Happy Anniversary to Us!

They say the first year is the toughest. What a load of crap. Our first year has been magnificent. So The Woman and I spent our First Anniversary celebrating just how wonderful it’s been. And that included chowing down on remainder of the top layer of our wedding cake. The first missing chunk was enjoyed on our Sixth Monthersary… And damn, if it doesn’t taste just as good today as it did a year ago. Seriously people, you don’t need to do a plain cake just because it’s a wedding – chocolate is the only way to fly. Unless you’re also talking caramel or something…

Anywho, I’m not going to bore you with details, but it included these flowers (as well as the earrings and necklace on display):

As well as another lovely dinner at Anthony David’s – that was some mighty fine peppered tuna!

I’ve got more memories from last year’s festivities to share with everybody, but until the new website is ready, please enjoy another showing of The Woman and her dad singing together at the reception:

It just wouldn’t work as well if he actually sang in his range…

One for the Potterheads

Years ago I actually watched one of the Harry Potter movies. I have no clue which one it was, and honestly don’t care – I spent almost the entire time making snide comments to rile up the lone Potterhead watching it with us. And thus, in the midst of this Pottermania that is sweeping up most of the planet and a growing number of my friends, I present you with:

The Top Ten Things to Say During a Harry Potter Movie to Annoy Potterheads:

10. Which one is Frodo?
9. This is nothing – if you want to see great fantasy rent Dragonheart. Brings a tear to my eye every time.
8. Oh, SNAPES on a Plane! Now I get it! Hysterical…
7. That Hermoney chick is HOT!
6. More like DumbleDORK! Am I right or am I right?
5. Wait, I though Lindsay Lohan was in this…
4. Muggle? Hogwart? Squib? Ooooo, this is real, high-brow literary material, isn’t it?
3. Would you mind taking the wizard hat off now?
2. I liked this movie a lot better the first time, when it was called Troll
1. Herminey… Hegemony… Whatever – all I know is I would quidditch it, if you know what I mean.

Any other suggestions?

Nitro is my hero

Do you know how I know I married the right person? Because I’m spending this Saturday watching reruns of American Gladiators. That’s right, I’m watching episodes of a second third-rate physical “competition” from more than a decade ago. And the entire time I’m giving commentary on how the contestants are doing and what strategies are working. I’m even cheering for some of these people (I really hope Darrell can beat this Bam-Bam freak with his gigantic, blond mullet). Yeah, I’m cheering for some guy as he runs around like a kid on a sugar rush trying to beat out roided up beasts in a game of Powerball. And I am secretly jealous because I always wanted to try out Assault. And do you know what The Woman is doing?


UPDATE: Screw Nitro, Mark Ortega is the GRAND FREAKIN’ CHAMPION. That was possibly the greatest end to a sporting event EVER! He beat that blond pretty boy by flinging his body over a wall and across a finish line. Wherever you are Mark, may you be living life like the champion you are!

UPDATE: Holy crap does the Internet deliver. Here’s the video for you guys:

The key part is about 2:15 into it, but you should WATCH THE WHOLE DAMN THING. It will rock your world!

Tab clearance 2007-07-20

At this point I’m clearing my tabs once a month. I need to do this every Friday. I’ve got something like 30 tabs open right now. It’s retarded.

  • The AFI updated their top 100 list. Sure, they corrected some glaring omissions (Blade Runner) and way-too-low rankings (The Apartment moved from 93 to 80, still too low) but dropping Sunset Boulevard out of the top ten is almost unforgivable. (thanks to kottke)
  • If you have not discovered the brilliance that is Dan Le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, remember Thous Shalt Always Kill!
  • Now if I could just find more information about Pistol Valve – because Fo Fo rocks my socks.
  • I should get one of these Anti-DRM shirts – specifically the winning design. Brilliant! (thanks to Boing Boing)
  • Although I be mizerchick is more interested in this business card
  • If your house was to be demolished, do you think you could be this creative? (thanks to zefrank)
  • What’s the greatest part of the Internet? Everyday you can find a totally new AWESOMEST THING ON THE INTERNET! Suddenly jail seems like a cool place – oh, and the guy in drag deserves a full pardon for whatever he did. (thanks to Boing Boing)
  • Ever wonder what buildings you’re not allowed to photograph? Well, don’t. Either you can go on not knowing and be accused of terrorism when you accidentally photograph the wrong building or you can request the information and be accused of terrorism for wanting to know. (thanks to Thomas Hawk)
  • Which gets me to a great quote from Dave Winer: “We’re never going to get change in this country until we start routinely using the power to impeach and remove officials who aren’t serving the interests of the country.”
  • On a more serious note, when I hear that Hollywood was gearing up to destroy Alvin and the Chipmunks, I immediately had visions of bad CG rodents in horrible, wannabe hip-hop fashions dancing across my head… Aw crap
  • One final note, I found it incredibly ironic that the latest Apple fanboy, Robert Scoble, wrote a post making fun of Nokia users for being fanboys. I was already growing tired of his unabashed evangelism of everything Jobs, but then he made this comment in the same thread: “Not to mention why in the heck do we need another OS? What does Linux do that OSX or Vista doesn’t?” Ugh, that’s one less feed for me to bother reading. Then again, I imagine that 70% of his posts since I hit unsubscribe were about how cool his son’s iPhone is. Yay!

Amazing how many links I decided to just dump instead of including in this mess. But a lot of them were about copyright and DRM, and I just need to write a real post on the subject one of these days. I’ve had plans for starting a podcast for sometime now, but the whole mess with Internet broadcasters has made me second guess that idea.


For those of you who missed the news, last night the Philadelphia Phillies fully realized their place in sports history and were drubbed by the Cardinals 10-2. What’s the significance of this loss? The Phillies become the first professional team to lose 10,000 games… EVER! No other team so perfectly demonstrates the losing spirit of my home town (alright, I’m actually from the ‘burbs) with 125 years of history and a lone World Series Championship to show for it. Congratulations boys, you’ve earned this one!

Too short of a time

This post was supposed to be completely different than it will be. I waited a couple days to do the formal introduction, and now it’s already too late. You see, last weekend, The Woman and I found ourselves hanging out around the guinea pigs at a pet store. We weren’t really looking to buy one – we just enjoy watching the little goobers. But we struck up a conversation with a woman and her daughter who were also watching them. It turned out that they had an adorable little piggy by the name of Charcoal who was looking for a new home. They wanted to get a dog, but not before they found a good family to take in their current pet. We seemed like an ideal candidate.

However, the major debate we’ve had since the loss of Jessie has been whether or not to get a new companion for Shadow. I’m a pretty big believer that social creatures like guinea pigs really need to be kept as pairs. But it was difficult putting Teddy and Jessie to sleep, and I’ve been afraid of getting sucked into a cyclical pattern of replacing one critter with another. Plus, Shadow had mites and we were still trying to get rid of them. This opportunity seemed pretty ideal (adopting instead of buying, he was the same age as Shadow, and we had gotten rid of the mites), so eventually The Woman talked me into it and she headed over to check Charcoal out.

He was pretty small for being 3 years old, but we couldn’t tell if that was just because we stuff our piggies silly or if he lost a lot of weight due to an unfortunate encounter with family’s first attempt at adoption. Nevertheless, he was a sweetheart and seemed to be a perfect companion for our own rather timid critter. I was determined to “do things right” this time around and introduce them more slowly. They were first put together on Thursday, as soon as The Woman brought him home, but it wasn’t until today that we gave them the chance to spend a lot of time together. And boy was it fun.

Shadow reminded us why we gave him the name to begin with – it wasn’t just his dark black fur, but the way he followed Jessie around so closely when they were loose. And even though this was his “territory”, Shadow yielded to Charcoal’s curiosity and let him lead the way all around the office, and even into the hallway. It’s the most exercise the little chub has done in over a year. They took the occasional break together, but were quite active and friendly – with minimal humping involved! After an hour, they looked tuckered out, so we put them in their separate cages and left to run some errands, excited at the prospect of the new friends.

Not long after we returned, I heard The Woman calling me from the office, sounding rather desperate. Charcoal was having trouble moving. By the time I got there, his back legs were completely immobile and he was losing strength fast. I quickly picked him up and he started convulsing. I wasn’t sure if it was a seizure or if he was choking. We panicked and couldn’t figure out what to do. I rushed him upstairs to cool him in front of the air conditioner, but it was too late by then. He had gone completely limp. Our poor little Charcoal, only three days in our care and already in our hearts, had passed away.

I was looking forward to writing a cute little message welcoming him to our lives, and already find myself writing a goodbye message. Everything seemed so perfect, but that doesn’t always mean it will work out. Goodbye Charcoal, I wish I got to spend more time with you.

At the very least, here’s a little tribute of his big day out:

Poor, sweet little Charcoal


Monday night The Woman and I went to the movies with a couple of friends. Crazy. I mean, we go maybe once every year or year and a half. There should be some sort of celebration, huge laudatory speeches, or human sacrifices for such an event. Maybe I’m just overreacting, but we just don’t get around to the theatrical experience that frequently.

But what can I say, someone recommended a movie that neither of us had any clue about, so it seemed appropriate to blow such an infrequent occasion on it. Afterall, the move was called Once – how appropriate is that?

I have to say, I had my doubts when I read the summary outside of the theater (our local art house actually posts synopsises… synopsi… summaries of the current indie flicks showing for all of us not in the know). I was beginning to think I got myself into a total chick flick with the promising You Kill Me just a couple doors down the hall. But to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.

Call this a romantic musical, or whatever people might like to label it, would not do it justice. The film is sweet and funny in a very realistic sense. The music is not thrown about, but absolutely essential to the storyline. And if Glan Hansard (playing “the guy”) and Markéta Irglová (playing “the girl”) were not so freakin’ talented, it definitely wouldn’t work. But hearing the passion of their songs really made me believe in them as musicians trying to make it – and the way director John Carney mixed in scenes of songwriting and singing with occasional musical montages really showcased the soundtrack. I downloaded the album it was based on as soon as I got home (legally – thank you eMusic).

As for the potential romance – I can’t really say anything without ruining the story. But I’m not sure that I’ve ever had a movie play with my emotions quite so much and quite so successfully. In a way, I was never completely sure how I wanted it to end or what would be the best way for it to end. And that’s probably what made it feel so realistic. Once is as imperfect and awkward as it sweet and romantic – just like a real relationship.

I have to admit that this isn’t a movie for everyone – it has an odd pace and low production quality that can easily be a turnoff. But if you really love that feeling from watching some amazing unknown talent at a local coffee shop, you can’t go wrong with Once.

Netflix Queue Review (April – June 2007)

Continuing in the movie vein, maybe it’s time I actually did a follow up to my first Netflix Queue Review. We were pretty busy in April and May, so there just weren’t enough movies for me to bother… Oh, and I’m lazy and inconsistent. But you knew that part. Anywho, let’s see what I returned the last few months:

The Aviator – Holy crap, we watched this so long ago I was still on my Scorsese kick. I remember liking this film far more than I expected to. Another outstanding performance by Leo. It’s a very well done biopic that gives you a real sense of the radical changes Hughes went through – and just how crazy he got. If nothing else, watch it to see Cate Blanchett as Katherine Hepburn.

The Good Shepherd – Best way to sum up this movie: llllllooooooonnnnnngggggg! Seriously, this movie was way too long. Scenes dragged on. Nothing was shown. I had high hopes for it, but the director seemed way too concerned with making you feel the intrigue that I felt like I needed to take notes just to have any idea what was going on. By the end, we could barely remember some of the characters from the beginning that were suddenly so important. Very overrated in my mind.

Delicatessen – I finally got around to watching this foreign masterpiece by the genius Jean-Pierre Jeunet. With that kind of introduction, do I need to even mention that I loved it? Brilliant. Absolutely twisted and brilliant. Imagine Sweeney Todd in a post-apocalyptic world. It’s surreal and dark in every sense, and ultimately wonderful and uplifting.

Batman Begins – Wow. Seriously, wow. I did not expect to enjoy this version of the Batman character as much as I did. But I loved the telling of his beginning – not just the story, but the creation of his costume, gadgets, car, etc. This is a grittier and more realistic take on the character compared to Tim Burton’s classic from ’89. I won’t even try to compare them, because I think they took such different angles on the story. But I will say that this version gets a huge boost from the incredibly talented Christian Bale and Michael Caine pulling the two top parts, not to mention Morgan Freeman as Batman’s crazy weapons supplier. I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

The Prestige – I will never doubt Christoper Nolan again. While I’m torn on the ending (it’s not bad – just not exactly what I wanted), the storyline is compelling without being completely dependent upon the twists that you know will eventually come. It’s a movie about magic, of course there will be twists. But it’s the fantastic rivalry between Bale and Jackman that makes the movie. It’s a classic story of competition pushing both people to the edge, and it’ll mess with you at the same time.

2046 – I can’t mention this movie without first talking about Kar Wai Wong’s masterpiece In the Mood for Love. One of the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen – the costumes, the cinematography, the exacting direction. Everything was so perfectly put together to tell the touching story of neighbors brought together when they realize that their spouses are having an affair. And as intriguing as 2046 was, I couldn’t help but feel that it ruined what was a perfectly contained story that was In the Mood for Love. Oh, did I mention that it was the sequel? Sort of. It has little to do with the original movie, except that it follows the same man as he becomes a disjointed author and serial womanizer. The slow pace does not work nearly as well this time around, and I had far less empathy with Chow Mo-Wan (the leading man) which made the storyline overall less engaging. Kar Wai Wong did an excellent job of fusing the stories that Mo-Wan wrote with his real life. I can’t help but feel like this would have worked better as a completely separate film. But if you enjoy Asian cinema, don’t miss In the Mood for Love.

Team America: World Police – I almost forgot about this one – my first foray in the “Watch Now” feature from Netflix. And I must say, it was rather hit or miss. There were a few scenes I thought were hysterical, but there were probably even more that I found boring or stupid. I still tend to think Trey Parker and Matt Stone are best when working with live people. Their social commentaries can be both funny and poignant, but I get pretty bored with the whole “let’s push the envelope” shtick. I mean puppet sex? That was cutting edge two decades ago.

The rest of our returns are from this month, so I’ll try to stay on top of this from now on…


So I’m watching Revenge of the Nerds. And it’s my first time. And I’m laughing all the way through. I can’t believe I actually find this thing hysterical at this point in my life.

After Jess confessed his shortcomings as a movie buff, I should probably come clean, too. I missed out on a lot of R-rated movies from the 80s and early 90s. Comedies, dramas, horror films you name it. It was years before I saw the first Die Hard or Beverly Hills Cop. I didn’t become a big fan of Halloween and Poltergeist until the umpteenth sequel had already destroyed those franchises.

The problem is, I didn’t get to see them as a kid, and pretty much lost interest as an adult. Sure, I saw Top Gun back when it was almost relevant, but do I really need to go back and watch Days of Thunder or Cocktail to realize what a crapfest Tom Cruise’s career really is? Can I really be intrigued by the mysteries of Jagged Edge or Basic Instinct at this point?

Of course there are plenty of gaps in my knowledge of classic cinema, but eventually I also need to catch up with the quality films that I missed during my own lifetime (such as Silence of the Lambs or Schindler’s List). But I’m still caught off guard when I randomly catch a movie like Trading Places and find out it’s still damn funny.