Thursday, September 26, 2013

the worst feeling in the world.

Lying in bed, two hours before the alarm is set to go off, eyes closed as they've been closed for hours, fucking praying for the narcotic oblivion of sleep. It's the worst when all you want is the escape, the peaceful sanctuary of sleep. Self-medicate with booze and I can't even fucking sleep through a goddamn night. Sleep is heaven when you don't want to be awake with your awful thoughts. I keep my eyes closed, shift my body to find a more comfortable contortion, vainly try blanking my mind before succumbing to thinking about the blog entry I'll write when I give up the struggle in less than two hours.

When you have your eyes closed for hours on end, you're bound to slip off for patches, at least. This morning, I had a dream that I lived in a house that got robbed. There were all these empty CD jewel cases strewn on the ground. They'd snatched a bunch of old CDs that I had no use for anymore. I remember the feeling of shock at being robbed... followed by the realization that I had nothing of value that meant anything to me anymore. It wasn't a comfort. It felt like a sort of death.

Yesterday was a black day. I'm trying to regroup. Get my head together. Keep my shit together.

It's Thursday. Two more days and I can hide in the weekend.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

One Last Thing Before i quit

One more episode of BR BA, amirite AMORICA?

A lot to cover.

Lydia. Ricin. Todd. Neo-Nazi Uncles. Gray Matters. M60. People Used To Call Me Saul. SPOILERS.


Okay, wait...


Gilligan's really burning the farm with this show. The theoretical Saul Goodman spin-off show was announced to be a prequel, which I thought was weird. (Though it helpfully kept Saul Goodman's ultimate fate in this show a secret.) However... prequels have expiration dates. And Bob Odenkirk is a human being who ages. What's odd is that the show's set up a perfect spin-off scenario for him already. He's erasing his identity and moving to a different state, starting over with a whole new cast of characters.

I'm a little surprised at how much ground this upcoming episode has to cover. A little concerned because... I just want it to be EPIC... BREAKING BAD: RETURN OF THE HEISENBERG...

He's heading to war but I'm not even entirely sure who he's going to war against.

The Neo Nazis? To get the rest of that money that he can't do anything with? Because his stupid family won't touch it?

He has no reason to save Jesse. I don't know what he could possibly do to get back with his family on any level. I'm not sure how this one plays out.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Transformation of Walter White on XBOX

From reddit (above).

I like how Walter White goes through a Bob Fosse phase before the end.

... And All That Meth...!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Defending Walter White


On the last episode of TALKING BAD, Dean Norris mocked the "Team Walt" people, wondering how many of them could *possibly* still be rooting for Walter White after the latest installment of BREAKING BAD.  Vince Gilligan himself seems to marvel at the phenomenon of people still rooting for this character who's sunk to such villainous depths.

This aggravates me. This is not a matter of rooting for Walter White. This is a tragedy. This is about having spent all this time considering this character and feeling for how he has fallen. We are not rooting for him to steal Holly away and start a new life with her; we are saddened and in shock at the level of desperation he's reached that he feels this is his only move. After all this time, how can you NOT feel something for this character? We have seen him lose his soul by increments over 5 seasons. How can you not understand his fatal flaws and where he's coming from?

It's short-sighted and reductive to scoff at all the people who still care about Walter White. The majority of them aren't anarchists just rooting for the bad guy to win. I think the majority want to see a decent man — who's fallen hard — find some 11th hour redemption. Or, barring that, go out on his own terms. The series represents a year in this man's life. A year in which he's broken bad. A man who's suffered a lifetime of indignities before we meet him. We watch him get systematically stripped of everything. At the very least, he should be allowed to go out on his own terms.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Breakfast Bad


So, Walt Junior didn't take the news about his dad too well and we were treated to a treasure trove of mewling Flynn shots.  I honestly thought he'd take his dad's side, since he's blindly defended his dad, and he likes the rad cars that drug money can buy.  But no, he quickly flipped on his old man.  I really thought Skyler was about to get (accidentally) iced in this one.  Flynn actually ends up defending his "stupid bitch" mother and calling the cops on Walt Sr.  So much for family...

I guess the justification for not giving us a clear resolution of the gunfight in the last episode was to give us a little more time to weigh the circumstances and outcome in this episode.  I'm glad Hank got iced.  I'm glad Hank watched Walt give up everything trying to save his life before he got iced.  Walt gave up all his money for nothing.

Once Hank's dead, the family thing sort of flies out the window.  You see Walt die.  It was crazy seeing Walt turn on Jesse that completely... but seriously, Jesse *totally* jacked things up!  I don't want to broken-record this but 1) there's no way Jesse could have figured out everything he figured out just because Huell palmed his weed, 2) there's no way Jesse should have rationalized teaming up with Hank, 3) Jesse teaming up with Hank created this scenario that led to Hank's death.

It's late.  I've been sick all weekend.  More thoughts later.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Axl Rose (Bill Bailey), 18 Years Old

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Axl Rose, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".

Some hype about tonight's new episode of BREAKING BAD, which Vince Gilligan says is "the best episode we ever had had or ever will have. It was written by Moira Walley-Beckett and directed by Rian Johnson".

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Most Epic Heckler Reversal Ever

I'm late to the game on this one, but if you haven't seen it I do recommend watching comedian Bill Burr eviscerate a booing Philadelphia crowd for over 12 minutes, leading into a standing ovation.

For a little context:
Opie and Anthony’s Traveling Virus was a touring comedy show that made the rounds in 2006 and 2007. It was a Lollapalooza-style festival, featuring scores of comedians.

During the first year, the Philadelphia crowd was… difficult (go figure), and there was a lot of drunken booing and heckling. Veteran Boston comic Bill Burr watched from backstage as his colleagues were heaped with abuse.

Pissed-off, Burr took his turn onstage and the crowd began giving him the same treatment. But he wasn’t having it, and launched into one of the most amazing diatribes ever recorded...

I'm in the Excedrin Business

Bryan Cranston made a shit-ton of commercials in the 1980s.

They're inevitably silly to look at now (though nothing really sillier than the broad comedy of his seven seasons on Malcolm in the Middle) and you can chalk it up to a hard-working actor "paying his dues"... but I don't look at all these commercials as anything to be embarrassed by. I look at all these commercials and think, "Damn... he's really fucking good at getting jobs."

You can factor in a certain amount of genetic fortune. In all ways, he's the perfect Average White Male for the 1980s. You can imagine him getting cast before he even walked into the audition. But you can't dismiss it all as genetic fortune, of course. To be in all these commercials, the guy obviously nailed a shit-ton of auditions. That's some skill.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Salad Days

8:30am. Rush hour at the men's locker room in the gym. A chaotic circus of flopping cocks; men furiously preening in mirrors. A room full of sweaty naked cocks'n'balls, straight and queer, young and old, asses and dicks all whizzing by you as they fastidiously get dressed for work.  As you wash your face, the sounds and smells of urine and bowel movements through that thick locker room air.

Suffice it to say, you want to avoid rush hour at the gym.

I've been trying to regard this latest gig not so much as a job but rather as a new workout regime.

Wake up at a certain time, to get to the gym at a certain time, to avoid that ugly cock-flop rush hour, to get to work on time.

For lunch, always a salad. From wherever we're ordering from. The least I could do to get more greens in my system is to have a salad for lunch, five times a week. Not a lot of calories being burned at a desk job, after all.

At the beginning, I figured that almost every restaurant has a few salad options. I imagined that I'd grow to enjoy these salads.

What I discovered... gradually... was that the state of the average American salad is very, very poor.


What I'm saying is, there is an art to a quality salad. A good salad can really sort you out.

But most take-out salads are just lousy.

First off, "salad" obviously doesn't necessarily mean "healthy". Some salads are nutritionally worse than Big Macs. You don't have to be a rocket surgeon to know this. If you've got a salad bogged down with eggs, bacon, fried chicken, tortilla chips and a buttercream dressing... well, you might be a redneck. A lot of the "fat-free" dressing options are so loaded with sugar, you might as well be pouring them on ice cream.

Normally, personally, I like to avoid special orders because it simply increases the risk of the restaurant screwing up — but I've become increasingly accustomed to *editing* the salads. "I'll have the Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with NO GOAT CHEESE."

It's obnoxious but it's part of the experiment. By the end of this gig, I'll have drowned myself in goddamn salads. I'll probably have doubled my lifetime intake of fruits and vegetables. All of which is neither here nor there but sometimes you've got to take these small measures toward... not being entirely unhealthy.

[Have I mentioned that this television show we're producing promises to be one of the grisliest, most violent/racist/sexist/goriest television shows ever produced? I've read six of the ten episodes. This thing will be unprecedented. No one is ready.]

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Born Again Hard in 16 Weeks

Craig Davidson is a Canadian novelist who jacked himself up on steroids for 16 weeks. For research purposes.

Once we pass that period of massive physical change - childhood through our teens, puberty and growth spurts - we settle into a sense of our bodies. We understand the parameters and capabilities, what it can and cannot do. And though it's disheartening to say, at 30, I was already finding evidence of a body on its downslope. While I worked out regularly, I hadn't made a sizeable gain in years. In gym parlance, I'd 'hit the plateau'.

Steroids shattered the limitations of my body. I first sensed their effects while bench-pressing dumbbells. I usually peak at 85lb each, or 170lb total. But after 10 repetitions with the 85s I was stunned: it felt like a warm-up! With a degree of trepidation - we're talking weights that, if mishandled, could break a wrist or some ribs - I picked up the 90-pounders, which I'd never attempted. They went up easily and I ripped out 10 reps. It was an out-of-body sensation: somebody else's arms were pushing those weights, someone else's pectorals flexing and contracting...


It was pathetic and I should have known better - actually I did know better, but I didn't let that stop me. The 'pumps' I'd get after a workout clouded all judgment. My glances at the gym mirrors were at first baffled: 'Is that me?' double-takes that soon mutated into looks of preening narcissism. I noticed how light played differently upon my chest and arms, the pockets of blue shadow filling my new contours.

The thing is, I knew it was all fake. I hadn't earned it; it was actually quite freakish. But it's like a woman with giant fake breasts: everyone knows they're fake, but damn it if they don't still draw attention.
Well worth the full read.

But TL;DR...? Basically, "taking steroids" requires taking a series of drugs to counteract the embarrassment of side-effects of steroids, which sounds fairly harrowing. And it's illegal, so you're obtaining the drugs through sketchy means and injecting yourself with shit outside the oversight of medical supervision. Also, once you stop the drugs, you regress FAST -- so it doesn't sound like you can take the drugs to give you a boost and then go cold turkey and just try to maintain.

So, as ever, caveat emptor.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One Last Thing on To'hajiilee


All right, Walt has spent the better part of this series going to great lengths to avoid harming Hank.

Because Hank is family.  And we don't send family to Belize.

Meanwhile, Hank has been considerably less conflicted about putting Walt down.  The closest to conflicted that Hank seemed to get was when he had Walt in his garage and muttered, "I don't even know who I'm talking to..."

Hank seems happy as a fried clam to be slapping the cuffs on Walt in To'hajiilee.  He's wanted to catch Heisenberg for a very long time and is not conflicted in the least that it's his brother-in-law, that this act is ripping apart his own family, that this is at the very least decimating the relationship between his wife and her sister.  No conflict for Hank.

No conflict for Jesse, either.

Hell, even Gomie doesn't seem the least bit squicked out when suddenly confronting Walt as a bad guy.

Think about that.  Think about if you were in a similar situation with your own brother-in-law.  Or sister-in-law.  Would the emotions be, at least, somewhat complicated?

ANYWAYS, I reiterate, eff Hank and Jesse — and fuckin' Gomie, too, that grinning pile of shit!

Postmodern Advertisements

Picture of a Heineken bottle along with some U.S. Open logos and the words,

"Get Ready For A Tennis Pun Using 'Love'."

The ads say to the audience, "Look, we're sponsoring the U.S. Open.  We won't insult your obvious intelligence by running the cliches that other ad agencies would have us run.  This is just what we do for business.  Just like you're on this train to earn your keep.  So let's dispense with these old advertising tropes.  You're on our side. You're cool -- that's why we know we can joke with you like this.  Because you get it!  Isn't it fun to be cool like us?  Drink beer."

Happy 9/11, America.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Breaking Bad To'hajiilee


I dislike Jesse working with Hank.  I dislike Hank and Marie.  Are we supposed to be rooting for them because I'm not.  I know that Walter White is supposed to be the bad guy now but I'm still not rooting against him, and there's just three episodes left.

Burn that money and you just burn Walter White's family.  You could argue that Skyler's gone to the dark side but Walt Junior remains an innocent.  Holly remains an innocent.

Hank would make the pig-headed argument that Walt himself has doomed his kin.

Jesse has completely abandoned logic.  This entire turn-around hangs on the Brock incident... but, as Walt points out, Brock is still very much alive. And Walt's saved Jesse's ass OVER and OVER and OVER again. And Jesse is suddenly some kind of angel? And I'm still calling bullshit on Jesse teaming up with Hank after what Hank's done to Jesse.

I thought Hank was gonna get shot in the head as soon as he started reading Walt the Miranda rights.

I thought we'd at least get an outcome of the gunfight. UNSATISFYING EPISODE ENDING!

Still rooting for Walt. Dislike any episode where he gets outsmarted. I'd rather see him lose more of his soul than see him get outsmarted by dummies like Jesse, Hank and fucking Gomie.

Bring on the final three but the show's lost some ground with me for two episodes in a row. I don't think they're going to repair these missteps but they can still take this to a better close.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Katee Sackhoff's First Nude Scene in a Shitty Riddick Movie


They haven't explicitly advertised this but Battlestar Galactica's Katee Sackhoff has her first nude scene in RIDDICK.
"I got the role and then (director) David Twohy had said to me, 'You know the boob is not negotiable,' so I called my dad and asked permission. I was really nervous... I would hate to do something to embarrass him," Katee recalled.

The blonde beauty, who joined her co-stars at the Los Angeles premiere last Wednesday (August 28), continued: "I told him I got the role and he got really excited and then I said, 'There's a three-to-five second side boob push-in, nude...!' He asked, 'Is there a nipple?' and I was like, 'Probably...'"
Another interview with Sackhoff HERE.

I'm sure there will be better screencaps out there but this is the big non-negotiable boob shot from the movie (side nipple was only visible for a brief second or two, and not in this screencap):

It's from a completely gratuitous shower sequence.  The nipple shot itself is totally unnecessary for the narrative, as well.  (Riddick spies on her and actually has a line of dialogue later where he says that her pink toenails match the color of her nipples, but that itself is an awkward bit of business.)

Sackhoff's character is a tough-as-nails merc who is very vocal about being a lesbian.

Of course, that doesn't stop another merc from trying to RAPE her.

Yes, RIDDICK contains an attempted rape scene!

She fends off the attack and beats the guy up, because she's a kick-ass lesbian merc.  But we still have to see a gratuitous shower scene because even lesbian mercs have to pamper themselves.

Later on, when Riddick is chained up, he has one of those speeches where the anti-hero makes a bunch of bold promises that you just know are going to come true.  I'm paraphrasing here but he says, "I'm gonna kill that guy with his own weapon, that guy's gonna flip out like a bitch, and I'm gonna go balls-deep into Katee Sackhoff's lesbian merc character because she's going to ASK ME TO FUCK HER SWEETLY."

Now, there's no explicit sex scene but her character ends up saving him toward the end and as she's carrying him to safety she strikes a flirty posture with him and there is the suggestion that she's suddenly willing to fuck him.  For no reason.  There is no motivation sold for this lesbian to suddenly switch sexual orientation.  And yet, in shitty action movie logic, a lesbian just needs a sufficiently kick-ass anti-hero to turn her around.

This is a stupid fucking movie.

Third fucking Riddick movie they've managed to shit out.  This one rated R because they managed to force Starbuck to show a nipple.  And there was another gratuitous shot of some naked alien girls writhing on a bed.  I'm guessing the non-negotiable nudity was part of them securing foreign funding.

Listen, I'm no prude, but stupid's stupid.  I'd love to see Katee Sackhoff nude in a movie that actually calls for it organically, where it actually means something, but HERE it is just some cheap foreign funding ploy.  And the movie's fucking stupid.  And her whole character is offensive.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013



What gets me a little about Jesse Pinkman right now is that he's succumbing to nothing more than inner demons.

Nothing new has happened. He says it himself to Hank: Walt is out of the meth business. Jesse's haunted by the death of that random motorbike kid (at the hands of Todd), and the knowledge that Walt probably killed Mike, and his newest realization that Walt poisoned a child (Brock) because... well, because of some circuitous logic that seemed to make more sense at the time, really.

Everything Jesse's pissed off about is in the past. We've seen him AFRAID of Walt. I can understand him getting newly pissed off at Walt because of the Brock thing... but enough to break bread with fucking Hank Schrader...?

Hank, who put him in a hospital.

Hank, who's done very little to sweet-talk Jesse toward the "good" side.

Hank, who doesn't mind sending Jesse out to possibly get killed just so he can use that to nail Walt.

Hank even points out to Jesse: Walt's saved Jesse's hide many times throughout this whole odyssey.

And Hank beat him so bad, he had to be hospitalized.

So, Jesse's partnering with fucking Hank now?! Because...??

Jesse could have walked away from all of this. There is nothing forcing him to bring Mr. White to justice except his own conscience. Which seems like weak motivation to me. (I think I'd understand/relate to his need for justice more if he somehow found out that Walt's responsible for Jane's death -- but I think it's too easy for Walt to take the nature of Jane's death to the grave with him. Not to mention that blackmailing bitch was asking for it...)

Jesse had a one-way ticket to Alaska. Brock was in no further danger. In fact, Walt was out of the empire business and so there'd be little reason to believe he'd be killing anyone else. JESSE CHOOSING TO STAY and threatening Walt is forcing Walt to don his Heisenberg pork pie hat. What does Jesse gain? Nothing. Some sense of vengeance? Suddenly, Jesse can't take any responsibility for everything that he's done alongside Walt? Suddenly it's ALL on Walt?

Jesse Pinkman had a big bag of fuck-it-all money, the knowledge that "Heisenberg" was retired, and a ticket to a new life. The show hasn't convinced me that he really needed to stay. And it really hasn't convinced me that he'd team up with Hank.

For the first time in the run of this show, I have concerns about the show paying off.