December 6, 2009

The super-amazing blog/Christmas list/Top 10 list!

To the maybe two of you who noticed/cared, I apologize for the lack of posting over the last few days. I have been sick as a dog (too sick to play Rock Band, even!). I am still sick as a dog, but now getting bored with it and ornery about it, which means recovery can't be too far behind... just in time for work tomorrow! This is nicely ironic, because I started getting seriously ill about two hours after I got home from work Thursday (which is Friday for me). At least cold viruses are respectful of my work schedule. On the plus side, I got a new 20" widescreen monitor for my desktop computer, which makes everything I put on it look pretty (and makes my sims look kind of short and squatty if I try to run the game fullscreen. I've found that running it in windowed mode works much better). You may see the screen in all its glory in the following picture:

I am particularly pleased with this monitor because I got it cheaply. Someone had returned it to Best Buy because of some "superficial scratches on the base", so they'd re-boxed it and knocked 20 bucks off the price. Me, I'm not much looking at the base and I don't care if there are a few "superficial" scratches on it, so I said "Okay, I'll take that one." Which is good because it was the only one they had... they apparently sold out on Black Friday and this one came back. So I took the poor (superficially) battered thing in and gave it a nice home.

Being sick has given me ample opportunity to do something I try not to do that much... sit around and passively stare at pretty moving pictures on a screen. I'm talking movies/television here, people. Not my favorite thing in the world. Many of you are under the impression that I don't watch movies or TV at all. This is very nearly true. The only TV show I watch with any frequency at all is "House", and I only watch movies that appeal to my fairly limited interests (and usually I get up several times during because I don't like sitting for that long without doing anything). However, to say that I don't like movies at all would be a lie. So I scratched around and came up with a top ten list comprised of my favorite movies and TV series. Some of them may surprise you, others may leave you scratching your head and wondering, "What the ****?!" That's usually the reaction I'm trying for in these blogs. : )

My rating scale for these can be summed up as "Can I watch this show/movie repeatedly without wanting to barf, and if so, how many times could I watch it before I barfed?" So I would barf shortly after only a few repititions of the #10 item, but could probably watch the #1 indefinitely with no nausea whatsoever. Enjoy!

#10 - "Pirates of the Caribbean" (movies 1 and 2... I didn't bother buying the third)
Had they not made the second movie, I probably could have given this franchise a higher rating. However, each movie was progressively worse aside from the fact that Johnny Depp was still hot in all of them. Seriously, if it wasn't for his Keith Richards-esque portrayal of Jack Sparrow (Captain!) nobody would bother with these films at all.
Vomit Tolerance: About 3 repititions

#9 - "A Bit of Fry and Laurie"
Most of you yanks (Allison and Audra excluded, because they hang out with me enough) are probably not aware of this sketch comedy series that aired in England in the late 80s/early 90s. Sucks to be you. Some of you might recognize the "Laurie" bit of "Fry and Laurie" as being Hugh Laurie who is now internationally known for playing... DR. HOUSE! This just proves that even when my interests diversify, there's a connection. This show is undoubtedly funnier if you're British, but having a smattering of knowledge of British slang/politics lets you in on a good bit of the humour. It also helps to have a Brit on call who can explain to you the stuff you don't understand. (Hi Wong!)
Vomit Tolerance: Can watch all 4 seasons about 3 times yearly.

#8 - "Animaniacs"
This one would have undoubtedly ranked higher were it not for the Chamaco and his tendency to watch things so often that I hate them, even when I started out liking them. But I loved this show as a child (well, middle schooler... that was how old I was when it was on), and now having bought two volumes on DVD as an adult and watched them with my own child I am pleased to announce that most of the more adult humor sails right over the Chamaco's head just as it did mine when I was younger. This show truly has something for everyone, and adults and children find it amusing albeit for completely different reasons.
Vomit Tolerance: Can watch both volumes we own about 4 times yearly.

#7 - "Finding Nemo"
We got this movie accidentally sort of. Wong was fishing about for a good 4th birthday gift for the Chamaco, and I suggested a kids movie, and together we settled on this one which neither of us had seen. In the end, I think I liked it better than the Chamaco does. This is still one of my favorite Disney movies, right up there with Mulan (which someone should get me for Christmas, thus bringing in the Christmas list part), and Lilo and Stitch (which I already own, thanks). There's enough humor and action to keep the kids interested, yes, but for adults - and particularly the parent ones - it's a rather touching story about learning to let go of your growing child a little. Someone pointed out to me the other day (I forget who it was) that "Nemo" is Latin for "no one". Clever play there, Disney.
Vomit Tolerance: I can watch this one once every couple of months.

#6 - "Eating Raoul"
Put the kids to bed early for this one! Okay, this is a bad 80's movie and most of you have probably never heard of it. I bought it initally because it has Robert Beltran in it, who some of you may know as Chakotay off Star Trek Voyager, who I had a huge crush on for about a decade. This movie is hilariously twisted as far as plot goes, and the acting is hilariously bad for the most part. The plot centers on a very prudish married couple (separate beds and all) living in L.A. in the middle of the swinger scene. They want to open a restaurant, but can't get the money. They come up with this grand idea to lure the swingers (who "no one would ever miss") to their apartment and kill them for their money because they're always so wealthy. Enter Raoul (Beltran) who accidently stumbles onto their scheme (while robbing their house) and offers to help them get rid of the bodies. Hilarity ensues... trust me.
Best line: "Honey, would you mind picking up another frying pan? I'm just a little squeamish about cooking in the one we've been using to kill people."
Vomit Tolerance: I've seen it often enough to have it memorized, but I could watch it just about anytime the urge struck me.

#5 - "Lilo and Stitch"
Best Disney movie ever. (Sorry Mulan.) I totally dig the more realistic portrayal of life in this movie, and the message that family sticks together no matter what. Then you throw in aliens. How can it go wrong? Stitch is awesome, don't get me wrong, but for me it's Lilo that makes the movie. I could totally see myself in her place... a little kid with high intelligence, an overactive imagination, and some weird obsessions (pictures of fat tourists, anyone?). For me the real winner is when the social worker comes over and Lilo is sitting on the floor shaking some spoons with faces on them in a jar of pickle juice with a book titled "Practical Voodoo" at her feet. "My friends need to be punished," she intones. Hysterical!
Vomit Tolerance: One time the Chamaco made me watch it almost every day for a month. That was too much.

#4 - "Batman Beyond"
This was airing on TV when I was in high school, and I used to look forward to it every day. For those of you who don't know, this is second-generation Batman... Bruce Wayne has given up the game because he's an old geezer. Enter Terry McGinnis and a spiffed-up batsuit. Actually, everything is spiffed up... Gotham looks way more futuristic complete with flying cars (and most of the signs rather suspiciously in Japanese), the villains are spiffed up (even the old ones who come back, and there are bunches of new ones), and even the theme music is way more listenable. I own seasons 1 and 3... someone really needs to get me season 2 (and any others that might exist) for Christmas! : )
And best of all... no rubber nipples on the batsuit!
Vomit Tolerance: Put in another DVD! Seriously, the Chamaco and I have watched an entire season in one evening before.

#3 - "Dogma"
Another one to put the kids to bed early for. Not recommended for people with no sense of humor when it comes to religion (Catholics in particular, consider yourselves warned). One of the less religiously offensive things about this movie is that God is a woman (played by Alanis Morissette) and it goes downhill from there. My fave part is the whole "Walrus and the Carpenter" scene where one of the "fallen angels" convinces a nun to abandon her faith based on the poem about the Walrus and the Carpenter, made doubly ironic (as his friend shortly points out) by the fact that, "You know there's a God. You've been in his presence!" This film is also notable for  being one of the last decent films Ben Affleck was in (ouch!) and for having Jay and Silent Bob in it.
Vomit Tolerance: Pretty high. I'm sure there's a limit, but I haven't found it yet.

#2 - "Shrek" (1, 2 & 3)
I own and adore all three of these movies. And when I get tired of them in English, I switch the audio over and watch them in Spanish... whole new movie! This is one series that has not lost anything from the first movie to the third (and indeed the second movie was arguably better than the first, but this is what usually happens when Antonio Banderas is involved). I hear there's a fourth one in the works. I sincerely hope they don't screw that one up.
Vomit Tolerance: Amazingly high.

#1 - "The Crow"
Yeah, sort of a jump there from animated comedy to gritty drama, huh? I think a lot of people, upon watching The Crow, get caught up in all the revenge, death and violence and miss the point... The Crow is the ultimate love story. It's about a love so strong that nothing can stop it... not even death violent murder on the eve of your wedding. Even so, there is enough violence, sex, drugs, etc. in the movie to make it unsuitable for children and faint-hearted adults. Also the soundtrack is pretty awesome.
Vomit Tolerance: Pretty limitless.

Song o' the Day: "Love Like Winter" by AFI... stuck in my head today since it never got above 35 degrees and the video is very snowy. See it here.

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