Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Zen of Cookie Monster

As we were waiting for a plane together, my sister Elena and I had an interesting conversation about life, acceptance, and philosophy. Suddenly it struck me:

C is for Cookie is one of the most Zen songs ever written.



The song is full of statements. Things are. C is for "cookie." A round cookie with one bite out of it looks like a C. The moon sometimes looks like a C, but you can't eat that. Cookie cookie cookie starts with C. There is acceptance of the way things are: "that's good enough for me." In fact, there is only one statement of judgment in the whole song: That although a doughnut with one bite out of it looks like a C, it's not as good as a cookie.

There are times in our lives when we want things to be different, and it hurts because they are not. In those times, we need to be accepting, and thankful for what we have. Everything is perfect the way it is. In these times of doubt, our mantra needs to become, "That's good enough for me."

TTFN
-Tony

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Was Pulto Mickey's S&M Slave & Other Thoughts

Mandy has been watching classic Disney cartoons on YouTube, and I can't help but wonder - was Pluto Mickey's S&M love slave? Let's look at the facts. In the Disney universe, it has been proven that dogs are "people," just like ducks, mice and chipmunks. Goofy is the most common example. So why does Pluto resign himself to wearing a leash and collar, living in a doghouse, and responding to Mickey's every whim? The only logical answer is that Pluto likes it that way. Prove it to me otherwise.

Is human fat jelled anger? Whenever I've lost weight, I've noticed that during the process, although I feel better physically and most of the time emotionally, I am prone to random fits of anger and lashing out. I've read that others have experienced this as well. So, seeing as stress is a big contributor towards obesity for us unlucky ones, (you don't want to know what we think of you assholes who manage to get thinner under stress,) and seeing as everything in the mind is electro-chemical, I can't help but wonder if human fat is the storage for these anger-chemicals. Not a purely scientific thought, but interesting...

Any other imponderables out there?

TTFN
-Tony

Monday, March 09, 2009

Dear Google News: Stop Shilling for the Kindle, Already!

Every day for the last month, the Google News science & technology section has some article singing the praises of the Kindle II. I'm assuming that Amazon is paying Google huge kickbacks for all this advertising disguised as news, and I'm really getting annoyed with it. I'm also annoyed at "articles" that gush over how soon you'll be able to buy ebooks for the I-Phone

Why am I so annoyed? Because for ten years or so, you could buy ebooks in .lit or .pdf format to read on ANY handheld device. Then Amazon got greedy and decided to corner the ebook reader market by creating the Kindle, (kind of like a Pocket PC or Palm or Phone except it's the size of a laptop, it's expensive, and it does nothing except read kindle-format e-books,) and only selling ebooks in the Kindle's format.

So no thanks, there are still plenty of sites where I can buy ebooks in the old formats that I can download to my Pocket PC and read wherever I want - when, you know, I'm not playing solitaire or Nintendo or surfing the internet or watching videos or listening to MP3s or any of the other many many things I can do on my one small but convinent device.

TTFN
-Tony

Friday, March 06, 2009

To the Parents Who Brought a 5-Year-Old to See Watchmen:

Dear Parents - I'm assuming.

Jen & I saw Watchmen this morning at the AMC Loews on Horace Harding blvd. in Flushing. I saw you in the back row with a five year old - maybe younger - kid. I have to admit I'm pretty liberal minded as to what I let my kids watch - my five year old daughter runs around the apartment yelling, "Giggedy goo!" But I was shocked to see that you thought this movie would be a good idea for a family outing. Ok, I thought, maybe you never read the graphic novel. Maybe you didn't even know the rating. Maybe you just saw superheroes in the commercials and thought it would be a good movie for a kid. Maybe the theater employees warned you that the film was completely inappropriate for your child, maybe not.

Anyway, the movie started, and as the Commedian got the living crap beaten out of him and thrown through a window, I thought, "OK, maybe they realize this isn't a kids' movie now."

I thought the same thing during the fight when a gang member's splintered arm-bone was driven through his skin.

And in the rape scene, when a woman was punched and kicked until she was bruised and bloody and forced over a table...

And when dogs fought over a leg from a child's corpse...

And when a pregnant woman was murdered...

When Rorschach repeatedly drove a meat cleaver into a child molester's head...

When one inmate chopped off another's arms with a buzz saw, splattering blood everywhere...

When somebody was electrocuted... (I got my sewage line!)

When Rorschach cooked an inmate's face in deep-fat-frying oil...

During the hot and heavy sex scene...

When people exploded like bloody meat throughout the movie...

But no, when we left, you guys and the kid were still there. Maybe I'm just mad at myself for not having any testicular fortitude. I really wanted to ask what the hell you people were thinking. because I find it frightening that you put your child through that kind of stimulus. No, I don't think your kid is going to grow up to be a psychopath, but I also can't imagine how a child's mind could process that kind of violence. Maybe you could explain it to me.

TTFN
-Tony

PS - A quick review - I loved the movie, but it would have been even better with a squid!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Nerd Reviews Watchmen, Though He Hasn't Seen It Yet

The TV show Saul of the Mole Men coined a great phrase: Arrogant Nerd Syndrome. It describes the tendency we geeks have to correct other people when they slightly misquote Monty Python sketches. It describes our ability to argue to the point of idiocy over which Doctor (Who,) starship captain, or Star Wars film is the best. And yes, it describes our pain when movie adaptations aren't true to the source material.

For about twenty years now, I've been waiting for a film adaptation of Watchmen. Friday, my dream comes true, and a generation-long nerdy longing will reach fruition. But what will the movie bring? As a proud nerd who has suffered from ANS for many years, I bring to you my review of the Watchmen, a film I haven't seen yet.

Let me start by pointing out the love/hate relationship we nerds have when our favorite works are adapted for the masses. We want to see the movie, but we don't want to share it with the rest of you. Lord of the Rings is a perfect example. In the same way ancient Christians used to draw pictures of fish, we geeks could once identify each other by growling, "My Precious!" in the back of our throats. Now, everybody gets it. It's the same with Watchmen. No longer are the nerd elite the only ones who can identify Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, or Wally Weaver. Honestly, they should make people take a quiz at the door.

Next is the amount of faithfulness to the source material. It blows my mind that Zach Snyder has used the original graphic novel as a storyboard, that in each shot, every minute detail is perfect - right down to the different patterns on Rorschach's mask - BUT HE CHANGED THE ENDING. I feel nothing but burning hatred for studio plants lurking on the message boards whose job it is to defuse the ire of we "fan-boys" who wanted to see a muthafuckin' squid at the end of the story. Seriously - who reads a book and says, "Wow, this is one of the greatest books of all time. I really hope they change the ending."? I don't think so. I'm sure it was a political decision, and that the powers that be were frightened by the 9/11 connotations of the original ending, but I don't care. Zach Snyder, you owe me an admittedly vaginal-looking squid:



OK, on to Zach Snyder. I spotted at least three "Zach Snyder patented speed it up-slow it down-speed it up again" sequences in the trailer. So... how many are going to be in the movie? I didn't mind it so much in 300 because it was a bit of a style piece, but come on. Maybe he if he wasn't playing with the camera speed so much, we would have had room for a squid.

On to the characters. Most are spot on, with two exceptions: Rorschach sounds right, but there's one problem. He's not slimy enough. He looks (at least in the trailer) too clean and polished. He is supposed to have lived an obsessed, paranoid life these last ten years, hiding in a squalid studio apartment in the bad part of town. His clothes are supposed to be stained and torn. He's supposed to reek like rotten eggs. A minor complaint, as I think Jackie Earle Haley is the perfect choice for the character, I just didn't get a feeling of disgusting filthiness from his appearance in the preview.

Now the biggie: Ozymandias. I'm sorry, but Mathew Goode is horribly, horribly miscast. He looks like a kid. In the Graphic Novel, Veidt was at least in his late forties, if not his fifties. Mathew Goode wasn't even thirty when he filmed this. Also, he's far too slight of build, and his lack of physique makes the character's actions a little unbelievable.

Oh yeah- and President Nixon's nose is WAY too big. Seriously. It must be deliberate, because it's obvious. Why, I don't know.

But all in all, I'm still counting down the minutes until Friday morning. I'm praying it's more of a Lord of the Rings - which, despite changes to the plot and characters was still one of the greatest film epics of all time - than a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which dumbed all the intelligent, satirical, and phillisophical material in the book down for the American masses.

Let's end this with some of my favorite quotes that I really hope get into the film:









OK, that's enough for now- I'll let the rest be a surprise.

TTFN
-Tony

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Rock, Roll, Liquor, Family, and the F-Train

Written on 2/28 on my Pocket PC:

It's 2am. I'm on the F train home & wondering if there will be a bus waiting for me in Queens. I doubt it. If not, I'm walking the three miles home, because I'm not paying $20 for a black cab. At least it's nice out.



I saw my cousin Chris's band, The Influence play. I wonder what I can say anything about them except "they rocked." I'm thoroughly inebriated & wonder if it's a good idea to be writing or if I'll get motion sickness. I hung out afterward with Chris & Allison, meeting new people, tossing back alcoholic beverages, and inhaling a few carcinogens. I'm wondering what that says about me, that I started the evening wound up in anxiety, (long story,) but a few cigarettes, whiskey, and friends make everything alright with the world. I guess it's all part of being human.



They played at the Crash Mansion, which is by the Bowery mission, where every homeless person in NYC seems to emanate from. My eardrums are still pounding. Earlier tonight, Joe took his green belt test in Jeet Kune Do, and I filled up on diner pancakes as we celebrated afterward. Jennifer dropped me off at the subway so I could go to Manhattan & enjoy the show.



Times like this, when I go out with friends, I feel as if I'm living two lives that don't quite mesh. Family man by day, club-hopper by night. Jen is wonderfully accepting the handful of times a year I do this. I feel like I'm getting too old for this, but what the hell. Life is too short not to enjoy yourself.

I wonder what my kids must think, the times when I leave at night & come home the next morning. I don't have a frame of reference. My parents' social life was strictly church-centered. We always socialized as a family. The few times they went away by themselves were on Catholic retreats, and we were left in the care of fellow Christians.

OK, we're jiggling too much and my stomach doesn't like it. Going to stop this now.

TTFN
-Tony