Back when I was a kid, Blogs were called 'imaginary friends' and were only slightly more pathetic.

Saturday, April 30, 2005


Check out this site while it's still up.

Just in case it does get taken down like the webmaster is threatening to do, I'll copy off some of the text so you get the idea.

The "Who wants to sex Mutombo?" Story

In the summer of 2001, a listener called in to Jim Rome's syndicated radio show, at the time known as "The Jungle" or "The Jim Rome Show." The caller reported that he was in Georgetown one night in the early 1990's, when basketball player Dikembe Mutombo was a big star there. The caller was in a bar frequented by Georgetown students, when Mutombo came in the door. The bar went silent as everyone turned to look at the 7'2" African. Mutombo responded to the attention by bellowing, in a deep and echoing African accent, "WHO WANTS TO SEX MUTOMBO?!??"

Who is Mutombo?

Dikembe Mutombo is a native of the Congo, who attended Georgetown University on a scholarship. He was convinced to join the basketball team, and was later drafted and became a fairly well known star in the NBA, playing as a center for the Nuggets, Hawks, 76ers, Nets, Knicks, and Rockets. In 2001, Mutombo was named the "Number 1 Good Guy in Pro Sports" by The Sporting News. Read the article here. Mutombo has been heralded for his charity work in the Congo, where he personally donated $3.5 million to build a hospital, and helped raise countless other donations. Mutombo is 38 years old.


Friday, April 29, 2005

This Ends Now

Final Four time, and much like the real Final Four, it promises to be anti-climactic and leave you with a feeling of ennui that can only be beaten back with beer.

So on with the matchups:


PAC MAN v. TAPPER: Tapper put up a good fight (most drunks do), but in the end was just a little too tipsy to take out Le masseur de Pac. Perhaps if there had been books at every B. Dalton promising 'winning tips for Tapper' this may have been a tighter match. Winner: Pac Man


ROBOTRON 2084 v. MORTAL KOMBAT: When it gets down to it, I have to have actually played a game more than a couple of frustrating times for it to advance at this level. And while Robotron never spawned 2 techno-blasting movies with Christopher Lambert, it still kicks ass. Winner: Robotron 2084

And now, since I've been such a selfish prick in picking all the winners up to this point, I will now turn it over to you. Vote for either Pac Man or Robotron in the comments and I'll post the winner Monday. If no one votes or there's a 1-1 tie, I'll swoop in on my diamond studded chariot and declare a 'weiner'.

So go ahead and vote! Just because it was meaningless when you did it for president doesn't mean it won't be counted this time*.

* - Votes from Florida and Ohio may or may not be counted.


Thursday, April 28, 2005

It Wasn't A Man, It Was Pac-Man!!

"Get in the habit of pushing the joystick full throttle before each wave starts? Hmmm.. makes sense."

Find out what the title references to, and read an incredible article from September 1982's Christian Century magazine that likens Pac-man's plight to that of the everyday Christian (and I always thought it was a metaphor about drug abuse and letting go of dead relatives).

On wit' it:


Let's face it, Star Trek is the UAB of this tournament. No one's really sure how it got this far, but the clock has finally struck midnight (and any other cornball Cinderella references you can come up with). Winner: Pac Man

I remember walking into an arcade once as a kid and seeing 15, that's FIFTEEN Centipede machines. This in an arcade that probably only had about 50 machines all together. But despite its enormous popularity, NARC made you scratch your head more than any other game. Why motorcycle helmets? Do junkies really throw their needles at you? What is that clown doing to that poor lady? Genius. Winner: NARC


I love the music to Moon Patrol. It doesn't fit the game really at all. Kind of jazzy and finger-snappin', much more appropriate for scatting over than background for being shot at by flying saucers. And as annoying as that repetitive Dig Dug music is, it irritates you just enough to make you want to play again, just to shut it up. Winner: Dig Dug

Alright, enough is enough. There is a limit to how much time I can spend helping Neal Schon and Ross Valory defeat 'evil aliens' or 'maniac turnstiles' or whatever the hell they're fighting in this game. I must say that I would rather listen to the midi versions of all their music over the real deal any day of the week. Did I mention that the controls for Tapper consist of an actual Budweiser beer tap and that's it? Winner: Tapper


Woo-wee, what a barnburner. Getting your fighter captured and turning your meek little one ship into a two-ship tandem death machine is still one of the greatest things in the history of video games, but c'mon, Tempest was stressed-out nightmare fuel. Winner: Tempest

The battle o' the trons. Instead of analyzing either of these games, I'd like to point out that the movie 'Tron' starred The Scarecrow, Lacey Underall and The Dude. Winner: Robotron


As someone else pointed out, Star Wars was exceedingly difficult for a game with invisible spaceships shooting sparklers at you (or Kurt Vonnegut drawings of assholes, depending on how you look at it). Also damn impossibly difficult was Defender with all it's buttons and hyperspace and rescuing falling civilians and what not. Despite Star Wars being the only video game I know of with the voice of Alec Guiness... Winner: Defender

Here's where I gotta say 'screw my personal preferences' and go with what's right. It's probably a tight race between Crazy Climber and Venture for which game actually took most of my pre-teen money. And even though I never figured out how to get past the second guy because I didn't bother to learn the secret stick and button codes to get the guy to rip his opponents spine out, it is still one kickass game even to just watch. Winner: Mortal Kombat

Alright, Sixteen has been reduced to the Elite Eight. Now before we move onward, here's a picture of Pac Man world record holder Billy Mitchell accepting the award of 'Gamer of the Century' from the president of Namco and his harem of 'Pac-bitches':

Alright, here goes:

PAC MAN v. NARC: This is tough. On one hand, you've got originality and on the other total 'blood n' guts' realism for the first time ever. There is not one way that these two games are similar at all. As much as NARC makes me laugh and is fun as hell to play, gotta go with the King. Winner: Pac Man

Even though on its own merits, it's still a fun game to play, being about beer only gets you so far (although it does take you most of the way in my book. Really, you can walk there from where it drops you off.). Sure, Dig Dug's a little too cutesy, makes absolutely no sense and the music can grow irritating and tiresome. You know what? To hell with it, beer rules. Winner: Tapper

I gotta go strictly on addictability at this point. Tempest is hardcore, it's kickass and an all time great, but Robotron has all these ingredients and more. Winner: Robotron

Both games that I can't play to save my life, but enjoyed watching because of the incredible 'look' that they both have. As much as I'd love to go with Defender, I just can't give those heavy metal douchebags that learned to play it so well any more props than I already have. Winner: Mortal Kombat

So there you have it, a Final Four of PAC MAN, TAPPER, ROBOTRON 2084 AND MORTAL KOMBAT. We'll see how it plays out tomorrow.

In the meantime, feel free to make your case for 'Rainbow Kids' or 'Mr. Do's Wild Ride' in the comments.


Thursday Cheech Blogging

Sweet 16 becomes final four later today...


Wednesday, April 27, 2005

You Think You're Getting Excited? Dick Vitale's Head Just Exploded

The screen to the right represents a low point in my childhood. You stole my sense of optimism, Atari!!

On to the second round! Despite one cry for Pole Position based on it being name-checked in 'Goonies' and a couple of impassioned pleas for Crystal Castles that I wasn't expecting, the opening brackets held.

So now that we've weeded out all the 'suckas' (with apologies to the fine Japanese men and women who designed 'Bump n' Jump), let's get bizz-ay, thoroughly and proper.


As cool as Zaxxon looked, I could never figure out 'exactly' where my ship was at any given time and inevitably, I'd wind up getting killed by a laser that I was positive I would fly right over. The shadow of the plane sort of helped, but it was still frustrating. Winner: Pac Man

POPEYE v. STAR TREK: I know this is my fault for constructing the brackets wrong, but I personally don't think either of these games are 'top 16' material. I suppose if I have to choose, bitchin' Vector graphics win out over trying to collect 'hearts' from some skinny girl any day. Winner: Star Trek

CENTIPEDE v. TETRIS: I feel like I'll catch heat on this one no matter which way I go. A lot of people loved Centipede even though I always found it kind of boring. And you don't want to piss off the brainiac Tetris crowd or they'll, uh... they'll... Winner: Centipede

QIX v. NARC: As I mentioned in the first round, Qix is so unlike any other game that it's orginality alone makes it a formidable competitor. Then again, this is NARC, a game whose blood & guts style paved the way for games like Mortal Kombat and Grand Theft Auto. Winner: NARC


The best part about Dig Dug is probably its music. The total repetitiveness combined with it getting faster as each round goes on adds to the stress factor of playing. Punch Out is amusing, but can't compete on this level. Winner: Dig Dug

Even though it meant scuttling my beloved Burgertime, I was happy to see Berzerk make it on to the second round. It just doesn't have quite enough to tangle with Moon Patrol, however. Moon Patrol is just easy enough to let you play for awhile and then gets seriously difficult enough to be a challenge. Winner: Moon Patrol

There's a lot to admire about the design of Q-Bert. A completely unique character in a totally new game, the noise that the machine would make when you fell off that made it sound like he had hit the actual bottom of the game. Good stuff, but the idea of a semi-shitty rock band flying a Scarab Beetle across the stars to fight aliens with their rock? Pure gold. Winner: Journey

I hate having to choose between these two. Elevator Action is a great, great game, but Tapper's got beer in it. Wait a minute, this isn't such a hard choice after all. Winner: Tapper


As the lone driving game left, Spy Hunter's got quite a burden, but let's face it, it's going to be pretty difficult to knock off a game that's still being played in every college cafeteria in the country. Winner: Galaga

Joust may fall into the 'Track & Field' category of games for spastics who like to drink 10 diet cokes and press buttons as fast as possible. That said, however, it is a good game with good sound. Unfortunately it's going against a GREAT game with GREAT sound. Winner: Tempest

As much as every pot-head I knew loved Mario Brothers (Check it out man, when he eats the mushroom he gets BIG.), I never could stand it. Why do I want to knock turtles on their back and kick them again? Rescuing a lady I can wrap my head around, but plumbers abusing animals? Why? Winner: Tron

Another second round nightmare matchup. Two indisputable classics. There's probably more Ms. Pac Man machines still in existence in bars around the country than any other video game, but freaking Robotron! That game just kicks ass. Winner: Robotron


Time for an all Vector graphics battle. As much fun as it was to play tank and look through that binocular viewfinder thing that had the sweat and acne of a thousand other geeks all over it, who would choose that over getting to be Luke Skywalker blowing up the Death Star? Winner: Star Wars

I have to admit that I always sucked at Defender. I could never get the controls down. It just seemed to have too many goddamn buttons. But I know this wasn't a problem for everyone because as we've covered already, every arcade had a dude who freaking killed at Defender and could play it until his bowels gave out. But as much as I'd love to give this to Frogger, I gotta raise a toast to the dateless wonders who conquered what I couldn't. Winner: Defender

Another example of a game I just never figured out was Mortal Kombat. All the secret moves, joystick combinations and shit just pissed me off. So you get to kick my ass because you subscribe to 'Game Cheat' monthly or some shit? Creating a seperate geek heirarchy based on who knew the most secret moves was unneccesary. Still, even if I couldn't play it to save my life, it was fun watching someone else spray blood all over. Winner: Mortal Kombat

Well it wouldn't be a NCAA tourney without an upset or two, and here's one. Yeah, I know Donkey Kong's on a pedestal and untouchable and influenced this and that and yadda yadda, but Crazy Climber's just a whole hell of a lot more fun. The independent control of each arm make playing this game like operating a human forklift and the fact that it's never explained just why he's climbing the building in the first place make this an early exit for Mario. Winner: Crazy Climber

That's it for now. Sweet sixteen coming up. Pour gasoline all over yourself and threaten to light a match in the comments.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Do You Know How Many Women You Have To Not Sleep With To Get To The Split-Screen Level 250 On Pac Man?

"We're honeymooning at Carlsbad Caverns"

OK people, put down that autographed picture of Missle Command record-holder Roy Schildt and get ready for the second half of round one to decide the prestigious title of 'Best pre-1990 (or thereabouts) Coin-op Videogame Ever'.

Let's dive right in.


GALAGA v. CONGO BONGO: As technology got better, all the old classics were brought back under various pseudonyms and reincarnations. Galaga is fancy Space Invaders and Congo Bongo is 3-D fancy pants Donkey Kong. What sets Galaga apart is that it so dwarfed it's inspiration that no one even thinks of it as a spawn of anything. No contest, Winner: Galaga

SPY HUNTER v. CHOPLIFTER: The theme song to 'Peter Gunn' is great, but did every arcade have to turn the volume on Spy Hunter up to ear-busting levels? It's still one of the better driving games and Choplifter still bores me to tears. Winner: Spy Hunter

JOUST v. OUTRUN: Joust has the 3rd best sound of any game ever (1 and 2 are still to come). That sound when the enemy jousters first appear by electrically rising through the rocks still gives me chills. Outrun looks nice and was one of the first racing games to feature cityscape backgrounds. Yawn... Winner: Joust

TEMPEST v. CLOAK & DAGGER: Tempest has the 2nd coolest sound ever in a videogame. It just isn't an arcade without this game cranked up to deafening levels. Cloak & Dagger never had a chance. Winner: Tempest

MARIO BROTHERS v. CRYSTAL CASTLES: The biggest highlight of Bob Hoskins career has to be an English man playing a Japanese stereotype of an Italian plumber in an American movie. Yay Hollywood. I never got the monumental popularity of Mario Brothers, but I certainly feel manlier playing it than pretending to be a bear picking up jewels. Winner: Mario Brothers

TRON v. ZOO KEEPER: Starting with Tron and ending two years later with The Last Starfighter, everyone found justification for their videogame addiction. "I owe it to the free world to continue playing this thing because it's probably some training device for future combat". Of course, Zoo Keeper just trained you to keep animals behind brick walls. For shame. Winner: Tron

ROBOTRON v. DOUBLE DRAGON: The BEST sound in a videogame EVER. Williams went all out on this mother. Just listening to this game gets you stressed out. And the Kaleidoscope warping into the next level? Simply awesome. Oh, and in Double Dragon you get to punch and kick people. Yippee. Winner: Robotron

MS. PAC MAN v. BUMP N' JUMP: I won't waste a lot of time on this one. Bump n' Jump was cute. Weee, the car can jump. Winner: Ms. Pac Man


SPACE INVADERS v. STAR WARS: Now we're getting down to business. In Space Invaders, you've got the Godfather of the whole deal, the game that took slow air hockey emulators and turned them into fighting goddamn aliens. But Star Wars had a great controller and the sit down model was a precursor to virtual reality rides. Close Winner: Star Wars

BATTLE ZONE v. VENTURE: Another Vector graphic classic, Battle Zone's two joystick control was a little tricky to get used to, but once you did, it made all other tank and battle games seem stupid in comparison. Venture, on the other hand, had a smily face with a bow and arrow. Despite being totally addicted to Venture, I gotta go with the military on this one. Winner: Battle Zone

DEFENDER v. POLE POSITION: Chances are, the second you walked into an arcade, you would either hear a loud voice saying "Prepare to Qualify" or the cranked up lasers of Defender. To a 10 year old kid, guys who could kick ass at Defender were like Gods. They could play the damn thing for hours on one quarter and you just knew they were pulling all kinds of chicks with their gaming abilities. So what if they couldn't grow a proper moustache, right? Winner: Defender

PONG v. FROGGER: Ah, the grande dame, Old Pappy, The Elderly Old Woman. Hey, everything's gotta start with something, and the case of videogames it was the most stupefyingly boring collection of of chips and resistors ever. Frogger's more entertaining than most games created today, much less back in dinosaur days. Winner: Frogger

GORF v. IKARI WARRIORS: Ikari Warriors is one of the better overhead Rambo-type games, but Gorf is like 5 games in one. Your reward for kicking ass at Space Invaders is that you don't have to play Space Invaders any more. And what's better than that? Winner: Gorf

MORTAL KOMBAT v. JUNGLE KING: This is going to be a tough one because, while I dumped a lot of quarters into Jungle King and still think it's fun as hell, people still say 'Flawless Victory' and 'Raiden Wins'. Well, at least some people do. Ok, maybe just nerdy asians, but still. If Jungle King featured Tarzan ripping people's skeletons right out of their bodies, this would be such a runaway. Winner: Mortal Kombat

DONKEY KONG v. TOOBIN': C'mon. No, really, c'mon. Seriously here. No screwin' around, I mean, c'mon. Winner: Donkey Kong

XEVIOUS v. CRAZY CLIMBER: Xevious is colorful, fun, had kickass graphics and addicting gameplay and set a new standard for single fighter shooters. It does not, however, feature birds trying to shit on you and people dropping pots on your head as you try and climb their building. Winner: Crazy Climber

We shave the 32 down to 16 tomorrow. As usual, leave notes, comments and/or death threats to bully me into changing one or all of the results (although I might put up a fight against advancing 'Toobin').


Monday, April 25, 2005

Bad Dudes Did Not Make The List of 64

When will all this bracketing end?

Time for the battle to see what the best pre-1990 coin-op videogame is!! (The actual cut off is the game Mortal Kombat, so anything released after that is ineligible).

Just as a recap, pop culture versions of the NCAA basketball tournament have been run into the ground over the last month, so instead of 'calling on you to vote' or 'including anyone but me in on the process', I'll instead just act as though you've already voted and tell you the matchups and winners. This accomplishes two things; no votes not going my way, and not having to count and/or set up complicated voting thingies etc. No fuss, no muss. Of course, I could always be presuaded to allow voting if large sums of non-sequential $20 bills were sent my way or if someone showed me how to do it.

We'll do like the real tourney and do sixteen games each for the first two days.


PAC-MAN v. ARABIAN: As adorable as it was to see Middle-Easterners portrayed as happy little magicians instead of bloodthirsty terrorists, this is the equivalent of a Colgate/Duke first round matchup. Winner: Pac-Man

ZAXXON v. LODE RUNNER: People were blown away by Zaxxon. The diagonal gameplay looked 'almost 3-D'! Compare that to another tired Donkey Kong ripoff. Winner: Zaxxon

POPEYE v. WACKO: Wacko had great characters. A big-nosed alien in a saucer, lumbering zombies and mummies. But Popeye had Popeye, and for some reason, we all just loved that goofy lookin' idiot. Winner: Popeye

STAR TREK v. SCRAMBLE: Scramble was one of the first horizontal playing games I remember seeing. It was so damn difficult, timing those bombs and slowing down and speeding up. Star Trek on the other hand was fairly easy and those Vector graphics are the coolest. Winner: Star Trek

CENTIPEDE v. KRULL: Another cake walk. I mean, Krull is so much better (just kidding). As a child, the cool older kids who could barely grow moustaches fell into to two groups, Defender players and Centipede players. It didn't matter where these machines were in the arcade just as long as they were turned up the loudest. Easy winner: Centipede.

TETRIS v. BUBBLE BOBBLE: One of Williams' first 'happy colorful' videogames, Bubble Bobble is semi-fun. But Tetris? Those wacky Russians learned from the Rubik's cube that simple shapes and patterns combined with stressed out strategery and memorized patterns equals nerd gold. Winner: Tetris

DONKEY KONG JR. v. QIX: Tough one. Qix is so unlike any game that's come before or after. Filling up 75% of the screen by closing off squares while avoiding a roaming beam of energy? I feel like I'm high just thinking about it. And DK Jr., even though it's a sequel is arguably more playable and fun than the original. In a damn close upset, I gotta go with originality. Winner: Qix

BOSCONIAN v. NARC: Bosconian was fun and had the benefit of mysterious sound (What the hell is that voice saying? 'Alive! Alive!?) and 'comin' at ya from all sides' gameplay. But NARC has junkies throwing needles at you while you run them over with a Porsche. Are you kidding me? Winner: NARC


DIG DUG v. PENGO: Who the hell brings a bicycle pump on a spelunking mission? And why are the dragons just as elastic as the bouncing rubber balls? No matter, it's still addictive as hell and better than that annoying Ice-breaking bastard Pengo! Winner: Dig Dug

MISSLE COMMAND v. PUNCH OUT: I can honestly say that Missle Command scared me. It's 'Mirv'ing missles, comin' at your cities! Miss one of them and the whole goddamn metropolis, babies, innocents, cute puppies, all dead in an instant. Fucking horrifying. Punch Out on the other hand, had one of my favorite characters ever created, Glass Joe, who would just beg you to knock him out and get it over with. He became a role model for me later in life. Winner in a slight upset: Punch Out

BERZERK v. BURGERTIME: Both of these games take place in a distant, bleak future. One where all walls will electrocute you and the other where our demand for bigger and bigger fast food products means hamburgers are now the size of semi-trucks and genetically altered pickles attempt to murder you as you put together a happy meal. Aaaagh! *Intruder Alert* New Winner: Berzerk

MOON PATROL v. SATAN'S HOLLOW: Moon Patrol's not terribly difficult, but is for some reason addictive as hell. Satan's Hollow has the added benefit of having 'Satan' in the title, but that can't take away the fact that it's essentially Space Invaders with birds. Winner: Moon Patrol

ASTEROIDS v. JOURNEY: Was the 'dum, dum, dum, dum' background music of Asteroids stolen from 'Jaws' or was it the other way around? Just thinking of how different the world would be if John Williams had sued Atari out of business in 1978 makes my head hurt. And speaking of music, Journey features Steve Perry shooting things with his microphone and Neal Schon with a jet backpack. In what's sure to destroy a lot of brackets, you shouldn't have stopped believin'. Winner: Journey

Q-BERT v. TRACK & FIELD: For those of you under the age of 20, no, this is not a game based on Filipino DJs from Daly City. About the only way that Track & Field wins this round is if you based the voting on which machine emitted the most noise at the arcade from spazzed-out people trying to hit the buttons as fast as possible. Winner: Q-Bert

ELEVATOR ACTION v. ARKANOID: Elevator Action was great. You had the music, the shady guys in dark jackets ducking in n' out of doors, the occasional guy getting crushed by the elevator. Arkanoid on the other hand. Boring! I never understood the appeal of 'breakout' style games and why there's so many of them. Yes, I get it, it's like Pong with a twist. Easy winner: Elevator Action

FOOD FIGHT v. TAPPER: Food fight seemed like a fun idea. Take Robotron and replace bullets with pies. It's like makin' a mess without the mess! But Tapper? It's a videogame (you know, for kids) where you operate a beer tap (sponsored by Budweiser) and keep everyone at the club/ballgame drunk. If you drop a beer or forget to pick up empties, you lose. THEY MADE THIS GAME. IT GOT INTO ARCADES, IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. This wins just based on the chrome plated balls that Budweiser had to have had to go into the videogame industry. After the predictable public outcry the game was re-released as 'Root Beer Tapper'. Yawn... Winner: Tapper

Second half of Round One tomorrow. In the meantime, feel free to tell me I'm full of shit or a genius or neither.

UPDATE: The result has been changed in the Berzerk v. Burgertime match due to massive public outcry (i.e. 2 people). This of course means it would now take three Burgertime fans to change it back.


Sunday, April 24, 2005

SFist Strikes Back

A weekly jaunt from soberville to drunktown, checking out the bars of San Francisco along the way. As usual, it's barrespondent Drew comin' at ya with booze, beer and fun, and if you're not careful, you may learn something before it's done. Hey, hey, hey!!

How can you not love strolling through Chinatown every once in awhile? The crowds, the smells, the 'no one really eats that, do they?' items in the local groceries. It's truly great to have an immigrant district that not only captures the happy, touristy aspects of a foriegn culture, but also the frighteningly massive and alienating feeling of being lost and out of your element that you just can't get in Vegas or Epcot Center.

A lot of people wouldn't even think of Chinatown when it comes to finding a good bar, but ignore this neighborhood at your own 'waii m ho' (excuse the awful Cantonese). Sure, some places around here are pretty scary and you may want to think twice about going down any stairs until you're pretty sure what lies at the bottom,. But no risk, no reward as they say, so let's check out one place that's been a classic Chinatown dive for years.

The Buddha Bar, right in the thick of the whole mess on Grant and Washington is always a good time. A tiny little space with about enough room for 2 or 3 groups of people makes this place perfect for meeting up to begin a crawl around the rest of Chinatown or North Beach. Not that you're going to want to leave right away. The combination of the intimate space, the awesome bartenders and cheap drinks will have you questioning the need to roam around the outside world at all.

Just a few steps away from the Chinatown night market (think Blade Runner meets Embarcadero Station at rush hour), the Buddha is ideally located as a spot for a quick stop and rest as well as a place to get stuck into all night. The vaguely South Pacific decor of the place makes it feel more like a cool uncle's rec room than a dive bar, but make no mistake, after a few cheap bottles or generous shots, you won't mistake this place for anything but a classic San Francisco dive bar for long.

So every once in awhile, go down to Chinatown when you 'don't' have tourists in town. Just make sure to include a stop at the Buddha for luck.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Harper Valley PTE

Nice Rug. Did it come with a chinstrap?

Holy Concaving Catholics! The way Yankee fans are carrying on, you would think that the Bronx Bombers have been mathmatically eliminated already. From Steinbrenner's big fat trap to God's ears, Joe Jeter-fan is more than willing to panic if that's what the boss wants him to do.

Just to put things in perspective, we are now a whopping 8% of the way through the season. That's SIX games into a basketball season, SEVEN games into hockey season and ONE game into football season. As a reminder, six games into the NBA season, the big story was how dominant the Utah Jazz were and how nobody had an answer for the one-two punch of Andrei Kirilenko and Carlos Boozer. Last time I checked, they finished 19 games out of a playoff spot in a league where everyone makes the playoffs.

As was pointed out, it's most likely Steinbrenner realizing they've got a long home stand coming up against shitty teams, so why not say something like this so he can take credit for their 'turnaround'. That's probably true, but does everyone have to eat it up like he just fired the whole squad?


Friday, April 22, 2005

The New Pope Is a Naz(BONG!!!!!)......

"What'd he say? He said the new Pope is near. No dad-gammit-blammit. The New Pope is a Naz(BONG!!!)"

Well great. I'm glad that the voting Cardinals had the courage and foresight to realize that what this world needs is a gigantic step backwards. All that hooey about birth control and responsibly dealing with AIDS around the world is just flummery. P'Shaw!

Actually, as it turns out (according to third hand gossip from an actual Roman Catholic), the church did us a great favor by not making the Nigerian guy Pope. As it turns out, many Catholics believe that a black Pope will preside over the end of days (of course, that doesn't make the people who believe this racist or anything, right?). So the Cardinals let us know that we have at least as long as it takes for a 78-year old Nazi to drop dead before we have to worry about packing for the big escalator ride to the cloudy-wingy-bow n' arrow place.

If I may be serious for a minute, however. A FUCKING NAZI? What the motherfucking hell is wrong with you people? Are you trying to destroy your own religeon? Don't you understand that I have better things to do than wander the earth slapping a billion people in the mouth?


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Thursday Calvert DeForest Blogging


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Attach The Stone Of Shame

Someone check his stool for Larry the Cable Guy.

It's pretty rare for a standup comic to do something on stage that he should regret for the rest of his/her life. Especially with most making fun of airline food and 7-11, there's usually little worry that something they say is going to come back and bite them in the ass.

Ralphie May, however, may go down as one of the dumber, more ill-informed people to ever grace the stage. Now don't get me wrong, I don't truly hate Ralphie. In fact, watching him try to lose weight on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club made me think much better of him as a human being. He seemed nice to his girlfriend, fairly level-headed and was easily funnier than the other idiots they assembled on that show (although Daniel Baldwin was hilarious in a 'junkie that kind find his vein' way).

Ralphie's true crime against humanity occurred when he was on the TV program 'Last Comic Standing'. His 'act', for lack of a better word, consisted primarily of ebonic references to South Central L.A. and his love of our President, George W. Bush. Now, while siding with the Preznit may not win you a spot opening for the likes of Cross, Oswalt or Garafalo, it certainly doesn't prohibit you from being funny. Colin Quinn, Nick DiPaolo, Jim Norton and others have shown that, even if I may think you're a closet-racist dickhead pandering to suburban New Jersey, you can still make people laugh.

Ralphie's problem was his ignorance. Don't go on stage (and then on a national television show) to do political comedy if you really don't have the slightest idea of what you're talking about. The zenith of his act was where he said that G.W. can go ahead and 'light 'em up' in Iraq as long as he gets his cheap gas. Who knows whether or not this short-sighted bone-headed statement resonated with potential voters or not. It's conceivable that there may have been several people watching who thought, "Hell yes. I want cheap gas. I also don't care much for foriegners. I'll vote for Preznit Bush so I can pay less at the pump.".

Well guess what Ralphie? You got your wish and your 'light em up' ya-hoo was re-elected. Any guesses as to what I paid for a gallon of gas yesterday?


I only hope that you have some sense of regret for what you used your 15 minutes of fame for.


Tuesday, April 19, 2005

No One Dances To Comedy...

The more crowded it gets, the more I want to LAUGH.

Inspired by PC (that's Perfectly Cromulent, not Politically Correct) Pete's recent review of The Comedians Of Comedy Tour, I thought I'd throw in my two cents about standup comics who decide to put on 'rock n' roll' comedy shows (i.e. shows at music venues where you have to stand).

Stop it.

Comics love to dress this idea up as something totally positive for the fans. "No 2 drink minimum!", "18-21 year olds can get in", "It allows the comedian to create their own set and not worry about time constraints" etc. What it also does is force me to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of shower-challenged college freshmen who either can't shut up for five minutes straight to save their life or spend the entire show reciting 'Mr. Show' dialogue to their fellow geek friends.

Just be honest. When someone asks you why you're playing that venue that featured Death Cab for Cutie the night before, tell them you want a larger cut of the money. Yes, comedy clubs can be a pain in the ass and are usually run by scumbags who take most of the door, but part of the comedy 'experience' for me is having a couple of drinks, sitting the fuck down, and not standing around looking at an empty stage waiting for the next opening comic thinking how I'd really like a drink and maybe a place to put my jacket.

More so than any other art form, standup comedy seems to be filled with people who hate standup comedy. Most of the people who do it are dying to get a sitcom or do movies or go play Vegas or Branson. Anything but continue to play comedy clubs. Just look at every person on 'Last Comic Standing'. I'm sure a lot of it sucks. The long hours, the travel, the shitty crowds. But if you don't like it, do something else. Don't try to change the art form to suit you. If you want to be an actor, act. A writer, write. And if you want to be an indie-rock star, learn three chords and join Nada Surf.


Monday, April 18, 2005

Spring Cleaning

Well, isn't that a nice logo. Ooops! I've said too much already!

Here's a few post ideas that never made it to the prestigious bandwidth of Scamboogah !! (FYI, the emphasis is on the first syllable, so pronounce it SCAM-buggah. Just imagine Joe Frazier saying it). Blame whoever you want for these ideas never making it. The Freemasons, the wacky conclaving Catholics or that old standby, the five Jew bankers. Whoever's fault it is, relish now in the ideas that were just not good enough for even the likes of you;

"Roquefort Salad Dressing Was A Lot More Popular 20 Years Ago"

"Stop Bogarting All The Insulin, Diabetics!"

"Mocktails and Near Beer only Serve To Enrage Me"

"A List Of Career Ideas" (title only for 35 years)

"Cereal Is Still Too Damn Hard To Open"

"Whatever Happened to Brother Russell?"

"5 Paragraphs About Why That Girl From 'The Bugaloos' Was Hot"

"Slashdot is for pasty geeks who masturbate to blueprints of the Millenium Falcon."

"Loathsome = Times per day you go on Fark + Fark Stories You Forward to Your Friends"

and finally, "A Reasoned Explanation Of The Meaning Of Li... Ah, fuck it, here's more whining about religeous people and television."

Well, that felt good. Enjoy your Spring!!


Sunday, April 17, 2005

I Call Shenanigans!!

The brackets are up in Bizness's comedy movie March Madness competition, and already I call bullshit.

No Strange Brew, Fletch or Holy Grail? Wrong. No Lebowski, Spinal Tap, Cheech & Chong or early Steve Martin? Nope.

Now let's take a look at some of the movies that DID make it; Hollywood Shuffle, the Incredibles, Sullivan's Travels, To Be or Not To Be, Heathers. Most of those movies I don't mind, but amongst the 32 funniest of all time? Hardly.

I understand that film geeks love to flex their history muscles, forcing laughter as they sit through Modern Times to show everyone else in the theatre how smart they are, but honestly, is there any list that the 'cinema-elite' can't ruin with their insistence that Laurel & Hardy and Harold Lloyd are the funniest people to ever walk the earth?

And what's with the need that people feel to heap praise on Pixar movies? If you remove the work of a team of computer nerds from Monsters Inc., you're left with the worst Billy Crystal movie ever made (and that's sayin' something). Case closed.

In the end, I suppose it's all subjective and I shouldn't whine about it, but I just feel like it's another case of 'too many cooks' taking a decent idea and turning it into a bland broth of geek's gumbo.


SF-izzy In The Hizzee

A weekly peer into the San Francisco bar scene through a big pair of coke bottle-thick beer goggles. Submitted as usual by barrespondent Drew.

Some people complain that we don't get down to the Marina enough. Totally guilty as charged. And this is even after assurance from residents that it's not all backwards baseball caps, sorority get-togethers and small-plates restaurants. Yes, the Marina probably does get a bad rep from those of us trying to 'out-squalor' each other in neighborhoods like The Mission and Tenderloin, but what're you gonna do?

Believe it or not, however, there are good bar finds to be had on the Danielle Steele side of town. A few reassuring lumps of coal can be found if you sift through the diamond encrusted riverbeds of Union Street and beyond. Perhaps we're over-simplifying it just a little, as I'm sure the average income in the Marina is probably around the same as those 'slumming' it in SOMA. So, expectations be damned! We tuck in our shirt and try to look like we belong after the jump.

One of our personal Marina favorites from way back in the day is the Mauna Loa. This dutch-doored hangout down the street from the Metro Theatre has seen all kinds of levels of popularity. From always-empty alcoholic hangout to filled to the walls fratguy shoutfest, it currently seems to be a little of both. Nice and homey on weekdays and a trial on the ears and senses come friday and saturday night.

Amazingly enough, the staff at the Mauna Loa has remained virtually unchanged. Go there on a weekday night and you'll probably run into one of the regular bartender/owners that have been there for ten plus years. And even if you go on the weekend, regardless of how long you have to wait, you'll be greeted politely and served up a quality beverage by their above par staff.

So if you've just enjoyed some high-brow event at the Palace of Fine Arts, ease yourself back into hipsterville with a stop at the Mauna Loa. After all, it's always interesting to see how your life would've turned out if you'd paid any attention to that guy trying to get you to rush Sig-Ep all those years ago. *shiver*

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, April 16, 2005

A Taste Of The PTE

We can go fight and die in Iraq, but we can't drive Escalades before age 20 based on nothing more than potential? What is this, Russia?

According to Jermaine 'Fists Of Fury' O'Neal, the 'man' (or in this case, David Stern) is trying to keep his people down by imposing a 20 year old age limit on the NBA.

Maybe he's right. Turns out you have to be 21 to work in a liquor store. You also don't see a lot of young men being interviewed for the open Pope position either. And the last time I saw Shakespeare's King Lear, it was some old guy playing the lead! Perhaps Jermaine's right and these are ALL examples of those in power wanting to make sure that the only options that young african-american males have before age 20 are either regular work or (god forbid) a free education! Not since the days of seperate water fountains have I seen such a clear example of racial intolerance!

Perhaps what Jermaine needs to be reminded of is that the NBA is ENTERTAINMENT. It's not some community project designed to pull young men up by their bootstraps and give them a chance at a better life. If it is, it's a pretty lousy program. Imagine if the Boys Club or United Way only helped 2 or 3 people a year and gave them $100 million dollars each while the 10 million or so who didn't qualify got nothing. Needless to say, I don't think I'll be nominating Mr. O'Neal to be head of any of the President's 'faith based' initiatives any time soon.

The main reason I'd like to see an age limit put into place is purely selfish for me. Watching a league where the average age continues downward sucks. Average older players are forced out of basketball so that Sebastian Telfair can spend 5 years learning how to play point guard and charge me $100 a seat for the privilege of watching. How exciting has the NBA become? Ask anyone who's watched Kwame Brown play for the last 4 years. Ask anyone how many years it'll be before Andris Biedrins or Darko Milicic are any good?

The flaw in O'Neal's reasoning is that if a player comes out of high school and doesn't want to go to college, that there's no other way for him to make an income. As far as I know, Europe doesn't have an age limit. The NBDL also seems made for someone in this situation. So apparently O'Neal's just angry that 17 year old high school students can't become millionaires before they've actually proven that they have any talent. Welcome to life for everyone else.

Oh and P.S. Wilbon, Kruk and Mariotti are all jackasses for thinking there's something horribly wrong with Lowe and Roberts wearing Sox jerseys for the ring ceremony. It's not going to 'confuse' anyone (except possibly the very old and retarded) and if the Cubs ever win in your lifetime, you'll want everyone that ever visited Chicago to come back and wear your ugly jerseys. Why don't they make Kruk wear a T-shirt that says 'ball cancer survivor' so that I'm not confused as to why he left the game?


Friday, April 15, 2005

Gentlemen, Rest Your Sphincters!!

Someday, all arguments will be in bracket form.

Taking a cue from original brackets from the fine folks at MSNBC (We're digging our way out of last place!), there's a new and improved Comedy Movie March Madness bracket being created. Comedy nerds such as yours truly and this guy and this guy picked apart the MSNBC model and deservedly so. A few of the glaring errors; Best in show on the list and Waiting for Guffman not, No Preston Sturgess or Ealing comedies, No Cheech & chong, Not enough Wes Anderson, No Repo Man, the inclusion of Ace Ventura and the Graduate... And it goes on like this...

Well have no fear pasty basement dwelling list-makers! A new bracket is being created as we speak, or read, or write or whatever you're doing. You have until tomorrow morning to influence the proceedings by bombarding the listmaker with emails and comments to let him know what's what.

In the original somewhat flawed brackets, I wound up with a final 8 of; Dumb & Dumber, Strange Brew, Caddyshack, Fletch, Lost in America, Office Space, Blazing Saddles, the Jerk. Final 4; Strange Brew, Caddyshack, Office space, Blazing Saddles. And it comes down to Strange Brew v. Blazing Saddles with Strange Brew winning. Don't misundertand those brackets, however. Some of the films that made the final 8 wouldn't even make a list of my top 50, but were placed in such weak brackets that they were the least odorous of the four (Dumb and Dumber is better than Shaun of the Dead, Spaceballs and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, for instance).

But enough about the old brackets, time to march forward. This one may not work out perfectly, but it's bound to be better than a field of 64 that includes such duds as Spaceballs, Happy Gilmore, Bowfinger and A Christmas Story.


Thursday, April 14, 2005

Thursday Dick Rude Blogging


Wednesday, April 13, 2005

There's No Excuuuuuuuuse...

Back then: Funny!! Now: Eh.. Not so much.

Why is a man who was so irreverent, who changed the face of comedy forever, who became the proof that a million young kids needed that you can be weird and successful, why is that man single-handedly trying to ruin film comedy as we know it?

Steve Martin started his career as a strange standup. Not as manic and/or coked up as Robin Williams and not as geared toward the old folks as Jonathan Winters, Steve's standup comedy was pure genius disguised as a retarded maniac. His bits were rock solid, but he delivered them as if he was a Special Ed kid running face first into a brick wall. This kind of smart, in your face buffoonery had never been done with actual intelligent material backing it up. As much as George Carlin or Cheech & Chong, perhaps even more so, Steve Martin 'changed' things in the world of comedy.

Then came his TV and film career. Classic bits on SNL begat even more classic film roles. His work with Carl Reiner still ranks as perhaps the single best 'director/star' comedy combination of all time (slightly ahead of Brooks/Wilder and Edwards/Sellers). From 'The Jerk' to 'Man with Two Brains', he showed that he could actually 'act' well enough to make a movie work, and be funny too.

After leaving the competent arms of Carl Reiner, Steve entered his 'salad days', movies that were both huge studio projects and critical successes. All of Me, Roxanne, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Now Steve had it all, the power of being a huge box office draw and the reputation that comes from doing interesting projects when you don't have to.

But then it happened. I blame one person for taking what may have been the most gifted comedy mind of an entire generation and blowing it out the back of his skull. That person is Ron fucking Howard and his awful, family friendly piece of shit Parenthood. It was as though you took a chinese fighting star and melted it down into a marble. That one single role seemed to meticulously remove every single last edge that Steve Martin had. Sure, he may have done L.A. Story and Grand Canyon in the two years afterward, but the damage had already been done. Steve no longer gave a shit if he was funny anymore and just started playing the exact same boring white straight man in every single fucking movie he appeared in.

Let's take a look at Steve's work from 1992 onward; Housesitter, Father of the Bride I and II, Sgt. Bilko, Out-of Towners, Bowfinger (don't defend it), Bringing Down The House, and Cheaper By The Dozen (he's shooting the sequel right now). And then there's the two projects coming soon. Movies whose very premise makes you want to cry and kick whatever idea-less studio hack that came up with it right in the balls. These are the two films that truly mark the 'end' of Steve Martin.

First is obviously the upcoming Pink Panther movie. The lack of respect that it takes to rape the corpse of Peter Sellers like this is unconscionable. From Benigni to Ted Wass to Steve Martin, I'm pretty sure that Blake Edwards has a running bet with someone that he can't kill this franchise. Anyone who sees this should have their movie license taken away.

Next is that he's most likely going to play George in a (ugh) live action version of 'The Jetsons'. I don't think any more needs to be said. Ooooh, I hope Ashton Kutcher plays Elroy!

So please Steve, I beg of you, we all beg of you. Please go back up to your wonderful home in Montecito, have nice meals out every once in awhile, maybe write a play every now and again, but stop making movies. Even if Vin Diesel winds up getting all your roles, it will still be better than watching someone I used to respect stinking up the craft he used to be so good at.


Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The Pope Is To Vegetable As God Is To Potato

Glossy-eyed vacancy courtesy of Jeebus H. Christ.

As long as I live, I'm not sure I'll ever understand polls like these. 78% of practicing American Catholics favor making it ok for Catholics to use birth control, 63% would allow priests to marry, 59% would make church doctrine on stem cell research less strict, and 55% would allow women to become priests.

The way I understand it, most of your MSR (Mainstream Religeons) have an 'all or nothing' rule. This ain't no Hometown Buffet where you can just stroll down and pick and choose what you want. If you believe God said 'such and such' and/or Jesus is the son of God and God spoke through him and he said 'such and such', then you can't exactly belive that occasionally one or both of them said something that was bullshit.

Let's say, purely for sake of argument, that God is represented by potatoes. If you're not religeous at all, then you can order your potatoes any way you want them. Hash browns, homefries, criss-cut curlies, it's up to you. The only person you could possibly be inconveniencing would be the line cook. But if you profess to believe that one way of eating potatoes (let's say Au Gratin) means you spend eternity with a heart full of joy with all your dead pets and relatives in a super happy sky-fairy cloudy place, and another way (e.g. twice-baked with sour cream and bacon) means you'll spend the rest of time lifting smoldering boulders, eating naught but hot coals, drinking naught but hot cola and getting poked in the hiney by some goofy lookin' pixie with a pitchfork, then it seems silly that you would casually order the twice-baked potato. That is, if you actually BELIEVE in that wacky shit to begin with.

I don't think anyone's that casual with decisions like that (except perhaps the incapacitatedly retarded), so I'm forced to assume that up to 78% of catholics fall into one of the following categories; Either they are lying about their faith to avoid confrontation with their family or loved ones, they're shit scared of 'pop culture' and fear without strong religeous convictions that they or their kids will turn black, or finally, they enjoy the 'get out of jail free' card that the Catholic church provides by way of confessional. A convenient and easy way to ignore the guilt you should probably feel for the horrible things you did to that Vegas streetwalker.

The one thing I will tip my hat to catholics for is that, unlike evangelicals, they're not constantly trying to convert me. If anything, they're fairly exclusionary and find the idea of someone not dunked in water sharing their crackers and wine to be horrifying. So good for you, 22% of Catholic Americans going to heaven, I'm sure you'll have fun learning to play the harp. As for the rest of you, try to die in shorts and a tank top.

Poll via His Puppiness, N-Biz


Monday, April 11, 2005

Paving The Way For 'Oscar The Occasionally Moody Low Income Housing Dweller'

"Me Eat To Mask Severe Depression Caused By Me Unfulfilled Potential and Inability To Live Up To Beer Commercial Ideal Lifestyle"

Seems as though the folks at Sesame Street have got an awfully big head these days. Apparently, they believe that the rash of fat kids roaming the land has a lot less to do with their lazy, corpulent parents shoving Micky-Deez down their throats at every meal and more to do with the negative reinforcement of a googly-eyed 'monster' who happens to enjoy desert.

That's right, 'Cookie Monster' is being bled dry of any interesting qualities he may possess and will from now on be just like any other annoying hippie at the Berkeley Bowl. In addition to telling children that cookies are a 'sometimes snack' (because apparently their parents are too stupid or 'meth'ed up to do that themselves), I'm sure the newly named 'Muesli enthusiast' will also inform children of the benefits of macrobiotic produce and start hassling his fair trade grocer to get the Latvian fingerling potatoes because the Russian ones have been known to have pesticides.

Here's a couple more ideas for Sesame Street;

'Touch me in a non-invasive way if we both deem it appropriate Elmo'

'Large, genetically gifted but not different from you or me Bird'

'Unfortunately cursed undead son of Vlad the Impaler with OCD that causes him to count'

'Blue creature with self esteem issues and SuperEgo complex formerly named Grover'.

If you know of anyone who has a weight issue that they blame on the Cookie Monster, punch them in the face. This post has been brought to you by the letters 'F' and 'U'.


Sunday, April 10, 2005

This Week's SFist

A once a week crawl up and down the sidewalk, searching for the city's best bars. Courtesy of barrespondent Drew.

Sunshine! I remember that! As much as we love the dank, seedy darkness of most dive bars, it's nice to occasionally take it outside. No, not exercise or anything silly like that, but rather to find bars that have back patios where you can get a little vitamin D along with your vitamin drunk.

Whether it's playing a game of ping-pong, dealing a game or two of cards or just celebrating a relative lack of rain recently, San Francisco offers a ton of bars with back patios and outdoor areas. Picking the best one is sure to get people racing for the comments section telling us we're nuts, but that never stopped us before. Find out our favorite sunny oasis after the jump.

Finnegan's Wake, on Cole and Parnassus, is a great neighborhood pub in its own right, but walk outside in back and you're greeted with a wonderful outdoor paradise for those who are half in the bag before sunset. Six or seven picnic benches and a massive ping-pong table await those brave enough to stroll past the restrooms and venture out into the open. It's well spaced, so even if there's 10 or 12 people in back it doesn't feel crowded and is built on a gradient so you don't get that German beer garden feeling that some back areas have (I'm looking at you, Zeitgeist).

The bar staff at Finnegan's is super friendly and expert at what they do. There's a great beer selection and ample televisions and pinball should the outside world not be your first option. If you are going out back, however, just give them your I.D. and they'll happily give you a couple of table tennis paddles and a supply of day-glo orange balls (these really come in handy if you're playing into dusk).

So as April showers gradually turn into 'Oh my god, how did I get so pale?', find yourself a place to hang outside once in awhile. It'll sure look a whole lot more convincing than those spray-on tans.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, April 09, 2005

You Down With PTE? Yeah, You Know Me...

Here's a picture of David Wells after hearing how many chicken soft tacos you can buy with $8 million dollars.

I know it's only two games in, but David Wells? Do you honestly think the Sox would've even taken a second look at this tub if he hadn't been a hero at Yankee stadium? He was the only 'beloved former Yankee' on the market and they did what they had to do to get him. The only trouble is that he hasn't been that good the last couple of years and you're asking him to fill the shoes of Pedro.

Couple that with asking Clement to fill the shoes of Derek Lowe and I'm just not feeling it this year for the Red Sox. Schilling's a great guy to have in the #1 spot, but it was a whole hell of a lot scarier when he was #2, and the drop from 1 to 2 to 3 is noticeable this year. The words 'rely' and 'Wakefield and Arroyo' should never be used together.

Oh, and Wilbon, I'm writing this from the WEST coast and I didn't grow up in New York or Boston. Get over your retarded midwest jealousy about the Northeast. People don't care about the Cubs and White Sox because they SUCK, not because of some geographical bias. If Chicago and St. Louis played every single year in fall classic after fall classic, battling it out decade after decade, then the country would look forward to their meetings as much as a 'meaningless' game between the Yanks and the Sawks in April.


Friday, April 08, 2005

You Can't Spell 'Revenge Of The Sith' without 'Revenge Of The Shit'

Coming soon to an annoying secretary's desk near you!

I just wanted to copyright the title above, as I'm sure many people will want to use it in the next few months and now they'll have to pay me for the privilege! Get in touch with my agent, Ebert!

Chewbacca on the cross! Is there anything that hasn't been licensed to Star Wars at this point? Many people will point to the Darth Tater Mr. Potato Head as the 'zenith' of saturation marketing, but I'm pretty sure that award belongs to the R2D2 Cheese-Its I saw last week.

By the time this guaranteed stinker of a movie comes out (If you're optimistic, look here, here, and here to be re-Neducated), everyone's going to be so sick of the idea of seeing these characters that they'll rush out and rent Krull. At least that's what I'll be doing. Then again, what do I know? After all, Lucas' sheep are already lining up, even if it's at the wrong theatre.

I bring this up because Jeff over at Derelict Junction has promised an upcoming photo essay of the most egregious of Lucas' offenses, marketing wise. Remember, I said 'promised' and 'upcoming', so don't hassle him asking where it is or he's likely to turn his site into an automatically loading Jar Jar Binks wallpaper for your desktop.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to finish my bowl of 'Greed-Os'.


Thursday, April 07, 2005

Thursday Crispin Glover Blogging


Wednesday, April 06, 2005

More News From The Future!!

One day, we will all have a rickety, alpine-themed rollercoaster in our backyard and gawking tourists milling around on our property...

Back again with more pointless news from your FUTURE, meant to serve no purpose other than to alarm you (Here's the previous future report in case you forgot or haven't been taking notes). You're powerless to change it, powerless! Here goes....

Well, here in 2012, Reality television is still king, and by that I mean an actual sovereign ruler, inbreeding with its family and tyrannically weilding power over all of us. My favorite is 'The Amazing Race'. Here's a recaplet of the episode I was forced to watch at robot gunpoint during my visit;

The episode starts at Omaha Beach. Not the one in France (Americans haven't been allowed to travel there in 4 years), but instead a clump of sand next to the Missouri River in Nebraska. Contestants must make their way from here to South Dakota, being very careful not to wander into Iowa, where abortion is now not only legal, but is mandatory. In fact, if you're not pregnant, it is state law that you stay long enough to become pregnant and then have it aborted. Those activist judges sure got out of control in the late 00s!!

From South Dakota, it's on to North Dakota, passing a couple of truck stops and gun shops along the way. Careful when you get too far north, racers! Americans aren't allowed in Canada anymore either. They really took it poorly when hockey started up again in 2006 and all the Canadian teams were moved to suburbs of Houston, Texas (The Galveston Canucks? It doesn't even make sense!). What a bunch of babies...

Once the teams get to Bismarck, it's a 'Detour'! As the elderly Phil Koeghan explains, "A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this detour, teams must choose between 'sit' or 'stand'. In 'sit', teams find a comfy chair in town and take a nap, in 'stand', teams must find a place to stand and watch traffic go by as they wonder aloud why Americans are no longer allowed to travel anywhere else in the world besides godawful places like Bismarck, North Dakota. Bonus points are awarded for shouting, "What the fuck?" at passing cars. Any attempt to blame the Jeb Bush administration, however, are immediately 'rewarded' with trips to Gitmo.

Unfortunately, this episode and the detour task are abruptly cut short as local news reports that North Dakota has declared war on Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana because they heard that there are people that live in each of those states who once saw 'Farenheit 9/11' and thought it raised some 'interesting questions'. Not eager to share the country with liberal moonbat freaks, the citizens of North Dakota seize control of the shows 'soul-stealing' camera equipment and commit the contestants and Phil to a lifetime of prison-labor for being 'Sissy Hollywood types'. When the White House is reached for comment, Vice President Tom DeLay shrugs his shoulders and says, "god's will".

Luckily, the show is immediately replaced by a new season of Hollywood Squares 2012 with Paris Hilton in the center square. At one point the game becomes very difficult when Lindsay Lohan has to leave midway through the show to get treated for chlamydia.

Oh well, enough of your bleak future. Just remember, you're powerless to change it, so why not head down to the BK for one of those new 12 egg omelette sandwiches. Oh, and Go Brookside Village MapleLeafs!


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Some Ideas For Randall Terry...

You all know Randall, that level-headed, fetus-chucking crusader who boldly stood up for Terri Shiavo and those evil Hollywood leftists who wanted to brutally murder her just because she had absolutely no neural activity in her brain for 15 years.

Well now that Shiavo's gone on to that big all-you-can-eat buffet in the sky, what is Randall Terry and his band of glossy-eyed misfits to do now? Aren't there other 'human beings' that need-a-savin'? Here's a few suggestions;

#1 - Dog Wearing Sunglasses. Look, we all heard the argument that Terri was still alive because she'd smile every once in awhile. Well this dog not only smiles, but put a pair of RayBans on him and he looks like he could drive a truck! This dog got heartworms and its family are thinking of 'putting it down'. Get that good for nothing Jeb Bush back on the phone and over to the vet for an all night vigil!!

#2 - Virgin Mary Cheese Sandwich. Now that this semi-famous sandwich has had its day in the public spotlight and was even sold on EBay, the owners are thinking of chucking it in the trash. Ahem, excuse me? Maybe you didn't notice that the Holy Mother is on it? You better unnaturally preserve that sum-bitch or Randall and co. will wake Jesse Jackson up!

#3 - Pope John Paul II. Apart from a total lack of brain activity and failure of all internal organs, there is NOTHING to indicate that the Pope is ready to go yet. Do you mean to tell me that we can put a man on the moon but we can't hook every single one of his organs up to a machine to crudely replicate that organ's function? Some of the finest puppeteers in the world live in Rome. Get them busy hooking cords up to the old Pontiff and he'll be back up smiling and waving in no time. With a little practice, you'll even be able to make him replicate his last speech to the square at the Vatican. Remember, the one about 3 days before his death when he said, "Hnnnnnmmmmmnnnnn......."?? Wake up that idiot Gee-Dubbya and get him into making more laws against the activist judges that declared the Pope 'dead'.

So there it is Randall, just a few pointers to the new direction you can take the smart folk ready to do your bidding. Who knows, if you really wanted to bring back to life things that have been declared dead, you could always try and mend the fences with your gay son and muslim daughter... Just a thought.


Monday, April 04, 2005

Yuckin' It Up... For The Kids

Pronunciation: 'proo-psi[ng]
Function: noun
1 : the act of one that deconstructs bad material and makes it worse
2 : reading the dictionary on stage to annoy people
3 : believing that dressing funny is 'most' of comedy

Last friday was April Fools Day (I sure hope that wacky practical joke you planned all year worked out! I can just imagine the look on Bob from Accounting's face!). Some friends and we decided to pass up the 'whoopie cushion' festivities and instead attend a benefit comedy concert for 826 Valencia, Dave Eggers' school for children who can't metaphor properly or something (truth is, I have no idea what this school/program does, as I hate children).

The comedians featured were Patton Oswalt, Zach Galifianikis, Al Madrigal, Greg Proops, Sheng Wang, Jasper Reed and special guest Marc Maron. Overall the show was great with some notable exceptions. Let's review 'em up homies!

Madrigal was a great choice as host. A local boy full o'charm and stories of child rearing. I'd heard some of his stuff on 'Shorties watchin' Shorties' but hadn't heard anything else. Good stuff.

Then came special guest Marc Maron, working on a ridiculous schedule. He had done 'Morning Sedition' on Air America Radio that morning at about 3AM pacific, then hopped a plane, did the benefit and then went to do 2 shows at Cobb's. I sincerely hope he's coked out or superhuman. This was the 3rd time I've seen him and he was solid as usual.

Next up, local asian comic Sheng Wang. Fairly unremarkable and short set, but certainly better than some of the "Here's an impression of my parents. We like to trick our cars out too" hackery that some asian comics go for.

Then came the black hole of the evening. A tight, energetic show with a super-appreciative audience was swallowed into the gaping suck-hole that was Greg Proops. Obviously under the mistaken belief that 5 years on 'Who's Line Is It Anyway?' makes you a Harvard linguist, Proops feels the need to pound every joke thin with his 'grammar hammer' until every bit of funny has left. Then he pounds for another 5 minutes until most of the audience wants to hurl their bookbag at him. I don't think I've ever seen a comic that could take a semi-tired, dated bit about Ashlee and Jessica Simpson (She thought Buffaloes had wings!) and stretch it out for 20 of the most agonizing minutes of my life. Yes, we get it. We all got it 10 minutes ago. A bit about 'Newlywed' shouldn't last longer than the show itself, as a rule. The worst part is that you could see the 'wrap it up' flashlight every few minutes until they just gave up and realized that Greg was obviously 'in the zone' and couldn't be bothered to cut short his brilliant piece on how much the French love Jerry Lewis. My friend Jeff informed me later that it was the kind of set that if you ever tried to call Greg Proops on how awful it was, he would totally 'Klocek' you and tell you it's your fault for not being smart enough for it. So true. Let's move on, before the art of comedy is killed forever.

Then came an agonizing intermission (It only took an hour to seat all these idiots the first time), followed by more Madrigal, 10 seconds of Jasper Reed (Thanks again Greg!) and then the two headliners.

Zach Galifianikis was great. I've seen him many many times on the TV and he didn't disappoint. Complete with visual aids, his trademark piano noodling and a child choir, he had a great set.

And finally, the master. Patton Oswalt so effortlessly makes audiences shit their pants at this point, that he could roll out of a bum's ass after living there for 6 months and have a great show (as long as you gave him 2 hours to pound drinks at Andalu first). The highlight of the night for me was when he finally took the 'do not touch' sign off of Bob Hope. For years, everyone knew that Bob Hope sucked. We all tolerated his unfunny bullshit for the sake of 'respecting his legacy' but as Patton put it, "the last 20 years was (doing Dave Thomas doing Bob Hope impression)"Some people say I'm finished, but I think I never got started. (motion for diarrhea in his pants) **SOUP**!!!". Maybe it doesn't translate well to print, but who cares, it made me soup my own pants laughing. He performed a short but sweet set, tried out some new material as well as continuing to tinker with older bits. There's rumor he's recording another CD later this year, and I already know it will kick ass.

At one point, Patton mentioned what a great crowd it was. Yes and no. The problem with San Francisco comedy crowds (compared to New York) is that they have that small town attitude of "We better appreciate this or the big comedy superstars will never come back". So as a result, they will laugh at ANYTHING. Proops' entire set is a prime example of this. Local comedy here needs a few more people to yell out 'you suck!'. Filling someone with confidence as they suck away your life with poorly thought out, ill-premised material isn't doing anyone any favors.

But all in all, a good show for a good cause (I assume. Like I said, I hate kids). Truth is, it could've been a benefit for injecting killer bees with Ebola and a drug that turns your hands into big 3-D swastikas and I'd still have gone. Well, maybe. I mean, swastika hands? That's pretty bad. Maybe if they took Proops off the bill.


Sunday, April 03, 2005

SFist Reprint

A weekly exercise in the mental gymnastics required to remember just where the hell we went last night. We suppose you could also call it a bar review column. Submitted as usual by SFist's resident loudmouth soup officianado, Drew.

Being April Fools Day and all, we thought we'd try and find the funniest bar in town for this week's review. Strangely enough, however, most bars aren't that funny in and of themselves. They may have funny patrons or a cut-up bartender pouring the drinks, but for the most part, the 'ha-ha' quotient of your local watering hole won't be determined by the building itself.

Never willing to admit defeat (or stop drinking when we should), we plowed on (pun intended), determined to find a place funny by its mere existence, not by the folks inside. Hmmm... How about Would You Believe, Cocktails? Very funny name, but not so funny inside. The Embers? Well, it was full of clown paintings, but then burned to ground which isn't so funny. Stay tuned for the now over-hyped funny business after the jump.

The Napper Tandy, in the heart of the south Mission on 24th and VanNess is an Irish bar in a Mexican neighborhood that seems to serve a primarily hipster crowd that's not particularly in the mood for either culture. Decorated more like a Cuban mambo club than an Irish pub and then sprinkled with Guiness posters, Nappers can be a little confusing at first, and downright hilarious after a few cocktails.

A huge space that takes up the entire corner, The Napper Tandy has the feel of a restaurant that no one eats in. The bar is very popular, but I didn't notice anyone going in back to sit at one of the 20 or so tables towards the rear. The bartender seemed to be authentically Irish and did pour a great Guiness, but once you looked around at the hot orange decor and 10 taquerias visible through the window, it tended to make for a slightly unconvincing Emerald Isle replica.

It's this very paradox, however, that makes The Napper Tandy endearing. Why go somewhere that authentically duplicates one particular culture, making you feel like you're at Epcot Center when you can be treated to a totally funny experience only possible when you mash together 5 or 6 different cultures? Ok, maybe that's not laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it's a good enough start until you get the whoopie cushion inflated.

Liver... Out!!


Saturday, April 02, 2005

Go Down To The Racetrack And Find Us A New Pontiff!

No one too 'frisky' though...

Apparently, there's a third hand unconfirmed rumor going around that the Vatican will pick an old and frail man to be the next Pope. This way, we won't have to wait another three decades to go through the fun process of picking a new guy.

If this is even remotely true, then the Catholic church is even more shitfuck-crazy than I thought. They want a REBOUND Pope? A skanky intermediary Pontiff that they met down at the local tavern? Some quick, dirty religeous leadin' while the bishops in charge look for the Mr. Right?

The real tragedy in all of this, obviously, is that I now have to re-tool the website of the imaginary band I used to be in, Papal Itch...


Best of The PTE

Everyone pissed me off yesterday, even Stat Boy! Why do I feel like the only person on earth at times who thinks Ashley Judd is a no-talent blow-hard whose brand of 'look at me' cheerleading for Kentucky ranges from 'self-serving' to 'sickeningly annoying'?

A perfectly encapsulated diatribe of 'Superfan' Ashley was to be found in Slate a couple of weeks ago:

"Ashley Judd, superfan. It's one thing for celebrities like Jack Nicholson and Spike Lee to flaunt their wealth courtside during a pro game. But watching the aging ingénue don pigtails to prove she can relate to the commoners of the commonwealth is just sad. First, she punishes us with dreck like Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Now, she pollutes UK telecasts because TV directors can't resist endless cutaways of Wynonna's sister. Yeah, yeah, she knows her basketball. She also dated Michael Bolton. Let's not go nuts glorifying her critical reasoning skills."

Well put, to be sure, but my dislike of younger Judd is not just limited to her 'let's cheer on the boys and serve them orange slices' chipperness on the sidelines. Have you ever seen her interviewed? I've never seen anyone so desperate to prove how intelligent she is. Overpronouncing every word as if annunciation equals smart. Inevitably as well, she'll sit on her legs or do something else during the interview to let everyone know how much she plays by her own rules.

So give it a rest Wilbon (and to a lesser extent TK and Statboy). There are infinitely more attractive women at sporting events for you to drool over and ones I'm sure that are 100 times less annoying than Ashley Judd.


Friday, April 01, 2005

Should Of Just Driven Drunk, Or Why Caltrain and the Mid Peninsula Suck.

Even if the guy on the left just murdered 20 people in a hail of automatic gunfire, it's not 'the worst thing you can do'.

This last Wednesday, a couple of unemployed losers (who I'll refer to as me and Jeff, for the sake of convenience) embarked on an all-day binge tour of the mid-peninsula area of the San Francisco Bay Area. Inspired by a Cal-Train crawl I'd read about online, we loaded ourselves up with nips of booze and maps to bars from San Bruno to Redwood City and took off early in the morning to become the public nuisances we know we can be.

Why this particular Wednesday, you ask? Well, starting today, three raging alcoholics that have convinced themselves that they're only 'casual' drinkers (for arguments sake. I'll refer to them as me, Jeff and my wife) have decided to go dry for the month of April. So if you see any of us around, offer us a drink so we can drop our shoulders, sigh and quietly mutter something like, "Stupid idea...".

But anyway, back to CalTrain. The day started off well enough. We made it to Millbrae and caught the next southbound train without incident. One of the great advantages of CalTrain over BART is that drinking and eating are both perfectly legal on CalTrain, so you can whip your bottles out with abandon as you slowly make your way toward San Jose. Our first stop was near the Bay Meadows racetrack. This is by far the most unintentionally hilarious stop on the whole CalTrain system. Most train stops are nice modern transit centers with ample parking and bus connections. They realize, however, that any and all amenities like pavement and parking are just wasted on horse track people. You're pretty much thrown off the train into the mud at Bay Meadows and left to presumably crawl your way into the track and bet away your social security check. My favorite visual image all day was at the gates of the horse track, on a bench at 11 AM was a shirtless guy pounding a beer waiting for the first race at noon. My hero.

From there, we walked to the Prince of Wales bar on E. 25th near El Camino. On the way, we passed a policeman walking into Burger King with an M-16 (?). Whatever. We then had a couple of drinks, Jeff had the ass-killing Habanero burger and I stuck with a smoky Jalapeno burger. Mission accomplished so far, noon and we're getting drunk.

Next was supposed to be Steamie's, but a 15 minute walk south of Bay Meadows yielded a place that was closed until three, but just today. Assholes! So we boarded the train and went to Redwood City. Another lengthy walk brought us to Sodini's, wedged right in between an Adult Book store and a Halloween costume shop. To say Sodini's was depressing is an understatement. The bartender had an oxygen tube rammed in her nose and spent the whole time playing computer draw poker. Definitely time to move on. We stopped for another drink or two at a slightly more 'bar and grill' type place around the corner, and decided we'd seen enough of the peninsula and it was time to get the fuck back to the city.

Approaching the Redwood City train station, we realized that our train was just pulling up. So we booked ass to try and catch it. Jeff ran a little faster than me, so he was able to catch the train and hold the door for 4 or 5 seconds until I huffed and puffed my way on. Now here's where it gets funny. We started to walk down the length of the train to find seats and were met by a power-hungry conductor and his fat toadie minion/trainee. They informed us that holding the door for a CalTrain is THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO on a train. Jeff politely (and somewhat drunkenly) informed him that he could think of lots of worse things, so he'd be pleased if he didn't exaggerate anymore. This of course set Dorky McTicket-taker off on a tizzy and he informed us that the next stop was our stop. That's right, he was kicking us off the train. No amount of reason and calm imploration could sway this dipshit from making his one big collar of the day and throwing us two hooligans off the system. Jeff did manage to get some good one-liners in on our way off, telling the guy he should go get a degree in 'real engineering' so he wouldn't have to ride the 'choo-choo' all day. As usual, we spent the next 1/2 hour thinking of funnier things we should've said to him.

Turns out that was a stroke of luck anyway as I'd left my bag at the dialysis bar in Redwood City anyway. We went back and retrieved it and vowed this time never to come back to the peninsula of our own accord again.

Then we went back to the city, got much drunker at several south Mission establishments (Treat Street, Napper Tandy, Phone Booth, Clooney's, Dovre) and called it a night. More importantly, however, called it a month, and hopefully by May, my liver will be back down to its fighting weight and I'll lower my tolerance to the point where it won't take 10 vodka/tonics before I start to feel a buzz.

P.S. If you live south of Daly City and north of San Jose, where you live sucks. You live in a less interesting Los Angeles and need to get out if you ever have a desire to be interesting in any way. And I'm not talking about interesting in a 'serving drinks while living off a feeding tube' kind of way.