Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Witz Pickz: Midweek Bonanza!

Here are some Pickz and DOESN'T Pickz for your midweekness. Sorry it's late, but I've had a heluva day trying to get cable hooked up to watch baseball and trying to track down some pumpkin ale.


Shipyard Pumpkinhead Ale: After searching fruitlessly for pumpkinhead beer in California, I came up having to buy Jack's Pumpkin Spice Ale. I can't find out who the larger brewing company is for this seasonal ale, but it does not even remotely stand up to the deliciousness that is Pumpkinhead. They say that stuff tastes better when you work for it, but I went to four different stores to find this Jack's Pumpkin stuff, and it's still not as good. At each place, the people oddly looked at me like I was crazy-- especially at the two liquor stores where they seemed to be giving me, "What do you think this is-- a quality establishment?" smirks. Nobody had heard of pumpkin ale. Finally, after two Safeways and two liquor stores, I found a place that sells pumpkin ale, and it's still pretty mediocre. Pumpkinhead Ale on the other hand, is easily accessible in the northeast, and pretty cheap too. Definitely check it out if you can or if you're in the area in September or October. For those of you in Maine, there is a Pumpkinhead Festival in late October, so check that out.

I'm Reed Fish: I checked this movie out because it was free on Netflix (one of the ones you can watch online and not have to get in the mail-- also a great service with tons of good stuff), and because the lead character from Undeclared is in it (Jay Baruchel). The film is a story about a small town where most people don't leave. Reed Fish is a young local morning show host on the radio as his father used to be. He is engaged to the girl everyone knew he would marry and his one major setback is that his parents died tragically in some kind of accident. Then, a girl returns to town and his world gets turned upside down-- she is one of the people who GOT OUT of the town and went to college. It sounds very very obvious and done before, but there is an interesting twist which makes it worth seeing if you have a lot of free time. I'm not gonna say what it is, but it adds layers and depth to the film and gets you thinking, as well as resolves the plot in a unique way. In addition, the most compelling aspect of the film is that it was written by a guy named Reed Fish, so it makes you wonder what is real and what isn't and how reality and film are related (especially when you see the interesting aspect that I was talking about).

Reggie Willits is WHITE: Angels player Reggie Willits is white. That is amazing, because every single person ever would assume that a guy named Reggie with a last name like Willits who plays a professional sport would NOT be white. And yet, as Brooklyn Matt and I realized, there comes a time in every fantasy baseball owners life when they realize Reggie Willits is white and astounds them. I had this revelation previously and had this revelation AGAIN today, when I saw him in person against the Red Sox. That's one cool white dude-- I sure couldn't get away with being named Reggie.

Natalie Portman Talking About Microfinance: By request, I'm reviewing the Natalie Portman talk I saw yesterday. Natalie Portman, along with a business professor, discussed the FINCA program which opens small banks in foreign countries in need-- typically in small villages with poor women living in a culture of male abuse. The loans range from very small to decently sized and are used to specific tools to enhance business and allow women to be self-supportive and escape their male abusers. It then allows them to hire other women and build on the growth. Most people might have known this, but I'd never heard of it before and it sounds like a great endeavor. As for Natalie Portman, who I feel like has dropped off on the "hotness" and "object of obsession" charts in recent years (while therefore simultaneously raising many men on the "creepy that you only dug Natalie Portman when she was so young" charts), she seemed very well-informed and obviously intelligent (Harvard'll do that to ya). She also seemed very cool and friendly, and made a bunch of asides to the audience which it was clear she felt she was similar to both agewise and interest-wise. She seemed a little calculating, and she wasn't the smoothest public speaker, but she got a lot of people interested and that was her job. At the same time, it was really really odd to be in a room so obviously filled with guys and girls who were there only to see somebody famous. The girls weren't so bad, but seeing and hearing the guys, it was very depressing to know that so many guys were kind of their with the slight thought, "Maybe I could get with Natalie Portman." There was this weird vibe like a lot of people were thinking or talking about little fantasies where after the talk THEY would be the ones to somehow say something clever or catch her eye and bond instantly with her. It creeped me out, but many people did seem honestly interested in the topic, and that was nice. I enjoyed the talk, Natalie Portman seemed cool, and now I can say that I heard Natalie Portman talk and saw her in person-- so that's something. Support FINCA. I would also like to say that this pick was requested by The Critic Wannabe, over on myspace. He makes great film reviews on a much more regular schedule than I do, so check that out!


Tivo Ad Campaign: At what point did Tivo decide that they wanted to run a chauvinistic male dominated ad campaign? It's a little baffling. I keep seeing this one commercial where the guy is sitting there saying, "My Tivo knows what I want-- unlike my girlfriend. It knows I like baseball, so it records everything with the word baseball in it." First of all, ok, you and your girlfriend have some issues. Do you really want to bring those up now? Maybe she knows what you want, but doesn't want to appease you because you act like such an ass in public and tell people your dirty laundry. Secondly, who the hell wants EVERYTHING with "baseball" in the title?? I like baseball too, but that mostly means I want to watch a specific team's games. I don't need to see the Atlanta Braves play just because I get TBS. I don't need the little league world series recorded at the same time as Major League 3: Back to the Minors, at the same time as "Air Bud: Major League Dog" at the same time as "Little Big League." Actually, that sounds kinda sweet, but I wouldn't end up watching ANY OF IT. That's like if your girlfriend said, "I know you like chips, so I bought Doritos, Fritos, Cheetos, Harvest Chips, Ruffles, Baked Lays, Cape Cod Chips, ......" I'd say, "thanks, I do like chips, but HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU JUST SPEND ON CHIPS!?" I don't need all those chips, just get me Doritos and I'll be happy. Just record me Baseball Tonight and we're good. NEXT, the guy goes says something like Tivo knows how to please him, UNLIKE SOMEONE HE KNOWS or whatever. Then the girl comes out ready for sex and he's all, "plus, I can pause it!" So Tivo is sweet up until your no-good- useless-whore-of-a-girlfriend-wants-to-have-sex-that-she's-probably-not-that-into-but-you clearly-abuse-her-emotionally-so-she-thinks-it's-what-she-has-to-do offers sex. Then, forget about it-- Tivo can wait. You have a bad relationship to string along. What a d-bag. I just don't get how Tivo thinks it's a good marketing campaign.

Witz Out...probably until Friday....,


A-money (from work) said...

I've been loving some of the picks lately Witz. Undeclared is very near and dear to my heart, and the Will Ferrell episode has been watched dozens of times. I like that you took credit for the word "Buck", even though there is a song called "Get Buck" (or something like that) that I've had in my Ipod since around mid-July (but I won't deny your blackness). Also, in terms of the Natalie Portman talk that you went to; you should read the book "Banker to the Poor". The guy who wrote it basically started this whole microfinance movement but giving away loans to poor women.

Keep up the good work.

Jonathan said...

Thanks, I feel like I've had some decent variety and interesting stuff in my life to talk about.

In response to "Buck." YES-- I found out about "Get Buck" from My Friend With A Pool AFTER I saw that interview, BUT REGARDLESS, I started making jokes about saying, "Goin buck" in HIGH SCHOOL and up through college and most recently over the summer. I knew Young Buck existed, but I assumed it was a play on a young strong bull or whatever and not Buck wild. I think too that he doesn't even remotely utilize the buck wild potential of the phrase and it probably came about as a secondary to him wanting to sound like he can have a lot of sex...

I'll check out the book if I can understand half of the language in it...

That Will Ferrell episode is amazing. Amazing.

Nick said...

yeah yeah, smart chicks, whatever... check her out in this short:
she gets NAKED!

it's directed by some guy named wes something, but she gets NAKED!

um, but yeah, check it out. good times.