Thursday, July 23, 2009

superfluous and belated movie review(s) of the month: the in-flight offerings on british airways

first off, let's get the really important stuff out of the way. AA and AA--congratulations on the little cutie pie! and also let us know: did ayelet make the cut? if so, can i take credit?

anyway, so i took my first transatlantic trip in four years. old europe is still there, fyi. but you know what i actually want to talk about? movies i watched on the plane, of course.

#1 - anvil! the story of anvil. several critics fell all over themselves praising this film (anthony lane, in particular). why? i don't get it. essentially, this is a documentary about a canadian metal band that enjoyed a brief moment of fame some time in the 80's and the rough journey they have had since. the movie begins with a series of interviews with famous heavy metal musicians, e.g., slash, lars ulrich, some dude from megadeth, etc., all lauding anvil for its sound and lamenting its demise. i had no idea that slash could be so sincere, especially when you realize that you can't see his eyes.

anyway, so the two main members of anvil are in their early 50s, living somewhere in ontario working terrible dead-end jobs. the lead singer lips is an assembly line worker of sorts for a catering company and i don't even remember what the other guy did. they still play together as a band, as they have since they were 15. they have wives and kids and seem to come from supportive families, who either have given up trying to talk the two dudes out of continuing their childhood fantasies or actually believe that this 30-plus-year endeavor will pay off. the movie takes us on tour with them in europe, where they play in front of audiences of varying size (some as little as 4). long story short, you're left wondering whether you should admire or scorn them for their persistence and impossible optimism. i dunno, i thought documentaries were supposed to make you care about the subject no matter how ridiculous (case in point: spellbound). i guess this movie failed in that respect as far as i was concerned.

#2 - he's just not that into you. i know what you're thinking: why would any sane person watch this movie? what do you want from me, i was on a 6-hour flight. i remember that one of my usually mild-mannered coworkers went to watch this movie with a bunch of her girlfriends and returned actually physically angry. needless to say, my expectations were lower than low and perhaps for that reason i found the movie to be fairly entertaining. it tries to present itself as the definitive source on relationship advice, but i mostly spent my time wondering how anyone could find the mac guy attractive. also, is it me or does scarlett johansson always play the same person, i.e., the sensuous seductress who is shocked (shocked!) to discover that men are only after her body? and have jennifer aniston and ben affleck starred in a movie before? i can't believe this is actually a novel couple.

and finally, #3 - i love you man. can paul rudd be any more likable? foreal.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lumberjack Hires Dumbass

"Ben has never sexually assaulted anyone; especially Andrea McNulty." -- David Cornwell, attorney for accused rapist/Super Bowl hero Ben Roethilsberger

Look, I didn't go to fancy pants lawyering school. I went to blog school, after dabbling in a few culinary classes and clown college, but still, I know this: If you're going to craft a press release proclaiming your client's innocence, maybe you should neuter of it language that says, well, he especially did not rape so-and-so, thereby suggesting that in non-special situations, you know, shit happens, who's to say. Douche bags will be douche bags!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Which Two Are Those?

I think Aziz Ansari is a golden God. I am on record. But I am still on the fence about Aziz's post-racial comedy routines, at least in one respect: none of his characters have recognizably Indian or Arabic names, which Muslims from any region do and would have -- shit, none of his characters even have Christian names popular in the Subcontinent. But so much stand-up comedy has been weighted down by the worst, by the most facile of ethnic self-stereotype that when I watch Aziz -- a young South Asian Muslim man -- make jokes about getting his drink on and getting his fuck on and getting his cd-burning on, well, I can't help but swell with continental and coreligionist pride.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We All Grieve in Different Ways -- Shamon!

The death of Michael Jackson had a profound impact on this blog, muting us for nearly a month. In the old days that kind of an extended reticence would not be tolerated, but E and I are now older and wiser (and wizened). We know quality trumps quantity, and, shit, even Perez Hilton has a ghost blogger. So, you will forgive us -- and we will forgive ourselves.

Now with the big news: I may have been silenced by the sad death of a childhood idol and the carnival of ugly it begat, but I am spurred to action, at least to couch-borne typing, because dear reader Anonymous Alex and dear friend, his lovely bride Anonymous Tsipora., whose wedding shower this blog once covered in a rare bit of cutting reportage (but to which I won't link because I am not sure what kind of anonymity we are continuing to provide them with), last Monday brought into this world a beautiful little girl, one "delicious" (to quote 'Pockets) anonymous Middle-Name-I-Have-Not-Yet-Been-Told. 'Pockets and I can't wait to meet her in September. Good job all around.

Now, gettting back to the typical busines of the blog, where do I begin? So little has been happening in the otherwise dull alleys and beige buildings of downtown San Francisco, that one does not know even where to begin. Some bird outside my building placed a nest in a low-lying tree and then viciously attacked pedestrians who walked too close to its eggs. This sent CNN into Anna Nicole Smith journalistic excellence mode, and gave rise to a lunchtime crowd with no mission other than pointing and laughing at the unitiated.

Meanwhile Adam -- whom you will remember is my broham to the max from ------ Consulting Group days -- has been keeping me informed of all the happenings at the old job. Here's a run down: Smokey got fired; Lindsay Poohands got fired; The nice lady who answered the phones and worked herself into a sexual seizure telling me how good Brad Pitt looked in The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttom got fired. There is no joke to be made here. These are all good people and while I may have enjoyed a laugh or two at their expense in these pages -- especially L. Poo -- it was in good fun. The point is this: this recession fucking sucks.

So, -------- Consulting Group continues to hemorrhage staff, butAdam has managed to hold on to the temp job -- and the Wesley Snipes Shrine continues to hold a place on the wall in his work station (including, notably, my still of Wesley from the preamble to the "Bad" video where he steps to Michael and gets an earful of You aint bad. You ain't nuthin'! ). Like the Dread Pirate Roberts in the Princess Bride who promised the (non-Snipes) Westley death at the close of each day only to ignore his promise the next morning, Augusta, the project leader, has fired Adam five or six times since I left, only to rehire him shortly thereafter. Oh, and apparently, my old alien-robot nemesis Abigail has evolved into a friendly being resembling a carbon-based life form. The whole time I worked there she wasn't the problem; I was. I suppose no one is surprised.

Still, even though I resigned my post from -------- Consulting Group, the braintrust there manages to mess with me: 1) in the days after I resigned, they sent me a notice of termination in the mail; and 2) as reported by Adam, the other day Augusta called him into the conference room and announced, "We have been talking about something behind your back, but now I want to bring you in the loop." Of course, he assumed the worst -- another pesky firing -- but was told instead that ------ Consulting Group was going to treat him and all the other employees to a sailing trip, and some serious debate had happened behind closed doors, some serious number crunching, and although some in the group wanted to invite me on the sailing trip, ultimately, they concluded there was not room enough on the boat. They wanted Adam to know this. I had not made the cut. They had done all that they could do, and this information should be kept to himself, and away from me -- to protect my fragile heart from the weight of the near possibility of maritime bliss, or maybe to prevent me from going all postal and renting my own schooner and ramming it into the side of the S.S. ------- Consulting Group. I don't know. But of course, this information was reported to me within the minute, and of course, I have turned it into blog fodder. And, of course, Adam and I enjoyed a good laugh, just like the good old days. Suffice it to say, I will never again work at such a wonderfully strange organization.

So maybe here's the lesson: Just like with Michael, eventually we forget all the ugly and just remember the good times.

Or maybe Celine Dion got a hold of some Soul-Glo (see video above) and no amount of wishing and hoping can ever make you forget the ugly (see video above).

Either way: shamon, bitches.