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:: 2010 3 June :: 12.05pm
:: Music: Gorillaz - Stylo

Dear Jim
Dear Jim [Gaffigan]:
I had a weird dream last night where I went on a killing spree, murdering all of my ex-college roommates (I had a lot of them apparently), and for some reason Elvis Costello was fingered for the crime. I sat in the courtroom and watched him get a life sentence, and then he turned to me and smiled and starting singing, "Alison, I know this world is killing you." And the really bizarre part is, my name isn't Alison. What could this dream mean?
- Norah, Lancaster PA

Dear Norah:
Wait--the "bizarre part" was that your name isn't Alison? Really, THAT was the bizarre part? Not the murder spree or your letting a great musician take the heat? Just your name? Lady, you're a nut bag. Stop watching Law & Order before bed.
- Jim

Excerpt from "You're a Horrible Person, But I Like You: The Believer Book of Advice":
Amazon Page



:: 2010 10 May :: 1.23am

Fringe - A Show on the Rise
So, I have a question for you fellow TV viewers out there: When did Fringe all of a sudden get so good??

I've been watching this show since the beginning, and despite the fact I immediately saw it for what it was (a 'X-Files' ripoff), it didn't stop me from making it a part of my regular viewing rotation for the past couple of years. While I've always enjoyed (most of) the characters and its escapist/sci-fi tones, I always felt it was vastly inconsistent. Well, that's not entirely true... it was consistent in its inconsistency. The mythology episodes were usually good-to-great, while the stand-alone episodes were usually boring-to-silly. But something's happened since it came back from hiatus. To start, even the one-offs have been captivating, with the time-traveling episode guest starring Peter Weller (aka RoboCop) the most noteworthy example. But, more importantly, I think the showrunners are finally letting the characters and the storyline find their own voice. Yes, they are still ripping off 'The X-Files' (even going so far as cribbing the "I Want to Believe" tagline in last week's episode), but for once, I'm able to see past the similarities because I find myself totally engaged in the stories on their own merits and not as a derivative of another show. To wit, last week's twist evoked an audible reaction from me usually reserved only for my most "hardcore" shows. (As a side note to complete the 'X-Files' comparison, they have even managed to do something the veritable FOX show couldn't, making local law enforcement characters richly detailed with their own angles and motivations. Hell, it's even picking up at the same time 'The X-Files' did: late second season.)

More than anything, the one facet of this show that has kept me coming back through its ups and downs (and is all the more richer now that the rest of the show has caught up) is Walter Bishop. Make no mistake, John Noble's character is the best, most complete, and engaging currently on television (and yes, I'm including 'LOST' in that discussion). There's no other character I can think of--on any medium--that can have me laughing out loud one moment, pulling on my heartstrings the next, than back to guffaws, all within the space of a single scene, as the supermarket scene in last week's "Northwest Passage" did (see link below). Noble's performance is absolutely gripping, and the range and nuance he brings to the already juicy lines reminds me of how criminal it is that this man has not even yet been nominated, let alone won, for this role yet. (Seriously Hollywood, get on this!)

If you haven't seen the show or previously gave up on it, now's the time to give it a(nother) chance. As sad as I am to know that my favorite Leonard Nimoy won't be making any appearances past this season, I can't wait to see where they take it from here.

"Delicious Strawberry-Flavored Death!":

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:: 2010 5 March :: 1.52pm
:: Music: The White Stripes - Little Cream Soda

Well every highway that I go down
Seems to be longer than the last one that I knew about
Oh well

And every girl that I walk around
Seems to be more of an illusion than the last one I found
Oh well

And this old man in front of me wearing canes and ruby rings
And it's like a dang explosion when he sings

And with every chance to set himself on fire,
He just ends up doin' the same thing

Well, each beautiful thing I come across
Tells me to stop moving and shake this riddle off
Oh well

And there was a time when all I wanted
Was my ice cream colder and a little cream soda
Oh well, oh well

And a wooden box and an alley full of rocks
Was all I had to care about
Oh well, oh well, oh well

Now my mind is filled with rubber tires and forest fires
And whether I'm a liar
And lots of other situations
Where I don't know what to do
At which time God screams to me
There's nothing left for me to tell you
Nothing left for me to tell you
Nothing left
Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well
Oh well, oh well, oh well, oh well



:: 2009 29 December :: 4.13pm

Top 50 Films of the 2000s
1. Munich (2005)
2. Lost In Translation (2003)
3. Children of Men (2006)
4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
5. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)
6. Memento (2000)
7. Minority Report (2002)
8. There Will Be Blood (2007)
9. The Dark Knight (2008)
10. Kill Bill, Volume 1 (2003)
11. Monsters, Inc. (2001)
12. Moulin Rouge (2001)
13. American Psycho (2000)
14. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
15. Adaptation (2002)
16. The Hours (2002)
17. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
18. Amelie (2001)
19. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)
20. The Departed (2006)
21. The Incredibles (2004)
22. The Prestige (2006)
23. Shaun of the Dead (2004)
24. Gladiator (2000)
25. Vanilla Sky (2001)
26. The Lives of Others (2006)
27. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
28. 25th Hour (2002)
29. Volver (2006)
30. Bowling For Columbine (2002)
31. Collateral (2004)
32. Ratatouille (2007)
33. Juno (2007)
34. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
35. Mystic River (2003)
36. Donnie Darko (2001)
37. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)
38. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)
39. Closer (2004)
40. Walk The Line (2005)
41. The Bourne Identity (2002)
42. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
43. The King of Kong (2007)
44. Star Trek (2009)
45. The Wrestler (2008)
46. Once (2006)
47. Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
48. Away We Go (2009)
49. A History of Violence (2005)
50. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

# of films, by year
8 (2002, 2004); 7 (2006); 6 (2001); 5 (2005, 2007); 4 (2003); 3 (2000); 2 (2008, 2009)



:: 2009 24 December :: 2.16pm

Best of 2009
Top CDs
1. Regina Spektor - Far
2. Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix
3. The Decemberists - Hazards of Love
4. Silversun Pickups - Swoon
5. Pearl Jam - Backspacer
6. Yeah Yeah Yeahs - It's Blitz!
7. Eels - Hombre Lobo: 12 Songs of Desire
8. A Fine Frenzy - Bomb in a Birdcage
9. David Gray - Draw the Line
10. Moby - Wait for Me

Top Movies
work in progress
1. Away We Go
2. Star Trek
3. Sherlock Holmes
4. Avatar
5. Where the Wild Things Are
6. The Informant!
7. The Men Who Stare at Goats
8. Watchmen
9. Public Enemies
10. Angels & Demons

Top Video Games
played, not necessarily released, in 2009
1. Bioshock
2. Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)
3. Uncharted: Drake's Fortune
4. NCAA Football '10 (2009)
5. Half-Life 2
6. Rock Band 2
7. House of the Dead: Overkill (2009)
8. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (2009)
9. Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
10. Silent Hill: Homecoming

Top Books
read, not necessarily released, in 2009
1. Nick Hornby - Juliet, Naked (2009)
2. Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons - The Watchmen
3. Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
4. Mark Blake - Comfortably Numb: The Inside Story of Pink Floyd
5. Flannery O'Connor - Everything that Rises Must Converge
6. Dave Eggers - Zeitoun (2009)
7. Brian Vaughan & Pia Guerra - Y: The Last Man
8. Patrick McGilligan - Alfred Hitchcock: A Life in Darkness & Light
9. Michael Kane - Game Boys
10. Mark Oliver Everett - Things the Grandchildren Should Know

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