Friday, March 30, 2007

Witz Pickz: Peanut Butter

A recent comment from A-Money made reference to his distaste for the Sticky Nutter—ok, let’s never use that nickname again…EVER. Peanut Butter. His distaste for Peanut Butter. While I respect his opinion, and while for many peanut butter can cause shock and death, I will tell you why I love it and why I pick it.

Peanut Butter is the glue. It’s the glue of our childhood. Without Peanut Butter we would just be having Jelly sandwhiches. The expression peanut butter n’ jelly would just be “N’ Jelly.” PB&J would just be “&J” and that is not a food, it’s the name of a contestant on American Idol (I am so proud AND disgusted at myself for that reference). What I’m getting at is that PB (and I’m sure Jay-Z would agree) is “so necessary.” It’s a quick fix full of protein to give children and working folks that boost they need. No time for a big lunch? Peanut butter sandwhich. What are you gonna put on that toast to give it some oomph? Peanut butter on toast.

Peanut butter can be heated and put on ice cream (unfathomably delicious). It can be mixed into rice and actually taste good. Thailand and India know all about the deliciousness of the peanut and it’s many sauce-ish capabilities.

Also, G-Dub Carver was THE MAN.

Quick Pickz: Sharpies, compact umbrellas, the Nickolodeon show "Hey Dude", Dexter

That’s all I got. Have a great weekend (with peanut butter)


PS. Possible second pick later today—busy day.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Witz DOESN’T Pick: That Douchey Lookin’ UPS Spokesman

I’m so not alone on this. Does anyone even understand the new UPS campaign? The one with that douchey lookin’ guy drawing pictures on a white board while talking, but the two never seem to be connected or problematic? I can’t figure out how what UPS is talking about is any different from the regular USPS. They keep saying things like, “Say you have 3 packages, and you want them picked up and delivered, but you want them delivered to 3 DIFFERENT locations…” and then he draws a turtle and is like, “UPS can do that—it’s not just shipping, it’s shipping…with UPS.”
Isn’t that what all mail services do? Did I miss the part where the US Postal Service said they would only deliver all of your mail to ONE location? I can’t help but think this is one of those total scam campaigns, where nothing is really wrong with their opposition, but they talk about themselves as if they are clearly addressing our issues with the competition. It’s clever, but it’s lame and this time, really really obvious. Douchey. If I see that one guy drawing things one more time and then acting super nonchalant about the whole ordeal (he always finishes up as if he doesn’t need to be there, but we begged and pleaded with him to explain how stamps work), I’m going to snap. I’m already yelling at him on TV.

The Mac Commercials:
I’ve also had it with these. Here’s why: I could appreciate their witty hipster slams at first when they at least made sense and didn’t seem over the top or unnecessarily aggressive. But now they’ve gone too far. The last two commercials I saw of theirs were against installing simple USB devices, and against Microsoft Vista.

The USB one pisses me off the most. PC is getting a camera duct taped to his head and it’s funny because Mac already has one installed. My problems: while I understand hyperbole, PC is not REALLY a human, so duct tape or ANY OTHER KIND OF ANNOYANCE is not actually a part of the process. It isn’t bulky. All you need to do is plug the camera in using a simple cord and that’s it. The software probably self-installs and within about 30 seconds, with the worst case scenario being you have to click “Next, next, next, and Finish” quickly, you have your camera. My other issue here is that on a PC, you can MOVE the camera, so if you don’t want it facing DIRECTLY AT YOU while you type, you don’t have to. On a Mac, the camera is built in, so you can’t move it at all. More on this idea later.

The other one is the anti-Vista commercial. Fair enough, you can attack Vista for having tight security that annoys the hell out of the users by constantly asking if things are ok. I don’t even have Vista and Norton has recently taken to asking me if I want to allow Internet Explorer to connect to the internet. Idiot. So anyway, fair enough, EXCEPT, it was like 2 minutes after Vista came out. They didn’t give it a moment’s rest, which comes off as extremely aggressive and just obnoxious. Mac is quickly showing why they are the hipster choice—because they were very uncool and obnoxious as children, and hate on all “mainstream” culture why they themselves are mainstream. The overly aggressive campaign makes me feel FOR PC and get defensive as a PC user. Just as I end up feeling bad for the child molestors on Dateline: To Catch A Predator, I feel bad for Microsoft. Get off their ass, Mac. Do your thing.

The worst part of it all is that PC can’t possibly respond. I don’t know what the actual sales are like for both types, but they can’t start a “hip war” by putting out parody ads or ranking on Macs. Then they’re drawn into the fight and they look bad. So Mac wins the pissing competition. I hope that’s an expression—I mean, I think it is. This is going to be awkward if it’s not….hm.

“Would you like to allow Witz to post on Witz Pickz?”

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Witz Flickz: Crank!

I knew it was time to take a break from Netflix when the three movies at the bottom of my extensive queue were shipped to me because all of the others had varying degrees of "wait." I opened my mailbox to find The Night Listener, Crank, and Employee of the Month (added simply to fill my queue, but never intended to actually be received or viewed-- other movies along this line included Doogal, The West Wing Season 2 Bonus Features DVD, and The Fantastic Four). My excitement of receiving 3 dvd's turned to dismay at my options, and I quickly looked at my account and cancelled one day before I was billed again. I will return to Netflix, but not yet. Not yet.

Having received my final three movies, I vowed to watch at least 2 of them, or else I wasn't getting the most out of my cancelled membership. I actually tried to put on Employee of the Month to watch while cleaning the apartment, but my girlfriend thankfully put me in my place, saying she couldn't handle a movie with Jessica Simpson. Good call. Which left The Night Listener, a creepy Robin Williams/Rory Culkin flick or Crank, a movie with That Guy from Lock, Stock, & Two Smoking Barrels and more recently, The Transporter(2). After getting a rejection on a possible nightmare giving movie, I was left with Crank, and put it on with intentions of watching half and then going to bed....

....TOO BAD CRANK IS THE SHIT! 87 Glorious minutes later, I was entirely content with my decision/indecision. Because this movie is amazing. Not amazing good, mind you, it's not a "Good" movie, but it is an "Entertaining" movie, and that's something a lot of "Good" movies have failed to do recently. And it wasn't even bad, really, like most action movies, it was simply what it was.

SO WHAT THE HELL WAS IT WITZ? Fair question. I am 99.9% positive that the idea for Crank was created when one dude said to another, "What if we made Grand Theft Auto into a movie? Wouldn't that be sweet?" and the other guy said, "Yes-- yes it would be." They realized that you can't just make a movie called GTA (although they still might) where one guy rushes around inexplicably punching a dude in the face and then spray painting his car yellow, so they had to give him a reason. Poison. He is poisoned and has to keep adrenaline pumping or else he dies. Perfect. Now he can drink a red bull like a freaking insane person, punch out old ladies to get jacked up, and bang anything anywhere without repercussion. The stage is set. This leads to a romp throughout LA where the main character rages through the city finding interesting and scientifically questionable (but believable) ways to keep his heart pumping. They don't waste time with side-plots or extraneous explication that won't matter, they simply have our hero seek out the people who poisoned him before he dies. Brilliant.

But shockingly, it's not just the action that keeps it interesting. The whole movie is actually shot LIKE a video game. The first scene includes a first person "Doom Hand" shot. When setting up locations, instead exterior establishing shots, they use a giant map of LA, zoom to the location, and label it something such as "Eve's Apartment" or "Carlito's Place." EVERYTHING in this movie is fast except when it slows down for a second for comedic effect or to show his heart slowing down. That's the other thing-- It's funny! They manage to be funny without drawing attention to one liners like in most action movies. Things just kind of ARE funny, and not because they're overdone, but because they are ironic, or hilariously necessary, or just plain amusing. Crank is an action movie, that knew it had an alright idea IF it didn't try and pack anything into that idea that didn't belong. No rider themes. Just the meat. I'm not saying Crank is a great movie, but it had me entertained for 87 minutes without hesitation, and that's more than I can say for most of the movies that were at the top of my queue.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Witz Pickz: Deep Dish Pizza, Suspension, and Pibb

For the sake of maintaining my streak and therefore my dedication to actually posting, here's a quick pick: Deep Dish Pizza.

I love deep dish pizza because it means that at some point in Chicago, someone said, "I like pizza, but there needs to be MORE of it." Then someone had to say, "You wanna make it wider?" and the first man, possibly while looking around at all the skyscrapers in the packed city must have replied, "No. Deeper." This could only have registered shock on the other man's face. Deeper. More punch to the inch. They took pizza to the third dimension which has kept its deliciousness going into the fourth dimension.

Deep dish pizza is the only way I can see pizza be referred to as a "pie." More ingredients are contained by the surrounding dough and it creates a jumbled stuffing of taste. Like a pie. So there it is folks, Deep Dish Pizza-- Dee-licious.

Suspension by Robert Westfield: Just finished reading this and I'm not even positive on the author's name, but the book was great. This author's first novel manages to capture a film noir feel inside a Michael Chabon like environment. It's a quick read and deals with how difficult it is to truly remove yourself from the world and your past.

Pibb Xtra: I like Pibb Xtra because the man thinks he can hide the fact taht he doesn't have a degree with the fact that there is more of it. It = caffeine I think. The Xtra can't possibly stand for a degree or else it would just be Dr. Pibb or Julius Pibb, PhD (I like to think Mr. Pibb's first name is Julius or sometimes Samson...Dr. Samson Pibb, PhD). Also, and here's something worth thinking about, we all give Lavernius Pibb crap for not having his degree, but why the hell is Dr. Pepper a Dr? We don't know that he was a science MD. What if he's a podiatrist? We automatically trust the man, but what if he went to 8 years of dental school and then created the soda that is the WORST for your teeth? What if he's a heart surgeon? Great, you can do heart surgery, but why are there prunes in my pop? Or what if it's just like, Political Science PhD. What right did that give Assante Pepper (Dr. Pepper's first name is either Assante or Jackson. Jackson Pepper sounds right) to go ahead and sell us a beverage? This only gives Pibb Xtra more credibility in my mind.

Witz Sticks (to his picking plan),

Monday, March 26, 2007

Witz HAS NO FREAKIN IDEA if he Pickz: Modern Dance

Every now and then you encounter something in your life that just straight up baffles you. No matter how many opinion on music, film, literature, shampoo, japanese cities, or pigeons you have, there is bound to be something that makes even the most casual opinionated jackass stop and wonder what the hell just happened. This weekend, this opinionated jackass was stumped by Modern Dance.

After deciding I needed to do more things, I bought four tickets (because 3 people were coming with me, not because I'm uber-obese) to The Spektrum Group's performance of Never-Mind, a modern dance performance set to the music of Nirvana. At least I thought that's what it was. Instead, we received a night I don't think any of us will soon forget.

It kicked off with us getting there just before the show was supposed to start and taking our amazing center balcony seats with the most leg-room in the house. A woman who I have to assume was only posing as an usher, directed us to our seats (INDIVIDUALLY, as if we didn't know each other and sit next to each other-- we all got the FULL ON directions for how to walk straight ahead and sit down) where we were very impressed with the view and room it afforded. About ten minutes later (with the balcony section almost entirely empty I might add), the faux-usher hustled over to us saying, "Now see, you're in row J, which is up there, please move to your seats." Confused, we replied,

"Nono, we're in F."
"Oh. Well this is A, so row F would be--"
"--No. Row A is down there (gesturing to the 5 rows in the lower balcony section), this is row F (gesturing to the giant F at the end of the aisle)."
"--But...I-- Alright," and she walked away. BAFFLING.

After that fun encounter, the show began with two opening acts. I didn't know modern dance had opening acts, but apparently they do. In this case, the same group performed two other pieces set to other atypical soundtracks. The first one was actually very cool. Three graffiti artists tagged huge sheets of paper in the background while the dancers performed a hip-hop influenced routine to Mystikal songs. Apparently there was a story, but I'm pretty sure it just had to do with crack-whores and beating crack-whores. They itched a lot. It looked neat.

So when that came to a close and intermission struck, we were in a slightly less confused, jollier mood. We goofed around and then the second piece began. It was like being ten years old in church again. The set design was awesome, but suddenly four identical women were spasming around on stage for far too long. A near naked man joined them on stage, shaking and spasming as if he were poisoned. My ten year old self put the story together: "They're spiders and he's caught in their web and dying." So I went with that. Each spider kept trying to make sexy-time with the man, who would then convulse and collapse. "Can't be sexing it with spiders," I thought and remembered once again that spiders scare me. The guy kept running away from this one spider who was constantly throwing herself around the stage and shaking insanely before collapsing and doing it all again. I started giggling to myself as I finally came up with the moral of the story: Nobody wants to bang the crazy spider. Good lesson. As the minutes wore on, it was clear that not many people in my general region were enjoying this, and we were all one eye-catching away from a total laughing fit, so I made sure to stare straight ahead, only occasionaly laughing ridiculously, and then hoping nobody saw. When the piece ended, my friend summed up the general feeling: I don't think I'll be running out to buy the new Mio Morales album anytime soon. True.

Here's a funny part-- the story turned out to be about the Wilis-- women who died before their wedding night, who haunt men who cheat on them or something and apparently dance boringly for twenty minutes in order to kill him. Sooooooo no spiders involved. My bad.

Finally, the main piece was ready to go. The curtain rises aaaand--

Why the hell are people dressed up as Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love onstage? Oh crap.

Oh crap.
Oh crap.
Oh crap.

Ya see, in my mind, a modern dance performance set to the music of Nirvana meant that I was going to see a bunch of music video-like performances. Sychronized modern dance to cool music instead of Stravinsky. It didn't mean I was going to see a story told to me IN COSTUME with actions being performed as they are spoken about in songs. That sounds like interpretive dance to me, and THAT is not something I wished to partake in. So my heart sank as Kurt moped around on stage and Courtney stomped around and they both did heroine. It was basically 30 minutes of dancers telling me,. "Courtney and Kurt fought, they did a lot of drugs, they itched themselves, and then he killed himself." What I learned from the performance was that watching someone fake do heroine does not make for an interesting performance. And then something else occurred to me: Between this, the Gus Van Sant movie about Kurt's last days, and most documentary footage I've seen, Kurt Cobain was one amazing artist that was BORING AS SHIT when he wasn't performing. There is far too much presentation of his static depression out there right now. We all get it-- we understand his plight. But holy crap, I don't need to see a drugged up, depressed guy do NOTHING for any amount of time. Music = interesting. Watching a guy dressed up like Kurt Cobain do nothing = boring.

So what do I think of modern dance? I have no idea. Was that modern dance? They certainly danced, I know that much. But was that modernly or was it interpretively? Is interpretively a word? See how many questions I have? I have to say that at some points I thought, "that's like me when I'm joke dancing to make fun of So You Think You Can Dance or another tv dancing show." On the other hand, they do it well, but does that make it dancing just because they can flop on the ground with a full leg extension? I'd like somebody uninvolved to make this decision for me, like Tim Allen or David Lee Roth. The Mystikal part was very interesting and cool, but the Nirvana part was very tacky and kitsch. I'm not sure I would feel proud of Seattle for having put on such a performance. Ultimately, I think The Spektrum Dance Group did some interesting work that I was glad I saw, but would not go back to see. I would rather flop around on the ground with a camera on, watch it myself, and then send the tape to Will Farrell in the hopes of getting a movie deal.


Friday, March 23, 2007

Witz Pickz: The Nature Boy, Analytics, and Authority Zero

This will be the fifth post in five days for me on Witz Pickz-- something unheard of since the first few days of the site when I was all excited and unemployed (hot and not bothered). Since then, my posts have been sporadic and in short bursts, like the success of Avacados. But now I'm back in a big way, and here's why:

Google Analytics:
It was brought to my attention recently that whether I know it or not, Google owns my balls. While I thought this was impossible as I sold my balls in 1992 in exchange for a Color Me Bad t-shirt and Mega Man 6 for Game Boy, it turns out my balls are currently owned by Google. When you open a gmail account or an adwords account or a google talk/earth/etc account, you have opened a google account. Another cool thing that I recently learned about is that there is a large screen at Google Headquarters where it constantly streams google searches that are being made for all watching to see. I therefore would like to encourage everyone to google something amusing about Google at least five times a day in the hopes that it comes on the board in Mountain View, California. At the very least this will amuse US. I mean, imagine someone at google grabbing a coffee as they read, "Google sends millions of condoms to indiginous South American tribes," or "Google licks its own nipples." Or how about, "Why is this guy drinking coffee at Google so frail looking?" THAT'LL cause some self-image/paranoia issues! I've also started using a phrase recently for people who just look techie, but hip-- I say that that guy, "just got off the google shuttle." I hope this picks up because it's the short bus of our generation-- only the passengers are generally super intelligent and confident in themselves. Having said all this, I like google. I think it's great, and while I don't use their maps, I do love their Google Analytics. You paste a bit of code into your blog/website and the information starts flowing back to your analytics account. I can now see how many unique and repeat hits/users I get a day as well as where in the world these hits are coming from (Carmen Sandiego). Apparently, and I've said this all along, I'm huge in Falkirk. There are all types of ways to analyze the data and sort through it, but right now, just the basic graphs are enough to keep me writing. So well done Google Analytics, you've re-invigorated Witz Pickz and now Witz Pickz you.

The Nature Boy Rick Flair:
I was never really into WWF wrestling back in the day, but some of my friends were and that gave me the general wrestling knowledge I need to get by today. While flipping through the channels last week, I stumbled upon Rick Flair (The Nature Boy) slapping an opponent in the face and then "WHOO"-ing at the crowd (his signature thing). I was kind of grossed out at first by the 50-something year old man with his wrestling-fat-strong abs and pecs, but then realized how audacious it was that he kept on wrestling at his age. I mean, look-- The man is fifty years old and still calls himself The Nature BOY. Then, he looks filthy and grimy and flabtastic, but has the nerve to SLAP a man half his age and twice his size. If the whole thing wasn't scripted, that younger wrestler could rip his arms off, lift him up, and flip him like a coin. But because of the safety of the script, Flair can be a total jackass to this aggressor, make HIM look like an idiot, and even get in a few good moves before taking his choreographed beating. And he still "Whoo's" at the crowd afterwards. That's so completely shameless that it makes him brave.

Authority Zero:
I have always enjoyed the Arizona punk stylings of Authority Zero, but am constantly nervous that their newest album will be awful. I don't know why, but this just hangs over me whenever I hear that a new album is on its way. Their newest album "12:34" came out recently and I didn't know what to expect. I listened to the sample songs on and was really pleased, so I acquired (hehe) the rest of the album and listened to it-- AND IT'S GREAT from start to finish. Not as good as the first album, but definitely catchy and interesting. There was one song, however, that freaked me out. I THOUGHT the lyrics went:

It's your duuuuuty
To take em on, take em out, take a stand, take a bow
It's your duuuuuty

This confused me because it really sounds like they suddenly became pro-war, pro-Bush when on their last album the song Revolution included the lyrics, "You want a revolution/Yeah!/Ya gotta make a difference on your own/Ya want a revolution/Yeah!/Stand up, stand up and make it known!" Which in my mind was the opposite idea. So I sang along to this Duty song despite my confusion and just figured "at least it's catchy." I then went to check the lyrics of the song and was astounded by what I found.

Before I say what I found, I want to remind everyone how easy it is to confuse lyrics. I think at least 90% of America thinks that Blinded By the Light says, "ripped up like a douche," and I honestly don't know if that's right or not. So don't be baffled when I say that the song is not called Duty, nor is the word duty even mentioned in it. The song is called "Courage" and the line is "It's your cooooourage, to take em on, take em out, take a stand, take a bow." Now I still think the bow line is weird all to itself, but the song takes on a whole new meaning and at the end, when I thought the backup vocalist was screaming, "It's your duuutyyy, it's your duuttyyy" and then assumed it was, "it's your cooourage, it's your courraaage" it turns out he was screaming, "Let's go Jerrrrry! Let's go Jerrrrrryy!" Eight times. I have no idea what that means, but I assume their next album will include songs entitled, "Tom Can Go Eff Himself" and "My Punk Buddy Seinfeld" or even, "We Have An Unnatural Urge To Root for Jerry Rice." I dunno. Either way, it reminds me that song lyrics should not be discussed until you figure out what the hell they are for sure, and that sometimes your mind hears what it wants to, even if it's way off base. Now let me go watch tv while google analyzes everything I've said here today.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Witz Pickz: Coal Turning Into Diamonds

It occurred to me recently how incredibly sweet it is that coal turns into diamonds. I mean, what are the odds of that? Granted, we are the ones who gave diamonds value....because they sparkle....and we're idiots....but still! It's pretty freakin' awesome! I mean ya got your coal, right...and then thousands of years! Anyway, I feel like that's one of the few things in life that inexplicably takes something crappy (albeit something that allows us to live the way we do) and turns it into something incredibly valuable. Take "Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader." What are the odds that in a few thousand years (ok, let's give em a break-- a few thousand seconds) ends up being considered valuable and sought after? Same goes for Geraldo Rivera. Now I know what you're thinking, you're thinking, "Wow, really Witz? Takin' a shot at Geraldo after he's been around for oh so long and has done nothing to harm you?" Well, reader, yes, I am taking a shot at him, because I was on the edge of my seat when they opened Al Capone's vault, and that Giraldo stole my childhood.

What the hell was I talking about? Oh yeah, sparkle-coal. The other reason it's good that coal turns into diamonds is for the metaphorical implications. Whenever you see someone ugly or a tough situation, you can just say, "Remember, diamonds were coal before they underwent years of excrutiating pressure." On the other hand, when you put people under excrutiating amounts of pressure, they tend to do bad shoot themselves...or others. And then the price of stamps go up.

Anyway, here's some more pickz:

Raines: 10pm Thursdays on NBC
Jeff Goldblum! He's like coal! He was the Fly who was a human who turned into a fly. Then he was diamondous in Jurassic Park ("Must go faster") and then he turned into coal for like...15 years! But now he's diamonds all over again with Raines, the detective show where he sees people who don't exist, only instead of them being ghosts like in Medium or Ghost Whisperer, they are just in his crazy face head, so they can't provide him with any new info. I predict this show is good at the beginning and then gets less good as time goes on. Which is probably how owning diamond jewelry is.

Rosemary Triscuits:
Triscuits were always diamonds, but now Rosemary Triscuits allows them to be eaten independently of cheese. They are delicious-- try them.

They just make utopias seem that much better, don't they?


PS. The Wonder Boy Review comes out tomorrow (3/23) and it's gonna be sweet. So if you want a copy, electronic or otherwise, email

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Witz DOESN’T Pick: Ruined Breakfast

I didn’t eat breakfast this morning. I wanted to. I love breakfast. I even brought a breakfast to work, but then, despite my growling stomach and burning stomach acid, I ended up going hungry until lunch. And you wanna know why? One four word phrase that can take a delicate morning snack and turn it into an A.M. fast: Fruit on the bottom.

That’s right—yogurt. Why is fruit on the bottom yogurt still for sale? It’s approximately 10 cents cheaper and infinitely worse. Does anybody actually like it? It tastes grainy, it’s sloppy to mix up, and no matter how hard you try, you will never be able to get all the fruit from the bottom to the rest of the cup. Try as you might, you will always end up at the bottom of that cup with a solid ¼ inch of blueberry, strawberry, etc. fruit jelly stuck in the recessed ring of the plastic. That’s a fact.

Mixed yogurt is smooth and delicious. Perfect balance of flavor and yogurt, not messy at all, and ultimately more satisfying. You don’t have to work for it, and there are an abundance of more flavors. You can’t mix up “Coconut Cream Pie” or “Pina Colada” from the bottom of a cup. Those flavors are what we connoisseurs call “artificial flavors,” but what you might simply call “delectable.” I have even found 8 oz. versions of the pre-mixed yogurt for the same price on sale as the fruit on the bottom kind. Yoplait usually comes in 6 oz. containers, but they still pack a better punch than the mix-it-yourself. I would dare to say that Yoplait started the unspoken promise that a tinfoil seal on your yogurt means the yogurt is pre-mixed. Fruit on the bottom still rocks the plastic lid, as if I might eat 4 oz of yogurt, and then decide to put the rest away for later.

But let’s take a look at the downside of pre-mixed yogurts for a second, to be fair. We all know there is only one downside—the cost. Why the hell are pre-mixed yogurts more expensive than other yogurt? ALL THEY DO IS MIX IT UP! Are they paying chefs $80 an hour to stir the yogurt themselves? What’s the story here? I would say that machines have to spin around using more electricity, but then, don’t they already need machines to place the layering of fruit and yogurt? Can’t they just buy new machines and get on with it? Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s a whole chunk of America (I’m guessing the interior red states) where the “wholesome values” still shine through to them in the form of un-mixed yogurt. Yogurt you have to work for— making you a part of the process. Working class yogurt. To them I say—Jesus Christ, just buy some Yoplait and toss your own wheat germ/grapenuts on there and have at it. It’ll be ok—you can enjoy the 21st century. And to those who don’t spend the extra 10 cents a cup for yogurt; you are the same ones who drive an extra 30 miles to get to a 2 cent cheaper per gallon gas station. You are the ones who voted for Bush because you wanted a 100 dollar tax refund that you could blow in one night eating at Applebee’s and going to see the “Are We Done Yet”/”Stomp the Yard” double-feature. Spend the extra buck on ten yogurts and remember what good yogurt tastes like. Or, if you’re like me, taste what a Boston Cream Pie could taste like, if it were, in fact, inexplicably baked into a tub of yogurt. Yoplait, you crazy geniuses.


P.S. I honestly had something to Pick this time around, but I forgot it. It’s been that type of week.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Witz DOESN'T Pick: The "Comedy Movie" Trailers Font

Sorry for being so negative recently and DOESN'T picking things, but I've reached my boiling point recently on a number of different things. The most recent has been The Comedy Font from all those bad comedy trailers.

You know the one I'm talking about-- Red, pseudo bubble letters that take over the screen and have single-handedly allowed for the making of thousands of terrible movies. I think it began with The Nutty Professor, and has since continued onward through Cheaper By the Dozen, Bruce Almighty and more recently with Norbit, Wild Hogs, and Are We Done Yet? (a whole other issue altogether). The font falls from the sky most of the time and inexplicably bounces-- you know, because the comedy is bouncy and harmless. Only for me, it has become a sign that the movie is going to be TERRIBLE.

Has another font so singlehandedly dominated our culture? When some dude invented Times New Roman, did he KNOW that he was the shit? That he would become the gold standard for the typed word? Did ancient Greek theatre feature Arial font for their crappy comedy productions? And who did Wing Dings have to blow to get into the mix? The last time I can remember a font being so noticeable and foreboding was when I was introduced to cursive, which incidentally was the most overhyped "font" of the last three generations. Cursive is to handwriting what tech companies were to the stock market. It's like an extra security measure for credit cards, because if I ever stole anyone's credit card and used it, there's no way I'd be able to steal their money if their name started with an I, a Z, or an H. And my last name begins with an "H"-- I've been fakin' it for YEARS. It baffles me when I'm at work and receive a note written in cursive. It's like somebody handed me a piece of paper and said, "here, ignore this." I like to hand them back a note with every 3rd letter removed and when they can't read it I say, "Ha! I had to break your code, now you break mine." The joke's on them though, because I never actually removed every 3rd letter-- I just wrote a bunch of letters down that don't spell shit.

What I'm trying to say is that the red-bubble-crap-movie-bouncing font has made its way into our culture and our subconscious without most of us noticing. All of a sudden every marketing company in Hollywood decided that it's friendly and alluring and now we have to see it every time Eddie Murphy decides he doesn't want to win an Oscar and wants to remind us all that Bowfinger was actually a movie. I can't remember all the movies the Comedy Font was in, but I'm certain that if you go back and do some research, you'll find a long, winding string of comedy bombs. Not to mention a horrible mixed metaphor. So be warned. Do what you gotta do, but remember the Comedy Font before making that decision of whether to see Wild Hogs or 300. There's only one comedy font worth anything, and that's Comic Sans MS. We all know that.

Witz (Witz)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Witz DOESN'T Pick: "Look Mom, No Hands!"

I was in Palo Alto recently and visited the Stanford campus. I think you can learn a lot from simply watching the students on a campus and seeing how they act outside of the orientation, the campus tour, the accepted student lunch. Stanford told me a lot.

You see, Stanford is a smart school. They have high standards, nearly impossible admittance, and a lake on their campus. A lake. Anyway, you gotta be pretty good and chock full o' stress to get in. On top of that, everyone I saw was wearing California Prep clothing, looking good and sporting tans to boot. So I was wary straight off.

Thirty minutes later, the true Stanford had revealed itself to me. And here's why:

In the span of thirty minutes, I watched as FOUR bikers went past me...with their hands off the handlebars. Now this alone has always struck me as incredibly unnecessary and extremely show-offy. Unless you're in 4th grade and riding with your buds (and possibly sporting a helmet that must be offset by cool bike tricks), there is no reason to ride without your hands. It's a bike-- there are handlebars there for you to REST your hands on. Do you not rest in the leaning forward style that humans evolved from? Who the eff feels the need to stand straight up rigidly, while your arms jiggle awkwardly at your sides while you pedal? EXCESSIVE. But that's not what I saw. Oh sure, I saw the "look mom, no hands" kids, but they were doing something else too. Four bikers all were riding with their their pockets. They had their hands off the handlebars, ok, and then they put them in their pockets. I watched as these kids of all different race and look rode around, even taking turns without touching the handlebars. I wasn't impressed. Quite the contrary. All I could think was "Who the fuck needs to do that??" Why add that element of stupid danger to your life? They weren't even holding anything. Just riding. One kid WAS reading a book, and I never had more of an urge to just take a step to my left and lay the kid out into the bushes. I mean, if you don't see that coming, you didn't have a childhood. But somehow, I resisted the urge (possibly because that's assault) and walked on to see even more bikers riding with their hands in their pockets.

But here's the thing-- aside from all the ridiculousness of the can't even be comfortable. While you ride, your hands must get pushed around and pinched. Pockets function on a perpendicular axis from legs while riding a bike. So it is either to show off, or to discreetly touch their genitals while they ride. Either way, I can only make one judgement:

Stanford students are IDIOTS. The whole "smart school" is a hoax. Maybe it's so tough to get into because they need to find the people with the highest SAT scores who show the most promise to fall in love with Stanford, put the school into their will, and then die in a blatantly avoidable accident. IDIOTS!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Witz Pickz: Mapquest

Remember the world before the internet? I can't-- not seriously at least. I remember things, but they seem to have very little to do with this world that we live in. I remember things that make me think I was a freakin' genius before the internet. Like I used to know how to seek out things and find them myself. I used to know how to use ridiculous things like use a phone book, and the library card catalog, and encyclopedias. Do you think when the internet came out Encyclopedias just went, "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh SHIT." But the craziest thing that we used to have to do was figure out how to get places. And not just places where we knew someone who could tell us. Not just call em up, ask how, and then get, "yeah, go here, turn here, left I don't know any street names..." I mean like...unique...locations. Places we'd never known before. A place we heard rumors of. We would bust out a freaking MAP and have to track down relatively where a location was. If it was something like 2224058 New Britain Ave, well, it would be "find New Britain Ave and drive in the direction as the numbers went up." That was it. That's how we navigated. Holy shit.

Flash forward. Mapquest exists. All of a sudden you can find anything, anywhere. And you can find out how to get there. And you can find places along the way, landmarks, hotels, highway and non-highway routes. Revolution. Suddenly, travel is not so hard as it once was. The world shrinks, or at least gets a lot less mysterious. Mapquest.

Now, a lot of people keep telling me, "You still use mapquest?? Google Maps is so much better." or even, "Yahoo maps, man, yahoo maps." Well eff them. I'm sick of hearing about it. Google, yahoo, they're all the same thing. A slightly more annoying interface and a bigger brand name to go along with them. "But google earth--" --be quiet. Google Earth does nothing for getting me to my soccer games. I don't need to see where the trees nearby are, I just need the directions there. So give me the original. I'll stick by them. because MAPQUEST changed my world; all of our worlds. Let google have their search. Let Yahoo have their fantasy sports. But Let Mapquest have their maps. They do a damn good job at it.