Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pacino or DeNiro?

Which one is better? I'm still formulating my opinion. I'd love to read yours in the Comments.

I have to get back to work (lunch is over). But, briefly, I think DeNiro has taken a few more risks, and shown a bit more range more often. However, I think Pacino has been more consistently entertaining.

It's basically splitting hairs anyway, since they are both excellent. Pacino benefited greatly early in his career by working with Francis Ford Coppola on The Godfather saga. He also has worked with Sidney Lumet and Harold Becker on some good-to-great films. But, has anyone benefited more, or more often, in an actor-director relationship than DeNiro has from working with Scorsese? Or, was DeNiro great anyway (and Scorsese just smart for continuing to cast him)? And, goodness, has anyone turned "overacting" into an art form more than Al Pacino?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Movie Meme (aka "I've Been Tagged")

Courtesy of Write Procrastinator:

1. Popcorn or candy?

I've always liked both. Popcorn is an essential component of my movie-going experience, and I'm partial to Milk Duds, as well.

2. Name a movie you've been meaning to see forever.

The Departed is a great answer. I blogged about it right before it was released, and now it appears I'll be waiting for video...damned shame.

3. You are given the power to recall one Oscar: Who loses theirs and to whom?

Rod Steiger loses his Best Actor for In The Heat Of The Night. Nothing against him, but Paul Newman HAD to get it for Cool Hand Luke. Unforgivable.

4. Steal one costume from a movie for your wardrobe.

"I'm Batman."

5. Your favorite film franchise is....

Are "Kevin Smith movies" a franchise? What about "Coen Brothers movies"?.

6. Invite five movie people over for dinner. Who are they? Why'd you invite them? What do you feed them?

Fictional characters would be fun to dine with, say Hannibal Lecter, Keyser Soze, Marge Gunderson, Alex de Large, and Linda Barrett. Hannibal would be the easiest to feed. The rest of us would have pizza and wings.

7. What is the appropriate punishment for people who answer cell phones in the movie theater?

Tarred and feathered...or ranted at by Michael Richards (I'm guessing he has a good rant for any race or ethnicity required).

8. Choose a female bodyguard: Ripley from Aliens. Mystique from X-Men. Sarah Connor from Terminator 2. The Bride from Kill Bill. Mace from Strange Days.

Gotta be Ripley. Sarah Connor is a close second, followed by Geena Davis's character from The Long Kiss Goodnight.

9. What's the scariest thing you've ever seen in a movie?

"Now, let's you just drop them pants." -- Mountain Man from Deliverance

10. Your favorite genre (excluding "comedy" and "drama") is....

Are "Kevin Smith movies" a genre? What about "Coen Brothers movies"?

11. You are given the power to greenlight movies at a major studio for one year. How do you wield this power?

White Chicks 2. (Just kidding. I never saw White Chicks. So, I'd be lost.)

12. Bonnie or Clyde?

Bonnie was hot.

13. Who am I tagging to answer this survey?

I'm cool with being tagged. But, I lack the requisite confidence to tag anyone else. Feel free to volunteer replies in the Comments section, however.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Emily Wants You...

…to please be patient with her daddy, who is returning to work after an entire week away from the office.

HH management

Saturday, November 25, 2006

I've Got My Orange Crush

The inimitable Beth has tagged me to discuss crushes, specifically my crushes.

After my parents were divorced, my mom and I moved. So, I switched schools between 1st and 2nd grade. I really don't remember much about Kindergarten or 1st grade. So, let's start (briefly) with 2nd grade. I believe the girl's name was Erica P. But, it must not have been too major, as the details are escaping me.

3rd grade held two major crushes: Stacey G. and our student teacher, Miss Ruskusky. My crush on Stacey was a mutual one. Sadly, my crush on Miss Ruskusky was not. Stacey and I were "going together." As I recall, this consisted of very minor contact. For example, we would stand one after the other in line for lunch, but stopped short of actually sitting next to each other in the lunch room. In fact, our relationship ultimately was doomed by a lunch line incident. I was shoved from behind and bumped into Stacey, who did not see the initial shove. Thinking I had shoved her deliberately, she ended our relationship forthwith. (Or, maybe I did shove her deliberately...I'll never tell.)

4th grade involved another school change. I believe my biggest crush in that 4th & 5th grade timeframe was Jamie B. Sadly, I had grown too shy to act upon said crush. Thus, my youthful love went unrequited.

By 6th grade, puberty had assumed full control of all proceedings. "Crushes" gave way to frequent and overwhelming sexual urges. Physical contact was almost nonexistent, and NEVER reciprocated. In fact, I lacked the requisite self-confidence to have much luck with the ladies, a condition that lasted most of the way through college. It's only been since around age 21 that I've been the ladies man I am today (quit laughing). Apparently, not having to spend so much time arranging for others to purchase beer for me was just what I needed.

But, my ultimate crush occurred some time in 1996: my wife!!! That was the one crush that blossomed into actual love. We've been married since 2001, and I am very much in love with her to this very day.

Now, enough of the sappy shit. Let's get back to the music! I've got 2 Van Morrison shows from '78 and an REM radio broadcast from Europe (1989) downloading. And, the postal carrier just delivered a package from a fellow trader:
  • Neil Young & Trans Band 14-Aug-1982 [2 CD]
  • Nirvana 31-Oct-1991 [1 CD]
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 15-Jan-1997 [2 CD]
  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers 07-Feb-1997 [3 CD]
  • The Who 29-Sep-1969 [2 CD]
  • Pearl Jam 02-Oct-2004 [2 CD]
  • Bob Dylan 11-Mar-1962 [1 CD]
  • Bob Dylan ??-Oct-1962 [1 CD]
  • Rolling Stones "Acoustic Motherfuckers" [1 CD]

I have some serious listening to do!

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I've been tagged. Something about crushes...I'll think about that one for a bit. Speaking of "bit," bit torrenting is the greatest thing in the history of things! I know I'm a little late to the party. But, DAMN!!! Point, click, and let the software do the work...the music just flows onto your hard drive.

I'm very thankful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

"Melt Down," Thy Name Is Michael Richards

This is beyond description (NOT appropriate for viewing at work...or anywhere else for that matter):

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bow To Your Master

Check out this b**tleg I recently acquired by trade. Beth, where were you on 4th of July 1970? I only ask because, apparently, a crowd of folks in the Atlanta area were having their brains scrambled by one Jimi Hendrix.

This is a pristine soundboard recording...INCREDIBLE. Jimi was absolutely on fire. I'm not talking about that attention-grabbing, lighting-his-guitar-on-fire stunt at the Monterey Pop Festival in '67. I'm talking about scorching the strings of his guitar with his fingers. I'm talking about launching a sonic assault the likes of which are difficult (read: impossible) to describe with written words.

01. Fire 02. Lover Man 03. Spanish Castle Magic 04. Red House 05. Room Full Of Mirrors 06. Hear My Train A Comin'
07. Message To Love 08. All Along The Watchtower 09. Freedom 10. Foxey Lady 11. Purple Haze 12. Hey Joe 13. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) 14. Stone Free 15. The Star Spangled Banner
16. Straight Ahead 17. Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Pigskin Pigheadedness


2-0 against NYC this year..."Take a bite out of the Big Apple/Don't mind the maggots"

Peyton "We had some protection problems" Manning and the Colts taste bitter defeat in Big "D."

Hey, Write Procrastinator, what the heck have your 49ers been up to? Obviously, someone made a deal with the devil.

College Football (BCS) -- Note to the USC Trojans: Lose. There is absolutely no reason why Ohio State and Michigan should not play again in the BCS Championship Game. They are clearly the 2 best teams in the country, and Michigan only lost by 3 points on Ohio State's home field. Why wouldn't they deserve a rematch at a neutral site? (And, believe me, I'm far from a Michigan fan.)

PS - My Cubs are reported to be finalizing a $136 million (8-year) deal with Soriano to fill the much needed lead-off role. So, obviously, he'll suffer a season-ruining high ankle sprain getting out of a golf cart (or some other ridiculous shit that could only happen when the Cubs are involved).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mini-Rant And Other Things

The consensus seems to be spam bad, girth good, touching...even better. I like Mat's advice to hold out for more than 20%.

Now, this won't really be a full-on rant, but...

Thanks to Thrasher for the heads-up on a Neil Young-related news item. I have ALWAYS loved After The Gold Rush, and counted it among my very favorite Neil albums. So, naturally, I'm happy to see it included in Time's All-Time 100 Albums. Likewise for Exile On Main St by the Stones...

Here's what I don't get: HOW do you acknowledge Neil's greatness, and acknowledge the greatness of Exile, but NOT include Tonight's The Night?!?? Is there not room for a second sloppy, alcohol-soaked LP in the 100? Oh, and where's Rust Never Sleeps (not that I'm greedy or anything)?

I'm off work until the 27th!!!!!! YES!!!!!! I (once again) RULE!!!!!!

It's time to start talking about the crystal clear sound of the version of "Cowgirl In The Sand" released this week. Specifically, it's time to start talking about how it has been revealed as the single greatest electric guitar jam in history. There, all debate is ended. Haahnster has called it.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

An Informal Poll

I received an email from "Kelly Bailey" claiming that I could "Increase Penis Width (Girth) By 20%."

Should I go for it?

Please provide your feedback in the comments.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Women's Rights In Pakistan!!!

The crime of rape is now covered under the civil penal code in Pakistan! This takes it out of the sphere of religious law. (Read full article here.) What does this mean? Well, for one thing, it means that a female rape victim no longer needs four male witnesses in order to prevent being charged with adultery.

Let us pause and reflect a moment. Rape victims were charged with adultery unless they could produce four male witnesses to the assault. What the fuck is that?!

Anyway, kudos to Pakistan for a step in the right direction. Women's rights there will enter the 12th century before you know it.

Still Reeling

OK, so now that I have had a few days to reflect on my Borat experience, I still cannot express it in words.

Which is the more surprising, that the Democrats finally had great success in an election, or that Neil Young finally released something "Archives" related?

Not much to say today, other than the deep thoughts I had while wheeling the empty garbage can back up from the curb. I was reflecting on humanity's existence, and think I came to a startling realization. It all comes down to this:

Garbage cans on wheels are very convenient, and I RULE!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Just Buy The Damned Thing!!!

And, then, prepare to kiss your own ass goodbye!

This EASILY is some of the most blistering electric guitar work in the history of recorded music!!! Don't believe me? Try it yourself.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live At The Fillmore East is available today...R.I.P. Danny Whitten.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Great Success

Saw Borat yesterday afternoon...

Nearly 24 hours later, and I'm still not sure how to put my reaction into words.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

CD Burning Frenzy

OK, we're going to skip right over Friday's travelogue. Suffice it to say that thunderstorms in the general vicinity of O'Hare International Airport (Chicago) can and will gridlock this nation's business travel. Alas, I made it home, and my luggage made it home less than 24 hours later.

I'm in the midst of some serious CD trading. In the last 12 hours or so, I've burned 3 DVDs and 36 CDs. My burner hates me right now. Or, well, you know, it would hate me, if it weren't an inanimate object completely devoid of emotion. OK, forget all that.

I'm supposed to have some pretty interesting stuff coming my way in return, including a Nirvana show from Halloween night '91, maybe a couple Van Morrison shows from 1979, and possibly even a radio appearance by Bob Dylan in 1962. I love trading music.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I'm Going Home

Another great meal tonight (lasagna at Garibaldi's in the "five points" area of Columbia), and a bit of record shopping at a pretty cool place called "Papa Jazz Record Shoppe" made for a decent evening. I scored the most blatant Neil Young b**tleg I've ever seen, a CD with both American Stars 'n Bars and Re.Ac.Tor on it (blurry cover art, absolutely no mention of Reprise Records--or any other record company for that matter) for $8.00! Sweet! 2 albums I only have on vinyl have now been upgraded to CD, assuming it plays as well at high volume as it sounds on my laptop ("Got mashed potatoes/Ain't got no t-bone").

Also purchased were
  • R.E.M. - Out of Time (another one I only had on vinyl before) for $6.00
  • Bob Dylan - Modern Times (didn't have it yet) for $8.00
  • AC/DC - Back In Black: A Classic Album Under Review [DVD] for $9.00
  • R.E.M. - Perfect Square (Live) [DVD] for $8.00

Yes, that's a bit over $40. I didn't want to do it. I felt I owed it to myself...

So, tomorrow I return home to Shelly, Alexis, and Emily (pictured above). Hugs and kisses should ensue. I'll be quite disappointed (to say the least) if not.

So long, South Carolina. You were OK by me.

Waffle House in the morning. Yeah, baby.

Oh, and fuck Ken Mehlman.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

After This Trip, This Might Be Me

I had an excellent seafood dinner tonight at a place called Blue Marlin in Columbia. I had the "Classic She Crab Soup" as an appetizer. Wow! The main course was called the "Charleston": grilled tilapia, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. Dee-lish!

Lunch today was a quite tasty, warm sub at Jersey Mike's Subs. I had the Chipotle Steak...grilled onions and peppers...yummy.

Yesterday's lunch was an excellent cheeseburger basket at Rush's. Thanks go to Jeremy for the tip.

Tomorrow, it's breakfast at Waffle House...

When I get home, I think I need to go on a steady diet of fresh vegetables and water. And, it'll be time for a strict exercise regimen.


Oh, yeah, and fuck Donald Rumsfeld.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

"W" Hates Us For Our Freedoms

Well, beer #15 is about to overwhelm me. I must have sleep. At this point it appears the Democrats will have a majority (possibly 30 seats or more) in the House. The Senate is up for grabs. It is more than likely that Webb, holding a 2,300 vote lead in Virginia with 99% of the count in, will have to endure potential Republican shenanigans during a recount.

In any event, a huge shift against the current administration...

Hey, "W," flip that bird around on yourself!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Word To The Wi-zise

When packing for air travel, always place your collapsible baton in a checked bag. If you attempt to carry it on, you could run into trouble.

Seriously, though, I doubt the D-Oh-Double-G was gonna start any shiz-nit on the muthaf*ckin' pli-zane.

C'mon, peoplez.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday In The Palmetto State

OK, so I'm sitting at the desk in my hotel room in Columbia, South Carolina, taking advantage of the wireless internet access on my company laptop. Have I ever told you how I love business travel? Yeah? Well, fuck that.

A potpourri of semi-random thoughts:

1. If there's anything worse than seeing a constant stream of negative campaign ads, it's seeing a constant stream of negative campaign ads for campaigns in a state in which you do not reside. Talk about taking meaningless to a new level.

2. I miss one stinking game due to travel arrangements, and my beloved Bears go to pieces against a turd like the Dolphins. Yuck. Da Bears.

3. They serve you beer at Applebee's while you're watching the Sunday Night Game (Indy vs. New England...good game), then when they close at 10:00 PM and you want to buy more beer at the gas station near the hotel, NO F*CKING BEER SALES ON SUNDAY!!! What the fuck, South Carolina? Day of rest, my ass. I want more beer!!!

4. The local sports guy just referred to the University of South Carolina football team as "the cocks." I know it's short for "Gamecocks." But, that's just dirty. They can say "cocks" on the news, and I can't buy a fucking 12-pack.

5. Breakfast at the Waffle House in 7 there!!!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Line That Really Did It For Me

Readers of this blog, especially those that have been around these parts for a while, are aware that I am what one would call a "fan" of the music of Neil Young.

From my childhood days, I recall hearing his songs on FM radio. I was seven in 1977, and recall vividly drowning in the meandering, stinging guitar licks of "Like A Hurricane" in the back seat of my dad's car. You know how the car stereo is usually about 3 times louder in the back seat than the front? That was especially true in the '70s when none of our cars had the "fade" feature to balance between front & back. Anyway...

Another early favorite was "Southern Man." Oh, yeah, and "Ohio." Is there a more distinctive introductory guitar riff than the one in "Ohio?" Well, is there? [Say "Layla," motherf*ckers. I dare one of you rat bastards to say "Layla."] I know it buries the needle on the "balls-out"-o-meter. That's for sure.

But, all that said, it wasn't until sophomore or junior year in high school that I really started collecting all of Neil's albums. The line that really got me hooked was from "Old Man." It's a simple enough line, "Doesn't mean that much to me/To mean that much to you." I thought that was the coolest line ever. As a student in high school, a place where it means everything to mean something to everyone possible, that just captured a cooler-than-thou attitude I could only dream of cultivating. Little did I know, all I needed to do was grow up. It's pretty easy not to give a shit about what strangers and casual acquaintances think about me now. As a 15 year old...not so easy.

By the time I was in college, my favorite line had become "I was thinking about what a/Friend had said/I was hoping it was a lie/Thinking about what a/Friend had said/I was hoping it was a lie" from "After The Gold Rush." Enough reminiscing...back to work.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Little More On A Big Moron

I'm going to reprint the bulk of this short piece from The Nation right here:

“With all due respect to my Notion colleagues, John Kerry is a pathetic loser --indeed, an almost compulsive gaffe-maker -- and we shouldn't waste time and energy defending him. He is that all-too-common Democratic politician who makes you paranoid that you're living in a scary science fiction story, in which the supposed ‘opposition’ candidates are actually androids controlled by the ruling party, programmed to weakly simulate campaigns, then quickly disintegrate into self-sabotage. Why else would Kerry have defended himself against the mendacious Swift Boat veterans two years too late? And why else would he and the rest of the Democrats be doing next-to-nothing to fight voting machine fraud, and curb racist vote suppression by the Republicans? And why must he invariably be such a dumbass?

Granted, Kerry didn't intend to make fun of the troops. But he's in no position to mock anyone else's academic record. The Yale transcripts of Bush and Kerry -- widely reported last year --showed that the two were equally sorry students. Kerry actually got four Ds his freshman year. Bush isn't the only one who owes his success more to his privilege than to hard work or talent. Let's hope this latest snafu puts the kibosh on presidential hopes that should have died long ago, and that Kerry shuts up before he helps elect more Republicans. (Apparently some in the Party establishment agree -- his campaign appearances have reportedly been cancelled.)”


Hear, hear! You’re doing more harm than good, John. Please go away.

Irrationality, Or Fear And Loathing On The Sh*tter

Have you ever had an irrational fear? It could be a legitimate phobia, but not necessarily. Perhaps you were just overcome suddenly by an unexplained sense of dread, and you had no idea why.

Well, I had one of those moments this morning while seated on the toilet to take a shit. (You can thank me for the mental image later.) Out of nowhere, I had a very real sense that a snake was about to emerge from the plumbing and viciously plunge its sharp fangs into my dirty anus (scene pictured above, with the mouse playing the part of my anus).

Now, I have no explanation for this. But, it's got me thinking. Perhaps it's a Freudian thing...Mother, help me? Or, maybe I'm just suddenly fearful of being sent to prison and anally violated. "W" likely would say it's a statement about 'activist courts' in New Jersey. Who knows?

By the way, how politically inept is John Kerry? I mean, under what logical scenario on this earth would "W" attempt to have credibility on either 1) military service or 2) education/intelligence? Yet, Kerry seems to have opened the door. Jeeez-uss. You have to hand it to that Karl Rove. He has a real knack for turning what should be a strength of an opponent into a weakness.

Well, I'm happy to report that I was able to finish my defecation without further incident. Peace to you all.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bridge School Benefit

The 20th Annual Bridge School Benefit (BSB) concert was held Saturday, Oct. 21st and Sunday, Oct. 22nd, 2006. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend. However, I have been watching a recently “acquired” DVD of the 8th BSB (1994) performance by Neil Young & Crazy Horse in honor of the event.

First things first…The Bridge School:
Founded in 1986 by Pegi Young and Jim Forderer (Haahnster Note: Pegi Young is Neil Young's wife), The Bridge School is an educational program dedicated to ensuring that children with severe speech and physical impairments achieve full participation in their communities through the use of augmentative & alternative means of communication (AAC) and assistive technology (AT) applications. Bridge School has established an outreach program to share what is developed at the school with parents, professionals and users of AAC/AT across the world. We invite you to explore this site to learn more about who we are, what we believe and ways that you can either benefit from or contribute to the ongoing programs, projects and activities that move all people closer to a life without barriers to expression and communication. [CLICK HERE]

Now, for those who are unaware of the annual BSB event, it attracts some major artists, almost all of whom perform "unplugged" event, for the most part. That can be a very interesting aspect of the event, especially for certain artists. This year, for example, Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) performed an acoustic set (Haahnster Note: I'd love to hear it if you have it...I have lots to trade).

This brings us back to the 1994 BSB. Neil Young didn't do much touring in 1994. He did, however, release what many consider to be his last truly excellent album, Sleeps With Angels, on August 6th of that year. Fast forward to October 1st and 2nd, and Neil has decided to bring out Crazy Horse for an ultra-rare, "unplugged" appearance with that line-up. Best of all, he features primarily the new material, which ranges from highly interesting to overwhelmingly amazing in this format. You wouldn't believe what they do with the extended guitar workout, "Change Your Mind"...It's a killer set!