Thursday, December 31, 2009

November Round-Up - 2009

Most people are putting together "Best of 2009" posts, or, even worse, "Best of the Decade" posts, and here I am, talking about November.

But here's the thing: There's no way I can do any kind of "Best of the Decade" post because my memory is just not that good. Plus, I am lazy, and don't want to do the work that it would require for me to refresh my memory. As for a post about my fave movies, or music, or books of 2009, well, maybe I'll do a round-up of the past year's round-ups, but I really don't think I have seen enough 2009 movies to really make any legitimate kind of "best of" list, and I think I bought one new record this year. And books will be covered in any kind of round-ups round-up I do. As for TV, I think I'll be covering that best of list elsewhere, so stay tuned.

So, with that out of the way, let's take a look at November!

Movies Seen: Fourteen, with none in a theater. The best were probably "Food, Inc.," which I won't go into because it covers much of the food-related things I've talked about before, and the horror movie "Trick 'r Treat," which I think went direct to DVD, which is a shame because as far as horror movies go, it did some things I haven't seen before, and was also very darkly funny. I recommend it!

The worst, or at least, most disappointing, was probably Jim Jarmusch's "The Limits of Control," which I found so incredibly tedious and boring, I watched most if it in fast forward mode.

Books Read: Three. The first was a book I spent most of October reading which, fine, some books take a long time to read. Sadly, this book was only 126 pages long. It was "The Turn of the Screw" by Henry James, and I started reading it because I wanted to read something scary for Halloween. Alas, the only scary thing about it was how boring it was. I'm not sure what the problem was. I've read Henry James before--I LOVED "Portrait of a Lady"--so it wasn't an issue with the language or the writing per se. The story just never picked up, and went on and on, and then suddenly, it was over. (After I finished reading it, I watched "The Innocents," to see if it was any better. And it was, a little, but still had the same ridiculous ending.)

So, after that horror, I wanted to read something I knew I'd like, and I knew would be a fast read, so I picked up "A Box of Matches" by Nicholson Baker. Back in the '90s, I really liked his books, ("The Mezzanine" in particular), but then kind of grew bored with him. This one was quite enjoyable, but it made me realize he was writing like a blogger back before blogging even existed.

Lastly was "American Nerd" by Benjamin Nugent, an anthropological look at nerdom and geekery. Alas, it was pretty gender-centric to male geekery, which, fine, the author is a dude, and he's writing about what he knows. But it's far from a definitive look at "American Nerds"...

Fancy Dinners Out: One, at Bix. I've written about Bix before, and it was as good as it's always been. Plus, the waiter gave us free stuff--including some POTATO PILLOWS--since we were there for Jessica's birthday, so that made it even better. I had the lobster spaghetti, and it was the best spaghetti I've ever had in my entire LIFE.

Live Shows Seen: One, the Pixies at the Fox Theater. It was a much better show than the last time I saw the Pixies, which was several years ago at the Greek Theater in Berkeley. I was stuck way up on the lawn for that show, next to someone who wouldn't stop talking, so it was like I was watching a show that was taking place somewhere else. I've mentioned how much I like the Fox Theater before, but this was the first time I didn't sit up in the balcony. I think I still prefer the balcony, because I am old, but it wasn't that bad being on the floor, since it's tiered, and I could see the band for most of it. As for the show, I really liked the video set-up they had going on behind them, and if "Doolittle" is your favorite album, the show was made for you. (Thankfully, it is my favorite Pixies record.)

Shoes Bought: Gosh, I can't remember, so I think it must have been...none?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Put a Ring On My Poker Face

Last January, I posted an awesome mash-up of the top 25 pop songs of 2008, as put together by DJ Earworm. Well, he's back with this year's mash-up, which he's dubbed "Blame It on the Pop."

It's a little too heavy on the Blackeyed Peas for my taste, but it's still pretty great...Here's the video version.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Festivus!

I've got a lot of problems with you people, and now you're gonna hear about it!

Well, maybe later. As much as I'd like to believe there's got to be a better way, I still need to go out and do some last minute Christmas shopping. But believe me, if anyone tries to come between me and a coveted doll, I will RAIN BLOWS UPON HIM.

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Christmas Miracle!

Last year, I bemoaned the fact that I could not find video of Cher's version of "O Holy Night," which has become infamous due to Paul Shaffer's yearly rendition on "Late Show With David Letterman."

Well, my prayers have been answered. Watch the song, among others, in the medley below. Indeed, she does have her hands in a muff, but she is not alone under a street lamp, as Shaffer often describes. Instead, she is surrounded by extras similarly dressed in awful 70s versions of Victorian garb. Which is, of course, AWESOME.

You Need My Nutmeg

There are very few recent Christmas specials that deserve yearly viewings. But "A Colbert Christmas" is an exception. It's required viewing every year.

Unfortunately, Comedy Central seems to be waging a war against Christmas as the only time the special will be airing this coming week is at 2:30am late, late Christmas Eve.

F' that! Watch it right here ANY TIME YOU WANT.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Raise Those Claws!

I went to the Lady Gaga show in San Francisco last night. It was, as you would imagine, pretty spectacular. I think this was probably my favorite moment, as it is just so wonderfully ridiculous. Kind of crappy video, but I think you see enough to get the point...

Saturday, December 05, 2009