Monday, March 29, 2010

New Weekly Blog Feature!

So this next week is going to be hell for me. For example, I have a 7-8 page paper due Wednesday (that I thought was due Friday) over two books that I haven't read yet.

So I've got that to look forward to.

So this week may be a little sparse on the blog posts, but I'm proud to announce a new weekly segment (in part because the other weekly segment, Radio Nonsense/As Heard on the Radio isn't all that fun and in part because I am always searching for weekly filler just in case) that I hope you'll enjoy:

NOSTALGIC MUSIC MONDAYS!

I'm a big nerd when it comes to music from my early(/ier) years, and have plenty of songs at my disposal, from TV show theme songs to late 90's pop to middle school ballads. Admittedly, I'll need plenty of help, as my favorite song was "River of Dreams" off of Billy Joel's 1993 album until, oh, 1999. So feel free to post comments with suggestions, requests, etc. As long as its nostalgic to you, I'll consider it regardless of genre, decade (looking at you, Pat Tillett), or quality (heck, who am I kidding - if it isn't at least borderline bad/embarassing, can it really be nostalgic?).

So here, for my first submission for Nostalgic Music Mondays, is Hey Sandy by Polaris. Yes, the Pete and Pete theme song. Which I might play tomorrow during the THREE HOURS THAT I'M ON AIR (blech - 8-9 am, then 12-2 pm). Be sure to listen in!*



*Hooray shameless plugs.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

America!: The Movie

When I was struck for the inspiration of this post around noon yesterday, I was excited to get started. But then class, meetings, Tegan and Sara*, and girlfriend goodbyes happened**. Soooo here it is.

*I've seen Tegan and Sara before in concert back in Kansas City (sandwiched between the dually awesome Gogol Bordello and Cake) - and they told a story about how the last time they were in KC condoms got thrown up on stage. Ironic, as they're both lesbians.

**Off to NYC. Not fair.


In my Conflict Management class, we were talking about how the media influences the international perception of America. I.E. thanks to the uber-violent, uber-sexualized movies that we all love and adore make people around the world think that there gang fights on the streets on the U.S., everyone's packin' heat, and all women are looking to throw themselves on the next manly man to come around. While this may be good in terms of sheer intimidation and possible victimization, this isn't really the image we should be sending as a country about who we are.

So, that got me thinking: what movies SHOULD we send overseas as a window into our culture of freedom, opportunity, and cheeseburgers with donuts as buns?

Booyah.

So here is a list of movies and TV shows that I would like for the everyday members of the world to mistake for ACTUAL American culture:


FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF

Sure we American youth are irresponsible and our elders are ignorant and stodgy, but look how charming and fun-loving we are! We're just crazy kids, trying to get through life as best as we can by having fun before we get separated from what we love: our pessimistic, hypochondriac best friend and young yet sassy girlfriends.




VAN WILDER

While this wouldn't exactly be combating the "easy American girl" myth, it would likely create a large influx of transfer students to partake in the crazy life that is "college." Go America.




CLERKS

There are many critics out there who aren't what you'd call big "fans" of Kevin Smith's work. And I say fuck them. I'd love for foreigners to think that even people who man convenience stores have exciting, often profane, and hilarious antics. Plus we might get some bonus points for the fact that we play hockey on rooftops. And have sweet pot dealers like Jay and Silent Bob.




DIE HARD

Once again, this wouldn't really dispel any myths, I think it would send an important message: our regular cops are like John McClane. Don't fuck with us, or we'll sic Bruce Willis on your sorry terrorist arsses. Even if you're Severus Snape.




The Daily Show/Colbert Report

As I understand, these two are already pretty high up on the list of internationally-syndicated U.S. shows, but I'm sure plenty of Glenn Beck and his ilk get out as well. If only these two were the only news shows out there....I know I'd watch 24-hour S&C coverage.




SEINFELD

This might seem like a gimme, but once again: can't undervalue the greatness of everyday life being made funny. And what's funnier than nothing?




DEATH RACE 2000

Despite the fact that this movie's prediction of the year 2000 never came true (a tyrannical government having complete control over all of America (which, again, isn't really what we want to show about our country), I think that sometimes the most important part of a country isn't where it is now, but where it wants to be. And who doesn't want the national sport to be a cross-nation death race, where hitting pedestrians gains points?*

*Women: 10 points
Teenagers: 40 points
Race officials: 50 points
Children under 12: 70 points
Senior citizens: 100 points





WEST SIDE STORY

Who wouldn't want to live in a country where disputes are represented by bent over snaps and the every day citizen can burst into sing-song at any time*?

*This wouldn't work in India. Any fan of Bollywood movies would simply scoff at our feeble attempts at musicals. We have too few explosions, jet ski jumps, and quadruple double spies in ours to try to compete.

------

I know this is a horribly, horribly incomplete list, and I'm sure that one last selection you have in your mind right now would have absolutely MADE this list. So I'll do something I never, ever do: ask for your input*. What movies do YOU think should have been thrown in, and why? Remember, we're representing AMERICA here, and doing so in a way to make people say "Fuck....why aren't we there RIGHT...NOW?!"

*insert joke about how Girlfriend always says this to me here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Highlight of the Week?

This post will be short and sweet. Why you ask?

Because the greatest thing in the history of things is COMING TO THEATERS NEAR YOU.

...on August 20th....

SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD TRAILER IS HERE!!!!



Michael Cera still seems a bit too wimpy for the part of everybody (my and my roommate's) favorite hero, but those fight scenes make me feel a lot better about what I thought could have been a potentially disastrous blow to my nerd psyche. If you're confused as to what Scott Pilgrim is, 1) shame on you 2) click here. Or, you know, here or here or here. But only after clicking that first one.

As of this writing, I've already watched the trailer four times. I'll be pushing at least a dozen within the hour.

That is all.


Also this is coming out July 20th. Which is more exciting, but has already been covered. So NOW that is all.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Blogging About Blogging Before Writing About Blogging*

*Not to be confused with Blabbing on Blogging.

I, as stated a bazillion times before, am one of the co-sports editors at my school's newspaper, and I absolutely love what I do. Basically, I get paid minimum wage to write about sports, make pages look cool, and gain notoriety. Who could possibly complain about that?

...besides me whenever I wake up on Wednesday mornings that is.*

*9 out of 10 doctors agree - the Phoenix eats away my soul and slumber time. The tenth doctor was busy being super duper excited for the final installment of Scott Pilgrim to come out July 20th. Yes, that doctor was me.

I get to write a weekly column about pretty much anything I want in the sports world, but I don't usually post them on here, both to keep work and pleasure separate and because writing more is kind of my goal. I of course say "usually" because I want to keep my options open, just in case I run out of ideas one day.

Or, you know, if I write something good. If there's such a thing.

But this week I'm going to semi-break the rule. Only semi because A) it's not a sports article and B) it pertains to blogging.

I was asked by another editor (ok...it was Girlfriend, but that means nothing!) to write a feature for her section about blogs I enjoyed. I hope I don't offend anyone here by saying that I didn't select any of my followers (not from lack of quality!), but plenty appear in my blogroll or will shortly. Hopefully you enjoy it.




If it's too small, go to Link above.

***EDIT***

Because the original file is a PDF, it didn't load properly. It's SUPPOSED to be a 2-pager, but it only loaded the second. Just follow the link above to view it on our website.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When We Consummated Our Relationship (In a Way)

I was originally going to blog about the fact that Kate Gosselin has suddenly turned into Jane Krakowski (a.k.a. Jenna Maroney from 30 Rock): *





Not the best pictures, but still. It's there right??

*Which I guess I did just blog about. Would have been a lame blog post I suppose.

But while I was at the station, pulling information together for a segment on our Loyola-themed sports show, when I got a frantic text from Girlfriend:

"Omg, will you do me a huge favor??"

I assumed it had something to do with me helping her get CDs etc from the music library so she could be a little better prepared for her shift, so I agreed.

Little did I know that my "Sure, what's up?" would change my life, and our relationship, forever...

Now, before I tell you, what that was I must preface it with this: I love Girlfriend dearly. We've been together for *counts on fingers...* a year and four months(? don't hit me!) now, we spend near all of our time together, and are best friends. Real sappy stuff. But there were still plenty levels of our relationship we haven't ascended to yet, including one, very meaningful level.

On March 23, 2010 (a day that shall live on in infamy) - she said...

*gulp*

"Would you go to Walgreen's and go pic me up some tampons?"



I fumbled a reply.

"Oh...um...when?"

The phone buzzed mere seconds after my message had sent.

"Now!!"

And so it happened. Lovely Girlfriend, the one I trusted my heart to, popped my feminine napkin cherry.

I mean, better her than anyone else I suppose. I would have hated myself if I did it for some girl I barely knew. I just didn't think it would happen so soon....I guess I was hoping to save it for marriage.

To me, that's one aspect of a relationship that should be saved for only the most serious of relationships. I guess it just represents how committed we are to one another. I already pick up medicine and antibiotics for her, so I guess this isn't much different. And I've certainly been the shopping pack mule (but who doesn't do that for I texted my friends, of course, and they all told me that it was okay to feel conflicted (an odd mixture of horror and accomplishment) and that it was just a natural part of a serious romance.

After awhile, I felt better about it. I know one day I'll be the guy running for late-night preggo pickle-craving runs. Who knows, maybe one day I'll even feel comfortable picking up dry cleaning.

Radio Playlist for today:

Wolfmother - Love Train
Pixies - Debaseer
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea
The Dandy Warhols - Get off
The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir - One Night Stand
You Say Party! We Say Die - Glory
The Heavy - How You Like Me Now?!
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - My Man Is a Mean Man
Lou Reed - Hangin' Round (Acoustic Demo)
Wilco - Wilco (The Song)
Aloha - Searchlight
Supergrass - Alright
Phoenix - 1901
Phantogram - When I'm Small
Plane - I See Love In The Future
Adam Green - What Makes Him Act So Bad
Vampire Weekend - Horchata


Special note: one of my friends who is studying abroad in Spain saw me pimp the station/my show on my Facebook status and tuned in via our website. When I asked for people to call in at the end of the show to give me some warm fuzzies, the man delivered and I played that last Vampire Weekend for him. Props to you Ben.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Blabbing on Blogging

I was planning on having this be my Thursday blog post, but knew it wouldn't be up to par if I just threw it down in one draft like usual, so I stopped about three sentences in. Naturally, I haven't touched it since then, so we'll see how this goes. If this is anyone's first time here, I promise I'm not usually so deep and meaningful. If you could call this post deep OR meaningful.

------

For the last month or so, I've been sending out feelers into the world of blogging. I joined "20 Something Blogger" immediately on my 20th Birthday (and since posted the occasional response) and I've subscribed to 27 different blogs (give-or-take) that I enjoy and try to comment on all of them.

But in my three months online, I've come across dozens of fellow bloggers who ask "Why don't I have more followers?," spam Facebook with their posts, or simply wonder why they blog. It got me thinking about my relationship with my (three) followers, the blogging community, and ultimately why I blog. Here's what I've come up with so far:

For every blog with a few hundred or even few thousand followers, like the Sassy Curmudgeon or Hyperbole and a Half or the Badass Geek, there are twenty or so who have followers in the single digits, if any. Looking at Blogger's "Blogs of Note" list each month can be depressing for a lot of people, either because of this extreme disparity in admirers or because of a sheer disparity of quality. Sometimes its hard to look at the work of a writer that seems infinitely better than you and feel good about what you do.

So I, like it seems so many other bloggers do, have asked myself: why do I blog? What do I want out of this?

Back when I was younger (here I am, talking about "when I was younger" at the age of 20), I absolutely immersed myself in creating things, whether it be little doodles or stories, even the occasional song. But as I got older, I got busier, the same sketches of muscle-bound guys with big swords didn't seem as exciting, and reading, writing, and drawing took a backseat. And I missed it, and still kind of do.

I've tried to start a few other blogs before, but I was really inspired to try again and stick with it via two things:

1) A whole mess of time on my hands, as it was winter break
2) I had been listening to Kevin Smith's podcast, which I'd recommend to anyone and everyone with a comedic bone in their body (I've listened to all 111, hour-long episodes since the middle of January), which inspired me to explore as well as advertise my own funny bone.

And I immediately had a whole lot of fun. I blogged nearly every day during those first couple of weeks about all sorts of wonderfully nerdy things (including my first, epic Scott Pilgrim post). I spent hours combing through the Internet, finding blogs and coming up with ideas for topics to blog about. I spent hours and hours working on a crappy banner for my blog and
pouring over layouts that wouldn't be too offensive on the eyes of whatever readers I'd get. I wanted something that I could present to the the online world and not be ashamed of.

And in the beginning, that's all it was really about: being creative, making myself make time to explore things that I was interested in and tap back into at least a little of that childhood creativity. At the same time, though, I really really hoped that it would find an audience.

As aforementioned crappy banner and many other posts have divulged, I work for both my school's newspaper and radio station, so I'm used to putting myself in front of people to be judged and to entertain. For those, there's certainly a huge aspect of catering to what the audience want - it's pretty much the job description. But a blog is different, and that's something I didn't understand for a long time.

At the end of the day, blogging is for me, and me alone. It's about being fulfilled as a writer, and writing about what I enjoy writing about. I still hope it finds an audience, mostly because its a lot more fun that way. But if I get an audience, I want an audience who genuinely enjoys what I have to say, not ones who follow me so that I'll follow them back etc. Sure, I'll post on 20sb occasionally (I'll likely post this to see what people think about it, plus I know many of them wrestle with the follower "problem"), and post like a fiend on lots of blogs, I do it with a genuine interest and opinion on the post and not a desire to get noticed. I think, really, blogs have often been turned into products: let's take them back.

------

And since that was all text, which can get a little boring, I'll reward those of you who read the whole thing (or skimmed it) with a silly picture:



See you next time, folks.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Pilgrim Poster, Music?

So I viewed yesterday as a tiny bit of a cop-out post (though, hey, who doesn't enjoy music and YouTube videos?). I was mildly disappointed in myself, especially since I came up with four new post ideas within the next hour and a half of the post. But for me, writing something is better than writing 2-3 posts a week. This might not be the best strategy for getting folloers, or even putting out a super duper high quality post every single time, but a lot of blogging, for me, is having an outlet available to me every single day to do something creative. In a way, the more I make myself write, the more I enjoy it and the more I WANT to write.

But that's a blog post for later.

What I'm REALLY here to blog about is Scott Pilgrim news*!

*I've apparently deemed myself a reporter for all news on Scott PIlgrim, whether it be the movie or the new book. It is, not surprisingly, one of my most blogged-about topics, which should only convince you all about how awesome it is. Or how big of a nerd that I am. Your choice really.

First up, a brand-spanking new movie poster!



Now, heres my problem with this thing. I love the tagline "An epic of epic epicness," and love the fact that it's a near-perfect representation of the first page of the first book ("Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life":



My only problem, and this applies to both the print addition and the apparent movie, is that Scott plays bass with a pick. I, as a bass player myself, I judge those who don't play using their fingers. In the bass world (in my humble and narrow opinion), the calluses on your fingers are directly proportionate to the size of your....

...playing skills. We'll go with that.

Also, Edgar Wright, the director, posted on his blog (listed on the right of my page), this:

The soundtrack for ‘Scott Pilgrim Vs The World’ is already jam packed with goodies, not least the aforementioned ‘Black Sheep’ by Metric. It’s all very exciting stuff and I’m looking forward to making love to your earholes.

Now, it’s worth stressing that given the embarrassment of musical riches that we have at the moment, we are not looking for more material for the film’s soundtrack.

But it would churlish of me not to link to this valiant effort to get on the OST.

See below for a musical plea from Chicago’s own Former Fat Boys, who describe themselves on their Twitter page as “the best hip-hop duo on Earth since Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff”. That’s some serious shit right there.

Enjoy their submission for the Scott Pilgrim soundtrack, ‘7 Evil Exes’ which is in the grand tradition of movie raps from Will Smith, Bobby Brown and Partners In Kryme.
Here it is…




Not a great song, IMO, but the sheer fact that people are writing songs about SP and submitting them to Wright makes me kind of happy (look for the lyrics on Wright's blog). Now just waiting for a trailer....

***UPDATE***

I would just like to point out that I SCOOPED EDGAR WRIGHT ON HIS OWN SHIT. That's right, I posted the new poster a full SEVEN hours before he did. And its his own movie!

That's why I'm an award-winning journalist. True story.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Radio Tuesday and My General (Albeit Temporary) Melancholy

Well I don't really have anything for you today. I could regale you with the boring story of me missing all of my classes Monday due to a cancelled flight*, leaving me stranded in Kansas City. But that one sentence pretty much sums it up. I'm feeling completely uninspired today, hopefully mostly due to the extreme jet lag and the fact that I was up at 6:30 to embarrass myself in front of the (six to ten) people who listen to my show. Here's the (very meh) playlist for today:

Think About Life - Set You On Fire
Passion Pit - Manners
Scissor Sisters - Better Luck
The Injured Parties - On Her Way to Become Something Else
The Len Price 3 - Mr. Grey
BOAT - The Name Tossers
The Natural History - Telling Lies Will Get You Nowhere
The Apples in Stereo - Same Old Drag
Frightened Rabbit - Swim Until You Can't See Land
The Do - Stay (Just a Little Bit More)
FOX Japan - Bachelorette
Fruit Bats - Legs of Bees
Phantogram - Mouthful of Diamonds
A.C. Newman - The Changeling (Get Guilty
Reigning Sound - Call Me


*Okay, there was one funny bit. Once everyone was boarded, the pilot came on to say they were "Experiencing some technical difficulties," as if we were sitting in a high school auditorium waiting for 'Grease' to start**. So we wait for 20 minutes or so, then they came on to say that something on the plane was straight up broken, and that they would "try to find us a new plane." Now I might be taking this a little too literally, but I'm pretty sure they don't just have a parking lot full of extra planes, just in case***. Don't try to give us false hope, American Airlines. Just tell it to us straight.

**I totally love Grease by the way.




***Man, I AM feeling that jet lag. Hooray for snarkiness!****

****There are entirely too many asterisks on this post.


To counteract the negative energy in this post (not to mention its general unproductiveness) here's a Youtube video of an adorable baby who, while listening to music that I don't especially like, gets, well, into it. Righteous.



New weekly blog piece coming soon? Be excited.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Twin Hawaiian Plagues

The Hawaiian island of Maui is known for its beautiful sandy beaches, clear blue water, wonderful food, and basic "heaven on earth" qualities.

Few would peg it for harboring two of the biggest threat known to man.

Its dense, tropical vegetation provides perfect cover for this terrifying twosome. They stalk through the thick brush, constantly looking for their next prey, constantly menacing both the local and tourist populations. Once tame creatures, they broke out of man's captivity and unleashed their animalistic fury into Maui's world.

You may have heard of these terrors before: scientists (and thrill-seekers such as myself) call them felis silvestris catus and gallus gallus domesticus.

Now through my experiences on the Hawaiian islands, I've encountered both of them on a number of occasions, and only barely escaped with my life each time. I managed to snap a few pictures before they pounced:





That's correct. Wild chickens and wild kitties. These poor, poor, Hawaiians.

Apparently a few hundred years ago, some chickens broke out of some foolish farmer's coop (presumably through the use of improvised explosives, MacGyver-style) and have been running wild, tearing up the town like they were Hell's Poultry. Which, incidentally, is the name of my new heavy death metal band. But that's beside the point. The cats, I assume, have a similar backstory, such as spawning from the pit of the underworld through the very magma that formed these islands, or involving themselves in a large-scale rebellion against the little old ladies across the state.

They creep around, constantly in search of their next meal (particularly next to picnic tables), always in large groups to intimidate its prey. Few can stand up to their cuddly yet fearsome appearance and demeanor. They are slowly, but surely, gaining control of the island. I give it a half a decade before they gain complete control of the island.

So let this be a warning to all mainlanders. If you see either of these two animals:





Then you should call authorities immediately. They will show you no remorse, and you should do the same. It may be too late to save this magical paradise, but it isn't too late to save the States. So do your American duty, and adopt any kittens and consume any chickens you may see on the mainland. If you don't, you will not only be sorry, but you'll have to learn catanese or bock-bock.

And let me tell you, those are tough languages to figure out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Last Post

I take a break from my Hawaiian posts to tell you an important piece of news: I'll no longer be blogging here at soft nonsense. In fact, I probably won't be doing much of anything else. Mostly, I'll be lying around, completely motionless.

Why you ask?

Because I'll be dead soon.

"Why Softy, you're a young man in his prime!" you say. "Sure you could stand to drop a few pounds, but you're in good enough shape to not die quite yet!" some will say. "You have so much to live for!" others will add.

So true.

But that changes nothing for me.

I likely have but moments to tell you of my transgressions (and only have those few moments due to the fact that I'm halfway across the Pacific at the moment), so read intently and quickly, lest I cannot finish what I have begun.

I, Softy, have committed the ultimate offense. One so heinous, disrespectful, and plain dumb that I most certainly deserve what is guaranteed to be coming to me. I know that there will likely be no bargaining to be had. And though I know not whether death will come quickly or slowly, I can be assured: I shall suffer. Truly, I am only putting up this post to gain some small favor with the Great One coming to take me and to remind all those to come after me to not make the same mistake as I.

If you are reading this, then you likely have already survived the likely holocaust to come. Actually, I'm sure I'm one of the few that shall perish in the impending minutes, as no one in their right mind will have committed the same mistake that I have.

You see, yesterday was the 70th birthday of Chuck Norris, and I did nothing to commemorate it.

None of my usual ritualistic sacrifices of whole goats for the feast of the Chuck, nor prayer at the local shrine of Norris. I foolishly shaved my beard a few days ago (Chuck was the fourth Wiseman. He brought baby Jesus the gift of “beard”. Jesus wore it proudly to his dying day. The other Wisemen, jealous of Jesus’ obvious gift favoritism, used their combined influence to have Chuck omitted from the Bible. Shortly after all three died of roundhouse kick related deaths). For Walker's sake, I didn't even wear my proper attire of cowboy hat, overlarge belt buckle, and boots. I dared rebuke my responsibilities as a follower of the Way of the Chuck, and now the man whose chief export is pain shall be coming after me.

Jack was nimble, Jack was quick, but Jack still couldn't dodge Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick.


The best part of this morning was not Folgers in my cup, but knowing that Chuck Norris didn't kill me in my sleep.

There is no escaping it; after all, Chuck Norris does not hunt because the word hunting infers the probability of failure. Chuck Norris goes killing. There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard, there is only another fist. The man sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month. Which, by the way, was yesterday, so now that he's done with his prior arrangements, will undoubtedly set his sights upon me.




I'm safe at no time of day (Chuck Norris sleeps with a night light. Not because Chuck Norris is afraid of the dark, but the dark is afraid of Chuck Norris). Chuck Norris does not sleep; he waits. If you want a list of Chuck Norris’ enemies, a list I am now surely on, just check the extinct species list. Some kids piss their name in the snow; Chuck Norris can piss his name into concrete.

Chuck Norris-brand toilet paper: it doesn't take shit from anybody.


Chuck Norris can kill two stones with one bird. Ghosts are actually caused by Chuck Norris killing people faster than Death can process them. Needless to say, I'm screwed. After all, while Chuck Norris is a man of few words, he is not a man of few roundhouse kicks to the face.

Tell Girlfriend that I less than three her. I'll beg Chuck not to take you as one of his 2.6 billion wives, but I can't promise anything. Besides, most women would consider it an honor.

Chuck Norris puts the "laughter" in "manslaughter." So even though it's too late, happy belated you Texas Ranger you.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Why Yes, You SHOULD be Jealous

Now, I'm not what you'd call a nature person. In fact, when a family friend/psychologist gave me one of those 'Interest/Personality Tests" that tell you what you want to do when you grow up but don't consciously know yet, I'm pretty sure I scored in the negative for jobs like "Park Ranger," "Farmer," "Conservationist," or "Smelly Hippie Who Is At One With Nature." I have no qualms about the fact that I am sitting on the porch of my hotel room here in Hawaii blogging away and watching the sunset with a cup of tea in my hands and not down by the beach.

But by the power of Greyskull, whale watching is pretty much the shit*.

*Maybe it's because it mostly requires sitting and waiting. I'm pretty good at both of those things.

My mother is a whale watching fanatic (while driving along the coast at the beginning of our trip, my mother's exclamations of "WHAAAAAALE!!!" may or may not have caught the attention of passing motorists), but who doesn't enjoy the sight of an adorable, 50-foot humpback whale*?

*Krill.

So my family has made a semi-tradition (yes, we've been here enough times to have semi-traditions) of going on whale-watching tours, which mostly involve getting on a giant boat that still finds a way to rock to either side at roughly a 45 degree angle and rolling eyes at the people who would jump up and down at the site of a whale poking out of the ocean a mile and a half out*. Every once and awhile we'll have a good moment (a couple years ago we saw a whale do a tail slap), and the tours are usually worth it, but nothing overly dramatic.

But today's was rather different.

It started off well (the captain dropping a Star Wars reference was automatic bonus points), and we saw some pretty solid activity, but about halfway through a baby whale and two adults swam RIGHT NEXT TO THE BOAT* and circled it a few times, leading to some incredible pictures:

*Boats aren't allowed to run engines or approach whales inside a 100-yard range, but whales can certainly come close once the engines have been killed. People in The Whale Biz call it being "mugged," so I made sure to tell Girlfriend that I had been mugged in a text immediately after.



A baybeh, and if you look closely underneath you can see the Mama whale its riding.

And finally:



Shazaam. Kudos to the brosef for that pic, got the teensie one chin-slapping and exhibiting general BAMFery for something only a couple days old.

Bonus points: saw a Yellow Submarine-ish thing.



Just another day in paradise I guess.

Monday, March 8, 2010

ZOMG LOOK WHO IT IS

Well I was going to make this some Hawaii-themed (likely braggy) post about how warm it is, how many whales I've seen, how much time in the sun I spent, the chickens I've seen (tomorrow?).

But I digress.

One of my favorite things to do whilst in this Island Paradise is people watch. Whether it's the little kids zooming around the beach and making sand castles*, old men without shirts on that look like their wearing a sweater vest over a brown leather shirt, disgustingly cute newlyweds, or middle aged couples jogging together while just taking a break from it all, I love sitting by the beach and just gazing at my fellow man just as much as I like watching the big blue ocean.

*I use the term castles loosely. As adorable as they were, they were almost exclusively sand heaps, piles, or clumps. Rarely castles. I might be being a little harsh, but when I was their age, I made some pretty bitchin' castles.

So as my family sat down at a fairly nice restaurant, I do a bit of gazing, as per usual. Fairly standard fair (big family that seemed like it should be in a magazine, few older folks, and super tan waiters and waitresses) and no one really caught my attention until my eyes wandered upon a guy who I swore I recognized. I wondered if I had recognized him from a plane ride or even a past Hawaiian experience. But then it clicked.

I was looking upon a Hollywood.

I stealthily sneaked glances across him and his lady friend via faux-stretches, pretend zoning outs, and looks when I could tell he was distracted, but no matter how much I creeped him, I couldn't come up with his name. I became desperate. I had to know. Had to confirm that the joy in my stomach of spotting someone who I knew was justified. So I did the unthinkable.

Calmly and slowly...





I asked my family to help me creep him*.

*Like I was going to go up to him and ask. Psh. I have a sense of honour (double so, as I spelled that word with a 'u'). That, and I have a history of running away from celebrities, like Jim Carry and almost Whoopi Goldberg. But that's a story for another day.

Eventually, through equally as stealthy glances (it's genetic, I think), we all agreed: I should creep further and take a picture. So I lined up a picture of my brother, zoomed uncomfortably into his face, then quickly moved my wrist to the left and took a series of pictures that would make LA Paparazzi swoon. After we all passed around the camera (like ninjas, of course), we all agreed. I Wikipedia-d him once we got back to confirm. Our celebrity:

I should have known from the yellow skin...

Well sort of. Really, it was Hank Azaria, who does a slew of voices for the Simpsons (Moe, Apu, Comic Book Guy, Professor Frink, Chief Wiggum, and a bazillion more) and a few other things. Here are the pics:

Behold the brosef.





Mmm, behold the blurrness.

Here's a REAL, non-shit-tastic picture of the man...



Oh, and if you were wondering...

Yes, he totally noticed me creeping on him. Apologies Hank.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Week O' Hell (With a Happy Ending)

I won't regale with many tales of my terrible, terrible week (hint: I slept through my radio shift on Tuesday and average 4 hours of sleep every night since Sunday), hence the lack of blog activity. But two things to post:

1) Radio List - From Thursday, as I subbed for someone (feeling guilty after missing my shift Tuesday...despite no one noticing my absence. Awkwardly sad and relieving at the same time).

Spoon - The Underdog
The Minor Leagues - The Love That Never Was
The Apples in Stereo - Energy
Think About Life - Sofa Bed
The Hidden Cameras - The Little Bit
Passion Pit - Little Secrets
Shout Out Louds - Fall Hard
Ok Go - This Too Shall Pass
The XX - VCR
Polaris - Hey Sandy
The Magnetic Fields - You Must be Out of Your Mind
Modest Mouse - Dashboard
Dogs Die In Hot Cars - Paul Newman's Eyes
Citay - Dream Get Together
The Clash - Rudie Can't Fail
A.C. Newman - Prophets


2) The reasons this post isn't long - I'm currently sitting in a hotel room in Kansas City watching "Community" and "Archer" on Hulu whilst folding clothes at nearly 1 am.

You see, it is Spring Break for us Loyolans, and my family and are going off to...












That's right ho's. The Aloha State. Pineapple Paradise. Land of the humuhumunukunukuapuaa.

Still not sure? Tell 'em Julian Casablancas of the Strokes:



Get it now?



......



...........






..................




.....Cuz its Hawaii. And I'm going there. Again.

Pretty much the best ever.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Tantalizing Twists: My Approach to Pretzels

I was up rather late a couple nights ago (5 a.m.) working on homework (that I had put of for days/weeks), and needed a snack to help me power through the early hours that wouldn't make me feel too terrible about myself.*

*Damn you Spring Break/swimsuit guilt.

After much waffling, I decided upon pretzels, promising myself that I wouldn't eat too many of them* as a way to rationalize the purchase. As I chowed down, I realized that I had a very thorough and consistent way of consuming said snack. Here is a photo dissection of my findings**: ***

*Ha...
**I accidentally crushed what few pretzels remained after my late night snack, so I had to suck it up and buy another bag. Let no one say I never gave up anything for my blog.
***Don't judge me by the purple under my eyes, the greasy hair, and/or unshaven look. I only mostly look like this.


First, I take the pretzel, as so.



Then, I nom.



Behold, an unintentional Rebel Alliance insignia. Somewhat harder to do than it looks. But wait, we're not done!



Nommerz.



Half-pretzel, with sex appeal. Also, must resist temptation for very random Star Trek reference...



*NOM NOM*.



Almost done, and apparently pleased as punch about it.



FINISHING NOM!!!!


My study indicated that I do that approximately 98% of the time I eat a pretzel (excluding variables such as the intactness of the snackable, giantness of the snackable, and overall hunger and subsequent desire to shove said snackable in mah mouth).

Note: Approximately half a bag of pretzels and the near entirety of my diet was harmed in the making of this study. Here's a couple outtakes...


This was my attempt to take all of the pictures at once, and my legitimate surprise when the photographs came far quicker than I expected.



Jewelry you can eat!



Want to know why this picture is so fancy? Check out that pinky. In the midst of full extension. Learned that in Princess Diaries. Shut up, I have a little sister.



MOOSESTACHE?



My attempt to demonstrate the power of hunger upon my findings, but couldn't take the picture without looking dumb/laughing. So here I am, posting it regardless. It's all for you, three people who read this blog. It's always for you. Special "Nathan is a fucking idiot" post soon.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Scott Pilgrim News!




I'm not going to lie, it made me very happy to finally be able to use the "Scott Pilgrim Nonsense" tag again for this post for many reasons. In part because it meant I had SP news, which is always exciting. Also, I felt lame having such a narrow-scoped label on my blog. But this post says IN YOUR FACE, SELF DOUBTS!

Anywho. As you know, I'm unbelievably super duper excited for Edgar Wright's (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy) take on my favorite comic book character, Scott Pilgrim (for those of you who DON'T know, just give a click to that link).

Obviously, as much of the plot centers around music (Scott and his friends have a band, his ex-girlfriend has a band, etc. etc), there had better be some kick-ass music to go along with it. Beck (*fangirl squee*) has already signed on for writing the music for Sex Bob-omb (Scott's band), Broken Social Scene will add a couple tracks for Crash & The Boys (a rival band), and Japanese pop star Cornelius for one of Romona's evil ex's (zomg crazy Japanese music from the future).

BUT the news here is that the first track from the movie/soundtrack has been confirmed/released. In his Twitter, Wright confirmed that Metric will play a song called "Black Sheep" for Scott's ex's band, The Clash at Demonhead. If you're interested, go to their page on Facebook, become a fan, and enjoy. I think it fits perfectly, and will be drooling in anticipation of the next shred of info released....