Friday, February 27, 2009

Yes, Dear

Yes, Dear is on TBS right now. Is there one single person who would be flipping through the channels and would think "YES! Yes, Dear is on!"? I guess it's possible, but why put it on a network where they could just as easily show another episode of Seinfeld instead of this crippled warthog of a show?

Yes, Dear should be quarantined on a network that's strictly opt-in, so we wouldn't even have to ponder the ways TBS could better use that time slot. Just think, if they made this network we would have an isolated list of the most worthless members of society that we could use to either eradicate them or turn them into some sort of super weapon that's effective because it annoys the enemy into submission.

If you're interested in subscribing, you'll also have access to all your favorites, including, but not limited to, Still Standing, Grace Under Fire, Mama's Family, Joey, and in a marathon every Friday, According to Jim.

This reminds me of when I came back to Houston once and I had seen some terrible show on the plane that I could only describe as "the worst sitcom I have ever seen." Danny's guess was that it was Still Standing. He was right.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

St. Arnold

This man is the patron saint of brewers. You know all those awesome trappist ales out there? You see the brewing process eliminates all bad pathogens in water. God only knows how the other monks reacted to all the beer at their monastery. God only knows what I'd be without you. Next time you enjoy a delicious beer (let me recommend the scabrously dark St. Bernardus) say a prayer of thanks to old St. Arnold. Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.

St. Anthony

This man was a saint and he was Catholic. He was a friend to all children and he loved animals. St. Anthony loved dogs. In conclusion, if you ever lose something you should pray to St. Anthony.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

February 24th is a Holiday?

Um, someone must be playing a joke on me? Because if I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: Christmas is in December. Yet for some reason when I awoke today, it was like Christmas morning for a kid in February. I was in a gleeful frenzy as I jumped out of bed in my footed pajamas. Today is the day of the new Black Lips release!

What's all this about Christmas though? After all, everyone knows one Black Lips album does not make an entire Christmas. Well, let me finish. When I opened my e-mail up, lo and behold! First, an e-mail about a new Grateful Dead show to be released in April?! Pre-order that! Second, a notice that my comic-book picture Bible shipped in the mail? (Yeh, I had one as a kid and ordered another, those things are cool). Can't wait! It was quite overwhelming, really, to think all these things awaited me on the same morning. But the kicker: it wasn't over! I next read the e-mail from Garz about the charz2k fantasy baseball league! That's like when you think you opened your last gift on Christmas and then realize that you still have the stuff in your stocking left, where your mom wrapped up a package of Mach3 razorblades, Bic ballpoint pens, and Reese's peanut butter trees. The icing on the cake, so to speak!

Well, turning to the Black Lips, I am big on "Album Release Day," meaning I like to wait to actually get the CD the day it comes out. I don't like to download things early or hear all the new tunes on the internet first. It is a rare day that I get to look forward to a new release and am actually able to get it the day it comes out- my feeble memory recalls maybe going to a midnight release of a Dandy Warhols album with Garz, and before that I remember getting STP's third album right when it hit the shelves in 6th grade. So this was a red-letter day even before it turned into Christmas.

Rewind to 2006; the Black Lips were playing Conan (a fortuitous allusion to the post below) and I had taped it so I could watch them, after all, they were a band I hadn't heard yet but one of those that Garz "said was good" which means they might be good. (Keep in mind, I knew Garz to listen to Hilary and Haylie Duff in college). But anyways, I watched the tape and was instantly online ordering all their albums before they even got to the second chorus.

This only increased my excitement for today, so during my two hour break I pop into the record store asking for the CD, only to find they had some delay in shipment and it won't be in until tomorrow. Bear! Well, Ok, I'll sell out and go to Norman's Best Buy. Double Bear! They had a delay, too! What is going on here? Who's trying to rain on my parade on Album Release Day? But as the dude is checking in his computer, I see that the Best Buy in Oklahoma City got a shipment in. Well, I have less than an hour and a half before class now, and OKC is a bit of a ways at least up the highway. What to do? What a prisoner's dilemma! Now I have been called stupid, idiotic, baseless, irrational, and dimwitted many times, and I saw this as my chance to prove myself. Of course I sped up the highway to OKC to get a copy!

I'll conclude that I really like this album. I don't know why a bunch of people seem to be giving it the "good but not great" review, like this album doesn't "break any new ground," but I don't even care much. I feel too old now to be the idealist who keeps looking for the earth-shattering, rock 'n roll saving album, or the new standard in creativity that everyone raves about, because it either isn't going to happen or, when people think they've found it, it'll end up sounding like the Fleet Foxes, in which case spare me. I listened to this thing in-between classes on a CD Walkman, true story.

Look! It's Indiana Jones!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Late Night with Conan O'brien

I just wanted to say a short something about the end of Late Night with Conan O'brien. First of all, the last several episodes are on Hulu, so go watch them! Conan was a mainstay back among "the guys" in the sophomore/junior years at WashU. Since I moved out to DC, I haven't really watched much because he's on so late. But he's definitely been the best talk show host that I can think of in my lifetime. Way better than Leno, Letterman, Kimmel, etc. It'll be nice to have him on at an earlier hour, but I hope that he doesn't tone down his humor to the dumber 11:30 audience.

Good luck in L.A. Conan!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A 2k challenge!

Dear charz2k contributors. I, Charz, am announcing a challenge to you: the Madea Goes to Jail Challenge! If you are able to go to Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail, sit through the entire film, and write a detailed review on the movie and experience, I will personally mail you a check for the cost of the ticket.

Rules: There can be only one winner. You are on your honor. It has to be during opening weekend, and a sketchy theater is preferred although not required. You may also double it up with Fired Up, and get TWO ticket reimbursements... but they must be seen consecutively.

Good luck,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

New Simpsons Opening Credit Sequence

So I'm sure I'm the only one here who actually watched the most recent Simpsons episode, but I was shocked to find that they had just changed the opening title sequence for the first time ever. The Simpsons is approaching drinking age... maybe it was time for a change? Well the purist in me says no way, you can't change the opening! It's classic! The other side of me says who the hell cares, the current simpsons is the same as classic simpsons in name only. The bottom line is, the opening credits aren't that important- it's about the episode itself. And why was I watching the simpsons? The flu kept me inside all weekend, and my cable was on the fritz. This left Hulu as my entertainment option (and comedy central for some reason which worked, but there's only so much Larry the Cable Guy stand up one can take). So after watching 5 conans (which only has a few eps left), some south park, some family guy, and some its always sunny in philly, I gave in and watched the newest simpsons. As expected, it was better than WashU-era simpsons, but worse than the golden era... that's kinda the calibre to be expected these days, which is a bit sad, but I can at least be entertained, unlike a few years ago when I'd just get enraged.

Anyways, here's the new opening credits:

What do you think?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Looking Forward to Baseball: 2k Interviews A-Rod!

Well, baseball season is less than two months away, and here at 2k, we can hardly wait. To get us ready for opening day, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez has kindly sat down with us for an exclusive interview.

2k: Hi A-Rod. Thanks for interviewing with us. We don't usually get high profile athletes wanting anything to do with our site.

A-Rod: Hey no problem, no problem. I read your site all the time. I really liked that Renwick Art Gallery piece. When I went there, I got a whole bunch of those Game Fish for my teammates for souvenirs. They love those things.

2k: Yeh, yeh, well, speaking of souvenirs, you know we are excited about getting back to the ballpark this spring for some Major League games. I've never caught a foul ball at a game though. Any suggestions?

A-Rod: Hey man, first thing is that you can't be afraid of the ball. Some of those come flying in there. I recommend maybe
bringing your glove to the game. Sometimes I even take mine out
to third base with me, it really helps. Otherwise I just kind of
squinch my face up and let the left-fielder deal with it. Oh and I
hate it when you catch a foul ball and there's some little kid next to you and everyone makes you feel guilty for not giving it to him.
Don't fall for that kind of stuff.
2k: Thanks A-Rod. I really appreciate that. What I hate, though, is when you get to your seats and there is that big fat crazy fan drinking beer with their shirt off on a hot summer day. What do you do about that?

A-Rod: Dude, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Take your shirt off, too. I think you'll find that they are really friendly in the long run. Just try to relax, have a good time, and I think you can get along with them. Red Sox fans, Cubs fans, and even Astro fans are the most gentle, really, if you just let them be.

2k: Thanks A-Rod. I think I know what you mean. I guess what we're all dying to know next is what your favorite ballpark food is?

A-Rod: Well it's gotta be the hotdog. I'm too lazy to actually go to the concession stand though, and the worst part about it is trying to flag down the vendor walking in the aisles. (2K shows him photo). Oh, yeah, you have a picture! Yeah, see what I mean? I'm hollering at the top of my lungs here and waving my bat, and the hot dog guy still ignores me. Typical New Yorker. John Rocker was right.
2k: The fans really seem to like you though, A-Rod.

A-Rod: Oh yeah. I love them, and they love me. I love to see myself
on the front page every day. I mean they should love me. I was happily taking steroids down in Texas and I gave that all up to come here. Those photographers are sneaky though. They snapped this one right as Giambi was accusing me of getting into his stash.

2k: I can't even imagine. Can't even imagine. How do you deal with the pressures? New York? The Big Apple? Madonna? What a stage. Always in the spotlight. I don't think I could handle it. Charz2k would die for that kind of fanfare. How do you handle it.

A-Rod: I know. And let me be the first to tell you. Baseball isn't all just fun
and games. People think that you are just a big prima donna and you go out there and get paid millions and millions of dollars to play something everyone played in high school while you make working class fans pay $150 for a ticket to the game. But it's not fun and games. I work as hard as anyone at what I do. You try it. I stay focused 162 games a year, and I hang around until the 4th inning of the All-Star Game. You try it and see how it feels. From the moment I walk onto that field for batting practice, you have to be locked in.

2k: Sounds like a tough life, to hear it out of your own mouth. Well, how about those Red Sox? What a rivalry, huh?

A-Rod: Oh I know. They're all queer up there. Remember that
play in the 7th game of the 2004 ALCS, when they came back from three games to none to beat us in the series? Bronson Arroyo was trying to feel me up on the first base line. Most people tried to blame me for cheating by swatting the ball out of his hand, but c'mon, I think we all know how Boston people are.
2k: OK but is that a purse on your arm?

A-Rod: Duh. No wonder charz2k hasn't hit the big time yet.

2k: Well A-Rod, last question. How does the steroid newsbreak affect your legacy as a future hall-of-famer?
A-Rod: It's hard, 2k, it's hard. I mean, what are they going to put on the permanent plaque? Will it be "A-Roid," or "A-R*D"? I am kind of partial to the first one, personally. As for my legacy as a Yankee? It won't matter a bit. I am a ballplayer that produces. They don't call me Mr. July for nothing.

2k: Thank you A-Rod.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Smithsonian Renwick Art Gallery

Many non-DCers may not know, but there are many Smithsonian museums in addition to the more well-known ones like US History/Air and Space. I went to one of these for the first time today- The Renwick Art Gallery. Although small, it was pretty cool. Here are my favorite 3 pieces:

This is called "breast trophy." I think it's fairly self-explanatory.

Next, there's the Game Fish. I liked it so much, I even bought a Game Fish mug at the gift shop.

It's a fish, made of games! I know it's small, but some of its parts include gumby, yoyos, dice, dominoes, scrabble tiles, etc. And this game fish is armed! As in, it has an arm, holding a dart.

Finally, my favorite was "ghost clock"

At first I was like- WTF, is this seriously a grandfather clock with a sheet draped over it? Then I read the blurb, and it was like "at first glance this may appear to be a grandfather clock with a sheet draped on top of it..." Like it read my mind! In actually, that's not a sheet. The "sheet" and the base of the clock are all the same substance, from the same piece of mahogony. Cool!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand

The third posthumously released solo effort from Franz Ferdinand is yet another marvel of songwriting from the father of rock 'n' roll. This album is (yet again) the very definition of an anachronism. Born a fortunate little rich boy, Franz Ferdinand was heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. He was a noted lazy fuck who took little interest in the matters of governance. At the time of his death in the early 20th century, his songwriting was completely unappreciated. Indeed, record executives withheld these recordings until the time was deemed right. The people of 1908, more concerned with milking cows and avoiding bombs, were simply not prepared to handle the music recorded by the Archduke.

I just want to know exactly how a single, seemingly artless shithead like Franz Ferdinand could father the post-punk (and by extension, punk, and by further extension, rock and roll in general) sound. We'll never understand. Either way, this is Franz's third album. All three of his albums are absolutely seminal by the way. Even if you don't like the music per se, it is a necessary purchase if the reader wishes to truly appreciate the roots of rock music. In short, this album is indescribably essential for all lovers of rock music and historians alike.

Rumor has it this music was used to torture prisoners back in WWI. While it did not violate the rights of the prisoners, it was a clever loophole. So blown were the prisoners' minds that each and every prison camp was driven to mass ritual suicide. This is why the death toll is so high for WWI. While this is just a rumor, many historians now accept it as fact.

Anti-Bears: 3.2 - the music is merely decent in our modern context...but 5.0 anti- bears could be rewarded based only on the cultural, musical, punky implications found herein. I'm not going to take those things into consideration so, yeah, 3.2 anti-bears is the score.

Bears: 1.914 - Bummer alert! This album inspired Franz Ferdinand's assassination. Get this: Mark David Chapman is to John Lennon as Gavrilo Princip is to Franz Ferdinand. One bear has been subtracted as many historians believe the death of Franz Ferdinand spurred the First World War (and I think that's awesome). The man started the coolest music genre AND the coolest war. Gas masks, black and white photographs, battles on the African front, Everything getting all quiet on some western front, mustard gas, those shitty early tanks, stick grenades, funny navy hats, trenches, razor-wire, machine guns, blood, guts, decapitation, Hitler as war hero, British accents.....that's my music.