Friday, January 20, 2006

If You Really Want to Hear About It...

In case you're wondering why my blog has been quieter than a scene in an independent movie, lately, it's because I've been spending the last the month-or-so partying like it's senior year of high school - well, the part of senior year that happens before the actual partying (or, and I air-quote, “partying” – because prom was fun and all, but what, no foam machine?) What I’m saying, in my typical “what I’m not actually saying, at all, judging by the fact that just made you click on ‘foam parties’ for no real reason” fashion, is that it's…college application time!

And yeah, well...I'm late for most things that aren't the movies. But here’s the thing about the last two years – they’ve been quick, and long, and good, and really confusing, all at the same time, in an “Ack, I hope I don’t run into anyone from high school, because they’re going to ask what I’ve been up to, and I’ll make a stupid joke, but they’ll be like, ‘Ha, yeah, but…really,’ and then what the heck do I tell them? ” kind of way. Because, mostly: I don’t know what I’m doing but…I know what I’m doing. I mean, the past two years don’t make for the most exciting story, but, all screw-ups considered, they’ve still felt mostly right. Sure, up until now, I’ve been able to relate to post-graduation Xander more than I’d really hoped, and Weezer’s “The Good Life” kind of took on new meaning, but…despite things working out weirder than I wanted them to, I still think they have been working out. So my point is, remember when I promised not to fill this “journal” up with pages of feeling-sorry-for-myself? Well, that's actually been pretty easy, because…I don’t. And since I'm not real good at talking about this stuff out loud, I figured I'd get it out here. And I’m glad I did, because now when I run into you, we can skip all the, “Well, it’s just, lately I’ve been, um…” and go right to talking about how my hair isn’t as pointy as it used to be.

Oh, and more specifically, this week is Application Essaypalooza, which mostly means my head hurts from trying to "be myself," but not the self that would laugh in the face, and then proceed to punch, whoever made up these stupid questions, like: “You've just been elected leader of a new nation, what are you going to do?” Um, a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad job. “Outline your platform or manifesto.” We’ll save the whales, and then Arrested Development (if by “and then,” you mean “but first”), and outlaw talking on your cell-phone while paying for things. “Who will you appoint as your advisors, and why?” Off the top of my head – Jon Stewart, who would fill the role of Vice President, Summer from The OC, who would fill the role of best friend/will-they-or-won’t-they love interest, and that guy on Letterman who juggled while riding a unicycle on a treadmill, who would fill the role of being awesome. Oh, and Gandhi, because I think I’m supposed to say him, and besides, it’s not like he would take up that much space. “What will you value as a society?” Money. Lots and lots of money. And also the Muppets. And…that one down!

Well, that went places I didn’t expect it to. Sorry – I promise, the next entry will feature 75% less introspection and more references to bad reality shows. Because I know you'd expect nothing less.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Consider It Curbed.

The What I'm Whatevering List
because I know you care...

Last Movie I've Seen
: King Kong (the old, 1933 one). Heh. King Kong really hates dinosaurs. Almost as much as he hates flash-photography. So it’s always weird watching old movies, and not just because all the girls have giant eyes and sound like Minnie Mouse while all the guys look the same and sound like the Radio in The Brave Little Toaster. No, the real reason it’s weird watching them is because, when a movie is carrying over 50 years’ worth of word-of-mouth, it’s hard not to let that affect your judgment of it, one way or the other. But, while I’m sure this was really impressive back in 1933, and was actually sort-of impressive, in parts, for 1933, that doesn’t change the fact that, when you put history aside (which you kind of should, if you’re talking about whether you liked it or not), effects-driven movies don’t age too well. Especially when we’re talking decades. And while this was surprisingly not-hilariously-bad when King Kong was fighting T-Rexes and things, as in a lot of old movies, this one had lots of “Are We There Yet?” before that. Which is either the result of our already knowing certain parts of these movies so well, beforehand, or because people just weren’t much for cutting at least 10 minutes closer to the chase, back then. Anyway, I couldn’t not watch it, and I’m glad I did, but once was enough.

What I'm Watching- TV on TV Edition
: Supernatural. Yeah, it's not exactly scary, it’s always annoying when it wants to be funny, and at least 60% of any given episode is mostly just dull, all of which makes it very difficult to explain why I'd voluntarily watch a show that co-stars Dean from Gilmore Girls. And still, I do. It’s kind of like The X-Files (in spirit, but in no way quality), except that it focuses almost exclusively on urban and local legends, and pretty much disregards any expectations that it should ever make any sense at all. Mostly, I just needed a show that I only have to think about for the hour that it’s on (and even then, not so much). And if it didn’t have the urban legend angle, I probably wouldn’t even bother. Though, all that said, it occasionally comes together better than I expected it to, but that’s mostly because I expected it to be unwatchable, when it mostly just hovers somewhere in the middle. And if “better than you’re expecting, as long as you’re expecting it to suck” doesn’t sound like much of an endorsement, that’s because it’s not supposed to. Still, I kinda liked that last episode with the abandoned mental institution, but then, it’s impossible to create something about an abandoned mental institution that I don’t kinda like, especially if you call it an “asylum.” Which they did.

What I'm Watching- TV on DVD Edition
: Curb Your Enthusiasm: Season 4. Eh. Still overrated. I always want to enjoy it more than I do, in the end. I mean, it's good enough for me to keep renting the seasons as they come out,'s just never as funny as it thinks it is. For those who don't know, it's about Larry David (who co-created Seinfeld, back in the day), and it’s more-or-less an HBO version of Seinfeld, in that it involves a character whose tragic flaw is that he can never just deal, which leads to all sorts of unfortunate and clever coincidences. Thing is, while there are funny scenes, the situations mostly come off as either predictable, contrived, avoidable or any combination of the three. Like, I have no problem with a main character who's kind of jerk, but if Larry could've avoided everything by just shutting up when any normal person would, or maybe by explaining himself some, or by not confronting people and going off on them like real humans just don’t, it kind of kills both the “clever” and the “coincidence” part of the episode, which is more-or-less the whole thing. And people will probably say, "That's the point," then…okay, I don't think it's the best point. Or at least the best execution of it. Still, while the show may not be, Larry David is very funny, and if he just walked around and talked for a half-hour, plot-free, that would probably be my favorite episode. And also be called “stand up.”

What I'm Playing
: Project Gotham Racing 3 (360). While I’m a big fan of the racing game, I didn’t expect the 360 launch-title I spent the most time with to be this one. But here I am, trying to cut seconds off my Las Vegas Blvd. Run time and earn enough credits to unlock the concept cars. There’s not that much to say, except that the ability to hook my iPod up to the Xbox so I could drive to my own playlist is awesome (while also helping me realize just how easy it is to make a car commercial), that inside-the-car view is even awesomer (and, after years of “yeah, it looks cool, but I could never actually play this way,” it actually, like, works, in this game) and, oh yeah, that PGR3 is really, really hard when you start out, to the point where I had to put it on easy mode (which I hate) just to figure out how to make a turn without crashing headfirst into a wall, first. But, in the end, that just means it’s more satisfying when you actually learn how to win, so…yeah, good times.

Last Book I Read
: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. So Dave Eggers’s mom died and then his dad died (or maybe it happened the other way around, I forget), and he was left to take care of his little brother and they moved to California and then he wrote a book about it. And, if you can make it past the first chapter or two, which are really sad and sometimes gross – not in a way that’s poorly written but just in a way that doesn’t make it a fun, easy read – you won’t want the book to end for a while. Like most memoirs, it has “episodes” more than it does a clear plotline, and, like most memoirs, you have to assume that most of the dialogue is fictionalized, because real people just don’t talk like that, and, like most memoirs, certain parts suffer from ew-that’s-way-too-much-information syndrome, but...that first comment isn’t a complaint, and he actually admits to my second one, and that third one…well, just skim through those paragraphs. And, for a book that’s about what this is about, it’s actually really funny a lot of the time, what with the dry, ironic tone (see: the title, for one), the pop-culture references and the applying for The Real World.

What I'm Hoping
: That my confession to watching Supernatural doesn’t somehow discount my unconventional opinion in regards to allegedly “ingenious” Curb Your Enthusiasm. And that you’ll go watch the Arrested Development DVDs. Because any line that George-Michael (no, not that one) has ever had has probably made me laugh louder than anything on Curb.

Hate my opinion? Comment away!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Same as the Last - Except Evenly Divisible by 59!

So, it’s my first post of the new year, and…I have no idea what that means. Well, I kind of get what it means, like, lots of dip yesterday (woo!), and we’re going around the sun again (woo?) and that our only reward for changing the channel when Carson Daly came on, last night, was Ryan Seacrest (eh). But…I don’t know, Linus – I guess I never really understood the true meaning of New Year’s…

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had parties for much stranger reasons (or, more accurately, for much stranger awesome, weekend-long TV-marathon events with the cousins, and also this one time when we watched Harry Potter – yes, there was themed food. And photos.) And also, it’s my sister’s birthday, so I’m probably going to get in trouble for even thinking about questioning the sanctity of December 31st, once she reads this. And, hey, counting backwards is always fun for a change, but…New Year’s Eve still never fails to weird me out, with everyone hugging like it’s graduation, acting like they’re not going to see each other on the other side of midnight, and then that formidable, looming countdown in the corner of the screen, all leading up to those ten seconds where you feel like you’re supposed to be feeling something important, but you’re not, because all you’re feeling is…like you’re supposed to be feeling something important. And also a little sad for Dick Clark, this year (which is also last year). And that champagne is gross.

Oh, and then? People cry. That is…what is…why do people cry? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, like, if you want to come cry around me for reasons that I don’t get but obviously mean a lot to you, feel free to do so no matter what day of the year it is. (I know, awww, can we keep going, now?) And, actually, I’d almost understand people breaking into tears at midnight because, yeah, January sucks. But, for some reason, I just don’t think that’s why they’re crying, so…it all just adds to the general weirdness of New Year’s Eve. Really, I…don’t even know what to say about it. Tears and hugs, every year, and then we come out at 12:01 feeling about the same. Except my shoulder is soggier.

Which I know sounds like the typical, cynical, “who cares about the new year” argument, which isn’t exactly what I’m trying to say. But then, I guess I don’t even know what I’m trying to say, so…some first post of the new year, eh? I probably should’ve wrote more about the dip.

Oh, and how are they going to make those goofy New Year’s glasses once there’s no zero-zero to work with, in the middle? 2010 – now that’ll be an interesting transition.