Sunday, November 30, 2008

Charlie & Lola

Charlie and Lola keep the state of a new generation of children's television... very well indeed.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Looking Glass People

First glimpse of Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter in Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland adaptation...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Nigel's Addiction

Misanthropy Central Exclusive!

I was cat-sitting Dave & Jenny's aggressively misanthropic feline ("Nigel") last week and managed to document his latest antisocial peculiarity...

Sticking his head under a running water faucet and slurping up tap water as if it were narcotic.

Believe it... OR NOT!

... you had better believe it...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

G-Train Blues

Hey NYC subway riders: y'all ready for service cuts?!
The cuts, announced at an executive board meeting Thursday, will eliminate the entire downtown W and Z subway lines and portion of the M line, as well as a portion of the G line in Brooklyn and Queens. On lettered lines, the frequency of service between the morning and evening rush hours will decrease from every eight to every 10 minutes, and service between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. on all lines, including the 1, will decrease from every 20 to every 30 minutes.

Riders can expect more crowded trains, longer waits, and extra transfers to reach their destinations. Subways will be cleaned less often, many station booths will be closed, and more than 2,000 jobs will be eliminated.
Entire article HERE.

Blogger commentary HERE.

I've been taking the G-train a lot more often since my lady-friend lives off one of the stops. I've always been prejudiced against the line but I must say, it's been relatively reliable in the past few months, with the exception of a disastrous shut-down on Halloween night.

A few years ago, the MTA was turning a profit.

Now they're readying jacked-up prices and shittier service.


Happy Turkey Day, all you people.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There Was a Time...

There was a time, when I was a little tyke, when I desperately wanted a dog...

My folks wouldn't get me one for the longest time. We were living in Brooklyn apartments where we couldn't keep pets. When we moved into a big house in the suburbs, other excuses always seemed to creep up to delay the glorious day I could take home my dream dog. Despite my parents' aggressive dog-blocking practices, I would read everything there was to read about dogs. Books about different breeds, books about dog-training, books about the psychological benefits of children growing up with pets.

Eventually, I stopped bitching and moaning about wanting a dog. It's not that I stopped wanting one—I just got tired of banging my head against the brick wall for it.

Of course, that's when my parents decided to let me get one. (In an attempt to draw attention away from their failing marriage, no doubt.) As great as getting that dog was, it probably would've been a greater thrill to have gotten it a few years earlier, at the height of my mania.

Now, before you all leap to the obvious parallel story, let me say that I love Chinese Democracy: it is the ambitious and flawed gem that I always hoped it could be. Would I have been more excited to get it a few years earlier, at the height of my Guns N' Roses mania? Of course. What the fuck kind of question is that?? But I am fine with getting it now. And as with all things, perhaps this happened for a reason.

What I am less than pleased with is the lackluster manner in which this "highly anticipated" album has finally been released.

Specifically, BEST BUY's shitty, passive release of the album on a Sunday. I know the music industry's changed significantly over the years and the album's getting some nice online heat... but after all these years, I was hoping for something bigger. A music video, an appearance on Saturday Night Live, something with a few fireworks.

Hopefully, we'll get some of these things in the coming months...

I know there's a lot of mixed to negative shit out there on the album and the "so-called" band, but I'm heartened by the more positive stuff...

Recording with Axl:
He had a firm handshake and looked you straight in the eye. It was all vocal overdubs or vocal leads. He would move from song to song, working on different parts. He was jumping about, but he knew exactly what he wanted...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Guns N' Dragons

On shelves...



Monday, November 24, 2008

Gigi Democracy

Back in college, I would've been hard-pressed to find someone less of a fan of Guns N' Roses than Nick E. Gaffney.

Therefore, it is a peculiar brand of irony that Nick's firstborn owns a copy of Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy BEFORE I DO!!!

Sunday afternoon, I went to get my milestone tattoo. Took a lot longer than previously estimated (and the motherfucker didn't even fucking FINISH, so I gotta go back next weekend...), met up with my girlfriend after the tattoo parlor to have a spot of dinner. Sent her on her way, then raced to a mid-town BEST BUY...

Turns out, BEST BUY closes at 9pm. And if you get there at 8:33pm on a Sunday night when a long-awaited Guns N' Roses album is released, they tell you the store is already closed and won't let you buy a copy.

I went to two BEST BUY stores: Fucking. Shut. Out.

Took a long walk home through the bitter cold. My arm throbbing from my unfinished tattoo. I wanted to stab every pedestrian on the street.

I am filled with hatred. I am a perfect hate machine.

All the same, I'm liking my work-in-progress tattoo. It may seem a bit funny getting ink based on an album I don't even own yet, but I gotta have faith.

Pretty sure I'm gonna regret it *less* than that "I Heart Spider-Man 3" tattoo that I rushed out and got...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Chinese Democracy 2008

Today. Sunday, November 23, 2008. It's happened. It's finally happened.

Guns N' Roses. Chinese Democracy.

Released exclusively through Best Buy.

An excerpt from Chuck Klosterman's wonderfully written review:

"It's as if Axl is desperately trying to get some unmakeable dream song from inside his skull onto the CD, and the result is an overstuffed maelstrom that makes all the punk dolts scoff..."

(He gives the album an A-, btw. Great thoughtful review.)

At 2:30pm today, I've got an appointment to get a tattoo. It isn't really about commemorating the release of this new Guns N' Roses album, of course. It's about the fact that none of my friends believed this album would ever come out, and I've suffered YEARS OF RIDICULE because I've been patiently waiting for this thing. Because I believed it would arrive!

Now finally, though awfully awfully late, the Great Pumpkin has finally arrived, bitches.

Despite what your so-called friends may say to you, it's okay to believe in things, kids. It's okay to like unpopular things, like a GNR album that should've come out over a decade ago. That's what my new ink is celebrating.

(Plus, it'll piss off my mom at Thanksgiving.)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Myth of the Good Year

More than once this year, I've had someone say some variation of:

"You've been having a good year, haven't you!"

No trace of sarcasm.

I realize these things are all spin, but it still seems odd. Not that I'm some buzz-killing pessimist, but I feel like it's been a fairly rocky year so far. Let's recap...

Writers Guild Strike dragged into the new year, which—aside from derailing my film project—forced me to slouch my way back to my old day job at Bear Stearns.

Shortly after the strike ended, Bear Stearns fell apart and I had to go on unemployment while waiting for the film career to pick up again.

I didn't manage to get the automatic greenlight that I was expecting to get in September.

Now we're heartbeats away from Thanksgiving and all I've got is uncertainty. And that cautiously-optimistic blather that I lay on for anyone who prods me into a conversation about my various film projects.

The only genuinely good thing I've got right now is The Girl. That's not insignificant, but a sweet girlfriend doesn't necessarily cancel out all the other stuff! I've got way too much uncertainty in my immediate future for me to feel cheerful, let alone boastful, about this year.

Still... one thing that does make things better...


Thursday, November 20, 2008


All right, you motherfuckers. Which one of you is going to buy me this for X-mas this year???

Who's it gonna be, then, eh?

Sorta makes Funzo look like a big pile of crap, doesn't it?

I like how he sings and eats the leaf.

Bye, Kota, I'll miss you!

Happy birthday to Tyler Abrams today. And a special thanks to FACEBOOK for reminding us all.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ode to a Bum Dime

Coinstar alert!

The tennis ball cannister filled with pocket change was high enough—and myself desperate enough—to pay a visit to the good ol' reliable cash-maker, COINSTAR. This one, at my local Duane Reade.

A fair yield, all things considered. Cost of a dinner-for-two.

I sadly, uselessly deposited a mysteriously bum dime into the machine several times before surrendering the effort.

And this is what I was left with. $61.13 for months of pocket change. Wasn't even enough to pay for the coffin.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

High Score Alert!

Elliptical machine!!!

1016 calories, you muthafuckaz!!!

This really happened!

I made this happen.

Now, I can die...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Papaya Kingmaker

Gray's Papaya chooses a presidential candidate, you'd better fuckin' pay attention.

They make hot dogs. And win presidential elections. And make papaya drinks.

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Audacity of Malice

Okay, you want an honest blog entry? Fasten your seatbelt...

My relatives were complete dicks to me growing up: I was an overweight kid and they never let me forget it and to this day I still can't stand to look at most pictures of myself.

I maintain an awkward, amiable but threadbare relationship with my immediate family. Haven't physically seen my pop since 2003 (when I got fucking married).

As much as I blog, I'm wary of the internet. My enemies (and frenemies) are legion.

Once, this girl I met on the internet sent me a letter with a hair sample. And she'd carved my initials into her skin and pressed it against the letter paper, so my initials were there IN BLOOD...


(Admittedly, I used to court trouble online...)

I used to google my own name. Haven't done that in two years. I don't want to read all the snarky/shitty things people have to say about me or my work.

I don't like the way that FACEBOOK connects people. I'm weirded out by the way every little thing you do gets turned into a full-blown press release to real friends and phony-Facebook-friends alike. I used to be careful/conservative about uploading photos of myself, but other fools post class pictures from fucking Elementary School and I get "tagged", so what's the fucking point?

When you list yourself as "in a relationship" with someone on Facebook, you might as well be married. You are essentially, virtually married. Web 2.0 married. It is a public announcement. Your friend circles get merged and you're suddenly exposed for vetting by the respective parties. A breakup may be as simple as CANCEL RELATIONSHIP > UNFRIEND > BLOCK... but you are STILL, for a time, on this path! You are on a documented path. Electronic paper trail. Just more fodder for the enemies and the assholes and the hoopleheads and exes and ex-sympathizers...

... but you can't contort your life around the real or imagined motives of your (real or imagined) enemies. Haters have to hate. And some people need to get hurt. This is the way the world works.

You do anything—you walk out the door in the morning—and you make yourself vulnerable.

And so... we let go of control. Just a little. Strategically.

(Now and then...)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

FOUR STARS, Rolling Stone

Sure. Agreed. I am drunk as I write this entry, but that is neither here *nor* there...

The point I am trying to make here is that Rolling Stone has written up its FOUR STAR REVIEW OF CHINESE DEMOCRACY...
Let's get right to it: The first Guns n' Roses album of new, original songs since the first Bush administration is a great, audacious, unhinged and uncompromising hard-rock record...

To be sold exclusively at Best Buy on Sunday, November 23rd, 2008.

I've been waiting for this motherfucker for so long, I may actually have to get ink to commemorate this occasion.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Comedy in the Age of Obama

Reports of the demise of comedy in the wake of Barack Obama's inspiring/historic presidential win have been largely exaggerated.

David Letterman's writers are off to a good start:

8 years of fish-in-a-barrel George Dubya jokes have made it easy to lose sight of what comedy can be. The comic angle doesn't always have to be someone's sheer incompetence. And it doesn't require some big Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinski scandal, either. (And no, you don't even have to resort to the racist stuff—though I'm sure that's going to be abundant in the next few years.)

Plenty to work with here, people. Grab your torches, head back to camp.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Lazy blog entry alert...

SLATE Slideshow!

(Hey, I went to the trouble of making the animated gif.)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kingmaker Chronicles

You may think you've seen the moment that Barack Obama became the future President of the United States, but you haven't... until now.

The moment Senator Obama shook hands with David Michael Cohen, he unwittingly cinched the deal to become President-Elect Obama.

You didn't fucking believe me, did you?

I told you way back on September 13th and again on September 14th.

David Cohen makes U.S. Presidents and destroys people with U.S. President names. You fuck with him, just sit back and watch him fuck your shit up.

You don't know who you're messin' with—no you never did! You don't know who you're messin' with: well, that's tough-titty, kid!!!

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Cockmeat Version

Watched the blu-ray for Harold & Kumar Escape from Gitmo the other day. Fun enough movie. But the disc has this special version called "Dude, Change The Movie!" where it branches, Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style, and you can watch alternate versions of what would happen.

For example, mid-way through the movie the titular Harold and Kumar are holed up in Guantanamo Bay, about to be force-fed a "cock-meat sandwich", when something happens and they're given a chance to escape. Of course, they choose to escape.

But in the CHANGE version, the movie stops and you're given a chance to select whether you want them to escape or whether you want them to stay and receive their cockmeat.

A menu presents you with these options while Harold and Kumar can be heard in voice-over, bickering over the logic of the alternate path. In this case, if you choose "cockmeat", the movie ends abruptly with a scene of Harold and Kumar as old bearded men locked up in Gitmo, having lived off a lifetime of cockmeat sandwiches.

I love that alternate-version bullshit.

As much as I'm thrilled at the outcome of the general election this past week—and OD'ed on news coverage and speeches—I'd love it if I could watch an alternate "cockmeat" version of the election wherein there's a McCain/Palin win. How batshit would that have been? The media would have treated it as a tragedy. Matt Drudge would've whipped out the ALL-CAPS and his animated-gif siren to crow over it. It would have been an absolute disaster...

... and I kinda wish I could view that version in the safety of a blu-ray special feature.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Everyone Loves the Loser

Certain people I won't name (but mostly Mormons named Lucas Dimick) seem to think that my blog is not as good since I started going out with a girl I really like.

Hmmm, let's see, let's weigh this a little here...

Either I choose to pay more attention to developing a relationship with this girl... or I choose to pay more attention to crafting blog entries that amuse Texas Mormons...

Tough choices here, tough tough choices...

Maybe if I took the extra time to create more original animated gifs, I could win Luc Dimick back. Better yet, I could flush my relationship with this girl down the toilet and be a depressed, miserable hate-machine on this blog 24/7. (Again.) Everyone loves the ultra-cynical gun-in-mouth version of me, don't they?

When I started this blog, I was engaged. Some people might say the blog really came into its own after that marriage imploded and I started on a downward spiral...

I think some people just like watching me bleed...

Regardless, the blog's obviously just a hobby. As such, it's got to suffer neglect sometimes. More than me being in the beginning stages of a relationship, I've been trying to refocus on some real writing, so these frivolous exercises in navel-gazing may not be up to par.

But inspiration comes in waves, so calm the hell down, a'right?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Michael Crichton Has a Posse

Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton has a posse.

And so it begins...

Where the White Women At???

World was a blur as we emerged from the G train, near Pratt.

We'd spent the better part of the evening at a bar, watching the election results roll in. The numbers looking tight at various times. We didn't want to imagine the possibility of a loss. We were drinking election-themed drinks. I was drinking this McCain cocktail—I felt bad about it but it tasted better than the "Obama-politans".

By the time we emerged from the G-train, we were pretty well-mellowed out.

And suddenly... it was like New Year's Eve outside...

People cheering...

People in the Projects hollering. White kids high-fiving us.

"Obama won!"

We ran to a nearby bar. Black folks, white folks, packed in. Everyone on a high. Shushing everyone as Obama appeared on the TV screens to deliver his acceptance.

The numbers had been on our side. I had been encouraged for weeks. But it was almost impossible to prepare for the feeling of unimaginable victory.

Someone yelled out, "That's our president!" As if, finally, someone we didn't have to be ashamed of.

New day, people.

New fucking day.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Day Update!!!

Went to my polling site, just three blocks from the Fortress of Solitude 2.0, around 9am. Apparently, it was a madhouse earlier in the morning (since the polls opened @ 6am), but by 9ish it was very manageable.

For those of you still somehow undecided, a question for you:

Do you love America?

That's the question I had to answer for myself this morn. To be honest, I am very fond of America. I think it's totally pretty and I definitely want to see where things go, but I've been hurt before and I'm afraid of commitment.

Do you want Change or More of the Same?

This one was a toughie for me. Things have been going relatively well for me the past few months, so my gut would tell me, "More of the same! More of the same!!!" At the same time, I don't know what McCain's stance is on my girlfriend. Whereas I know for sure that Barack Obama approves of my girlfriend.

Finished casting my vote by around 9:30am.

Bought $7 worth of cookies and a slice of chocolate pie from the PTA bake sale in the lobby on my way out. Liked the chocolate pie so much, I walked back in and asked for the recipe from the MILF who sold it to me. (Yes, Nick Gaffney, I had a slice of chocolate pie for breakfast. DEAL WITH IT.)

Vote for change, you people. Do not fuck this up.

Election Day

You know what to do.

Do not upset me.

I mean it this year.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Plan B

Bought one of those elaborate rubber prosthetic face-masks at fucking Ricky's for Halloween. A skull face. It was going to be cool as hell. I was going to be "Axl Rose" from the classic Appetite for Destruction crucifix:

Had it all worked out...

... but the damned thing was a lot more cumbersome to apply than I anticipated... so a cool $20 down the shitter, I desperately raced for Plan B, which was to just use makeup to create a skull-face. Which ended up looking more like a clown deal, but whatever.

Halloween was grand. The Village was a large-scale madhouse. The Girl dressed up as Minnie Mouse and looked positively fracking adorable.

Now we're at November. The day before the general election.

You know what to do, America. Don't bungle this one up, yeh?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Decade of Novembers

10 years.

Today, it's been 10 years since my first tattoo.

Quite a ride it's been, ladies and germs.

This is one of those auto-publish entries, so I can't really tell you how Halloween night went. (I'm probably still out living it.)

But in 10 years, I feel like I'm on my third life. The world seems so much more promising than it used to.

I'm hoping those promises pay out...