Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Epitome of a Lateral Move

I've been insanely busy over the past few weeks with work, heading down to DC to see VT vs USC, and moving.

My move has been fairly atypical in that I moved next door. Literally. I moved to the house next door. All told, it was about 30 feet.

Yet it took me nearly 2 weeks. When you don't have to pack up your stuff and get it ready to move in a truck or van, you tend to do stuff in little chunks. That adds up. It is utterly frustrating and stressful, yet I'd guess my peak stress was lower than during a normal move.

Anyway, I'm moved now. I'll probably blog a bit more now that my place is nearly setup. Though, just in time for me to be settled in, my other computer has decided to shit the bed. I can't get into my Win2k partition. Thankfully, I think most of the data should be ok. So, I'm probably going to do something I've been meaning to for a few years and put together a brand new machine. I'll wait to get my deposit back from my last apartment, but I'm going to put something together that can run Doom 3 and Half-Life 2.

In the meantime, I'll be using my laptop and the Linux partition of my machine. Life is good.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

TiVo Season Passes, Part 2

28) The Brak Show
Here starts the run of Adult Swim shows. Brak is a character from old Space Ghost shows who got reinvented as part of Space Ghost Coast-to-Coast and Cartoon Planet. He became insane and wacky and incredibly funny. Seriously. Go find the Space Ghost soundtrack CDs. Listen to "Never Trust a Monkey." Pee your pants.

Anyway, The Brak Show is a 60s style animated sitcom starring Brak. It's often clever, and has a few fantastic episodes (the rap-off, anything with Clarence), but it definitely ran out of steam. They're not producing any new episodes, so as soon as I think I've seen them all, I'll probably dump this season pass.

27) Sealab 2021
Adult Swim show #2. I'm not sure there are words to express how insane this show is. A recycled version of the 70s cartoon Sealab 2020, the show takes old animation, remixes it, adds new animation, and dubs it with positively insane and often offensive dialog. Making it more insane, the show veers into meta-humor numerous times, with episodes dealing with the characters as if they were actors on the show. It's just an unbelievably great 12 minutes of comedy. Especially Baby Alvis.

Season 1 is out on DVD - go buy it.

26) Aqua Teen Hunger Force
Adult Swim show #3. The best Adult Swim show. Probably one of the best animated shows on TV. Continuously funny and inventive. Positively undescribable. You basically have to watch a few episodes before you really "get" it.

If I had to describe it, ATHF is about 3 mutant food item super heroes who live in New Jersey. They don't really do anything but annoy each other and annoy their neighbor Carl. The guest characters are often the best - Jiggle Billy, the Mooninites, Boxy Brown.

If you don't laugh the first time you see the Mooninites (basically Atari-looking characters) shoot their death rays at someone, you're probably dumb.

25) Coupling
The British version, not the American version. One of the greatest sitcoms ever (up there with Newsradio), the show is able to stay fresh as it runs in short seasons (6-9 episodes). Witty dialogue and some of the most inventive methods of telling stories on TV. Episodes often show issues nearly simultaneously from the perspective of both the men and women, juxtaposing how dissimilar - or similar - the two genders look at issues.

I think the best episode of the series might be "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps", the third season finale. It expertly balances a number of stories (some running since the pilot) and combines it with two or three of the funniest moments I've seen on TV.

24) Family Business
Not a very good show. Gratuitous nudity and hot women. I think you understand.

That's it for now. Next time, we'll hit some of the big HBO shows, but we won't get to the best show of the past few years - no, it's not The Sopranos. James Gandolfini doesn't hold a candle to Dominic West.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

"Friends Forever" by the Zack Attack

A couple of my friends have blogs. They're funny . . . yet insightful.

The links should be over there on the right. That's this way --> for the directionally challenged.

Who Is Liz? is a very witty blog by Liz. She's very funny.

Antibloglovesong is a blog by my friend Nick. He's very funny too, but more like when you see a crazy man walking down the street talking to a pumpkin carved to look like Tim Russert.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

TiVo Season Passes, Part 1

As mentioned yesterday, I decided to go through my TiVo Season Passes (the TiVo tool that lets you set up recurring recording of shows) and give a little bit of detail as to why I TiVo the show or use it as a vehicle to rip another show.

Basically, I just want to write about TV for a bit, and this is a good opportunity, since it's just before new shows start up and I have to figure out what new shows are worth watching.

Alright, here are the "rules" of my list:
1) There is nothing wrong with TV. People who say that they don't watch TV or that TV is worthless are douchebags (that's the word of the week). There are any number of TV shows that are as well-written, performed, and produced as great movies or books. It's just another storytelling medium. I will punch in the groin or boob anyone who tells me that watching TV is a waste.

2) TiVo Season Passes needed to be ordered in priority order. Thus, shows that repeat a lot or shows that I care less about are down the bottom. However, there are a number of shows in the middle of the list that I like more than shows above them, but they better shows are on more often, so I can catch multiple shows by adjusting their relative priority so that the crappier show is higher in the list.

3) I'm doing the list in reverse order, some quantity at a time. Tonight, it's my bottom 6.

Here we go:

34. Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
Queer Eye. A male makeover-type show that caught people off guard by being funnier than it had any right to be. It was great.

Then, after about 3 episodes, you realize the same damn thing happens every week. Seriously, there's never any drama. They never makeover a homophobe or a guy who's completely disgusting and impossible to repair.

Yet, I still find myself compelled to watch the show. Mostly for tips from the grooming guy, since I'm completely lost when it comes to male grooming. I know about brushing my teeth and shaving on occasion. That's about it.

Anyway, QEFTSG is a show built for TiVo. My TiVo is setup to do the 30-second skip thing. So I basically skip through the show until I find something interesting, stop for a minute, then blow through another 1o minutes of repetitive crap. I can finish the show in about 6 or 7 minutes, which is about all the show is tolerable for these days. Hence it's location at the very bottom of my Season Pass list.

33. MI-5
A repackaged British spy show originally titled Spooks, MI-5 is what 24 wishes it could be. Compelling spy action, good interpersonal stories, done by the Brits, so it's got a modicum of rationality.

I'm sure I'll rant on 24 later. That show sucks balls. The fact that it's "critically acclaimed" is the biggest travesty since someone decided Will & Grace deserved a Thursday night NBC slot while better shows (like Newsradio) get shuffled off to die on Tuesday.

32. The 4400
A new USA sci-fi show about what would happen if 4400 abductees from the past 75 years or so are brought back to modern day and dropped off in the same place (the Pacific Northwest). The pilot was pretty compelling sci-fi, but it became less X-Files/Close Encounters and more Roswell as the mini-series has gone on. Not that there's anything wrong with that -- I dug Roswell, but more so in the first season and a half, before it became more teen soap opera than sci-fi. The middle 3 episodes were very Roswell at the end of season 2 -- good TV, but more soap than sci-fi. Thankfully, the finale definitely came back and turned the show on its head a little bit, which was great to see.

I'm guessing USA will pick this up and give it a full run. I'll probably tune in to check out where they go with it.

31. World Series of Poker
I like poker. It's fun to watch the WSOP. It's not great TV in most cases, and, lately, if ESPN was a person, they'd be a douchebag, but it's worthwhile just to see some decent poker on TV.

30. Celebrity Poker Showdown
For the most part, a more entertaining poker show than the World Poker Tour purely because the play is less predictable and they usually get on some people that I find entertaining (David Cross, Seth Meyers, Amy Poehler). Dave Foley's a better host than Vince Van Patton, but he deserves better than this.

29. World Poker Tour
I like poker. It's fun to watch the WPT. It's not great TV in most cases, and Vince Van Patton is a douchebag, but it's worthwhile just to see some decent poker on TV.

P.S. 24 still sucks.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Coming soon ...

I have a (crappy) idea for a post, but it involves me actually being able to sit down in front of my TV. That hasn't happened in a few days. Apparently since my roommates and I are moving out, they've decided the need to use my TV as much as possible in the last few weeks.

Which means I've got a few days of TiVo'd stuff piling up, and two Netflix movies that have remained unwatched for a couple of weeks.

Not that I mind not getting to use my TV. Well, I do, but not enough to raise a stink. Tomorrow, however, it shall be mine. And if I'm motivated, I'll blog what I had intended to write about today.

So lucky you, instead of my witty and biting satire, you get my passive aggressive lashing out. Serves you right, douchebag.

No, I'm not really calling you a douchebag. That was humor, you douchebag.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Occasionally Good Stuff Does Happen

I won $120 by coming in first place in a small online poker tournament with a $20 buy-in.

My new landlord offered me rent $50 off of our agreed rate, without even asking me.

I was able to put my towel back on before the people looking at our current apartment opened the door and walked into the bathroom as I was getting out of the shower.

Dead Like Me is back on tv.

I'm buying a washer and dryer for my new apartment for $25. Combined.

Tomorrow is the weekly meeting for our group at work and we always have fun food.

I hear the new issue of Astonishing X-Men (written by uber-auteur Joss Whedon) is really good. It's almost not dorky to buy comics these days.

I watched In America tonight after having it for over a month (thanks Netflix!) and it nearly made me laugh and cry simultaneously.

Life's been pretty good recently. By posting this, I've probably guaranteed that I'll get stung by a mutant bee tomorrow and end up looking like ALF.