For those who love wine, etc. I have started a new blog. the-wino.blogspot.com . in the next couple weeks look for reviews of an assortment of wineries and wines from washington to nc. any suggestions or recommendations are welcome. k. cool.
First off, happy holidays to all, I hope they were good and I hope y'all kissed someone nice on new years. I'm relaxing at Elon for the next two weeks and its the first time I haven't really been on the road in a while.
to get home I went
missoula -> salt lake city
salt lake city -> vegas
vegas -> newark.
spent christmas and the surrounding days there. saw family. saw a few friends. saw my puppy.
newark -> trenton
trenton -> philly, which involved a 4 hr wait at a train station. in the cold.
philly -> pittsburgh. was there for new years
pittsburgh -> elon. Huzzah, but we are not done yet folks.
elon -> ashevillle
asheville -> elon.
after countless hours on every sort of transportation save a boat, I have made it for two weeks of doing more or less whatever I want.
I'm putting off thinking about grad school and going back to all that right now.
For my birthday this year, I got a new pair of shoes. They're lime green and made by DC. While cool in their own right, that's not what i'm writing about. Within the first few days, I noticed a smudge on the right toes. It's a black line that runs from the top to the bottom of the toe. At first, I was annoyed. I thought about getting rid of it, then stopped.
That line is proof I've been somewhere others haven't. For the rest of my life, I will value the dirt on my shoes. It is a sign I have done something, gone somewhere. If you don't have dirt on your shoes, then what? Where have you gone? What have you done?
As some of you may have read earlier, the Jolly Green Giant is a freak who scared the crap out of me as a child. I'll admit, I have had irrational fears in my life. This is my way of conquering them. So, to continue with the list of things that scared the crap out of me as a child (now on TTSTCOOMAAC...i'll figure out a handy way to refer to it later)...
the movie Babes in Toyland, made in 1934, starring Laurel and Hardy.
Yes, you read it right. The movie Babes in Toyland. Made in 1934. Starring comic classics Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
This might be foreign to many of you on here, but in case you know it by its other name, it was also called the March of the Wooden Soldiers. Ring any bells? Hope so. Anyway.
Without TV and trying desperately to fall asleep before the sun came up, I stumbled across a site that has a ton of classic black and white movies the other night. One of the most played was Babes in Toyland. As a kid, I both loved and hated this movie. Loved it for some of the climactic action sequences near the end but it also, as mentioned, instilled a fear in me few things have matched to this day.
The movie itself isn't so bad. It portrays Toyland, a catch-all for fairy tale people. Like Far Far Away in Shrek! sans Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and, oh yeah, color. It isn't the plotline or anything that scares me. It's the costumes. Now, I realize this was 1934 and costumes were primitive, but these things still send chills down my spine. They're downright creepy.
When I was a kid, my parents would drop me off at my grandmother's apartment whenever they needed to go out and my sister couldn't babysit. This happened a lot in summer when she was off at dance camp and my parents worked. Sitting on the fuzzy blue carpet in front of the big Zenith that eventually became mine, I would pop open the cabinet doors under the television and begin to look through her movies. There were stacks and stacks of the black plastic VHS cases in there. Some had carbboard covers, but most were recorded off the television. I wasn't allowed to watch a few--like Night of the Living Dead (again circa the 1930s)--and I just didn't want to watch some--who cares about Miracle on 34th street. I'm pretty sure my grandmother didn't own a movie that was made post WW-II, except for stuff by Elvis. She liked Elvis.
My choice in movies was limited. Almost everytime I landed on Babes in Toyland. I was attracted to the scene at the end where the wooden soldiers--played by real people--basically go apeshit on the bad guys. They tear it up. It's pretty awesome. Anyway.
In order to get to this scene, though, I needed to get through the other hour and change of the movie. This involved having to be exposed to some really fucking creepy costume. First off, the pigs.
The three little pigs are in this movie. It looks like they're played by kids or midgets. Either way, they are wearing latex pig face masks. I'd be okay with this if, when they moved around, the masks stayed on the eyes. But no, it appears that the masks move and there are no eyes behind the masks. This gives the three little pigs a slightly satanic feel. They look like children of the underlord. They need eyes, damnit. Next object of my hatred, the monkey.
Now, I like monkeys. I even thought about studying monkeys in college and grad school. I didn't, but I still like monkeys. This monkey is not like any other monkey though. This monkey is dressed up in some bastard Mickey Mouse costume. Yes, they use a monkey to play a mouse. Meanwhile, they have a person in a cat costume to play a cat. The monkey is also of Satan. Are you sensing a pattern here? These creatures are evil.
The final creatures were the bad guys. They were hairy bipeds with some sort of mask. They were supposed to be bogeymen, and to me, they were. If the movie wasn't made in 1934, these maniacs would definitely have raped Little Bo Peep and done some unnecessary things to her sheep to boot. In the film though, they just wreak general, non-penetrative havoc. In such numbers they provoked me to cover my eyes many times, until the unearthly wooden soldiers showed their faces, that is.
These three creatures--pigs, monkey mouse thing, and bogeymen--scared the crap out of me. I don't know if its the black and white...or the primitive costumes, but something in them made me cover my eyes. Reviewing the movie, there's still something about them that causes me to shiver. Now, I know every actor in the movie is long dead, and I have nothing to fear, but still. That monkey, those pigs, they're just wrong.
For half of a decade, I was a die-hard fan of the NBC show Scrubs. I would put as much time aside as 40-something women do for Grey's Anatomy. I would spend whole Sundays laying on my couch watching entire seasons of scrubs with my roommate in college. I could recite lines from episodes, or name episodes if a line was said. I knew pointless trivia. I knew every line to every song of the "My Musical' episode. I even dressed up as Janitor for Halloween one year. I was a Scrubs-a-holic.
And then Scrubs moved to ABC. This was, in retrospect the beginning of the end. While I was happy at the time, a piece of my brain was still questioning the move. How long could they keep it going? It felt like not using a lucky stick in a hockey game after scoring 5 or 6 goals in a row with the lucky one. It was just wrong in ways, I guess.
There was a shining light though---the very last episode was incredibly well done. There was enough emotion loaded into it to make it a spectacular end to a show that accomplished so much in an eight-year span, so much longer than most shows ever reach. There were babies, marriages, deaths, break-ups and breakdowns. Everything a good show could do without going overboard. So Scrubs ended. We were left with memories of JD and Turk's guy love and DVD replays of the Janitor's increasingly psychotic one-liners and pranks of JD. I was happy with this. When I needed a boost, I would pop in a disc and watch an episode or two, mouthing every word silently as I did so.
I get a call from my sister, another Scrubs fan.
"Did you hear they're bringing scrubs back?"
At this point I was living in Montana already. We didn't have television in my house and I had not heard this piece of information.
"A new season. They've moved to a teaching hospital or something," she said.
When we got off the phone, I hopped online and watched the trailer. They were coming back, alright, and they were indeed placing their episodes in a teaching hospital. This was going to be interesting.
Interesting does not even begin to describe what I experienced when watching the new episodes of Scrubs.
I will make this easy for you, readers out there. If you are still a Scrubs fan, and want to remain that way, do not proceed. Take the knowledge that I do not like the new Scrubs and leave. Go to your happy place now. If not, please proceed.
(Note: At this point, I am a little hesitant to continue myself, with Scrubs having been such a large part of my life for the past few years. It feels a little like beating my grandmother in a boxing match, or, what I imagine punching my grandmother would be like. I wouldn't know--she's dead.)
Anyway, the new Scrubs.
Plainly, it's horrible.
The new series tries to hard to be the old series, and it fails miserably. To begin with, the theme song "Superman," originally performed by Lazlo Bane, has been redone. It is faster, younger, hipper--probably to mirror the fact that most of the original cast is gone (of the originals, JD,Turk, Cox, and Kelso having recurring roles so far. Eliot has been seen, as has the Todd, and one of the newer additions--Mahoney, is now a permanent resident of the show). Redoing this song--while not close to covering something like "Yellow Submarine" or anything by Hendrix--is still a travesty. Moving on.
The new characters--a kid whose dad donated a ton of money, a blonde peppy girl with no self esteem and a team of security guards, don't compare at all to the old crew. The kid, Cole I think his name is, is flat out annoying. Good for a laugh at first, this douschebag who refers to himself in the third person and constantly gets on people's nerves because he feels he is invincible, is a little punk that I frankly want to smack the shit out of. To have to hear anything come out of his mouth is like watching a volcano erupt while standing on the very rim of it. Just plain painful. I'd rather stand on the volcano rim. The blonde girl annoys me the least. She mirrors JD, if it isnt obvious enough, and we'll see how long it takes for that to get annoying. Now, my biggest beef is with the security guards. Never did I think there would be such a miserable replacement for Janitor. I am bias in favor of the Janitor, my favorite character, but follow me on this one. The security guards--typifying slovenly, fat security guards the world over, try way too hard to be funny. Their one-liners fall flat and their use in the show screams "we didn't have a better transition." Where Janitor felt like a natural, these guys just feel awkward. On top of that, the black guard looks like the guy from the Miller High Life commercials, and even if it isn't him, that's all I can think of--the "champagne of beers." Actually, now that I think about it, the new Scrubs and MHL leave the same taste in my mouth afterwards and leave me thinking "I wish I were drunker to have to go through this."
So far, three episodes in, all I can say is that Scrubs is trying way too hard. In order to come anywhere near the calibur of the previous series, they would need to--nevermind, at this point there is no hope.
I will still watch, because it is free on Hulu, but that's really only cause I need background noise while I do my crosswords.
So, guys and gals, I think I am doing grad school wrong.
A few days ago, while sitting in class with other first years, the subject of sleep came up. Everyone there--about six others--complained about the fact that they got close to no sleep lately, averaging about two hours a night, if that. I stayed quiet. I played with my Burt's Bees because I didn't want to open my mouth. Eventually, though, it came to me. The joys of an oval table and sitting at one end--its easy for all eyes to be on you.
"Um," I stuttered, "You guys really only get, like, two hours of sleep?" There were nods.
"I haven't lost any sleep?" I made it a question. I wasn't sure if I should say it. These kids, fellow anthropology graduate students, didn't seem like the kind to hoist pitchforks against their own, but then again we were anthropologists, we studied the weird customs and found out why people did them. A thrown pitchfork could've been normal. Somewhere.
"Really?" I could feel it, they were pulling out mini pitchforks from their bags under the big oak table.
"Uh, yeah. Really."
"I hate you."
"Am I doing something wrong? Why am I not losing sleep like everyone else?" The looks in their eyes told me I was doing something wrong. I was doing grad school wrong.
"I have a job and everything, and a full course load," I said. I was trying to soften the blow. They couldn't hate me if I had a job. I was a contributing member to society and a hard-working graduate student. Oh wait, they were too.
I had nothing to come back with. If they all weren't so tired, I'm pretty sure their eyes would've been flaming with hate. Saying the words "I can't help I'm awesome" probably wouldn't help, so I kept my mouth shut.
"How do you manage that, Sam?" Don't say because you're awesome. Don't say because you're a god among men. Don't say because you're that fucking amazing.
"I don't know. I just do, I guess."
One girl shook her head. "That's not fair."
She laughed. At the moment, I was saved by the teacher. She walked in, talking about class before she even sat down.
So, since we're all fans of art on here, in one form or another, I think this is something y'all need to check out. His name is Mike Egan and he's an artist from Pittsburgh. His stuff is freakin' sweet. Very mexican folklore-y themed. I <3 it. Also, for the music fans on here (hah), his art will be the cover of the new Hawthorne Heights album. Say what you want about the music you haven't heard. Judge it mercilessly,even. Everyone here knows thats what this site tends to do best, but check out the artist before u see him on the shelves of target.