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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Tat for Tit

I'm not saying Washington Mutual's (WaMu's) commercials are actually racist, but you have to admit that if a company ran a series of commercials with a white guy standing up to a group of black guys portrayed in a bad light, the end of the world would be at hand.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, June 29, 2007

Be Someone- Be a Simpson!


Does anyone know where I can get a "Blinky" T-shirt?

Create your own Simpsons avatar.

On a completely unrelated note, Mika Brzezinski deserves the Pulitzer Prize, don't you think?

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The People at Myspace are but Polyps on My Colon.

For some reason, my Myspace personal account has been deleted. (I still have a filmmaker one for Egotistical Productions.) No idea why, no email, no nothing. I've emailed the rectal thermometers in support, but I've received no reply. People have told me this has happened to them before. I'm not a big Myspacer; it was just a way to keep up with people I haven't seen since time immemorial. (And I had a cool slideshow of my artwork/family pics!) But Jeez Louise, it's a royal pain in the fundament. So, you Neanderthals at Myspace who have cocktail weenies in your briefs and tofu in your skulls, what gives?

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Not so Fantastic Four

I was actually enjoying Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer until it became clear, (as always,) that the filmmakers had made the U.S. Army the bad guys. I wish I had known before hand so I wouldn't have wasted my money. What can you expect from people who don't even know what Galactus looks like?

TTFN
-Tony

Tony's TV Reviews: Doctor Who, "The Sound of Drums"

Here's my review of last night's Doctor Who episode, "The Sound of Drums" as on tv.com:

The Master, now the Prime Minister of Great Britain, takes over the earth with Imperial Probe Droids, and turns the Doctor into a geriatric.

I’m a bit conflicted on this one. I’ll have to break it up.

The Good:
The story is excellent. It’s full of drama and edge of the seat excitement, which is why I gave this episode such a big score. I got a big laugh out of the Master watching the Teletubbies- an obvious reference to the original Master (Roger Delgado) watching the Clangers in "The Sea Devils" for us old-timers. Another great gag was him offering someone a Jelly Baby (which was an affliction of the 2nd & 4th Doctors.) The shots of Gallifrey were beautiful, and actually coincided with the way it looked in "The Invasion of Time."

The Bad:
1: When I saw the 1996 TV movie, the second most appalling thing was Eric Roberts’ over-the-top performance as a wise-cracking, cackling master. (The first was the moronic suggestion that the Doctor is half human.) I’m sorry, but John Simms’ portrayal of the Master is even worse. Does he have to be an overblown psycho to be a successful villain? Every Master has strayed farther and farther from Delgado’s cool, controlled persona. Does he have to be thirty-something, so kids today will think the show is cool? Derek Jacobi was by far a much better choice.
2: Russell T. Davies seems to have a love-hate relationship with anything in the history of Doctor who that is not HIS Doctor Who- he loves to borrow from it, (Such as re-making the novels “Human Nature (free ebook!)” & audio adventures "Jubilee" and "Spare Parts" into episodes of the new show,) but he obviously dismisses them as non-cannon (How can the events in “Human Nature” have happened to two Doctors?) Specifically, this episode nullifies the novel “Lungbarrow (free ebook!)” (which specified that Timelords were never children in the physical sense) and the Big Finish audio adventure, "Master,” (which explained the Master’s homicidal nature & his relationship to the Doctor in a far more interesting way.)
3: Using Jack’s Vortex Manipulator to escape last week’s cliffhanger was such a copout.
4: The elderly makeup job on David Tennant was as good as can be, but why don't filmmakers ever realize that actually using a wizened old man is even better?

The Confusing:
Why does the Doctor keep calling him “Master” instead of referring to him as “The Master?” I’m getting a sort of unclean vibe here. Why doesn’t the Master just hypnotize Martha’s family into doing what he wants the way he always did? (Which is... um... why he's called "The Master.") Why does he gas (or slice up or electrocute) people instead of shrinking them? Why do British people think all American presidents sound like Ted Koppel?

Hopes for part 3:
Please oh please oh please let the secret identities of the Toclafane NOT be another excuse to bring back the Daleks!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What's in YOUR wallet? (And a poem!)

The lovely Caroline suggested listing the contents of my bag. I don't have a bag (baby) but I have a wallet...


Metrocard (subway pass)

2 Visa check cards

Visa credit card

AAA card

Business card for our apartment complex's office

Prescription card

Friend's realtor business card

Social Security card

An expired prescription card

UMUC ID card

Business card from a bar (Jimmy's No 43 in Manhattan)

NY state driver's license

Local Union #3 member's card

IBEW calendar card

Queens library card

Master Card check card

7 ATM receipts

IHOP receipt

$8.00

Last week's paycheck & stub

Picture of a bottle of Pride & a bottle of Joy ("Want to see my pride & joy?")

Picture of Jennifer (wife)

Picture of Joe (son) at age 8

Picture of Amanda (daughter) at age 1

Picture of Sophia (niece/ goddaughter) at 6 mos

Picture of Joe age 2

Picture of Amanda 6 mos.

Picture of Joe 6 mos

Picture of Joe age 5

Metal-stamped Social Security card

Optometrist business card

3 doctors office receipts from 5 years ago.

Mensa membership card


This, of course, all inspires a poem...

Clutter

by Tony LaRocca

All my life can be explained by garbage on the floor.

All my life in cluttered piles leading to the door.

So much extra energy is wasted trying to get through the day

So much time is lost in trying to guess what I had to say.

Clutter in my mind, clutter in my pocket, clutter around my belly,

One day too much clutter in my heart will turn my brain to useless jelly!

Do you really need this, do you really need that, papers wrapped with strings and tape,

If I can find a shovel small enough, I’ll dig my mind out and escape!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I don't handle rejection very well...

Illustration Friday: Rejection


"They fail, and they alone, who have not striven." This badly translated bit of synchronicity was my fortune cookie with my Chinese takeout tonight. I've acquired many rejection letters over the years, from the one or two science fiction magazines that still exist. There was once a sort of system to writing; magazines were considered the minor leagues, books were considered the majors. Sadly, many of the short story pulp magazines of old have gone the way of the dodo, and the only realistic way to get into print is to jump into the majors. Still, I cling to my dream of being a published author. The trick is I have to actually finish writing a book first...

TTFN
-Tony

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mandy is Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

Try not to overload on the cuteness (pink dress, back row.)

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dream Analysis #e432

I dreamt I was watching the 1986 Transformers movie. There seemed to be a lot more going on in the plot than before, something involving a bomb at an arena. Soon the cartoon came to life & I was a part of it. There was a girl I had gone to school with- I’ll call her M. M had become some sort of eco-terrorist & was planning to blow up the stadium. I tracked her to her house. A huge muscular guy was waiting for me. He attacked me & we fought at lightning speed, blow matching blow. As with most of my dream-fights, the blows didn't hurt & didn't matter- your will pushes your opponent back or his will pushes you. We fought back & forth until I was finally able to flip him onto his back. After I pinned him, I asked if he'd had enough & where M was.

He said that she had left- she didn't want me to find her. There were pictures of her all over the house but they were all out of focus. One showed she had been pregnant. The man said that in college she had gotten involved with eco-terror groups, which held drug induced orgies, where she had gotten pregnant. Her kids were crack babies & were "all messed up." At this point, the alarm woke me.

Now the really odd thing is I haven’t given a thought to M since high school, sixteen years ago. We were friendly, but we really didn’t know each other that well- and (as far as I know) she defiantly didn’t become an eco-terrorist or have crack babies. So where in Hades did my subconscious dredge all this up from?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dear David Chase

Dear David Chase;

You suck. You suck beyond human comprehension.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, June 08, 2007

"Zoot suit riot, throw back a bottle of beer..."

Illustration Friday: Suit


This is an image I made years ago. It was a submission for a project where everyone continued a story by making an illustration for the next card in a deck. This would make a great album cover, I think...

"Things fall apart, the center cannot hold," William Yeats said in his poem, "The Second Coming." If he were to have written that poem today instead of 1919, I think the next line would have been, "And no one gave a damn, because 'American Idol' was on television." It probably would have been a better line than that, with the meter matching the rest of the poem, but you get my drift.

Nothing seems to WORK anymore. I bought a motion sensor for my father. I hooked it up- it didn't work. I took it back, and got another one. I bought a refurbished Nintendo Gamecube (I utterly refuse to buy a Wii as long as they're artificially prolonging the demand so they can keep the outrageous price up.) When we got it home, neither the Gamecube nor the memory chip worked. (Will someone please tell me why you have to buy a 32 meg cartridge to save games? Couldn't they just have put 32 megs of storage memory in the hardware?) We brought it back and traded it for another one. Elena and I have gotten my parents two DVD players. Both of them were utter pieces of crap. Guaranteed, you get what you pay for & they weren't top of the line models, but how do things get on the shelves without working at all? Every summer, here in NYC, we have rolling blackouts (only in the outer boroughs - they would never dare let anything happen to people who live in Manhattan) because our antiquated power grid cannot take the demand anymore. Last summer, neighborhoods here in Queens went TWO WHOLE WEEKS without power, and no one did ANYTHING. The infrastructure of the country seems to be falling apart, and nothing gets done. It all comes down to what the Romans called "bread and circuses." Keep the people fed and entertained, and you can get away with anything. Why do you think the entertainment industry is the only industry America has left?

On the funnier side of the news, as a sequel to the previous post, Paris Hilton is back in jail. I hope the judge sends Sheriff Lee Bacca to jail for contempt as well. How could a sheriff possibly think he had the authority to change a judge's sentence? Some major moolah must have shifted hands for this idiot to think he could get away with that one. Now why can't I be in a job where someone would bribe me a crapload of money to do something for a rich, slutty bimbo? Maybe next time she wants to release a porno on the internet to promote her TV show, I could be cameraman. I don't know how a bribe would be involved in that, but I'm sure we could work out something...

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, June 07, 2007

An Open Letter to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Thank you so much for proving to the world just how arbitrary the American justice system is. Thank you for showing the world that money and power means that we're not all equal under the eyes of the law. It was a good message for your children (and mine) to learn.

TTFN
-Tony

Dear Worthless Piece of Sputum who Posted as "Elvis" from Myspace

Dear Worthless Piece of Sputum;

I'm so glad you have nothing better to do than post your two-page long political views as comments on my blog. Obviously, you know your ideas are worthless because if they were not, a) you would have just put up a post on your OWN blog rather than trying to use mine as a random high-trafficked soap-box, and b) you would have had the courage of your convictions to actually link back to your own page, rather than Elvis Presley's on Myspace. (For those who are not Myspacers, record labels often put up pages for their talent, living or dead.) In the future, save yourself the time and energy and save me the bother of having to delete your worthless puddles of literary vomit.

TTFN
-Tony

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

"They're not lost in space... They're loose."


As Joe is learning that there is more to sci-fi than Star Wars, I decided to show him (and my mother) one of my favorite science fiction movies ever made, Dark Star (John Carpenter & Dan O'Bannon's film-school project.) My mother, for some inexplicable reason, wasn't impressed. Joe, however, loved the extremely expensive special effects (the alien is basically a beach-ball with puppet hands,) but two parts disturbed him: one, that the astronauts could communicate with the dead & frozen commander of the ship via radio (An homage to Philip K. Dick. The other major homages are to Ray Bradbury's classic short story, "Kaleidescope," & of course, 2001: A Space Odyssey.) And two, he didn't quite understand the ending, which concerns teaching phenomenology (did I mention this was a college film?) to a bomb with artificial intelligence.

"OK," I explained, tucking him in for the night, "prove to me that you are not the only thing in the world, and that everything you see and hear isn't just part of your imagination."

He thought about it for a moment. "Because you're real," he said.

"Prove it!" I said.

He thought about it some more. "You are!" he said.

"Prove it!" I continued with a grin on my face.

"Stop it, Daddy," he said, and I could tell the problem was starting to bug him. A little too much for a nine-year-old before bed, I guess. Instead, we both agreed that "Time for sleepy-by, you worthless piece of garbage!" is the coolest thing possible you can say to an alien before you shoot him- especially in a G-rated film.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, June 01, 2007

"...where the grass is green and the girls are pretty..."

Illustration Friday: Your Paradise

In the next life, I get to be the eyeball.

Questions that keep me awake at night:

1) Is it just me, or does Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song sound a lot like the theme song from Get Smart?

2) In Star Wars Episode III, just what the hell do they do on the planet Mustafar? Why would you want a giant factory on a molten rock in space? Do they have a lucrative business exporting lava to planets that don't have any?

3) Does Anarchy Online ever get interesting, or is every mission exactly the same (kill a bunch of bots with die-rolling, or put an inventory object on another object?) Is there actually any real multi-player interaction? Do people actually waste money on this crap? (I'm a Froob & I'm proud!)

4) When deaf children swear, do their parents wash their hands out with soap?

5) Does anyone really think that in Blinded by the Light, Manfred Mann's Earth Band are actually singing "revved up like a deuce"?

6) Does anyone actually (I use that world a lot in this post, don't I?) give a flying fig about Lindsay Lohann going in to rehab, how Paris Hilton is preparing herself for prison, or which bimbo A-Rod is boinking? If the newspapers/programs did NOT make this stuff front page material, would anyone out there honestly search for it on their own? If you feel as I do, check out Jib-Jab's excellent animation, What We Call the News.

Feel free to add your own

TTFN
-Tony