Friday, September 28, 2007

The Office Returns

"You don't know me. You've just seen my penis." Wise, wise words from Michael Scott, Regional Manager. What more needs to be said?

Click here if you missed last nights season premiere episode entitled Fun Run.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

I must admit, I was a little nervous going into this movie when I saw the run-time of 2 hrs and 40 mins. for The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. I wasn't sure I could make it through the entire movie without my bladder exploding. It seems that in my old age, my already small bladder has become even smaller. As such, I purposefully did not purchase my traditional Diet Coke. But I digress.

I absolutely loved this movie. It had a Terrence Malick feel to it and maybe that is why I liked it so much. The cinematography was breath-taking. There was one shot during the train robbery at the beginning where Jesse James is standing in front of the stopping train as steam billows about that totally captured the mythical nature of Jesse James. It set the stage perfectly for the rest of the story. I also really enjoyed the tone and pacing of the narration and story. It totally worked for me.

Brad Pitt was solid as Jesse James. However, Casey Affleck stole the show for me with his portrayal of Robert Ford. It was so interesting to watch his hero-worship of Jesse James turn to hatred. One of my favorite scenes of the movie was when James makes Ford tell him what he means when he says that they have a lot in common. This was the tipping point for Ford because of the mocking tone James uses and Affleck nails the mixture of love, embarrassment, and anger. Like I said before, Affleck steals the show.

My favorite part of the movie was the final act after the assassination has been committed. I found it very interesting to see how people idolized Jesse James and treated him like a fallen Hercules or Achilles even though he was simply a bad person who demonstrated no remorse for killing at least 17 people and treating the members of his "gang" horribly. This heroic treatment of James contrasted so starkly with the way that Ford was treated. It was especially moving because of the inner turmoil experienced by Ford after killing his hero.

Overall this was just a fantastic movie for me. I have zero complaints. I would definitely watch this movie again and that is about as strong of an endorsement I can give.

As a side note, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that Nick Cave did the score. If you haven't yet seen The Proposition then I highly recommend it as well. My appreciation for The Proposition has really grown over the last couple of weeks. Especially after 3:10 to Yuma.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fantasy Football Team Names

One of my favorite parts of fantasy football is the creativity that often goes into team names. In my current league - Morgasmo's World (aptly named due to my dominance over the previous two seasons) - we have fantastic names ranging from The Creepy Grandpas to The Fleshsicles to A Lifetime of Wiener. I literally laugh everytime I log onto the league homepage.

Over the last couple of days, thanks to the glory of YouTube I have come across a few more potentially solid names for future teams. Thanks to Senator Craig we have the potential team name of:

Bill Clinton is a Nasty, Naughty Boy

The look on Chris Matthews' face at the end of the clip is priceless.

And thanks to Andrew Meyer, we have one of my all time favorite catch phrases and a very strong contender for my fantasy football team name next year:

Don't Taze Me Bro!

I have watched the Don't Taze Me Bro clip like 20 times over the last couple of days and it still cracks me up. I also can't stop saying it. Whenever somebody asks me a question I immediately say "Don't taze me bro." I don't think it will ever get old. Thank you Andrew Meyer for being a douche and whipping out the word bro in your moment of panic. I can't think of a funnier way to ask somebody to not taze you. You are a comedic genius.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I Still Heart Hip Hop

Yesterday I made my triumphant return to the DreamWorks Animation campus. It was a spectacular homecoming highlighted by spirited discussions with the big LJD covering favorite topics such as Al Gore the Hollywood Heartthrob, Sicko, Spike Lee, and of course the latest and greatest in the world of hip hop. The hip hop topic was by far my favorite. In honor of our discussion I thought I would post about three of my currents favorites.

Good Life by Kanye West featuring T-Pain

I am kind of over Kanye in general but I love this song. I was hooked from the moment it was premiered on Entourage. My favorite song on the new album.

Get Buck in Here by DJ Felli Fel Featuring Akon, Diddy, Luda, and Lil' Jon

DJ Felli Fel is a DJ on the local hip-hop station Power 106 and once again I was hooked from the very first time I heard this song. The beat just sucks me right in. I especially love when they slow it down and get all crunk (yeah that's right I said crunk look at me I am such a banger from the dirty dirty) for Lil' Jon at the end.

Crank Dat by Soulja Boy

This song is best heard LOUD and with LOTS of bass. My whip is currently getting a little lovin at the mechanic so I have been ghost ridin in a C class Mercedes. I would never buy a C class based on my driving experience yesterday and today. However, the stereo is fantastic and Crank That sounds A-Mazing in the c class while cruising down the 101 on my way to work in the morning.

One more song that I heard for the first time yesterday on my way home from work was this new remix of 50 Cent featuring Diddy and Jay Z. I'm not sure what it is called and will have to do a little research to find it but the Jay Z part killed. If you know what the song is called, a little heads up in the comments would be very much appreciated.

Monday, September 17, 2007

I Heart The Office or My Night at the Emmys

Where to begin? Last night was the telecast for the Primetime Emmys. Finally. The show itself was pretty uneventful except for when the standards and practices (who were by far the nicest people in the production trailer) started freaking out when Brad Garrett went off script during his presentation bit and started talking about the boobs of his co-presenter. The word nipple may or may not have been said. Other than that the only other real highlights of the broadcast were the Rainn Wilson/Kanye West bit that worked surprisingly well and the impromptu on-stage celebration with Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and Steve Carell due to the absence of Ricky Gervais when the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy was presented.

So after standing in a cramped production trailer for 4 hours, I was starving and ready for the Governor's Ball. The food was nothing special but the decor was pretty solid. Tony Bennett sang a few songs which I was originally looking forward to but I ended up being distracted by the cast of The Office. The cast of Heroes was at the next table over but I was way more interested in The Office.

I have quite a few stories that I am giggling about right now as I remember hovering near their table waiting for an opportunity to speak with them. We took a few pictures as well so I will try to fit the stories to the pictures.

When we initially were listening to Tony Bennett perform, Kate and her husband walked by and bumped into us. She apologized and continued on her way. We then went back to our table for the main course which we quickly finished and returned to "stalk" the cast of The Office. While we were waiting to talk with Stanley (aka Leslie David Baker) at the bar, Kate and her husband walked by again and her husband apologized when they squeezed by. I couldn't contain my laughter because I was the one who should be apologizing for "stalking" his wife and friends.

Finally we had the opportunity to approach Phyllis, who was fantastic. She was so friendly and seemed genuinely happy to speak with us.

After taking this picture with us she immediately said "There is Stanley. You have to take a picture with him as well." How could I resist?

Stanley was also super friendly and hilarious. He kept saying "Don't be shy" in this booming voice that cracked me up. I couldn't stop giggling. While we took a few photos, he put is arm around me and kept rubbing my back. Which of course really made me giggle. He thought it was so hilarious that he told Kirsten that he was rubbing my back and that it was making me giggle. Definitely the highlight of the night for me. This may be the best picture of of me ever:

After wrapping up with the cast of The Office we also bumped into.... wait for it..... Kenneth The Page.

We congratulated him on being an integral part of winning the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series and Kirsten totally came through in the clutch when I froze and made a relevant joke that we were two of the 12 people that watch the show. Well played Kirsten. Well played.
As an addendum to this story, earlier in the night Tina Fey almost impaled me with the Emmy statue when she crashed into me. I was totally smitten and stumbled out a few congratulatory remarks and continued on my way. Later in the evening we saw her as she was leaving and it looked like she had a very good time celebrating. She was really struggling with maintaining her balance. It must have been the heels she was wearing.
One more little story is that Paulie Walnuts used the urinal right next to me and didn't leave a buffer when the bathroom was not at capacity.
I also have a great story about Rainn Wilson aka Dwight Schrute which I will reserve for telling in person to protect the names of the innocent. The blag is probably a little too public of a forum.
And finally, here is my favorite picture of the night:

It cracks me up every time I look at it and it totally captures the friendliness and personality of Phyllis. I heart Phyllis.

PS I have a few other great stories about Alec Baldwin, William H. Macy, Julia Louis Dreyfus, and Tom Selleck that I wouldn't mind sharing as well. They aren't quite as funny though. More observations really but still enjoyable.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Heart Alaska Airlines

Last Christmas I flew to Kennewick Washington via Seattle Washington on Alaska Airlines. I remember actually enjoying my flight but I couldn't remember why. Based on these hazy but positive memories of the experience, I booked my flight to Seattle last night on Alaska Airlines. Now I remember why I heart Alaska Airlines.

I walked into the terminal at LAX last night and was immediately struck by the abundance of self-check-in terminals and lack of lines. I had my boarding pass printed less than 2 minutes after walking into the terminal. It was great. I then proceeded to the security checkpoint where there was absolutely no lines. In under 5 minutes I was through the metal detector and had my shoes back on and was happily walking towards my departure gate. Once I got to the gate, there was plenty of seating and the acoustics were such that I could easily understand anything being announced over the PA. Just like the NBA, it was FAAAAN-tastic.

Once I boarded the plane and plopped down in my comfy seat with more then adequate leg room I glanced out the window and saw the plane next to us and was reminded of how cool the Alaska Airlines Eskimo logo looks on the tail of the standard white plane. I am a sucker for good design and this just added more fuel to my Alaska Airlines fire. But wait. It gets even better.

After reaching our cruising altitude, the surprisingly attractive flight attendants began to make the customary distribution of in-flight beverages. I asked for Diet Coke and I was given an entire can. Yes, you read that right. I was given the entire can and didn't even need to beg for it. How nice is that? But wait, it gets even better.

About a half hour after enjoying my Diet Coke a strangely aromatic scent came drifting through the darkened cabin. It was unlike any other smell I had ever experienced on an airplane. I was so disoriented I couldn't quite place the smell. But then it hit me. Molasses cookies. I love molasses cookies. And guess what, they were piping hot molasses cookies sent straight from heaven. When have you ever had warm cookies on an airplane? I never have. And now I am completely and utterly smitten with Alaska Airlines. They are the best and it is because of the small things. Blink 182 had it right all along.

PS The flight was only $99 each way with only like 4 days advance purchase. Even better right?