Friday, January 25, 2008

Bandwagon Jumping

So, apparently the internet has trends. Who knew? The kids today, they see things and they want to do things and they spread them around through the tubes and whatnot. Anyway, one such trend is called LolCats. Basically, you take a picture of a cat and caption it in a funny way, with terrible spelling and grammar (LolSpeak seems to be a subtle variation of American Retarded). Anyway, after seeing "There Will Be Blood," I made one of my own. Please go and vote for it and try and get me some attention.
funny pictures
moar funny pictures

I'm an internet attention whore, and I'm not particularly proud of it.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The State of Comedy in the World

I was listening to "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" (one of my favorite NPR shows) yesterday and was struck by a simple incident that no one even commented on. This show is usually hilarious with some of the wittiest minds in the country commenting on the week's news. And most of this week's episode was great. But this one thing stood out to me.

One of the listeners who called in said she was from a town on the border of Kansas and Colorado. She said that the townspeople liked to joke that they were "The Best of Kansas and the Worst of Colorado." One of the panelists asked what "the Worst of Colorado" was, and the listener replied, "A lot of people would say the East plains." The panel chuckled and made some mildly amusing comments. Then, one panelist (I believe it was Roy Blount, Jr) asked what "the Best of Kansas" was. She replied, "Well, there's a lot of nice parts to Kansas" or some other such platitudes.

Stop right there. Someone on a comedy program asks you "What's the best of Kansas?" and your reply isn't immediately, "Dust in the Wind" or "Carry On Wayward Son"? I mean, you were handed the joke on a silver platter! I know you're just an average listener, but step up to the plate! And panelists! You should be ashamed of yourselves. You're professionals, you're not supposed to let one another die on stage. When someone asks, "What's the best of Kansas?", you are obligated to make a witty reference to the 70s/80s progressive rock powerhouse! It's the comic's code.

This is just more proof that this Writer's Strike needs to end. The professionals and the public alike are getting rusty. If this continues, we may lose comedy forever! Where will the next Borscht Belt come from? If we cannot make silly one-liners when we are set up so perfectly, what will happen to America? I beg of you, all of you reading this, to stay strong and stay funny. It may be our only hope.


Friday, January 18, 2008

Anyone Can Cook!

I decided to be mildly original in my cooking last night and thought I'd share here. The past 2 weeks, I've been using my new pizza stone and Trader Joe's dough to cook up some pretty standard pizzas. They were very successful, so I decided to branch out and be a little different. So, I present to you- Eli's Aioli Pizza:

Ok, this pizza doesn't use a tomato sauce, it uses an aioli. Here's how you make it-
Combine 3/4 cups mayo, 1tsp cayenne, 1TBSP Dijon, 1 TBSP lemon juice, and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Stir em up for a spicy, garlicky sauce that makes a great dip and is great with crab cakes. But today, we're using it as pizza sauce.

After this, it basically becomes a standard pizza.
Preheat the oven to 425. If using a stone, preheat it, as well. Roll out your dough (I used TJ's Nearly Whole Wheat Dough). When the stone and oven are heated, transfer the dough to the stone. Brush with olive oil and poke with a fork. Bake for 5-10 minutes, the crust should be fairly solid but not fully cooked. Take the crust out, spread the aioli on (you probably won't need all of it). Top with sweet italian sausage (the sauce is spicy enough, you don't need spicy sausage), sliced onion, and mushrooms. Cover with mozzarella and bake for about 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and slightly brown. Take it out and let it cool for a few (don't want to burn your mouth). And enjoy!

By the way, today's WikiHow- How to Write a Field Guide When You Are a Young Naturalist.
How specific!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Light On the Horizon?

The Director's Guild just announced that they have a deal in place with the AMPTP. This could mean nothing to the Writer's Guild strike, but if the guild thinks it's a good contract, the same offer is on the table to them. Could we start to see original writing again? Could I really go hardcore towards establishing myself as a professional writer? I certainly hope so. Looking over the outline of the deal (full details aren't yet available), it looks good to me. But, I'm not a guild member (yet) and I don't know for sure. Keep your fingers crossed, this is the first positive news in this strike since November.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

American Idol

American Idol returns tonight and, due to the writer's strike, there's not much else on right now. Therefore, I will be making double the effort not to see a single second of this show. I encourage you to do the same. Come on, it's going to be EXACTLY the same show it was the last five years. Do you really need to spend two hours (or more) of your week watching it? Watch a movie, read a book, go out with friends, finally get around to writing that novel. Any of these things would do your brain better than watching American Idol this season. If this show does the same numbers it always does, it will just encourage the media conglomerates to produce more reality and extend this strike as long as possible until the writers give up and accept a bad deal. If you watch any scripted shows (and you do), don't watch American Idol. I know that Fox is telling you that you have to watch, but you don't. Fight the power.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Trading Up

It seems like I've been switching over to a lot of new technology these days. Granted, I'm a gadget whore and I can't get enough of new electronics, but it certainly seems like the past couple of weeks have been especially active. How about a rundown:

It's been a while and I know I've talked about it, but it's worth bringing up again- I bought a MacBook in July and I love it. I have officially switched to Mac and I'm not going back. Whenever I need a new desktop it will be whatever Apple is offering at the time. I've joined the cult and I'm not ashamed. It just amazes me how much better this computer is than anything else I've used.

For Christmas (from my company) I got an iPod Touch. I didn't really need a new iPod. The one I've had for almost 4 years now still works quite well (it's a 4g black and white screen model). I never thought I'd want to watch video on my iPod. Then I got the Touch. It's gorgeous. I've been watching Monty Python on it and it looks stunning. I can't believe how well the touch interface works. I heard rumblings about this cannibalizing the iPhone market, but this has just made me want the phone more. It's the coolest new tech I've seen in years.

Just switched over from cable internet to DSL. Long story short- Time Warner is awful. Just awful. Their customer service is embarrassingly bad, and actually seems to be getting worse. I'm not knocking cable technology, I've like the other companies I've had. But Time Warner is the worst company of any kind I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with. Also, the new DSL is half the cost and while it's supposed to be half the speed, it actually seems to be going about double the speed. MAJOR upgrade there. It's only a matter of time before I ditch my cable TV for satellite. Anyone reading this have satellite and want to recommend something? Fire off in the comments, I'm all ears.

Finally, on a smaller note, I've dropped AIM on my work PC in favor of Pidgin. It's open source, it's cleaner than AIM, and it takes up way fewer system resources. I'm a big fan of open source options, and this one's a big winner. FYI- on Mac, if you don't like iChat (I love it for audio/video, it's just ok for IMs), Adium is the way to go. It's superb.

Just thought you might like to know these things. And what things am I looking at for the future? A network printer, a new external hard drive, and (maybe next year) a DSLR camera. And after MacWorld next week, probably about a dozen Apple products. I'm such a nerd.


PS- It's become popular in the past week to pick the Jaguars to beat the Pats. This is stupid. My one rule in betting is that when a team is on a great winning streak, don't bet against them until they actually lose. I don't know, maybe the Jags can cover the spread (I don't exactly understand betting lines. Wanna help? Comments) but I don't care. The Pats haven't shown me this season that they are even capable of losing. Until they do, don't bet against them. Just thought I'd share.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Good Stupid Fun

Ok, someone showed this to me earlier in the week, and I can't stop laughing about it. Yeah, yeah, I know it's stupid. I know it's cheap and a little low brow. I know the humor is simple and the effect is easy, but I don't care. It's well executed and it's absurdly funny. At least to me. Do yourself a favor and check it out. I especially like the second verse...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Let's See, What's In The News Today....

Thought I'd take today and do a little topical humor because I want future civilizations to unearth my blog (I'm assuming it will be published for posterity and some point, due to my greatness) and say, "I don't get it. Am I supposed to know that name?" Yes, nothing ages worse than topical comedy. Don't believe me? Watch the original Toy Story and then the original Shrek. Toy Story is five years older, but holds up much better. My advice- Don't parody anything until it's already established itself as classic. Not taking my own advice- here's some headlines from today:

"Debate Was Key To Win, Clinton Says" (NY TIMES)
OK, first off, the debate wasn't key. National debates hardly make a difference. Local ones are lucky if three people are paying attention. I really just wanted to talk about the election. I mostly like Hilary. I disagree with her on a few issues, but I think she'd make a good president. That said, she's the worst candidate the Democrats could pick. People HATE her (for no real reason, from what I can tell). The Republicans are salivating at the chance to mobilize their minions in an anti-Hilary campaign. I prefer Obama or Edwards based on policy anyway, but I would support Hilary if she won the nomination. The thought just scares me a little. Almost as much as Mike Huckabee (three scariest words in the English language- Southern Baptist Minister)

"Bush Calls Iran Threat To World Peace" (CNN)
I heard this press conference this morning. Bush is so dead set on war with Iran it's not funny. He basically said, well they did what we asked and stopped their nuclear program, but they might start it again. This was his same reasoning behind Iraq. He sees someone he doesn't like, makes demands, and when the demands are met, he assumes the worst and attacks anyway. How about giving people a chance to do the right thing before we kill them? Just a thought.

"Pregnant Marine Vanishes Before Testifying" (CNN)
My god! She must be some kind of wizard! That's quite a show. I didn't read the article, but here's what I think happened. She takes the stand, puts her hand on the Bible, is asked to tell the truth, and with a twitch of the nose- POOF! She vanishes! Tada! Every criminal in the world should do a magic trick before they testify- no jury could convict them.

"Bush Hopes to Jumpstart Mideast Peace Talks" (NPR)
Ah, Mideast peace. The president is turning his attention to bringing peace to the region he spent the first seven years of his term destroying. That'll help. Trivia Question! Which 20th century president(s) tried to broker peace in the Mideast to distract from other serious problems with their administration? (Hint: It's all of them).

There, now that that's out of the way, I promise I'll be funnier tomorrow.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Woke up sick to my stomach last night at 2:30. I think it was just something I ate and I'm ok now, but I didn't get much sleep and now I'm tired and my office is cold. Just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Holiday Catch-All

Well, everyone, did you miss me? I missed me. I missed you. Let's all hug.

Now that that's out of the way, it's time for my holiday catch-up (as opposed to my holiday ketchup, my failed peppermint/tomato paste hybrid).

My mother-in-law was in town for most of the break, and we took her to the San Diego Zoo. That's where the picture is from- I got this great shot of a swinging orangutan. Looks like he's having so much fun.

I had a great Christmas. My gifts for my wife were well appreciated and she did a great job on me as well. I now have the complete Monty Python's Flying Circus DVD set and two more Wii games to waste my time (the new Super Mario Brothers is particularly awesome). I also have new books to read- always good.

I saw Sweeney Todd and No Country For Old Men and highly recommend both. Tim Burton managed to make it seem natural that people would break out into song, and the fact that they breakout into Sondheim's best is a big plus. And the Coen Brothers really made me feel like I was watching a Cormac McCarthy book, which is quite a feat. By the way, my top movies for the year are those two, Enchanted, Ratatouille, and Juno. Zodiac was pretty awesome, too.

My internet connection has gone all wonky at the house and Time Warner seems completely inept at fixing it. They were supposed to come by this morning, but just called to tell me they forgot (gee, I hadn't noticed while I sat at home and you weren't there). This will be their second trip out and I don't expect them to fix it anyway. Time to look at DSL (and probably DIrectTv, as well).

Went to the dentist this morning (it wouldn't be my blog if I didn't talk about going to the dentist). Biggest news is that I will be getting my wisdom teeth out this year, a prospect that terrifies me. Other than that, my teeth and gums apparently looked good. It always amazes me how they point out that my gums are bleeding a little. Really? Maybe it's because you're poking them with a sharp metal stick. Seriously, it feels like a tiny pirate is going to town on my gingiva. (Wait, did I just come up with a concept for a new cartoon? I'll get back to you). Anyway, they also told me my mouth seemed dry while there was an air hose sucking out any moisture. Apparently dental school doesn't involve many logic courses.

That's the highlights of my time off. Looks like it's back to work, which means back to more regular blogging. Hope all of you had a great holiday season!