Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Sort of Hilarious Zombie/Walking Pun

I'm sorry for the lull in the posts the last couple of days (weeks? ugh...), but midterms are kind of a bitch and when the two things that need to be written about are Oktoberfest and a Greece trip, both things that were kind of life changing, blogging suddenly seems a bit more intimidating than usual.

....which is why I decided to write about the series premier of the Walking Dead instead.

I'll get to that stuff eventually. Probably. Forgive me as I shake off some rust off the ol' typing fingers and some of that weird green sleep stuff from the corners of my eyes.

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For those of you who don't know (shame on you), the Walking Dead is an utterly fantastic ongoing comic book series about what would really happen in the zombie apocalypse: real humans fighting not only the undead, but also each other and their inner demons. More than being fodder for zombie-obsessed dorks like myself, it gives a strangely believable look at what the world would look like if society broke down and people had to choose between their humanity and survival. It's an ongoing story about the real dynamics of relationships under stress, and really examines how far people are willing to go in order to ensure the safety of those they care about.

Plus, IT'S A FUCKING ZOMBIE COMIC BOOK.

When my friends turned me on to it, I loved it from the beginning. And when it was announced that AMC was working on adapting it into a TV show, my creamy, nerdy center was whipped into such a frenzy that I made it into a lovely key lime pie with "I <3 ZOMBIEZ" written in blood red food coloring. The subject material was so good, how could they mess it up?!*

*Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
Star Wars I-III
Kazaam: Shaq as a genie!
GI Joe
Transformers
Watchmen (kinda)
Any Batman movie that didn't involve Chris Nolan or Michael Keaton, especially the ones involved giant rubberized nipples
A live action movie of Mario and Luigi
Speed Racer
Dr. Steve Brule TV show
Sequels to: the Matrix, Garfield, Caddyshack, Dumb and Dumber, Spiderman 2, Pirates of the Caribbean, Avatar
More Indiana Jones!
A Garfield movie in general


Eventually a bit of reality set it, and I became a bit skeptical out of a general defense mechanism: things that I really love that become suddenly big or adapted to a movie or TV show or anything often disappoint. Therefore, I lower my expectations to soften the (obviously certain) blow that (always) comes with the delivery of said adaptation. I was excited, but cautious: I didn't need another heartbreak in my life.

But when my friend got a hold of the first episode yesterday, I was beside myself in joy: it delivers. It borrows a lot from the comics (in the best possible way), but tweaks things occasionally for the better. Even if you haven't read the comics it comes from (which you should, immediately), do tune in on Halloween to watch it if you aren't getting too cray cray with your slutty party costumes (lookin' at you D). You won't regret it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Call Me Oscar

In preparation for Oktoberfest, I allowed my man-beard to grow out to fully embrace my blond, Germanic roots, but also embrace the inherent manliness of a festival that involves copious amounts of beer, sausage, fried food, and women in dirndl.

But that is a story for another time (when I'm not so sleepy/leaving in another 3 hours or so for Greece).

This is the story of the aftermath of that beard.

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I, like so many young men before me, have always been curious about my Narcissian mug (apt reference?) and its ability to rock various kinds of facial hair. Therefore, I had vowed that, once I had the proper amount of manscruff, I would take my time in getting rid of it and properly explore my future options.

Being the avid blogger that I am, I documented the process.

You're welcome.

Opener (from Oktoberfest):





Trimmed full beard:



Nothing too major here, just classing it up a bit. I look a bit wiser, or as wise as I can possibly look with a dumb looking beard thing.

Next I moved on to the goatee:



I felt a little weird rocking the goatee, it seemed somewhat forced. I was quick with the trimmer/razor to get it off of my face. But don't get a desire to end the goatee with a desire to move on to the final stage of my transformation. Because what you are about to see will not only effect your opinions on my, on facial hair, and on the 1970's, but also your opinion on anyone with who even vaguely resemble the monstrosity on my face.

I'll space it out so that you can leave now if you choose.

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Yes. That is not one, but two molester-staches.

I'm sorry for those of you who stuck around.

And I feel sorrier for those who feel like they have the stomach to continue wading through the proceeding pictures.

Because I, in my infinite wisdom, decided that the mustache alone was not enough.



My shame is now palpable. I can literally taste the humiliation in my mouth, and I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with the "flavor saver" adorning my lip in the picture.

But there's more.

*SIGH*



I don't know why I did this. Maybe all the Euro-trash surrounding me finally got to my head. Maybe I had a supreme desire to look like a strange combination of Starsky and Hutch-style buddy cop and old-school star in a skin flick. Maybe the 'stache and 'burns had sent tendrils into my brain like some sort of terrible parasite and decided to make myself look like the biggest idiot imaginable.

All I know is that I no longer have nothing to hide. There is nothing lower to me than that. Except maybe for what the implications of rocking such a combo probably lead one to believe that I have improper relations with, well, pretty much everyone and everything. So please don't judge me for my moment of foolishness: instead, judge me for my willingness (even desire) to put all of this on my blog where ANYONE can see my disgust.

Depending on the internet situation in Greece, this might be my last post for the next couple of days. If not, up next: OKTOBERFEST

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Vino!

I'm sorry bloggers and blogesses - I have failed you. I know that your weeks are practically defined by the next time you can get updated on my life. That your one glimmer of hope each day is to come home from your dull lives to get online, frantically type my URL into your browser on the of chance that I had updated in the time it took for you to close out of Firefox at work to get home onto your personal computer, was absent for a few weeks.

For that, I am sorry.

...especially because I'm going to Greece tomorrow for the next ten days.

Oopsies!

But a bit of good news: the finest football team in the nation, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, play tonight at 1:30 AM my time. As it is currently 11:42, I have a whole bunch of time to wait until it starts (who needs sleep?!), so I'm going to be blogging nonstop to try and update you on my life, then trying to figure out how to autopost them so that they can continue updating when I'm sunning on the lovely beaches of the Mediterranean, history nerding and eating gyros and drinking ouzo with my knighted and Dutch history professor.

Don't worry: I'm sure it will make for a great blog post. And between bites of kebob, I'm sure I'll miss you all dearly.

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Couple weeks back my friends and I decided we needed a good old-fashioned Italian holiday. And what better way to get into the Italian spirit than going to a small town and drinking an excess of wine at a grape festival?

Exactly.

And so, after some interesting train riding, we finally got to Velletri, a town southeast of Roma, for the fest at about 1 in the afternoon and found that it was the perfect picture of a small Italian city:







So, remember how I said we got there at 1? Thinking we were a bunch of well-prepared and early showers, we failed to realize that, well...it didn't actually start until....well, we weren't really sure. All we knew was that it sure as hell wasn't anywhere near 1. Oopsies. That, plus the unannounced downpour of rain, quite downed our hopes for a quality weekend excursion. After a bit of wandering and time-killing we had pretty much exhausted all we thought that a quaint little town could offer, and were contemplating cutting our losses.

Then the heavens opened up and the tubas started to play.









We followed them on a procession through the city (to, somehow, places that we had yet to venture):





Then we found where the real action was:



Each of those wooden structures are separate wine tasting stations. For five euro, we got our own commemorative wine glass and 10 passes to use on nine different stations (number 10 was for your favorite). And no, these were not your California-sized wine shots: these were full-on glasses of wine.

So we had some fun.





Look at us: lookin' all classy and shit.



(My pinky is totally extended just outside the frame)



Oooohhh yeah.



Kelsey isn't a fan of wine. What a good sport.



So story time.

As I got around to station 9, I was feeling rather pleased about life. Particularly because some people (aforementioned Kelsey, for example) passed along their pleasantries on to me because said pleasantries weren't to their liking and I apparently seemed like I needed to be more pleasant. But anywho, as I got to the final station, I made eye contact with the women working at the station. Like, one of those looks where someone smiles at you with their whole face and things slow down a little bit. We talked a little in rudimentary Italian, and I caught her checking me out more than once.



I'd certainly be lying if saying that using two other 10's on Station 9 that I picked up were simply because I liked theirs the best (I did).



The last thing we saw in Velletri was a jazz/soul band named Save Your Face who were...interesting. They were really talented, and had a cool set up (the keyboard player also played the drums), and were really unique sounding.



And they wore welding masks while they played. So there's that.

Finally, once we got back to Rome, we went to a restaurant called "L'Archetto", which serves 140 different kinds of spaghetti.



No, I'm not going to try to have every single kind.

I'm too poor.