Michael Chiarello is a dork

Quote of the day from a Food Network show: “We bought these canolli shells from a little specialty shop, I’ve got an Italian deli down the street, you’ve probably got the same thing near you.”

Apparently you’re only supposed to watch “Easy Entertaining” if you live in New York City.  Easy my ass.  Oh, sure, let me just run down the street to the little specialty Italian flippin’ pastry shop.  And while I’m out there, I’m gonna pick up some smoked pimento from the Spanish tienda.

There are days that I really need to get out of this town.

Scanner Darkly

Of the various Philip K. Dick movie adaptations, I don’t think most really get the Dick vibe. The theatrical cut of Blade Runner, for instance, was altogether too optimistic for a Dick story. Total Recall was not badly written, although the acting and special effects really nuked it for me.  Paycheck was not too bad; very disorienting and off-balance.  Minority Report was coherent and understandable, which isn’t really very accurate either. So, you can imagine how much I enjoyed the Linklater adaptation of A Scanner Darkly.

Not only does the protagonist not know what is going on most of the time, it never does become perfectly clear even at the end of the movie if his perceptions match reality or not. The rotoscoped animation is a perfect way to portray the insanity that the hallucinogenic story needed. Too bad that it didn’t even recoup its budget in the box office, but maybe it’ll get legs on DVD.

Definitely a good movie for those who like Kafka or Dick. Maybe not so much for those who like Grisham or Crichton.

Year-end Wrapup Meme

The idea here is to post the first sentence (or part of it if it’s freakin’ long) of the first post of each month from 2006.  I went the extra step to link to the post, in case you want to understand why I would say some of these things.  So, here ya go:

January: I’ve added the new and improved WordPress 2.0 software to the site.

February: Someone (phbt!) recently pointed out that it has been more than two weeks since I posted…

March: Based on reviews from Kitiara and others, I think I’ll pass on Ultraviolet.

April: The BBC has a list of 10 stories that could be pranks but aren’t.

May: To announce that there must be no criticism of the president

June: We have (as of this writing) eight total movies playing in the city of San Angelo.

July: …Kyle XY and the dearly-missed Fox show John Doe

August: …I now have full wine racks

September: Friday, we had planned to go to the Kiddie Park and Witte Museum.

October: My friend Dora hosted a party at her house last night, and I catered it.

November: …Flying Spaghetti Monster references

December: I seem to have a few new readers.

Wages

Let me preface this with the admission that I am not making, and have never made minimum wage. Sure, during the early years of my indenture to the U.S. Army, I’m sure the wage I made, prorated hourly, was a pittance. But, they did give me a crappy room to crash in and some mediocre food and medical care. So, better than many.

This week, I had a conversation with my boss about the death of the minimum wage. He is convinced that we do not need to raise the minimum wage for any reason, letting the market decide how to pay things. So, here’s a few things that I can point to as some backing for my opinion (everyone has one) that the stagnation of our minimum wage is a bad thing for the country.

Continue reading Wages

Lyrics in my brain

I want a girl with lips like morphine,
Knock me out every time they touch me.
I wanna feel a kiss just crush me,
And break me down.

Knock me out (knock me out),
Knock me out (knock me out).
Cause I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.

I want a girl with lips like morphine,
Blow a kiss that leaves me gasping.

And I wanna feel that lightning strike me,
And burn me down.

Knock me out (knock me out),
Knock me out (knock me out).
Cause I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.
Just put me on my back,
Knock me out again.

I want a girl with lips like morphine (lips like morphine)
Knock me out every time they touch me (every time they touch me)
I want a girl with lips like morphine (lips like morphine)
To knock me out.

See I’ve waited for all my life,
To be here with you tonight.
Just put me on my back,
Knock me out again

Music at 18

The Rules: Go to the this site and check out the songs from the year in which you turned 18. Bold the songs you like. Strike the songs you don’t. Leave the ones you’re indifferent to alone.

1. What A Wonderful World – Louis Armstrong
2. It Takes Two – Rob Base & E-Z Rock
3. Da Butt – EU
4. Hot Hot Hot – Buster Poindexter
5. I’ll Always Love You – Taylor Dayne
6. Man In The Mirror – Michael Jackson
7. Sweet Child Of Mine – Guns N Roses
8. Red Red Wine – UB40
9. Just Got Paid – Johnny Kemp
10. Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
11. Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
12. Every Rose Has Its Thorn – Poison
13. Welcome To The Jungle – Guns N Roses
14. Paradise – Sade
15. The Flame – Cheap Trick
16. 1 2 3 – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
17. Kokomo – Beach Boys
18. Need You Tonight – INXS
19. Pump Up The Volume – M/A/R/R/S
20. Roll With It – Steve Winwood
21. Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird (Medley) – Will To Power
22. Power Of Love – Laura Branigan
23. Push It – Salt N Pepa
24. One More Try – George Michael
25. Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine
26. Wild, Wild West – Kool Moe Dee
27. One Moment In Time – Whitney Houston
28. Hot Hot Hot!!! – The Cure
29. The Promise – When In Rome
30. The Way You Make Me Feel – Micheal Jackson
31. Chains Of Love – Erasure
32. What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) – Information Society
33. Honestly – Stryper
34. Don’t Be Cruel – Bobby Brown
35. Bad Medicine – Bon Jovi
36. Strangelove – Depeche Mode
37. Nothin’ But A Good Time – Poison
38. Angel – Aerosmith
39. Candle In The Wind – Elton John
40. Forever Young – Alphaville
41. Pink Cadillac – Natalie Cole
42. Always On My Mind – Pet Shop Boys
43. Tall Cool One – Robert Plant
44. Forever Young – Rod Stewart
45. Beds Are Burning – Midnight Oil
46. Tomorrow People – Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
47. I Know You’re Out There Somewhere – Moody Blues
48. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
49. Wild Wild West – The Escape Club
50. In God’s Country – U2
51. So Emotional – Whitney Houston
52. Girls Ain’t Nothin’ But Trouble – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
53. Wishing Well – Terence Trent D”Arby
54. It’s Money That Matters – Randy Newman
55. Under The Milky Way – The Church
56. Like The Weather – 10,000 Maniacs
57. Tell It To My Heart – Taylor Dayne
58. Kiss Me Deadly – Lita Ford
59. Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley
60. It’s The End Of The World As We Know It – R.E.M.
61. Parents Just Don’t Understand – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
62. Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark – Robert Cray Band
63. Never Can Say Goodbye – Communards
64. What’s The Matter Here? – 10,000 Maniacs
65. Groovy Kind Of Love – Phil Collins
66. Fat – Weird Al Yankovic
67. Piano In The Dark – Brenda Russell
68. Monkey – George Michael
69. Rocket 2 U – Jets
70. Tell That Girl To Shut Up – Transvision Vamp
71. I Found Someone – Cher
72. Spotlight – Madonna
73. Englishman In New York – Sting
74. When Will I Be Famous? – Bros
75. Hazy Shade of Winter – the Bangles

James Kim, RIP

I really hoped this would end well. Sadly, it was not to be. James Kim was a virtual friend, as he reviewed all the cool new toys on CNet for years. Like many others, I grew to look forward to his next blog post or video review of an MP3 player. Mr. Kim walked over eight miles in the snow without sufficient clothing and no food, hoping to find help for his family. His family, thankfully, was rescued Monday. Sadly, Mr. Kim was found only a mile from the family’s stranded car.

We’ll miss you, James.