Friday, July 23, 2010

And to You, Joss Whedon, I Say Go &%$#@ Yourself*



*Seriously.

I was first introduced to Joss Whedon, one of the best science fiction geekoids out there. The man lives the life that most of us nerds (me especially) would kill thousands of Romulans, Cylons, Ewoks, mint-condition comics, vampires (especially those ^$#*@ing Cullens) and one Seth Green to do what he does. The man is responsible for Buffy, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, wrote Toy Story and Titan A.E., numerous great comic book titles, and is working on both the Captain America and The Avengers movies. I've loved pretty much every single thing that he's ever been a part of. He is basically the Amun-Ra of today's geek population.

But seriously, %&$# that guy.

But softy, you say, you've gone on the record on more than one occasion expressing your deep man-crush for said piece of %&$-guzling $%$#@&ing #@$%er c%$(). What's the deal?

Well, i all started a couple days ago, as I finished up my first-ever viewing of his series Firefly.

Now I know what you're thinking. I'm too even-keeled of a person to base my hatred off of only one series. And if I hated it so much, why did I watch all of it? Well, quite frankly, I %&$#ing loved that $+@. Firefly is now right up there on my list of best %$#)ing TV shows of all $!@+ing time.

Of all @!$^&ING TIME.

And by the time I finished the 14 episodes (seriously, $%_# Fox), I couldn't wait to see the movie that followed, Serenity. I was so, so excited to see how Mr. (%&$#ing) Whedon would finish his epic sci-fi masterpiece. And the longer I watched, the more I loved.

Until, that is, this happened.



Joss Whedon....what the %*&?!?!!!

I understood when Shepherd died. He gets to keep all his mystery, big turning point for Mal to do what's right, impart some last words of wisdom, yadda yadda yadda.

But Wash?

%&^ you.

Hoban Washburne was $*& fine pilot, a classy guy, and had a lot of spunk. He and his wife Zoe (who, admittedly, came out looking even more like a badass when she took out her absent-husband filled rage on some punk-$#@ &$%@ Reavers) were a beautiful couple, and he helped keep her level. At a practical level, he still offered boatloads of comic relief and the occasional inspiration.

And you ^$#@*ing killed him.

You had succeeded in reprogramming my mind into no longer automatically calling Alan Tudyk "Steve the Pirate." DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT THAT &%$(ING MEANS?!

And you harpooned him. Not even a death monologue. Maybe the Reavers got to him before the end of the movie, who knows? And now we're out one fine man. I hate you so mother %$#(ing much you piece of $#@ ^$% dumpster.

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Now I need something nerdy and awesome (AND HAPPY AND NON-PIRATE-KILLING) to offset all that hate.



Hmmm. Guitar shaped like MIllenium Falcon. That's close...but need a little more.



Pixar now working with Jason Segel on a new Muppets movie? Yeah, that's getting my inner-nerd pretty hot and bothered. But Wash was so awesome, and I thought Joss Whedon was so excellent...



Yup. Okay. Better now. My faith in the nerd world has been restored.

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Radio playlist:

The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots pt. 1
The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbor
Steel Train - Bullet
The Magnetic Fields - You Must Be Out Of Your Mind
Menomena - TAOS
The Arcade Fire - Rebellion (Lies)
Wolf Parade - Palm Road
The Avett Brothers - Slight Figure of Speech
The Lost Fingers - You Shook Me All Night Long
Dan Sartain - Ruby Carol
Skybox - Slipping
The Mountain Goats - No Children
Rotary Downs - Wild Pink in Super 8
The Fruit Bats - The Ruminant Band
The Faint - Desperate Guys


I try to pick out songs that are really good to link, but apparently all of the first ones were good enough. So good set I guess. Especially love the Mountain Goats track, even through it's lyrics are rather depressing.

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SOFTY OUT!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Official soft nonsense Review of "Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour"

Well, after too much money spent at the comic book store and yet another embarrassing moment therein ("Oh, it doesn't get delivered until 1.") and a pair of read-throughs, I'm finally ready to put forth a true, well-thought out, worthy review of the biggest literary release of my lifetime:



No spoilers ahead, but if you're going to read it shortly then wait until you have to listen to what I have to say.

If you are one of my newer readers...well...no, you really don't have an excuse. I've been geeking out about the release of this book and the movie next month since the second post on this blog way back in January. "Scott Pilgrim Nonsense" is number five on my most-popular blog tags. And just ask any of my friends if I ever talked/talk about it in real life.

(The answer would be a lot. Just by the way.)

And today, my prayers were finally answered. I couldn't even wait for my roommate (who owns the rest) to buy it, I just had to own it for myself and read it immediately.

I think it's only fair to say that my expectations were sky high for this one. Not only did I have a lot invested emotionally (I've read the other five books four times through), but I view Scott Pilgrim as a truly quality book series: past the jokes on slacker, indie music, and video game culture lie a story about finding oneself, struggling through relationships, friendships, and one hell of a love story. Brian Lee O'Malley perfectly captures the feelings and experiences of my generation: one that's often confused with what is right and wrong and doesn't know what life should be about.

And there were so many loose ends to tie up, so much drama still to unfold ahead, I absolutely couldn't wait to see what O'Malley had in store for us, his loyal fan base.

So, to the good part.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was not fully rewarded.

On the Scott Pilgrim movie poster, the tagline is:



"An epic tale of epic epicness."

Which is all fine and dandy for an Edgar Wright movie. However, I think O'Malley felt a little pressured to live up to that expectation, which didn't translate so well when smushing it all into a short comic book. It tried to finish the series with a grand flourish that tied it all together with a huge fight that explained Scott's background and why Ramona left and why people's heads glow and what the hell this douchey seventh evil ex (friggin' Gideon Graves) wants out of his League of Ramona's Evil Ex-Boyfriends.

But all that really happened was a story that was 50 pages too short. Don't get me wrong, it was a great read, and even better the second time around. But good lord, it could, and should, have been so much more. It all felt rushed. It had a great plotline and structure, but a lot of confusing things that needed explaining only got a panel or two. Key character development was simply glossed over (including a super incredible postlude twist), and the ending was too sudden to be as enveloping as it should have been.

So, to wrap it up, if you're a fan already, its worth the read, if for no other reason than the closure and a couple of real laugh out loud moments. If you're still interested, the five previous books will be some of the best things you've ever read (especially if you're in your 20's) and shouldn't be dissuaded by the not-on-par ending.

As for me? I'll swallow my slight disappointment, let you all know that I don't regret a thing, reread it another 6-7 times to see if it gets any better, and await the movie to come out.

(....AUGUST 20th!!!!)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Biggest Disappointment in My Life

How can I go on like this?

Life isn't &%$*ing fair.

I go through all this @#&, and this is how life treats me?

After all the slogging through all this for so long, all that patience, all that understanding, all for this?

You've betrayed me, Bryan Lee O'Malley.

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Dear Readers, you know how long I've been counting down the days until the release of the 6th installment of my beloved, dearest, grand Scott Pilgrim comic book series. Practically since day one of this blog for goodness sake. And what day was I counting down until?

July 20th.

And what day is it today?

...damn straight.

So, as distraught as I was to discover that I had to work from 6:45am to 6:30pm and therefore was unable to read it until late today. I had waited for months for it to come back into my life, I could wait a bit longer. My roommate even took an early lunch from his job to pick up an apartment copy the second the comic book store opened, promised me I'd get second read, and swore by his life that he wouldn't reveal anything.

And so, I waited.

I talked with all my nerdy friends at work about how awesome Scott is. I had never been more in love, and it showed. I brightened up any time he was mentioned, and dimmed a little when conversation turned elsewhere. I was completely, and utterly, in love, and couldn't wait to see him later today.

But then, I got a text.

And what did it say?

"Scott Pilgrim doesn't hit stores until tomorrow. It shipped today."

My reaction (a dramatic re-enactment):


First, stunned silence.


....siggawhuh?


Then, the gravity of the situation hit me.


*twitch*


Soon, I devolved into complete hysterics.


KKKHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNN!!!!!


After about an hour, I dipped into quiet whimpering.


:(


Then, I remembered something!


Hrrmmm...


I have tomorrow off, so I can go myself and buy it and read it IMMEDIATELY. And so, I wait.


*apparently zombified wait face*


You're worth it Scott. Just don't hurt me again. I couldn't bear it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Who Loves Orange Soda?

As a college student, I'm often caught between adulthood and my childhood. While my life at the moment revolves around my work, I'm also ridiculously proud of our couch, not only because it was found out in the alleyway (we took four bottles of disinfectant to it, no worries), but also because our couch cover is, well, see for yourself.

Power Rangers, bitchezzz.

But, I mean, who wouldn't?*

*P.S. - We also have a full-sized chalkboard and a sandwich de-cruster in the shape of a dinosaur. And an oscilloscope, but that's awesome for completely different reasons.

And one of my favorite avenues in the business of nostalgia is reminiscing about old children's television shows. For all you 20-somethings out there, don't try to tell me you haven't. Our generation was practically raised on the stuff. I couldn't even begin to count the number of conversations I've had with other people about our favorite Nicktoons or Cartoon Network or Disney Channel fare from back in the day. But A couple days ago, during such a conversation, I realized how vastly underrepresented many of these shows, equal in glory to their more mentioned counterparts, are in the collective memory of my fellows.

So, being the guy that I am, decided to compile a list of just a few of the many childhood shows who just don't get the love they deserve. You won't find any Rugrats, Spongebob, Powderpuff Girls, Fresh Prince, GUTS, Hey Arnold!, The Fairly Oddparents, Rocko's Modern Life, Doug, Arthur, Power Rangers, Legends of the Hidden Temple, As Told By Ginger, Full House, etc. on this list. Now, some of these may seem obvious to you (they sure do to me), but this is simply the list that I have compiled through thorough data compilation.

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Recess

One of the ultimate cartoon kid cartoon dream teams, they had all kid stereotypes covered in the best possible way. What really made this show shine was the secondary characters like the Diggers and Ashleys. And admittedly, I'd want to be taught by Ms. Groetke, hairy hippy legs and all.

T.J.: This whomps...




The Weekenders

Another solid crew of cartoon teens (with a sweet intro song - you know you danced to it), the Weekenders made you appreciate the friends you had. Or, if you didn't have any friends, then they were a pretty cool bunch to fake fill the void. Plus, lots of fourth wall-breaking moments, which is one of my faves.

Tish: Maybe you're confusing us with your imaginary friends.
[Tino turns to the camera and addresses the audience]
Tino: She thinks I have imaginary friends. Ha!




Dave the Barbarian

A show cancelled before it really got a chance to get off the ground, this show about a wussy barbarian and his family was chock-full of glorious puns, visual gags, and the occasional funny commentary. Heck, it even had a prety solid voice cast. But then Disney started overplaying the few episodes they had and it tanked after only a season.

Dave: But I don't wanna be a barbarian!
Fang: You did when you were ten!
Dave: Yes, but I thought it meant a librarian that also cuts hair.





Pepper Ann

Admittedly, there is a pretty tried and true method to having a decently popular children's cartoon show that's goes a little something like "Our audience is a bunch of awkward middle schoolers with nothing and no one to relate to aside from the giant zit forming on their collective greasy foreheads, so let's make a middle schooler who is even more awkward than they are." And Pepper Ann, Nicky, and Milo were quite the weird trio.

Nicky Little: For the last time, Pepper Ann, Paul from the Wonder Years is not Marilyn Manson.




The Adventures of Pete and Pete

One of my friends here at college actually owns the first two seasons of this show which, admittedly, is partially why he is my friend. But that's not important right now. Despite it's surreal plot lines and characters, Pete, his younger brother Pete, Ellen, Petunia, and the rest all found a way to capture the feelings of growing up. I think this show deserves a couple quotes:

Monica: I am so sick and tired of hearing lucky this and lucky that. Why don't you take your lucky necklace stuff it down your lucky mouth before I push you down this lucky hill and make you poop in your lucky underpants.

Older Pete Wrigley: Why is it that when you miss somebody so much that your heart is ready to disintegrate, you always hear the saddest song ever on the radio?

Bus Driver Stu Benedict: Carrot-top Judas... THOU HAST FORSAKEN ME!




Figure It Out

A fairly funny game show where Nick stars tried to guess some random and amazing fact about some random kid, like they collect all their boogers in a jar or are world-champion staring contesters. But, really, it is significant because it was the adolescent generation's introduction to the lovely former Olympian Summer Sanders. Mmmm...

Summer: Here’s what you guys have figured out after two rounds: still nothing. [reading the Answer Board] “BLANK BLANK On BLANK In BLANK.” And over here on the Clue Recap Board: “Has A Tail,” “Not A Cow.” Does that help you guys much?




Dexter's Lab

One of the original awesome Cartoon Network shows that just doesn't get the recognition that it should. Just had some great moments, like the episode where Dexter tries to learn French overnight by falling asleep to a tape recording and wakes up the next morning only being able to say the phrase "omelette du fromage." Also had a few pretty awesome shorts and was staffed by some crazy writers including Genndy Tartakovsky (Samurai Jack), Craig McCracken (Powerpuff Girls, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), Butch Hartman (The Fairly Oddparents and Danny Phantom), Rob Renzetti (My Life as a Teenage Robot), and Seth MacFarlane himself.

Dexter: [laughing] Dee Dee, I heard this great joke! Okay, here it goes: A physics professor and his assistant are working on liberating negatively-charged hydroxyl ions, when all of a sudden, the assistant says, "Wait, professor, what if the salicylic acids do not accept the hydroxyl ions?" And the professor responds, "That's no hydroxyl ion; that's my wife!"




Bobby's World

Ahhh, the pre-crazy bald germ-crazy days of Howie Mandel. It seems like so very long ago....

Uncle Ted Genetic: Hey Bob-O. You know what time it is?
Bobby Generic: Uh, noogie time?
Uncle Ted Genetic: You're right - it's *noogie* time!




Freakazoid

I re-watched both seasons of this show last semester, and I was blown away by the number of adult pop culture references mixed in with the juvenile delightfulness. It was one of those fantastic shows written by people who just couldn't live with themselves if they reigned in their obscure referencing/dirty minds just to make it a children's show.

Freakazoid: If this were an after-school special, ooh, you'd pay a bittersweet price for your little deceit, like getting big oily zits! Or eating off the same plate as David Lee Roth!




Angry Beavers

Hands down, right up there with Hey Arnold! as not only my favorite Nicktoon of all time, but one of my favorite shows period. I need a daily quota of spaz, and Dag and Norbie filled and surpassed it every single episode.

Daggett: ...I suffered an unexpected prolapse...
Norbert: You mean relapse.
Daggett: Work with me here.




Samurai Jack

Basically Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon badassery and kung-fuey-ness meets the future. Which, to me, means an auto epic win.




Salute Your Shorts

I remember more of the lyrics to this theme song (which may or may not be on my iPod) than I do about the show, but I do remember it being pretty funny. And the camp name being hard to spell.

Budnick: [everyone is singing the opening theme song] It makes me wanna fart.
Ug: [shouts] It's "I hope that we never part". Now get it right or pay the price.




Clarissa Explains it All

Oh Melissa Joan Hart. What happened to you? You rocked Clarissa, then you rocked Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Now you're starring in such far as Holiday in Handcuffs (1 AND 2). Maybe you should just revamp this old classic and go back to teaching foreigners that the preferred form of entry into other people's houses here in America is via ladder through the window.




HONORABLE MENTION:
Magic School Bus - Right up there with Bill Nye the Science guy in educational excellence.
Where on Earth is Carmen San Diego - Seriously, that ho had more frequent flyer miles than Han Solo.
Johnny Bravo - Hooah!
Kablam - You can't tell me you didn't love Action League Now! and Angela Anaconda....
Ed, Edd, n Eddy - Random, occasionally a little gross, but filled with lots of odd laughs.


And I don't want to hear your nonsense about what shows you miss from those early childhood days of yore.

....PSYCHE!

....If you didn't laugh at that, just talk to the hand, 'cuz the face ain't listenin'.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Morale Booster

My dear interwebs friend The Illustrious D over at Fleekin Floygin posted a fancy little picture from Wordle that counts the words used on a website, say, a certain nerdy blog, and arrange them accordingly in size. D's was pretty hilarious (including the word dildo being prominently featured, as well as apparently two types of "fuck"), so I was interested and wanted to see what mine would come up with.

Needless to say, I was disappointed:



While "love" and "miss" are featured prominently (no doubt thanks to yesterday's emo post), but as you no doubt noticed, the two biggest?

"Epic" and "Fail."

Oi vey.

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Cool video sidenote, I found this sweet video on my daily blog trolling: a mod of a Left For Dead 2 level that recreates Disney World's (old, pre-shitty re-do) "Pirates of the Caribbean" ride. Killing zombies while rehashing old memories?

Yes please.