Friday, July 30, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXXXVIII: Betty’s Turned The Tables On Dandy Don, Plus Mo Clarett And Lane Kiffin Deserve Each Other

“Mad Men’s” return did resound
Don’s confidence nowhere to be found
Can no longer just create and yell
Now he has to actually sell
No Betty, so pays a ho to slap him around

The story of Clarett is sad, alas
Ohio State covered for this jackass
From shoulder pads to prison blue
OSU to jail and back to OSU
Will he get his “Goose on” in class?

Another conservative racist attackin’
So the FDA sends Sherrod packin’
This GOP racist knob
Costs a pioneer her job
The White House’s response was lackin’

Fantasy draft is just around the bend
Don’t know where to start, much less end
Pick right in the middle
No ideas, not even a little
Might close my eyes, click and send

Was shitcanned by Al Davis? OK
Went to Tennessee for a week and a day
Brought Vols fans outta lethargy
Then they burned him in effigy
USC on probation, now he’s sued? Oy vey

Last time

Thursday, July 29, 2010

This Happened, Paper Towel-Style: The Janitor Responds

So a while back, I clued you in on some of the disturbing bathroom shenanigans that have been going on in the building where I work. Well, after the paper towel perpetrator elected to offer up a half-assed excuse for why he justifies throwing dirty paper on the floor of a bathroom, there was silence for a while.

Until now.

Yes, the janitor has found his voice. I can’t decipher it all without a decoder ring, but I think he basically told Douchey Litter Guy that throwing paper towels on the floor is “childish.”

As a statement about true “childish”-ness, this was apparently Douchey Litter Guy’s response.

See, this is what happens when a black janitor and a white, Republican WASP insurance jackass square off over bathroom litter …

VH1, are you listening?

Shitty Advice from "Little Mermaid"

Turns out Ariel kinda sucks at handing out life lessons. Glad to see what I have to look forward to.


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

“What Does This Mean?!”

So a tripping camper sees a double rainbow “all the way across the sky,” films it, weeps, begins to question the meaning of life itself, commences guttural sounds suggesting he’s having sex with a rainbow, is overcome with it all being “too much” … and then has the video go viral in oh, so many ways (there's a musical version as well, if you're interested).


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"All The Way" Is Grunge Just For You, Cubbies

Eddie Vedder's tribute to the lovable losers.

If you haven't been to Wrigley Field, you really should.




Monday, July 26, 2010

Few Sentimental Moments Not Enough To Save Blah “Valentine’s Day”

So many have compared “Valentine’s Day” to “Love Actually,” and while the former had some redeeming qualities, that comparison can be taken as nothing less than a bitch-slap to “Love Actually,” which is a somewhat underrated flick.

Directed by Garry Marshall, “Valentine’s Day” was repeatedly billed as having a “star-studded cast,” and I looked and I looked, but I just couldn’t find them. Sure, Anne Hathaway and Topher Grace had a unique storyline and an involving dynamic (but chemistry? Nah). Sure, Taylor Swift was rather amusing in her role. Sure, Patrick Dempsey was believable as a douche. But beyond that, the cast was a lineup of yawn-inducers. Then again, I just don’t really get Ashton Kusher, so that was a tough obstacle to overcome since this was largely his vehicle.

The film was largely a snooze-fest up until the ending, when a few surprises arose that helped to finish strong and propel the movie overall into the “serviceable” category. I wasn’t expecting very much, which made some of the twists very welcome, but all in all there was just way too much cheese for someone like me to withstand.

But the good news for those who are into trite, vacuous, themed, predictable flicks is that Marshall is back on board for a sequel, titled “New Year’s Eve” and slated to be released in December 2011. I’ll go out on a limb: Julia Roberts will sign on for the girl-next-door role, Dick Clark won’t, and the plot will involve crazed, single New Yorkers scrambling to find someone to kiss at New Year’s.

Sorry to spoil it for you already … that was my bad.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXXXVII: Black Santa And The Tar Cheats Have Uninvited Guests, Plus The Big Easy Was Worth It

Heels optimism has been doused
Suddenly, UNC quiet as a churchmouse
NCAA investigators abound
Cheater Hill is the dirtiest around
Butch: Buy U The Car & House

More headlines to the media Palin gave
Misspoke, hoped Shakespeare would save
She’s a disgraced, ‘tarded bird
“Refudiate” just ain’t a word
And the Bard just rolled over in his grave

He evoked 9-11 in sports, good god
His comments stunk of spoiled cod
Became a star and forgot his fam
Now a Twin Towers comparison, damn
Dwyane Wade is just another NBA fraud

Now lying Saban is agent-hatin’
As Fins fans are his apology waitin’
And as his ex-program LSU limps
He calls player chasers “pimps”
Irony, thy name is Prick Satan

Ube’s first trip on an airplane
In-laws tested my ability to stay sane
A Louisiana trip takes many a mile
Worth it to see great-grandmas smile
Abita Brewery helped numb the pain

Last time

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Last Advertising Agency On Earth?

The cold, hard truth. Are you listening?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This Happened, Paper Towel-Style

Apparently, the custodian in our building (which is populated largely by bankers and insurance types) is getting a bit tired of picking up used paper towels off the floor and has asked that folks start throwing them away in a, you know, trash can. A reasonable request, no?

Instead, some insurance banking genius has apparently responded to the sign with his own message: “To open the door, you usen (sic) paper towel, (sic) please place a trash can nearby to hold the towels

So this dude is using a paper towel to operate a door handle? And afterward, with no trash can in sight, he thinks the best move is to throw the paper towel on the ground?

Where the fuck am I again?

Monday, July 19, 2010

“The Blind Side” Is Solid Entertainment—If You Don’t Dig Too Deep

If you are into stories that strip away the ugly truths and wrap you in feel-good cocoons, you will most likely love “The Blind Side.” If you’re cynical to the point of exhaustion, the Disney-ification of the story of Michael Oher will likely strike you as a disappointing money grab aimed to exploit a journey rife with corruption by those vying for Oher’s talents.

And that is no offense to Oher. What he overcame, addressed, struggled past and came to terms with in his path to the NFL is truly remarkable; no amount of exaggeration or glossing over of some of the ugly realities of those who somewhat took advantage of him can erase that. How many thousands (millions?) in his position would have given up and taken a dramatically different and violent road? That Oher is where he is is undoubtedly a credit to him, and no one can take that away from him.

Yet the sheer number of liberties taken with the reality of what happened underneath the tremendous ascension of Oher cannot be ignored. The book this flick is based on -- “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” by Michael Lewis -- delves much more into the assertions that the Tuohy family not only may have bought grades for Oher at prep school, but also delivered him straight to Ole Miss. The movie only touches on these allegations very minutely, instead focusing on delivering Sandra Bullock (as Leigh Anne Tuohy) as the vehicle of the movie instead of Oher.

Bullock reportedly turned down the role three different times before accepting, apparently overcoming the fact that she wasn’t comfortable playing such a devout Christian. Since she was gift-wrapped an Academy Award for her work (I take issue with this, but oh well), it looks like she made the right choice. However, I would argue that Aaron (whose real-life story is almost as good as Oher’s) is at least the equal of Bullock in this one.

I’m not here to say that “The Blind Side” isn’t an enjoyable flick; it is. Written and directed by John Lee Hancock, it nicely packages and blends humor (S.J. is a nice foil), touching moments, a compelling story and a happy ending. I guess part of me just wishes that they would have added a “loosely” in front of the phrase “based on a true story.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXXXVI: Show Us Don’t Tell Us, BP, Plus John Daly Brings Hooters To Scotland

A cap that finally works?
Anyone trust those BP jerks?
I won’t hold my breath
As the Gulf suffers oily death
Now will we end oil-lobby perks?

RIP to Steinbrenner at last
Though he was lacking in class
And many men did he buy and sell
Set the standard for owning well
“Seinfeld’s” parodies of him were a gas

Another round added to the Big Dance
More money into the NCAA’s pants
“March Madness” is becoming fake
Not sure how much more I can take
Of mind-numbing “poetry” from Jim Nance

Oil comes down to dollars and cents
Tired of mistakes that are immense
Will we finally learn our lesson
And stop all the second-guessin’
Alternative energy only makes sense

British Open is now underway
A beautiful course on display
Yet with the wind down
63s and 65s abound
Methinks St. Andrews will have the last say

Last time

... And an extra about BP that can make things dusty in here …

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 23

Before the Marlins signed him to a minor-league deal, I had no Armando Benitez was still alive, much less pitching. Mets fans everywhere just got whiplash from memories of watching 500-foot blasts off opposing bats when he came in to “close.”

Bobby Gonzalez, the former Manhattan and Seton Hall coach, was arrested for shoplifting. That’s so sad that I don’t even have a joke for that one.

RIP to “Air” Coryell, who revolutionized the passing game in the NFL. His Chargers caused me a lot of a heartache as a wee Dolphins fan, but it is hard not to admire his coaching genius in retrospect.

Drew Brees is the anti-Michael Vick, Phil Mickelson is the anti-Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning is the anti-Butt Favre and now Kevin Durant is the anti-LeBron James. I can only hope that “fans” start to recognize some of these douchebags for what they are and stop supporting them.

I saw the trailer for “The Social Network” the other day. OK, I admit I’m intrigued.

As a marketer, I love the tagline: “You don’t get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies.”

RIP to Jim Bohlen, one of the founders of Greenpeace. No truth to the rumor that he died of a broken heart thanks to BP.

Paul Goydos shot a freaking 59 in the opening round at the John Deere Classic. And only had a one-shot lead over Steve Stricker. That really shouldn’t happen.

If you’re like me, you’re suffering from “LeBurnout” over all the LeBron James news lately, but I couldn’t let this one pass. Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone positively skewered James, making what Cavs owner Dan Gilbert said look tame. Among the pearls were, “Poor Stuart Scott, he’s been podded completely, if you chopped that dude’s head off, nothing but little plastic balls containing digitized ‘Boo-yah’ chips would fall out of his skull.” and “But here’s the question: was this a spoof of reality-show TV, was it reality-show TV, or was this a society that can no longer tell the difference?”

Along similar lines, how about a nice cup of STFU to Jesse Jackson, who somehow tried to paint James as a slave in all of this. Really? I mean, except for the fact that he made $270 million being a slave? I try to keep an open mind about people like Jackson and Al Sharpton, but the reality is that he not only dishonored those who actually were enslaved, but he set back his cause quite a bit. I will never understand why educated black people don’t set this dude straight in times like this.
And watching Michael Wilbon, who is whiter than I am, try to piggyback on Jackson’s comments was painful at best and utterly ridiculous at worst.

Dear Yankees fans, I feel your pain, but there is only one “Boss.” And he’s from New Jersey, not New York.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Best Movie Insults, Like, Evarrrrrrrrr

Pretty cool video here, although the immediate reaction was, “How the F did they not include the epic line from ‘Billy Bathgate?’”

“Shut the fuck up Lulu. You’re ugly and you’re dumb, and that’s the truth of you.”

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Taking A Leap Of Faith Can Lead To A Long Fall With “Leap Year”

Leap Year” has two things going for it: Amy Adams and Ireland. Beyond that, well, you’re on your own.

As yuppie stager Anna Brady, Adams is more than a little caricature-ish throughout the first half or more of the flick, but she possesses the extraordinarily rare gift of winning you over with her charm. In almost every movie she’s in, she forces you to sort of fall in love with her, no matter how bad the flick, unbelievable the plot or farcical the story.

On the flip side, the male lead (Matthew Goode, playing pub owner Declan) had a bad Irish accent. However, Patrick Dempsey Adam Scott, playing Anna’s image-obsessed fiancĂ©, is eminently believable as a douche.

I’m not going to get too in-depth with this review because the movie was pretty shallow (zing!), but I will say that it was a little disappointing that what was represented as Dingle, Ireland, was not Dingle, and it was primarily filmed in Wicklow, Dublin and Galway. Also, the ending was a bit sudden and cheesy, which put a bit of a damper on the flick as a whole, especially since it had a little underrated streak running through it for a while.

The usage of Ireland as a character worked well simply because the land is so beautiful and amazing, and for that reason, it was worth checking out. Throw in Adams and “Leap Year” grew to a somewhat bigger height than the expected chick-flick fare, but I admit that, as someone who got engaged in Ireland, I’m more than a little biased. If you don’t have a place in your heart for Ireland or an appreciation for Adams’s gifts, steer as clear of this as you would of the Cliffs of Mohr on a windy day.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Planes, Tools And Brits: That Time I Went To D.C.

In mid-June, I had to take a trip to Washington, D.C., on business. I dig visiting the nation’s capital, but since this would mark the first time I had to leave Ube and I would be traveling with a tool and some daffy English birds, I was none too excited.

Things didn’t get much better when we arrived in D.C. to find mid-90s weather and mind-numbing humidity, coupled with the tool’s desire to visit as many landmarks as possible, since he had never been to the capital. Our first stop was checking in at the convention center to make sure our booth had actually arrived.

Then we stumbled into a gay pride parade on the Mall, just in front of the Capital Building. I snapped a picture of the tool to make it look like he was marching.

By that time, having worn only Tevas off the plane, my feet were killing me. But I placated the tool by accompanying him to the White House, which was nice to see again.

We finally made it back to the hotel, where we checked in, then met down at the bar for a late lunch. I had a Chesapeake crab cake sandwich with spicy remoulade, fries and a really tall beer, a Bad Moon Porter from the local DuClaw Brewing.

That evening, we headed to the Newseum for a networking event. The Newseum was a tremendous venue for educational and coolness purposes, though its layout wasn’t as conducive for actual networking. Still, many of the exhibits were tremendous. The favorites for me were a collection of Walter Iooss’s work from Sports Illustrated, “G-Men and Journalists” and the Berlin Wall Gallery.

Later in the evening, we discovered the Hank Greenspun Terrace, dubbed the “overlook of America’s Main Street.” I even found a bar on this level, allowing me to enjoy a Sierra Nevada as we gazed out upon Pennsylvania Avenue and the Capitol Building. Ironically, we noted cleanup crews sweeping up from the gay pride parade earlier in the day, immediately destroying the stereotype that gays are neat and finicky.

I also had a business dinner at the oldest restaurant in the city, Old Ebbitt Grill, and had tremendous soft-shell crabs, crab cakes, seafood linguini, Irish Coffees and Sierras throughout my stay. I got Ube a "Future President" onesie and somehow ended up with a stuffed Cartman doll that someone figured might make a suitable gift for a 7-month-old.

Anyway, the rest of the stay was a whirlwind of 8,000 exhibitors, booth manning, session attendance and live Tweeting. Needless to say, I was happy to get back home, although two delays (one on the way out to the tarmac and the second when we were on the bus out to the plane) cost me an hour-and-a-half more time with the tool and his drunken friend who got us from the airport and proceeded to stave off puking for the rest of the way home.

Oh, Raleigh, how I take thee for granted … and how I miss you most when I am away.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXXXV: Beck U. Offers Mental Midgetry As A Major And Racial Ignorance As A Minor, Plus LBJ Jumps The Shark

Another conservative racist starts a U.
Guess separation of church and school ain’t true
A mascot for the college of paranoia?
An elephant, Jesus or Palin, oh boy-a
Beck University trades fear for cash from you

Another birthday, another crime for Vick
Another shooting surrounding this stupid prick
Someone just shoot him, you know?
Or feed him to the jaws of Cujo
Hope the NFL ends this bitch’s schtick

Mel Gibson is quite a prize
A piece of shit, anyone could surmise
We knew he was a racist, alcoholic coot
Now he’s a mysoginist to boot
Can anyone really feign surprise?

Russian spies sound sexy, and how
But what are they spying on? Wow
Did we forget to let them know
The Cold War ended 20 years ago?
Dude, we have our own vodka now

The free agency circus of King James
Surrounds himself with thug no-names
With ESPN he’s in cahoots
Most couldn’t give two toots
An hour-long special by a buncha lames

Last time …

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Deep Thoughts By No-Look McFadden: Episode 22

I’m certainly not a fan of ESPN, but their “30:30” project is one thing they’ve gotten right. “Run Ricky Run” was tremendous, and “The Two Escobars” piece was eye-opening as well.

Least-favorite recent Hollywood trend: taking a washed-up pretty boy actor and trying to recast him as a mercenary or tough guy. Who the hell can buy Tom Cruise as the badass in “Knight and Day”?! And what the F happened to Cameron Diaz?! They don’t fade much farther, faster, than she has. Ouch.

Has anyone ever seen new NC State athletics director Debbie Yow and SNL’s the Church Lady in the same place at the same time?

I figgered an 11-hour, 5-minute tennis match deserved some additional mention here. The John Isner-Nicolas Mahut marathon was so taxing that, at one point, Isner looked like me the time I downed a fifth of Crown and won that dwarf-tossing contest. It was so exhausting that Isner began actually swinging and missing at balls, looking like the Rob Deer of the tennis world. It was so tiring that Pete Sampras threw up somewhere just watching it.
Complicating matters was the fact that I couldn’t decide whether Mahut looked like the French doppelganger of Scut Farkus, the villain from “Christmas Story,” or a freedom-fried Sonic the Hedgehog.
And backing up my assertion that the happiest person in England during that match was the person who drew the winner the next day, Isner lost in something like 51 minutes the next time out. But kudos to Wimbledon for being proactive enough to recognize the match and award the contestants on the spot, just after it ended. Other leagues could take note.

Did you know Matt Schaub threw for 4,770 yards last year? That’s the sixth-most freaking yards in a season EVAR. Most underreported story of the season, imo.

I always hated science. Even as a kid. And I always loved weekends. Even as a kid. This is why I never became a scientist.

Serious question: Are Diego Maradona and Ozzie Guillen the same guy?

The three things that will make it very difficult for soccer to truly gain a place in the national sporting pecking order Stateside are the diving and acting; the seemingly random assignment of yellow cards; and the truly brutal, mind-numbing refereeing mistakes. When it seems like every other game is 1-0, there is simply no room in the game to abide by and be able to suffer these horrific errors and gaffes. There has to be a way to make it right.

I found, basically, the definitive piece on “Lost” the other day. Coupla cool quotes from it: “One of the reasons I think 'Lost' worked was that it was always more interested in the box and the person holding the box than what was in the box.”
And “One of the things that's made the last six seasons of this show so fun is the way that it's kind of a Rorschach test for who you are. Your answers to the questions the show presented were as important to the experience of watching the show as anything else.”

Can I ask why Leonardo DiCaprio was wearing a West Virginia cap during the Germany-Argentina match at the World Cup in South Africa? On a side note, Charlize Theron is to South African football as Ashley Judd is to Kentucky basketball.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Dad Life -- Dass Wuddup ...

It's funny because it's true.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Fellowship Of The Vuvuzela?

Sorta funny.

Lightning Strikes In The Windy City

Lightning strikes three of the tallest buildings in Chicago at the same time! from Craig Shimala on Vimeo.

Great vid of lightning striking Chicago’s three tallest buildings all at the same time. Just ... wow.

Monday, July 05, 2010

“Terminator: Salvation” Deserves A Review As OCD As Its Plot

I’ve never been a big fan of the “Terminator” franchise, but I figured in the interest of wrapping up the entire experience, I’d better check “Terminator Salvation” off the list. Despite the fact that the flaky Christian Bale was the main character, I tried to keep an open mind and embrace the special effects.

With McG involved as director, I knew the flick would be visually stunning, but there would be little behind the CGI. And true to form, “Terminator Salvation” had a balky plot, bad dialogue (“I’ll be back”? Seriously?) and robotic acting (get it?), to go with the amazing CGI recreation of Arnold, the incredible underwater Terminators and the pretty-neat tie-ins to the first film. With a budget of $200 million (the most ever for an independent production), the bangs had to be worth the bucks to somebody. And they definitely pushed the envelope, as Bale broke his hand (in addition to verbally accosting the director of photography) and Sam Worthington (Marcus Wright) tore back muscles during the filming.

For whatever reason, “Terminator” movies have always featured an oddly placed, gratuitous-nudity moment, and sure enough, McG comes through. After being rescued by the lead character (I’m guessing here, the film never really makes this clear) Wright, a pilot played by the ultra-hot and subtly-uniquely-named Moon Bloodgood randomly goes topless in a rainstorm in the middle of a dump. Very strange, but I doubt many red-blooded males started a letter-writing campaign to protest.

Anyway, Wright plays a sentenced-to-death criminal in 2018, and he makes a deal with the devil to give his body to science. Little does he know that the cancer-ridden scientist (Helena Bonham Carter) will help to turn him into a part-human, part-Terminator machine programmed to kill John Connor. Apparently, after the machines became self-aware, recognized that humans are their own worst enemy and took matters into their hands by attacking their creators (“Judgment Day”), Connor has been leading the Resistance against them (SkyNet), and has been for several movies. Hell, this franchise makes the “Matrix” look simple and to the point.

There is certainly an intensity to this flick, especially as the Resistance learns that they may be able to “turn off” the machines with a special signal and “reset the future.” Thrown into the fire with little idea of context, Wright hooks up with a couple of kids (including one who looks like Michael Jackson’s child clone, complete with Afro) who are living a “Mad Max” existence in trying to avoid detection by the machines. As Wright (who seems to scream a lot, which is weird) is dragged into the mix in the battle for Kyle Reese, we are never quite sure what side he is on, but lots of explosions ensue and stuff.

The beautiful Bryce Dallas Howard apparently plays Connor’s wife (although this also isn’t clear) and is a doctor, and the pilot also falls in love with Wright, making for some rather convenient love connections. As they do battle with SkyNet, which is harvesting the surviving humans as slaves, Wright essentially discovers his true identity as an “infiltration prototype,” and it’s hard to miss the not-so-subtle metaphor of him being a Terminator with a heart—literally. You can probably figure out the rest yourself, although there are some cool reveals on the road to “salvation.”

As noted, the grandstanding speeches by Connor (“There is no fate but what we make”) and the brutally cheesy lines (“I saw a man, not a machine”) took away from the movie, as did the force-fed Guns ‘N’ Roses soundtrack, which was a nod to the original “Terminator.” I thought it was funny that the Terminators sync like iPhones, but positioning a movie like this as a forum to make us think about second chances and what makes us human is asking WAY too much. But if you like strong CGI, fiery crashes and the like, this is a manageable 115 minutes and is worth seeing.

And with a “storm on the horizon” reference at the end (as well as the tagline of “The End Begins”), they set the stage for yet another possible sequel … cue the “Space Balls” crack about “Rocky Five … Thousand!”

Friday, July 02, 2010

Limerick Friday LXXXXXXXXXXXXXXIV: Say It Ain’t So, Michael Scott, Plus Butt Favre Is Jealous Of NBA FA

Couldn’t stop it, try as I might
Knew it was a battle I couldn’t fight
Feared the day Carell left the show
Now where does “The Office” go?
Maybe Dunder-Mifflin to be run by Dwight

Could this be the end of Roger?
They’re labeling him an old codger
But his demise has been predicted for years
Yet he still wins titles in tears
Don’t rule out a comeback for this artful dodger

Turns out Canadians are the same
Their cops beat the peaceful like a game
They’re as corrupt as the U.S. oil biz
He who protests will get his
The G20 interrupted—who’s to blame?

NBA free agency makes us all dumber
The league itself is a bit of a bummer
The top players had a summit
As NBA ratings did plummet
Favre: “You’re supposed to pay attention to me this summer!”

Jeezus struck by lightning, oh-my-oh!
Good heavens, don’t I know!
A six-story statue in rubble
Guess it needed a protective bubble
Why is irony always found in Ohio?

Last time …

Thursday, July 01, 2010

BP's Latest Trick: Burning Sea Turtles

And on top of all that, just in case you needed more proof that these fuckers just don't get it ...