Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010

One of my biggest pet peeves is that, every single time that the year starts coming to an end, I hear a bunch of people saying “I can’t wait until this shitty year is over.” Even though I’m sure it’s happened in the past, I can’t remember a time when a friend celebrated how great their year was, and how they’re looking forward to the new year not as wiping away the previous shitty year, but as continuing all the good stuff that happened in the passing year. Sure, things happened this year that were “unfortunate,” to put it lightly, but all in all, 2010 was a great year. At least, it was for me.

I try not to do this, but blogs are primarily a public diary of sorts. I have typically chosen not to use mine as such, but I’m going to make an exception for this. Here’s a rundown of why this year was great for me:

The year started with my dad turning 80. Even though his mind isn’t as sharp as it used to be, he’s still surprisingly active for a man of his age. His birthday party this year also gave me a chance to introduce my girlfriend Nelissa to pretty much everyone on my dad’s side of the family.

I came to the conclusion that Library Science wasn’t something I want to major in, and quit the SJSU MLIS program. This is big because the library has always been my safety net, and walking away from this is going to force me out of my comfort zone.

I was finally able to pay off my student loans. For the first time in seven years, I am completely debt-free. That debt kept me chained to my job because I was terrified of not being able to pay it off. There is really no way to adequately express just how fucking magnificent it felt to write the check that took it all away.

This was my final year in the CSUF Linguistics program. Shockingly, I was able to do a project on a subject that I love (language evolution), and I worked with someone who formulated, along with her colleagues at UCLA, a theory on language development that finally made perfect sense to me. I was able to do a paper that I was proud of, and that I feel can be backed up by evidence. I am more proud of this project than any other thing I have ever worked on, and when I go over it again, I’m surprised that I was able to do it. Plus, I passed the Comprehensive Exam and ended my MA program with straight As. The following week, I drove to work and was having a really bad day, and when I got there I discovered that my coworkers threw me a surprise graduation party.

I beat Mario Galaxy and Tetris!

The Lakers won championship again this year, this time against the Celtics. This victory was made so much sweeter in light of Paul Pierce’s “we ain’t coming back to LA” comments.

An interesting chain of small events happened that lead to something big. First, Scott’s wife Diana posted a link on Facebook to some site called “Far Beyond the Stars”. The article that was linked was called “27 Reasons Why You Should Never Have a Job.” I read it before I went to work and it planted a seed in my head that just kept growing. I didn’t know what I was going to do, but I knew for a fact that I didn’t want to have a job anymore. In fact, when people would ask me what kind of job I was going to look for now that I graduated, I began telling people, “I don’t want a job anymore,” and I was dead serious about that. I told this to Scott during my work shift, and throughout the day we bounced around the idea of starting a publishing company. A few weeks later I was co-founder of a small business, and in a few months we have been more successful than I could have anticipated. I feel like there is a very real chance that, if it continues doing well, I could eventually live my dream of not having a job. This is very exciting to me, and it all started with a Facebook link. The lesson? Embrace the random.

In similar news, I was finally able to get some books published on Nook. At this moment, my combined personal eBook sales are doing well enough that, if I were laid off from work, I would be OK.

This year Nelissa and I decided to try to lose some weight. Before being sidetracked by my comp exam and project, I lost 35 pounds in around four months. Unfortunately I got lazy after I graduated and gained back close to 20 pounds, but now I know for a fact that I can lose it again. I’m still thinner now than I was the same time last year. That’s an accomplishment.

My entire life I’ve bought shitty, low-grade computers because I didn’t have the money for a good one. This year I upgraded to an iMac with a 27 inch screen, and I love owning a quality computer for the first time in my life.

On a similar note, I finally got rid of my old Wing phone and upgraded to the MyTouch 4g. This is my first Android smartphone, and I love it.

I finally went to Bombay Beach and saw all the old wreckage, and we also took another trip to Salvation Mountain (then Joshua Tree, Palm Springs, Cabazon, and Morongo). Best of all, Nelissa and I took our best road trip yet, driving to Colville, Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, and San Francisco all in the same trip. I came to the conclusion that, when there’s sun out, Washington may be the prettiest state I’ve seen.

I finally went to a Lakers game. It was against the Suns, and even though they lost, it was a lot of fun and something that I definitely want to do again.

I compiled every single library-related blog I’ve written into a book, and asked Scott to publish it as a free book on the iBookstore. It has been downloaded over 7,000 times and at its peak hit #2 on the free bestseller list. Also, all of the written reviews on the page have been positive.

So there you go. 2010 was a fantastic year, and set the bar high for me. I hope I can raise the bar even higher in 2011.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Alt Rock SmackDown! The Pixies Vs. Nirvana



Kurt Cobain always wore his influences on his sleeve, and one of the most famous bands that he loved was The Pixies. In fact, Cobain has stated that Smells Like Teen Spirit was his attempt at making a Pixies song, and we all know how well that worked out for him. As a huge fan of both bands, I’m going to pit them against each other for no other reason than to jerk off over music I love. I’m just going to focus on their studio albums, since both released four albums each and it makes it easier to compare the two. While Incesticide is a b-side and outtakes collection and should therefore be pitted against The Pixies Complete “B” Sides album, I’m still going to treat it like a normal album, since it did spawn at least one big MTV hit, which is a pretty rare thing for an album of this type to do, and because it keeps the 4x4 format that I wanted. Sadly, this also means skipping The Pixies’ ep Come on Pilgrim, but it’ll have to do.

Surfer Rose vs. Bleach

As a fan of neat coincidences, both albums (if you count the CD issue of Bleach) have 13 songs each. Anyhow, aside from how great Nirvana’s debut is, Surfer Rose is an undeniable classic. It’s got some of The Pixies’ most famous songs (Where Is My Mind? Gigantic, Vamos, River Euphrates), and the entire album is what I like to call “a fun-filled romp.” What I particularly like is the little snippets of conversation and false starts included. It makes the album seem almost like The Beach Boys Party! Bleach is a really good album, but is a darker affair altogether. The most famous song from Bleach is About a Girl, though my favorites would be their first single Love Buzz and Floyd the Barber. While Surfer Rosa is a fun album, Bleach is full of metal-inspired sludge rock. And while I love their brand of sludge rock, there’s no fucking way it’s a better album. Plus The Pixies were just a stronger band all around, and their debut routinely beats the shit out of the best offerings by many other bands. And if I add Come on Pilgrim to the CD version like the Brits do, it’s no contest.

Advantage: The Pixies

Doolittle vs. Nevermind

Ah fuck. Once I started devising how I was going to pit these albums against each other, I knew that this would be the hardest one to do. While Doolittle isn’t my favorite Pixies album, it has by far the largest number of classic songs on it. In fact, if I just eliminate I Bleed from the line up, it has six of the best Pixies songs in a row. Thankfully, aside from Gouge Away, the album gets much weaker after those songs. La La Love You is perhaps the worst song The Pixies ever recorded, Silver and Hey are boring shit, and Crackety Jones just seems like Pixies-lite. Meanwhile, Nevermind has only one boring track; the album closer Something in the Way. If you remove that song, every single song on Nevermind is brilliant. That’s fucking unheard of. Yes, the second half of the album is just as great as the first half, even though the album is front-loaded with all the hits. I’ve particularly loved Drain You and On a Plain, but there you go. With one exception, Nevermind is a perfect album.

Advantage: Nirvana

Bossanova vs. Incesticide

I have never, ever liked Bossanova, and as someone who passionately loves The Pixies, believe me, I’ve tried. The song has only a couple songs that rock my ass off: the opening instrumental Cecilia Ann and the far too brief Allison. I like Velouria as well, and in the context of the rest of the album, it sounds like a classic. Rock Music sounds like one of those Gwar songs where Beefcake the Mighty has lead vocals. Shit like Dig for Fire and All Over The World just aren’t that great, and the majority of the album never rises above “meh” levels, even if Havalina is kinda pretty. Incesticide is a really interesting, since it’s got both sludgy Nirvana (Aero Zeppelin) and poppy Nirvana (Been a Son), as well as some interesting covers (TWO Vaselines songs! And a Devo cover!) The album as a whole is entertaining, because there’s also songs where it seems like the band is just fucking around. Seriously, what the hell is up with Beeswax? It also has a surprising number of classics for a b-sides/outtakes album, such as Sliver, Been a Son, and Aneurysm. Therefore, this was an easy choice for me, since I get more joy listening to Incesticide than Bossanova.

Advantage: Nirvana

Trompe le Monde vs. In Utero

Oh Trompe le Monde. Why do music critics hate you so much? This was the CD that made me a Pixies fan, so it holds a special spot in my heart. It’s also my favorite album of theirs, since I really enjoy the sound they were going for on it, and the opening track (Trompe Le Monde) is an amazing way to kick off the album. Add to that Planet of Sound, Alec Eiffel, an amazing cover of Head On, U-Mass, Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons, and Lovely Day, which sounds like they stole the guitar from Generation X’s Dancing With Myself and made a Pixies song with it, and you have one of the best “last albums” of all time. In Utero is more iffy. The only songs that I love from this album are Serve the Servants, Scentless Apprentice, Radio Friendly Unit Shifter, All Apologies, and maybe Milk It. Heart-Shaped Box was by far their worst hit, since the whole thing just sounds like a stretched-out intro. Dumb seemed like Polly all over again, just not as good, and Rape Me is a song so stupid that I want to yank Kurt out of his grave and punch him in the face for writing it. So we have my favorite Pixies album against the worst Nirvana album. I think you know where this is going.

Advantage: The Pixies

For this smackdown it doesn’t appear that there’s a winner, since they’re both going two for two. When I compare their worst albums (Bossanova vs. In Utero), Nirvana comes out ahead. This is also the case when I compare their best albums (Trompe le Monde vs. Nevermind). However, the first two Pixies albums are cumulatively better (just barely) than the first two Nirvana albums, and the same goes for their last two albums. If you discard the album format entirely and just pit the songs against each other, then I think that The Pixies were a much stronger band throughout their short run. In fact, when I added my favorites songs of each band to a playlist, Nirvana had 27 and The Pixies had 31. So by a measly four songs, we have a winner.

The Winner: The Pixies

Tune in next time for Jangle Pop SmachDown: REM vs. The Smiths!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Failure Walk With Me: How I Learned to Love and Hate Twin Peaks

Last night I finally finished watching Twin Peaks, and I have to say that the entire experience was both fantastic and depressing. I didn’t watch the show when it first aired (and since I was 10 at the time, I probably wouldn’t have liked it), and when I became a huge fan of David Lynch in my teens, the show wasn’t readily available for me to watch. However, even though I never saw it in it’s initial run, I was always aware of what it was. Without seeing an episode, I knew that it was a murder-mystery about the death of some teenager named Laura Palmer, that it took place in a small town, that “damn fine pie” and “damn fine coffee” were somehow the catch phrases of the show, that there was someone named The Log Lady in it, and that it was weird. That’s all I knew and cared to know about the show when it first came on. Years later during my Lynch phase, I rented the VHS of his follow-up series “On The Air,” which I was only able to finish one episode of before turning the damn thing off. All that I remember from that show was a floating pair of scissors and Hatchet-Face from Cry Baby being in the cast. Since that show was a product of the Frost/Lynch team that did Twin Peaks, I can’t say that I had much of a desire to seek out the show.

I eventually found a VHS of the pilot on sale at some store and decided to give it a go. Unless pretty much everyone who loves the show, the pilot did nothing for me. It was the international pilot, by the way, which ended with Bob yelling some shit, and the dwarf dancing in the red room. What bugged me the most about the pilot was how shitty the acting was with most of the cast, the worst offender being Dana Ashbrook as Bobby. That, and the ending just pissed me off. I never bothered watching that tape again, and once again my potential interest in the show died off.



I’ve recently become a fan of TV again, and I love the idea of long story arcs. So I figured I would give the show a chance, with my more mature and forgiving tastes accepting the limits of what can and can’t be done on a TV show. I watched the original TV pilot, and my complaints still stood. A lot of the acting was shitty, and some of the characters, such as Andy and Audrey, were just flat-out annoying. However, I wanted to keep watching, because I heard that it was supposed to be great. When I watched the next two episodes, I was hooked. I don’t know if the following two episodes were “better” than the pilot, or if I just knew what to expect, but everything started to click for me. The second episode was such a punch that I still can’t believe this show was such a hit (for a time). The disgusting sleaziness of One-Eyed Jacks and the famous ending with the red room and dancing dwarf convinced me that I was watching something special, an anomaly in TV that may never be duplicated. Oh, about the red room...this is an instance of where a scene that didn’t work for me in one format worked in another. When it was tacked onto the international pilot, it felt like retarded bullshit that was just chucked in for the sake of being weird. In the second episode, it somehow fit. I know that it was filmed specifically for the international pilot and not the second episode, but it still worked better here.

After a few more episodes, I became a huge fan of this show. I started to love the characters, the story was great, and more importantly, I wanted my friends to watch it. This is always a sign that you’re watching something special. The only thing that damped my excited was that I knew all the baggage that came with this show. Through reading about it over the years, I knew who the killer was and that the show apparently goes downhill after the reveal. I stayed positive throughout though. It was great entertainment, and I started to like the characters enough that I was more than willing to watch them in whatever non-Laura Palmer plots they wind up in. The show was that good.

I haven’t discussed the characters yet, but I’ll just briefly state that Agent Dale Cooper is one of my favorite TV creations. He’s clean-cut in a way that isn’t retarded, and his excitement and wonder at the novelty of this small town is charming without being condescending. The Horne brothers were also far more entertaining than they had any right to be, and I fucking loved the obsession with food. Audrey eventually grew on me, and her transformation after what happened to her during her own investigation was fairly depressing, but it did a great job of making her less annoying than she was in those early episodes.



When I saw the episode where the killer was revealed, I was shocked. People bitched about how it was revealed, but in Lynch’s world, it made sense. It wasn’t so much who the killer was, it was how that information was revealed. I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, so I’m not going to say who it is. However, the reveal is shown through one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever seen in any format. It’s not so much that the scene is violent (and it has to stand as one of the most violent things to ever air on TV), it’s the combination of that violence with sadness and insanity, along with Lynch’s directorial tricks that make the scene longer and more devastating than I expected. I don’t remember how long the scene actually was, but fuck did it seem like a long time, and not in a bad way. It was one of those few times where my mouth fell open in shock, and I just looked blankly at the screen. It was that fucking good. The follow-up episode, where the killer is finally caught, was also pretty good, but not nearly as much as the previous episode. End the show there, and it would be remembered as one of the greatest shows of the 90s, if not of all time.

But of course, that didn’t happen. In the following episodes, there are a number of plots that are either boring (Cooper under investigation for crossing the border, James shacks up with some random lady) or insultingly retarded (eyepatch lady has superpowers and thinks she’s a teen, Andy keeps worrying about his “sperms,” there’s a kid that they think is a devil, blah blah blah). It was a chore watching the rest of the series, and I started dreading each new disc that came in (I was Netflxing the show). The humor was embarrassingly bad slapsticky shit that hasn’t been funny since the Three Stooges nailed that shit years ago. The focus shifted to plots no one could possibly give a shit about, Cooper started being moved to the background, and the whole thing just seemed to lose focus and fall apart. I have never seen anything go from brilliant to godawful so fast. It would be like Dylan following Highway 61 Revisited with several variations on Self Portrait. If I had never seen the show and just ran across these episodes while flipping through channels, my immediate thought would be “what is this bullshit?” and then laugh at it. Then change the channel.

However, as the show started coming to a close, things unexpectedly turned interesting. There was a new Cooper plot, and while the villain wasn’t handled as well as he should have been, it was at least interesting. At the very last possible minute, the show reminded viewers why people talked about it so much in the first place. The beauty pageant plot was dull, but it ended on the right note, and the climax leading to the final episode was pretty well done. And then Lynch came in and directed the final episode, and hooooooooly shit. Twin Peaks set the bar for this kind of thing, but the last episode of Twin Peaks takes the cake for being the strangest hour of television ever aired, even more so than any of the previous episodes. I will fully admit that half of it was nothing more than Lynch jacking off and showing his sperm-encrusted sock to the viewer, but my God was it great. This episode firmly established Twin Peaks as a place where things are definitely not right, where evil exists and hides in the woods. Though the show was struggling to find its way after the Laura Palmer plot was resolved, I feel that the last episode set the stage for stories that focused more on the creepiness of the town and less on moronic slapstick. I was legitimately surprised, and saddened, that after hating half of the second season, the final episode left me wanting more.

I haven’t seen the film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, but my understanding is that it’s a prequel to the show (in a way) and doesn’t resolve any of the cliff-hangers in the last episode. I guess they don’t really need to be resolved, but still. It’s a shame that the show got so bad while trying to find it’s footing again, because now it seems to be known mainly for disappointing viewers and jumping the shark rather than for reaching the heights that it did early on. The most surprising thing about this show isn’t the strangeness of it, it’s the fact that for a brief moment, mainstream TV viewers were addicted to a TV show co-created by the guy who made Eraserhead and Blue Velvet. Now that’s more mind-boggling than a backwards-forwards-talking dwarf and giant kickin’ it with the dead in a red room.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Now You Can Get REALLY Intimate With Your Kindles

Awhile back I published a little eBook collection of library blogs on Apple's iBookstore, and the response has been a hell of a lot better than I ever expected it to be. However, owners of the biggest eBook reader on the market, Amazon's Kindle, may be feeling left out and unloved. Well guess what? It's time to break out the candles and champagne, because my eBook, A Series of Frustrated Outbursts by a Fake Librarian, is now available on Kindle! And because you can download a Kindle reader on many different devices, such as CrackBerry phones or phones with Android, you no longer have to feel left out! (Unless you own a Nook, that is. Fuck the Nook. I've never seen a eBook reader so unfriendly to independent publishers)



Because of how weird the set-up is on Amazon, I cannot offer this book for free on it. Strangely, other people can, but if you're just some random person wanting to give shit away for free, it's not allowed. There is some good news for cash-strapped owners of expensive electronics: this book is available for the shockingly affordable price of just .99 cents! That's right, for LESS than a buck you get roughly an hour (depending on your reading speed) of a book that one reviewer raves is "pretty entertaining for the most part." Still not convinced? Another reader proclaims "...it wasn't that bad. I chuckled a few times." Shouldn't you be clicking your way to euphoria RIGHT NOW???

Note: As I stated in my previous plug for this book, it contains no new material, aside from an introduction. Every blog contained in it can be found here. This book is really just for people who have never read my blog or for those people who are so anal about their blog reading that they want everything in one place. I count myself in the second category, since I copy and pasted every single blog about the Left Behind books from the Slacktavist website onto a Word file for easy reading. Plus, I like pretending that I'm a real author.

Another note: if you're really, REALLY dead-set against paying for the book or don't have a device with either the iBookstore or Kindle apps, send me a message and I'll send you a free copy in .doc format. In the meantime, I'm going to figure out some way to get this book posted somewhere for downloading. If and when the book goes up somewhere, I'll post the link here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Review of Library Positions (That I’ve Worked)

Page

The typical “entry-level” position for people wanting to work in libraries is that of Library Page. A lot of hardened library folks look back on this position with a smile on their faces, because it is by far the simplest and least bullshit-ridden position you could possibly have at a library. Your basic duties as a page are simple, but vary from library to library. The thing they all have in common is shelving, which means that anytime you’re at a public library and see some sad-looking fella shoving a cart of books through the stacks, you’re probably looking at a page. Through sheer osmosis, the pages become more intimately familiar with the collection and Dewey system than anyone else in the library, since the whole point of their job is keeping things in order. The absolute best part of being a page is not having to deal with major library problems. In fact, at some libraries you are specifically forbidden from helping people, even if they’re looking for a book that you have on your cart. Goddamn I miss being a page sometimes.

However, there are a few major downsides to being a page. The first is the pay. As the second-lowest wrung on the library ladder (volunteers are the lowest), you are paid the least. Another problem is that after several months, the job becomes mind-numbingly tedious. There’s a reason why, at a certain point, previously energetic pages start taking on the appearance of cattle, with sad expressions just begging to be put out of their misery. Another problem is that there are many other little tasks that you’re required to do as a page that you never find out about until you’re asked to do them. There are typically jobs such as picking up garbage on the floor and even in front of the library, moving around surprisingly heavy boxes of crap, wearing costumes for library events, mopping the floor if someone spills a drink or food, mopping the floor if someone craps or pees on it, climbing on the roof to hang promotional signs, etc. A lot of the time your job as a page is being a janitor that also happens to shelve books.

Final Verdict: If the pay was raised, this would be an awesome position. I cannot stress enough how desirable cleaning crap off the floor is to having someone threaten to stab you because you cut off their computer time, or throw things at you because of a fine. Also, if you’re a bookworm, there is nothing better than constantly being up in the collection from the start of your shift to the end. Finally, there is a very peaceful and, dare I say it, zen-like quality to those early morning shifts, when you’re shoving a cart of books through a quiet library with the sun shining through the windows. That is how I prefer to remember it.

Aide/Clerk

This position can potentially be the scariest. It’s a rung higher than the page, so you’re paid more, but depending on which library system you work for, the difference in pay can either be awesome (a $4 increase) or pathetic (a $1 increase). This position is usually filled by former pages wanting to work their way up, but I have also found out that a lot of places let applicants jump straight into this position without needing previous work as a page. This, of course, infuriates a lot of pages who get passed over for this position, but human resources could really give less than a shit about the pages. Anyhow, the main job of an aide/clerk is checking out books to people and dealing with all of the pleasantness that this entails. There are, as always, a lot of smaller side jobs as well, such as mending damaged books, pulling books off the shelves to fill requests, shipping them out to other libraries, and other shit work which is less shitty than what you’re asked to do as a page. On the plus side , you get to meet a lot of your library’s patrons. Some people may ask, “how the fuck could that be a plus?” but the simple fact is that most of the people who come into the library are very nice and just want to have something good to read, or a good movie to watch. The conversations are typically pleasant and do a lot to kill the tedium of the job. In fact, since customer service is your job at this point, a patron can talk you up for 15 minutes, and if you’re enjoying it, this is a great way of killing time that would otherwise be used checking in books or dealing with another, possibly angry patron. And your supervisor can’t really say shit to you, since you’re supposed to be providing good customer service. Well, they CAN scold you if you’re clearly just bullshitting with a friend, but you at least have the option of defending it as customer service.

As can be predicted, the major, MAJOR downside to this position is that you are the person who gets yelled at if a patron has a fine, or overdue books, or a lost book. I am not kidding about this. If you work as an aide/clerk long enough, at some point someone will yell at you about this stuff, and question your competence. Of course it’s not your fault that they have fines, but the anger has to be directed somewhere, and since you’re the messenger, you’re the one who’s going to get it. When it starts getting out of hand you always have the option of calling up your supervisor, since they’re the ones who have the final say in these matters, but it still sucks ass having to deal with these yelling fits. It actually does get easier the more often you deal with it, and you learn some neat ways of delivering the bad news and defusing some of the anger, but no one likes to be a punching bag, and when you work this position, you’re the one person at the library who gets punched the most.

Final Verdict: This is the position where you really start feeling like you’re part of the library, and you start sharing your battle stories with coworkers. Being a page is a solitary position, but as an aide/clerk you’re typically at the circulation desk with another person. There’s also some kind of strange, unspoken sense of superiority that you get in this position. The reason for this is that you’re handling money, your dealing with the public, and you’ve already typically paid your dues as a page. Therefore, folks in this position get the snobbish delight of looking down on the pages, even though they’d switch jobs in a heartbeat the moment someone starts screaming at them about fines. Also, for you horny bastards out there, you get to talk to a lot of attractive patrons. Not that you’ll end up dating them or anything, but it’s better than having to dodge someone’s farts while shelving books on the bottom row of a crowded aisle.


Extra-Help Library Assistant

This is an awesome position if you can get it. I got it years ago but had to give it up when I started working more hours at my current library. Basically, this is an entry into the world of reference work. It’s an on-call position where, if you’re available, you can go to whatever library needs you, work the information desk, and then not have to deal with whatever major problems the library has once you leave. You get paid surprisingly well and have to do only the basic duties of a library assistant. More likely than not, you’ll just be looking up books for people and dealing with getting people on computers. Sometimes, you’ll have to do minor jobs like pull books of the shelves for requests, or maybe enter some random shit into a computer. There is absolutely nothing about this job that is too difficult. And if a patron starts flipping out on you, you can stare at them blank-faced and just tell them that you don’t usually work there, and direct their complaints to someone else. It’s all the joys of working reference with none of the commitments!

On the down side, you only get work when you’re needed, so you can’t go out and buy a home working this job. Also, while being called to work at a variety of libraries sounds nice initially, it’s a pain in the ass to have to deal with finding some of the more obscure branches that you get called to, let alone where you have to park. Unless you’re familiar with the system, you might get sent to some shady areas that you didn’t know were shady until you’ve already parked your car. Also, and this is a major downside; you’re fresh meat and aren’t familiar with some of the crazies that you may have to deal with. Believe me, once you work reference long enough, you learn how to treat certain people so they don’t start flipping out for bizarre reasons. But aside from the risk of someone stabbing you with a pen because you’re new and don’t know that they’re unstable, it’s a great position!

Final Verdict: This was a great position when I worked it. However, the instability of when you get to work makes this position less than desirable when you have bills to pay. However, if it’s open and you have the time to swing it, it’s a great introduction to reference work. I met some interesting people and got to find out how difference library systems worked, and that was always a plus. And like I said, no commitments!

Library Technician

This is my current position. I’m basically a fake librarian, since what I do is what people assume all librarians do. I look up books for people, I answer reference questions, I assist with computer issues, you get the idea. Library assistants are also fake librarians, but depending on where you’re working, your duties will differ. For example, library assistants in LA County typically have to do work schedules for the pages and aides/clerks, while the assistant at my job schedules class visits for schools. Library techs, on the other hand, don’t do any of that as far as I know. From what I can gather, the main focus of this job is to do “librarian stuff” without having to go to all the big meetings or deal with administrative bullshit. I really, really like that barrier, since the last thing I want to do is get involved in library politics. At least with this job, you can stay ignorant about everything else going on and just concentrate on your job.

The nice thing about this job is that your interactions with the public are usually friendly. The way library folk tend to view things, you’d think that every day was a disaster, but the fact of the matter is that around 80% of your day is positive, if not downright dull. There’s also some shitwork that you don’t have to do, and you have the pleasure of calling on another person to do it instead. Plus you don’t deal with fines. I cannot stress enough how much of a plus that is.

The downside to this position is that you directly encounter and are forced to deal with the more extreme and bizarre problems at the library, such as people masturbating at the computers, fist fights, people complaining about how another person smells, etc. Probably this biggest problem that you’ll have to deal with is the inconsistent and ever-changing policies regarding what you can and can’t do in the library. Food will not be allowed, then it will be allowed, then only food bought in our vending machines will be allowed, then all food will be allowed again, and on and on. A woman will take her shirt off and use a computer wearing only a bra, and that’s not allowed, but a man will come in wearing a leather vest and no shirt, and that’s allowed. Then there’s the problem with people assuming that you know everything, and screaming at you because they can’t find their kids, the same ones they actively ignored for over an hour while checking their email and Facebook updates.

Final Verdict: I get paid ridiculously well for this position, and I’m very happy with it. Like I’ve said, there are negative aspects of it, but those only take up part of your day. Depending on how high up the library food chain you’re looking to go, this is a great job to try for. Just be aware that you don’t get any practice being a supervisor or anything like that. If you don’t want that, and just want a job that pays you well to do librarian stuff without having to do pain in the ass administrative duties or scheduling, this is a great job. Plus everyone will just call you a librarian anyway, and the only people who’ll get annoyed by that are those who went to school for it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Why I Hate Futurama

Like Family Guy, a rabid fan base has brought Futurama back to life. And like Family Guy, I have watched this show several times trying to understand what’s supposed to be so goddamn brilliant about it. Futurama comes on before The Daily Show, so I have had a ton of episodes playing in the background and know what’s going on, who the characters are, and what this show is aiming for. And I fucking hate it. Because it’s done by folks involved in The Simpsons, I figured there’d have to be something going for it, but no. It blows, and here are my reasons for hating the show:

1. Bender

This is supposed to be THE funny character. In fact, when the show debuted, my immediate thought was, “oh, so this is the Homer of the show.” Unlike Homer, there is nothing to like about Bender. He’s just a self-centered prick, and saying that that’s the whole point of the character doesn’t make him any less cringe inducing. His meanness is supposed to be funny, but it isn’t. It’s just annoying. This character is so unlikable that he makes more sense as part of the Family Guy universe. Also, "bite my shiny metal ass" is such a lame attempt at a catchphrase, it makes Cartman's "screw you guys, I'm going home" almost sublime by comparison.

2. Fry

This escaped me for a while, but then I realized that there are actually two Homers on this show. Bender’s the asshole Homer, and Fry is the retarded Homer. So basically what the show did is take the two most irritating aspects of a great character, strip away the humanity, and make them separate characters. There are some “touching” scenes with Fry, but for the most part his character is way too idiotic to care about, which is why Homer is such a shitty character now.

3. Pop culture

The moment I knew without a doubt that Futurama was going to suck ass was when they introduced the Celebrity Frozen Heads. I know that The Simpsons is to blame for the whole pop-culture humor thing, but in the past it was done intelligently. Also, when a celebrity would do a voice on the show, it worked best when they were playing a character. Instead, now whenever a character is introduced it’s preceded by their full name and description of what makes them famous. It’s like they forgot how to make this shit funny and now just do it because it’s expected. Just pointing at something and saying “look!” isn’t funny. There has to be a joke involved. The Futurama episode that got me to write this list had a beginning scene that took place at Comicon. There was a Futurama panel. There were references to Joss Whedon and J.J. Abrams. It wasn’t funny.

4. The animation sucks

This may be odd coming from someone who loves South Park and King of the Hill, but Futurama really suffers from crappy animation. This is with regard to the new Comedy Central version, of course. I know there are budget issues, but still, it just looks bad now. The animation’s all cheap looking and choppy. I know that “adult” cartoons nowadays don’t really have great animation anymore, but this is the only one that suffers from it. At least it does to me, because I hate the show and this is probably just another excuse for me to talk shit on it.

5. I just fucking hate it

Everything is subject to taste. I know that a lot of people can’t stand King of the Hill but love The Cleveland Show. Me, I hate shows that rely on pop culture references to get their laughs, so I hate Fox’s Animation Domination. This is what’s popular now, and I don’t enjoy it. Therefore, if you’re into this kind of thing, then you probably love Futurama. I’m not, so I don’t. That doesn’t mean that the show is inherently unfunny, it just is to me. It’s the same reason why I can’t fully enjoy those early South Park episodes anymore. Futurama has a very good premise, and it’s pissed away by crappy writing and lame jokes. It’s something that I SHOULD love. I just wish it didn’t suck so much.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My New Library eBook, Ready to Caress Your Funnybone

Are you sick of having to dig through my unorganized archives in order to find my library rants? Do you wish you had on hand a fast, portable collection of all my library and book-related ramblings to carry with you everywhere you go? Well, the wait is over. I'm proud to announce that my brand-new, gut-busting book, A Series of Frustrated Outbursts by a Fake Librarian, is now available on iBooks!


Truly, a thing of beauty.

That's right. You now have direct access to my extensive catalog of library observations, right at your fingertips. Instead of having to click around this blog in frustration, now you merely have to tap your way into instant ecstasy with page after page of "hilarious" and heart-warming anecdotes. They're all here, including my world-famous How to Annoy Your Friendly Public Librarian. If you work in a library, visit libraries, know a librarian, know someone who's worked in a library, ever passed by a library, or even know what a library is, then you MUST own this collection!

But wait a minute, I hear you saying. That's fine and all, but why the hell would I pay for a bunch of blog posts? If they're all here, why should I give YOU my money? Information should be free, man. Plus, I'd rather just click around than spend my hard-earned cash on the person who wrote this half-assed junk.

What if I told you that it was FREE?

HA! That sure shut you up. That's right, this book is absolutely, 100% FREE. As long as you have a device that supports iBooks, this eBook will only cost you a couple seconds of your time locating and then downloading it. You can't beat that deal!

So there it is. You have no reason not to download this book. If you're ready for a mind-expanding journey into the pits of library hell, let me be your Virgil.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good Songs By Musicians I Hate

I try to give musicians a fair chance most of the time, especially since my teenage hatred of the Beach Boys and Patsy Cline turned out to be case studies in musical stupidity. Most of the time, when I find one good song by a musician, there are usually several more just lurking around the corner, and it’s time for me to reevaluate them. However, there are some bands that are so fucking repulsive that the only natural response is snarling hatred, but they still managed to squeeze out a song that I’ll admit is good. This is a list of a few of these bands.

Aerosmith: Sweet Emotion


This one is almost like cheating, since I loved this band as a teen. However, this is one of those instances where, with every year that passes, I hate them more and more. Every single song of theirs that I ever liked is now a bunch of derivative, macho, dick-waving bullshit to me. Their songs are by-the-number shitrock, with lyrics which sound like their were written by an excited teenager in between fits of masturbating. If I hear the intros to Walk This Way, Love in an Elevator, or Livin’ On the Edge, I just start getting angry, like Bruce Banner being called a “faggot” or something. In addition to have a ridiculously large catalog of second-rate garbage, they also have the ugliest fucking musician in music history as their lead singer. Fucker looks like he should be on Oprah describing how he survived a chimp attack, not fronting a million-selling rock act. This is the only band that I’ve ever regretted enjoying. Fuck, I’ll still defend Megadeth for having some great songs.

And yet...Sweet Emotion is a great fucking song. The intro builds a great atmosphere and the guitar playing kicks my ass all over the place. And the chorus, which is nothing more than “sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet emoooooooooootiooooonnnnnnn” is also perfect. Of course, because it’s an Aerosmith song you still have their signature shitty lyrics and adequate singing, but the solo that ends the song makes up for it. The song is just too good to be theirs, and yet...it is.

To be honest, it was a toss-up between this and “Dream On,” but that song is so different from the rest of their catalog, and Steven the Schmuck actually sings that one well, that I opted for this one. Sweet Emotion actually makes more sense, because it sounds like an Aerosmith song, whereas Dream On sounds like an anomaly in their catalog.

Limp Bizkit: Nookie


Speaking of dick-waving bullshit, here’s probably one of the most hated bands of all time. This band is so fucking hated that I honestly don’t know a single person who’ll admit to ever liking them in the first place. I’ve even heard people swear up and down that their fame isn’t even legit, that record companies duped the record-buying public into enjoying these assholes. I would never go that far, since you can’t force the majority of people to enjoy something that they don’t, but they apparently did take part in some shady, underhanded bullshit in order to get exposure. I don’t fault them for that though, since you have to gain exposure somehow. I will fault them, though, for being a bunch of obnoxious retards who helped popularize one of the most idiotic subgenres of all time: Nu Metal. Since everything bad that can be said about this band has been said better by others, I won’t go any further here, but I have to add that any musician not named Snoop Dogg who puts out an X-rated video deserves all the hate they get.

That said, I have to admit that Nookie is one of the most insidiously catchy songs I’ve ever heard. The funky bass, the rapping, even the moronic chorus all work, making this probably the only song that I am truly, legitimately embarrassed about liking. Well you know what? Fuck you guys. If you can ironically like hair metal and other shit, then I can unironically enjoy Nookie, even though everything else this band put out is like rubbing broken glass in your ears. The only bad thing about Nookie is that stupid “like a chump, heeeeey” part. But you know what? That also works in the context of this song. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go weep in a corner, since I know that now I’ll never be accepted by the scenesters.

Britney Spears: Toxic


Poor Britney Spears. She started her career by making it socially acceptable for men of all ages to jerk off to underage girls (and even creating an environment where someone like Perez Hilton can post panty-less upskirt photos of an underage girl and get away with it, because that underage girl dresses like a skank onstage), and is now known mainly for being crazy trailer trash. Her status in the entertainment industry is such that making fun of her is akin to still making Monica Lewinsky and John Wayne Bobbit jokes. I was always annoyed by her, but after her mental collapse I started feeling bad for her, and I think that picking on her now is kinda like beating up Dave Pelzer. Hasn’t she suffered enough shit talk? Regardless, her music was always atrociously bad, boring pop. In her quest to become the new Madonna, she forgot about having a passable singing voice and the ability to change with the times. While the majority of Madonna’s style changes have been idiotic (except for the boner-inspiring Like a Prayer era), they were always at least interesting. Britney just took the “whore” thing and ran with it. Come on Britney, do Mormon-chic or something!

As yawn-inspiring as her music typically is, however, Toxic is amazing. I first heard it when I went to the beach with the love of my life, and my immediate thought was, “this is Britney Spears, but it sounds good...is this a remix or something?” When I came home and listened to it on YouTube, I was shocked. Here was Britney Spears, with an honest-to-god great song. That little high-pitched screech in the hook, that beat, that testicle-exploding surf part, even her singing clicked. This, in combination with her head-shaving, umbrella-waving, weight-gaining downward spiral made me seriously consider going back and re-evaluating her work. Then I heard her early hits again and was instantly bitch-slapped back into reality. Those songs still suck, but Toxic is brilliant, and maybe one of the best pop songs I’ve heard. That’s right, fuckers. I went there.

The Righteous Brothers: Little Latin Lupe Lu


There is no decade more viciously stroked than the 60s, which is both considered “the greatest decade EVER” for music and “the only decade that music was good” by insufferable snobs. One of the most important of the important names of the 60s (for me) is Phil Spector, now unfortunately known more for shooting people and wearing tumbleweeds on his head than for the jaw-droppingly amazing body of work he produced. I love pretty much everything this fucker ever touched, EXCEPT the fucking Righteous Brothers. These “blue-eyed soul” schmucks pumped out some crappy, schmaltzy hits that wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t played over and over and over and over and OVER by radio stations. The songs themselves aren’t inherently bad, they’re just fucking boring, by-the-numbers crap, which somehow even manage to sound worse when backed by Phil’s wall of sound. It’s like Phil was one of the Iron Chefs, and the ingredient he had to work with was “dog shit.”

So how the fuck did they pump out Little Latin Lupe Lu? It just doesn’t make any sense. This song grabs you by your short hairs and drags you to the dancefloor, and it has a full, delicious sound that somehow makes their voices sound good. When it starts getting wild at the end, you’re almost ready to forgive them for those horrendous fucking ballads they recorded. Then you realize that those ballads made enough money for both brothers to swim in Olympic-sized swimming pools full of cash, cocaine, and naked groupies, so your forgiveness means less than nothing.

Kanye West: Gold Digger


I know that this is safe, that everyone says it, that it means nothing, but fuck it: Kanye West is one of the worst fucking people alive. Everyone else on this list is annoying, but Kanye deserves a savage beating with a baseball bat covered with barbed wire. He’s an obnoxious, spoiled child of a “man,” who treats the world like it only exists to feed him an unending stream of attention. He talks shit about books and reading, then has the nerve to “write” a book of his little words of wisdom, as if what he has to say deserves to be nestled snugly next to Confucius’ Analects. If I had to choose between punching him or Osama Bin Laden in the face, I would seriously have a hard time with that decision, and honestly, I think the 9/11 wives would be similarly conflicted. He’s that much of an asshole. Oh, and his music? Just as fucking atrocious. God damn I fucking hate this guy.

And then there’s Gold Digger, a great rap song. I like the “I Got a Woman” sample, I like the beat, and even though it’s typical woman-hating bullshit, the lyrics are also pretty decent. Kanye’s rapping isn’t great, but it’s good enough for the song. I really, really like this song, and that’s all I’m going to say because giving Kanye any more credit is just going to make me so mad that I’ll have to scream into a pillow or something.

Honorable Mention: Sublime

I hated Sublime so much in the past, but I’ve eased up on them and will now admit that they had some decent songs. Enough of their songs are good that I can’t put them in this list, even though everything else about them makes me throw up a little.

Almost made the list: No Doubt

I like the song “Just a Girl,” but not enough to add it to this list. Gwen Stefani is probably the worst singer to ever release an album (this includes William Hung), and her voice is so bad that I can’t in good faith defend it for just one song. The song is pretty catchy, but not nearly enough to get past that voice. Fuck Gwen Stefani is what I’m basically saying here.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why I'm Glad CDs Are Dying


CDs are dying, and I’m just going to say good riddance. I’ve been a music fan for years and have had to put up with an inordinately long list of garbage released by money-hungry record labels and misguided, borderline retarded musicians. Here are five reasons why I’m glad CDs are dying, and why I welcome purchasing individual songs online in place of albums:

Foreign-only bonus tracks

This is something that only dorks care about, but since I’m a dork, it bothers me. Something that some musicians like to do is release a different version of their albums overseas, with more songs than what you get in the states. Granted, it’s usually two or three extra songs, but still, it pisses me off to be a die-hard fan of someone and be told that if I want to hear two more of their songs, I’ll have to pay twice the cost of the album or even more in order to do so. Beck did this shit all the time, and his reasoning was, “they have to pay more, so they should get a little extra something.” That’s a very nice reason, but it still fucks over the people who made you famous in the first place. Also, because of new tracks following the final one, those overseas have the privilege of avoiding another thing that pisses me off, and that’s

Musicians who fuck with track length for no good reason

Another thing that’s fucking annoying as all hell is having an album end, and having to sit through several long minutes of silence, only to get a little “treat” at the end. And this isn’t through another track...it’s on the same exact track as the final song. Sometimes it’s random noise, sometimes dialog, sometimes even an extra song. I know that musicians think it’s cute, but what happens if you really like the last song and want to burn it onto a CD? And don’t give me that bullshit that you’re not supposed to be burning songs onto CDs in the first place. People have always made their own mixes, and the artist knows this. Another thing which made me want to find the band and punch each of them repeatedly in the face was when I discovered that the last song was divided into around 70 separate “tracks” of a few seconds each. There’s no fucking justification for that, it’s just a pure douche move by a band trying to be cute.

Re-recordings of old hits


This is something that’s mainly affects fans of oldies. Because the musician got fucked out of royalties on the original, hit versions of a single, most of them re-recorded the songs several times in order to profit when compiled and sold as a “best of.” I have never, ever, ever in my life heard a re-recording that was even half as good as the original. A lot of times it doesn’t even sound like the same band. Sometimes the music itself has a weird contemporary sound that doesn’t fit the feel of the original song. Even more disgusting is when the CD itself is labelled with something like “original hits,” which is technically true...the musician is the original artist who recorded these. It’s still a dirty move, and I don’t care how strapped for cash they are, these musicians can go fuck themselves.

Live versions in place of singles

Let’s say you’re a fan of a certain band, and there’s one song in particular that you really love. You go out and debate between buying the album that it was on and their greatest hits. You decide to go with the greatest hits because you like some of their other hits that aren’t on the studio album. Nothing on the track listing suggests that you’re getting anything other than the hit recordings. You come home, put it in, jump to the track you bought the CD for, and you’re greeted with applause, talking, and a shitty live version of the song you wanted. Furious, you check the back again. No statement saying that there are live versions. It’s only when you open the case (non-refundable now, bitch!) and look at the booklet that you see an asterix next to the track and a note saying “recorded live at...” And it’s not one of those awesome live versions that are hits in and of themselves, like Cheap Trick’s “I Want You to Want Me.” No, this is a calculated move to get you to buy two or more albums, because you got suckered. Goddamn I fucking hate surprise live versions!!! On a related note, I hate when remixes are slapped on greatest hits albums instead of the hit version. Hey asshole, it’s casual fans that are buying the greatest hits package, not die-hards. The die-hard wants the remix and live version. For casual fans, you’re just punishing them for having an interest in your work. Thanks for giving them a shitty first impression. It’s like greeting someone with a handshake after wiping your ass with a single square of toilet paper.

Dialog/skits that are not left as separate tracks

Why the fuck do bands feel the need to add skits to their songs? This is mainly shit that rappers do, because they all seem to think that they’re comedy geniuses on par with Rudy Ray Moore. Sorry, but when I want to hear “Gin and Juice,” I don’t want it to be preceded by the sound of some guy taking a piss. It’s not just skits though. One thing that fucking infuriates me to the point of blinding rage is when I shell out good money for a box set, and because it’s representing something historic they feel the need to add snippets from historical speeches to the tracks themselves. So I’ll hear some funk song, and when the track ends a fucking Malcolm X snippets plays, which was NOT part of the original song, just something that the compilers added to say “THIS IS IMPORTANT.” Sometimes it’s not “important” at all, just something cute to wink at the buyer. Earlier I was listening to an Ultra Lounge comp with a French theme, and tacked onto the end of a bunch of tracks is a lady with a heavy French accent talking about France. This is NOT INTERESTING. In fact, it’s worse than that, it’s fucking annoying and makes me want to throw the goddamn CD out the window. If I want to hear random talking, I’ll go back to audiobooks. When I put on a music CD, especially a compilation, I want to hear music and no fucking added bullshit! Now if I ever want to make a comp of my favorite songs from this series, I’m going to have to do a bunch of editing myself because the folks who released this CD are a bunch of twats. Go fuck yourselves.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Celebrity Sex Tape Edition!

Apparently there’s yet another “celebrity” sex tape coming out, this time coming from a hideous old lady named Danielle Staub from the show Real Housewives of New Jersey. I don’t watch this show and know nothing about it, except that, given the title, it’s a reality show with random assholes who become famous just because they’re being filmed while being random assholes. Anyhow, a tape was leaked by some guy who “Staubed” Danielle and filmed the whole thing, and is now trying to make a buck off of their tryst. And of course it’s going to make money, because even though Staub’s about as attractive as a dangling Halloween mask, people still like watching the private sexual encounters of strangers. Also, there is no doubt in my mind that Staub was behind the link, since celebrity sex tapes nearly always cause people to become more famous than they deserve to be.

Paris Hilton is a perfect example. Probably the most disgusting woman currently alive, she was famous for being rich and “attractive.” Apparently a shockingly large number of men have a fetish for lazy eyes. Anyhow, her fame was limited to being a cunty socialite until her sex tape hit the market. For fans of drugged-up, uninspired sex with boring non-celebrities and piss-poor lighting, this video was a revelation. After this video hit the stores, her fame soared, she had a lame TV show, starred in some idiotic films, and became a real celebrity. The message was clear: “get filmed fucking, and fame waits around the corner.”

The other big non-celebrity to get fame from her sex tape was Kim Kardashian. Look, I’m not going to sit here and say she’s ugly. Unlike Paris Hilton, who I genuinely find hideous, I’ll grudgingly admit that Kardashian is attractive, mainly because of her mammoth, cartoonish ass and “exotic” face. Why do I have to admit this grudgingly? Because her personality is almost as repulsive as Hilton’s, and every quote that I’ve ever read from her makes me want to punch something. She made a sex tape with some guy, it got released, and just like magic, she was offered a TV show by the shittiest network currently on the air, E! Because this tape was obviously made for her to get famous, the lighting was better. I wouldn’t be surprised if she also hired a director.

Since these two idiots got famous from their sex tapes, it seems like everyone’s trying to get in on the action. Some of the more pathetic attempts have been made by men, sad as it is to say. That one midget actor released a sex tape that no one but circus performers would be interested in, and that poofy-haired schmuck from Saved by the Bell released an unappealing sex tape called “Saved by the Smell.” OK, fuck it. I’ll admit that that was clever. Finally, political disaster John Edwards also made a sex tape, which is under lock and key because it is being used as evidence in a legal case. Now THAT is a sex tape that nobody would have guessed existed.

Probably the most famous sex tape was made by Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee. It makes perfect sense why this tape sold an insane number of copies, as it had everything the public wanted to see: big breasts, a big penis, and Hepatitis C. Probably the greatest thing to come from this was when Bret Michaels made a laughable attempt to regain fame by releasing a tape he made with Pamela. To the surprise of no one, it was met with a shrug. Sorry Bret!

Anyhow, because everyone in Hollywood lives for the camera, there are probably a ton of sex tapes just begging to be leaked. Without further ado, here’s my list of sex tapes that I would love to see:

Sigourney Weaver

I am ridiculously attracted to her, probably because strong, ass-kicking women have always appealed to me. The possibilities of a Weaver sex tape are limitless. Remember that scene in one of the Alien films where the alien opened it’s mouth, and another mouth came out of it? I’ll leave the rest unsaid.

Linda Blair & Rick James

There was nothing sexier than how Regan developed during the Reagan years. She briefly dated Rick James, and if that man had his own personal crack torture chamber, then he HAD to have had hidden cameras filming his bedroom shenanigans with Blair. As someone who as a teen shamelessly purchased a copy of Night Patrol just because I heard somewhere that she had a breast flash in it, I would obviously be the first in line to buy this one.

Maggie Gyllenhaal

Maggie’s far too famous for this one to come out, but that doesn’t mean that I still wouldn’t hack my arm off to see this one. For the time being, I’ll have to settle for Secretary. What can I say, sometimes I’m attracted to weird faces.

Fat Anna Nicole Smith

Come on now, this one HAS to exist. There is no possible way that this can’t be out there somewhere. While early, model Anna Nicole was attractive, she was still a bit too cartoony. It was only when she started chowing down and bloating up that she became sexier to me, something which is also happening with E.T. look-alike Jessica Simpson. The only downside to a fat Anna Nicole Smith sex tape would be the inevitable appearance of that creepy-as-hell lawyer Howard K. Stern. One look into those insane, dead eyes would shrivel me up faster than a slug in a salt mine.

Salma Hayek

Probably the most pedestrian name on the list, since pretty much every guy has a thing for her. Hell, put her in a burka and she’d still create wet spots in a man’s jeans. The only way this one could be better would be if she filmed it with Antonio Banderas, since Latin love-making is supposed to be the best love-making there is.

Madonna circa Like a Prayer

Another one that I know exists. I know this because it’s Madonna, and she goes through men the way I go through Doritos when I’m at my most pathetic. She was never sexier than when she was doing that weird Catholic thing, and as everyone knows, Catholicism is the sexy religion. Strangely enough, she stopped being sexually appealing when she went through her Erotic faze. It’s amazing what getting fingered by Vanilla Ice will do to your appeal.

The Go Go’s

A REAL one. There’s a video floating around going by the name “Go Go’s sex tape,” but from what I heard, it’s just the Go Go’s being drunk and convincing a drunk roadie to ram a dildo up his ass. Seriously, who the hell wants to watch that?

Jamie Lee Curtis

There’s one section on my old VHS tape of True Lies which is worn out to the point of being unwatchable. I’ll say no more, except that a Jamie Lee Curtis sex tape would finally put an end to those retarded rumors of her supposedly having a penis.

Snooki

Remember Cabbage Patch Kids? Would you like to see one grown up with a shitty tan? If so, watch Jersey Shore and your wish will come true, since Snooki looks exactly like that. Why the hell would I want to see a Snooki sex tape? Two reasons. The first is because I want to see if there’s a Xavier Roberts tattoo on her ass. The second reason is because I want to see a video floating around the internet with the label “Snooki Gets Donkey Punched!” And unlike everything else on my wish list, I know that this one coming out is going to be guaranteed. Hell, it’s probably getting it’s cover art printed as I’m typing this.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Movies, Part 2

I forgot to mention some movies in my last blog. Here's some of them:

Public Enemies

This movie was pretty forgettable. In fact, even after I remembered some of the movies that I forgot to add on the last list, this one didn't even register until I saw an old magazine with a cover story on it. Johnny Depp does a decent job, but the entire thing seemed so lifeless, even with all the shooting. There were a few scenes where he's almost going to get caught that are interesting, and watching one of his escapes from jail was particularly good, but other than that, this film didn't really stick with me.

Precious, Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire

Aside from having one of the worst titles I've ever seen, this film was surprisingly good. I DETEST Mo'Nique, but she had a performance that at the very least deserves an Oscar nod, if not a win. The lead was also great, and the story was sufficiently dark to keep my interest. The best thing about this film were the fantasy cutscenes, which made the film seem like a twisted, ghetto version of Amelie at times. It's also one of the most depressing films I've ever seen, and even though the ending is kinda sorta maybe a little upbeat, it's still one hell of a downer. The only thing I don't get is why Mariah Carey is getting all this praise. I mean, she did a decent job that any actress should be able to perform. Praising her for this is almost as bad as praising Palin for that debate she was in because she didn't fall on her face.

Bad Lieutenant Port Of Call New Orleans

I did not know how this film was going to be, since I'm not the biggest Nick Cage fan. Plus, this had the appearance of an action film, which made it a strange choice for Herzog to direct. Regardless, this film was incredible. Cage gives the best performance I've ever seen, and his creepy hunching walk during certain scenes reminded me of Kinski in Aguirre. Plus, there are a number of incidences that occur in this film that are just flat-out insane, like a breakdancing scene that comes out of nowhere, and a fantastic "assaulting the elderly" scene. Aside from the creepiness, this is also a very funny film. Hearing Nick Cage using some atrocious street slang was beyond delightful.

Adventureland

A boring comedy about some hip college students working at an amusement park, a lead that's hard to care about, and a love interest who isn't interesting. Ryan Reynalds was the only good thing about this film, even though I'm not a fan of his. I expected some Apatow-esque guffaws in this film, and I didn't get them. Plus, these kind of films hang on how much you care about the characters. I didn't, and therefore I disliked this film.

Humpday

Yet another "bromance," this one about two friends who haven't seen each other in years, and then for an extremely weak, half-assed reason, decide to do a gay porn together. This film was OK. The lead was more annoying than he should have been, and the friend's hippie party friends got on my nerves, but pretty much everyone reacted as they probably should have given the circumstances, so it was at least somewhat believable. I just wish that it was funnier, even though it wasn't a bad film by any means.

Loss of a Teardrop Diamond

This was a very, very strange movie. I mean, not so much the content, but the presentation of it. This film comes from a lost screenplay by Tennessee Williams, which is the only reason why I saw it. It involves many of the themes that I love the man for, including overbearing women, alcoholism, insanity, and drug addiction. Strangely enough, another one of his hallmarks, the gay undertones, were absent. Anyhow, while I enjoyed the film and think that it is a good addition to his filmed work, it definitely feels like something that was written in the 50s or 60s. The script is not modern in any sense, and the director seems to have followed the script as closely as possible. The acting style, the way it was filmed, the way lighting was used, all of it feels very much like it belongs to a different era. I don't think I have ever seen a modern film that had this kind of feel before, like the language, the very syntax of the screenplay was completely out of place. If this were filmed in black and white with old orchestral music, it might have been mistaken for a lost film of that time. Anyhow, I liked it, but I can understand why certain people think that this film felt a little "off."

Coraline

Another great stop motion film that came out last year. Not nearly as great as Fantastic Mr. Fox, it was still a fun, creepy film. I cannot express just how scary those fucking people with buttons for eyes looked. There's actually a lot in this movie that deserves to be discussed, such as what it says about neglectful parents, why children need to escape into their imaginations, etc., but I'm too tired to go into this. Aside from the story, it was also fucking gorgeous to look at. Coraline's garden in that other world was beautiful. The stop motion itself looked great, too. With this, Fantastic Mr. Fox, and Up, last year was definitely a good year for animation.