friends and coworkers like you did. I still remember those early days of the first season where I would get to work on Thursdays and we would all gather around one cubicle and dissect your episode from the previous night. We would all have our theories and none of them would be the same. I really do believe part of your brilliance was bringing out the creativity in your viewers week after week as we all tried to figure you out. Before we knew it the whole first part of our day was gone and we had done little to no work as we browsed forums, searched for clues and looked for any little bit of evidence to support our theories. None of us ever got any closer to the “truth” but we sure had fun trying.

I have stuck with you through thick and thin and enjoyed every one of your stories. Sure, I know you kind of got a bit off track during seasons three and four and you “lost” some of your fans. That’s ok. It happens. But you came back strong in seasons five and six and appear to be going out with a bang.

I am going to miss Hurley‘s “Duuuude”.

I am going to miss Sawyer‘s nicknames.

I am going to miss Kate.  Oh yummy Kate.

I am going to miss Sayid saving the day. (SAYIIIID!)

I am going to miss Locke and his faith and NotLocke and his kick-assery.

I am going to miss Ben and his big and demented brain.

I am going to miss the flashbacks, flash-forwards and even the flash-sideways.

And yes, I am even gonna miss Jack as he prepares to take over the role of Island Guardian.

It has been a good run for you and I approach tonight with excitement mixed with a bit of sadness. I really don’t think there will be another like you.

Thanks again.

NotLocke Needs Your Help

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The Pacific: The Reasons I Was Not All That Impressed

The HBO Miniseries The Pacific was a pretty good miniseries if you take it as a standalone project. The problem I have with this miniseries is that it was pimped all over the place as being from the same people that produced Band of Brothers. Whether this is fair or not, I expected Band of Brothers 2. When I go into a situation with preconceived notions it is really hard for me to shake them…and I couldn’t throughout the run of this miniseries.

Don’t get me wrong here, I liked the series as a whole. I just could not get into it and relish every minute of it like I did with BoB. There was nothing that could have drug me away from a Sunday night during the run of BoB but I missed the initial run of the final episode of The Pacific because I watched the finale of Survivor. I was more into watching the finale of a show I didn’t even watch this season that than to watch the live first-run of The Pacific’s final episode. That alone told me that I was just not that into this show. Below are just some of the reasons that I just wasn’t as impressed with this series as I thought I would have been:

 

Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers

Care Factor, Part I – It took me until the 3rd episode to even be able to remember a single character’s name. It wasn’t until the Marines made it to Melbourne and the entire show focused pretty much on Bob Leckie that I put a name to at least one character’s face. This was a big problem for me right from the beginning of the series as I felt I had nothing invested in any of these men. Look at BoB where the first two episodes (Curahee and Day of Days) had me already invested in characters that I knew by name. Winters, Nixon, Sobel (dick), Toye, Randleman, Malarkey, Lipton, Guarnere, Perconte and Buck Compton….those are all names that went with faces that I could pick out of a lineup after just the first two episodes. And those are just the ones off the top of my head. There was an effort to get the viewer tuned in and caring about all of these guys from the first moments of the first episode. There wasn’t this same attention given to the characters in The Pacific. Up until this third episode I couldn’t actually put a name to a face so I was pretty happy when I could finally say, “Ok, so that guy is Bob Leckie”

 

Toye and Guarnere

Joe Toye and Wild Bill

Care Factor, Part II – I seriously did not care if ANYONE on The Pacific lived or died. I didn’t grow attached to any of the Marines throughout the entire run of the project. In fact, I started hoping a few of the guys would get offed for reasons I will explain below. There wasn’t a single character that I found compelling or could relate to at all and this was disappointing. How could BoB give us over a dozen different characters that we would grow attached to and really feel their loss (like with Guarnere and Toy in Bastogne) and there not be a single Marine that I grew to care about through 10 episodes?

 

Teamwork

Cohesive Unit

Teamwork – I guess I should really call this “Lack of Teamwork”. Part of what seemed to bother me throughout the run of The Pacific was what appeared to be a lack of teamwork displayed by the Marines. It really did appear like it was every man for himself in just about every battle. Even the main cast of characters that were supposed to be a mortar team really didn’t feel like they were working together. Looking back at BoB, those guys all felt like a team that worked together cohesively and got the job done as a well oiled machine. Maybe this is just an accurate portrayal of the battles in the Pacific but it just didn’t feel like it made for a compelling story to me.

 

John Basilone

John Basilone

John Basilone – Allright, I must admit that in Episode 2 I was really impressed with the dude that was running around in the jungle with the machine gun burning the flesh right off his arm as he was trying to get his men more ammo. I still didn’t know who the hell this guy was though because there really was no effort made to give the viewer a clue that this was John Basilone, the Hero of Guadalcanal. He was a badass in this episode and his story was about to suck me in and make me a fan of the series. But nope, his real story had to go and completely blow that for me. This guy left the hell that is war to go back to the States to tour the country as a hero. Along the way this guy is bangin’ starlets and beauty queens, has a standing reservation in every restaurant in every city he goes to and is worshipped as a hero by everyone. He was living the dream. I mean seriously, Ana Torv….yum. And what does this guy decide to do? He decides that his life just isn’t fulfilling enough and heads back to the Marines. I wanted someone to shoot him right there. But no, he had to make it even worse. He gets a woman, and fellow marine, to fall in love with him while at Camp Pendleton and then marries her. He was tagging starlets and he goes to a mudpit to train marines and marries one? To me that just sounds like the move of a moron. But he makes it worse, he then decides to reenlist and head back to war. Guess what happened? Yep, he got capped while running around the battlefield like his skin was made of Kevlar. It was like he wanted to die as much as I wanted him to.

I know that this is based on a true story and I do give Basilone his props for being a brave (stupid) Marine that did what he thought needed to be done in a time of war. I just don’t, however, feel that his story is one that makes him out to be a hero. His entire story just made me feel sorry for this guy that was too blinded by his stupidity to realize that he should have just stayed in the States and enjoyed the ride that he earned.

 

Pointless battles

What was the point?

Pointless Battles – This is probably the case in war in general but it really felt like just about every battle these Marines were in was pointless. I seem to recall that at the end of pretty much every battle that claimed an island there was some information relayed to the viewer that this “all important island” was never used for it’s intended purpose after the fact. After a couple of these purposeless battles all I could think about was the waste. All these poor young men that died to advance a few feet on an island that really didn’t matter. This is probably what the producers and director wanted those of us watching to feel…I just didn’t like it. There was the same sort of feeling during BoB and the Battle of the Bulge where these soldiers were dying night after night while being shelled continuously while they just huddled for cover (while freezing to death) in their foxholes. The difference here though was these men were holding the line and thwarting one of the last major German offensives of the war. There was a reason for the men staying here and dying in the thousands that I can wrap my brain around and make there loss not seem like such a waste. I cannot do that with the battles on The Pacific.

 

Snafu

Snafu

Snafu – I just didn’t get this crazy son of a bitch. He was like Yoda’s retarded kid brother that dropped acid and just kinda lived on the edge of the dark side. Sometimes he is digging teeth out of dead japanese soldiers and sometimes he is giving sage advice to a newbie. I didn’t know if I liked him or despised him. So I kinda just settled on indifference. As people kept dying around him I kept hoping that sooner or later this batshit crazy marine was gonna get hit. No such luck.

 

SledgeHammer?

Sledge Hammer?

Sledge “Hammer” – So Eugene Sledge turns out to be the main character of the whole enchilada and I couldn’t have been less impressed. First off, I couldn’t get beyond the fact that this is that whiny little brat from Jurassic Park. Then I couldn’t get over how that whiny little kid from Jurassic Park grew up to be such a dorky looking adult. I know that we were supposed to be watching his journey throughout the show. He went from young innocent kid to a trained Marine to a “Kill em all” psycho that wants to dig gold teeth out of dead guys to a preachy whiner (when he admonishes some other Marines for killing an unarmed Japanese soldier…which he did himself the previous episode) to a catatonic Post war veteran. Though all of that all I could focus on was that stupid freakin’ pipe. Someone should have told this guy (and by this guy I mean the real Sledge…not the actor) how ridiculous you look when you smoke a pipe. Now someone else should have told the actor that he looked way to much like Col. Hans Landa when he had that pipe in his mouth. It is hard for me to feel sympathetic for a guy that I can’t look at without associating him with a turbo-evil Nazi.

As the miniseries came to a close I didn’t find myself wanting more like I did with Band of Brothers.  I wasn’t glad that it was over either.  I just didn’t care.  And that is sad because I really wanted to.

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WTF Brits?!?! IPhone Voted the 8th Most Important Invention of All Time…Seriously?

 

Better than the crapper and the car. 😦

From a study performed by Tesco Mobile, the IPhone is a hell of a lot more important to Brits than I would have thought. They “studied” 4,000 Brits and came up with a list of 100 of the Greatest Inventions and the IPhone came in 8th.

8th!!!?!?!

This is right behind Penicillin (7) and right before the Flushing Toilet (9) and the Internal Combustion Engine (10). So apparently Brits don’t want to be sick but don’t mind shitting in a hole in the floor or riding around in a horse-drawn carriage as long as they have their freakin’ IPhone to play with all their apps. The Shoe doesn’t even make the list until 30. Maybe there is an IShoe app.

I don’t use an IPhone so am I missing out? Is it really more important to us than 92 other things on that list of 100?

I guess the IPhone is the best thing since sliced bed…literally. Sliced Bread is #70.  It really scares me what would be on that list if this was done in the good ole US of A.

/facepalm

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Ripley, I Don’t Know How This Happened (or How This Doglover Learned to Love A Hated Cat)

Ripley's Great shot

Great little shot of Ripley

First things first, I am and will always be a dog person.

I have always hated cats. I can’t remember a time in my life where I just didn’t look at cats with disdain. Those little creepy bastards and their holier than thou attitudes just rubbed me the wrong way. You (even if you are a cat person) know exactly what I mean so don’t act like you don’t. The way that cats completely ignore you unless they really want something or even just the way they look down their noses at you like you are ruining their day just by being in the same room. Yeah, I hated them.

Imagine how thrilled I was the day that Deb told me that she really wanted to adopt a cat. She didn’t just slowly work into the “I am gonna get a cat” mode…she hit the ground with both feet running. She was already on Petfinder looking through all the cats in the area that needed adopting and already had set up appointments to go to foster homes to check out the cats that she was ooohing and ahhhing about.

I love seeing Deb happy so who was I to bitch and moan about a cat if she was this giddy just about the prospect of getting the snobby little feline. So I smiled and encouraged her to go and see the cats even though on the inside I was silently cursing the little boxshitters. I just had this feeling that when she did bring home that cat it would be way too plain that I couldn’t stand it and our relationship would slowly decay and wither away to nothing. It kind of scared me a bit and I almost spoke up about how I felt right then and there. I am now really and truly glad that I held my tongue (which as most of you know…is virtually impossible for me to do).

Deb found a cat she really loved right away. As she puts it, the cat found her. As soon as she walked into the foster home this one cat ran up and jumped up in her lap and just “fit”. She was instantly in love with the little devil and decided this was the one to bring home. I was shocked that she found a cat so quickly when she emailed me later that day with a long list of names that she was trying to decide on for it. I wasn’t in love with any of her names (I actually didn’t see a single name on the list that I even remotely liked…but don’t tell her) and I knew that the cat was a female so I thought through my list of movie reference names and suggested Ripley. I knew that Deb liked the Aliens movies as much as me (geek) and that she might like the name. She loved it.

So Ripley came into both of our lives that day.

Pirate Rips

The Ripley

Ripley's Belly Rub?

Ripley's Belly Rub?

The day the adoption folks brought Ripley over to Deb’s place I was full of anxiety. While I was loving how happy she was as she shopped for all of her goodies and eagerly awaited the arrival of Ripley I was also dreading what I knew was going to be an instant dislike between myself and that damn cat. But when I walked through the door and that little gray ball of fur walked over to me and chirped some kind of greeting that sort of resembled a meow and then plopped over on her side and showed me her belly…I felt the first bit of ice start to melt off my heart.

I thought to myself, “Hey, I got this” because being a dog person my whole life I knew that when the dog rolled over on its back and showed you it’s belly it was a sign of submission and they wanted their belly rubbed. So I reached down to rub that little belly and that freakin cat grabbed my hand with her front paws and used her back paws to scratch the every living shit out of my hand and arm all while she was trying (and mostly succeeding) to bite my fingers. WTF Cat! I snatched my scratched up arm away and chuckled as I slowly remembered, “This is not a dog.” My first lesson was learned really quick.

Even after surviving that first Cat Ambush I was determined to stick it out and learn to love that cat. I could see that look on Deb’s face. You know the look I am talking about here; that look that is practically screaming to the world about her new-found joy. If this cat is making her this happy in just the first five minutes of them being together I have to suck it up and learn to swallow my dislike.

Me and Rips

Sneaky Photo

It turns out that I didn’t need to swallow anything (that’s what she said). After just a couple hours with Ripley I found myself smiling when looking at her. I found that I liked when she would jump up on my lap and want to cuddle up on me. And I really loved the way she has no clue how to meow like other cats.

Seriously, this cat doesn’t meow. She kind of gurgles and chirps at you and she does it constantly. I have never seen an animal that never…and I mean NEVER…shuts up. The cat will follow you around bitching and moaning at you all day if you let her. The only thing that appears to get her to stop is if Deb picks her up and lets her cuddle with her a bit. There are times when she is screaming at me that she sounds like the E-trade baby’s buddy Mike in this commercial. The “Daaaad!” yell sounds just like the cat. There are other times where she stalks you for treats and yells at you to give them to her NOW. I was laughing at her one day because of the way she was yelling at me and trying to take me down when I had a treat in my hand. I told Deb that the cat was acting like one of those freakin’ killer dinos from Jurassic Park…so the nickname VelociRipley stuck to her after that. Along with about 10 other nicknames that I won’t go into because they change from day-to-day.

Me, Deb and Rips

Loved waking up like this.

There have been some mornings where I wake up and the cat is curled up on my chest or in the crook of my arm. I find myself smiling a big cheesy grin and spend like thirty minutes just petting her and listening to her purr while Deb is sound asleep next to us. There was even the time (like in this picture) where I wake up and both Deb and Ripley are curled up on me and both of them are sleeping in almost the same position. I was so glad my phone was right there so I could snap the picture. I realized, as I looked at the picture right after I snapped the shot, that I loved this little cat. She not only made Deb’s days brighter but she added a bit of warmth to mine as well.

And I have no idea how this happened. When did I let go and just start loving this cat?

Was it when I found her looking out the window at our Snowpocalypse?

Ripley and the snow

Ripley doesn't know what all that white stuff is on the ground

Was it when I caught her drinking from the toilet?

Drinking Problem Ripley

Mmmmm....tasty stuff

Was it when I found her sunning in the kitchen window and playing with the blinds (bad girl Ripley…bad girl) cord?

It wasn't me...i swear

What? I wasn't doin' nuthin!

Even though I am not quite sure exactly when the last barriers dropped and I just let a cat into my heart I am kinda glad it happened. Even though from time to time I still think she is plotting my death so I will leave her and Deb in peace….I can’t help but loving the girl.

I am still a dog person. I still hate cats. I just don’t hate Ripley.

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