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I Hate It Here  
04:01am 20/08/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
For the record, I'm currently re-re-re-re-re-re-reading Transmetropolitan. So fair warning, expect random ranting posts laced with colorful obscenities coming shortly.
 
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"In the bank they did the same stuff the fortune teller and bookie did, but they dressed better."  
08:02pm 04/08/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I'm four books short of having all the Robert B. Parker mysteries. That may not sound like much until you realize the guy's written forty-eight mysteries. The four I'm needing are:

A Savage Place
The Widening Gyre
A Catskill Eagle
Double Deuce


If you're in the Austin area and have any of these books (preferably in hardback, but I'll take a paperback copy too) or know where I can find them (I've checked every Half-Price Books in the city over the weekend), drop me a line.
 
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Please pass some sanity, Saint of Mediocrity, and keep me out of my sobriety  
06:28pm 03/07/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I currently have just enough money to buy bus passes to get to and from work and to keep myself in just enough cigarettes to keep sane. Which brings me to a big problem. I have no alcohol. Well, unless you count rubbing alcohol, Nyquil, or that bottle of mead I've been saving for a special occasion for like two years now. But other than that, there's nothing. No wine, no beer, no booze. Which means I haven't had a single drop to drink in about a week now.

I've noticed something interesting. I have trouble sleeping now. Previously, when my head was cluttered with random shit and my mind was going a mile a minute and I was stressed out over random stuff throughout the day, I'd come home from work, feed the kittens, clean their litterbox, then have a nice cold something -- glass or two of wine, a double vodka or scotch, a beer. I never drank enough to get drunk or even really buzzed, but it was enough to relax me and cause my brain to slow down enough for me to get to sleep.

I've become an insomniac since I quit drinking. I'm up until three or four or five in the morning watching the same DVDs over and over again. I'm getting up for water or juice or a cigarette or something. I can't just lay still, turn on Red vs. Blue, and pass out like I always do.

On the plus side, I only have to stay on the wagon until Wednesday...then I can write a check that won't bounce. The bad news is that I have to spend the entire weekend both bored and sober since I don't have any money to do anything and I don't have any alcohol. I can handle being bored (hell, that's half my job description) and I can handle being sober. But I'm not entirely sure how I'll do with trying to do both at the same time...

Donations for the "Get some Vodka for Darryl" fund can be made by bringing me a few bucks or a bottle of Skol vodka (yeah, the super-cheap ass stuff...I happen to like it, alright?)
mood: tiredtired
 
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I hate people  
11:58pm 09/06/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) today on June 9, 2008, on the floor of the House of Representatives read out 35 Articles of Impeachment against President George W. Bush citing evidence for every claim.

Instead of covering this story, everyone was busy talking about Ken Griffy Jr. hitting his 600th home run.

No major news outlet covered this story.



Sorry, I was too busy watching Ow My Balls to care.

I fucking hate the citizens of this country...
 
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Films I Should've Seen by Now  
07:02am 23/05/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
Here is a list of films that I haven't seen. Some of them I'm incredibly ashamed that I haven't seen yet. Anyway, this list is not by any means complete, but it's a list of films that I feel by this point in my life, I should've seen them. I plan to rectify this, however. My goal is by my next birthday, to have knocked at least half the films off this list. I'll update this post as I watch the films by crossing them off. The first 100 on this list are in alphabetical order, and the rest I forgot or didn't think to add, I'll throw on the end in whatever order they pop into my head. Also, feel free to make any suggestions in the comments...or just make fun of me for not having seen them yet. Oh, and if you hear about any of these playing on the big scree in Austin sometime, LET ME KNOW!!

1. 12 Angry Men
2. 2001*
3. 48 Hours
4. A Night at the Opera
5. Adventures of Robin Hood
6. All Quiet on the Western Front
7. Ben-Hur
8. Birth of a Nation
9. Bladerunner
10. Bonnie and Clyde
11. Braveheart*
12. Brazil
13. Bride of Frankenstien*
14. Bridge on the River Kwai
15. Bullitt
16. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
17. Carrie+
18. Children of Men*
19. City Lights
20. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
21. Con Air+
22. Cool Hand Luke
23. Day the Earth Stood Still
24. Dirty Harry+
25. Dr Strangelove Seen 5/26/08 on HD Net Movies
26. Duck Soup
27. Easy Rider
28. Eraserhead
29. ET+
30. Face Off+
31. Fargo
32. Fatal Attraction+
33. Forbidden Planet
34. Goldfinger
35. Gunga Din
36. Haxan
37. Heat
38. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
39. It Happened One Night
40. It's a Wonderful Life
41. Jaws+
42. Kundun
43. Lawrence of Arbia
44. M*A*S*H
45. Memento
46. Metropolis
47. Midnight Express
48. Modern Times
49. Mr Deeds Goes to Town
50. Mutiny on the Bounty
51. Night Watch*
52. Nightmare on Elm Street+
53. No Country for Old Men
54. North by Northwest
55. On the Waterfront
56. Our Hospitatlity
57. Patton
58. Platoon
59. Point Break
60. Predator+
61. Raging Bull
62. Raiders of the Lost Ark+
63. Rain Man
64. Rambo+
65. Rashomon
66. Rear Window
67. Road Warrior/Mad Max (I've seen one but not the other and I don't know which one's which)
68. Rocky Horror Picture Show
69. Rocky+
70. Rope
71. Rosemary's Baby
72. Saving Private Ryan
73. Say Anything
74. Schindler's List
75. Sherlock, Jr
76. Some Like It Hot
77. Spartacus
78. Spirited Away
79. Strangers on a Train
80. Taxi Driver
81. The Dark Knight
82. The Dirty Dozen
83. The Gold Rush
84. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
85. The Graduate
86. The Incredible Hulk
87. The Mist*
88. The Mummy (original)
89. The Pink Panther*+
90. The Searchers
91. The Untouchables
92. There Will Be Blood
93. They Live
94. Total Recall+
95. Toy Story 2
96. Treasure of the Sierra Madre
97. Trouble in Paradise
98. Unforgiven
99. WALL*E Seen at a special preview screening June 15, 2008
100. Wild Bunch

* - Films that are actually in the house on DVD, some of which I actually friggin' OWN!
+ - Films I've seen as a kid, but I either don't remember much or I feel I didn't really get it as a child.

Update 6/20/08: 2 down, 98 more to go. Sheesh, I need to get my ass in gear!
 
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The Idiots Are Taking Over  
11:31pm 14/05/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I take the bus to work. Normally, I turn on my iPod and stick my nose in a book so I don't have to even attempt to deal with anyone else. Plus, since I just woke up for work, I'm usually not entirely conscious yet anyway. Today, however, I forgot to charge my iPod so the battery was low and I'm out of stuff to read, so I was forced to let my mind wander and try to stare out the window.

Except for the idiots sitting in the front of the bus.

Now, the bus was one of the smaller ones and was about half full. However, there were only three white people on the bus. Myself and the pair of idiots. Everyone else on the bus including the driver were black.

Now, as any of you reading this who know me know well is that I'm not a racist. I classify people into two basic groups that has nothing to do with race...stupid and not stupid. The only bigotry I hold is for the former of those two groups. I wrestle with that sometimes because as much as I hate them, they can be so damn entertaining!

This is the scope of the conversation the other two Caucasian people on the bus were having:

"Dat nigga betta be callin' me back!"
"Nigga please, that nigga ain't gonna be callin' nobody. Shiiiii', nigga cain't even pay his phone bill!"
"Nigga, I ain't hearin' dat! Shiiiii', dat nigga be ownin' me fo' a while now and that nigga best be payin what he owe me!"
"Shiiiii', Dat nigga ain't worth shi'! You need to leave dat nigga. Shiiiii'"

This whole time, I'm sitting quietly and watching, trying not to laugh my ass off. Finally, one of the black passengers leans over and says "You know, you guys shouldn't be saying 'nigger' while you're on the bus."

Their intelligent response?

"Shiii' dawg, I ain't be tryin' to offend nobody dawg. It ain't personal or nothin'. Shiiii'"

The second they were off the bus, I couldn't hold it in anymore and burst out laughing.

There was another idiot I had to deal with last night...or this morning...shit, I never used to be this confused working graveyards before...

Anyway, I had a caller yesterday who was having an issue with his Blackberry. I'm sure if you've talked to me, you've heard my little rant about spoiled snotty moronic yuppie business fucks and their Blackberries...but basically this guy had been waiting since the day before for someone to call him, so he had a legitimate complaint. My end of the call was textbook. I was polite and professional and handled the call perfectly. I told him the current status of the ticket, gave him all the information I had, and informed him I would be paging the technician the ticket was assigned to. I closed the call perfectly. That's when the idiot came out...

As the guy was hanging up, he muttered, "What a cunt..."

...

I stared at the phone. I wasn't even offended. I was just shocked the guy said it. Actually, not even that. I was shocked the moron forgot to hang up the phone first. I mean I know he wasn't cursing at me personally. He was just pissed off at the situation and venting. I just couldn't believe he'd actually said it. My supervisor pulled the call and listened to it and confirmed that he did, in fact, say "What a cunt...". Apparently, the guy may get in trouble for it. I didn't mean for that to happen -- like I said, I wasn't offended because it wasn't directed at me personally and I understand the situation. The guy was just upset about his phone not working. I do the same exact thing with moronic callers. However, I make DAMN sure the hold or mute button's on or else the caller has disconnected before I start calling them morons, bastards, bitches, idiots, douches, etc. I still can't believe he actually SAID it!

What a cunt...
location: Work
mood: boredbored
music: "The Idiots Are Taking Over" - NOFX
 
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The Thrill of the Chase and False Endings  
09:43am 08/05/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I just had something very profound brought to my attention from my childhood. It's an old Roadrunner cartoon from 1980 called "Soup or Sonic" directed by Chuck Jones. The cartoon is pretty generic Roadrunner/Wile E. Coyote fair...until the end.

In this, the final gag is Wile E. chasing the Roadrunner through a series of pipes that get smaller and smaller until the two of them exit, only for both of them to be tiny versions of themselves only an inch or two tall. They turn around and start running through the pipes the other way round so that the pipes get larger and larger. The Roadrunner exits normal-sized, but Wile E. exits still only a couple of inches tall. He grabs the Roadrunner's leg, puts on a bib, grabs a knife and fork, then stops...the (from Wile E.'s perspective) dozen story tall Roadrunner leans down and lets out his trademark "Meep Meep!" Only this time, it's a deep, rumbling bass.

Wile E. looks up, then holds up a sign. It says "Well, you've always wanted me to catch him. Now what do I do?"

There's some deep meaning in there...

And for the record, I have not been smoking pot.
mood: contemplativecontemplative
 
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Manifesto of a True Skeptic  
02:07am 18/04/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I hate calling myself a skeptic. Many people who call themselves such are not true skeptics, but are anti-believers. The most famous skeptic in modern history, James Randi, is one of these. I really like and respect Randi, but he is not a skeptic. He focuses solely on disproving any extraordinary claims that come before him. The reason so-called skeptics like these are still a good thing is that, for the most part, they’re correct to flat out dismiss claims of the paranormal. Uri Geller, psychic surgeons, faith healing, reflexology, astrology, and other such claims are absurd and easily debunked. I am glad that there is someone who is debunking them.

However, James Randi, Penn Jillett and Teller, the Skeptics Society, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and most other renowned “skeptics” come solely from a position of what is being said is untrue then go about finding any explanation whatsoever to disprove it. They do not take an objective look at the subject and ignore evidence that do not support their opinions.

A true skeptic knows how to say the words “I don’t know”.

Do ghosts exist? I don’t know. Is there intelligent life on other planets? I don’t know. Is ESP possible? I don’t know.

I don’t believe in any of these things, but I don’t go around saying they cannot exist solely because they haven’t been proven. There is interesting research in all these areas which cannot be explained away. The CIA’s experiments in remote viewing were not conclusive either way. There have been a lot of sightings of ghosts and spirits that cannot be dismissed. We flat out don’t know enough about the universe or how life is formed to know the likelihood of other life existing in the universe let alone intelligent life.

However, I also don’t say that ghosts are real and the spirits of deceased humans. I don’t say that there are aliens buzzing over our heads mutilating cattle and abducting rednecks. I don’t say that if you clear your mind and charge your chi that you can project your thoughts across the mother goddess earth in your astral form.

I say “I don’t know”.

This is the difference between a skeptic and an anti-believer. I don’t jump to conclusions one way or another. I don’t say that there’s something there for sure without a lot of firm evidence to back it up and I don’t say there can’t be something there when there is obviously evidence that can’t be easily dismissed.

A true skeptic researches. A true skeptic looks at the evidence alone and never jumps to a conclusion. A true skeptic doesn’t allow emotions to get in the way of finding an explanation. A true skeptic doesn’t let anyone else make up their mind for them. A true skeptic doesn’t make up their mind in advance.

What does it take to be a real skeptic?

Examine. Take in information that is presented to you and process it without assigning it any outside meaning.

Research. Read your ass off and take in all the information you can before you start to draw any conclusions.

Use logic. Your brain is the greatest asset you have and don't forget to use it.

Do not allow emotion to interfere. You may want to believe that it's your dear Uncle Joe's voice whispering to you in his old bedroom, but don't assume that it is unless you have solid evidence.

Use Occam’s Razor and remember it cuts both ways. Just because an explanation is possible doesn't mean it's true. Which is more unlikely, that an intelligent alien race stopped to examine an inhabited planet or that swamp gas (in an area with no swamps) reflected the light from Venus (which was on the other side of the sky at the time) and created a mirage which was misinterpreted. But remember, it could also just be a streetlight.

Do not waste time on inane bullshit. If it sounds insanely moronic, then it probably is. A foot massage is not going to help your heart problems, a witch doctor cannot pull the cancer out of your bones with his bare hands, air does not contain all the nourishment a body needs, and angels are not putting the image of the Madonna in a urine stain in the men's restroom at a gas station.

And for the love of all things holy and unholy, stop using the word “supernatural”. If you can prove something exists, then it is part of the natural world. If you can’t, then it doesn’t exist. Anything “supernatural” is a misnomer.

I titled this the Manifesto of a Skeptic…and every good manifesto needs a mantra. Therefore, I give you this mantra for the true skeptic:

“I don’t know...but I’m going to find out!”
music: Coast to Coast AM
 
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When I knew I was straight  
01:13am 08/02/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I saw yet another interview where a homosexual activist asked the question "When did you know you were straight?" in response to something. Here's the thing...I can tell you the exact time I knew I was straight. The first time I saw this music video:

 
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Best of Year 27  
04:31pm 19/01/2008
 
 
Darryl Mott Jr
I find it odd that we count the revolutions of our planet with a completely arbitrary starting point. It's not the point we're furthest from the sun nor the point where we're closest. It's not even the point where we're the average distance from the sun. It's not based on any historical or religious occurrence. It's just some completely random day chosen for no reason whatsoever. And since I hate celebrating New Year's anyway, I've decided to start counting by my own arbitrary, random point in the rotation. My birthday. Because frankly, it's the most important day of the year since without it, there's no me. And since I'm the most important person in my life (without me, there is no life so I'm the most important person by default), it seemed a logical conclusion to start counting everything starting with that day.

Well, that day is coming on Friday, January 25, 2008. Since everyone else has already posted their Best Of lists for the calendar year, then I'm going to go ahead and post mine.

BEST VIDEO GAME
Rock Band

Rock band is completely innovate yet absolutely nothing new at the same time. There's been drum games, guitar games, and singing games for ages. With the Beamani series in Japan and Guitar Freaks, Drum Freaks, and Keyboard Freaks; the idea of plugging them all up together to play the same song cooperatively isn't even new. But this was the first game to take the success of Guitar Hero (whose main strength was a playlist of a shitload of cool songs that people would actually want to play as opposed to random J-Rock hits) and the idea of playing everything and put it in our homes.

There is nothing more fun than getting a big group of people together with a full band of drummer, bassist, guitarist, and singer; then having everyone swap off in Band Quickplay mode. Throw in some beer and pizza and it's a blast of a party. Oh, and that's not even counting the fact that this game can help you learn how to play the drums, sing on pitch, and play an instrument and sing at the same time. Sure, it's not the same as the real thing and you'll still have to adjust and practice at the real thing, but this is great training. And blowing $170 on a game is a hell of a lot better than $400 for a drumset that'll just sit in the garage collecting dust and spiderwebs.

Runner Up
Halo 3

Fun as hell with a great single-player campaign as well as the best FPS multiplayer on a console system, Halo 3 is a great game. It just can't hold a candle to the pure fun of Rock Band.

FAVORITE FILM OF THE YEAR
300

There is nothing short of a marathon session of God of War that's as cathartic as watching this movie. The brutality of massive-level melee land war has never been so stylish and slick. This film isn't meant to be historical. It isn't meant to have a deep plot or amazing character development. This film is myth. This film is the version of the story of the 300 Spartans that's been told around campfires and field tents before battles for millennia to inspire the troops. This is the version of the story that was told at the Alamo before the Mexican army hit the walls. This is the version that was told on the ship before launching for Normandy. Any time an army has been outnumber and outmanned, almost sure to die...this story is told. How 300 men stopped an army of millions dead in its tracks and held their line long enough to accomplish their mission. How these men laid down their lives greatfully for their country. Sure, in the real battle is was 300 Spartans plus an army of about 30,000 other Greek nations plus supply lines and that Xerxes's real army numbered probably in the hundred thousands, not the millions...but who gives a flying fuck about history in this case? Let historians debate the brilliant sacrificial strategy that allowed an eventual Greek victory over the Persian Empire. I want the myth. I want three hundred men with nothing but shield, spear, and sword all by themselves fighting off an army in the millions, drinking the rivers dry and arrows blotting out the sun.

Runner Up
Trick 'R Treat

God, I wish I could see this movie again. It was just SO much fucking fun. I can't remember a horror movie I've enjoyed nearly as much as I enjoyed this film since I was a kid. Unfortunately, unless screenings pop up here and there, this film is shelved until Halloween 2008. It's a shame, I want to see it NOW! AND I WANT A SAM PLUSHIE!!!!

BEST NEW TELEVISION SERIES
Burn Notice

This show is great. It's also one of the most technically accurate spy shows I've ever seen, including films. From everything I've read and heard, all the advice given and tactics used by Michael Weston in the series are the same things used by real spies in the field. Only they cut out the boring bits with paperwork and only show the exciting parts. Everyone on the cast is great, and the show has yet to disappoint.

Runner Up
Reaper

Another great show that just doesn't have the momentum behind it that Burn Notice does. It's a monster-of-the-week comedy/drama using the Brimstone plot device of an agent for the Devil hunting down escaped souls from Hell. I can't put my finger on what exactly, but I have very low hopes this series will be renewed. I really hope it is though. I think it's just finding its voice and some of the soap opera metaplot elements are just coming into their own, while others haven't been exploited at all.

BEST RETURNING TV SERIES
Psych
Where Monk has been failing (see below), Psych has been succeeding. This is a great series where the comedy is actually funny and the mystery is almost always really good. They mysteries are logical with all the evidence given to you throughout the show, but always in such a way that it doesn't throw an immediate spotlight on the culprit. Some of the joke references are a couple of years too early for me (the characters are a bit older than I am, so I miss references to shit like Airwolf since I barely remember the show), but the show is consistantly good at pulling off both character and situational humor. There's something to like about every character, and none of the other characters ever come off as bumbling idiots much like film versions of Watson or Lt. Disher on Monk. Detective Lassiter is a great detective, but very straight-forward and traditional in his approach which allows the more unorthodox Shawn Spenser to beat him to the punch in solving cases. Burton "Gus" Guster is obviously Watson to Shawn's Holmes, but while he's often shown to be Shawn's inferior in detection skills, Gus holds his own and often comes up with brilliant deductions once Shawn's pointed out the key observation. I cannot praise this series enough. This series is better than Monk when Monk was still good.

Runner Up
House
Okay, this could probably be put under "New Series" as far as I'm concerned. And frankly, the show isn't that great. The mysteries are usually pretty bad, the medicine always seems off, and I just plain flat don't like medical procedurals. However, this show has some of the best dialog writing on TV right now. House, even in this year's season, hasn't missed a beat. The characters are great and actually evolve and change from episode to episode, and their relationships are amazing. I frankly couldn't give a shit less what each week's diagnosis is...I want to know what House is going to do in the clinic, or what Cameron's going to say to Wilson about whatever happened last week. I burned through all three and a half seasons of House that are out in under two weeks, watching them with pretty much every free second I had. I lost a lot of sleep because of this show, and if I didn't put it on my list (yes, even over Doctor Who, Battlestar, Metalocolypse, and Torchwood), I wouldn't have been very honest.

BEST NOVEL
White Night

Big fucking surprise, I'm sure. I'm obsessively, romantically, and sexually in love with the Dresden Files novel series. Yes, I would marry it given the opportunity. Every novel in the series is better than the last, giving us none of the bullshit degradation of quality most long novel series suffer from (I'm looking at you, Laurel K. Hamilton). If you're one of the few people I haven't personally pestered to read the Dresden Files, then go pick up the first three books in the series. After I approve your credentials (making sure you wouldn't hate them based solely on the genre or style), I offer a complete money-back guarantee* on the first three books of the series. That's how convinced I am of their greatness.

* If you meet approval, I offer to pay you the full purchase price you paid for the first three Dresden Files books -- Storm Front, Fool Moon, and Grave Peril -- on the condition that you surrender the books to me so that I can use them for back-ups because people keep fucking stealing them from me. You are required to finish at least the first three books of the series, providing proof that you've read them all by answering simple plot-related questions. This offer is only good on paperback copies of the books and does not apply to hardcover, special printings, or audio books. I will reimburse the purchase price or $7.99 per book, whichever is lower. This offer is not good for anyone I don't personally know, so people randomly stumbling across this blog are not allowed to try to fuck me over.

Runner Up
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Order of the Phoenix is my favorite Potter book. Prisoner of Azkaban is my second. Philosopher's Stone is third. Half-blood Prince is forth. Deathly Hallows is a very weak, overly long for no purpose other than to inflate the page count, killing characters for no rhyme nor reason other than it's the last book and we need a body count god damnit disappointing fifth. The other two books, I don't even really like all that much.

So how did this make the list? Because it was the ending. And aside from the random deaths that didn't do anything other than put bodies on the floor, every prediction I had came true. So suck it, all you people on the Potter forums! I really could have written the damn book like I threatened to!

BEST ALBUM
New Maps of Hell

Bad Religion's started to lose their way again it seems, as New Maps is a great follow-up to The New America. Maybe Brett's not doing as much writing as he was on their previous two CDs. Maybe they're just out of juice now that they're all pushing 50. Who knows? However, this CD rocked harder than any other album that came out this year. That's actually saying more about how little came out this year than about the quality of this album.

Runner Up
Ummmmm...yeah, maybe Reel Big Fish's album? I don't know
Yeah, Year 27 had fuck-all in terms of new albums. Reel Big Fish had half of a new album with the other half being re-recordings of older songs. Mustard Plug's new album is almost a new band with how much their sound has changed. Only two or three of their songs even remind me they're the same band, and those aren't even the good songs on the album. But this year, we're supposed to be getting new Pennywise, Millencolin, Less Than Jake, and NOFX albums...god I hope so...I'm out of shit to listen to on the way to work...

BIGGEST SURPRISE
Meat Pie

I'm sure you're wondering what the fuck I'm talking about. Nothing's been a big surprise this year in terms of media. However, I discovered a deep burning passion for meat pie at the screening of Sweeney Todd at BNAT9. Unfortunately, those four bites of heaven are the only time I've been able to have the delicious, flaky goodness because no one in America makes fucking meat pies! Hell, I can't even find a reliable recipe online for them!! Please, someone help me! I WANT MORE MEAT PIE!!

Runner Up
NOTHING!

Really, nothing else surprised me this year. Everything I found for the first time, I already knew I would like and just never got around to watching. Everything met my expectations without greatly exceeding them and nothing severely disappointed me more than I expected it to.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT
Spider-man 3

Seriously, Mr. Raimi...what the fuck were you thinking? The plot sucked. The new villains sucked. The fights sucked. The only thing that didn't suck was the black costume itself. I'd be more upset if I hadn't expected it. There aren't many series that can make it to three installments without dropping the ball.

Runner Up
The Dresden Files

"Wait, stop the presses!" you're saying. "Weren't you just spewing sperm all over The Dresden Files not two minutes ago?"

Why yes, yes I was. The novel series. What I am referring to is the unfortunate TV series which was launched by the Sci-Fi channel.

Apparently, this TV series was originally a Sci-Fi Original Movie which was supposed to be a big-budget theatrical movie. However, Constantine came up and the bastards decided they didn't want two contemporary fantasies out at the same time. So they shitcanned Dresden in favor of the acting prowess of Keanu Reeves. How's that decision working out for you, BTW? So everything got scaled back. A lot.

Then Sci-Fi looked at the two hour TV movie and said this would be perfect for a TV series! However, instead of using this fairly decent adaptation of the first novel of the series and logical starting point, let's choose the weakest fucking episode out of the eight we've got and re-shoot THAT as the pilot! And let's keep jumbling up the episode order so that no one has a remote fucking idea what's going on! Oh, and let's cut the budget a bit more for special effects so that you can't actually have your wizard character doing a lot of magic. Oh, and those incantations? We've already got a wizard named Harry to ride on Harry Potter's coattails, so let's not bother with stuff that actually has basis in fact and has been part of the genre since day one.

Yes, I'm still bitter. Especially since I could've written something about eighty billion times better in my fucking sleep.

MOST IMPROVED
Robert B. Parker

Robert B. Parker's novels usually aren't any better or worse than any of his other novels. They're all good, but few of them are great and only a couple suck. However, previously to 2007, most of the suck came right before then. The Spenser series was going all over the place, Sunny Randal and Jesse Stone (the main characters from his other two series) were knocking each other's boots, and everything was basically going downhill. Had the master of contemporary hard boiled lost his touch?

Parker came out with three books this year. The Spenser series had been going back on track for a few years, but Now and Then was perfect. I read the entire thing cover to cover in one night. It was exactly what Spenser needed. In High Profile, Sunny and Jesse broke it off and went back to their normal lives.

Basically, everything is back to the status quo for Parker's novels. And this is great IMO because it's exactly what I want. Good, maybe great, but nothing that's going to make me fall to my knees in praise of the god that is the author (like I do with Jim Butcher).

MOST DETERIORATED
Monk

This show is circling the drain fast. The first two seasons were great. Quirky humor with good mystery as the focus and a metaplot of Trudy's murder that popped up fairly regularly as a theme to drive the narrative as well as Monk attempting to get re-instated to the police.

Now? The mysteries suck. Plain and simple. I usually have them figured out ten minutes in. Which isn't hard at all because they're a complete fucking afterthought to the writing process on the show now. All the focus instead is on putting Monk in "humorous" situations. And by "humorous", I mean "LET'S MAKE FUN OF MENTAL ILLNESS!!!!" The first ten minutes set up the mystery and give you pretty much all the evidence. The next twenty-five minutes is low-rated sitcom grade comedy with Monk in some situation that is hilarious mixed with his OCD. The last ten minutes is wrapping up the plot of the mystery that every retarded four year old in the country figured out already. Or else they pull a solution straight out of their asses that maybe kinda sorta fits the evidence but still comes straight out of nowhere.

And it isn't even a Sharona vs. Natalie thing. I like both characters for different reasons. But for fuck's sake, STOP WITH THE SHITTY SITCOM! The comedy from the first two seasons came from the character, not from the situation. Fuck, even the ads are more like sitcom ads. "Hey everybody, the OCD guy's going to be a bank security guard and gets trapped in a vault! Isn't that funny? Laugh at the stereotypical mentally disabled guy!"

BEST FIND
Red vs. Blue

I'm am such a whore for RvB. I only discovered this series this past year and my obsession was immediate. I devoured the entire series, then forced it upon anyone who would listen. I quote it incessantly (do NOT say the word "pacifist" around me or I will immediately say "Isn't that the thing that babies suck on? Wait, no, that a pedophile..."). If you want to know how much of a whore I am for this show, ask asilla (a regular in the Ain't It Cool News chatroom). I found out that she at one time dated Gus Sorola who plays Simmons in the series. I flipped.

Hell, I met a bunch of celebrities at BNAT this year. Eli Roth was there once again, I've met Mel Gibson before, Peter Jackson stepped on my foot, the screenwriters for X-Men 2 and Superman Returns...hell, I had dinner with Shane Black at the Austin Film Festival two years ago with Cargill and a bunch of other guys. However, I have never EVER geeked out as badly as when I thumbed through the BNAT yearbook and saw that BURNIE FUCKING BURNS was there! Hell, read my blog earlier about BNAT for that little incident.

I'd heard of the series before, but I was never a fan of Halo and when a friend of mine tried to get me to watch it, I just wasn't interested at the time. One day, for whatever reason, I decided to download the episodes. And if it weren't for that, then Halo 3 wouldn't have been on my best video game list. I still wouldn't give a shit. The only reason I played Halo was so that I could hang out in Blood Gulch (though I still haven't played on that level yet...)

Runner Up
Sweet Red Wine

I decided to try drinking wine for the first time in years. I knew I didn't like Merlot or dry white wines, but I love grape juice. I had more money than was good for me one day and decided to pick up a bottle of Zinfindel. It wasn't that bad at all.

But then, I went to Central Market and talked to the wine guy there. He told me to try this bottle of wine. All it said was "Sweet Table Wine" and the name of the winery. Oh. My. God. This stuff is insanely good. I cannot tell you enough how much I love it. It's grape juice...only with alcohol! Sure, two or three glasses is enough to give me a buzz and if I drink one bottle, I'm hammered...but fuck, that stuff's good...
mood: boredbored
 
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