Friday, April 27, 2007

Witz Pickz: Edward Scissorhands: The Theatre Production

I was offered complimentary tickets to go see Edward Scissorhands at work the other day. I jumped on the opportunity because a) Free shit gets me through the day and b) Edward Scissorhands anything could be sweet. So I replied to the email as quickly as possible, figuring I was going to see one of three things: Edward Scissorhands: The Musical, Edward Scissorhands: The Ice Show, or Edward Scissorhands: The Ballet. After getting the tix and searching online for the production, I figured out that it was the ballet.

Ok—this is ok. My girlfriend used to do ballet, and free tickets are free tickets. Besides, the main character has scissor-hands, so it can’t be terrible—and I’ve never been to the Fifth Avenue Theatre before, so I get to do that.

We pick up the tickets sans ID which I feel is a bad sign (ain’t nobody stealing tickets to this show), and get to our free seats. They are nice balcony seats, and it is when I see the translucent “Edward Scissorhands” backdrop onstage, in “Tim Burton Font” that I decide I am pumped.

And it’s a good thing I was because two hours later, I was extremely pleased with my decision to attend. This was no “Never-Mind: The Nirvana Interpretive Dance.” This was ballet—or, as my benefactor (donator? Whatever, I want a benefactor goddammit) informed us, Modern Dance Theatre. I like that description. They danced. They were modern. I was at the theatre. Perfect.

Well, it turns out that Modern Dance Theatre has severe issues with conflict and resolution. The performance rarely introduced conflict without solving said conflict through a series of spins and twirls almost immediately. Example: Edward just pissed off EVERYONE and alienated girl he loves. MOMENTS LATER IN A CEMETERY: Edward is sad; he dances and wilts; Girl loves him and is ready to party. There is no explanation as to WHY this change of heart occurred, but we’re all pretty glad it did.

There were definitely some moments when the theatre part was outweighed by the dance part. Twice during the performance, dances involving plot devolved into extended group dance sequences, where Edward was barely present. They reminded me why I got bored at dance/musicals, but the stage design was amazing enough to capture my attention and keep me entertained. I would say see this production, if only for the stage design. Amazing. And Edward trims a hedge onstage. Awesome.

We were left with two questions that I don’t know the real answers to at the conclusion of the play:

1) From Girlfriend: “Why did the man think it was a good idea to create a boy with scissorhands?” GREAT QUESTION! In the production, the man’s boy died when he was little and also thoroughly enjoyed scissors. Years later, the man appeared to have found a way to animate a constructed body, and in honor of his child, give him scissors for hands. Now, I liked baseball and soccer as a kid, but I would not want my Scientist Father to animate a creature with my namesake and give it cleats and a catcher’s mitt in place of feet and hands. “Then what would you want??” I can hear you asking. The answer is obvious—I loved nerf weapons. I would require a nerf cannon on one hand, and a nerf bow and arrow on the other. My feet would be detachable Nerf Whistle Footballs, so I was always ready for a pickup game. Ultimately, my weapons would be useless, but I can imagine so many times it would be hilarious and comforting to shoot someone who is annoying me in the head with a nerf arrow and then see how they react (you can’t yell at the guy with nerf weapons for hands. He’s not REALLY doing any harm).

2) From Me: “How did the townspeople know that his name was Edward?” They put up “Welcome Edward” signs and “Edwardo’s Salon” signs, but how the hell do they know his name? He doesn’t talk, he dances. So I can only assume that there is a morse code of dance that I am not aware of. My program should have included the keystone for this language of dance.

Overall, the show was great and I’m glad I went. Edward Scissorhands is cool in any format, and the music, stage design, and performance itself was worth the time. Also, it was free. Check it out if it’s in your area.

Witz DOES NOT PICK Scissors For Hands,


Friday, April 20, 2007

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Teeth!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about having and maintaining teeth. They do good work. They stand out in a crowd. Easily one of my favorite 2000 parts. But what the fuck teeth? Wasn’t there a time when teeth were capable of standing up to the world? When they weren’t brushed, flossed, capped, sealed, drilled, filled, or bridged?

I understand that our life spans have gotten much longer. I understand that teeth fallout less now. But there had to be a time when teeth were able to stand up to the test of time without massive care. Why did nature create teeth so incredibly weak and pathetic as we evolved from creatures who I have never heard of having tooth problems. Apes have amazing teeth. They are big and sharp and….in existence. I never hear any National Geographic Specials saying, “And here is the ape, he has been crippled by tooth pain.” Then again, I don’t watch too many National Geographic Specials.

I brush my teeth daily, which I feel like should be the minimum effort put into teeth. If there’s old thing old people tell me on a regular basis that we should listen to it’s, “Take care of your teeth!” So I try. And yesterday I go to the dentist and find out I need fillings. “Just slight breakthroughs that we should fill and seal up,” they said. What the hell? Why doesn’t my body have a natural process for sorting out minor cavities of the teeth? Is the enamel and sealent they put on their when I was a kid really the only line of defense? Mystery Person #1 who I know is an even better example. She brushes three times a day when she can, uses an electric toothbrush, flosses maniacally, rocks the Listerine, and cares for her teeth like there’s a tooth fair for you later in life who pays based on quality. AND SHE HAD TO GET A FILLING. TEETH SUCK.

The dentist I went to wants to charge me 325 dollars per filling. They use “White fillings” which are chemical bonds and are much better, but insurance only covers “Silver Fillings.” I asked what the difference was:

“What’s the difference?”

“Well, first, Silver fillings contain mercury,” she says. WHAAAAAT???? That sounds like a) the biggest lie I’ve ever heard followed by b) the best selling point for white fillings ever.


“And they don’t bond chemically like the white ones—it’s like packing sand into a hole.”



“—I’m sorry, did you say MERCURY?”


“Like, brain damage Mercury?”

“That’s the stuff.”

“So you would say—“

“—I would say the white fillings are the way to go.”

“Are there any other kinds of fillings?”

“Not really.”

“Nothing cheaper?”


“What about…creeeam filling?” zing.

“Cream filling is 450 dollars and your insurance doesn’t cover it. Plus we’d have to import it from Boston, which is an added expense. Also it contains mercury. Give us all your money, asshole.”


So yeah, I’m screwed. My stupid unevolved teeth are falling apart and all of a sudden I’m thinking like an eighty year old man: “If I hadn’t decided after a year to go to the dentist randomly, I never would have known about the tooth problem and I would have gone on living just find until I felt some pain. So this isn’t an issue. I’ll ignore it and be happy and healthy like I was before!” The logic is so simple, yet so flawed. Now that I know what’s there, I FEEEL it. I feel the problem growing, manifesting its stress and doom in my mouth. Taking over my body. Goddamn you my teeth—what happened? Was it the lack of flossing? You know you didn’t want to be flossed. Was it the lack of Listerine, who’s sting I spared my taste buds? Or was it the forty chocolate bars I ate over the last month, stacking pile of sugar on top of pile of sugar in every crevice of my never-saited maw? I’m going to blame the liberal media, for propagating the dentists’ lies of necessary tooth-care that have been woven into our very society and culture. OVER CLEANING! That’s what I blame. We have scrubbed the resistance right off the teeth. Left our gums exposed. They wagged the dog with “Gingivitis” and “Root Canals” and now we are suffering the consequences. We have gone against Evolution. We have gone against Nature. Our teeth are weak. And it might be too late to do anything about it.


Friday, April 13, 2007

Witz DOESN'T Pick: Scarring Children For Life

I know, I know-- it's big move for me to NOT pick Scarring Children for Life, but since I haven't posted on the subject before, I thought I ought to make my position known. I'm against it. And because it's Friday the 13th, I'll tell you why.

When I was young-- younger than I ought to have been-- my friends and I watched the "Friday the 13th" movies during a sleepover birthday party. I don't know if it was actually Friday the 13th or if it was just some USA/TNT marathon, but we saw at least 3 full movies. Turns out that mental patients going crazy and hacking other people to pieces and then having Jason enter the picture and kill everyone else was not something I found UNfrightening. The whole mirror shot of someone is behind me "reveal" has always freaked me out, and this might have been the first time I saw it. 6 hours of terror later, we went to bed, or as I liked to call it, "Turned off the lights so I could glance around at the pitch black room, hearing every noise as a psychotic killer come to chop me into pieces." We were goofing around and making some noise, so instead of a psycho, it was my friend's mom who entered the room angrily. And let me tell you-- she almost got karate chopped/kicked by a dozen of her son's friends. I did not sleep that night.

After that night, I had a number of nightmares and when I was still envisioning monsters in closets and killers on the loose, it was always Jason Voorhees who was coming for me. It also led to this fun little nightmare:

Mulder from the X-Files is walking alone in old-town Europe-- I'm thinkin' Prague, though I've never been. Somethin's up, I know that for sure, and I can feel the evil, so my nightmares are apparently cliche. Anyway, Mulder steps on some bricks at an excavation site and suddenly the bricks break away and fall down a hole into some water. The splashing of the bricks (and checkout this sick Physics tie-in) against the water causes a body to float to the top, and that body is revealed to be...JASON from Friday the 13th. I see his eyes open and wake the hell up, because I don't need that shit.

So anyway, that is why I am against scarring children for life. Abuse, sexual, mental or physical I'm also against. The whole fake leaving your kid in a Supermarket also isn't spectacular, but I'd take it over the whole unseen murderer thing. I still occasionally think I'm going to look up into the mirror after shaving and have someone there, waiting to kill me and steal my shitty over-heating laptop and scattered coinage while my body drains into the bathtub. Here are some other things that I/we now fear thanks to horror movies:

-A hot naked girl randomly showing up in my home (possibly the worst consequence of a film ever)
-The Ocean
-Flesh eating bacteria-- alright, you got me, I always feared that one.

I wish it were Fry-day the 13th-- I'm hungry!


Witz Pickz: Lever's Incredible Gall

"For all your 2000 parts," they say. They tell us this and we say, OK, that seems convenient. And frankly, I think I'm alright with 2000 parts. I figure, if Lever 2000 cleans 2000 of my parts, I will be CLEAN ENOUGH. You know? 2000 is a big number, and as long as some MAJOR parts are covered, I feel like I can easily get by with 2000 parts being clean at any given time. The question must arrive, at some point or another, however, of "Do we really have 2000 parts? Are there more? Less?"

This question is important. I'll say that up front. I mean, what if we have 2008 parts and one of the parts the 2000 DOESN'T cover is your ass?

"Did you bath today?"
"Huh. Then why do you smell TERRIBLE?"
"Oh, haha, that's just my ass. I use Lever 2000 and it doesn't include my ass part. Also, you're very up front today and apparently have none of the same social folkways as the rest of us."

This would lead to me having to purchase ANOTHER brand of soap to take care of my non-cleanliness insured parts. Probably Irish Spring (new marketing slogan, "For your ass and pits.") or Dial ("Cleaned your pubes lately?"-- yeah, that's the first "pubes" reference on Witz Pickz-- clearly I'm running out of things to say). Anyway, it just seems odd, "For all your 2000 parts." It's too round a number. There's no way Nature was like, "1998, 1999, aaaaand 2000. There. Done." I mean the Appendex issue alone should void the 2000 belief. At the very least Lever should say, "Lever 2000, for your 2000 or 1999 parts." Or just keep it vague and say, "Lever 2000, for your 2000 or so parts." That I would buy. Lucky for me, I don't have to deal with the issue at all. I can't afford Lever 2000. I use, like, Target brand soap. Their slogan is, "Target brand soap: honestly, you couldn't spot up the extra buck for something that works?" When I'm lucky I use Dove soap. Their slogan is, "Dove: For guys who forget to buy soap and are ok smelling like their girlfriends." And you know what? I AM ok with that.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Witz Pickz: DEXTER (the TV Series)

This is a Monday pick. Meaning this is something worth kicking off your week with, indulging in all week, and integrating into your life. This will get you through the day. Then, when it's gone, you will sit alone, trembling, itching your arms, wanting more.

The show is Dexter. I have not trusted in a show so implicitly since the fifth season of The West Wing. From the first episode to the season finale, I placed my faith in the writers’ hands and did not doubt them for a minute. I haven’t been able to say that about any show in a long, long time. I would go so far as to say this is the best show I’ve seen, from start to finish of the first season in at least 8 years.


Honestly, I’m not even going to tell you. I mentioned a small bit about it in a previous post, but having now seen the whole season and gone back to think about it, I don’t want to ruin ANYTHING. I can sum it up and give you a general plot outline, but then you wouldn’t get to experience the coolest details as surprises. Going in completely blind, with only a vague notion of what the show is about made it even better and more enjoyable, so I will leave you with the same. I will say that is can be creepy, it can be hilarious, and it can be very interesting in its examination of human character. As I said, the writing is superb, the acting spot on, and the whole direction and sound is fantastic, too. I was bored for maybe 15 minutes total out of….well….12 times 48 minutes of watching. You need to see this show, at least give it a shot.


That’s the funny part. First of all, it’s on Showtime, so you’re not gonna get to see it. Secondly, it’s in the interim between season one and season two, so you can’t even watch it, although they probably have reruns out of order or it could be OnDemand. It hasn’t been around long enough to be released on DVD yet, so you can’t get it there either. Your best bet is to use a downloading client such as Bittorrent to acquire the episodes and watch them, but I’m sure you could also buy homemade DVD’s of the show online for like 20 bucks. Not that I endorse either of those practices. I’ve just somehow seen the show. I do have all of the episodes if you live nearby and would like to “borrow” them. Look, just email me is what I’m saying—we’ll talk. The next season IS happening and is slated for later in 2007, so that’s ambiguous as all hell. I’ve already lost Huff to Showtime’s non-following, so I just pray that we don’t lose Dexter as well.


P.S. It appears that Dexter is based on a series of books written originally in the early-mid 80's by Jeff Lindsay which are now being reprinted with a new novel coming out soon. If they are anywhere near as good as the show, I will be reading them soon.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Witz Pickz: Inadvertent Hilarity in Commercials

Ok-- I know, I've been slacking..BARELY! Get over yourselves! What, you think that just because I now know I have a reader in Tally Ho, Australia that I'm going to feel responsible and write on a daily basis for the rest of my life?? HARDLY.

Now that I've laid down the law and set lower standards, listen to this pick!

There's this one commercial that I'm sure is a national commercial and that everyone has seen. It's the Credit Score commercial. The first one went, "85. Do you know what that is? It's my credit score. Do you know your credit score? Want to? Do you like being inappropriate with small children? I do. Is that wrong? Let's talk," or something like that. Anyway, a new commercial came out that gets me every time.

The guy sits on the chair with his screen and says, "I'm thinking of a number. Do you know what it is?" And this is where the punchline comes in, "It's two-million," he tells us-- completely straight faced. TWO MILLION!!! Who is supposed to guess TWO MILLION. THAT'S ABSURD. "Is it twenty-three?" Nope! TWO MILLION. The guy didn't even give us any parameters. Then he has the gall to continue, "That's the number of people who got their free online credit report last year." It's like he's never played guessing games before and is working in the reverse order. Here's how sane people talk: "Guess how many people got their free credit report online last year? (Pause) Two million!" And why do we have to guess? Just tell me. If you want me to know your product, don't involve me in a guessing game where I'm speaking to the television. You don't need to pause for my response. I probably am not going to guess above 1,000. It's like the Mitch Hedberg joke, "My lucky number is 4 billion. It doesn't help me out very much." At least both Mitch and Credit have provided us with some humor.

Witz (is borderline getting sick again!!)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Witz Pickz: Mozilla Firefox & The Google Pack

"Witz has gone so fucking corporate."

I can hear it now. The new look. The search bar. The Firefox download link and the Google Pack download bar. Witz has sold out.


Truth of the matter is that Witz has gone way uncorporate. So uncorporate that I needed a well-established corporation to provide me with the assistance necessary, because only they have the resources available for me at a reasonable price.

You see, first there was corporate. Then there was post-corporate, when corporations became horrible beasts and counterculture revolted against them. Now there is post-post-corporate, when disliking major corporations and rebelling against them with our counterculture has actually spawned counter-culture corporations such as Google and Miramax, and MTV1-9 + MTVespanol. These, in turn, have become mainstream cultural corporations. Now, if I've done my job correctly, you will either a) so mind blown or b) so confused by my unlogic that you will simply agree with my thesis and move on. So let us move on.

While I have recently added additions to the website which I hope will increase some revenue without ruining the browsing and reading experience, I ACTUALLY VOUCH AND SUPPORT the products I have added. After using Mozilla Firefox, as millions have by now, I have found it to be absolutely fantastic. Tabbed browsing, tons of plug-ins that allow for awesome features such as FoxyTunes (music player control built into your browser so you don't have to minimize anything-- plus it has a sweet search feature that you can click on the song and search for numerous info on the band/song/album/lyric-- very cool), or IE View (view a page as if it were in IE), or FileGrabber (download YouTube video files for keeps). There are tons of these sweet plug-ins that make browsing easier and appease your OCD cravings, and the whole browser works without tapping into your operating system files that make windows viruses so potent and plentiful. So it's safer AND cooler. Also, Mozilla sounds like a mythical monster, and you want that monster on YOUR side! Plus, I get 1 dollar every time someone follows the link from my page and downloads the free browser.

The Google Pack has all sorts of useful freeware (do we still use "freeware" or did that die with Defender of the Crown?) and plug-ins to make searching better, adware and spyware destroyed, and your computer virus protected. You should definitely check it out. I say "definitely" because not only is it a good product, but I get 2 dollars for every download and install via the site. Clever, huh?

So don't take this as self-profiteering madness/genius, but simply as Witz picking something else that I always would have picked, while actually managing to find a way to profit from it. Because you aren't always the ones who profit from my pickz. It's not all cinnamon and Weeds. Sometimes it's Mozilla Firefox, Google Pack, and post-counter-corporate reverse-guerilla marketing pseudo-hobbies.

"I still think Witz has gone fucking corporate...",


Monday, April 02, 2007

Witz Pickz: Baseball

I don't know how it happened, but the rainy, cold, and bafflingly snowy (if you're on the west coast), or bafflingly un-snowy (if you're on the east), or...who the hell knows what the weather's like in the mid-west (unless you're from the midwest), suddenly turned into-- well it's still cold here, but the point is, it's April 2nd. I feel like it's a postmodern April Fool's joke where for April 1st, they lie and tell you it's April 2nd and then somehow it's actually still February. But the winter is actually somehow over, and when I went home for lunch this morning, I watched my Boston Red Sox get their asses kicked by the Kansas City Royals-- with a smile on my face (well, and also I was really really pissed and yelled at my television)-- but that's why I love baseball. Very few things can both relax me and cause me severe stress and pain. One of these things is Taco Bell cuisine, another is baseball. The seemingly ubiquitous spring, summer, and fall weather, shining through the television or radio to your lazy ears and eyes. The sound of announcers speaking knowledgeably about their teams. Falling asleep to the crackle of static and the cracks of bats or the smacks of the ball hitting the mitt. Nothing embodies the coming warmth of spring or the sought after laziness of summer like baseball, be it in the forefront or in the background. Its existence is enough. I'm glad baseball is back-- any longer a wait and I would have had to ponder the timeless question of "but where will I bury the bodies?" Instead I can relax.

Baseball Cards:
Nothing is nicer than knowing that all the money my parents and I spent on my baseball card collection back in the day will come back to me gloriously as a wad of cash 1/3 the value of my collection at a local pawn shop. I might not get as much money as I spent, but I'm getting it now, when my brain functions and I am able to accrue debt.

Is there a greater lazy man's sport? I think not. Wiffleball was invented by a bunch of drunken fat guys. When one man hit the ball between the 1st and 2nd baseman and began to run, his friends said, "Wait just a minute, my friend. Stay right there. No need to run. We'll just call that...a single." The batter replied, "But what of my hit that rolled to the bushes?" to which the wise, large, clearly drunken men with hot dogs and nacho breath replied, "We deem it a triple-- yes, a triple sounds fair." And so it was.

Take Me Out To the Ballgame...Please?....I Can't Afford to Go.....