Two Quick Christmas Things

I thought that being in a committed relationship would mean that my days of being told “I love you” by someone to whom I’m not sure I reciprocate were over. Thanks for proving me wrong, My Girlfriend’s Grandma!!

My girlfriend’s cousin, Paige, is 8. Yesterday after we all opened presents at her grandma’s house, Paige thanked her grandma for her presents, telling her grandma that these were the only presents she had gotten to unwrap. Apparently her mom gave her thirty dollars, telling her “sorry, but I can’t afford presents.” Paige used that money to buy her grandma a Christmas present. This story made me sad.

Swag Showcase ’06

This seemed to be an especially impoverished Christmas, however the quality of gifts was perhaps at an alltime high. Good stuff.

The Rime of The Ancient Mariner – My sweetie got me a collection of poems by Samuel Coleridge Taylor with what is basically the best incription ever: “Does this bird belong to you?”

The Laces – Chaoslace, Purelace, Thoughlace, Deathlace, and Lifelace are five magic cards. They aren’t the worst magic cards ever, but they are bad cards. They have the distinction of historically being the five most hated magic cards. Needless to say I love them, and am jazzed to have a complete set.

Man-Purse ’07 – My mom hooked me up with a hella-pimp laptop case. It is both attractive and pacious. It puts all my previous man-purses to shame.

The Batcave – The level of giftgiving performed by my sweetie’s mom is at a level that I have no prior experience with. In my family, you buy everyone one present apiece at the $20-$30 range. Parents might do two or three presents within that range.
By contrast, when Tessa’s mom got me a hundred dollar Batcave Lego set, she reportedly felt bad because she only got me one thing. It is a whole different league.

Coprolite – I got Dinosaur poop!

Penguins! – In this post- March Of world, everybody loves penguins. But I was hip to penguins back when penguins were just another bird. This year I got toy penguins, a penguin radio, penguin body wash, a penguin calendar, and a set of penguins for miniature gaming. That’s right. Penguin miniatures. How cool am I?

How To Host A Murder Mystery, Star Trek: The Next Generation Edition – I actually performed in two Sci Fi Murder mysteries, in ’96 and ’97, so it will be sort of nostalgic to host a Star Trek Murder Party. Before I can have it, I have to hash out a menu, find a tape player for the game’s audio cassette, and give the game a quick re-write. This party is going to rock.

This was only a sampling of the many gifts I received this year. This year I can honestly say that there wasn’t a bad gift in the lot. I’m blessed with the greatest friends and family, and I give my thanks to each and every one of them.

X-Mas

It is Christmas morning, and as per tradition, I have slept at my mom’s house. No one else in this house seems at all eager to be awake. Truth be told, I’m not superexcited about being awake, but I know the damn procedures. It should be presenting time. I can only assume my stupid family is caught in the throes of a mass sugarplum-based trance.

At any rate, Merry Christmas all. If yer reading this, I like you!

Obviously, I’ll never be a music critic

A while back and I had an discussion about what makes great rock music. We stopped talking about it, like a month ago, but I’ve been thinking about what I like about Rock ever since.

I love many styles of music, but Rock has a special place in my heart. When I listen to Rock, I judge it by a different standard than mere musical quality. Mere goodness is not sufficient.. It must be great in the ways that Rock is great. After some thought, I have come up with five attributes I consider to be absolutely essential to great Rock.

They are:
Guitar
Swagger
Loudness
Music
Arrogance

I’m certainly not arguing that this is the only way to judge Rock. I’m just saying that this is how I do it.

So, using a ten point scale I rate the following previously discussed albums thusly:

The Protomen
9 Guitar
10 Swagger
11 Loudness
10 Music
11 Arrogance
This is a great album. Loud, fun, pointlessly epic. I’m in love.

Tommy
3 Guitar
3 Swagger
6 Loudness
10 Music
11 Arrogance
This is also a great album. Don’t let the low stats make you think I don’t love it. I just don’t think it rocks terribly hard.

And I’ll rate some great rock songs:

War Pigs
10 Guitar
10 Swagger
11 Loudness
10 Music
10 Arrogance
A truly great Rock song should end with the stereo at a higher setting than when it started. When I listen to this song, the volume keeps creeping up.

Stairway to Heaven
10 Guitar
4 Swagger
7 Loudness
11 Music
11 Arrogance
Yeah, a better song than War Pigs (or just about any other song), but unlike War Pigs, it does not want to have sex with me. Rock music should be trying to sexually violate your ears.

Anything 7 or higher I consider good. Anything 9 or higher I consider great. I don’t know why reducing art to flat statistics is fun, but it is.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

Obviously, I’ll never be a music critic

A while back and I had an discussion about great Rock music. We stopped talking about it, like a month ago, but I’ve been thinking about what I like in Rock ever since.

I love many styles of music, but Rock has a special place in my heart. I judge Rock music by different standard than mere musical quality. Mere goodness is not sufficient.. It must be great in the ways that rock is great. After some thought, I have come up with five attributes I consider to be absolutely essential to great Rock.

They are:
Guitar
Swagger
Loudness
Music
Arrogance

I’m certainly not arguing that this is the only way to judge Rock. I’m just saying that this is how I do it.

So, using a ten point scale I rate the following previously discussed albums thusly:

The Protomen
9 Guitar
10 Swagger
11 Loudness
10 Music
11 Arrogance
This is a great album. Loud, fun, pointlessly epic. I’m in love.

Tommy
3 Guitar
3 Swagger
6 Loudness
10 Music
11 Arrogance
This is also a great album. Don’t let the low stats make you think I don’t love it. I just don’t think it rocks terribly hard.

And I’ll rate some great rock songs:

War Pigs
10 Guitar
10 Swagger
11 Loudness
10 Music
10 Arrogance
A truly great Rock song should end with the stereo at a higher setting than when it started. When I listen to this song, the volume keeps creeping up.

Stairway to Heaven
10 Guitar
4 Swagger
7 Loudness
11 Music
11 Arrogance
Yeah, a better song than War Pigs (or just about any other song), but it does not want to have sex with me.

Anything 7 or higher I consider good. Anything 9 or higher I consider great. I don’t know why reducing art to flat statistics is fun, but it is.

WSBMICAS Meeting Report December 2006

The December meeting of the William Shatner Bad Movie and Ice Cream Appreciation Society was held yesterday, and as always, a not-at-all-good movie was watched and ice cream was consumed. Attending were Tessa, Adam, Krista, Josh, Stephanie, Mitt, and myself, although Mitt had to leave early, so she missed the TOTALLY MINDBLOWING SURPRISE TWIST.

This month’s feature was Falcon Down, an action thriller starring Dale “Time Trax” Midkiff, Judd Nelson, and featuring Bill Shatner as Carson. That’s right, William Shatner, our club’s namesake, the man who each and every month hand picks a movie for us to watch, was actually in Falcon Down. This is the first time this has happened.

Midkiff plays Hank, the only pilot who can possibly fly The Falcon, an experimental jet that can melt people’s brains with microwaves. He joins a rag-tag group of mercenaries in a scheme to steal the jet to keep it from being sold to the Chinese government. After it is stolen, in a totally unexpected twist, one that could not be anticipated by anyone ever unless either they were some kind of precognitive genius or had seen movies before, it is revealed that the criminal mercenaries are actually the bad guys. So he kills them all and escapes.

This film’s charms are subtle. On the surface it is nothing more than standard B Movie dreck. And it certainly is that! But what really makes this film stand out is that scattered throughout the film at what appear to be random intervals are pseudo-documentary style scenes in which crackpots with blurred faces make the argument that the Falcon was CREATED BY ALIENS!! Nothing in the rest of the film supports this angle. It totally feels like 3 months after the movie had been shot, the director saw Blair Witch and was hit with inspiration. I’m glad he tacked these scenes on, for I think they are what make this film really work as a bad movie.

Even aside from those scenes, this movie had plenty upon which to marvel. I liked it when Hank saved Evil Mercenary Chick With A Gun Who Is Trying To Kill Him because he was raised to be a gentleman, and y’know, she’s a girl. I also loved the total lack of cabin depressurization during the in-flight gunfights.

I found The character of the Evil Chinese General who was paying the mercenaries to steal the magic jet, the supposed Supervillian of the piece, to be a fascinating character. For reasons unclear, this character was consistently portrayed as calm, rational and pleasant guy who just happened to want a brain melting laser jet. This stood in stark contrast contrast to Midkiff’s performance as the hotheaded and deeply stupid Hank.

This Month’s ice creams were Moose Tracks, Turtle Tracks, and some sort of half-calorie health crap.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

WSBMICAS Meeting Report December 2006

The December meeting of the William Shatner Bad Movie and Ice Cream Appreciation Society was held yesterday, and as always, a not-at-all-good movie was watched and ice cream was consumed. Attending were Tessa, Adam, Krista, Josh, Stephanie, Mitt, and myself, although Mitt had to leave early, so she missed the TOTALLY MINDBLOWING SURPRISE TWIST.

This month’s feature was Falcon Down, an action thriller starring Dale “Time Trax” Midkiff and featuring Judd Nelson and Bill Shatner as Carson. That’s right, William Shatner, our club’s namesake, the man who each and every month hand picks a movie for us to watch, was actually in Falcon Down.

Midkiff plays Hank, the only pilot who can possibly fly The Falcon, an experimental jet that can melt people’s brains with microwaves. He joins a rag-tag group of mercenaries in a scheme to steal the jet to keep it from being sold to the Chinese government. After it is stolen, in a totally unexpected twist, one that could not be anticipated by anyone ever unless either they were some kind of precognitive genius, or they had seen movies before, it is revealed that the criminal mercenaries are actually the bad guys. So he kills them all and escapes.

This film’s charms were subtle. On the surface it is nothing more than standard B Movie dreck. And it certainly is that! But scattered throughout the film at seemingly random intervals are pseudo-documentary style scenes in which crackpots with blurred faces make the argument that the Falcon was CREATED BY ALIENS!! Nothing in the rest of the film supports this angle, suggesting that 3 months after the movie had been shot, the director saw Blair Witch and was hit with inspiration. I’m glad he tacked these scenes on, for I think they are what make this film really work as a bad movie.

Even aside from those scenes, this movie had plenty upon which to marvel. I liked it when Hank saved Evil Mercenary Chick With A Gun Who Is Trying To Kill Him because he was raised to be a gentleman, and y’know, she’s a girl. I also loved the total lack of cabin depressurization during the in-flight gunfights.

I found The character of the Evil Chinese General who was paying the mercenaries to steal the magic jet, the supposed Supervillian of the piece, to be a fascinating character. For reasons unclear, this character was consistently portrayed as calm, rational and pleasant guy who just happened to want a brain melting laser jet. This stood in stark contrast contrast to Midkiff’s performance as the hotheaded and deeply stupid Hank.

This Month’s ice creams were Moose Tracks, Turtle Tracks, and some sort of half-calorie health crap.

The Arrival

Icy roads had slowed me down considerably by the time I pulled into the parking lot this morning. I knew exactly how long it takes to walk from my car to my office. No way could I make it at normal speeds.

I started sprinting. The weather was keeping the parking lot emptier than average, so I had a mostly straight shot to the door through parking lot. I leapt across the street with the grace of an acrobat, avoiding a large puddle of slush… and landing on a large sheet of ice.

I flew headlong toward the ground, landing on my hands and knees, and sliding a good three or four feet. I sprang to my feet in one fluid motion, grabbing my dropped possessions as I go, and seconds later I’m in the lobby. Waiting for the elevator. I’m gasping for breath, bleeding from the hand and knees, waiting for the goddamned slow elevator. Finally the fucking elevator opens and up to the fifth floor where I clock in with seconds to spare. I am fifteen minutes and 48 seconds late, twelve seconds shy of being fired for tardiness.

That is how I want to arrive at work every day.

Originally published at The Triangle. You can comment here or there.

The Arrival

Icy roads had slowed me down considerably by the time I pulled into the parking lot this morning. I knew how long it took to walk from my car to my office. No way would I make it.

I started sprinting. The weather was keeping the parking lot emptier than average, so I had a mostly straight shot to the door through parking lot. I leapt across the street with the grace of an acrobat, avoiding a large puddle of slush… and landing on a large sheet of ice.

I flew headlong toward the ground, landing on my hands and knees, and sliding a good three or four feet. I spring to my feet in one fluid motion, grabbing my dropped possessions as I go, and seconds later I’m in the lobby. Waiting for the elevator. I’m gasping for breath, bleeding from the hand and knees, waiting for the goddamned slow elevator. Finally the fucking elevator opens and up to the fifth floor where I clock in with seconds to spare. I am fifteen minutes late and 48 seconds late, twelve seconds shy of being fired for tardiness.

That is how I want to arrive at work every day.