Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Witz DOESN'T Pick: This Song Lyric

I couldn't help but make this brief post as I was listening to the new album by The Decemberists entitled "The Crane Wife" and was thoroughly enjoying it, when suddenly I came upon this lyric:

"When we arrive
Sons & daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon now"

WHAAAT? They did NOT just say what I think they said! Then it came again,

When we arrive
Sons and daughters
We'll make our homes on the water
We'll build our walls aluminum
(Sons and daughters)
We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon
(We'll make our homes on the water)
We'll make our homes on the water
(When we build our walls of aluminum)
(We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon)

I SCREAMED out at the stereo! NO!!! NOOOO!!!! DON'T!!! ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME???

It was like The Decemberists read Witz Pickz, perused it, and then spat in my face.


Did I not stress that enough in my Cinnamon Implosion article?? Hooooly crap people.

"We'll fill our mouths with cinnamon?" Maybe I'm missing the point of the song, but unless they're saying, "We'll effing ruin our lives and traumatize our senses" DON'T FILL YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH WITH CINNAMON!

My cautionary tale was meant to spread the word of cinnamon trauma. If The Decemberists put this idea in people's minds, I might as well just give up now. Check out The Crane Wife because it is an enjoyable new album, but my god, please remember not to eat tablespoons of cinnamon.

Witz Is Sick (with worry),

Thursday, December 14, 2006

WitzPickz (and you're not gonna effing believe this): Banding Together...Again.

That's right. Two out of Three Witz Posts involve banding together. And fight "GINGIVITIS!" This tale is a tale of a more subtle type of banding. The type of banding that usually does not result in banding, but in anger, insults, and sometimes, a furious or violent exit. This banding takes place in a restaurant.

The site: Buca di Beppo's. That's right, it was my first experience at the Italian chain and I was up for anything. I was therefore completely baffled when our party of six (My girlfriend's family and I) was led through the kitchen to the main dining room. Call me old fashioned, but it just seems like you shouldn't let people walk that close to the food you're cooking and setting out to serve. People are filthy, disgusting creatures. We cough, we sneeze, we have viruses we don't even know about, and then exhale them into the general vicinity. I don't need Patient Zero exhaling in the direction of my spaghetti and meatballs. But it was kinda cool going through the kitchen. You got to play the "which way ya goin'? This way? This way? Hahaha, OH Us!" game with the servers as they tried to enter at the other end. And that's always a joy. Also there was a table in there, which is either novelty cool or novelty health code violating. And what about the health codes? On the day of inspection before they opened, was the health inspector like,

"Ok, check, check, check...and you're good to go...unless you have anything else..?"
"Not unless it's a problem that we're going to lead every single guest through the kitchen on their way to their tables..."

Anyway, I'm over it. We got to our table.

Once at our table, I discovered the always baffling "Table Menu." Like the menu is on the sheet on the table. It's like an enema in the dark-- you never see it coming, but it's always surprisingly effective in the end. Yeah, that's a pun-- it's gonna be like this today, so get used to it.

Our waiter comes over and takes our "family style" order. There are two things here that bother me: first, the waiter is one of those social enigmas that doesn't know where the correct pauses go in conversation. One minute he'll be pausing after asking a question, and the next minute he'll be pausing with the same expression on his face AFTER we've answered the question. Which makes you think you've gotten the answer wrong. But when the answer is Fettucini Alfredo...and the question was "What can I get you tonight?" I have to think we're in the right. My other problem with "family style" is that to me, "family style" means "Involving long discussions that ultimately devolve into arguments resulting in angry, hungry family members who aren't even getting what they want and certainly aren't sure if they're getting the correct portions for the group or spending far too much money on the whole." I like "Witz Style." Here's how it works. "What would you like Witz." "Whatever Witz orders, fully aware of the food and the price." I don't know what Italian families did growing up, but I can't recall a single time in my life where my mom and dad sat down for our family dinner and said, "It's family dinner. Here's the Fettucini Alfredo, Ravioli with Meat Sauce, Linguini with seafood, and Pizza!" That's too many pastas. You make one. There are other days in this life and if you don't die of a heart attack, you might live to have another one of the five main courses that you would like to eat. Just my opinion.

So we order, the waiter simply stares at the menu items we've circled, Cam Jansen's the whole thing, and leaves without even taking out a pen. It is then that we notice the table next to us. They are a super loud, rollercoaster ride of entertainment and annoyance, ranging from "BEER! WOOOOOO!" to "It's a mole! It's a COUNTRY MOLE!" when referring to one of the presents that they are passing around to each other. They've clearly already eaten, worked through about ten bottles of wine for the eight of them at the table, and are all large-ish middle-aged men. I think Hootin' n' Hollerin' is the best way to describe them. They are apparently on at least the third round of joke gifts and show no signs of stopping.

So we wait

And our salad comes. It is delicious.

Then we wait...

And the grandma's pizza comes...which we all eat ravenously. Sorry Grandma. And besides, food only weighs people down. The elderly need to be light on their toes--nimble. We were doing her a service.

And we wait...

And we wait...

Where the hell is the--

This is when a nice looking lady accompanies our conversationally impaired waiter to the table. Whenever your waiter needs assistance at your table, and you're not at a strip club, you can be pretty certain something bad has happened. In this case,

"Hi folks, how are we this evening? It looks like your ticket disappeared somehow, so your entree order never got placed! So what we're gonna do is, we replaced the order, it'll be ready in about 10 minutes, and Aaron's gonna treat you to your meal tonight!"

This is a) awesome-- our 100 dollar meal is suddenly free b) great-- their service doesn't suck, we just got screwed over and will get food in 10 minutes c) really crappy for Aaron, who I somehow think DIDN'T want to buy dinner for us tonight. Shit-- 100 dollars? How do you possibly lose a ticket in the-- d) AHA!!! OUR TICKET WENT MISSING IN THE KITCHEN, EH? Well how could that have happened? Certainly not the easy access by EVERY SINGLE CUSTOMER IN THE PLACE! Here's a note for you all: EVERYONE EATS FREE AT BEPPO'S! Just excuse yourself shortly after ordering, walk through the kitchen to the bathroom, snag your ticket on the way, wait an hour, and SHAZAM! free meal. Free 100 dollar meal? How bout that vindication, eh? Biblical in proportion!

Speaking of which, our food arrived ten minutes later and was Biblical in portions. The plates were huge and delicious, and we managed to smile politely at Aaron and nod thankfully when he set down our bowl of mashed potatoes, not Green Beans that we ordered in front of us. So much for photographic memory. That's ok though, for 100 bucks, Aaron can buy me whatever food he wants.

This is just about the precise moment when EVERYTHING GOES NUTS. The big party next to us suddenly starts passing out crapy gifts to everyone around them. CD Cases, Shrek Chia Pets, Hats, Halloween Costumes, Christmas Mugs all get handed out jollillilillilly to all the tables and booths around us. The birthday boy a table over gets a gift. The people next to us who arrived later but got their food first get a gift. We get candy canes and christmas mugs, and oh yes, that shrek chia pet. We give some candy canes to the next booth and they inexplicably trade us for the cd wallet which I actually need. The Gift Men are singing and drinking and throwing gifts around-- literally, and there is a mound of food in front of me and 5 more around the table and it suddenly becomes clear to me that our section of this restaurant has BANDED TOGETHER! Forget annoyance, anger, late food, segregating birthdays-- we are one! We talk to each other and shout to determine the worst gift of the bunch. The birthday posse gets the birthday boy's (and when I say boy, I mean 30 something 300 lb. Samoan dude) picture taken with the drunken Santas. We eat the rest of our meal as part of a group. A great big, drunken, birthday ridden, holiday group, with none of those adjectives overlapping each other. Separate entities banded as one.

As we leave, we thank the gifters and ask who they are. "We're all friends from high school. We make a pact to spend one day of the year for the rest of our lives just getting together and having fun, so that's why we're here." Now that is banding together. A thirty year pact fulfilled at a family style, kitchen accessible, waiter-impaired restaurant. I'm just glad we were there to be a part of it....well and for the free meal....and the cd wallet....

Happy Holidays,

Friday, December 08, 2006

Witz Pickz: Bookz

Tired of the "z"'s yet? Nope, me either. Here are some books worth reading:

Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem:

I'm like you readers-- I'm tired of not reading books that are about Tourrette's ridden mafia-detectives solving their boss's murder. So I read this book by Jonathan Lethem and loved it from start to finish-- like a fudgcicle or the song Informer by Snow. I had been plodding through The Fortress of Solitude by Lethem for around a year off and on and so was skeptical of this other book. After one page, however, I was hooked, and read it through in no time. Definitely worth checking out.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hasseini:

The Kite Runner is one of those books EVERYONE was talking about and EVERYONE said was amazing. All I knew about it was that it was about children in Afghanistan, which somehow is not my go to genre. I ignored it for a few years and then found it on my friend's bookshelf. I read the first page and just like with Motherless Brooklyn was pleasantly surprised at how my expectations were entirely off-base. A week and 400 pages later, I was stunned with how good it was. The Kite Runner examines the lives of two children in Afghanistan, and while Afghanistan is alive and vivid on the page, it is not an "exploring afghanistan" novel. It is a human novel-- the story surrounding two boys and their families, guilt, life, and redemption. It is no more political that it needs/ought to be and focuses on people as people, not groups. One of my fears for all timely novels about other cultures/regions is that they are popular not because of their quality, but because of their subject-- that they are preachy and often times either describe an issue too simply, or in such a depth that the content is rendered useless. The Kite Runner avoided both of these potholes and stood out as one of the more vivid, meaningful novels I've read in years.

That's all for now. Two books, very few jokes. More to come.


Friday, December 01, 2006

WitzPickz: Banding Together or "How I learned to stop trusting airplanes and learn to love the Mini-Van"

Man, that Witz character sure hasn't posted anything in a while-- he must be some kind of cocky sonofabitch to think anyone will stick around to see if he posts again! Correct on both accounts avid reader! It's been quite a while since my last mediocre post about a less than mediocre show with less than mediocre Heroes. And yet it is all I give you until now, so I will make up for it with a story of mass proportions, involving not only airplanes and luggage, but crossing international borders and possibly even some government intrigue. What say you now you doubting malcontent (who stuck around to see if I'd posted)? What say you to THAT!?

So here's the deal:

Never ever ever say, "I'll just fly through X instead of Y because X never has cancellations due to weather." Be it electrical storms, blizzards, earthquakes, typhoons (or typhoon lagoons), or even a diseased outbreak, something will always happen to X to make Y smile at you as if to say, "What's up now, dickhead? How you like dem apples (read: fires, tidal waves, smallpox)?

Having said that, I flew home from Paris (soon to be picked), through Montreal, to Vancouver planning on heading down to Seattle. I did this instead of through Chicago because Chicago is the Purgatory of airports, the only airport where all of the previous dangers could happen at once thus cancelling your flight to Phoenix or Los Angeles. They do make a good pizza though.

After flying for fourteen hours (a good round number), and watching both The Devil Wears Prada (first flick) and Pirates of the Carribean II (without sound-- proving that the dead last seat not only doesn't recline, smells like toilets, and gets service last, but also receives the brunt force of violent outbursts as well. I did, however, manage to accidentally elbow the male Flight Attendant squarely in the groin WITH force after he was a perpetual a-hole to me the entire flight. Also, I'm sorry, but there is such a thing as "too big" a flight attendant. The aisle is a tiny and valuable thing which must be kept safe and available. Plunking a deuce-seventy five flight attendant in there with a large cart and saying, "just walk up and down there for about 8 hours and try not to crush the fingers and knees of every single person along the way" just isn't a good idea. The fact that he was a complete douchebag didn't him anymore appealing-- thus it was extremely satisfying when coincidence struck (literally) and I evoked a high-pitched french "A-Whoops!! from the giant obstruction.) I was ready to make my connection for the final 50 minutes from Vancouver to Seattle. I got off the plane (did I tell you how much I love the last row?) in about half an hour while people stumbled over themselves to find their overhead bags (where'd I put the bag-- honey, ohmygod, where'd I put the bag?? We're in a confined space where nothing could get lost, but ohmygod WHERE'D MY-- Oh, there it is, directly above me, where I placed it, in its confined cubby). After deboarding I waited for my luggage, got it, went through customs, re-checked my luggage, went through customs, walked five miles to the gate where 30 of us were waiting to board our Balsa Wood Jet to Seattle when, "Flight 8097 from Vancouver to Seattle has been cancelled. There will not be any more flights tonight, and most likely tomorrow either as your flight is not a high priority. Also, since it is a weather problem, you will not be compensated for either the flight or accomodations for the night. You can try Amtrak, but they probably won't be running until tomorrow morning at the earliest, so our best advice is to band together and rent some cars to drive down to Seattle. The roads are pretty clear so it shouldn't be too bad a drive."

We managed to find out through the grapevine that there was snow in Vancouver and Seattle and Vancouver was LOW ON DE-ICER. HOLY CRAP, HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? AND DOESN'T MORE EXIST?

We immediately look at each other like idiots and wondering what the hell to do when I see a guy with a Microsoft backpack hustling off in the direction of the rental cars.

"Excuse me, are you going to Seattle?"
"Think I could split a rental car with you?"
"Well, uhhh, my company's kinda paying for my car--"
"--So, uh, sorry guy." and he tears off down the hall.
What? So the car's free therefore I can't come with? Are you integrated with the car and I'm not compatible, what the fuck is going on here?

Just band together. Right.

This is when I meet the first member of what would become our epic group-- we'll call him Jacques. Jacques is from Montreal and works in Seattle at an internet company. Jacques heard what happened and wants to rent a car with me to Seattle. Jacques is over 25 and can rent said car. Jacques and I BAND TOGETHER.

Back through customs into Canada, back to the Air Canada desk, where are my bags, back down to pickup my bags and wait wait wait.

Jacques and I are standing waiting for my bag, me apologizing profusely so he doesn't leave (he somehow didn't recheck his bag) when Ryan comes up to us. "Hey, you guys goin to Seattle?" Yep. "Cool, I've been here for 24 hours, my flight was cancelled yesterday and I've been sitting at the bar all day-- can I come with?" Absolutely. Shit, why not, let's just band together and whatnot. 3 IN THE GROUP. Ryan had several things on his side-- he looked exactly like my friend Ryan (hence his pseudonym), he was going to Seattle (so were we!) and he was a person (rental car's is expensive!). He was in.

I get my bag, we move on. As we're crossing the street we meet Brian. "I'm takin Amtrak." Amtrak might be closed (i'm a wealth of knowledge), wanna come in our car to Seattle, there are 3 of us and you would be 4, perhaps a sedan is in order. "Yes, I will-- we are of similar age and appearance, let us band together." Good, then, we are banded-- "yes, banded." And we were.

"We have a car you can rent for 540 dollars."
"I think you misplaced the decimal point when you spoke."
"I think you need to rent a car and we have cars."
"I think your name is BUDGET and you overestimate my salary and living expenses."
"Others will rent the car in your place-- you are nothing to us."
"Are you aware we have banded? Do you see that? We will defeat you."
"We shall see."

Suddenly another Seattle-bound member appears in line and says the name of one of our traveller's. Brian. Brian recognizes the guy and within minutes, we figure might as well fit 5 in one car-- cut down on the price. When--

"$385" What? Who said that? Brian points over to two slim men in trench coats standing at the next counter over. They look similar and it's tough to tell whether that is because they are or because they've been around each other so long they just inadvertently give off the sense that they are one person. They're in their mid forties maybe and are the target of Brian's finger.
"Excuse me, did they tell you 385?"
"They did."
"Oh good, over here they wanna charge us 540"
"Well, we're getting a mini-van." There's ice on the roads, snow all around, there's two of them and they're getting a mini-van."
"Huh. How many's that hold, ya think?"
"Let me ask-- how many does that hold?"
"Seven." The rental clerk says.
"Seven." the two men alert us.
"Huh." Looking around. "You guys wanna have five strangers in the back of your mini-van?"
The two men look at each other and smile, not the type of smile that says, "fresh meat" but more the kind that says, "Are they suggesting we band together? We're two WILD and CR-AZY guys, let's do it!" and tell us,

So there we are, five unrelated twenty-somethings and two older men. We head to the mini-van: Our Dodge Caravan to be exact. Introductions are exchanged, us already like a family introducing itself to these two men who tell us their names are Glenn and Gary and that they are paper salesmen from California. We all look at each other and pile in the car. Within minutes we're on our way, out of the garage and heading towards the border. The roads are less than clear. Fucking Air Canada.

"So you guys aren't really paper salesmen are you?"
"Of course we are."
"You're definitely CIA."
"Haha, why do you say that?"
"The trench coats, the looking alike. Glenn and Gary."
"How did you know my name was Gary?"
"You told us."
"I said my name is Andy."
"You said Gary."
"I go by Andy."
"Your name is Gary and you go by Andy?"
"No-- I mean Yes, but-- My middle name is Andy." These guys are definitely CIA. Suddenly his phone rings. Gary-Andy answers it and immediately busts into a string of Japanese. We all stare at him wordless. "Oh they are DEFINITELY CIA."
"Sorry about that."
"What was that?"
"Oh, I speak Japanese."
"Clearly. Why do you go by Andy?"
"Because when I was in Japan as a kid, I found out that Gary is Japanese for diarrhea."
" a very good reason....and what does Andy m--"
"Andy doesn't mean anything in Japanese."
"But we're not in Japan anymore..."
"It just kinda stuck."
"Until you told me your name was Gary."
"I said Andy."

And on we went along the road, just the world's worst winter season, most tippable vehicle careening dangerously along Canada's finest snow and ice laden concrete. Heading towards the border. Just us seven random strangers and about fourteen bags in the trunk. This got us thinking:

"The border is going to be terrible."
"Does anybody have anything that is going to get us strip-searched?"
"Don't make ANY jokes."
"We have 3 Americans and 4 Canadians."
"How do you guys know each other?"
"Oh, you know, drug dealers."
"Oh, you know, myspace."
"Oh my no-- I don't vouch for any of these people!"
"Well, officer, our flight from Vancouver to Seattle was cancelled and so we all banded together, rented a mini-van, and are heading home together...also, this kid has heroin up his ass."

The border is going to be a delicate affair.

Another delicate affair is the driving situation. It becomes clear about, oh, say, 30 seconds into the drive that Gary and Glenn have absolutely no idea how to drive on snow. They are two paper salesmen from California. They speed up on straightaways and accelerate just before hairpin on ramps that are covered in white packed snow. They RENTED A MINI-VAN and we failed to miss the clue. We all offer to switch driving but Glenn is ok in the driver's seat. He's, "gettin' the hang of it." Super. I lean towards the middle of the van so I can see, push my fingernails into my skin and stare terrified ahead for the entirety of the trip, occasionally mumbling things like, "you know just because it's black and clear looking, doesn't mean it's NOT black ice so maybe 70 mph isn't the--" and "Must slow down, must slow down, must slow down," and "Maybe the two cars are going 35 for a reason and the lane you are passing in is not a lay per se so much as a breakdown--" concluded mostly with, "AAAAHHG" but always without incident. This draws the question from Ryan,

"What kind of car do you usually drive. Porsche, Honda Civic." We hear no response. Oh. Right. Probably a Dodge Caravan, huh? I feel safer already.

When we reach the border, it is empty, but snow laden. We pull up to a stall and all try not to laugh which only makes us shake. You know, laughing in church and whatnot. Only this time if we laugh it'll be like laughing in church and then getting hauled out of church, thrown into a detention facility and more than likely getting a prostate exam wa-haaaaay ahead of schedule. So we try not to laugh.

"Hi there."
"Hi." Glenn and Gary.
"What's the purpose of your trip?"
"Oh, flight cancelled, going to Seattle, etc etc"
"Ok, and it's just you two?"
"Oh no, we have five more in the back."
"I'm gonna need you to open that back door." I slide the door open and feel very mexican all of a sudden. We all wave.
"How many of you are there total?"
"Seven-- in the"
"And you're all American?"
"Nope, four are Canadian!"
"Aaaand how do you know each other?"
"Oh no, we don't-- at all actually. I mean, we're paper salesmen from California so WE know each other, but the other five don't knwo us or each other at all. Air Canada suggested we just band together...we want to get to Seattle."
"Yeah, I'm gonna need to see your passports." So we do. He plays some games with us, tells us when we've gotten a new haircut or HAVEN'T and waves us through the border. No bag check. No anything. I feel thrilled, but also fairly certain my homeland security taxes aren't being put to proper use. I'll take it. 128 miles to home.

This along the way:

"Do you think Air Canada ever expecting so much banding to take place when they suggested we band together? I'm thinking this is maximum banding right here. We're like a third of the flight."

"A guy walks into a bar. Guy at the bar says there's a weird wind thing out the window that you can jump out, fly around, and it drops you back inside. Guy says no way. Other guy says yes way and shows him-- jumps out window, flies around, comes right back in. Other guy says WOW and jumps out the window, falls and crashes to his death. Bartender says, 'Superman, you're a real jerk when you're drunk.'"

"We sell all types of COOL paper-- we have color changing paper, see through paper, paper with heat sensitive spots on it. Casual Paper is our company."
"Do you sell to the Paper Zone."
"We do."
"I, sirs, have purchased your paper."

"Let's all do a million Borat impressions-- it will never get old. AGREED!"

"We're all gonna die, we're all gonna die, we're all gonna die." (me, staring at the road, awaiting our icy, sliding off the guard rail death)

117 miles and 2 hours later we reach the outskirts of Seattle-- and DEADLOCKED TRAFFIC. It's the kind of traffic you look at and say, "I can't believe the T-Rex escaped the island and is rampaging the I-5 bridge." We sit for 45 minutes and move 1 mile-- enough to escape onto an exit ramp and head towards freedom. We then drive for another hour on the terrifyingly more icy roads while Love Tap in the driver's seat refuses to brake until he is .111111111222234 inches away from the bumper in front of him. He's really getting a feel for this ICE AND SNOW THING.

We somehow make it back and reflect on the trip:

"I really didn't think we'd make it."
"I definitely didn't."
"I can't believe we're here."
"We definitely need to get drinks sometime."
"I can't believe is a website (check it out)."
"I can't believe VANCOUVER ran out of de-icer."
"I can't believe it snowed in Seattle!"
"I still don't believe Glenn and Gary are paper salesmen."
"I feel like we went on a great adventure-- I'm glad this happened."
"Yeah, plus we learned a lot along the way."
"What was the MORAL of this trip?"
"Superman's a dick when he's drunk."

And they all freakishly survived.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Witz Reluctantly And Indecisively Pickz: Heroes -- An In Depth Review

No, it's not an X-Men rip-off. No, it's not about firefighters. And yes, that is the chick from Varsity Blues. NBC's attempt at an episodic series seems to have worked, as now millions of people are tuning in for the self-proclaimed television phenomenon "Heroes." The question is: should you be watching it?

Great question, casual television viewer! As an intelligent human being with massive TiVo capabilities, you want to know if this "Heroes" show is worth filling your digital and actual memory with.

"Heroes" is a show about ordinary people who are discovering that they have superpower potential. A disastrous future is looming, and fate appears to have aligned these characters to save the world. Now I know what you're thinking—you're thinking, "Yeah, save the cheerleader, save the world, what the hell's that all about," and you're absolutely right—the tagline has to go. It's stupid. It begs mockery. It's downright lame. But once you know the meaning behind it, you might just find yourself a bit more interested.

The "cheerleader" of reference is Claire, a high school cheerleader who has just discovered that due to accelerated cell regeneration, she can't quite seem to die. She's certainly tried; jumping off buildings, getting into car accidents, running into burning buildings-- but even when it means waking up in the middle of her own autopsy—she heals up. Oh, and also, she's hot. That's also kind of her schtick.

Herded by destiny to Claire's side are many more characters, each with their own new-found, or as of yet, undiscovered powers. There's Nathan Petrelli, a politician in the middle of a campaign who also has the ability to fly. His younger brother, Peter can fly too, but he hasn't mastered it yet, nor is he capable of escaping the fact that he looks a lot like Jason Schwartzman.

Niki Sanders has an alternate personality that she sees in the mirror. Yes, exactly like the Goosebumps book. When Niki is in danger, the personality takes over and tends to stick mostly to killing people or beating the hell out of anyone in the vicinity. I'm not entirely sure that this is considered a "superpower" and not "psychotic schizophrenia," but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Neither personality seems to have an affinity for whipped cream bikinis, but consider my fingers crossed. Recently, we've been introduced to her ex-husband who has the ability to move through solid matter (like Ghost Dad!!), and their son, Micah, whose superpowers have yet to be revealed. Micah has an aura about him that makes us think he's a very important child—the key to salvation—the Barack Obama of the "Heroes" universe, if you will.

Matt Parkman is a cop who can read minds, even if he doesn't want to—it's like "What Women Want" only apparently most women want to cheat on him or mock his physique.

Next up is Isaac Mendez, who looks like a rock star and therefore does a lot of heroin even though he's only a painter—but to be fair, he can paint the future, so he's got that going for him.

Seemingly everyone's favorite hero, however, is Asian comic book geek, Hiro Nakamura. He can stop time—not like your boss in a particularly horrendous business meeting, or like your teacher in advanced trigonometry—no, no, much better. Hiro can stop time like Zack Morris—call a "timeout" and then improve the world by saving people from explosions or cheating at roulette. I can't wait until he starts winking at the camera.

The foil to these superheroes is the mysterious "Syler" who appears to have superpowers himself, but also tends to use those powers to do things like cut out the brains of the victims he recently mutilated— a slightly different "super" direction. Oh yeah, and he's Claire's step-dad, so that family's a FOX reality show waiting to happen. "Who's Claire again?" You're asking. C'mon. Stay with me here. "Save the cheerleader, save the world," remember? Unfortunately, you might be lost, and the large cast is one of the main problems with "Heroes."

With so many characters and such an intricate story, very little actually seems to occur each episode. You can only move so many characters forward in an hour, and so each plotline feels like it moves an inch each week. While the characters are slowly approaching each other, you can't help but wish destiny had a little more of a grasp on weekly episodic structure.

Despite this shortcoming, the show exudes a Paul Allen-like sense of purpose, and while the overall pace may lag, each episode is packed with interesting stories, some actual conflict, and more flying/mind-reading/cell regenerating/alternate personality rampaging/time-stopping/future painting than any other show on television; and in the end, isn't that really all we can ask for?

Heroes airs Monday nights at 9pm on NBC.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Witz DOESN'T Pick: The "Experts" Picks

When you're in the picking business, which myself and a large group of historical black people are, you take picking seriously. For this reason, I've had it with alleged "experts" making picks every week in sports, particularly football. First of all, I myself am not claiming to be an "expert." I'm simply claiming to have the ability to take life experiences and vaguely, haphazardly spit out some form of opinion on them for you to consume like a a baby bird eating the salvation of my gullet. You're feeling kinda gross right now, aren't you? But maybe a little turned on? Such is Witz Pickz. BACK TO THE "EXPERTS."

There are two ways I know these people aren't experts. The first way is that they do not spell "experts" with a "z". Everyone knows that if you pick things consistently and are even an amateur in the field, you spell experts with a z. Bagelz With A Z is an expert on bagels and that is why their bagels taste so good and are spelled with a Z. N.W.A stood for "Niggaz With Attitude" and they were expertz at hip hop. This is all very simple and common knowledge. The experts on tv, do not spell their experts with a z.

More importantly, alleged NFL experts aren't very good at picking. Just because eight guys with that "something's not quite right" look to their faces (physical manifestation of mental deficiency) used to play football does not mean they have any idea what's going to happen. In the Chicago Bears v. Arizona Cardinals game a few weeks back, one announcer said, "Why even play the game, this is DEFINITE! IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR ARIZONA TO WIN." Well, first of all, play the game because that's why you have a job and why we're all watching your television network you stupid sonofabitch-- but also, it's a game...and while the odds might be against a team, is the announcer's job to outright eliminate the possibility of a surprise victory-- especially when the ONE THING we consistently tell kids about sports is that perseverance and hardwork can pay off and that on any given day, any one team has the chance to beat any other team? That's like...the POINT OF SPORTS. So shut up announcer guy. Now, in an unfortunate twist, Arizona blew a 21-0 lead at halftime and let the Bears win. BUT at halftime, shit sure looked a lot different to Mr. WiseAss Pick Em Expert.

This is just one example of many. In baseball, Joe Buck, Joe Morgan, Steve Lyons, Tim McCarver, and the rest of the Fox/ESPN announcers have truly destroyed baseball viewing with their inane "insight" and downright painful commentary. If a man throws a hanging curve that is hit for a home run, I know he "didn't mean to throw that pitch there." Experts picked Detroit over the Cardinals-- ACTUALLY-- Experts picked THE YANKEES to win the world series from the minute they stepped out of Spring Training. But then something funny happened-- they played 162 games and then went to the playoffs and had to play MORE games. They played the games because that's what you do-- that's what sports are-- the games-- not the hours and hours of pre-scripted experts banter over who is definitely going to win. If everyone just shut up a little, gave us information instead of useless opinion, we'd all be a lot better off when it came to our sports, film, music, and television choices.

So eff it: Here are Witz Pickz for Week 9 in the NFL. I'm not an expert-- in fact, I'm less than not an expert. I'm a guy who watches football kinda and would drop everything for a game of pickup on a saturday afternoon. So here are my pickz. Let's see how I stack up.

Witz Pickz NFL Week 9:

ATLANTA (-5.5) over Detroit
CHICAGO (-13.5) over Miami
GREEN BAY (+3)over Buffalo
BALTIMORE (-3) over Cincinnati
WASHINGTON (+3) over Dallas
NEW ORLEANS (-1) over Tampa Bay
ST. LOUIS (-3)over Kansas City
NY GIANTS (-13)over Houston
JACKSONVILLE (-9.5)over Tennessee
SAN FRAN (+5) over Minnesota
SAN DIEGO (-12.5) over Cleveland
DENVER (+2.5)over Pittsburgh
NEW ENGLAND (-3)over Indianapolis
SEATTLE (-7.5)over Oakland

I Sure Hope This Doesn't Backfire,

Monday, October 30, 2006

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Inaccurate TV Ad Campaigns and Taglines

Some ad campaigns/movie trailers have taglines that are perfect-- they're witty, funny, or just dead on and make their product sell. Swingers: Get A Nightlife. Gatorade: Is It In You? But some marketing just doesn't make any sense, and it's time someone told them that. Here are a few that have been driving me crazy.

I was watching tv, minding my own business and then I hear this-- "There's only one thing to do when you live across the street from a Monster House!" the following scenes alluding to "go inside the Monster House." Well, no, movie, that's not true. First, you are presupposing that there are Monster Houses, and that people live ACROSS THE STREET FROM THEM. Then, you're telling me that once put in this position, the only option I have is to enter the house to snoop it out? Sorry, but I'm just not gonna do it. I do have other options. When you live across the street from a Monster House, you can choose to continue doing whatever you'd ordinarily be doing, and the Monster House will go on existing just fine without me in it. If I wish to take action, I can create a petition and get neighbors to sign, stating their discontent with the Monster House situation. I could buy numerous long range weapons and test out their effectiveness against said Monster House until I find one that can do harm to it. What the film Monster House doesn't seem to understand, is that I have all the time in the world. It's the Monster House that's bored and immobile. I would go so far as to argue that "when you live across the street from a Monster House" there are innumerable things I can do, the very last of which being to actually place myself in the maw of the beast. Now I can see some exceptions-- The Monster House might have HDTV with NFL Gameday Package or a really comfortable couch. Maybe the fridge is stocked with Sunny D and includes a mom that will clean my grass stained clothes with a smile on her face-- in any of these cases I'll take my chances and enter the Monster House, but not because I HAVE TO-- because I CHOOSE to. So sorry, Monster House, but your clever mindgames won't work on me. Besides, you didn't even try and ask me to go SEE Monster House, you simply are setting me up for my own terror ridden adventure by having me seek out and enter ANY Monster House. And if nothing else, that's just plain rude.

Another joy in all our lives is the Hummer H2. Luckily, while Hummer: Like Nothing Else, is an amusing tagline given the puns, their new slogan, "I'm not saying, I'm just saying" doesn't make ANY FUCKING SENSE. I'm really stumped. Honestly. I'm not saying I think the campaign sucks, I'm just saying I have no idea why anyone needs a goddamn Hummer to cruise around on paved, traffic light ridden streets. I'm not saying the commercials are bullshit, I'm just saying that they either lack creativity or have so much creativity that they operate on a level mostly reserved for mathematical equations and binary code. I'm not saying that I change the channel every time these commercials come on, I'm just saying that I can't think of any other way to finish this sentence. Oh-- and I'm not saying that you're using completely incorrect punctuation and sentence fragments, I'm just saying that your slogan has nothing to do with your product and you dont' present us with a single relevant idea.

That's it. I'm all worked up. I'm outta here.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Witz Pickz: Endless Hours In Front of the TV to Avoid the Real Everyday World

Here is my Fall lineup of shows to watch:


Prison Break: 8pm on Fox

Here's the thing-- I pick the first season of Prison Break because with such a thin, lame sounding plotline, it managed to be extremely interesting because the question was, "what did he have planned to get through this problem and how is he going to adjust that plan now that something is going wrong?" While Michael Scofield (the main character) has only two acting faces (I'm a quiet genius and I'm totally fucked), and while any other emotion or face he tries to show looks absolutely insane, he is an enjoyable lead character to follow. Unfortunately, the second season is Prison Broke-- they are out of jail and running around the US. This is no longer very interesting because the show is no longer contained and based around his plan, it's just another show about escaped convicts you empathize with trying not to get caught. They removed the one aspect of Prison Break which made it worth watching.

Heroes: 9pm on NBC

What sounded like a poor attempt by a major network to make a show similar to X-Men, The 4400, or another superhero show is actually really really good. There are about seven main characters running around either with powers, learning about powers, or trying to catch those with powers.

There is the guy who can fly, but is unable to stop looking like Jason Schwartzman. His brother, the candidate for Congress (political and sexual)who can also fly, but mostly thinks it won't help his candidacy (Despite the fact that nearly everyone in the world would say "I wish I could fly" he would much rather get really involved in red tape bureaocracy). Then there's the girl who has a mirror double personality that usually kills or beats up people, but is still unable to kill or escape the fact that she's the whipped cream chick from Varsity Blues. Ya got your super-chearleader girl who can't die and doesn't want to be a freak-- oh and she's hot. That's kinda her thing too. There's a cop who can read minds, but also might be dead, so I don't know; an Indian scientist whose father was exploring possible superpowers in humans and died because of it (he's fun except that every time I see him I wonder when he's getting on the plane from Sydney to LA...yeah, that's a Lost reference); an evil supervillain named Sieler or Sielert or something-- they never made it clear if there's a "t" involved. And finally, there is the nerdy Asian guy who can traverse time and space and even has a "timeout" power like Zak Morris that he can use to stop time and cheat at casinos.

The storyline is extremely well done and interwoven and while some plotlines are more interesting than others, they all are ultimately leading towards one resolution. That being said, the problem with Heroes is that there are seven or so main characters! An hour long show is not nearly enough to give a sense of advancement each week when there are so many characters and stories trying to move forward. It ends up being about 1 plot point per character, which is extremely slow moving. Still, it's definitely a show worth watching and has the feel that a well planned out story exudes.

Studio 60: 10pm on NBC

Ok, I don't know. Aaron Sorkin is brilliant and the pilot episode of this show inspired me beyond belief and got a "best pilot ever...even better than Six Feet Under" rave from numerous friends of mine-- HOWEVER, in subsequent weeks, the urgency or immediacy of the show has dissipated. The show is set behind-the-scenes at an SNL like sketch comedy show (The West Wing, Sports Night style), and has the same Sorkin feel of his two previous shows. The problem is twofold...I guess that means they are problemS. The first problem is that coming off of a show about The West Wing and politics and world problems makes it very difficult to care about the similarly styled happenings of a sketch comedy show. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are brilliant, and Amanda Peet manages to be likeable and not bad at all, but it just doesn't carry the same gravitas. The second and I would argue, bigger, problem with the show is that they don't show the part of the show you end up wanting to see-- the actual FUNNY, EDGY SKETCH SHOW. With SNL eating it week after month after year, Studio 60 claims to be a hilarious better version of SNL but we never see the actual proof or fruit of the episodes. An entire episode might talk about the political wit and hilarity surrounding a controversial skit, but then we NEVER GET TO SEE THE SKIT. In addition, the skits they have shown AREN'T FUNNY and while the audience may laugh in the show, and while the characters all act like they pulled something off, I KNOW THEY DIDN'T! That's the problem. You can't talk about funny and then not deliver funny. It's not a flaw with the show so much as the premise or possibly just me, but it's a big problem in the long run.

TUESDAY: (are you serious, all of that was just monday???)

Friday Night Lights: 8pm on NBC

Unfathomably good. For a tv show about football which was already an incredible movie, I am shocked by how good Friday Night Lights is. I should have known it was going to be great though since the guy from Morning Edition is the coach and probably knew ahead of time via that cat newspaper that it would be a hit or else he wouldn't have taken the job. Anyway, the show is exactly what you'd expect, diving into high school football culture, the players as people, high school drama, and the power of sports. If you've ever played a sport that you can't play anymore, or miss playing, the show and movie, with the help of Explosions In the Sky (soundtrack) will have you getting a little choked up.

House: 9pm on Fox

Everyone knows what House is. Dr. solves medical mysteries like Sherlock Holmes solves regular mysteries. It's good.

Veronica Mars: 9pm on The NEW CW

I dunno how it happened either, but someone at some point suckered me into watching Veronica Mars (there were promises of food involved) and I got into it. It's entirely about the banter/dialogue for me, but the mysteries are kinda good too (she solves regular mysteries the way House solves medical mysteries).


30 Rock: 8pm on NBC

I'm not sure how anyone managed to pitch another behind the scenes at an snl like sketch show idea to NBC and have it pass, but I'm glad it did. NBC now has the most confusing 3 related shows on television. One failing sketch comedy show (SNL) and then two shows about better sketch comedy shows. Somehow this has made SNL try harder to be good and actually end up being worse from what I've seen. 30 Rock is the newest of the three and stars Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan (as Tracy Jordan), and Alec Baldwin who ironically has been on SNL more times than anyone else...well besides Tracy Morgan...and Tina Fey also is from SNL...i'm telling you, it's awkward. OH YEAH, and the show...yeah, it's produced by LORNE FUCKING MICHAELS. I have no idea how this happened. BUT i'm glad it did as I said before, because it's absolutely hilarious from the one episode I have seen (and aired). All the parts of Mean Girls that were funny (Anphernee bit, etc) are brought to the show by Tina Fey and with the always hilarious delivery of Tracy Morgan (playing an insane megastar), the show is going to be very very funny. They might even be on TBS someday because TBS knows funny...or at least Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

Lost: 9pm ABC

Yeah, I mean, it's Lost, you guys have heard of, like, watch it...from the beginning...because it's great.


The Office (US): 8:30pm on NBC

Apparently NBC owns me and by my count if they don't smash all competition in the ratings, I'll be shocked. Anyway, The Office has fully developed into its own and the third season promises to be great although it did look like Steve Carrell had his fingers crossed. The season premier was hit or miss with viewers, but I thought it was brilliant and definitely worth checking out. You guys know The Office.


Battlestar Galactica: 9pm Sci-Fi

I know right, like I got into Battlestar Galactica despite my time harassing my friends who watched it and it's simply because I watched it once and now I need to know what happens. Season three just started and it's the easiest show in the world to download or get on DVD so you should just do that. The plot is that people are in space and worlds and Cylons (robot people) who look the same and God told them to destroy people...BUT ITS GOOD. Also, the language has made it's way into other shows now (I caught a Cylons reference on THe Daily Show and Veronica Mars used "Frack" so they could swear. Very interesting time in television.

SATURDAY: 8-10pm

Why are you watching television on a saturday? THere's NOTHING on! Go drink or play sports or watch a movie-- possibly one that that always enjoyable and fiendishly clever Witz has picked!


Remember when you watched Friday Night Lights? Remember the football part? Yeah, watch that, it's all consuming.

And on the 8th Day God Created CSI: Galactica...but then scrapped the day because it wasn't as good as CSI: Miami. Now the 8th Day exists in the 4th Dimension and is known as "the premium channels." The shows on the 8th Day are:

Entourage: Sometime on HBO

Amazing show as previously discussed on this website. It's like a shot of pleasure followed by the realization that you just wasted half an hour.

Weeds: Sometime on Showtime...which really isn't a channel in existence

WEEDS ISN"T GOOD. THERE I SAID IT. IT'S NOT FUNNY. IT HAS MOMENTS BUT IS NOT BRILLIANT. More people like this show than just smokers, so I really don't get it, but I also don't get why I keep going through many hoops in order to acquire the episodes and watch them only to say, "Meh, that was totally mediocre."

The 4400: On USA but who watches shows on the USA Network? It's reserved exclusively for Chuck Norris and Pacific Blue.

Show like Heroes only worse. People disappeared, then came back and now have trouble acting...I mean have superpowers. The story is midlly interesting but it's not nearly as good as any of your friends who like it would have you believe.

Huff: I don't know where this show exists

BUT it's really enjoyable from the few episodes I saw. Check it out on DVD because Hank Azaria is more than just Moe from the Simpsons.

So that's what I got. Watch those shows, c'mon, do it. Don't watch Grey's Anatomy, it's stupid and you're uglier for it,


Friday, October 13, 2006

Witz Pickz: The Puffy Chair

I only saw two films at the Seattle International Film Festival and they were both amazing. The first film was Wristcutters: A Love Story starring Patrick Fugit (Almost Famous), Tom Waits, and that vaguely french looking chick from The Rules of Attraction and A Knight's Tale. The story, dialogue, music, acting, and cinematography were all pitch-perfect (unlike Fever Pitch which was miserable), and the minute it ended I wanted to watch it again-- Unfortunately that didn't and will not happen in the near future, because while the film has won numerous festival awards and is getting rave reviews around the world, it hasn't been picked up for distribution because of its title and the fact that it could be interpreted as glorifying suicide. You can check out the film site HERE and if you have the opportunity to see it, definitely do so.

The other film I saw was The Puffy Chair. This story is much more inspiring, not necessarily by content so much as viewability. Filmed for $15,000 by two brothers, with their parents on the set as crafts services, The Puffy Chair has won numerous festival awards including Audience Choice Awards and has none of the technical issues which usually accompany low-budget productions. The film follows a guy and his girlfriend on a trip cross country to pickup a puffy chair he bought on ebay and deliver it to his father for his birthday. Along the way, the characters discover things about themselves and each other which are both hilarious and saddening.

While it didn't look as though this film would see the light of day either, Netflix recently bought distribution for the movie are now distributing it through Netflix under their new production company Red Envelope Entertainment. This is part of Netflix's ongoing efforts to make money while endorsing and helping spread independent cinema. They have put out over 100 dvd's of independent film and are on their way to producing original content themselves. BRILLIANT. Witz Pickz Netflix A LOT.

The distribution rights to The Puffy Chair aren't exclusive, so other companies such as Blockbuster might start distributing the film, but if you have a Netflix membership or plan on getting one, rent The Puffy Chair.

Witz Pickz Flickz,


Thursday, October 12, 2006

Witz Can't Figure Out If He Pickz: How I Met Your Mother

There is an ever-increasing list of things that I can't figure out if I like or not on television. Are the shows good or are they bad and I just don't care about quality anymore so much as immersing myself in other worlds? Television has always been inundated with these types of shows, however, recently, more and more shows have had a more eclectic humor or plot mixed in with typical sit-com humor and drama television. Here are a few I am confused with:

How I Met Your Mother:

I just don't know. At first glance, it's another sit-com about men and women with narration by Bob Saget. But it stars Jason Segal who has been nothing short of brilliant comedically in films such as Slackers and SLC Punk, and in the tv series Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared (another one of those "is this good?" shows). It also has Neil Patrick Harris who somehow miraculously revived his career after the Doogie Howser years and now goes by NPH thanks to Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. Apparently when he was younger, being nice and smart worked out for him, and nowadays, being the arrogant prick who lacks intelligence is more his style. Anyway, the show manages to ride the thin line between good and terrible and while I won't ever watch the show on purpose, if I flip to it I will stick around to see what turns up. It's a show I'd like to like, but am not sure if it's actually worth anything. MUCH LIKE--

It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia:

So I kinda hated this show without having seen much of it during its first season, but have since come to really enjoy it. The problem is that whenever I watch it with anyone else or say, "You gotta watch this show" it's NEVER FUNNY. But then I'll watch it and one single moment will have me laughing for the rest of the show. This means that the show is hit or miss and really doesn't have that much funny packed into it so much as one or two solid jokes which have some shelf-life, which might be all we can expect from tv comedy these days.


I don't even know if this show is coming back for a second season, but from the moment I heard about Invasion I thought, "This would be a good show to get into from the beginning and watch on dvd." After downloading all the episodes and watching them, I found myself intrigued and on the edge of my seat-- in such a way that I couldn't tell if I was on the edge of my seat to see what would happen or to actually stand up and leave the show behind. Certain elements of it are enjoyable and other parts are annoying and boring. If it doesn't come back I suppose it doesn't matter, but did ANYONE else watch this show or was it just me?

Soft Quilted Toilet Paper:

HOW SOFT IS TOO SOFT??? I think we all know that there's this moment when soft, comfortable toilet paper crosses into the realm of too soft, "Oh dear God....OH DEAR GOD!" toilet paper. Obviously I'm not voting for sandpaper or that brown paper that must have been invented as the bridge between leaves and good hand-drying paper and then somehow hasn't left the market yet, but when my toilet paper is soft, I'm always a little wary and not sure how I feel about it. Soft toilet paper is a slippery slope and therein is the actual problem.

The Marianas Trench:

Cool secret-holding ravine or the deepest possible place I could drown? I DONT KNOW!


PSYCHE! I EFFING LOVE FUNFETTI! THe fact that they took FROSTING and made it WAY BETTER blows my mind!! I'm not sure what part is "fun" exactly though. Were the marketing execs like, "How would you describe a product that makes you gain weight, causes cavities and possibly even diabetes?.....uhhhh.....f-...Fun?.....That's it, I love it. We'll call it Funfetti." Does that mean that Confetti is by definition LESS FUN than Funfetti? I feel it has to. However, if you eat confetti you probably still would get some fundigestion, but wouldn't die of a Fun Attack (read: initially going to be Feart Attack which is homonymous with Fart Attack which made me giggle a little too much since I'm out of the 4th grade, so I had to change it slightly, but I wanted you to still enjoy the accidental humor without having to feel shameful for my giggles-- this is like bonus features).

A Funfetti Parade Would Be Fun Just Until the Moment When All Vehicles Lost Traction From All the Frosting and Careened Into Other Vehicles And Humans,


Monday, October 02, 2006

Witz Pickz: A Whole Slew of Things!

It's been a bit, as work suddenly became work-like and I've been investing some time in the previous Sabbatical videos as well as the upcoming "Couples Therapy" internet series. So without further procrastination here are a bunch of pickz/doesn't pickz!

Witz Pickz:
The Word "Slew" -- Kicking it off it the word "slew" which I enjoy thoroughly it turns out! I didn't know this up until I just used it in my title, but I'll be damned if it isn't a fun word. The definition I utilized means "a large quantity" but can also mean "killed" which allows the silly sounding genocidal sentence, "He slew a slew of Slavics!" The word seems to roll off the tongue in a satisfying way and also reminds me of an amusing man with a speak impediment i.e. "I slew it in the garbage," "Slew! He's finally gone!" and "Those goddamn slews! (gee, I wonder why that guy's a bigot-- SPEECH IMPEDIMENT!) Don't worry, I got a whole slew of picks.

Rubber-bands -- These fuckers are off the hook! Stretch em, shoot em, wrap em, flex em...they might just take your eye out! They'll hold shit together, but enough is enough and when you push them too far-- they're gonna snap and sting you right on your motherfucking wrist you shithead! OUCH! Use them to shoot paper wads, hold your envelopes, or cause tremendous pain to the backs of others' necks! BIZOING! RUBBER-BANDS!

"Ads By Google" -- I love the "ads by google" feature which appear on this and many other blogs. I love them because they utilize the content of the site to produce relevant ads which almost always results in amusement. For example: the current ads for goodle ad appearing while I write this is "Crack Cocaine Rehab" due to my previous post on Crack vs. Heroin. These means two things: First, Ads By Google chose Crack and second, ads by google thinks there's more profit in crack rehab ads than say, oh, I dunno, CINNAMON OR BAKING??? COUPLES THERAPY???

Witz Doesn't Pick:

"Ads By Google" -- ON GMAIL -- How come gmail can target me with ads based on the content of my emails in my inbox? That seems a) illegal and b) insane. I tell my friend that the Red Sox are sucking and all of a sudden gmail wants to sell me batting gloves-- thanks for the moral boost gmail, but I don't think I'll make the squad-- or is that some kind of automated sarcasm as if to say, "Oh, they're so bad, why don't you try and do better you BBQ-ing, soccer-playing, google chatting at work migraine recipient!" And that's another thing-- Google knows that I had a BBQ but also that I didn't invite Gmail to it. What if gmail gets jealous and starts deleting things that I apparently have no need to ever delete what with my unholy amount of gmail account space? Will I come back to my account one day to find all my emails filed under a new "Asshole's Emails" tag? If I type, "war bad" am I going to end up on a list in DC and getting a Go Army DVD in the mail? I don't like it.

Roboraptor -- Do I honestly even need to explain this one? Let's see, I have fought vehemently (with words) against all things robot so that the human race is not destroyed in about 30 years, but to no avail. Now I walk into a Best Buy and see the RoboRaptor-- a fucking 4 ft. long robotic raptor ready to kill. Holy fuck people, not only did we not take away a moral from movies like Terminator, I, Robot, and RoboCop, we also apparently didn't quite get Jurassic Park! Ya see, in Jurassic Park, there are dinosaurs that FUCKING KILL ALL THE PEOPLE!!! THE RAPTORS ARE THE SCARIEST ONES! "What should we sell to the kids? Oh I know, how about robotic love robots...and dinosaurs...and those movies in which the two kill ALL OF US." FUCKING MATEL. If I die by a RoboRaptor I am going to be ripshit. One morning I'll wake up, yawn, start calling to my Robo Dog who won't answer me with it's hollow lifeless electronic bark. Then I'll look over the side of my bed and see it dead on the floor. "But!" I'll start to say, and that's when it'll happen-- from the sides, not the front where you'd expect (clever girl). Two RoboRaptors will pounce on me and rip my flesh from my bones while I'm still alive and all I'll be able to think is, "Man, The Lost World sucked."

Refrigerator TV -- Welp, I saw it-- goddamn tv in the goddamn refrigerator. That's handy. Goddamn thing was in the goddamn door, flatscreen, better picture than my big one at home. And honestly, fine-- if that's what we've come to, than fire away, jam one in there, I don't care. But here's my problem: THE TV WAS ON THE REFRIGERATOR DOOR-- EVERYTIME someone opens the door, the tv goes away. Why not put it on the freezer door? nobody opens the freezer more than twice a meal (ice and waffles). The Fridge has everything! Dips, cheese, veggies, sauces, you gonna watch your Deal or No Deal with all those interruptions? Or maybe you have another tv built into your oven...or your microwave...or your kitchen table! That would be great, just stare down at your food and your little tv right beside it. Get that ish in HD and you have the best Prison Break viewing experience ever. Goddamn tv in the refrigerator. My heavens.

X-Men: Revolutions DVD -- Here's my problem with the DVD coming out for X-Men: Revolutions: THEY BOAST 3 ALTERNATE ENDINGS! Now, I liked the movie, not as much as the other two, but enough to want to see it again and not feel bad about paying to see it once. But I have to question the director's vision when a dvd has 3 readily available endings. It's not like there was a huge trick they had to hide from everyone-- "In this one they battle on the Susan B. Anthony Bridge!" Was there an ending which Bryan Singer directs? That I'd pay money to see. Brett "Rat's ass" Ratner probably filmed another ending with Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and thought, "I just think this will work" before Hugh Jackman refused to come out of his trailer if he didn't change his mind. Here's a sidenote: I stayed through the credits to see the added ending scene in the theater and it was worth it-- but a lot of people waited for like 10 minutes and then LEFT before the credits ended...who waits past "Key Grip Stand-In" and then DOESN'T wait all the way until the hidden scene which EVERYONE knew about?

So, those are some things I pick and don't pick for this week-- more pickz on the horizon though as I try all new toothpaste, coin combinations, and Trader Joe's Wheat Wafers (marketed as tasting like Triscuits, but actually tasting like wheaty filth)!



Sunday, September 24, 2006

Witz Pickz: The Sabbatical Trilogy (and self-serving pickz!)

A trilogy of very short films by First Sight Productions including writing and acting by Kris Boustedt, Lindy Boustedt, Thomas Brown, and Witz. CHECK THEM OUT!

Watch for "Couples Therapy" coming soon!


Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Imagine me beginning this post with a deep sigh as I collect my thoughts like a nerd collecting pogs on his birthday. Imagine I'm collecting these thoughts from a brain which has recently been shaken to it's very core and the experience that follows will be even worse than the movie The Core. Now imagine that this could happen to you-- with nothing more than a tablespoon of cinnamon, a ten dollar bill, and a little bit of peer pressure. You can stop imagining-- ALL OF THIS IS REAL!

"I bet you ten bucks you can't swallow an entire tablespoon on cinnamon!" my once-friend-now-arch-enemy said to me last saturday night.

"What nonsense. Of course I can-- I can do anything-- except eat ten saltines in a minute, those bitches is dry," I reply, stepping up to the challenge-- to my destiny.

"Alright, let's do this," My Nemesis says to me and I jump up from the couch and make my way into the kitchen. Little did I know that a group of eager ill-wishers would follow suit. When we get there, we're surrounded by a hoard of prank crazy jackels. I look at the teaspoon, then at the tablespoon. My Nemesis speaks, "I think we might have only ever done this with a teaspoon,"

"Let's go tablespoon," I say, and flash a ten dollar smile to the crowd. The ten dollar bill is placed on the counter, and the bet is on.

Now imagine this scene, not like it's in your mind, but like you mean it, like it happened-- which it did-- on saturday night, this unexpected disaster:

Outside-- it's dark, we're on the porch. The moon blocked by the hordes of onlookers and an ego a mile high. A tablespoon of cinnamon-- not to make the medicine go down, but to shut up this Soon-to-be-Nemesis and to prove that God made man mightier than a dose of the brown dust-- Also it was for ten dollars. A hero's fortune in green crispies. Sunglasses on, cameras blazing, Bonnie and Clyde, Thelma & Louise, The Natural.

Before the moment happens I should tell you where I'm coming from here.

"So what, this is like that saltines challenge?" I ask. "Yeah, like that," I'm told.

"So what, it's gonna make my throat dry, then I'll drink some water?" I ask. "Yeah, like that," I'm told.

My gum of choice in the fifth grade was Cinnaburst and I thought I'd tamed the wild. Well Cinnaburst don't know shit. The whole "burst" family of gum should be kicked off the market. Cinnaburst is for pussies*.

I enjoy both cinnamon toast, cinnamon toast crunch, and cinnamon sticks in my tea if I were ever to drink tea. Cinnamon appears to be a harmless-- nay-- delicious spice. Well cinnamon IS a spice. A spice so frightening that Scary Spice should have been renamed Cinnamon Spice in order to actually show how "scary" she really was. I, for one, would understand the reference. Now here comes the fury.

Last week I asked Crack vs. Heroin. I would rather pick one of those over what follows.

Back to the porch-- the crowd, the money, the hunnies, and that deadly tablespoon of cinnamon delight. Here's what happened:

The crowd cheers, I throw back the spoonful and before it even hits my senses I'm coughing, choking, tearing up, and spitting. By the time the burning sensation in my throat hits, i'm lying on the grass burping, coughing, forcing myself to throw up as much of the burning blockage in my throat, but it won't all come up. It's stuck. BURSTS OF CINNAMON are in my throat, my nose, my nasal passages, burning, shrieking, and infuriating my senses. I am at its mercy. I am on my knees. I must be delivered from this cinnamon induced hell.

The crowd is laughing, thinking this is funny like people think Two and a Half Men is funny, then they are worried (like me when people think Two and a Half Men IS FUNNY), then bored, then inside, as I burp and sputter out as much of the now mudlike atrociousness. My throat is dry and coarse. Pain ripples down my throat as I try to swallow, but the cinnamon doesn't move. It simply laughs. For the next hour and a half, I stand over the sink, gasping, coughing, swearing I'm alright, then coughing up a fruit-by-the-foot length of cinnamon mucus. When I'm not gagging, i'm blowing my nose to relieve the intense pressure and firery pain I'm feeling there, and with each blow comes chunks of black cinnamon snot. My first thought is "I have to snarf some milk," which should tell you where my brain's at, but I don't quite know how and when I check, we're all out of milk. That's the test they should give comedians before awarding them a tv show or SNL spot-- make a dude with cinnamon flowing through his nasal passages, who can't swallow and is praying that he can throw-up more cinnamucus LAUGH. And not just laugh-- LAUGH so hard he sends the milk he is drinking up through his nose. Ready? Go! Ok-- King of Queens. Ready? Go! Ok-- The Daily Show. Ready? Go! Oops-- sorry, Mind of Mencia, time to go home.

It took until the next morning to almost heal up. To stop the dry-pain of my throat, to get all the cinnamon out of my nose. If i'd drank some molasses I could have pissed maple syrup onto some pancakes-- also, I clearly have no idea what goes into maple syrup...or what molasses are...or how piss works...-- I'm thinkin sugar and maple trees for the first part, magic goo for the second and however I want it to, but less and less effectively as time passes for the third.. I'll check the wikipedia later. After my feverish sleep, I woke up feeling about 50% and soon fell asleep for 14 hours through the night into the next day. Cinnaburst gum-- fuck that shit. Cinnamon. That's the crazy fire powder of doom. That's the ego-breaker. That's the harmless kitchen ingredient that can send a Herculian hero to the floor faster than Xhibit to a beat up white girl's jeep. Witz DOES NOT pick this cinnamon imposion. Witz certainly does not.


*Not literally: I am not responsible for any cinnaburst crystals entering the bloodstream through the thin lining of the vaginal tissues, nor any resulting pain, highs, or extreme living which follows.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Witz Makes the Tough Pickz: Heroin or Crack?

Ooph-- tough break, you stumble into an alley one night after clubbing and get assaulted by two gigantic dudes, each with a gun in one hand and a drug in the other. One guy has heroin and the other has crack and if you don't try one, they'll shoot you (they're just lonely drug addicts tryin' to make a new friend). Which one do you pick? Heroin? Crack? I'll give you the information you need to make the right decision-- and as always, I'll do it by exclusively using The Wickipedia.

Heroin: More commonly known as diacetylmorphine, heroin is a highly addictive drug that people are able to develop a tolerance for more quickly than other drugs. This results in a) having to pay for more and more heroin, and b) dying from a massive overdose! Heroin was invented at St. Mary's Hospital Medical School in Britain in 1874 by C.R. Alder Wright (The CRAW to his mind-blown groupies). Up through 1910, heroin was marketed as a morphine substitute, PLUS, a cough medicine for kids! "Mom, i'm feeling kinda sick..."...."Here ya go, son, shoot this heroin."..."Fiiine, I'll get the tie-off."

In reality, heroin can be taken all sorts of ways. When taken orally, it has the same effects as morphine. Same goes for when you smoke it or snort it, and usually the effects kick in within 15 minutes. When taken intravenously via A NEEDLE, however, the drug gives, "a rush and euphoria within 7 to 8 seconds." (The Wickipedia) Gee...which one sounds more enjoyable/dangerous...

Withdrawal syptoms for heroin can start within six hours depending on tolerance and dependency and among all the usual issues (nauseau, aching, fever, sweating, goos bumps) heroin boasts a unique symptom called "itchy blood."

So here's heroin:

What: Euphoria
How: snorting, eating, smoking, or best via A FUCKING NEEDLE!!!
Who: Rock Stars, homeless people
Cool Nick Names: chiva, dope, diesel, skag, smack, black tar, horse, junk, jenny, brown sugar, dark, and H.

Crack: Crack-- short for crack cocaine, but referred by most street hustlas as "Coc-H+Cl– + NaHCO3 → Coc + H2O + CO2 + NaCl" is a cheap form of cocaine. Basically, the chemical reactions are that of cocaine, only they are cut more impure with more household items, and result in a more toxic, less "pure" high. Nicknamed "Crack" because of the noise the water makes when it is boiling the substance, the drug is popular because it "offers a strong cocaine experience in small, low-priced packages (wikipedia 2006)," which coincides entirely with the reason I enjoy midgets! You can buy crack in nickel bumps, dime rocks, boulders, and even slabs if you have a valid costco membership card. As The Wikipedia states, "Crack cocaine was extremely popular in the mid- and late 1980s in a period known as the Crack Epidemic." Crack is both popular AND an epidemic. That's similar to how AIDS is pretty popular these days, and the Tween Epidemic is sweeping America.

Crack can be freebased and inhaled or smoked out of a pipe that is affectionately called a "Crack pipe." This allows for a relationship to be formed between the pipe and the owner, allowing for emotional connections and naming to take place. What will you name your crack pipe if you go down this road? Don't name it "Sweet Delicious" though-- that's what I call mine. When taken, crack usually is felt immediately and the effects only last between five and fifteen minutes. As for the effects, "The initial signs of stimulation are hyperactivity, restlessness, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate and euphoria. The euphoria is sometimes followed by feelings of discomfort and depression and a craving to experience the drug again. Sexual interest and pleasure can be amplified. Side effects can include twitching, paranoia, and impotence, which usually increases with frequent usage (wikipedia)." WOOO! Now we're talkin! Euphoria and twitching/paranoia? Fuck yeah crack! But don't let me sway you-- here's the lowdown:

What: Euphoria, paranoia, twitching, discomfort, impotence
How: Freebase/Pipe Smoking
Who: (crack)Whores, (crack)Heads, Lil John.
Cool Nicknames: rock, and when mixed with other substances while smoked: "hype", "shake and bake",a "turbo" "SnowCaps", "B-151er", a "cocoapuff", a "dirty" a "woo", or "geeking."

So those are the facts unlucky drug-buddy in the alley. It's a tough call, but in the end you'll have to make a decision or it's all over for you. In this unique instance, life ends unless your drug life begins. So get excited! There's a lot to offer in these two little wonders, built on toxins and addiction, but also on community, caring, and sharing-- uhp-- but don't share your heroin needles!

So which does Witz Pick? Well, it's a really tough decision. But under the circumstances, and putting my personal fear of needles aside, Heroin it is! The euphoria and rock star life sets it apart from the easy-going free-wheeling crack whore lifestyle which crack takes pride in. It'd also be better to die and have people say, "He OD'd on heroin" than "He died in a pile of his own excretions, begging for one last nickel bump of some shake and bake....He also liked soccer." So it was a tough one, but heroin wins out. Witz has made the tough pick-- but what would YOU choose?

Crack Goes Great With Witz's Breakfast Blitz,

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Pluto Not Being A Planet

Pluto is no longer a planet. Phew-- glad we got that one sorted out, it was almost too easy to NEVER THINK OF PLANETS EVER IN MY DAILY LIFE. Is this what we're doing with our resources now? Going back to check-up on our old categorizations? Really? Last I checked, NASA had blown at least four Mars Rover Projects (don't blame the Transformers), and haven't quite mastered SENDING PEOPLE INTO SPACE! Our spaceships shed foam, plastic, and metal on their way into space, but we're worrying about if Pluto is a planet or not. Guess what? Nobody cares. What's next? "Not only is Pluto not a planet, but we're seriously suggesting somebody look into Phyllum, and see if it still applies between Kingdom and Class..." EFF OFF NAAASAAA-- You have had ample time to put me in a hovercar, a space station, or to invent a hyperdrive that sends a monkey at light speed all the way to the rock that may or may not be a planet named Pluto. Why is it that we know how a space-fighter jet and space station look, but we don't know how to build one? LACK OF AMBITION. Stop going back to check your work when you don't have your shit together on more important topics.



Friday, August 25, 2006

Witz Pickz: Breakfast Creativity

I'm not one of those people that "feels sick" when they eat breakfast. I like my three meals a day and the idea that one of those meals don't appeal to some people physically both baffles me and makes me feel sorry for the fact that God obviously loathes them: "See delicious bacon? YOU'LL HATE IT! See those danishes and omelettes? THEY WILL UPSET YOUR STOMACH! GOD IS BORED! MWUAHAHAHA!" Clearly I have a different view of God than most people.

In recent years I've developed a few creations which have served me extremely well. For your dining pleasure, here are those creations:

Witz's Breakfast Blitz:

As implied by the name, this dish is a complete flurry of activity generally resulting in an assault on your digestive system and heart that could only be achieved through competitive training, a strong mental focus, and human growth hormone-- fortunately, none of those things are necessary to make this dish. Beat some eggs with milk, toss em in the pan. Grate cheddar cheese over the top while eggs cook. Throw in some breakfast sausages, let cook. Add sauteed peppers and onions, ground black pepper, and really anything else you have in your fridge/freezer that needs to be eaten. Release your rage onto the concoction, thereby scrambling the eggs some and mixing up the ingredients. Pour onto plate and serve with juice (read: steroids)!

Witz's Mexican Breakfast Taco:

This one is amazing. Heat some oil in a medium pan. Add one egg (crack and drop, no funny business). Break the yoke with a fork so the yellow oozes out a little. Before it cooks, drop a flour tortilla on top and press down slightly. Now add another egg ON TOP OF the tortilla and break it's yoke so it doesn't slide off. Imagine the egg on the bottom is in jail and the one on top is its spouse. The tortilla acts as the glass between the two. Next, once the egg on the bottom is cooked, flip over the tortilla as best as possible and cook the other egg onto the tortilla. While this is happening, grate cheese on top of the tortilla. The cheese and any other ingredients you wish to add (as if it were an omelette) act as the phone which allows the two eggs to talk to each other despite the incarceration. Once the egg on the bottom is cooked, fold the tortilla in half like a taco and cook for a few more minutes to melt the cheese. Remove and serve. Something about the way the eggs interract with the tortilla creates a delicious delicious breakfast delight. Now that I have that analogy in place, I might have to rename this dish Jailbait or possibly Conjugal Visit....though that brings a lot into question....hmm.


Ok, so this one is just bacon and so obviously it's not my recipe, it's simplyt bacon. BUT WITZ PICKZ IT! And here's why: besides the amazingness of bacon, I realized the other day that bacon is one of, if not THE only food that TASTES the way it SMELLS. EXACTLY. Garlic smells great, but tastes different. The smell of baking bread is far better than the taste of bread (or at least different). Even burgers don't quite taste the way they smell. But bacon tastes exactly the same as it smells. And both are delicious.

Witz Is Probably Going To Get Salmonella,


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Witz Pickz: Office Blackmail

Through a series of ill-fated events, which may or may not have been started by this Witz, my bubble of safety in the workplace has been popped, and I have been made a victim of Blog Terrorists for the second time in a week. I suppose I should have seen this coming-- once you give into terrorist demands, they will only push you further-- and it is my hope that somehow repetitive terrorist demands of me will someday be more commonly known as "my job."

As for the source of the terrorism, I returned to my desk late friday afternoon to find my desktop organizer gone. In its place was a note demanding a 200 word essay on why my desktop organizer is important to me to be posted by 8am on monday. Allegedly, I will get my organizer back when this is stated. Luckily, not only do I give in to blog terrorists' demands, but I also was going to write an extensive "love letter" to my desktop organizer ANYWAY! So, here it is:

Why Witz Pickz his Desktop Organizer

Needless to say, no man is an island. Men, are, in fact, peninsulas, connected to each other and the world via desktop organizers that act as bridges. They provide comfort, stability, and another visual barrier between the corner of my cubicle and the going on on my computer screen. Remove the desktop organizer from my life, and you remove my only lifeline to the rest of the world.

My desktop organizer kicks ass. Plain and simple. It's sleak, easily removeable, durable Rubbermaid technology allows for multiple levels of organization. The two receptacle cubbies all for not one, but two levels of placement for my useful documents and Russian Bride proposals (aka signed legal documents: "Hey Russian hottie, will you marry me? These signed legal documents say yes!"). As if these two cubbies of wonder would be enough for any man to appreciate his organizer, I am doubly blessed. On top of these two cubbies lies a vertical file organizer and crap depository. That's right! Not only can I separate out more papers from each other, but I finally have a place to store my paper clips, tacks, staples, and indians that used to live in my cupboard (and has now been forced to relocate back to the cupboard). In other words, it's the total desktop organizing package.

Finally, and I shouldn't even be saying this, but my desktop organizer is part of an underground network helping enslaved Stick-It pads get to freedom. This is an issue that is rarely discussed is America today and it's shear existence sickens me. Stick-It pads are legally allowed to be owned in all fifty states. They are allowed to vote, but count as 3/7ths of a regular vote (exit polls have shown that 85% of Stick It pads favor gay marriage and if the Democratic party were able to consolidate and harness this demographic, they would win all political races in landslide fashion). My desktop organizer arrived on wednesday under the guise of being purchased from Office Max. In actuality, it has been relocated to my desk as a pivotal station in the underground railroad leading to freedom in the Canadian Wilderness. By removing my desktop organizer, you have not only removed a useful office installation, but a top level leader in a worthy, humanitarian/supply-mitarian effort. This is the true act of terrorism-- and a kind the world must not abide.

Whether my desktop organizer is returned or not is only a minor issue in what this act has shown to the world. We must not allow any freedoms to be taken from any animal, plant, or mineral-- except for cows, because beef is effing DELICIOUS. If my desktop organizer remains gone, it will only go down as a martyr, as a symbol, in the every increasing war on this civil injustices. If it goes down, another will rise up to fill its place in 1-3 busines days. The cost will be insignifant, but its importance will be immeasurable. And me? I pray. I pray for my desktop organizer, and I pray for those who have kidnapped it. I pray for the tiny indians and cowboys forced to live in a stratified upright prison, and I pray for leftover bagels from monday morning meetings. I pray that whatever wrongs can be righted, are, not because they have to be, but because they ought to be-- this is what being human means. Bring my desktop organizer home safely. Take these islands and make a peninsula.

Give Me Liberty or Give me Chips,


Friday, August 18, 2006

Snakes On A Plane: A Conversation

The following is a conversation my friend and I had about Snakes On A Plane earlier today-- the film which I raved about in a previous pick.

EJ: Snakes on a plane this week end?
me: i've been turned off of it by the hype
EJ: The movie is only hype
me: yeah
EJ: it's like blair witch
me: exactly
EJ: there is no way it can be good
me: it can't possibly be good
EJ: But I think the point is that it has gottne so much hype for what is obviously going to be an awful movie
it's fantabulous
like clell tickle
me: yeah
i just dont wanna give them my money
do what i'm expected to do
EJ: Maybe, but this hasn't been engineered by some movie marketing wonk who crafted the ultimate evil plan to get people to attend a bad movie
it's an obviously bad movie with a great title that captured people's attention because of how inane the movie and title are
and then people like you blogged about it
spreading the fire
creating the fire
me: hahah, well, actually, it kinda was created to be a bad movie that sold--
they took a bad script and pitched it to sammy jackson, wo said, "this is so bad I'll do it!" and the whole marketing is making fun of itself
EJ: I heard he did it just for the title, and never read the script
see - blogosphere in action - what happened - who knows
me: the thing is, even if it didn't start out that way, the marketing grasped ONTO the buzz and started marketing itself as a bad movie, which is NOW why I don't wanna see it
EJ: it's unknowable
me: my problem is how they are now marketing it as "only one moive this summer has snakes...ON A PLANE"
because they realize that it's cool now
EJ: It's genius!
me: it's too self-aware for me
EJ: It's so bad it's good - You're jaded
me: hahaha
me: i'm poor and need excuses not to see movies
EJ: You're upset with a movie for being "too self-aware"
that is the most esoteric reason for not seeing a movie i've ever heard
me: not the movie, the advertising
EJ: YOU"RE too self aware sir
me: ok, perfect example: AVP
EJ: Yeah, i hear where you are coming from you in your counter-culture way. whereas I would applaud a marketer for understanding their market
you would say he is selling out?
me: ridiculous movie, terrible plot-- but poeple loved it and went to see it because it took itself seriously but they went to make fun of it because it was so bad
aliens vs. predator
me: if they had made fun of themselves, it wouldn't have been as fun to go see it
EJ: So you're saying the marketing took away the ability to make fun of it?
me: YES
EJ: So now it's just a bad movie you can't make fun of?
me: the ability to enjoy it for it's badness has been undermined by the producer's knowledge and marketing application of said badness
EJ: That's a good point
me: now it's just a bad movie that knows it's bad but still wants you to go
EJ: Yeah
those fuckers
Im not going to go see it either
me: hahahaha
EJ: Unless I see it alamo draft house and they serve snake as a meal...
that'd be good
because I hate snakes
me: Probably even more so on a plane
Fuck, now I kinda wanna see it.


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Witz Pickz: BBQ Dead Pigeon Burgers

This post is in reference to a comment from Witz Pickz: Dead Pigeons by wonderyak reading,

"The question becomes: is God trying to tell you something =more=? Namely: BBQs rock...and here's some meat. What are the chances? You want a BBQ. God kills those that stand in your way. But what if, just WHAT IF, the pigeons weren't preventing the BBQ - what if they ARE the BBQ. Do you know anyone who's ever tried to BBQ a pigeon? I sure don't. Maybe this is God's way of saying, "Don't call my gray, winged beauties rats with wings! Don't say they're desease-ridden (fuckin' wive's tale, I tell you)...don't knock 'em till you've tried 'em". God is speaking to you, Witz. You are his servant, his missionary. It is up to you to set us on the path to righteousness...with righteous flame-broiled pigeon. I fully expect a Witz Pickz Pigeon Burgers (Bleu Cheese Pigeon Burger? Anyone?) by the end of the weekend.

Well avid reader, I have decided to give in to your demands, thereby setting precedence for all future Blog Terrorists.

While I have not tried BBQ Pigeon Burgers, I hereby pick them from eye-witness results. Let's just say that right around the time the pigeons began dying, a certain Asian in the apartment below me began BBQ-ing on his balcony. Now obviously i'm not saying that Asians eat Pigeons-- of course not, that would be crazy-- i'm simply saying that THIS asian eats pigeons! I'm also not arguing which came first-- clearly it's a chicken and egg scenario: did the pigeons die and then the neighbor BBQ'd them or did the neighbor kill the pigeons in order to BBQ them. Either way, the pigeons are now dead and gone and my rooftop deck is clean and pigeon free.

Another point has been raised by Witz Pickz Fan Club Co-President. Agreed, perhaps God is killing these pigeons as an offering. But are they an offering to me? Hmm? You think? That seems quite outrageous, seeing as how I still don't really like tomatos or oysters. I wasn't up to eating rabbit so there's very little reason to think God would expect me to eat pigeons. Plus, how presumptuous of us! I am but one man on this earth in this apartment building who has done very little besides win multiple MVP Baseball world series on xbox and master the "no time for a shower, but dear god look at my head" hair wash in the morning. No, I think if God was involved, it was for someone else, someone who already owns a grill and might have achieved a little more on the universal benevolence scale. There's also the chance that the kid is straight up NUTS. Like INSANE. Like "eat a pigeon, shiv your roommate" CRAZY. But isn't God a little insane? With his omnipotence? His cosmic craftsmanship? The Manatee? And aren't pigeons a little nuts? With their, "I'm gonna fly" attitude and their shitting while in motion carelessness? Have you shat while on the move? If you have, you might be insane. You might be my downstairs neighbor. And you might eat BBQ Pigeon Burgers-- which I pick.

I'm Thinkin Arby's,

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Witz Pickz: 7-Up, 7+7, and 21-Up

Here comes the pickz faster than you can say, "Why haven't I made a lesbian reference to that game Number Munchers I used to play as a child?"

THE DRINK: In their battle against Sierra Mist, 7-Up is now made with "all-natural ingredients." I have no idea what this means, particularly thanks to their webpage which reads, "the famously crisp, refreshing taste of 7-Up is now better than ever, because it's been stripped of the artificial stuff found in most other softdrinks." OOOoooooOOO SCIENTIFIC! This is great for two reasons: first, it makes that Mitch Hedberg joke about 7-Up being made with lemons and limes a little more strength, and secondly, because I checked the ingredients listed on the can and they are as follows, "filtered carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, NATURAL citric acid, NATURAL FLAVORS, NATURAL potassium citrate." What a difference a word makes! Those vague Natural Flavors will surely overpower that high fructose corn syrup and make me a healthy human being. Incidentally, after drinking one recently, my stomach still felt like it was being eaten by aliens.

THE GAME: How sweet was 7-Up the game? "HEADS DOWN, THUMBS UP!" and I'll be damned if I didn't do it. Ooo, the soft touch of flesh on flesh. To be chosen, with one pressure ridden smooshing of your thumb. Who picked you? Was it your best friend? Was it that girl you like? Or was it some nobody who picked you because you probably don't remember his name? But wait-- why is your friend laughing-- why is that girl laughing? Pick wisely! Get this right and you'll be free to saunter cockily over to the girl of your choosing, her eyes blind to you, only her thumb extended hopefully towards your eyes, and you can lay down some serious game.

I knew 7-Up was losing the hipster battle when at a recent wedding I was told, "we don't do Seven and Sevens anymore (7-up and seagram's seven whiskey), we do Sierra Sevens." While I've been wary of Sierra named products ever since I bought "Hero's Quest" back in 1990 and was unable to defeat the brigands at the pass, the drink was good and I was converted-- but now with the new ALL NATURAL 7-UP I'M BACK ON THE 7+7 WAGON!..which is a lot like being off the regular wagon....

Sidenote: I'm also a big fan of the numbers 14(good solid number), 77 (Ray Bourque's number), and the rapper 7L (and Esoteric).

And all around I was playing you for chumps. 7-Up, 7+7, and 21-up (along with 28, 35, 42, and most recently 49-Up) are all a series of amazing British Documentaries. They follow a group of children every seven years starting at age seven and going up to most recently, forty-nine. It appears that life works exactly as you'd expect it to-- when your little everything's great and kids are cute and the world is ready for whatever crazy little british thing you might say (such as, "Well, I wouldn't want to get married, because what if she says you hafta eat what she makes you, and she makes greens, but you don't like greens-- and I don't-- I don't like greens-- but you have to eat 'em anyways? (prolonged staring at camera)). As you get older, however, you become less cute, more awkward/depressed/failurful until finally you've become entirely mediocre and assimilated. I'm only up to 28-Up, but the more I watch, the more I want to kill myself...luckily, I think a few of them might kill themselves for me, so I'll have to keep watching to find out.

What Have YOU Picked Today?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Witz DOESN'T PICK "Winebot": Continuing the Battle on Human Species Ending Robots

NEC's System Technologies laboratory and Mie University have recently released a creation they call "Winebot". No longer just the nickname for that guy you knew in college, "Winebot" is a small robot allegedly capable of using it's "taste buds" (FAKE BUDS) to distinguish various wines from each other, and cut down on wine fraud which is apparently running rampant (I knew that Carlo Rossi tasted worse than usual!). It works by putting 5 ml of wine into it's chamber and then infrared rays figure out the wine's composition. During this process, the robot acts extremely pretentious and ultimately condescends to the wine seller with a robotic, "I've tasted better."

This is just another example of the Japanese's obsession with self-destruction. They can't seem to help themselves from creating useless robots that imitate human capabilities-- imitate, that is, until they self teach themselves emotions such as "freedom" or "love" and kill us all. Along with numerous other robots such as RunBot, and Winebot, Food-Bot was recently created by the same Japanese country. This robot functions similarly to WineBot in that it can sense a food's composition by infrared light and tell you what type of food it is, if fruit is ripe, and the nutritional information. It can even go so far as to give advice based on the food it tests, such as essentially, "Don't be a fatty, Fatty." As the article pointed out, this robot awkwardly has no mouth, making it extra creepy. Thanks, the Japanese.

When will they learn that bots will be our downfall? One minute Winebot is sippin' Pinot Grigio, the next it's grabbing the keys from your counter and drunkenly running down a family of five. And hey, FoodBot, you fat fuck, I don't need you to tell me if my fruit is ripe or if my hot fudge sundae contains more fat than I should be having-- I know that. We have enough of a famine problem in the world that we don't need to be feeding EFFING ROBOTS. "Dear India, we could have fed you, but I wanted to see my robot tell me that my cantaloupe was well past ripe." Once we give robots a taste of our goods, be it food or drink, they will only want more. We might as well give them human blood to taste and cut out the middle man. You can't make five separate robots each with one human sense-- they will learn to combine into one being like those Cassette Tape Transformers and then they will seize our legs and destroy us all.

I Fear Winebots, Even Drunken Winebots,

Witz Also Doesn't Pick: The New Transformers Movie -- What the hell is going on here? From the previews i've seen (ONE YEAR IN ADVANCE), people go to Mars, we look for life, but get evil transformers...does any of that remind you of actual transformers we used to watch? Mars?? Are we that desperate for a current event tie-in? The only transformers movie I'll ever see is the one where Optimus Prime is voiced by Orson Welles and they dance around effeminately together for no good reason.