Archive for February, 2007

Old Soul Song

February 14, 2007

Audio: Share a song that reminds you of a current or past relationship.

I despise the fact that so much of my musical taste can be attributed to one person. What makes it worse is that person was a psuedo-almost-maybe-kinda ex. While the label was lacking, my feelings for him couldn’t be so easily denied. Before we met I honestly knew nothing about music, and I would have been hard pressed to pick a favorite artist or album.

After seeing a movie on our first date we visited the Virgin Megastore in what would be the first of countless shopping trips together. I would follow him closely behind in awe of the way he methodically walked up and down every single aisle of the store, listening to samples and browsing for something that might catch his eye. His appeal to me wasn’t that he was a moderately attractive musician, but that he was a nerd. If my comic shop were ten times as large and ten times as loud, this is exactly what I would like every Wednesday when I went there to pick up new books. From that moment I knew we had much in common; probably much more than I will ever be able to deal wiith.

From our conversations during these trips I learned strange bits of trivia and history, slowly starting to develop my taste note by note. One memorable week Bright Eyes, who I had never heard of, released two concept albums on the same day (I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn.) While this meant nothing to me, to him this was no less than the second coming of Christ. After purchasing the discs we immediately rushed to his car for what I thought would be a romantic encounter. Unfortunately, I was soon disappointed to discover that all he wanted to do in the back seat was listen to music.

So we did just that. We listened, and we listened, and over the course of that night I learned a lot about him, Bright Eyes and myself. To this day I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning remains one of my favorite albums, second only to The Magnetic Fields’ I, which he also introduced me to.

Much like my hatred of Build-A-Bears this music is a legacy I’ll probably carry with me forever. I’m quite happy with my current beau, but not a day goes by where I don’t hear a song, or think of a lyric that takes me back in time.

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Boring and Loving It

February 13, 2007

Aaron travels a lot for his job. While I could explain to you what he actually does to earn a living, for the purpose of this story it’s easier for me just to say that he talks on the phone a lot and yells at people who work under him. Most weeks that means a two hour commute to and from his corporate headquarters in Burbank, but lately it involves visiting bizarre and seemingly random places. One week it was Chicago, another Reno, and this week he’s in Toledo, Ohio. Due to his incredibly busy schedule these trips are very draining, and most nights he can’t get much more than a few hours sleep. Despite the fact that my schedule is far from busy and far from stressful, I find that I’m getting even less sleep than he is.

I’m trying very hard to stay productive, whether it be cleaning the apartment, visiting friends, or teaching myself to cook (it’s not working,) Unfortunately I find it nearly impossible to do these things during daylight hours. Every night at the stroke of twelve I magically transform from a sloth into Alice from ‘The Brady Bunch.’ Doing laundry, reading about recipes online: anything worth doing gets done when everyone else I know is sleeping.

Hamburger helper

I find this terribly relaxing, and even fun. Without Aaron around to distract me I can really get to work, living my late-night dreams of scrubbing bathroom tile and baking blueberry muffins. Even when I was a single man-whore I never stayed up so late; at least then I had a job to wake up to in the morning. Quitting Macaroni Grill a month ago was one of the most freeing things I’ve ever done — so much so that I can’t find a good reason to go back to work.

Oddly enough, when my internship ended I was having the exact opposite reaction. Without steady income I was moody, erratic and all of the terrible things that I normally am (only moreso!) A job, even a lame one like serving pasta to the masses, coulld not have come too soon. Ironically it was Aaron who was unhappy about me finding work, fearing that it would cut into our weekend getaways and spontaneous trips. He was right, and our little adventures are now few and far between. Now I’m getting weekends off for the first time in a year, and all he has the energy to do is watch me cook him tacos for dinner.

In all liklihood boredom is going to be what pushes me over the edge and back into the job market, it’s only a matter of time. Sure my savings will dry up eventually, but I find that I’m saving all kinds of money by cooking for myself. Hamburger Helper is the new love of my life. In fact, I think I have prepared it for dinner at least four times in the past week. Who can possibly resist such a delicious product, especially when it has a friendly, anthropomorphic kitchen glove on the box?

Eating a pound of ground beef by myself is getting tiresom, and if I have to live like this much longer I don’t know what I will do. Until I figure that out the next step in my life, though, chances are the highlight of my day is still going to be my midnight supply runs to Wal-Mart.

Vox Hunt: Worth A Thousand Words

February 7, 2007

Show us a picture that’s worth a thousand words.
Submitted by sami711.

Joshy

Dear Universal Studios,

February 6, 2007

Hello,

My name is Josh, and I am a lifelong fan of your movie studios, feature films, and theme parks. I would like to thank you for the quality entertainment you have given to me and my family by offering you my services in your time of need.

You see, I, like many others who bother to think about these things, feel that your studio has always had a very weak staple of cartoon stars, and the irony of that is never lost on me. You see, Walt Disney once worked for Universal. In fact, if Walt’s original creation, ‘Oswald the Lucky Rabbit,’ wasn’t stolen by you he probably never would have left to create Mickey Mouse.

Every time I walk into one of your theme parks I sigh when I see an enormous Curious George or Crash Bandicoot greeting the guests. While Spider-Man and Beetlejuice are quite cool, there is one Universal character in particular I’m always looking for and can never seem to find: Chilly Willy.

Chilly willy

In case you are unfamiliar, Chilly Willy is a small, adorable, semi-mute penguin who wears a ski cap and a scarf. Never quite as popular as that other Universal Studios bird, Chilly has starred in nearly 100 theatrical shorts throughout his career. The truth is that most of these cartoons were awful, but despite this the character has managed to develop a cult following of his own. The lack of presence at Universal theme parks is especially noteworthy when you consider that Woody Woodpecker and the gang are supposedly its’ official mascots. Worse yet, they haven’t made a notable public appearance in about 40 years.

Knowing these things, you’ll understand my shock when I found a women’s t-shirt of the character at Hot Topic, nestled between two especially large piles of Family Guy crap. While it’s not a big deal to see Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny on some merchandise, seeing the Universal cartoon stars on anything warrants a marching band and a ticker-tape parade. Kudos to you, good sirs! (And I do assume you are ‘sirs,’ because I doubt a woman would design a shirt featuring the words ‘Chilly’ and ‘Willy’ so prominently, but I digress…)

With the public’s renewed interest in penguins, perhaps the marketing genuises at the studio can try and capitalize on this somehow. Releasing some Chilly Willy cartoons on DVD would be a nice start, but I have something much more amibtious in mind.

Penguins

If Universal Studios would be willing to loan me the rights to the character for one year, and also, use of a real penguin, I guarantee I could rework the property into something modern and relevant. My proposal includes projects such as taking ‘Chilly Willy’ to summits on global warming, and also, teaching him to do adorable tricks in exchange for pieces of fish!

By covering both ends of the spectrum I can remain respectful of the property while also pushing it head first into the new millennium, While I have no interest in revitalizing Andy Panda or Woody Woodpecker anytime soon, I feel saving Chilly Willy from obscurity is the least I can do for the studio that brought me ‘The Wizard,’ ‘Bride of Frankenstein,’ and terrible ‘King Kong’ remake after terrible ‘King Kong’ remake. It is my hope that you take my offer seriously, and I look forward to receiving your reply!

Thank you again,

– Josh!

QotD: Never Seen It

February 5, 2007

What’s the most famous movie you’ve never seen?
Submitted by Mike.

‘ Apocalypse Now’ is the one my friends will yell at me for not having seen yet. I’ve also not seen ‘great’ films like ‘Citizen Kane,’ ‘Gone With the Wind’ and ‘Casablanca,’ but for some reason nobody gets mad at me about those.