Thursday, August 30, 2007

Witz Pickz: A Day Off

Sorry for the no pick today, but I got about 3 real hours of sleep last night and have been completely out of it all day. Usually this helps the writing, but now it's past time when you folks work, so no post today. Think of it as a day of reflection, of a rest period. Has your neck been sore from reading? Massage it. Imagine those are the hands of Witz Pickz masseusing away your pains-- unless that is creepy for you, in which case, imagine the hands of some other blogger doing it. Not a celebrity, mind you, a blogger. Perhaps you've always imagined the hands of Bill Simmons working away your tenseness-- perhaps Ariana Huffington. Perhaps simply "Tad" or "Melody" or some other blogger who has piqued your interest and then retreated into the confines of this mysterious world that we call The Internet.

Also, read Everything Bad Is Good For You.

Also, read How To Talk To A Widower

Also, read Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

Also, eat tuna fish sandwhiches while you still can (as far as I know, nothing is going to happen to tuna fish sandwhiches, but see how I used my prose-ial wiles to boost suspense and intrigue? Hehehe, yeah, I've still got it.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Witz Pickz: Wednesday Matinee

Clearly this week is mostly about rhyming with a significantly lower emphasis on content. But still, why not rejoice in the consistency of pickz and the glory of being able to count on a routine. Granted, in a week or so when I leave town for a few days, I'll shatter that routine and leave you crying, broken, and probably hungry (if you're anything like me) on the floor, but for now-- REJOICE! PICKZ ABOUND!

Witz's Veggies In My Belly(s) Sandwhich: I think I'm turning veggenese, I think I'm turning veggenese-- I've been substituting meat for other things a lot lately and I'm not proud of it. I don't know exactly what's going on, but what with the Neverending Overtly Menacing Sickness I've had for almost three months now, I'm trying to eat healthier. This led me to eat the unfathomably delicious El Guapo sandwhich at the unfathomably delicious sandwhich restaurant The Honey Hole in Seattle. Veggies and smoked gouda all baked tremendously together on a crisp roll-- so so good. I recently decided to try and match the experience without having access to the actual 'which. So I substituded a few ingredients to fit my budget and tastes and came up with Witz's Veggies In My Belly(s) Sandwhichz (silent z)! Here's what you do:

-Tomato (sliced)
-Lettuce (Whatever kind you want)
-Cheese (Gouda or Fontina or Cheddar or Mozzarella)
-Red Pepper-Italian Bread or crunchy roll
-Italian Dressing or Ranch Dressing

-Zucchini/Squash cut into thin circular slices
-Mushrooms (cut into slices)

Bake at 350 (primarily because my oven doesn't go any higher):
-Cut bread and bake open halves with stuff on top
-Place cheese, tomato slices on one half
-Place lettuce and dressing on other half
-Bake for about 5 minutesPour sauteed veggies on top of tomato halfClose sandwhich


Trust me, it's worth the money for the ingredients and will pay out a number of sandwhiches, not just one.

Gentleman Auction House: I just reviewed these guys for KZSU radio ("Live From Six Feet Underground" with your host DJ Witz airs on from 12am-3am PST wednesday nights/thursday mornings for a potentially limited time) recently with fairly low expectations. I was blown away! These guys sound enough like Bright Eyes and The Arcade Fire and The Decemberists to fit nicely into a genre, but are extremely creative and have great lyrics. The EP "The Rules Were Handed Down" deals with themes of growing up and maturing, sometimes naturally, sometimes before one should have to, and sometimes not yet or never. There are tons of different instruments utilized in each song and they blend perfectly to construct an album with tremendous breadth and depth. Check them out on myspace.

Jonah Hill: Welp, I saw Superbad and loved it-- was intimidated by it's funny-- was inspired by it's writing and success. But I also saw "Accepted" (from the library-- remember?), which was less amusing, although Justin Long (my new fave awkward since Die hard 4) did a pretty good job of making unfunny material funny. The common link between the two movies was Jonah Hill-- you know, the overweight friend... Jonah has an incredible knack for timing and intonation and especially improvisation (yeah, I watched the outtakes and making of "Accepted"-- so what? I have a little time on my hands-- you should be jealous of me). He's not the usual "fat guy" funny sidekick. He steals movies. He doesn't steal movies in the way that Walmart suspects anyone of color to steal movies or like how people say downloading is stealing-- he takes the sidekick role and makes you want him to be the lead. When he's not onscreen, you are waiting for him to be onscreen. It's pretty cool and it turns out that HE was pretty cool growing up to, according to his time on Loveline where I was first introduced to him (oh yeah, right, I uh, lisen to Loveline sometimes still on my way home from things...THINGS..I do THINGS...and not just so I can hear Loveline!). So here's to Jonah Hill, who I wish a successful career and who should someday help me make a movie.

"A long hundred": My friend who writes over at The Wonder Yak and I were trying to figure out what a seven person group is called (answer: a septet-- we felt dumb after we found out) and inadvertently stumbled upon the fact that the number 120 is sometimes referred to (I have no idea by whom) as "A LONG HUNDRED." 20 is ONE-FIFTH of a hundred. What is the scenario where you have 1/5th more of something and feel like it's ok so it becomes a standard phrase (other than lunchmeat-- I'm a little tired of asking for 1/2 a lb of something and getting 3/4 of a lb. It happens so regularly that I now under order by about 1/4 in order to get the amount I wanted. Has the deli counter job lost that much specialization in the last ten years? And also, why's it called "lunchmeat?" Isn't it just meat that I can eat whenever the hell I feel like it?? This is why I make veggie sandwhiches)? And if we're going to accept a long hundred, shouldn't we say that 130 is a longer hundred? 140? Where does it stop? Is the opposite true? Is 80 a short hundred? I'd be pissed if I only got 80 of something when I ordered 100. Can I refer to my penis as "a short hundred"? If someone wants to tell me that 120 is a "long hundred" they at the very least need to use some friggen UNITS so I know what they're referring to. "A long hundred" of grains of rice is different from "a long hundred" of oncoming tanks. I wouldn't want to run "a long twenty-six" marathon, but I'd be ok running the "a long 100" meter dash. I can only hope that in this age of computers and global shipping, "a long hundred" is obsolete vernacular. I truly, truly hope.

A medium hundred posts and counting,

P.S. Seriously though, if you are even remotely capable, checkout my radio show, hear my soothing radio voice, and solve the mystery of Witz that has plagued you for so long.

"Live From Six Feet Underground" with your host DJ Witz airs on from 12am-3am PST wednesday nights/thursday mornings for a potentially limited time

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Witz Pickz: The Wonder Boy Review Submissions & Redemption Centers (No connection)

Alright cats and kittens (which is weird-- I always assumed that meant "ladies and gentleman" or "boys and girls", but "cats" are literally adult animals while "kittens" are children animals. So does the expression mean "adults and children" or does it mean "Guys and Girls?" Because if it means "guys and girls" but refers to the guys as adult and the girls as underage youths...well then, that expression is a little awkward.)...

...The time has come for The Wonder Boy Review to conclude it's submission gathering process for the next issue due out early October. For those of you unfamiliar, The Wonder Boy Review (or WBR) is the pseudo-literary independent magazine that I am co-creator/editor of. We have out two successful issues and are even more excited for this next one, which is looking to be even bigger and better than previous issues.

IF YOU would like to submit ANYTHING before the deadline for consideration, please do so. We are looking for PROSE, POETRY, ESSAYS (of all kinds, humor, business, etc), PHOTOS, PUZZLES, ETC...

THE DEADLINE is AUGUST 31st, but I will not actually be reading anything until I am on a plane September 5th, so for Witz Pickz readers only, if you get me something by SEPT 3rd, it will be considered. The WBR cannot compensate anyone for their accepted submissions at this time, but you will get exposure, a link back to the website or email of your choice, and the glory of being in on the ground floor of an un and coming magazine which is going to one day dominate the world and have Sudanese children telling stories of how The Wonder Boy Review delivered them from danger and provided them with interesting reading material and photos.

SO yeah, submissions wanted!


Witz DOESN'T Pick: California Redemption Centers-- You know how cans say, "5 cents in ME, CT, MA, DE, CA and 10 cents in MI"? Well, I've never worried about the CA part before, but now it is relevant to my life, and I have inadvertently stumbled on a major American scam! They add 5 cents per can or bottle when you purchase sof drinks or alcohol, but then they DON'T HAVE ANY REDEMPTION CENTERS ANYWHERE! None of the local supermarkets have the redemption machines in them and when I looked up "redemption centers" nearby, there isn't one within 30 minutes of my largely populated location. They DO, however, have numerous recycling bins all over the place for you to recycle your cans-- BUT NOT GET YOUR MONEY BACK! I don't believe for a minute (the short minute, not the really long minute that people haven't seen other people in) that people drive 30 minutes to recycle cans in order to get, like, 3 bucks back, especially with the cost of gas these days. So, my question is, who gets that money? Who gets to keep the money from the cans that aren't redeamed? The state? The store? If it's the store, there's no reason why they would put a redemption machine in, but if it's the state, that seems like a lotta math and changing of money going on. SOMEONE is coming up with hundreds of dollars of extra income and I want to know who. Is there some ridiculous Suburban Mafia running this thing? Do they work for Google? Can I get in on it, because it sounds like a great gig and frankly, that's more the type of "job" I'm lookin' for. If I disappear in the next day or two mysteriously (any disappearance at this point in my life would be mysterious. People don't just disappear from watching online television all day-- I go two places: the library and the supermarket-- CRAP! Now THEY KNOW. Anyway, if I disappear, please alert somebody to this theory.

Not Makin' Any Cents,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Witz Pickz: The Monday Buffet

It’s early, but I want you have your picks before five over there on the east coast, so here are an assortment of pickz for you to choose from and delight in. I’m calling it the Monday Buffet, because I can’t imagine a business making any money off of a breakfast buffet on a Monday, and I’m not making any money doing this or anything else. But at least I got croissants.**

Trader Joe’s Vegetarian Masala Burgers: I picked these up because they were on sale and finally had one last night—delicious! Not overly flavorful or spicy, but they taste more like if India had invented latkes. I’m thinking they can be used as a breakfast food, and since nobody would see me eating them pre-lunch, I think I can get away with it.

The Mighty Oven: I never realized that I cared one way or another about an oven until I moved into this place and found myself wondering which A.D.D. worker they got to paint the numbers on the “temperature knob.” Because, you see, it only goes up to 350, and it shocked me to find out that apparently, someone didn’t forget to keep painting on the numbers up to 450, it simply DOESN’T GO THAT HIGH. REALLY??? How is that even possible? 90% of cooking requires 375 or above. I live in a pseudo-dorm, and my oven isn’t strong enough to heat up frozen pizza or bagel bites! Nor chicken tenders, nor frozen burritos. Who did they expect was going to live here? “Hi, I’m Bobby Flay, and I’m psyched to be getting a degree here at Expensive University. This year, we’ll be using the “outdoor grill” for most of our cooking, with the occasional pan-seared cod over the lopsided burners that force all the oil to one side of the pan, thereby making it nearly impossible to cook.” GIVE ME 450 DEGREES!

No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain: No, not the cooking show with Abigail Breslin and Aaron Eckhart in which the latter attempts to make up for an entire career of acting like a sleaze via this one role—I’m instead talking about the show on the Food Network. Anthony Bourdain is a guy who basically goes from place to place each episode and indulges in their culture—first their culinary stylings, and then, usually their entertainment. Always, he indulges in their local alcohol and that combined with the fact that he’s a number one d-bag lends to a tremendous show. Plus, since nobody speaks English half the time, he can be even more brazen and insulting and nobody has any idea what he’s saying, or at least they smile and act like they don’t. This has the dual effect of allowing him to say funny things, and to probably alienate our nation further from the graces of other cultures.

Intellekt and Dirty Digits – Intellektual Property: This new hip hop album from MC Intellekt and DJ/MC Dirty Digits is absolutely addictive. Two young, musically gifted guys from Atlanta, the album is packed with smooth turns of phrase, lyrical dexterity, and some of the better scratching and mixing I’ve heard in a long time. Plus, the whole album has a sense of humor to it, which makes it all the better. A lot of the songs feel nostalgic, and only a couple feel out of place and over the MC’s heads. Checkout Phenom Mental on Myspace. (part of the upcoming Witz Mix—you’ll see).

Jones Soda: Is nuts. They have the craziest damn flavors, but they all taste delicious. Their cream soda is one of the best tasting sodas I’ve ever had, and they have cool pictures on the label of each bottle. They even come in cans now, which I think takes away from some of it’s allure, but still, DELICIOUS! I don’t drink much soda these days, but I ALWAYS want one when I see that bottle on the shelf of a store.

That’ll be 5.99 please,

**I don’t actually have croissants—those suckers are like FIVE DOLLARS for 4-6 of them and it’s like paying to have “delicious fat” pumped into your system. Boy do they taste good though.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Witz Makes the Tough Pickz: Mountain Lion or Bear?

Alright, in conversation last night, conversation somehow stumbled into “Would your rather be mauled by a bear or a mountain lion?” I’m pretty sure I led the way to this question and may have even posed the question myself to the befuddlement of the group, but it’s still a viable question. I believe your location in the country effects your decision—I had never even considered Mountain Lions a threat until I moved out west. Suddenly, Bears don’t seem like such a big deal, whereas I previously had a big black bear walk across my front lawn. Granted, both maulings will more than likely result in death, but which would you prefer? Let’s take a look:

Bear: Massive and imposing—which works for and against you. On one hand, the bear is large and fast and dangerous and can destroy you in a single swipe. On the other hand, everyone understands that bears are big and fast and dangerous and can destroy you in a single swipe—there will be no question of whether or not you should have survived the bear attack. You would get some posthumous street cred. Also, I have a better feel of what I’m supposed to do if a bear sees me: Act small, “Get low” as the rappers say, and try not to pee myself (unrelated). Hopefully the bear goes away and you survive. There’s the added bonus that bears are wicked cool and awesome looking and it’d be neat to see one up close and if not mauled—perhaps nuzzled by one.

Mountain Lion: Small, lithe and muscular, but looks like a big cat. In this case, I feel the mountain lion is equally dangerous as the bear with their claws and speed and keen senses, only they aren’t as big and scary as bears so people wouldn’t quite understand how you got mauled by one. I mean, they look like cats, and you can fight off a cat, right? Even though people know mountain lions are dangerous, it’s more shocking that you got mauled by one, and might be funny—as would potentially hearing that someone got mauled by a bear. Really “mauled by” is the funny part. Anyway, I feel like mountain lions have an innate scent for meat that bears lack. Bears eat things, but they don’t seek out meat and flesh on a regular basis. Mountain lions, cougars, cheetahs, lions, they all do. Meat is meat is meat and they want it, want it, want it. So that freaks me out. Also, I’ve watched like twenty Man vs. Wilds and I still have no idea what I’m supposed to do if I’m spotted by a Mountain Lion. I’m pretty sure, “back away and then—“ but I don’t know the rest. If I come upon a mountain lion, I’m GOING TO BE MAULED BY A MOUNTAIN LION. Whereas with a bear, I feel I have a few seconds of potential survivalism. There is, however, the potential to get nuzzled by the cat before mauled, and that would still be pretty nice.

So I guess I would pick to be mauled by a bear, or at least to encounter a bear with potential for mauling. I’d probably die, but somehow I’d feel better about it. They can walk on two legs when they want to, and I had them as stuffed animals. There’d be no residual bitterness towards any house pets, whereas with a mountain lion, should I survive, I’d probably be pissed off at my cats. So Bear it is. For better or worse. Which would you rather get mauled by?

Mauled By Pandas (the slowest, cutest death of them all),


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Witz Pickz: Grey's Anatomy...aaaand Punching Myself In the Face

It couldn't have come to this-- I'm still young, I have my strength and my hea-- well, I have some strength and perseverance. But listen, when you're home, unemployed for longer than a couple weeks, television becomes your best friend. And when you don't get any channels on your television, DVD's become your best friend. And when you don't have a job to PAY for the DVD's (see how that works?), the LIBRARY becomes your mistress. Which is a long way of saying, "it's not my fault that despite my promises to never ever ever watch the show that is crappy and miserable and etc etc ended up in my car, then my apartment, and ultimately on my television."

I have watched the first two seasons of Grey's Anatomy and am currently doing whatever I can to see the third. And here's the thing-- it's NOT GOOD. IT'S NOT! AND EVERYONE SAYS THIS! Everyone says that Grey's is trash, but they can't stop watching it and it's true! It started out good, it really did-- the characters were new and interesting, medical things happened, and they got me all choked up in that "Seriously? This is what I'm finally gonna get choked up over? Not the cat dying? Not genocides in Africa?" kind of way.

But it has gone downhill. I watched as it slowly evolved from a PEOPLE drama/comedy to a RELATIONSHIP drama/comedy. Where open ended plotlines turned into redundant cycles of behavior. They sold out the men for the women, and it probably worked-- but I hate it. And possibly due to that fact, or perhaps independent of it, here is the biggest problem with the show: Very few of the main characters are likeable. Oh, they might have started likeable, but they have long since lost their charm. Izzie? She justifies everything by the fact that she came from nothing, worked hard to get to where she is despite being hot, and therefore can break every hospital regulation ever, including some very serious ones and get away with it, because she's a good person at heart, only she's confused. I want her in a jail cell next to the crack dealer with the same situation-- or let the crack dealer out, but come on! Then ya got Sandra Oh's character, who is really enjoyable when she shows emotions besides frustration and uptightedness, only that's her schtick. Patrick Dempsy aka McDreamy is a total douchebag who isn't charming or cute (basing this on other girls' opinions, too) when he's tormenting Meredith and acting like a self-involved prick with expectations that he deserves everything and everyone to like him. Then there's Meredith. I don't want to say that Meredith is the least likeable main character in the history of television, but she makes Al Bundy look like Bill Cosby. She's constantly complaining, whining, focusing on her problems, creating drama, cuckolding (FINALLY GOT TO USE IT!), bitching, moaning, getting her way, getting breaks and advantages over the other interns because of all these things, and she's not even attractive. She looks like she has ghosts in her, and those ghosts need to eat a little more food and maybe she'd stop complaining all the time. Are we supposed to care about Meredith? Do you? I'm watching because I have too much invested to quit-- I'll finish up season 3 and then turn it over to Private Practice where one of only three enjoyable characters on the show will be starring-- Addison Montgomery Shepperd-- McDreamy's wife who looks and acts like Felicity Huffman only she's ACTUALLY very attractive whereas Aaron Sorkin just wanted us all to believe she was very attractive in Sports Night, much in the same way he wanted us to BELIEVE that Harriet Hayes was some kind of comedic genius in Studio 60. Anyway, AMS (which sounds like a disease, but is just abbrev. for Addison Etc Etc...which is an abbreviation for Montgomery Shepperd), is a great character who actually has several emotions and can play all of them well. I doubt her show will be any good, but whatever, what do I have to do, right? The other characters on Grey's who provide some semblance of enjoyment are George O'Malley, the quirky, uncomfortable intern, and Alex Carev, the asshole intern with a heart of malleable silver. They both show an acting range and have some depth as characters other than "I'm hot, but used to be trashy!" or "I'm not hot, but everyone loves me." It baffles me that so many of the supporting cast was nominated or won awards.

So yeah, that's my Grey's Anatomy explanation. I'm not saying don't watch the show, I'm just saying be prepared. And be prepared to say you won't watch the show, and then will watch the show when circumstances arise. It did give us phrases such as, "Bomb in the body cavity" which is nice, and there are a lot of cameos via patients.

I Will Never Ever Ever Watch Desperate Housewives...Until I Do,

P.S. This corresponds to a book I just started called "Everything Bad For You Is Good," by Steven Johnson. I don't know enough about it to discuss, but will tell you about it in a future post. It essentially says that all the crappy culture that we think is making us dumber, is actually effecting us in ways that make us smarter-- I just don't know why yet.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Witz Pickz: Don't Be Reading How To Talk To A Widower to Gutterfly while Wirelessly Eating Your Flax with Margarine In the Hood

Here are some Wednesday pickz to keep the ball rollin':

How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper: Author of The Book of Joe, another great book, is a very easy read, but entirely worth it if you're looking for something to read for fun that you can still feel respectable about. Jonathan Tropper is like the step-son of Nick Hornby, Michael Chabon, and Dave Eggers. He really wants to be in that crowd, and a lot of his writing reflects their tone and attitudes, however, he doesn't pack in enough grit and originality to make it quite to their level. So...well, he's kind of like me I guess. Crap. Anyway, How To Talk To A Widower follows Doug, whose forty year old wife died in a plane crash about a year ago, as he tries to move forward and deal with his grief. He's only twenty-eight, so the dynamic is interesting and I liked a lot of the ideas and characters. It was trite at times and a little obvious at others, but it also pulled you along and was easy to move through. Jonathan Tropper's specialty is apparently the idea of "30" and what your age means, so it was particularly logical for me to finish it yesterday. Definitely an easy, good read if you have the time, and yes, ladies, it's a bit trashy.

Lifesavas - Gutterfly: The Portland, Oregon trio released their second album and because all rappers think they'd be incredible filmmakers, it is a concept album-- the soundtrack to a movie that doesn't exist. Taking place in Razorblade City (Portland), the three assume numerous personas and characters to go through a narrative. The tracks are good and some are very catchy, but I wouldn't put much stock in the storytelling aspect of the album. It's an interesting album, though, and in the way that I believe David Bowie described seeing The Killers as, "the history of rock and roll in front of his eyes", Lifesavas incorporates all styles of hip-hop, funk, and soul. Definitely worth a listen.

Wireless Video Game Controllers: I don't think people made enough of a big deal about this when it happened. First, there were wireless keyboards and mice. THEN, wireless PS2 and XBOX controllers. Now, it's the norm for PS3 and XBOX360, and nobody seems to verbalize how straight up cool that is. Here's another thing-- apparently, and I just learned this, PS3 has the exact same "axis motion" sensor that the Wii is based on. In some games, simply turning your remote is a function. So, if PS3 has the SAME EXACT abilities as a Wii (and without the obvious motion sensor on top of the tv), how come they don't come out with games that utilize it to its full extent and run the Wii crowd right out of business?? PS3 has way better games and graphics than the Wii and is ultimately about the same price (Wii is cheaper, but each remote with nunchuck attachment used in many games, is 80 DOLLARS-- so for a system of 4 people, it costs like 300+240+games, vs. the PS3's price of about 400-600 dollars). I would buy a PS3 in a second if it had both capabilities.

Flax: Flax is big right now and I just want to throw in my hat and say, "I'm not so sure." I don't know all of what it does for you or what it's supposed to do for you, but I haven't heard any downsides to consuming extra flax, and I'm not sure that's a good thing. Consuming any product en masse cannot be healthy, although I'm basing that mostly on my Chocolate and Gatorade addictions of the mid 90's (did you know that drinking Gatorade regularly ultimately leaves you dehydrated and prone to blacking out?? I now do). Anyway, we'll see in time, but I just want to let you all know that I'm not sold just yet.

Margarine: Much like the wireless controllers, but in reverse, I don't think we made a big enough deal about how WRONG we were about margarine. Everyone hailed margarine as this great thing and it changed our economy, etc (it was cheaper than butter and allowed middle and lower economic families to buy it), it was probably one of the greatest health eff-ups in a while. Once trans fat was found to exist, margarine became one of the worst products in the world. Everybody swears off margarine now, but nobody has made enough of a deal over HOW BADLY THEY MESSED UP. Are there people in the margarine industry just sitting in abandoned warehouses, spinning on their one remaining desk chair, wondering what went wrong? P.S. Super thanks to my Grandma for giving me the straight up "Butter vs. Margarine" test when I was little. "I didn't get it, lemme try it again!" when I was 8 has to have translated directly into about 30 lbs and higher blood pressure today.

Rollin' on...Wheels...Of Some Kind,

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Witz Pickz: Monumental Days!

Like the girl you didn’t “officially” start dating because things were complicated at the time, today is the KINDA 100th POST on Witz Pickz! You see, I don’t think I can count my “Mission Statement” post, and my sister posted once as Switz about photography, which makes this, the 102nd post on the blog, the SORTA 100th post on the blog! HAPPY 100th (*102nd) POST E’ERBODY! Completely unintentionally, it also happens to fall on another celebrated numerical figure—my birthday. And trust me, this was not on purpose. Several months back when I saw 100 approaching, I did some quick math and figured that I would hit 100 just around July 20th. And look, ONLY A MONTH LATE! The fact that it’s my birthday is both fortuitous and unfortunate. You see, it gives me a very clear idea of how many posts I’ve written since my last birthday.

There have been about 75 posts since last August 20th—which doesn’t seem that long ago. Remember “Office Blackmail”??? I’m still emotionally recovering from that encounter. Anyway, as far as I’ve been told (I’ve never counted and I don’t believe any of you have either), there are 365 days in a year. I wrote 75 days out of the 365, which doesn’t seem so good. SO, here is a better comparison: It took the people in Around the World in 80 Days EIGHTY DAYS to fly around the world in a balloon. I posted approximately one post per day of their flight AROUND THE WORLD. Now, by taking the transitive property and twisting it slightly, just enough to make it incorrect, but not too much, so it’s still believable—that means that I potentially flew around the world in one year! AND for every one day of their flight around the world, I wrote 25% of a post. Since each post contains approximately 3 references or “Pickz”, I’ve pretty much flown around the world at the same rate as the fictional characters in that book/movie…is all I’m saying…gimme a break, this is the 100th POST!

So thank you all for being here during the 100, and keep on comin’ back for more. Here is my Pick for the Day:

Neurotic Library Strategy: When you’re in the library, as I am sometimes, and acquire books, movies, music, etc., I find myself constantly worrying about what the librarian will say (either someone is going to be checking out my materials…so to speak…or they have to remove the little yellow Lock thingies on the movies) when they see what I’m getting. SO, I constantly find myself picking up books I know I’m never going to read to accommodate the books/movies that I know I will read/watch. I’ve checked out one or more David Foster Wallace books numerous times to counter balance my acquisition of McCauley Culkin’s book, or a Orson Scott Card novel (although all of the Ender series is amazing). I’ve had to rent Schindler’s List like six times because I also wanted to watch Season Two of Lost or Season One of Invasion. Since being in California with some time on my hands, I’ve had to use these learned skills to balance out one of the tougher pickups—Grey’s Anatomy (Pick Pending). To counteract getting Grey’s Anatomy, when it is in the HOLDS section of the library, one must also rent the following, “49 Up,” any Jim Jarmusch film, and, if possible, “400 Blows,” or another French new wave director. And yet, nothing prepared me for what I somehow did the other day. I picked up some movies that just looked dumb, but free. Maybe I wanted to watch em, but at least I wasn’t paying for them. Then I got some CD’s, and finally The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon which I’m very excited about. Only, I misjudged my complete collection when I got to the checkout lady and I knew I was screwed as the names of the movies came out: Accepted (the movie with the Mac kid about making up a new fake college—I liked Camp Nowhere when I was younger, so gimme a break), Gridiron Gang (fooball in jail movie starring The Rock), Beer League (softball movie, which speaks for itself, but was talked about a lot while playing softball), and finally, Bill and Ted’s Non-Bogus Disc (all the special features and documentary from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, which is a fantastically written movie). I tried to point out that it was “Not-Bogus” but the woman didn’t care. I saw her flick her eyes up at me and there was no more respect in them. It also didn’t help when the next CD that came up was “The Average White Band’s Greatest Hits.” Crap. When she got to the book, I knew I had one last chance to act:

Me: Did you read that yet? (Subtext: See, I read!)
Her: My husband did. (Subtext: He’s unemployed like you must be—only in his case, it’s retirement)
Me: I really love Michael Chabon, but I feel like this one could go either way (See, I read a lot and can speak on the subject!)
Her: I’m sure it’ll be fine (I’m sure you have all the time in the world to read it because you’re unemployed and even if you read at the snail’s pace that your movie selection would suggest, it’s not really that big a concern, now is it?)
Me: Yeah, thanks. (Whatever lady, you work at a library— also, you’re mostly right)

So now I have to run up some fines on Infinite Jest in the hopes of having her see my extensive “Checked Out” list which includes all kinds of legitimate novels and films that aren’t horribly embarrassing (a lot of those Pickz coming soon, too).

So that’s how it goes, library strategies are extremely important and it only takes one mistake to ruin a good library relationship.

Thanks again for the last 100, and looking forward to the next,
PS. I failed to mention in yesterday's post that Bruce Campbell is in Burn Notice. The reason I forgot to mention it is because he plays the least Bruce Campbell type character ever, and they don't take advantage of any of his Bruce Campbell-ness. It's a shame, but the man really hasn't done much work and can probably use the money.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Witz Pickz: Assault On LoneGirl15 (But Not The Illegal Kind)

Alright—it’s one day before my birthday and it’s time for me to make my push. LonelyGirl15 is just sitting there above me on the Scale O’ Life and it’s time I took charge and did somethin’ about it. Special Thanks to Diana for this realization, and for one upping the “Leave A Comment” request I’ve made by doing the “Calling Me Out On the Telephone” communication. So here are a bunch of pickz to get your week started right:

The Improbable Adjustment of Sandals: I bought 10 dollar (Ok, Ok, $7.50) sandals from Old Navy and left the store. I assumed that they would be effective—then I put them on. HOLY CRAP. Wearing these sandals was like riding a wild horse; the leather strap between my Big Toe and my…next to big toe (I think we need to rethink the whole “names of toes” thing. The “Big Toe” is big, but the one next to it is actually taller. I think we need to give the title of Big Toe to the second toe and give the former “Big Toe” the more accurate title of “The Choad Toe.” Other toes can be referred to as “Useless” and/or “Stabilizers” up until the “Baby Toe” who I also call, “The Toe Who’s Nail Grows Freakishly Long In Comparison To Other Toes.”)……even I couldn’t track back to before those parentheses….anyway, the leather strap between the two toes cut violently into my soft flesh, making every step a painful painful journey. I had to keep switching the positioning of my foot just to not saw a deep gash into my foot. And then, after several wears, almost without notice, something changed. The horse let me ride it without bucking or attempting to hurt me. The sandals became comfortable, and now, I am indeed capable of riding these $7.50 sandals without any pain at all. They have been broken.

Sub Pick: The Urban Dictionary: I just looked up “choad” on Google to see how it is spelled and found the Urban Dictionary. Check out the bluntness of some of the latter entries and understand why the Urban Dictionary is amazing.

The Tremendous Effects of Pushup Grips: Pushups suck. They just do. If you can do them, which many can’t, they hurt your wrists, your fingers, and a lot of the time your shoulders. Sometimes pain is good with workouts, but other times it’s not. In this case, I went to Sports Authority and purchased pushup “grips/stands” for twelve bucks. They are slightly elevated handlebars basically that let you grip instead of flattening your wrists, and you can then push without pain or undue stress on your shoulders and wrists. Also, it lets you do some decline pushups so your chest can get an even better workout. Brilliant.

The Shocking Resiliency of Bagel Bites: They’ve been around forever and yet no matter what happens, they stick around in the freezer section of every supermarket. They have microwave instructions, toaster instructions, and oven instructions. In the microwave, they’re mushy, BUT DELICIOUS. In the toaster, they’re more crispy, BUT DELICIOUS, and in the oven, they are crispy AND TOTALLY DELICIOUS! Do you think Tacquitos are going to have this kind of staying power? Not a chance.

The Addictive Nature of Above Average Television: I started watching Burn Notice and now I can’t stop. I don’t even think it’s THAT good a show, it’s just that the main character is so damn affable and has such good expressions and one-liners that I don’t see why I wouldn’t keep watching. It’s about a US Spy who gets a burn notice from the CIA, meaning that he is no longer affiliated and is totally on his own. Also, all of his bank accounts are frozen and he’s basically effed. Which leads to the, honestly, really odd plot of him solving minor cases every week using his skills to acquire some money or payment, while he also gets slightly closer to the final solution of who burned him and why. The show is on USA and follows their new slogan, “Characters welcome.” It’s like Cool Monk. They might have even called it Cool Monk if it then wouldn’t confuse people and turn regular Monk into Bafflingly Off the Air Monk. I think it’s kind of USA’s style and the style of many non-FOX channels, to have big plots (who burned him, who killed Monk’s wife), and then slow the show down dramatically to solve side cases and, well, allow seasons to happen. FOX wants that dude OUT OF PRISON. FOX wants Jack to KILL THE TERRORISTS. FOX wants People Who Think They Can Dance to Prove Openly In Competition That They CAN DANCE. One exception is House who has his medical thing and secrets, and to be sure, this is a formula for almost all ongoing plot oriented shows, but every now and then, as with Burn Notice, I find myself wanting it to be more like a movie, and just give me the whole damn story before you get cancelled and I never find out what the answer was (a future John From Cincinnati post on this). Regardless, Burn Notice is enjoyable, and I’m glad there are shows with interesting, quirky, characters on cable.

Monday Before Noon (for me)!,


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Witz Pickz: Danny Ainge and Snakes On A Plane (THE FINAL WORD)

Sorry for the delay between posts, but due to a comment on this blog, I was forced to take the last week and a half and consider whether or not I am, in fact, similar to Andy Rooney. As one reader to go nameless suggested, in my Andy Rooney post, I pulled an Andy Rooney. First of all, I have my fingers crossed that after typing HIS name three times, he will not appear in my living room and start ruining my life. Fingers still crossed, I will say that in response to said comment, another friend/reader told me, "Andy Rooney is like 'Witz DOESN'T Pick' EVERY SINGLE WEEK." This was meant to be uplifting. And so I was forced to ponder the intricacies between me and The Name We Dare Not Speak (can I use that still or did Harry Potter cop it?). Obviously, I had to turn to Google Analytics for answers. As it turns out, Andy Rooney is held aloft by the other 56 of the 60 minutes. Real stories of interest support him like those little arm and leg buoys children are forced to wear into pools. Andy Rooney is essentially a big baby, meaning if the buoys come off, Andy Rooney drowns a horrible pool death while numerous onlookers do nothing-- he is an ugly ugly baby. Witz Pickz on the other hand is supported by nothing-- there is no reason for anyone to be here unless they want to (unless they searched for "lever 2000" or "pussey" as confirmed by Google Analytics). Statistics show that of the people who come to this blog, only 5% come once, while over 60% have now been here between 200+ times. That's called brand loyalty. My readers are loyal, and once I have you hooked, you'll keep coming back for more. I respect that, and I thank you for it. It also places me ahead of Andy Rooney on the Scale of Life. Let's take a look at that scale now, shall we?


1) George Clooney
2) Will Smith
3) Oprah Winfrey
4) Tom Brokaw
5) Martha Stewart
2,304,001) Jared Leto
4,304,059,673) Andy Milonakis
5,708,345,345) LonelyGirl15
5,708,345,346) Witz Pickz
5,708,345,347) Andy Rooney
6,350,302,023) Small Child making shoes in Pakistan

HEY! I'm doin' alright! with Andy Rooney in my rear-view, I have my sights on LonelyGirl15 and it's only a matter of time. Look out Andy Milanakis-- although it's entirely unclear how you got to where you are, Aziz Ansari ( is fast on your ass with his crappy MTV show Human Giant and in no time, you and Andy Rooney will have interactions far more hilarious than either one of you alone. Actually-- wow, that's a great concept for a sitcom: "Living With Andy," the show where Andy Rooney is forced to take care of his grandson Andy Milonakis after the child's father, Andy Richter, skips town to go live his dream as a Sea World dolphin trainer. Think of all the hilarious possibilities. (I, Witz, am hereby claiming and stating this idea, 8/8/07 at 2:11 PST, and if anything remotely similar appears in the next few months, I will sue the shit out of whoever it is and then promptly shoot myself in the face.)

Anyway, I guess I have to pick some stuff, so here's a couple that I'll try and make funny for you!

Danny Ainge: As far as I can tell (I'm not big into knowledge of the NBA), Danny Ainge is the GM of the Boston Celtics, a team which although stationed in Boston, has never been able to grab my interest. I prefer watching college basketball and March Madness where guys who aren't 7'2 make tremendous plays that will stay in the minds of their teammates and college fans forever-- where anybody can be a hero. This probably appeals to me because I'm 5'10, can't dunk, have about a 3'' vertical, and other than the occasional three pointer, am mostly known for my "hustle" on the court. On the upside, I can hit free throws, which is apparently exceedingly difficult (although nobody is waving shit behind the hoop while I take them). Anyway, in a matter of months, I have become a huge Celtics fan and am ridiculously excited for the coming NBA season. It might be easy to say that I'm a fairweather fan or a bandwagon fan, and while that might be true, here's why I'm so excited. 1) Ray Allen-- Ray Allen is my favorite college basketball player of all time. I loved him on UConn, I got excited to see him as a Sonic, and now am overjoyed to see him on the Celtics. He might be past his prime, but he's ridiculously clutch and so much fun to watch. PLUS, he was in He Got Game. Jesus has arrived in Boston. 2) Kevin Garnett-- I really don't know much about KG other than the little I've seen of him. In this case though, I do know that he's really really good and I'm excited to have an All-Star on the squad. 3) Paul Pierce-- Didn't leave town somehow to get these other players. He's got that nice guy thing going to and is great on the court. 4) Reggie Miller-- There are currently rumors that Reggie Miller, my favorite basketball player of all time will come out of retirement at 43 to play for the Celtics. He wouldn't play much, but just seeing him there and hearing his name would make me pay for whatever stupid cable channel broadcasts NBA games. Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Reggie Miller, and Kevin Garnett. Danny Ainge has already made 3 of them happen, and might just get Reggie too. Thank you for giving me a reason to waste more of my life on professional sports. Even if the refs cheat, they'll probably be cheating FOR the Celtics, since they've been terrible the last X number of years (where X = my complete lack of NBA knowledge). For more on these happenings and another amusing way of looking at the acquisitions, go to THIS BLOG! (esp if you like Seinfeld, sports, or the Yankees)

Snakes On A Plane: THE FINAL OPINION! After many mentions and variances, I can finally lay down a solid opinion of SOaP. I watched it last weekend on a big screen TV with two friends and some 7&7's, and IT WAS FANTASTIC. It was overdone, with appropriate cameos/casting, and treated itself like a movie, but not one without it's own sense of humor. When a snake goes in the microwave (and I don't know if you could see this in real time on the big screen), he pushes the button marked "Snake" for how long it should cook. Brilliant. In addition, EVERY TIME one of us made some comment as to what someone should do or why wouldn't they just-- the movie answered us. "Why wouldn't they just open the--" "We're going to shoot out the windows." Oh. "How come some people are dying immediately and other are--" "There are all kinds of different snakes on the plane, some will kill you in minutes, others in hours." Oh. Well played movie. My only problem with the movie was that the actor who plays Tim Riggins in Friday Night Lights was the first to die when he could have been absolutely awesome for much much longer. There's one part where the male flight attendant is having a conversation in the aisle and you can see Riggins over his shoulder reacting to what he sees and it's hysterical. (FNL on NBC this Fall, check it out.) Having said all this positive stuff, and now having you probably say, "Well, of course, Witz, you were an idiot for not seeing it in theaters" let me say to you, "NO! I WAS NOT!" There is no chance I would have enjoyed this movie as much in theaters. Part of why it worked was because I was able to make fun of it and we were all able to say things and jokes and bets about what would happen out loud and not simply chear and laugh and jump when they wanted us to. The experience was 1/2 experiential and 1/2 participatory, and that's what made it so fun to watch. So Witz Pickz Snakes On a Plane On DVD.**

Family Guy: In case you didn't know, Family Guy is hilarious. I already knew this, but I haven't watched it in so long, and then watched a couple of episodes while flying cross country on my ipod rigged up to a reserve battery pack with video that had to be converted using a downloaded jodix converter...APPLE IS SO EASY! Anyway, it's extremely awkward laughing until you cry on an airplane 3 inches from the well dressed business-person next to you. Especially when you're laughing at awkward racial jokes that you're not sure if they heard through your Opposite-of-Noise-Cancelling ipod headphones.

"Once you go black, you go deaf",

**The one time in Snakes on a Plane that I was perturbed was when the two people were having sex in the bathroom and then got attacked by snakes, prompting the flight attendants to hear moans and assume they were having sex while they were really getting killed. The same type of thing happens in A Vampire In Brooklyn, which is not a good movie for two eleven year olds to watch, even though Eddie Murphy is in it. Parents, do your homework. Anyway, Eddie Murphy is sleeping with a girl and then proceeds to kill her and horribly maul her. Her roommates think they're just having sex. I don't know what it is, whether it is the gap between the two or the shear horror of thinking about a situation where people COULD save someone, but instead assume something completely opposite is going on leading to someone's death, or if it is something else, but for some reason, that scenario really REALLY bothers me and always stays with me afterwards. That's just food for thought and also maybe you should lay down some ground rules with people you know about some words, phrases, or scream pitches that you can use should that situation ever occur to you. For me, I'll scream, "LAUGHING COW CHEESE!!!" because there is never another situation, ever, in this world, when I would want to say laughing cow cheese.