Monday, February 28, 2011

Thundercats . . . HO!!!!

Ah, god bless the Cartoon Network. They know how to make an old 80s kid proud!




Yes, folks. A reboot of the classic 1985 kid's cartoon, Thundercats, is slated for release on the network sometime later this year. And I couldn't be happier, despite all the naysayers. I originally broke the news about this back in June last year, and above is the first released official artwork of the new show. Below is how the characters used to look back in the 80s:




As you can see, there's . . . uh, been a few changes. But no prob, I never said they had to bring back the exact same program. Updating it for today seems the best choice, and I'm digging the more anime slant to the animation. As you can imagine, there's been a lot of skepticism by old school fans of the show. People that I should really call my peers since they're in the same age range to appreciate all this as myself. But whereas those folks are already assuming that this will bomb, I myself hold out hope that it might do well.

Some of you might recall, but around this time last year I wrote out this blog entry detailing my Top 10 favorite tv cartoons of all time. Click the link if you want to refresh your memories, or perhaps read it for the first time. And just for reference, here are two more pics to show you the changes that are coming in this new iteration of the Thundercats license -- the 80s version followed by the 2011 one:




Wow, I'm actually stoked! Lion-O looks very young. Right now there's no telling whether he will stay this way beyond the initial 3-episode pilot arc. Some think this is the younger, pre 3rd Earth Lion-O . . . but I think this is the way he will look for the entire show. Which would be cool, because he's obviously younger than the way he was depicted in the old 80s version, but not so young as to not realistically take on the mantle of their leader. The fact that he wields both the Sword of Omens and Claw in the above pic demonstrates that this is Lion-O after already becoming Lord of the Tundercats.

In any event, only time will tell. For some reason there is no exact release date yet for this show. I'm guessing will see it for the Fall slate later this year. Bummer!

But, hey, in the meantime you have this brand new teaser trailer just released by the network. For those aficionados out there, see how much you can glean from the quickly-cut footage. I've been able to spot a few interesting tidbits myself. How 'bout you?





As you can see, this looks like it will take the mythos in a darker, more serious direction. If the original show had one detraction, it's that it was too kiddy and cheesy even during its time. Personally, this is the type of direction I like best: mature, gritty, and more emotionally rewarding.

If the video above doesn't work, simply click on this YouTube link to go to it directly. Then come back here and discuss the footage in the comments below, won't you kindly? Oh, and if you would like to see the original Thundercats intro sequence from the 80s version, click here.

I'm heading off to my grandma's house now to dust off my Thundertank, sword, and original figurines. Sword of Omens . . . give me sight beyond sight!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dead Island Trailer Parody

Okay, now normally I wouldn't want to keep bugging folks reading this blog about the same thing so often . . . but I just had to post up this vid of Toby Turner's (aka, Tobuscus) latest installment to his "Literal Trailers" line of promo parodies. This time he's poking fun at the most recent Dead Island trailer, which I first talked about just last week.

The gag behind Literal Trailers is that Toby takes the footage and music from the trailer, and then sings his own interpretation in the same melody to exactly what's taking place up on the screen -- in other words, a *literal* translation of the trailer. It's HILARIOUS!

But first off, before watching the literal version, refresh your memories by watching the original Dead Island trailer.

All set? Cool. Now watch Toby's version below:





I swear, it was SO hard for me to keep a straight face through this. I was in "literal" pain after it was over. OMG, was not expecting to laugh so much so early in the morning! My favorite part? "Prin-cess . . . of Persia" LOL! You have to be a gamer to get the reference, but it's so spot-on funny!

You know, I'm not so sure how humorous this would be to anyone else on second thought. But it was to me, and this is my blog, so therefore -- SUCK IT!

No, no. I don't mean that. You don't have to suck it, or even find the trailer funny. But if you do, and if you would like more where that came from, head on over to Toby's website. Or check out his "Tobuscus" site on Youtube, which collects all of his vids in one handy place.

I recommend taking a look at the literal trailer for the game Dead Space 2, also. Again, before watching it, you might want to first watch the original trailer for Dead Space 2 here. Then check out the Tobuscus version here. I think the Dead Island one is funnier, personally. But the DS2 one is pretty hilarious in its own right.

Heh, heh.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Love Affair With Famous Quotes

A fun fact about me which many of you might not be aware of:

I love collecting quotes!

I actually keep a notebook with all these great historical quotes I come across on a day-to-day basis. I don't know why exactly, except that the words will usually resonate with me for one reason or another . . . and I guess I just want to keep them around for posterity or something.

Or it could just be that I plan to use these quotes for chapter headings in some future, yet-to-be-written, novel of mine. Although, since I write in the genre of Speculative Fiction, more than likely I'll be making up my own quotes for the make-believe universe I've created.

Anyway, yesterday I posted up on Facebook one of my favorite quotes:


"Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference."


I didn't put any context behind the quote. Nor did I mention who the quote is attributed to. That's because, there doesn't seem to be any clear answer on the matter. At least, not on the interwebs. It's usually listed as "anonymous". Which, in my opionion, usually means that it's a paraphrasing of a much older--likely ancient--saying or parable, and that no one ever bothered doing the research to clarify.

So, of course, I did the research. :)

Turns out that a lot of people mistakenly attribute this to Mark Twain, the granddaddy master of insightful sayings he never actually said. Seriously, for every one true remark uttered by the great Mr. Samuel Langhorne Clemens, there are around 8 or 10 recorded under his name that never came out of his mouth in his lifetime. It's pretty annoying, actually, because some of them are such great quotes that I wish one man had been so euridite and sage as to have thought of them all.

But, alas, this is not so. I mean, Mark Twain was definitely witty enough to come up with these, but I believe in giving credit where credit is really due. Don't you?

So then, where did this quote come from originally? Something you should know first is that there is more than one phrasing of this same quote. The one I initially came across reads like this:

"It isn't smart to argue with a fool. Listener's can't tell which is which."

It's saying the same thing, but utilizes slightly different syntax. And it just doesn't fit the linguistic style of a writer so urbane as Mark Twain.

I thought long and hard on it, and then realized that I had indeed read this quote someplace else. At least, I should say, the basic sentiment of the quote was familiar to me. I couldn't quite place my finger on it, but I knew I'd read it somewhere recently. And that, at the same time, it dated back to long before the days of Mr. Twain.

And then it hit me! Of course -- the Bible!

Now, I should presage what I'm about to say by noting that I am by no means a religious person. I gave up on organized religion when I was very young. You can read all about it here and here, if you'd like. However, I have read the Bible. And, in fact, I'm in the very process of reading it all over again on my phone's "iBook" app currently.

So it's no wonder that, unlike many others, I was in the best place to properly identify where I think this quote originated. If I'm correct, it comes from Proverbs 26:4, which reads:

"Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him."

Oh, it should go without saying that this is the King James version. Like, duh! :) But even despite the archaic wording, I think this is pretty much saying the same thing as the quote attributed to Mark Twain. Don't you? Anyone more familiar with scripture, please feel free to enlighten me if I'm wrong.

What I think this proverb, and the original quote, are both saying is this: Don't waste your time getting caught in the circuitous logic of a fool. Stooping to his level only makes you look even more the fool to those around you.

All I can say is -- amen to that! I see this happen all the time on the subway. Someone will say something foolish to a stranger, the stranger gets mad and starts arguing back at the originator, and then the two get involved in an all-out verbal sparring match that inconveniences all the other tired riders on the train and make us all feel collectively dumber for being forced to listen to that BS.

Have you ever seen this happen around you? I bet you have!

I always loved this quote because it fits my personal attitude perfectly. I very rarely bother having arguments with foolish or stubborn people. In both cases, you're the loser in the end. You're better off just keeping quiet and letting the lesser man feel better about himself for all of 5 seconds before he walks into oncoming traffic, or meets someone even more foolish with whom to get into a fight.

In the meantime, I have my quotes to keep me happy. I have others as well . . . but perhaps that should be a blog entry for another time.

Yes, perhaps.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

How Many Bites?

No, not: "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?"

But rather . . .




How many bites into this does it take to kill a man? I say about two and a half, how 'bout you?

In case you need further elaboration, this is the famed Carnegie Deli's brand new addition to the menu -- the "Melo" sandwich! Yes, in honor of the monster trade that just transpired two days ago which brought the talented Denver Nuggets' baller here to NYC, the owner of the deli created a sandwich in Carmelo Anthony's name. Aww, isn't that sweet?

The Carnegie Deli--located near Carnegie Hall on 7th Avenue and famous worldwide for its pastrami sandwiches--is a favorite of both tourists and locals alike here in the Big Apple. I've been there twice when I was younger and have to say that, even though the proportions are truly too much, I really enjoy their sandwiches.

This Melo Sandwich has potential. I would never eat this on a regular basis (it does look rather gross, doesn't it?) but I have to admit the novelty factor intrigues me. The sandwich is made up of four different and artery-clogging cured meats: pastrami, corned beef, salami, AND bacon.

I mean--whoa!

I know some of you are resisiting the urge to hurl now. It's okay, I understand. If you want, you can read up some more on the breaking news here. Or not.

Personally I think it's a fun and uniquely New York way to show our appreciation and expectations for this new addition to NY sports. Plus, it's nice to see the Knicks get some good news for a change. Maybe now with the complete trifecta going on--Stoudemire, Anthony, and Billups--they can actually start winning some games!

Yeah, I know I'm asking for too much.

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Little Writing Experiment . . .

So, yesterday I posted up the opening scene to my latest short story, "Terra Germinatus", in an attempt to test out the "Pages" ability on Blogger, but to also get some early feedback in the comments section. It went over so well that I thought I'd continue this little experiment and do something I've never done before on this blog -- post up the entire story for folks to read and comment upon.

So, if you click on the story's title above, you'll be taken to the full text as it now sits on my home PC. This is with the provided caveat, naturally, that the piece is still a work in progress. It still needs to be refined, and I can't rule out a complete dredging and rewrite of the two middle scenes. Personally I think the scene in the General Store is a little long in the tooth and perhaps unnecessary. But I'm not sure yet.

Now, I don't want anyone to do an in-depth analysis of the story. Not unless you REALLY have the time and inclination, and are willing to e-mail it to me. But seriously, I don't require that from anybody. Just your quick reactions and notes in the comments section should suffice for now. This is not intended to be a stroke-my-ego experiment, but rather a chance to gather some honest and constructive criticism on the fly.

Whether you want to offer it up or not is up to you. At the very least, I hope you do read the story and enjoy. That is to say, as much as you can possibly garner enjoyment from a tale about the world being overrun by conquesting alien plant life, and all hope being lost for a woman and her family.

Seriously, this is not a feel-good, happy tale. Not all my stories are like this, though. In fact, this might just be the most depressing of them all. And yet I still like it.

And I hope you do, too!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sneak Peek At My Recently Completed Short Story

So, I'm testing out the "pages" function on Blogger this weekend. The ability to add separate pages to your blog has existed for several month here now, but I've never had the time to fully explore it . . . until now. Seeing as I just finished writing a brand new short story last week--tentatively titled "Terra Germinatus"--I figured I'd try something new and let people see what the opening scene looks like in rough draft.

So, if you take a glance over at the sidebar, you'll see a new widget titled "Current Short Story WIPs (Unpublished)." As of right now, I'm contemplating adding all my current short stories that are completed but not currently out on submission to magazines (hence, the "unpublished" part of the title). These are stories I still think have a chance of being published eventually, so I'm sure the list will be changing from time to time as I either sell the stories or trunk them for good.

In the meantime, I only have the one story listed--and it's only an excerpt to give folks a taste. If you'd be so kind, I'd appreciate it if anyone would click on the story's title and jump on over to the page and take a gander. It doesn't appear that you can leave comments on that page, so please come back and provide some feedback in the comments of this post if you're so inclined.

Or not.

I'm not pressuring you, now. Honestly!

I just thought it would be nice to show everyone what I've been up to for the last week, writing-wise. Alternatively, you can also click on the link at the beginning of this post to get to the excerpt.

Thanks a bunch!

Hollywood's Desperate . . . And More Dead Island!

Well, I told you I would update you on more Dead Island news whenever it became available. And now there's word that I'm not the only who was seriously impressed by the trailer of the game, which I first discussed here. Word has it that some Hollywood execs were so impressed by the video--which quickly went viral upon its revealing--that they immediately put the game on the fast track for development as a movie despite next to nothing even being known about the title. Not only that, but they specifically want the movie to be a Memento-style zombie survival flick--all because the trailer is shown in reverse order and in spite of the fact that the game itself will not play out in this fashion.

Can I get a big WTF?

Damn, Hollywood execs! Are you really that hard up for ideas? Not only are you making a movie out of a game that hasn't even been released yet, but you're specifically asking for it to be in a style that was only dreamed up by the game's PR minds for the purpose of marketing only?

It's a bizarre world we live in, folks. If you'd like, you can read the full story over at IGN Movies.

And while we're mentioning IGN, who first brought us the original trailer for Dead Island, the "Rewind Theater" folks over there have already dissected said vid and pointed out some juicy tidbits some of you may not have noticed upon your first viewing. Or, in my case, the 30th viewing!

In any event, below is their dissection of the Dead Island trailer. I think it'll be worth your while to watch, simply because it shows you only how awesome the trailer really is! This is quickly becoming the breakout title of the year that I had no idea was coming out.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

3-Word Movie Descriptions

One of my Facebook friends twittered some 3-word movie descriptions today.

Here were some of his examples:

Rosebud The Sled. -- Citizen Kane

*I'm* Your Father. -- Empire Strikes Back


To which I chimed in with my own:

Head In Box. -- Se7en.


Heh, heh . . . FUN, right? So, yes, of course I had to go think up a few more of my own. Then, voilà!, I thought: why not put this up on the blog? And now the fun has been passed on to you!

I decided to make a sort-of quiz for movie buffs based around the concept. Below are several 3-word movie descriptions. The answers are hidden to the right of each description. If you think you figured it out, simply highlight over the blank box with your mouse to reveal the correct answer.

Got it? Good. Let's get started:


1)  Alien Cockroach King (1997). -- Men In Black             


2)  Lotion or Hose? (1991). -- Silence of the Lambs         


3)  Save the Clocktower! (1985) -- Back to the Future         


4)  Global Warming's COLD! (2004) -- The Day After Tomorrow     


5)  Dances With Smurfs (2010). -- Avatar                             


6)  Damn Dirty Primates! (1968) -- Planet of the Apes          


7)  Archer's Now American (1991). -- Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves


8)  Robot Finds Love (2008). -- Wall-E                                   


9)  Hobo's A God (2008). -- Hancock                        


10) Vigilante Scuba Gear (2010). -- Kick-Ass!                            


11) Accountant Escapes Prison (1994). -- The Shawshank Redemption


12) Dad's My Son (1988). -- Big                                          


13) The Red Pill (1999). -- The Matrix                          


14) These Fifteen Commandments! (1981) -- History of the World: Part I  


15) Ditto To You. (1990) -- Ghost                                  


So, tell me: how well did you do? In the comments below, tell me which ones, if any, you couldn't figure out.


EDIT: I just did a Google search and found out that a website, Sporcle.com, already beat me to this. Click on this link to try their own quiz, which is better than mine. I've scored 16 out of 20 on theirs. See, mine doesn't have a time limit. Darn! I went back and added their technique of putting the year of the movie's release after each one, though, so as to make this just a little bit easier. You can thank Sporcle for that, class.

ZOMG! Amazing Trailer For New Zombie Horror Game!

Wow, I've seen some great video game trailers in my day. But this . . . this is one of the most moving pieces I've ever witnessed! And for a zombie survival horror game to boot! I'm not going to say anything more until after the jump. Just sit back and watch the trailer for now and let it all sink in, then continue to read for more details of just what this game is about:





Monday, February 14, 2011

Arya Stark Personified!

Those of you new to this blog may have missed this, but I've been gushing about HBO's upcoming epic fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones, for over two years now. And yet I *still* can't believe we're only two months away from the premiere. If you don't already subscribe to HBO, I seriously recommend you start now. Especially if you're a fan of big sprawling fantasy dramas (ala The Lord of the Rings movies).

I've mentioned it before how much I've been impressed by the wonderful casting of this show. Many of the actors look and sound so close to their literary counterparts that's it's becoming positively eerie how much attention the showrunners are paying to the little details. I'm especially impressed by the casting of the many Stark children: Rob, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Brandon, and Rickon. They're all so PERFECT!

And none more so than perhaps everyone's favorite Stark child: Arya. She's being portrayed in the series by newcomer British actress, Maisie Williams. I love Arya in the books! She's so small and disregarded, treated like a baby sometimes by her older siblings and even the adults, and yet she goes through such tremendous personal hardships and change throughout the course of the first book and beyond. Her and her older sister have quite the tumultuous relationship, too (think Laura Ingalls and Nelly Olsen from the tv show, if they were sisters) -- truly they could not be further apart in both looks and temperament. At one point, their antagonism gets to such a head that, to keep her out of trouble, their father Ned charges a most skilled, but down on his luck, Braavosi swordsman named Syrio with teaching Arya the rudiments of sword training. Much to the surprise of everyone, this little girl takes to the art like a natural and learns skills that will be put to use in very short order once the political intriguing really starts to get thick.

A lot of fan rumbling has echoed across the interwebs about the casting of Arya. But now everyone is pretty much unanimous -- Maisie *IS* Arya! No doubt about it. In fact, take a look at this most recent video clip from HBO's "Artisan" production promos and see for yourself:





Is she not just absolutely perfect? And so adorable to boot! I swear, this little girl is the very embodiment of the character. She might as well have climbed out of the very pages! Maisie was so dedicated to the role, in fact, that she even volunteered to learn all her sword choreography left-handed to bring that extra bit of authenticity from the book despite being right-handed in real life.

Wow! I mean, seriously!

Yes, I'm officially beyond excited for April to arrive. One of my all time favorite fantasy series is coming to one of my favorite cable television networks. I can already feel this being a very good year!

If you would like to go back and view all my previous entries regarding the show's progress, click on the "Game of Thrones" tag at the bottom of this entry and scroll all the way back to the beginning. Or you can watch the first official trailer here to get a quick idea of what to expect.

Hey, you might discover you actually want to watch this, and then I shall have done my good deed for the week. How's about that, now?

And, as always, remember the ancient Stark family motto: "Winter is Coming!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Night Distractions

Mmmm . . . Rihanna!!!!




Must not think impure thoughts. Must not think . . . must not, must not . . .

Aw hell, too late! :)

Anywho -- yes, as you can tell, I'm watching the Grammys. Somebody shoot me now. Obviously an alien impostor has taken over the body of the writer formerly known as David Batista. You might be next!

Just giving you fair warning.

Goodnight, Earthlings.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Something Special For The Holiday

Ah, it's that time of year again. When amor is in the air, and Cupid's arrows are set loose upon hapless, love-starved singles all over the world.

But for those guys already in relationships: what do we get our significant others when there is nothing else left to gift? Why, something so unique it cannot be spoken aloud on air!

I'll let my friends Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake take it from here . . .




(And, yes, I know this is technically for Christmas . . . but it's still applicable, dammit!)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hell Is A Highway . . .

Every six weeks or so (more frequently if we're talking between Thanksgiving and New Year's), I head to the nearest parking garage around my way and rent out a Zipcar for a few hours. I love Zipcar! It allows me to go without owning a car in the city, and yet still get errands done which absolutely must get done with a car. Mostly, this means shopping for household items. More often that not, this also means heading out to Costco and stocking up on all the bulky items we need in the house for the next 2 -3 months.

So, today I went online and requested a Zipcar from 11:30am - 4:30pm. Zipcar has arrangements with indoor parking garages all across the city, by which they pay for spaces and keep 6 or 8 of their cars permanently on hand for clients to rent out. You go online, enter in the time you want, and then see if any cars are available for that period in the garage nearest to where you are. Sometimes you need to do this days in advance because the service is so popular in big cities, and slots fill up fast.

So, I got a Honda Civic today, walked over to the garage, found the car in its spot, and drove off for a fun day of adventure at Costco, Target, and Bed, Bath and Beyond. Note that I'm being sarcastic here.

Anyway, you know? The shopping wasn't even the worst part! No, the worst part was dealing with so many stupid drivers on the highway. And it always happens at the same exact spot -- the on-ramp to the George Washington Bridge! This exit is two lanes wide on a three-lane highway, but yet jackoffs constantly clog up the 3rd lane--the left-most one--trying to cut ahead of everyone and then recut their way back into the ramp lanes a mile later. Naturally this means all of who use the left lane and who are NOT getting on the bridge have to suffer.

So I'm sitting there crawling through bumper-to-bumper traffic in the third lane and wondering: who are these assholes? What is so damn important that they have to get to so quickly? And what makes them think they're so special as to be able to get out of line, block a lane they don't even need, and then cut back into the original line in order to get up the ramp before everyone else? I mean, WTF????

Would you ever do this standing on line at the movies? Or at Disney World? No. Because not only is it an asshole thing to do, but the other people in line will chew your ass out! I would just love if for one day all the other drivers patiently waiting to get onto the ramp would just grow a collective pair and actively lock these asswipes out from getting back into the queue. I know, I know . . . not possible. And, if anything, it would only lock up the third lane even worse.

Still, these are the moments where I can see why "road rage" is a term someone had to invent. If you're not a driver, it's hard to fathom how one could possibly get so angry on the road. That is until you see first-hand just how unbelievably clueless some drivers are.

It's SCARY!

Anyone else have a pet peeve of the road that absolutely irks you beyond all sane reason? Sound off in the comments section below.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

New "Cap'n" Movie Trailer Scene-By-Scene Analysis

Earlier this week in my entry concerning Super Bowl TV ads, I offered up the tv spot for the upcoming Summer blockbuster event, Captain America: The First Avenger. If you recall, I was pretty pumped by what little was revealed of this new Cap flick in that 30 second teaser.

Well, the folks over at IGN.com have been so kind as to provide a sort of frame-by-frame analysis of what the video is actually showing us less astute fans. And by "less astute," I mean YOU!

Nah, I'm just messing with ya! If you're a hardcore comics reader, then none of this is news to you. Although you might just jizz yourself a little because of how *geeking* AWESOME this movie is shaping up to be.

Anyway, below is IGN's video, part of their "Rewind Theater" series. Sound off in the comments section once you're done watching and let me know what you think, okay?


I Envy You, Coffee Drinkers!



I've mentioned it a couple of times here and there on this blog . . . but I'm not a morning person. When I have to get up at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for work, that's pretty much all that I can manage to do. I hit the alarm, jump in the shower, get dressed, and leave the house to catch the subway into Manhattan. That's it. That right there is the extent to which I can muster up the energy to do anything in the morning.

I know to many of you this is no big deal. Go to bed earlier, you say. Or, just suck it up and do what you have to do. We all have to deal with this!

But, here's the rub: unlike most of you, I can't rely on caffeinated beverages to get me going in the morning.

And it's not due to health reasons, or cultural taboos, or a hatred for artificial stimulants. No, it's all because caffeinated drinks taste GOD AWFUL to me. I've been told it's an acquired taste, but apparently I'm in that very small subset that will never, ever enjoy the taste of coffee and/or tea.

The problem is, I sooooo wish I could! Coffee in particular smells heavenly in the morning. The aroma is so damn enticing, in fact, that occasionally I forget how crappy it tastes and give it a shot -- only to end up feeling sick to my stomach!

Keep in mind that I refuse to drink anything where I have to dump loads of sugar and milk into it just to make it better. If all it took was a single teaspoon of sugar, or small droplet of cream, to make coffee more palatable, then I might be a certified coffee aficionado today.

But, no. In order to get coffee tasting somewhat decent to me I have to literally use 4 packets of sugar, and around a quarter cup of milk. No thank you. That's definitely not worth it. Similarly, unsweetened tea tastes like nothing but the pot metal the water was boiled in. I never could understand the draw of that.

So, as you can see, I'm hopeless. There I am unable to do much in the morning but the most mundane tasks. I imagine what it would be like if I had something to pep me up in the dawn hours. I speak to my writer friends, and they tell me that they write for an hour or two before heading out to work. Oh how I wish! That would greatly solve my evening time-management issues. Or how 99% of all people who run do so in the morning. That is so not me! And yet, I could benefit greatly from getting my workouts done before I shower in the morning, rather than when I get home from work. Again, this is biting in to what precious little evening time I have free after work.




So, what can I do? I'm removed from the benefits of a caffeinated culture, yet expected to function and operate as well as anyone else in the morning hours. It just doesn't happen. The gears inside my head don't truly start turning until late morning. Until then, I'm just one or two steps above vegetable soup!

Now, there's one last thing I forgot to mention. Because, after all, I can just hear the majority of you asking why I don't just force myself to drink the coffee despite the horrible death-like taste. Well, unfortunately I have another little quirk to reveal: caffeine doesn't actually have an effect on me. If anything, it actually makes me MORE sleepy. Yes, it's true!

Back in college, I took this way intensive summer language learning program on campus, which required that we spend 4 hours straight each morning in the same classroom jamming Chinese vocab, characters, and conversation drills into our brains until lunch time. I'm talking 4 hours of highly critical thinking here, where your brain needs to be at it highest alertness to process and retain anything. So, yes, I forced myself to drink two cups of coffee before class for three days straight. The verdict? I was even more tired! I think the coffee dehydrated me or something. It certainly didn't pep me up and make me a more alert student. I felt like such crap.

What a waste! Not only does the stuff taste awful, but it doesn't even do what it's supposed to do. Tea is even more useless. Thinking back to my soda-drinking days, it all makes sense now. It makes sense that I used to be able to drink a full can of soda before bed and sleep like a baby. I mean, WHO DOES THAT?

So, I envy you people. You who are so hopelessly addicted to your drug beverage of choice in the mornings. At least you have something that's guaranteed to wake you up and put you in a better mood for the rest of the day. Me? All I have is water. Maybe the occasional orange juice. To be honest, I *do* have generally higher levels of energy than most people my age due to my healthy lifestyle and lack of kids (yay!) . . . but I lose out on so much productivity because I just cannot do squat before 11:00 am most days.

Can anyone else spare some sympathy here?

No, you can't. All you can do is mock me, standing there with that double cappuccino-espresso-latte deluxe or whatever you call those monstrous beverages you cradle to your desk each morning. Is it funny that I don't even know the lingo? Honestly, I'm clueless to what all these terms mean. I'm like the stranger looking in, forever immune to that wonderful elixir culled from the hallowed bastions of the Donuts which Dunk, or the Stars that Buck.

But, at least, now you know. Now you know why I'm not a morning person.

Coincidentally, my wife cannot stand coffee, either. Although she will drink tea on occasion, hailing from a former British colony as she does and all. But we don't even own a coffee maker or basic pot in the house.

I know -- the HORROR!

So, are you a big time caffeine head? What is your poison of choice? Please tell me, so that I may hate you even more!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Are You Getting The Most Bang For Your Buck?

With your Internet service provider (ISP), that is?

Here, go to this website to test the speed of your Internet connection:

http://www.speedtest.net/

Now, see if your results match what your ISP claims you should be getting. If your actual speed doesn't match up favorably with their quoted offerings, then you should get them to credit your account. You shouldn't be paying full price for a gimped Internet connection.

No, seriously, don't let them get away with this BS. Some cable Internet providers, for instance, are banking on customer ignorance to keep this practice going in secret. They might even blame your hardware, or loose wiring or some such nonsense. Don't let them. This is something they do to free up bandwidth for other higher profile or more educated customers to consume. Don't be left behind!

Luckily for me, Cablevision listened and did as I asked. I was going to threaten them with leaving for Verizon FiOS, too. But turns out I didn't need to.

Still, I'm going to be switching to FiOS at some point within the year, anyway, as more and more neighborhoods in the Bronx get setup for it.

I so can't wait for that day!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Interwebs Meme Madness (Part 3)

I mentioned before that these were originally meant to be completed on each Sunday, according to the blog Sunday Stealing. But, since I had arrived late to the party, I ended up completing these over the course of the last several days. So pardon me for breaking all the rules like the rebel that I am.

These 100 questions were divided into 3 parts. If you would like, click on Part 1 and Part 2 to view my answers to the first 67.

And, as always, please feel free to ask me in the comments below to elaborate on any particular response. Many of my answers have stories that go along with them.

In any event . . . now on to the next batch of questions!


PART 3
 
 
68. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW?
So many to choose from. But, in the end, THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! Yes, Highlander: The Series, imo, is the finest television show ever produced. I miss it so much!


69. WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH PEOPLE THAT YOU DON'T LIKE?
I'm a big believer in ignoring. No one gives the cold shoulder better than I do. No one.


70. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
Strawberry. Chocolate's a close runner-up, but when it's done right . . . nothing beats the strawberry. Yummmmm!


71. DO YOU HAVE ALL YOUR FINGERS AND TOES?
On Earth I do, but not according to my homeworld.


72. SO IS IT GOING TO BE THE STEELERS OR THE PACKERS?
Before the Super Bowl I was already rooting for the Pack. Now I'm ecstatic! I'm so very delighted they defeated the hated Steelers.


73. PLANS FOR TONIGHT?
Workout for an hour. Eat in front of the tv for another hour. Then write for the remainder of the night. The wife works the night shift today, so I'm on my own. And as you can see, I'm a paint the town red kind of guy.


74. WHERE DO YOU WANT TO LIVE WHEN YOU RETIRE?
Wherever I happen to be living anyway. By the time I retire, that may be on the moon or under the ocean. Who knows?


75. DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS?
Why would I? You're all on your own, folks!


76. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO?
J.S. Bach's "Brandenburg" concertos. That's right, I took it back old school to the 20s -- the 1720s, that is!


77. LAST THING YOU DRANK?
Water. I drink over 3 liters a day. Very rarely do I drink anything else.


78. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE?
My good friend from college, Cintra.


79. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN THE SEX(ES) YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO?
Eyes. It's always the eyes. Not the color or shape, but they're expressiveness.


80. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME?
Write fiction to sell, and play video games.


81. FAVORITE THING TO HATE?
Any kind of ethnic pride. Black, White, Latino, etc . . . I loathe it all.


82. FAVORITE SEASON OF THE YEAR?
It used to be Fall, because up where I went to school in Vermont, Falls were real Falls--crisp and cool! Down here in NYC lately, Falls are too hot and stuffy. So now I have to say Winter is my favorite. The colder the better.


83. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE TYPE OF CANDY?
Hershey bar with almonds. For some reason, every year I get a major craving for them in March when the weather transitions from Winter to Spring. Don't know why, but for about 3 weeks there I have to have a Hershey almonds bar almost every single day. Don't much care for candy the rest of the year.


84. HAVE YOU EVER REALLY AND TRULY HAD A BEST FRIEND?
I've been blessed to actually have two! Two friends who have been like brothers to me, and whom I cannot place above the other. The first one I've known since the 4th grade. The second one, since just before the 9th. In some real ways, I would never have made it through life without 'em!


85. WHAT IS YOUR HAIR COLOR?
Weird. It's black in certain lighting. But in reality--particularly if I'm standing under the sun--you'll see that my hair is actually very dark brown. My father's hair was black, while my mother's was blonde. Black is always dominant!


86. EYE COLOR?
Dark brown. When I was a kid, they were more hazel. My mother's eyes were blue, so this might explain that.


87. SHOE SIZE?
For sneakers and some boots, 11.5. But for dress shoes or fancy cowboy-type boots, I'm a size 12.


88. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE?
Wendy's all the way! Although, the amount of times I eat fast food in a year can literally be counted on one hand. But, yeah, Wendy's has the best fries and nuggets!


89. FAVORITE RESTAURANT?
We don't have one favorite fancy restaurant. To be honest, that's a rotating door of choices. But in terms of your typical "mall" eatery, it would have to be Applebee's. Over the years I've grown quite sick of places like Chili's or TGI Fridays, but my wife and I have many fond memories there from back in the day.


90. DO YOU LIKE SUSHI?
I can tolerate it. But, no, not really. I'm not big on any type of seafood, let alone raw.


91. WATCH TV TODAY?
Yup. I watch mostly historical or nature documentaries. Today, however, had a Pawn Stars marathon on the History Channel, so I watched a ton of that.


92. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR?
In truth, every day is the same to me. Not even my own birthday is all that special.


93. PLAY ANY MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS?
When I was kid, I played the baritone horn in the school band. But I always wanted to learn the violin.


94. POLITICAL PARTY?
Democratic. My entire family is Republican, though. We're not very political-leaning, so no fights.


95. KISSES OR HUGS?
I'm assuming you mean among friends or acquaintances? I guess hugs. The only people I'm comfortable kissing at all are my wife and my grandma.


96. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS?
I could never do a one night stand. She could be the most gorgeous girl in the world, and that would be nice and all. But personality is what gets me really hot and bothered. Either you have one that's compatible, or you don't. The latter means no chance in hell!


97. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT?
An iPhone for my wife. Was meant to be a surprise, but she was about to go pre-order one herself. So I had to break the news to her and ruin Valentine's Day!


98. WOULD YOU EVER BE A HOUSE SPOUSE?
My wife is a Nurse Practitioner -- she makes a helluva lot more money than I do! I'm too pragmatic to not be a house spouse if one of us absolutely had to quit their job and stay home (like, say, with the kids). Male ego be damned!


99. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING?
Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor.


100. DESCRIBE YOUR LOVE LIFE:
Uh, you might not have noticed, but I'm married. So the correct response is: what is this thing you call "love life?" No, but seriously . . . in one word, it's: EXHAUSTING! :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl Ads of 2011 -- Plus, The First Avenger!

Personally, I find the whole concept of the million-dollar Super Bowl commercial spot way overblown. I mean, they're good . . . but they're not that good. Still, every year I do something very un-Batista like when I'm watching the big Sunday game, and that's: not using the Tivo buffer to fast-forward past all the commercials. Fast-forwarding through the commercials is a time-honored tradition in the Batista household. It's been going on since we got our first Tivo box back in 2001. This is up there as one of the best inventions of all time! And ever since I've been unable to watch normal, un-DVR'd tv again.

But on Super Bowl Sunday I revert back to the prehistoric agony of the 1990s. I actually force myself to watch every single commercial break. Like I said, it's not because I think that Super Bowl ads are God's gift to television or anything. No, I do it just so I can stay abreast and relevant of pop culture. Because, invariably, some of these commercials will be the talk of the office for the next week or so.

Now, with all that in mind then, allow me to present what I personally thought were the Top 5 commercials that aired last night. That's 5 out of a whopping 68 unique commercial spots! Some of these aired for the first time in America, while others were leaked onto the Net a few days prior. The top spot, for instance, was released an entire week before the big game. Wow, talk about impatient! Or maybe they just knew they had hit a home run out the park with this one, and realized that it wouldn't hurt to generate a little pre-game buzz?

Whatever the case may be, listed below in descending order from great to superior are my Top 5 picks.

Well, Put A Nail In That Coffin

Remember that short story I said I was rewriting? The one that I had to put my novel on hold in order to work on? Well, uh, yeah . . . that ain't going to be happening now.

I've tried and tried, folks. But unfortunately I cannot seem to get this piece to where I want it to be. I've been banging my head against the keyboard for the past six weeks or so, writing not just one, not two -- but THREE different rewrite drafts! Sure, each one was getting closer and closer toward greatness . . . but then I suddenly hit a brick wall over the weekend and I realized that I was no longer all that interested in the telling of this particular tale anymore.

Oh well, that's the breaks kid. Part of my journey of learning to be a writer means knowing when to give up and move on. To be sure, I've not completely abandoned the story. All my notes and outlines, not to mention my numerous drafts, have been gathered and placed in the "INCOMPLETE" folder I keep for just such an occasion. And at some point in the future I may just pick up where I left off and try again. Sometimes this happens, where I need an appreciable amount of time in order to slowly chew on the matter before I can see it again with new eyes.

But in the meantime, I should be getting back to the novel, right? Yes, surely this would be the sensible thing to do.

However . . .

There is a fresh, brand new story I've been wanting to write since . . . well, since approx. six weeks ago! Yes, yes, looking back at it now I probably should have attempted this first. Thing is, the rough draft of the now shelved story had already been written, and I had received such wonderful feedback on how to make it better back in early December. All logic at the time pointed to me rewriting this already written, but problematic, project before tackling a brand new one. And yet, I don't think my heart was ever in it. I think what I really wanted to be doing was writing this new story.

Perhaps this is what ended up dooming the rewrite, yes? Perhaps.

In any event, I think I'll just give in to my heart and write this brand new tale. It's a very dark and dystopian type story, with themes I've never tackled before. It should also be very short, if I'm judging the whole thing correctly. I'm guessing now that it will be somewhere in the 4k to 5k range. God, I hope I can keep to this range! Right now I see no reason to write it longer. So if it does end up going way over the 5k mark, this means something went terribly wrong between the initial plotting in my head and the actual writing on paper.

I do still have the novel a lot on my mind. So don't think I've cooled on that project, either. You have my word that I will resume work on that just as soon as the rough draft of this new short is completed.

In the meantime, wish me luck.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Interwebs Meme Madness (Part 2)

Well, like I said I would, here is Part 2 of this ongoing Q&A meme. Even though I've done a number of these over the years I've been maintaining this blog, each new one reveals more zany facts about myself to those who might be interested. I especially like being asked to elaborate upon certain answers, so please don't be shy about asking down in the comments section. I promise I'll explain whatever you want me to.

And if you have not yet read Part 1 of this particular meme, click on this link to go back and, well, do so.

Also, I'm aware that number 36 is missing. I've searched all the preceding sources of this meme for it, but no one seems to know where it is. Oh, well.

In any event . . . now on to the next batch of questions!


PART 2
 
 
34. HAVE YOU BEEN OUT OF YOUR HOME COUNTRY?
Yes, many times. Favorite countries so far are: France, Turkey, Italy, and the Bahamas. Still many, many more to visit.


35. WEAKNESSES?
Kyrptonian meteor rocks.


37. FIRST JOB?
Age 14. Part of a work crew painting 4 miles of lampposts, fire hydrants, and emergency alarms along a main thoroughfare in the South Bronx. Oh, did I mention this was in baking July heat, while being pelted by all sorts of trash from tenement residents above us? Yeah. Good times!


38. EVER DONE A PRANK CALL?
Too many to count. I was a bored kid.


39. DO YOU THINK EVERYONE OUT THERE HAS A SOUL MATE?
No such thing. But I do believe that there are plenty of people out there who are very compatible with any one person at any given place or time. You may or may not find one of these matches. No invisible force guarantees that you will, however.


40. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE [THIS MEME]?
Seeking out new life and new civilizations, boldly.


41. HAVE YOU EVER HAD SURGERY?
No thanks.


42. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?
My ability to express the mathematical constant of Pi to at least 50,000 fractional digits. No, wait . . . my shoulders. Women seem to like my shoulders.


43. HAVE YOU EVER HAD BRACES?
No, never. I had enough trauma growing up wearing glasses. Thankfully, my teeth have always been perfect.


44. WHAT DO YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?
I'm married to her.


45. HOW MANY KIDS DO YOU WANT AND WHAT DO YOU WANT THEIR NAMES TO BE? (OR IF YOU HAVE KIDS, TELL US ABOUT THEM.)
Pick a number from zero to zero. Their names will be: Dunno, Something, Um . . . and Lenny.


46. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
King David from the Bible. I used to think this was cool. Then I read the Bible, and realized he was a two-timing, murdering, jealous scumbag. Yikes!


47. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST TURN OFF OF THE SEX(ES) YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO?
A woman who hates children or can't get along with them. Something's wrong there.


48. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU LIKED ABOUT HIGH SCHOOL?
When I was given a piece a paper written in Latin, then told I would never have to come back.


49. WHAT KIND OF SHAMPOO DO YOU USE?
Pantene Pro V for Men. Scared yet?


50. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING?
I type up even grocery lists.


51. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT?
Maple honey-glazed turkey. Although I almost never eat lunch meat.


52. ANY BAD HABITS?
These aren't the droids you're looking for . . . move along.


53. ARE YOU A JEALOUS PERSON?
It's hard to be jealous when no one's better than you.


54. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
No. Look back at number 53 -- he's a cocky sonuvabitch, ain't he?


55. DO YOU AGREE WITH FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS?
If my friend can predict the future, then hell yeah I agree with the benefit of him hooking me up with those winning lotto numbers.


56. DO LOOKS MATTER?
Only to the extent needed to determine basic hygiene and sanity of the other party. Otherwise, not very much.


57. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER?
The cemeteries of the world are filled with . . . oh, video games. Yes, that.


58. WOULD YOU RATHER GAIN 58 POUNDS OR LOSE 58 POUNDS?
Gain 58 pounds. I would probably die from severe renal failure if I were to suddenly drop 58 pounds. But, OTOH, losing excess weight is extremely easy.


59. WHAT'S YOUR MAIN GOAL IN LIFE?
To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women. But I'd take a nice beach villa in southern France barring all that.


60. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD?
The power socket. Never got old. WHOOOO!


61. HOW MANY NUMBERS ARE IN YOUR CELL PHONE?
Not including the area code, only three. No, seriously.


62. WERE YOU A FAN OF BARNEY AS A LITTLE KID?
Barney Miller? Barney Rubble? Barney the albino serial killer, scourge of the lower East Side? If the last one, I heard he took on a secret identity as a costumed actor in a kids show during the 90s. That takes real balls, if you ask me.


63. DO YOU USE SARCASM?
Pfft! Whaaaa? Me????


64. MASHED POTATOES OR MACARONI AND CHEESE?
Mac n cheese. I'm not a fan of formless, mushy foods. I should find out why one of these days . . .


65. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A LOVER?
Orifices.


66. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES?
I have none. The name's David. Nothing more, nothing less.


67. FAVORITE SUPER POWER?
Self-regulating invincibility from all adverse aggressors. When you really think hard on it, this is the best and only super power you'll ever need.


Click here to read Part 3 of this meme.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Down And Out In TJ

Earlier this week, I promised that I would relay the tale of the time my best friend, Tarrell, and I headed over across the Southern Californian border for a night of wild drinking and debauchery in the *fine* Mexican town of Tijuana. Note that the asterisked word is being emphasized to denote sarcasm.

Well, today I think I'll tell you this story. Fair warning now: this will be an extremely LONG telling, so you might want to pace yourself and perhaps not read this all at once.

It's okay, I won't take it the wrong way.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blu-ray Haul, Week Of 2/1/11

I don't usually buy movies anymore, unless the title in question is a movie I *really* like, or if the film comes highly recommended. I got a little of both worlds when I went to check out Tuesday's new releases today, Wednesday. Yes, despite that all new media releases on a Tuesday here in the U.S., I usually wait an extra day to go when the crowds have already dissipated and the store has finished shelving all the stock in the back room. Works out better this way.

But you didn't come here to read about all that. Below are the (count 'em!) four Blu-ray titles I felt worthy of my hard-earned cash this week. Perhaps you see one you like but didn't know was out? If so, let me know in the comments section below. I'm always interested in what other people's movie likes are.


ALICE IN WONDERLAND
---------------------------------------
Confession time: I'm not a big fan of the live-action Tim Burton version that released in theaters last year. For me, it was an overblown and muddled mess. For having some of my favorite stars in it--Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter--the acting was merely "okay." And being forced to watch it in 3D only made it worse. I was never a huge, frothing fan of the Lewis Carroll novel even after reading it twice (first as a pre-teen; second while at college). But for me this 1951 Disney animated classic has always been the definitive Alice story. I know that's blasphemy considering the liberties ole Walt took in making the tale more presentable to a larger family audience, but this movie is an indelible slice of my childhood. And as with all the classic Disney movies currently in my collection, this was also a must-buy. We used to have all the Disney classic cartoons on VHS when I was 9, which was about as good as animation got for us. Having Alice in Wonderland in the glorious vibrancy of the Blu-ray format now is like reliving the first moment we ever set eyes on this movie at grandma's house. I can smell the cookies baking in the oven already!



LET ME IN
----------------------------------------
I saw the original Swedish film, Let The Right One In, of which this movie is a by-the-numbers remake, back in 2009. At the time, I thought it was a damn-near perfect little horror tale. But, call me crazy -- I think the 2010 American version is even better! Well, at least, it's a damn-near perfect little horror tale in its own way. Let Me In is just a tad more compact, better produced, and arguably better acted film than the foreign version. And, trust me: as someone who is a huge cinephile of subtitled flicks, I don't make this claim lightly. I guess the main selling point for me is, in fact, the acting of the two young leads, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloë Moretz. Their maturity and creepy chemistry onscreen is spellbinding to say the least. Their obvious heart-felt dedication to the material bolsters the entire project and elevates it just a touch above the careful, tightly-wound narrative cues of the original version. Moretz in particular is awesome as the mysterious little girl lonely Owen befriends in his apartment complex one fateful night. Having seen her only months earlier as the potty-mouthed "Hit Girl" in Matt Vaughn's Kick-Ass, I left Let Me In of the impression that this young lady has quite the promising acting career ahead of her. Of all the movies I've purchased this week, this is the one I recommend highest to all my friends.



NIGHT CATCHES US
-------------------------------------------
I had to pick this up simply on the strength of word-of-mouth alone. But, actually, I already knew a little bit about this indie flick thanks to the efforts of my best friend, Tarrell Childs, who tried to get me to go with him for the all of 2 seconds this movie was screened here in NYC, but who I ultimately had to turn down because of how damn busy I was over the holiday break. Which sucked for me. But now I get to right that wrong this week! It surprises me that this is already out on video so quickly, but I guess films of this nature get very limited theater time, and only in the major cities. All that I know of Night Catches Us is that it stars one of my favorite new actresses, Kerry Washington, and that it takes place in the year of my birth (1976) in Philly, PA. I also know it has something to do with the Black Panther party, but more importantly with the relationship between a black man and woman during this iconic and tumultuous time for both the Movement and the plight of African American civil liberties in general. I'm certain I'm going to enjoy this flick. In fact, I'm highly looking forward to checking it out when I get some down time this weekend. I have intelligent friends with great tastes in movies, so it's a no-brainer for me. If anyone else has seen this, please chime in below in the comments section with your impressions.



A WOMAN, A GUN AND A NOODLE SHOP
----------------------------------------------
Again, this is a movie I didn't get to see before its release this week, but which I've been hearing strong word-of-mouth about over the Interwebs. And, since it's directed by one of my all-time favorite Chinese film directors, Zhang Yimou, I knew I would have to check it out on principle alone. After all, this is the man who's films I dissected in my senior thesis paper back in college. Ah, those were the good ole days! And unlike apparently 95% of the Internet, it seems only I can remember Zhang's cinematic efforts before Hero and House of Flying Daggers--he did already have a name made for himself before these movies, people! Anyway, this latest film of his appears to be a reworking of the 1984 Coen brothers' directorial debut, Blood Simple -- except way more of a screwball comedy this time around. Which is saying a lot if you've been following the zany career of the Coens over the past 25 years. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop seems to involve all those elements present in the title, but with the added randomness of being set in the desert regions of Gansu province, circa the late 19th century. At the very least, I imagine this film will be rather, ah . . . different from its predecessor set in contemporary Texas. Again, let me know if you've seen this fun-looking flick. I'd like to compare notes.


And that about wraps it up for this week in new Blu-rays. It was a robust offering this time around, and I can't claim my wallet survived the experience all that well. But hey, what can I say? I *love* movies! Case in point, my DVD and Blu-ray collection conveniently listed over on DVD Aficionado. Check it out if you care to see the direction my eclectic home video interests run.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Interwebs Meme Madness (Part 1)

A follower of The Bimillennial Man, KLo, had this questionnaire meme up on her blog yesterday. Apparently she got it from the Sunday Stealing blog, which in turn got it from somewhere else, which in turn . . . anyway, you get the idea.

Apparently this is a 3-part series, with each segment intended to be filled out every Sunday. But since I came to this late, I think I'll start the first leg now and then continue until the 3rd set is posted this coming Sunday. How's that sound to everyone?

As usual, my answers to some of these questions might surprise even those of you who know me very well. At the very least, it should be a fun exercise if you want to post your own answers up on your blog. If you do decide to do so, please let me know in my comments section below.

And now, on to the questions!



1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?
On my left knee. I got it when I unfortunately mistimed a changing light at the bottom of a steep hill and flew down it at top speed on my mountain bike. A taxi cab intersected me and taught me a valuable lesson in basic Newtonian physics that day.


2. WHAT IS ON THE WALLS IN YOUR ROOM
Mostly bare walls. I'm not big on hanging art.


3. DO YOU SNORE, GRIND YOUR TEETH, OR TALK IN YOUR SLEEP?
None of the above. I'm such a light sleeper that I would get no rest if I produced such unseemly noises.


4. WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?
What have you got? No, seriously, I have as much loyalty to any one style of music as a wandering circus clown has to his women. Oh wait, that's a sad story . . .


5. WHAT TIME WERE YOU BORN?
7:14 am. The Hour of the Dragon in Chinese astrology.


6. WHAT DO YOU WANT MORE THAN ANYTHING RIGHT NOW?
Unlimited airfare to travel anywhere in the world and as often as I want.


7. WHAT DO YOU MISS?
Olden days of yore.


8. WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED POSSESSION(S)?
Nothing at the moment. Everything I own is useless junk to keep me occupied if you really think about it.


9. HOW TALL ARE YOU?
182 centimeters.


10. DO YOU GET CLAUSTROPHOBIC?
Walking through a narrow Parisian alley claustrophobic? No. Buried alive in a coffin claustrophobic? Uh, HELL YEAH!


11. DO YOU GET SCARED IN THE DARK?
Only when the lights are off.


12. THE LAST PERSON TO MAKE YOU CRY?
My grandma.


13. WHAT'S YOUR WORST FEAR?
Suffocating.


14. WHAT KIND OF HAIR/EYE COLOR DO YOU LIKE ON PEOPLE YOU'RE ATTRACTED TO?
Usually the darker the better. But honestly, whatever works on you. I like variety!


15. WHERE CAN YOU SEE YOURSELF PROPOSING?
Already proposed. And it was on a moonlit horse and carriage ride through New York's Central Park.


16. COFFEE OR ENERGY DRINK?
Neither. I only need the power of the sun to get me going most mornings (fusion backup cells on cloudy days).


17. FAVORITE PIZZA TOPPING?
Pepperoni. No, seriously . . . you better put some more on my slice, bucko!


18. IF YOU COULD EAT ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Mmmmm . . . pepperoni pizza. Now I can't think of anything else, damn you!


19. FAVORITE COLOR OF ALL TIME?
Peppero--oh, oops! Sorry. Blue. I meant to say, blue. Wrote a poem about it once. Ah, my "Ode to Blue" . . .


20. HAVE YOU EVER EATEN A GOLDFISH?
Hell no! I have a difficult time killing anything not meant to further my survival.


21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST MEANINGFUL GIFT YOU'VE EVER RECEIVED?
My Spider-Man watch on my 7th birthday. We couldn't afford much, and mom went all out on that.


22. DO YOU HAVE A CRUSH?
I'm married. So my answer better be my wife -- which it is! (okay, honey?)


23. ARE YOU DOUBLE JOINTED?
No. But my wife is. *wink, wink*


24. FAVORITE CLOTHING BRAND?
I'm a man. The brand that's called "just jeans and shirts," moron.


25. WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FEMALE/MALE CELEBRITY?
Emmanuelle Chriqui. Classiness personified!


26. DO YOU HAVE A PET RIGHT NOW?
No. I like to travel a lot. Pets just get in the way of all that.


27. WHAT KIND IS IT?
Used to have a cat growing up. Best cat ever! (R.I.P, Tiger)


28. WOULD YOU FALL IN LOVE KNOWING THAT THE PERSON IS LEAVING?
Yes. Better to have loved and lost, than to never have loved at all. Or something like that.


30. SAY A NUMBER FROM ONE TO A HUNDRED?
A number from one to a hundred. (C'mon, you had to know I would)


31. BLONDES OR BRUNETTES?
I lean more toward the darker hues, but neither is a deal maker or breaker when it comes down to it. More important things to look for.


32. FAVORITE QUOTE?
"I am not young enough to know everything." -- Oscar Wilde

33. FAVORITE PLACE?
Paris, France. Cannot get enough of that city.



And there you have it. As usual, if anybody would like elaboration on any of the answers above, just ask me in the comments section and I'll try my best to accommodate.

Click here to read Part 2 of this meme.

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