Friday, June 29, 2007

Witz Pickz: Oats, Boats, Moats, and MORE

Some of you more clever and involved readers might notice that today is Friday. What's more, you might notice that I haven't posted since Monday, which is to say, "In a few days." In the last 3 days, I have driven the monster drive from Seattle to Palo Alto, where I will now live for the next year. In fact, I drove down in one fell swoop, the 13.5 hour Extended DVD version of the Drive (not to be confused with the short lived tv show "Drive" which lasted about 3 episodes and involved lots of driving-- although my drive ALSO involved lots of driving, Nathan Fillion was far less involved, which made it significantly less full of witty banter) which was both glorious and exhausting. But you know what they say, "after the first 12 hours, you really get your second wind and barely notice the last 1.5." How specific a saying! The big news here is simply that I defeated mapquest and google maps. They spoke of a 13.5 hour drive, which I beat by a ten minutes (it was actually 13 hours: 20 minutes here), and included three short breaks for stretching and gas, and one 20 minute opening credits detour through Seattle when the hood of my car popped open (the latch thankfully held) and I had to pull off the highway in order to...well...not die horribly. But now I'm here, alive and well, finally feeling good, and with a bunch of pickz to present to you. Here they are:

Barbara's Shredded Oats: Purchased for $3.23 at Trader Joe's, these little suckers come in a large box and actually taste really really good. I can't explain it, but the texture and taste are perfect, and they're good for you, which is nice. More so, I really enjoy the idea of Barbara sitting at home watching her "stories" and shredding oats into a big pile while yelling, "When will you learn that he won't treat you right!" at the television. Barbara also has the cereal "Puffins", which thankfully, are not shredded.

Boats: and airplanes for that matter. Has it occurred to anyone that we have created vehicles that are able to FLOAT IN WATER AND TRANSPORT PEOPLE ACROSS THE OCEAN and FLY THROUGH THE AIR AT RIDICULOUS SPEEDS??? Because recently those facts occurred to me and blew my mind. What arrogant fools we are! Wilbur and Other Guy Wright (this is the epitome of my education-- I remember about half of all historical and scientific facts, making them mostly useless, but certainly mildly present. I am able to prove that I did, in fact, go to school and know about the Wright Brothers, but would be entirely incapable of holding a legitimate conversation about them. Same goes for, "Oh, I know how to make this bubble up-- just mix baking soda with--.....) were cocky bastards, but I'm sure, if they saw what we do now they'd say, "Oh my, well we didn't mean for you to fly hundreds of people in ENGINE based planes across MASSIVE CONTINENTS! That's a bit much, no?"

Moats: I guess I just like moats a lot because first people built something of worth such as a village or castle. Then other people wanted to go to that place and/or take it over. Then said towns/castlefolk decided they didn't want those other admirers/aggressors in their location, so they BUILT A GIANT HOLE IN THE GROUND AROUND THE ENTIRE THING! And then, after they did that? They FILLED IT WITH WATER! I love it. I just want to see the reaction they got the first time some guy at a meeting brought up:

-Well, what if we build a hole around us? We can use like, a retractable board to come and go.
-What, like, made of balsawood?
-I dunno, oak perhaps?
-That sounds sturdy.
-And what of the porcullis? Can we keep that?
-Of course we can, the porcullis is inexplicably awesome.
-But what of this hole? It sounds difficult.
-Who will dig this hole?
-And won't it be expensive?
-And what if the tide rises?

And then moats existed.

Some bands to check out:

The Blue Scholars - great hip hop out of Seattle. They have a brand new album, "Bayani" that you can probably get online.

The Blakes - great rock-ish group out of Seattle via a bunch of other cities including LA and Vancouver, BC. New album out now or soon.

Aiden - Goth punk group reminiscent of Alkaline Trio and currently Bayside. These guys have some good stuff worth checking out.

Beirut - I would call this my top musical pick of the bunch. Beirut sounds like a drunken orchestra striding through the streets playing the soundtrack to their own march out of tragedy and depression. The lead singer said that he wanted his vocals to sound like he may or may not be drunk (probably because that was the case), and in a local live radio performance from SXSW, the lead guy is very cool and friendly. Check em out.

Returning With Consistency Soon,

Monday, June 25, 2007

Witz Pickz: Ichiro Suzuki Quotes

This isn't much, but it's a speck to cover Monday. Did you go back and read Friday's monster post? Did you RE-read it? You probably missed SOMETHING. I mean, your boss entered the area, you got distracted by incoming email, you sneezed and lost track of things. SOMETHING. So go and do that. In the meantime, here's a quote from Ichiro Suzuki, center fielder for the Seattle Mariners:

"To tell the truth, I'm not excited to go to
Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw
myself saying I'm excited going to Cleveland,
I'd punch myself in the face, because I'm lying."

There are probably plenty more great Ichiro quotes. Just altavista "Funny Ichiro Quotes"-- er, I mean google it. But that's EXACTLY WHAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE IF ALTAVISTA WON THE SEARCH ENGINE BATTLE!

Now here's a funny picture:

"Are You Not Entertained?",

Friday, June 22, 2007

Witz Pickz: One Post to Rule Them All -- An UberPick

When a Witz post kicks it off with a Lord of the Rings reference, you know ish is going down. I've meant to post all week, but various things have kept me from doing so. Thus, I give you the UBERPOST. A post involving so many different things that you will be saited for the entirety of the previous week...or something like that.

In fact, this post will reference so many previous posts that you will be forced to stay on the site for more minutes than ever before, which I will then see on Google Analytics. This will be especially true for you "Google search keyword 'that Lever 2000 song' Boy." And don't think I'm not talking about you, "Person who searched for 'Little pussey' and came up with a story about my tonsils Guy." That's right folks, with Google Analytics, I can see where my hits are coming from, and it turns out I actually get some hits from Google searches. In fact, I can now honestly answer the question, "Witz, do you get a lot of people browsing for porn on your site?" with the answer, "Yes! Not only do I get the ones searching for porn, but I get the ones searching for porn who can't spell correctly!" And really, isn't that the general audience I'm going for? Here's my thinking: If even one person who is searching for "LITTLE pussey" ends up at Witz Pickz instead of the alternative-- then I've done this world a LITTLE good. So I would like to now nominate myself for Humanitarian Website of the Year Award (that phrase might get some google keyword hits). In addition, I'd like to add "The Office, Paris Hilton, Bill Simmons, Tiger Woods, Mulch, Donkey Kong, Mr. Show, Donkey Show, FREE QUIZNOS COUPONS, and The State."

So check it. You know my Substantially Below Average Human Immune System? Well, since quitting my job and being Unemployed (emphatically), I've been sick about 30 out of the 40 days. As you, well informed, consistently curious reader who doesn't jump ship just because Witz has been missing for a day or two weeks, know, I had tonsilitis right after quitting my job which led to Airline Mis-Adventure and ultimately resolved itself around Day 8 or 9 of the Penicillin process. I was then healthy for a bit of my time at home before getting a weird feeling in my throat and nose, and probably tonsils and sinuses. This happened the day before I left to return to the West Coast. Now, this might not have manifested into much of anything if I hadn't then had one of the worst travel days ever.

Flying Continental Airlines, My flight from Hartford to Newark (a 30 minute flight), was delayed from 1:20pm to 4:45pm (we boarded, parked the plane in the far reaches of the airport, then drove back and deboarded about 2 hours later) due to storms approaching vaguely from the west. The plan was therefore to WAIT UNTIL THE STORMS PASSED US. AWESOME. So we waited and eventually got to Newark at 5:25, the time my connecting flight to Seattle was supposed to take off. So I sprint off the plane, hoping for a few minute delay that will allow me to reach to flight and arrive in Seattle on time. No worries, mate, because when I arrive at the DEPARTURES Board, I see that the flight has been DELAYED until 10PM! That'll gimme a few extra minutes to buy some water. Luckily, back in Hartford, they had also booked me on the 8:10 out of Newark in case we missed the connection, so I wouldn't have to wait until 10 PM after all. Phew.

Feeling worse and worse as the day went on, I tried to stay hydrated, but was unable to sleep at all since they refused to delay any flights outright, but only in 15 minute increments. I needed to actually get a ticket for the 8:10 flight, so I couldn't even sleep in between the 5:25 and the 8:10 timeframe, I had to wait until somebody manned the booth so I could jump in line. 7:30pm was the time this happened. So I get in line and talk to the Continental rep who doesn't understand why I would be booked on two flights to the same place, but does look like George Lopez, so I trust him. I explain it several times and finally he gets me a ticket, says the flight WILL leave on time and that my luggage will still be coming in on the 10pm flight. Fine. I don't care. Get me to Seattle.

8:10 comes around and all of a sudden we find out that our flight is ready to go, before I say this, I need to have you all think of what is important for a plane to have in order to fly anywhere.....think you've got it? Good. Here's what they say, "We're all set here, ready to go, but we don't actually have A PILOT!!!" They don't have anyone to FLY THE PLANE. Oopsies and whatnot. So we wait. Once again, they don't give us hard times, they just say, "We'll have an update in 15 minutes" as if once they find someone they will just have us hop in and take off right away. As 9pm approaches and I hear, "We're currently trying to locate a pilot in the greater NY/NJ area," I decide I'd better beat the rush and head over to the 10pm flight to see if I can get back on with my luggage. I sprint across the airport to the other gate where a much younger, off-the-cuff girl gets me a seat back on the plane with my luggage. She entirely understands my situation, gets me a better seat than I had before, and assures me that the plane HAS A PILOT. Sold.

10pm comes and goes for the 8:10 flight, and we board the 10pm flight anxiously. All night we've been hearing announcements of runway delays of upwards of THREE HOURS from pushback to takeoff. That phrase has become a nightmare for me. Pushback to Takeoff. In a completely unreligious and aetheistic way, I pray to God to get us off the ground and to Seattle. Non-God grants me this wish, and with only a 30 minute runway delay, we take off, make up time in the air (which is always so money. The pilot always says it so cavalier, like he's gonna do us this solid despite Air Traffic warnings, because he's been around a bit and he's not like those other stodgy pilots who brake for pigeons. HE'S...gonna make up some time in the air), and get to Seattle by 1am which of course feels like 4am. by 2am(5am) I get my bags and am home and ready to go to sleep by 6am Standard Body Time. Fun.

For the average human being this wouldn't be a problem. People go without sleep. They just do. It's ok. People "don't feel good" and manage to "heal" because they "have to." Me? I get some vague disease that lasts for ten days straight (fingers crossed, but I'm feeling a lot better today. Not BETTER, but at least more specifically NOT ALRIGHT, instead of the vagueness of THE DISEASE which I have dubbed "Cancaidsabetes-- yes, a theoretical combination of cancer, AIDS, and diabetes. Am I bad person? Yes. Does Cancaidsabetes kinda sound like a breath mint? Yes. Does this mean I don't have it? NO). So that is why my posts have been both very consistent and very sporadic over the last few weeks.


Remember when my teeth were imploding and Asshole Dentists wanted to charge me unholy amounts of money to take care of my Naturally Defunct Teeth? Well, Witz Pickz Dental Victories, readers, because I did what any unemployed, broke, procrastinator would do-- I ran home to my childhood dentist. That's right-- the dentist who's opinion I like. Who says things like, "It's not getting any worse, but it might get better," instead of, "I think I could fit about 375 of your dollars in there, yeah!" So while I was home, I went back to my old dentist for a FREE CONSULT which was amazing considering my new dentist charged me 20 bucks for a tube of toothpaste and 21 bucks for them to EMAIL my records to my other dentist. So they check out my teeth and here's what they say, "I can't say that they are absolutely wrong, but there is no way I would tell you to get those filled. I wouldn't tell my own kids to have those things filled at this point. You've only had one cavity your whole life, and now suddenly you have FOUR? I think they were trying to just get as much money as possible out of you while you were there." HA! And then he said this, "You were right to trust your instincts." MY INSTINCTS! The ones that say, "Pizza is ALWAYS a good idea," and "Health Insurance isn't important! You don't get SICK very often, right?" were actually right in this case! HA! He also told me that $350 was WAY high for WHITE FILLINGS (see), and that nobody uses silver fillings anymore (good idea). He pointed out another tooth that he had mentioned before could use a filling ("It's not getting any worse, but it won't get any better") and offered to fill it sans insurance for $190. Look at that. Look. At. That. Now obviously there's the possibility that my old dentist is massively incompetent and always has been. BUT. I have never experienced any tooth pain in my years, and am happy to believe that I can make do with only 1 filling instead of 4.

A Victory Nonetheless (should be a band name),

P.S. "Gigantic Crocks, Newd Girls, XXX: Not the Movie"

Monday, June 18, 2007

Witz Pickz: "Man vs. Wild"

You better believe I pick The Discovery Channel's "Man vs. Wild." I pick it almost as emphatically as unemployment. You know how BAD my immune system is? This show is as GOOD as my immune system is BAD. "Uh-oh, Witz is sick and watching The Discovery Channel again-- don't listen to him..."

NO. Incorrect. Well, no, I mean yes, I am under the weather and yes, I was watching The Discovery Channel, but not like you think. You see, I was watching on a tv that didn't have cable, and so after a few minutes of watching the Mariners get their asses kicked, I was flipping channels and struck on "Man vs. Wild." I knew it was MvW because the television from 1986 that I was watching it on inexplicably had the capacity to tell me so-- I assume it's the cable that told me, but it only gets like 5 channels, why would it also include the TV GUIDE BOTTOM LINE feature?? Whatever. So I'm watching the show, flipping channels, when all of a sudden, this guy says in a British accent, "And although I've now made it over the waterfall and into the snake basin, I'll need to build a fire quickly, because I'm chaffing, and that's less than pleasant."


SOLD PEOPLE. I. Was. Sold!

For the next EIGHT HOURS, I watched Bear Grylls (former British Special Forces thirty-ish who has climbed Everest at 23 yrs old). You see, the premise of the show is simple: Bear Grylls, an affable, optimistic, understated guy with a little Christian Bale look to him gets dropped via parachute or rope in the middle of various dangerous terrains. The idea is that he goes into places where tourists get lost and killed. He then uses his survival skills (he brings only a knife and clothes, and sometimes a flint) to find his way to "Rescue" which usually means a tiny village. The flint is clearly extraneous as he makes fire about 50 different ways and can tell direction just as cleverly. He's basically just the man, and it's very fun to see him get back to civilization, especially when he casually eats snakes, turtles, grubs, etc. along the way. What gives the show it's appeal, however, or at least it's ultimate appeal, is Bear's quirky Britishness. I was 100% sold on the show after hearing Bear say,

"Listen, listen. Can you hear that? Bees! I can definitely hear bees! And if I can get to their hive, and to their honey-- well, that would be ace!"

He's in the middle of the Costa Rican jungle, avoiding snakes, bugs, and dangerous terrain, but he hears bees and loves honey, so off he goes. You see, he already had food, and this shows how cool he is. He just says, oh yeah, if I can just find the bees, find the hive, fight through the bees to the hive, and steal THE HONEY, that'll be tops! And of course he does it. He creates a torch that he makes smoke to calm the bees so he can approach and then steal the honey out of the hive and then eats it like a five year old child with honey dripping down his face.

Since watching the show just yesterday, I've been wanting to get dropped somewhere and have to try and survive. But maybe like, Costco instead of Costa Rica, or The Connecticut Coast instead of The African Plains. The public pool instead of The Florida Everglades...stuff like that. I guess mostly I just want to have to feel good about eating a Chipotle Burrito for lunch far too often. God they taste good. And only five dollars-- what was I saying? Right. Man vs. Wild. Awesome.

MvW is now on their second season. The show airs 9pm on Fridays and repeats on Saturdays.

Bear Grylls Would OWN Survivor,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Witz Pickz: Sunday Stories -- The Price by Neil Gaiman

I mentioned the other day a new feature on Witz Pickz that I am calling Sunday Stories(z). People like readin', Sunday's are lazy, and Monday's sometimes need a little extra punch to get you through the day. So I will try every Sunday to post a story of my own, someone I know, or a link to a story by someone else. Part selfish, part humanitarian act, this is Sunday Stories.

This week's story is The Price by Neil Gaiman, one of my favorite authors (Neverwhere, American Gods). The Price is from a collection of short stories, and every time I read it, I get chills and wish I had written it. Since I don't really know what copyright laws are all about, here's a link to SOMEONE ELSE who has it online. Enjoy.

The Price by Neil Gaiman


Friday, June 15, 2007

Witz Pickz: Season 4 of Rescue Me

Here's a quick one for Friday folks: Rescue Me season four started wednesday night and it is still worth watching. It's been a while since season three of the Dennis Leary/Peter Tolan firefighting/womanizing/alcoholizing/jokifying stunt spectacular, so it's interesting to remember what happened and see where they are taking it. There is a lot of drama to live up to and sort through, but this season kicks off with an almost playful feel and a much larger jokes to drama ratio than in previous seasons. That bodes well for the whole series, because the past few seasons have gone way too far on the drama tip and left a lot to be desired from the cast and writers that are brimming with talent. Maybe it has been too long for me to remember, but this season seems to have a much FASTER and SNAPPIER approach, and I'm excited to see what they have in store for the season.

That's all for Friday. Check out Rescue Me on FX Wednesday nights at 10pm. And enjoy the weekend-- look out for a new feature on Sunday (pending remembering).


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Witz Pickz: Baffling Scientific Happenings!

Yes I watched Mr. Wizard as a child, and No I don't understand much about science. The closest I've come in recent years to being able to explain a scientific process or system was describing how the Fraggles and Doozers co-exist in a symbiotic relationship. Other than that....

So you can imagine my confusion yesterday when I encountered an incredible and baffling scientific happening while driving my car and talking on my cell phone. Unlike most assholes, I was on my cell phone as a joke. I was driving back from a soccer game when my friend ended up in front of me at a stoplight. We goofed around for a minute and then I promptly drove past her. She retaliated with a phone call and a biting quip regarding my car's transmission (those are the best kind of quips, aren't they?) and as I heard her talking on my cell phone, she pulled up next to me in her car. THIS IS WHERE THE SCIENTIFIC MYSTERY TOOK PLACE! I was able to hear her saying things on the cell phone BEFORE seeing her mouth form the words in the car next to me. I immediately thought up the problem:

Two cars are travelling at 40 mph on a parallel path heading north. The driver of each car is on their cell phone with the other. If a cell tower stands several miles away, at a height of approximately 100 feet, and images travel at the speed of light-- HOW THE EFF CAN I HEAR THE WORDS BEFORE I SEE THEM???

Please, somebody tell me! Because I literally heard the words and then looked over to see them being formed. We were three feet apart! Light moves fast! The sound had to travel to a network tower and then to my cell phone right? At the very least, it had to travel from her mouth to a cell phone receiver, to my cell phone receiver, out my speaker to my ear. That's a lotta ways for sound to go. Light's just BAM, THERE.

When I mentioned it on the phone, she said she noticed the same thing. So, assuming I'm not crazy (50 to 1 odds) and assuming we are not BOTH psychic (5000 to 1 odds) and assuming we both do not have Nicholas Cage's ability to see "a few minutes into the future" as in his new film "Next" (500,000 to 1), WHAT WAS GOING ON??? Somebody must know, because I, clearly, am baffled.

Who Will Be the Science Sleuth?,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Witz Pickz: A Day Off OR DOES HE??

There have been 80 posts on Witz Pickz, and after finally arriving back on the west coast after a marathon day of airports and flying, exhaustion and brain deadedness drained me of a post today. Since it's 9:30pm PST anyway, no one's readin' this on Wednesday, but I wanted to let you all know that I didn't forget about you-- just didn't have it in me. Perhaps I will think of something clever by the end of this paragraph and will pick it but I doubt that'll--

--Anti-Oxidants RULE! They're like the Musketeers of the vitamin world. They go through your body and round up all the free radicals floating in your midsts and then lead them to their death. They are the ultimate vigilante's in that they strike BEFORE the free radicals have time to do things like give you cancer or sunburn (who knows!?). For some reason, Free Radicals remind me of two things: the Neutrinos from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon back in the day, and of the movie 12 Monkeys. I don't know why this is, but somehow I see them as this backwards hippie group that means well but ends up setting free caged animals who then spread disease, mess up the environment, and die in the wild. But back to Anti-Oxidants. AO For Vendetta. Titan A.O. In French Ne-Oxidants-Pas. I like them also because they aren't afraid to say what they mean. You know what they stand for. It's like if the Jews were called the No Christs. Or if models were called The Foodless. You know what you're getting up front. Anyway, I've been on an AO kick for a while now, pounding green tea like it called me names. There's something satisfying in knowing that I'm not just fulfilling my liquid thirst requirement, but also setting free roving bands of no-holds barred avengers into my system. That's something to be happy about.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Witz Pickz: Nature Enhanced Blog Diligence

This Witz Pickz is brought to you by: Massive airline delays!

So I'm sitting on the floor of the airport wondering how long it will take for my oversized heater of a laptop to set the carpet on fire and waiting for the latest update on when my stupid half hour flight to my connector flight will be actually leaving the air. Good thing I woke up this morning wondering "when will I get to post for Witz Pickz this fine Tuesday?"

So I'm going ahead and picking Nature Enhanced Blog Dilligence. Ordinarily, I would have said, "oh well" and missed a post. But thanks to events entirely out of my control, I am now entirely capable of writing this post-- thanks Nature! This should happen more often in our lives. For instance-- I wasn't able to acquire my favorite pizza while I have been on the east coast. My reaction? "Oh well." Nature should have stepped in, dropped a mini tornado into my town and whisked me away to City Pizza for me to eat. Or when I say I'm going to write a book or movie review or screenplay and don't-- Nature should make it snow or hail or sleet or WINTRY MIX (worst ever) forcing me to stay inside and write...or watch movies....

But this is silly-- here are some other pickz:

Whipped Cream -- Never a downside.

The Terminal -- Being here reminded me that I kinda liked that movie. I'm getting my gear ready for the long haul now.

Mangos -- If you don't want one, you're probably mistaking them for something gringos.

Forts -- Again, airport got to me, but I love forts, and anyone NOT at The Alamo will tell you the same.

Chicken -- THE white meat.

Polar Ice Caps -- If the ice caps melt, nobody will be able to refer to their bling'd out teeth as "ice caps." The reference will be lost.

Thunderstorms -- I AM WAY AGAINST THEM.

Possibly talk to you later.

Airborne Is No Longer Just A Medicine-- It Is My Dream,

Monday, June 11, 2007

Witz Pickz: Quick Pickz

My goodness-- why would they put another Monday right after Sunday?? Here are some quick picks to give you some search engine fodder for the day.

Big Papi: The Book -- If you care at all about the Red Sox and Big Papi, this book is worth reading. It's a fast read and you really understand the guy, which helps when he is in a bad stretch, you can remember that he is working hard and used to HIT BOTTLECAPS WITH BROOMSTICKS as a child!

John From Cincinnatti -- Ok, no, I don't know how to spell Cincinnati and no, I don't care to look it up. This will be the one time I have to write it. Now listen-- this show is going to be awesome. After watching the premier episode last night, I was enthralled by the dialogue and characters and would bet money that this show will happily surprise and entice many the off-beat viewer. I give it one to two seasons tops, though.

The Sopranos -- for those of you who saw it and care, the Sopranos season finale can be summed up as this. David Chase* = Worse Than Hitler.

Big Love Season Two: Starts tonight and I really don't care. That show is overhyped and I've already seen all the goods that Bill Paxton plans on showing me (aka a lotta BP's ass).

Driving Barefooted -- Illegal driving style or delightful treat? I say the latter.

Keepin' The Streak Alive,

*David Chase was originally posted as "David Kelly." David Chase should be so lucky...

Friday, June 08, 2007

Witz Pickz: Visual Onomatopoeia

It occurred to me during a conversation online the other day, that there is such a thing as visual onomatopoeia. And this makes me very excited. You see, usually words like SLAM! and SMACK! and BAM! and DANNY GLOVER! are known as onomatopoeia, or, for those of you who didn't graduate 3rd grade, words that sound the same as what they mean. That's probably not the dictionary definition (I looked, something about words formed from the sound that they make...which is basically the same thing only it doesn't give enough credit to the words), but it's what we're working with. "Is DOUCHEBAG onomatopoeia, Witz?" Whoah, ok, I here ya Reader, let's keep moving.

Visual onomatopoeia, as I am deciding it, is, therefore, when a word LOOKS like its meaning. I think this is very exciting. For example:


is visual onomatopoeia. According to means "to look at amorously, flirtatiously, or impertinently." We all know that it really means "to stare at ones boobs or buttocks." To ogle. Clearly, OGGLING, esp if you spell it incorrectly like I originally did, looks exactly like boobs or buttocks. Visual onomatopoeia. Incidentally, BOOBS is another one. Hehe, yeah it is.

What are some others? Hammock has the \____/ letter formation, so that's sweet. MORMAN feels very dead on, though I couldn't tell you why. SNAKES could be one. How do I know? There's no manual for this sort of thing, no wikipedia...I don't think. But I'm glad it's here now-- it makes life way more interesting and titillating (there's one).

To conclude, I would just like to say that no matter how much you enjoyed or did not enjoy this post, I bet none of you saw "visual onomatopoeia" coming. And I think that says something. After 78 posts, I can still pull something like this out for you all.

Thought of some more examples? Post them in the comments!

Ogle This,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Witz Has No Idea If He Pickz: "Six Feet Under"

By all accounts, Six Feet Under is/was an amazing television show. It ran five strong seasons on HBO and is having incredible DVD sales including the 100+ dollar complete series set that came out just before last Christmas. I recently pounded my way through all five seasons (which is to say, watched all within a one-month time period, finishing up the final two seasons in less than a week) and really don't know what I think of it all. Here's why:

I went into the show expecting it to be great, so my expectations were probably already high-- but then, everyone says that shouldn't matter because IT IS that good. Unfortunately, while I RECOGNIZED that the writing was great and the acting well done, and the characters perfectly cast, I kept becoming consistently BORED. For the most part, I think it's because I didn't thoroughly enjoy any of the characters. In fact, every character in the show pissed me off for some extended period of time and had me hoping they'd "Shoot each other in the face." I couldn't really invest myself in any of the characters and that meant that all of the DRAMA that was supposed to pull me into the show, really just had me frustrated, wanting something to actually HAPPEN to speed up the pace. I'll go through the list:

Claire: I get it, but I'm not seventeen anymore, and while I did my share of whining and bitching in my day, it's tough to feel for ya. Ruth: "..........BAH!......." was mostly your schtick, and while you contributed some funny and meaningful moments, most of the time, you were just really really dull. Nate: Ya started out interesting to watch, and progressed into a super annoying repetitive mope that was validated by the plot, but terribly uninteresting to watch. David: The Great White Hope-- your character came around and just as I was ready to hate Nate and Claire, I came to like you. Especially when you were the one character that had something HAPPEN TO THEM TO MAKE THE PLOT INTERESTING. Keith: Redundant. Brenda and Billy: Shoot each other in the face simultaneously. Lisa: Agh. Federico: You held out the longest before annoying the hell out of me. Thanks for keepin' it together the first three seasons.

Now part of why I dislike a lot of these characters might be because I cared about other characters at various times in the show and they were creating problems for each other. But here is my ultimate problem with the show-- In real life, people create problems for each other, are stupid, selfish, do good and bad things, and move a fairly mild pace-- I really can't have my television show doing the same thing. An inordinate number of bad things happen to these people and they never manage to recover to a state of even relative contentment. It wasn't difficult, but simply dull to watch a family and group of people where only bad things happen to them. When something goes right, they make it bad. Sometimes, random shit happens that plunges them BACK into a state of grief or sorrow right after rebounding (i.e. a misc relative we never heard of dies by getting hit by a falling toilet). I think part of investing oneself in a series is being with the characters and feeling invested when the GOOD things happen in edition to the BAD. Like you're in it all with them. When only bad things happen, even if it is supposed to reflect on life and ourselves, there's not much of a reason for me to be spending my time empathizing. I already have problems.

But then something happened.

I watched the last few episodes and starting getting very choked up by them. Then the series finale came and I was floored by it. At first I didn't notice much more than feeling the usual choked-up-ed-ness at the end of an emotional episode, but afterwards, I realized that I was actually very physically and emotionally upset. It felt like I was grieving. And for what? For a show I didn't really like? This makes me think that I actually DID truly care about the characters in the show, and their lives. And yet, I was honestly bored most of the time, if only by the pacing. My only conclusion is that everything I said was wrong with the show, actually was what unconsciously drew me into the show-- it's like another life. With these other people I know and am privy to. I might not have liked them, but they were there, just like some people in all of our lives. They were like those relatives you don't like, but keep on seeing on holidays. Maybe I didn't hate them all as much as I thought, or maybe I did, but they were still very very...PRESENT.

Ultimately, I think Six Feet Under is one of those shows you have to see for yourself and judge. Maybe it's right up your alley. The writing, acting, directing were all great, and I think it was a combination of the three along with the music selection that made the series finale so powerful. I would even go so far as to say that all five seasons are worth it JUST for the series finale. All of the emotion and depth they tried to get across so many times in the course of the series finally comes through full force in the last episode. They finally make you get it and feel it and be a part of it.

Under Six Feet,

P.S. I think I was partial to Michael C. Hall (aka David) due to having watched the series directly after having been introduced to him as Dexter in the showtime series "Dexter." If you watch the shows in this order, you will LAUGH A LOT at the start of Six Feet Under. If you watch in the opposite order, go back and checkout Six Feet Under after watching Dexter, if only for a few minutes, it's incredible. What do I conclude from this? Dexter Season Two in October is going to be awesome.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Witz Pickz: Unemployment (Emphatically!)

"Man, being willingly unemployed must suck-- all stressed out about not having a job, not knowing where your future's headed, or what you'll do each and every morning when you wake up into your bland, lacking, miserable existence."

....NOPE! IT'S SWEET! It's been a few weeks now since quitting my job in preparation for a big location move to Northern California, and no worries readers, this Witz is completely at ease with it all! You never realize how much working sucks until you sit in rural Connecticut doing absolutely nothing, sweating profusely, bored out of your mind and think, "This is still better than working." Granted, working means income, and income means housing and health insurance, etc., but with my life savings slowly beginning to diminish, I couldn't be happier. I used to actually think during days off or pseudo-sick days that I might as well try and go into work for a few hours just to get some stuff done and not feel worthless while the rest of the world was earning and bustling-- but now I realize that was all wrong. It is totally alright to do nothing and be thrilled about it, not worrying about "wasting free time" or "not making the most out of each and every day." Ya know what's worthwhile? Watching SportsCenter so many times a day that you can call out the plays along with them when someone walks in the room. Even coming up with a single clever line that one ups the announcers makes you feel like you could be doing their job, and that's one more reason why there's no reason to get off your lazy ass to make that happen-- you're that good.

Not working also allows you to come up with crazy ideas and methodically turn them into alternative life strategies. If anyone asks me?:

"Yeah, I'm unemployed, but I have a lot going on. I'm actually planning on running a marathon sometime in the fall or early winter, so I'm going to be training for that pretty extensively. There's a 12 week pre-training program and then an 18 week training program that I have to implement, so that's good. I've also been working pretty steadily on the "Rome" season one DVD's and would love to get through all of "House" and "The Wire" if possible before the end of July. After that, I dunno, I have some "My So-Called Life" episodes that I downloaded, and, fingers crossed, those 'The Larry Sanders' show DVD's will come through on my Blockbuster Total Access 1-Month Free Trial queue. Plus, I'm actually putting out this independent magazine-- yeah, it's the third issue, should come out late summer-- uh-huh, so that's a whole project in and of itself so...I mean, to be honest, I don't see how I could possibly fit in a day job, let alone a 9 to 5-er. And that's before we get the band back together..."

I mean, see how much stuff is on my plate here sans employment? Granted, the first time I get an ear-ache I'm totally effed seeing as how I don't have healthcare. And getting my wisdom teeth out seems like a longshot currently. Those fillings will have to wait, mercury or not. But with my training for the marathon, I won't be eating as much food as I'm used to, so I'll save there, and have enough email addresses and credit cards to last me another six months of free Netflix/Blockbuster trials.

For serious, folks, I will say this; it's pretty cool that we live in a time when if you are able to save up a chunk of money through a decent amount of employment, and are single and living within your means, it is entirely possible to quit work and spend several months doing whatever you want to do, be it travel, relax, write that novel, or tour with that band you love. There is cheap health insurance to be found, car insurance that is affordable, and rent is what you make it. Thanks to the internet, we are all able to stay in touch with more people than ever before, and then take advantage of those friendships and their couches to tour the world on a budget. Granted, one day this will result in the most commitment-phobic looking resume EVER, but for a generation that values free-time over money more than ever before, that's not the worst thing in the world. After pounding through all five seasons of Six Feet Under (post pending), one thing has been made very clear and rang very true-- we're only here for so long, so if there's something that you feel you need to say or if there's something in your life that you really need to change, now's the time to do it, because we're all only here for so long. I've also learned that sometimes carpe diem translates loosely as, "Double-header on NESN."

Can't Wait To Read This Ironically In August When I Can't Find A Job, My Money Is Dwindling, And My Girlfriend Is Screaming At Me Because I Haven't Had To Wake Up and Go To Work In Three Months While She Has Had To Go To Grad School For Ten Hours Each Day,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Witz Pickz: "Red Box" DVD Vending Machines!

I couldn't believe my eyes the first time I saw one in a supermarket-- a vending machine that allegedly provided DVD's for 99 cents. That couldn't possibly work. We went over and tried to get a movie-- it was all out. It didn't possibly work.

Then, the other day, we tried again. My girlfriend ran into the store to rent "Music & Lyrics" (look, I'll pay 99 cents to see it and I'm a sucker for the new Hugh Grant) while I waited in the car. She runs into the store with a dollar in hand.
She runs back out. "It's 1.06," she says. Damnit. Taxes. I give her 6 cents.
She runs back in.
She runs back out. "It only accepts credit cards." Ah, right, of course. That way I'm not BUYING a DVD for 1.06. I give her my credit card.
She runs back in.
She runs back out...AND SHE HAS THE MOVIE! 1.06 and we have a new release movie for 24 hours. We watch it that night and return it the next day. You get emails saying that you rented the film and, after inserting it back into the machine, that the film was received again and you won't be charged outrageous fees for losing the DVD.

Overall, a very amazing new way of getting new movies cheap and easily. They had about 100 DVD's in the machine, and are conveniently located where I acquire food which THEY KNOW I have to get to survive. Saves me money and a trip to the blockbuster assholes (seriously, has a franchise failed more miserably over the years to be helpful and affordable?).


UPDATE: After seeing another one of these in a different town, I'm pretty sure that Red Box is really racist. Actually, I don't know if it's racist or intelligent marketing-wise, but in my town where ya don't see that many minorities, we have movies like "The Fountain" and "Little Children." In this other town, where you don't see many white people, "Norbit" is presented first and foremost. "Norbit" is not anywhere in my town's machine.

PS. When you rent a DVD you get to click on the "VEND DVD" button. I love any chance I get to use "vend" as a verb. It sounds like I'm speaking "robot."

Monday, June 04, 2007

Witz Pickz: "Blood Diamond"

So much for that whole, "posting regularly while having time off" thing. Let's be honest though, no one thought that was gonna happen, right? So here's to another week (weak) of efforts.

I finally saw "Blood Diamond" and I definitely think it's worth a watch. Leonardo DiCaprio does a kickass job of speaking with a South African accent and Djimon Hounsou does some great acting. Jennifer Connelly continues to baffle me as her career advances towards its end. I guess the old adage is true-- "Once you're in a scene where you're grinding a dildo-laden ass against another chick, you're on your way down the rollercoaster ride to retirement." Just ask Tom Hanks. Ever wonder how he's had such a prolific career? No ass-dildo scenes, that's how. Now all I can do is imagine this conversation:

Tom Hanks: I'm telling you, it's not a good career move!
Colin Hanks: Dammit Dad, let me live my life!
Tom Hanks: Just look at Jennifer Connelly--
Colin Hanks: --You said the same thing about Orange County!--
Tom Hanks: --That was only because I was upset you dissed The Terminal...
Colin Hanks: 2 hours in an airport! All my friends made fun of me.
Tom Hanks: Did you do what I taught you to do?
Colin Hanks: You mean crumple up hundred dollar bills and throw them in their faces while laughing and telling them that they'll never be as rich as we are?
Tom Hanks: Yes.
Colin Hanks: Yes.
Tom Hanks: Good boy.
Colin Hanks: Thanks, Dad.
Tom Hanks: Now go return that dildo.
Colin Hanks: Alright.

Umm...what the eff was I-- Blood Diamond! Right! The movie mixed up the action with the plot with the political exposition really well and kept me interested all of the way through. Leo does an awesome job being cool and a horrible person slash likable soldier of fortune, and, to be honest, the whole thing got me really amped up to read "A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier" by Ishmael Beah which is lying next to my bed waiting get read. I'm hoping the story isn't all made up like in that Veronica Mars (RIP) episode.

Aside from providing enjoyment and interest, "Blood Diamond" made me realize one thing: I really wanna see Leo in a war-flick. As a general rule, I'm tired of war-films, especially WWII war-films, but I just got the feeling by watching Blood Diamond that seeing Leo run around a city under siege, doing some good, looting some homes, and ultimately dying quickly and unexpectedly with the sounds of war behind him would really hit home for me and get the tear-ducts working. Leonardo DiCaprio is one poignant surprise war-death away from a career. Let's get Spielberg on it.

So yeah, go see "Blood Diamond" if you haven't already. You can find out more about where in one of my upcoming posts on those new "Red Box" DVD vending machines which may or may not actually get written for the upcoming week.

Blood Diamonds Are Forever,