Monday, December 31, 2012

So, that was 2012 huh...

Well, that year had it's ups and downs, but I think was a pretty un-interesting year overall actually. Sure I got a lot done, but I just don't feel that sense of excitement and adventure I always hope for.

I student taught (man, that seems like forever ago), finished being Circle K Governor, graduated with much family and friend hoopla, went to New Orleans for Circle K and got my wallet stolen, went to the Clinton Presidential Library and Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas; went to my first Anime convention in Maryland, met the Green Power Ranger; picked up Patsy from Camp, visited the Jersey Shore and D.C.; passed the Foreign Service Officer exam; worked on Senator Brown's re-election campaign down in Chillicothe, got him reelected (woohoo!) paid my credit cards down to zero with the earnings from that, now in the process of getting my student loans taken care of so I have no debt to my name going into early 2013. Got myself a PS3, a new phone, mom got me a digital picture frame, and I went to Starbucks and the mall more often than any sane person should. Ever.

See what I mean? Nothing spectacular, I think even during the year many people looked at this as a very "status quo" year - nothing changed, we just kept pace with what we were doing. We got President Obama re-elected, but both the U.S. and Ohio Houses remain in Republican control. The Yaris continues to fall apart, because while I'm financially well off, I refuse to invest in a new car until I get my career in order.

Where I would like to be a year from today, but that's a stretch....

Speaking of career, in January I'll hear back from the State Department (which I am hopeful, but it is always necessary to have multi-tiered back up plans) so I am applying to the Defense Department to teach at a Military Base abroad, Substitute Teach in my area, and I'm applying to a handful of other positions. I remain hesitant to work in food service or any other "entry level, minimum wage" job. I have a degree, damn it, and I'm Andrew: my luck, wit and magic will kick in to get me exactly where I need to be.

Well, I've gotta get off this thing and shower so I can go buy super-late Christmas gifts -- haha. Happy New Year, Internet! Here's hoping 2013 brings more adventures, more trips out of state, out of the country, a solid career, and perhaps some new characters into our lives.

Video of the Day: Wouldn't be a last video of the year if I didn't link to the JibJab 2012 Year in Review. I personally think this one is okay, not as laugh out loud funny as some other of their videos (I'm really disappointed they didn't do an election one this year!)

P.S. Wishes for a speedy recovery for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton! She is currently in the hospital for a blood clot, which is what my Great-Grandfather died of. In our Prayers, Hill-Dawg!

P.P.S. Gallup just released that Hillary Clinton is the Most Admired Woman of the Year for the 11th Year in a Row. She is one of the foremost leaders of our era, and I wonder how many people actually take a second to think about that.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

What's in YOUR eBook reader?

(That is supposed to be a play on "What's in your wallet?") Today's blog is on reading materials. This past Christmas, I got mom an eReader (a Kindle Fire, specifically) because we have all generally agreed the age of print media is on the decline, and all my friends' parents had eBook readers. And yet, ironically (but probably not in line with the definition of irony) -- my Christmas list had a bunch of books and DVDs on it. Books, the supposed dying medium, and DVDs, another group angry about illegal downloading along with music. (I admit, there was no music on my Christmas list this year - but in years past, while illegal downloading has been popular, I have asked for CDs for Christmas.)

Stolen from Andrew Chittenden, over at Chittyland.

I think it was Lily Allen who was all for illegally downloading her music, because she understood the necessity to make money through music in other ways - legal downloads, youtube watches, concert sales, band merchandise, etc. I think more '20th century media' needs to come to this conclusion -- The Cleveland Plain Dealer is facing heavy cutbacks, resulting in many "Save the Plain Dealer!" billboards across North-East Ohio. We are not the culture of the 50s and 60s where pa goes out to get the newspaper in his robe every morning and reads it at breakfast, looking over it occasionally to tell advise his young son "Well if the bully hits you, hit'm right back!"

Newspapers, book stores, bands/musicians all need to adapt to modern media. We live in the age of the internet, you need to find a way that you are making money but up to the minute reporting, like CNN and Fox News. I hate Fox News* (the cable channel), but something about their advertising technique must be working.

I wrote this in part because over at Plunderbund, they're memorializing the 27 year anniversary of Columbus becoming a one-newspaper city. The Columbus Dispatch has since degenerated into useless rags as fangirl-ish as Fox News for our awful Governor. Too bad Plunderbund doesn't have a small magazine, maybe once or twice a week. I'd read that if it were cheap. Honestly I think I prefer magazines to Newspapers anyway, in the words of the internet: Ain't nobody got time for that!

Lastly, I wanted to comment on the book I just finished "Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by The White House." by Valerie Plame Wilson. (2007) This book was AWESOME! People may remember back in c. 2003, there was a bunch of hype about the White House having outed an under cover US secret agent, putting her life and many other lives in danger. It resulted in 'Scooter' Libby's Federal grand jury investigation, and his resignation from the Bush administration. Anyway, the book itself is an interesting look into the mind of a woman working at the CIA, being a mom, and being in the national spotlight. It definitely rekindled my dislike for the Bush administration, and reminded me that men such as Karl Rove will stop at nothing for power -- they will literally put our national defense in jeopardy. I also rented the film based on the book, which was okay, but I think I'd prefered if Sean Penn wasn't in it. I can't wait to make a lesson plan about the movie and story for a Social Studies class someday!

Anyway, now I'm finishing up "Dreams from my Father" (1995) the first book by President Obama, written while he was finishing up her Law Degree at Harvard (so ten+ years before he was President.) It's got it's interesting points, but there are also long parts where even I get bored and don't know what he's talking about. He gets almost too flowery, speaking in symbolism and metaphor about "hope and change" as the sayings go, and this is long before he even dreamed of being President - ha! But it does make me think how outrageous accusations against him for being born in Kenya, or a "secret Muslim" are -- in addition to the paper trail, it is simply illogical that someone would create that much false data on the off chance of running for President some day. There is some not-so-flattering information in the book too, wouldn't he have done some kind of cover up work if cover up work was his method of rising to power? Instead he wrote a whole book, which was widely sold more than ten years ago, about his *first* trip to Kenya, and the emotional tidal wave that came with that, and his childhood in Indonesia and Hawaii. Anyway, almost done with that, and then I'll be on the market for some books to read in 2013.

Video of the Day: "Taylor, the Latte Boy" - performed by Kristen Chenoweth. I had never heard of this until the other day when a former Circle K Adviser mentioned it in a Facebook status, so I googled it, and it was hilarious! It reminds me of various friends who have been in love with baristas over the years.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Marina & The Diamonds vs. Lady Gaga

Okay, so I started this off kind of with the idea that Marina was copying off Lady Gaga, or at least there was an inordinate number of inspired-by scenes, but now I think I'm probably stretching a bit, and I'm actually coming to appreciate her music a bit more once I get over the fact she sounds a lot like Katy Perry.

Still, what's done is done: and now I have these comparison shots and they have to go somewhere.

It started with the above image, where I'm like "Oh. She's dancing in a white bath house. How very Bad Romance.

 Then I noticed in Primadonna, the song that introduced me to Ms. Marina, that "walking around a rich person's house with a spot light on you" kinda sounded familiar. Low and behold, Gaga's been there and done that.
Then there was this confused dog. And I remembered Gaga serenaded dogs before! Only they didn't look as confused as Fido here on the right.

 And if a dog is doing it, a cat's probably done it and decided it wasn't worth their time. Low and behold Marina's "Power & Control" features another furry confused creature. Then I tried to remember if there were any cats in Gaga music videos, and this sphinx cat came to mind. Hardly a "stole the idea to use a cat from Lady Gaga" but interesting different uses.

Song of the Day: From the Primadonna link, the first song it recommended was "How to Be a Heart Breaker" by Marina & the Diamonds. We have a recurring joke that Angela has a gay army/mafia, that I think traces it's origin to a party where someone invited an annoying guy that none of us knew that was gay and didn't like Angela. We thought that it was funny cause Angela always invited a BUNCH of gay guys to her parties who would defend her in a heartbeat if that argument broke out. I don't remember him ever coming back, but the gay mafia often did.

Where am I going with this you ask? I think this song goes to show that like Angela and Lady Gaga, Marina is also the head honcho of a gay mafia, so ya know, don't challenge her to a scantly clad dance off in the shower or a toe-nail painting contest.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The 2012 Christmas List: Part 1

Patsy asked me yesterday if mom still asks me for a Christmas list. Ha! No, she doesn't, I try to make her one though because she's really... odd about buying Christmas presents. I'm all for presents not being as important as the love of family, and it's the thought that counts, but mom is of a more practical straightforward mindset: "all Gift-cards! So you can buy what you want." Nobody wants to wake up on Christmas and just have Gift-cards! We live in the instant gratification generation, and I can't buy that vest at Express on Christmas day.

So I've constructed, for my friends and more as a thought excercise, what I want for Christmas this year. This will also help the week after Christmas during the sales when I'm all like "What do I want to buy that no one got me..."

Section 1: Playstation 3 Games. So as you may or may not know, I just bought myself a Playstation 3 - and it has been a blast! I'm lovin the Uncharted series. So there are a few games I would like, that given time, I would probably end up buying myself. But as I've elaborated to Panda: buying video games as a gift is kind of weird. It's not particularly personal, it's just a matter of buying the thing the person wants. And once the person is done playing the game, it just sits on a shelf. But I guess that's the same with books sort of? I dunno. Mixed feelings on video games.

1A: "L.A. Noire" - I've heard of this game before, looked into it a bit the other day when I realized one of the actors from Charmed is in it, and it sounds really cool. Mystery solving (CHECK!), 8-square mile habitat based on real historic Los Angeles (Awesome?!), and dozens of mysteries that take place in that environment. I think this game would last be quite a while, and be pretty cool, so it makes the list.

1B: "Siren: Blood Curse" - I've searched and searched, but apparently this game was not released in the US. Panda tells me PS3s don't have regions like DVD players do, so I can just buy it from eBay even if it's from the UK or Australia (note: English* speaking country!) This game is considered by many to be one of the scariest games for PS3 out there! So that's awesome, cause I love horror video games. I admit I only understand part of the plot, and am saving the rest for when I actually play the game. But it's set in Japan, occult ritual, missing village sort of like Silent Hill.

1C: Then there are a few games that I would be fine if they were used, or missing their case or something to get them cheaper. Things that I like, but probably am going to put off buying myself for quite some time. I like Lego games, and own the complete Star Wars: Both Trilogies for Lego but haven't gotten around to playing it much. Indiana Jones lego would be cool, Batman lego I was not too impressesd with when I played it, and I'm not too optimistic about The Hobbit lego, not really into the whole Hobbit/LOTR genre. Harry Potter Lego, now that would probably be cool, but isn't it split up across multiple games? That's weird, but I'd probably like it. So Harry Potter Lego and Indiana Jones Lego.

Then there's Playstation 3 All Stars (which includes Nathan Drake from Uncharted) but he's probably the only character I'd ever play as, as I haven't played all that many PlayStation 3 games haha. Also no one ever comes to my house to play against me, and I feel like Panda's the only person I know with a PS3 and she doesn't have the game - so fighting games require a lot of set up time to truly enjoy. I'm pretty much a video game loner.

Song of the Day: "Primadonna" by Marina & The Diamonds. So I heard this on the radio, I think at a girls clothing store with Panda, and my first instinct was "this sounds exactly like Katy Perry." The music video is boring, kind of cookie cutter for aspiring pop stars. I definitely see elements we've seen before. Dog? Check. Dark Romp in an Expensive House? Check. Though this is the first time I've felt traces of Paranormal Activity thrown in -- haha. Still, I thought it was worth a listen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

'Merica: Another Reason it sucks to be North Korea

So I was googling, and apparently North Korea had a successful "satellite" launch test? (I like this story better.) A test they have been trying since 1998, but has yet to be successful. It got me to wondering, what's North Korea up to? So I did some searching, and let me just say one more time how much I love America.

Ya see, while googling, I found these diagrams of North Korean political prison camps and these images of a North Korean missile site. And it reassures me to no end that if these are the images we freely, publicly share on the news and the internet -- imagine what CIA and Covert Government programs must be able to see. Kudos, America, on being awesome, and sharing what several steps beneath our awesomeness looks like.

I drew in those squares, where I took the following zoomed in pics.

The North Koreans surely can't tell exactly how many canoes we have, at any given location. Unless we feel like sharing that information on Google Earth, which we do, because we are secure enough in our awesomeness and transparency is a value in our culture. But at the end of the day, I'm betting the North Koreans aren't happy we know exactly how many canoes they have.

Look, the North Koreans have even been so kinda as to incorporate isolines into their landscaping. Thanks North Koreans! Saves our geographers the hassle.

My final favorite part is this thing. I don't know what it is, North Korea, but you can bet our scientists do, and they know exactly how tall it is because MATH. Yeah, we can see this, so don't try anything funny NK.

These images were taken on March 11, 2009 from SPACE bitches; and that last picture is an "Umbilical tower and launch pad."

Song of the Day: "Sometimes Things Get, Whatever" by Deadmau5. From his album "Random Album Title." Released in September 2008 (so before President Obama was elected the First time...) it reminds me the first time I gave any thought to Deadmau5 was when a student of mine (while student teaching) was listening to it in the Computer lab and asked me if I listened to Deadmau5, which until that point I had not.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December means Cooking Show Marathons

I've noticed, historically, that I watch more cooking shows in Winter than on average. Well, indeed lately I've been catching "Iron Chef" and "The Next Iron Chef: Redemption" and a few other shows here and there. Low and behold, my favorite TV Chef has returned.... Again!

Haha, he's just good television!

Marcel Vigneron, formerly of Top Chef season 2, season 8 (All Stars) and is back for The Next Iron Chef: Redemption after his "Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" got canceled after only 6 episodes. I tell ya one thing, he being my favorite TV chef, if I knew the show existed during it's run I would have tried to watch it -- but apparently I first heard of it after it'd already been canceled, so I only got to watch it on SyFy's website. But moving on.

Did I mention "Eat at the Restaurant of one of my favorite Top Chef's" is #15 on my bucket list? Carla, you qualify!

Right this second I'm watching "The Chew", and it's reminding my that my second favorite TV Chef is Carla Hall (also from Top Chef, season 5, and again season 8 all stars.) The Chew always comes off as a weird conglomeration of trying to do a bunch of things at once, but Clinton Kelly from What Not To Wear is also on here, so if the topic at all manages to grab my attention I try to leave it on for a few minutes.

Whaaat, can we look at this awesome Star Trek: The Chew picture!? Captain 'Clinton' Kirk, Carla 'Uhura' Hall!

Anyway, watching food shows also means I get the urge to actually cook things. Also mom is having a "bring a dish" Christmas party at work, and Mom said: "I was just going to pick something up at Giant Eagle, since the only recipe we have is the Chicken Paprikas." Whaaaaaaaaaat, False. Mom, I can cook pretty much anything. I have plenty of recipes up my sleeves. So accordingly, I've been experimenting with Holiday side dishes.

Yesterday I cooked a roasted grape/walnut topping to put on crackers with cheese, the recipe originally suggested with blue cheese on crackers; since mom always has a wide variety of cheeses in the fridge, we tried a bunch of different things on slices of traditional French bread. We found the Feta was best, but I don't think the roasted grapes was really the right choice for a party, I also think the butter in it doesn't really refrigerate well.

This afternoon I plan to make an apple-gingerbread bacon stuffing. I originally liked the idea of a gingerbread-apple stuffing, but the only recipe I could find online also had bacon, and I'm not gonna say no to Bacon. But I will make two separate batches, one with the bacon, one without to compare.

Quote of the Day: Watched "The West Wing" as I was going to bed last night, there is an episode at the end of Season 3 where White House Press Secretary CJ Cregg works out at the Secret Service Gym, and tries out the shooting range with her personal Secret Service protection person (whom she is falling for. No pun intended.)
Simon: I’m going to stand behind you and hold your shoulders
CJ: I don’t need training wheels.
Simon: Okay.
CJ fires gun and falls to the ground
Simon: Be careful. That .357’s got a bit of a kick.
CJ: That thing practically broke my arm! I’ve been wrong about guns, just hand these out to the criminals.

Upcoming Movie of the Day: "Star Trek into Darkness" -- the second Star Trek film in the 'rebooted' series, This looks fantastic! With new secret bad guy played by Benedict Cumberbatch, almost EVERYTHING about this movie has been completely kept secret. Star Trek fans have recieved a spare few clues about who the bad guy can be, hinted as being someone from the Original Series. The three leading suggestions have been Khan Noonien Singh, Gary Mitchell, and Garth of Izar. Without further ado...

  1. Khan Noonien Singh: This was the early favorite, but now it seems the momentum is favoring it's actually Gary Mitchell. Introduced in the original series episode "Space Seed" played by famous Ricardo Montalban, Khan was a genetically engineered "super man" who took over a third of the world during the "Eugenics wars of Earths 1990s." When he was overthrown, he and his engineered followers were sent into space in a 'sleeper ship' that put them into hibernation for centuries until Kirk saved them. Yadda yadda yadda, he returns in the second Star Trek movie: "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan."
  2. Gary Mitchell: The recent favorite, Mitchell was a Academy friend of Kirk's who later served on the Enterprise under Kirk; in the second episode of the original series he was turned into a omnipotent being and the power went to his head and Kirk had to kill him. I'm betting this is who Cumberbatch will end up playing.
  3. Garth of Izar: This is who I would like it to be, but like I said, it's probably Mitchell. Garth was a famous war hero, who fought "the Battle of Axanar", a hero that Kirk read about at the Academy. But he had gone crazy, and was in a Federation Rehabilitation colony when the crew met him -- and he tried to take over the ship. (In fact, all three of our candidates are "supermen who went power-crazy, and try to take over the ship.")

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The End of Unlimited Data

Thought I'd post this image real quick. The GPS chip in my cell phone is starting to malfunction, after I've had the phone for approximately two years, so I took it in to get a new one. They told me I would need to give up my unlimited data plan to get a new phone, and they took a look at my data usage and told me that I used significantly more on average than the average plan.

That to limit my data usage, I would need to in fact pay $40-50 MORE per month on top of my phone bill. That seemed fishy, so I said no thanks and walked out. Upon closer inspection of my usage though, I really don't use as much data as they made it seem under normal circumstances -- my time in Chillicothe not being normal circumstances.

Haha, as you can see, I wasn't about to pay $150 a month to have I think 4-5 GB of data a month when I really only use like $1.5 GB of data in an average month.

Still, the look on the guys eyes when he saw how much data I used reminded me of the Chinese restaurant in West Akron when I finished the hot sauce she delivered. She did a little hop in shock that I was able to eat the hot sauce, haha. Aw well, looks like I'll be limiting my data in favor of a new phone in the not too-distant future.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Right Click, Add "Fracking" to Dictionary

Well, my friend Laura has been asking that I look into the documentary "Gasland" for some time now - probably since early summer, and I put it on my Blockbuster que (yes, still have one of those) at that time and they sent it to me probably in August. It's been sitting in it's sleeve since then (I even took it with me down to Chillicothe!) because I haven't had the time to give it the intellectual time I think it deserves, and at 2:11 tonight I think it's about time. So this blog will be my review, of sorts, of that documentary.

Let me tell you my first impression of the anti-Fracking movement. I first heard of "fracking" when mom was signing petitions against it online, did some googling, it didn't sound particularly environmentally friendly so my instinct was to oppose it but learn more when necessary. Fracking eventually came to Ohio, and I had lots of things on my plate, didn't really have a chance or need to learn more yet. Then it literally came to my city, and I happened to be at the City Council meeting (I like to pop in for fun, when I can) when numerous anti-Fracking people spoke to City Council. I gotta say, based on that meeting and the first part of the Documentary I've gottne through so far -- the anti-Fracking movement needs to get their image together. Everyone is in ragged clothes, messy hair, and it ruins their credibility when the pro-Fracking movement will always be in suits, ties, and $400 haircuts.

Subterranean Shale in the US (where Fracking targets.)

News Stories I am reading, and have found noteworthy, are listed here:
Representative Diana DeGette of Denver (D-CO) has in the past submitted legislation (The Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act) that did not pass during the Democratic controlled 111th Congress, and though submitted did not come for a vote during the split 112th Congress either -- so I do not have high hopes for it's future in the 113th Congress.

So to my friend, who is super eager to protect from Fracking to the point where last I spoke to her she opposed President Obama's reelection because he supported it - I plan to tell her the best first step is to get the Fracturing Responsibility Act passed. Since that has poor hopes right now, any stricter regulations do not really have a chance at this point. But regulating the industry to make it safer is necessary, I see why so many Democrats support it -- it brings in jobs and reduces our reliance on foreign oil - but we need to regulate it far more responsibly.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Blogging as a Career

I've been blogging since High School! (Maybe even middle school? But AOL & Myspace deleted those early blogs.) And the fact that these blogs are generally aimless is intentional, I just like having a record of my life that I can google/search for specific things if I need answers later. A lot of blogs are more focused, like the ones I follow about politics or the Foreign Service.

"Tots weird, that is cray!"

Haha, the above video -- a movie preview, sort of, that I saw at the movies the other day made me think about just how many bloggers there are these days! Both of the characters happen to be bloggers, just saying, interesting coincidence. Every now and then, while I'm giving arrogant if informed advice on things, I feel like I would have a pretty interesting lifestyle blog like Men's fashion or Twenty-Something lifestyle. (Can I point out that, after googling, there are a lot of blogs out there titled some variation of "Twenty Something Lifestyle" already.)

Song of the Day: "Want You Gone", performed by GlaDOS (voiced by Ellen McLane), written by John Coulton. Okay, don't read or watch this if you have any interest in not spoiling the end of Portal 2. I didn't know what to expect from the end of Portal 2, but boy was I glad when it was a song!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Wisdom Teeth Removal & My Day

So I got all four wisdom teeth removed today, and I have to say my recovery is going much better than I expected because I started out with dirt-low expectations. So part of pre-surgery was not to eat or drink after 12 midnight because I guess some of the medication I was on could have made me vomit during the surgery (super ew.) That was easy enough, not even water though.

So woke up super early, surgery was scheduled for 8:45 -- I go in, leave my dead phone in my coat. Step one is take off my outer button up shirt because I wore too many clothes cause it seemed cold, lol. They put a laughing-gas mask on me, and they ask if I have any questions, and the only question I have is: "So will I have crazy singing/dancing dreams like on Glee?" The nurse chuckled that that was the only question I had, and the Doctor came in, and they commented that they'd never heard of anyone having dreams under anesthesia. So they put a IV-thingie in my arm, and it really doesn't hurt even as much as getting ready to give blood has.

Bam. I don't even remember what happened after that. Gone.

I wake up and seem to be running on auto-pilot, I am sitting in a waiting room and the nurse is explaining things to me and mom is there. I again have the "do you have any questions?" and all auto-pilot Andrew could come up with was something about drinking during recovery, which non-running-on-autopilot would NEVER have asked in front of mom.

Tons of gauze in my mouth, mom drives me home and I watch my recently purchased for less-than-3-dollars Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life. Take my first bit of medication, and the rest of my day has been The West Wing marathon (starting with the first season, considering doing the whole series?) and napping, trying to figure out what I can eat.

Woah! CiarĂ¡n Hinds played the bad guy in Tomb Raider 2, that's where I'd seen him before. He was also former-President Hammond on "Political Animals" this past summer.

Nap felt great, woke up feeling almost back to normal actually. Pain in my mouth got a bit worse, but I feel it's mainly from a breathing tube kinda thing rather than my teeth. I'm not allowed to eat how foods at first cause it could lead to more oozing x_x which is gross. So today has been yogurt and Orange pop-over-Icecreams (not really a milkshake, but I guess an Orange float?)

I finished Uncharted 2 the other day, so I'm going to try to put off Uncharted 3 a few days/weeks, because once it's done, it's done.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Black Friday and a Movie

Well, I had an eventful enough Black Friday I think. Didn't partake in any late night shopping lines, stayed up late after my friend Danielle's Thanksgiving Wedding to play Uncharted 2 into the wee hours of the morning instead. (Favorite PS3 series, by the way!)
Almost bought this for $19.95; did NOT buy this for $76.96.

In the afternoon, Panda and I went shopping out at South Park Mall -- haha, managed to spend the whole afternoon there and only bought one thing between the two of us. I got Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life on DVD for a wopping $3! Almost bought some awesome dress clothes from H&M, but they weren't priced correctly and I wasn't about to pay Express standard prices on Black Friday.

Then we went and saw Wreck It Ralph, which actually was better than I was expecting! I kinda hoped that the internet rumor I heard about GlaDOS from Portal being in it was true -- but it didn't take long for the logic of the in-movie universe to effectively rule that out.

Quote of the Day: "Welcome to the Boss level!" - Bad guy in Wreck It Ralph. I plan to say this line in my actual life at some point, because.

Song of the Day: "When Can I See You Again" by Owl City. This was the end-credits song to Wreck It Ralph, and it's actually not bad. I'm glad Owl City and, another band/group/person that I figured would be a one-hit wonder are actually back and making good songs. The video for this song obviously uses lots of W.I.R. clips, nothing spoiler-y at all.

I love his glasses in this, I've almost bought those in the past and have commented if I ever need to go into the witness protection program or something and need to reboot my entire fashion -- pixelation/video games would be very prominent. I also like the pixelation in the set of this video -- makes me think it would look super cool to do that with a school play!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Advice to a Struggling 1940s Department Store

So last night I was watching the Marx Brothers movie "The Big Store." I *LOVE* the Marx Brothers, I have since I was very young and watched the movies with my dad -- and I'd like to think I got my sense of humor from my dad, because we used to watch all the old comedies like Gene Wilder and the Marx Brothers. And Mom's sense of humor is just awful. But anyway.
My new DVD rack! Can you spot the Marx Bros. collection?
Wow. Didn't know I had so many DVDs until they were stacked up to almost my height.
So things you should know: The Marx Brothers, if you don't know, were like *THE* Comedian group of the like, late 1920s through mid-1940s. Their quick variety of humor (three brothers, Harpo, Cheeko and Groucho -- Groucho being my favorite) played in all kinds of different settings, one parodying Casablanca, another set in preparing for an Opera, this particular one was set in a Department Store that was going through financial trouble of some kind (in 1941.)

Observation numero uno: There was a point where they were going to celebrate selling the store, and the guy says "It's Saturday, so the store closes at 1:00 - we can have a party right here in the store for all the employees!" Ummmmmm... I'm sorry. Pause. Rewind. Did you say the Mall closes at 1:00 PM on a Saturday, cause it was definitely daytime. How on EARTH was that standard practice in the 1940s? How did anyone shop!? You'd have to get to the mall so super early, the lines would be crazy. You know what would help you're struggling department store buddy -- BETTER HOURS.

Picture of the Day: I love Chipotle's sense of humor, haha. I love that this is a classy printed sign, in Chipotle font and everything. Just awesome.

Song of the Day: "If I Were A Core" by Harry101UK. BAHAHAHAHAHA! So, I totally came across one of his other Portal songs and thought it was legit produced by the people who made Portal. I mean, the voices, the animation, the professionalism of it all is Out Of This World. (SPAAAAACE!) This particular song is a automated turret singing about how it wishes it was a Core (like Wheatley.) It's a parody of "If I Were A Boy" by Beyonce. I just can't even, this is great.

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Would Regina Wear: Mens Edition

So the only TV show that I go all out to find a way to watch these days is Once Upon a Time. (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and The Colbert Report would probably come in second, and I really don't go out of my way to watch these at all.) Instead, rather than wait the 24 hours for Once to get to Hulu, my boss (also a Once fan) has graciously invited me over her house to watch it on Sunday nights with her roommate! Love this job!
My favorite character from the show, as I have past alluded to? Mayor Regina Mills (AKA: The Evil Queen), played by the lovely Lana Parrilla. The premise for the show, one more time, is "...all the fairy tale characters you know and love have been brought to our world by an evil curse, where they have lost their memories..." yadda yadda yadda savior, Maine. Anyway.

As everyone knows, I do love Leading Women Bad Asses, especially when they rock a pantsuit! So I thought I'd post a bit about how I wish I had clothes that were mens versions of Regina's.

This has come to be known, on the internet, as the Epic Jacket Flip of Awesomeness.

This is the outfit the Evil Queen wore in the last two episodes of the last season, and the first episode of this season (because it was all supposed to take place over the course of a really dramatic 24 hour period I think?) Well, from one of my favorite Asian clothing makers Youstars, here is a Black-with-White piping blazer and low-cut vest that resemble the evil queen's outfit. But looking at these images, I'm not really convinced the Blacks would match.

Ya know, I think Hillary even has something similar...

Haha, while googling around, apparently this was also the outfit of choice for the 1960's cult favorite "The Prisoner." Considering what was happening to the Evil Queen during the scenes she wore this, I wonder if that was at all intentional?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I haven't loved you in a long, long time... so why do I feel this way?"

So out of the blue, a friend retweeted a link saying "If you still think myspace is gone forever, check this out..." and the video is awesome! It makes myspace look very reinvented, and I look forward to the possibility of MySpace making a come back! And am further entertained by the idea that for the next decade society will flock from MySpace to Facebook to MySpace to Facebook....

But the part that I particularly love is this music. The lyrics are perfect. It's a real song, about I guess a girl missing a guy but not really or something. But if you listen to it thinking it's about MySpace: Holy Cow! It's like, spot on transitioning from MySpace missing me, to my thinking their new website is Awesome!

"Who am I to say, I want you back
When you were never mine to give away...
Who are you to look at me like that?
I haven't loved you in a long, long time... so why do I feel this way?...
If you break my heart a second time, I might never be the same..."
Song of the Day: "Heartbeat" by JJAMZ. Obviously.

Quote of the Day: Alright, so SNL has been on summer vacation until last week, when they introduced their new actor playing President Obama, and did their traditional lampooning of the Presidential race. I gotta say the new Obama isn't great, their Mitt is good but it's just not "show stoppin" like Sarah Palin because Mitt is not show stopping, nor is Joe Biden. But I love that actor, he's really good. But this weekend, the potential star of the SNL election may have made her first appearance. Ann Romney.

In a Weekend Update with Seth Meyers, an SNL Ann Romney (Governor Romney's wife) comes on talking about her real life statements telling Republicans critical of the Romney campaign to lay off because "This is Hard!"

"You guys wish Ron Paul was still running? Well guess what, he prolly is, 'cause he's a lunatic who doesn't understand how voting works!" - SNL Ann Romney

Friday, September 7, 2012

Chillicothe Update

Counties I work with...

House I move into on Monday...

My first pay day is September 21st, and it will be a full paycheck as far as I can tell, for the previous two weeks.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Observations on Captain Kirk's Quarters

So I've been in a bit of a Star Trek mood lately, and right now I'm watching the movie Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country before bed. Having noticed a few things I'd never noticed before, I feel like I should publish them on the internet somewhere!

Firstly, I have the utmost respect and love for the people who make the tiny details of Star Trek possible. Mike Okuda in particular, who designed all of the major Starfleet computer screen layouts. And a little random background in case your curious, Star Trek VI is the sixth Star Trek movie that came out a little after Star Trek: The Next Generation aired. It is the last film to focus solely on the original crew, and is set aboard the USS Enterprise-A (the second of six Federation Starships named Enterprise.) So, onto my observations!

"...I can never forgive them for killing my boy."
(Kirk's son David was introduced in Star Trek II, only to be killed by the Klingons in Star Trek III.)

First thing is the computer panel next to his bed, the scene opens on him recording a Captain's Log. The panel, which is just a backlit gel sheet does not have any video components, so thought had to go into either A.) Not showing the panel after he stops recording or B.) before hand, the panel would be out of shot by design when he stops recording.

Behind the Scenes shot, rarely released apparently -- I think this "Sparky Malarkey" blog is the first to release it actually.
In the above shot note the model of Kirk's original Enterprise, and on the wall there be whales!

Next he puts something away in a closet, you can see at least 3 other 2280s-design Starfleet uniforms, and also his "Away Mission Jacket" from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Yay, continuity!

The Jacket can be seen in the closet, striped collar and "solar system" round shoulder patch.

Apparently after the events of Star Trek IV (where Kirk time traveled back to 1986 to bring Humpback whales to the 23rd made sense in context), Kirk became quite the Whale afficianado. Among his historical art of naval vessels is one of some Killer Whales. And in the above  "behind the scenes" picture, he's also got a plaque of some whales.

Quote of the Day: "If there is to be a brave new world, our generation is going to have the hardest time living in it." - Chancellor Gorkon of the Klingon Empire, to Captain Kirk. Chancellor (ie: President) Gorkon was designed to be seen as the Klingon Abraham Lincoln; as leader of THE warrior race, his goal was to end 70 years of hostility between the Klingon Empire and the United Federation of Planets. His sentiment reminds me of how older people view gay marriage, and different respect for diversity and racial and cultural differences.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Human Element

In advertising, it's always important to reach an emotional nerve in getting your message to stick. Suburu comercials are pretty good at this, I think, because I always feel like they are speaking about my life! Especially my favorite comercial here:

Lately I've seen a few more commercials I thought were worth picking out as particularly touching or sweet for one reason or another.
Aww, boooo. This Johnson & Johnson comerical has requested no embedding. That's unfortunate, cause the comercials really sweet, so you should go watch it here:
The following stands out -- in an age when we've torn apart BP because of their environmental failures, Shell...

0:55/1:00 ...has a kid reading The Magic School Bus!!! Whaaat!? A few months ago I couldn't even find any Magic School Bus books at a book store. I have now officially made a note in my head to favor Shell gas when applicable.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Spells of Astoroth

This will be a blurb post: while meandering the internet as I often do, I came across a magnificent movie/TV Prop blog "Hollywood Movie Costumes and Props" - and while perusing it, I came across a Bedknobs and Broomsticks reference I was not at all expecting!

I look closer, and we have a never-before-seen page from the spellbook from the movie! Anyone who knows me knows I love owning props that make fiction seem realistic -- and the king of those props in my eyes are spellbooks. I was mystified and entranced by magic growing up, which is why Bedknobs and Broomsticks is one of my favorite movies, and Sabrina and Charmed are some of my favorite TV shows.

Apparently, "The Spells of Astoroth" is on display at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library in Simi Valley, California. I have to make it my goal to get to this exhibit before it leaves in April 2013!

BEEZ in my Lap, Part 1

What an oddly exciting past 24 hours. And let me just say how proud I am of this blog's title, for reasons I'll explain in a few paragraphs.

So what a weird past day I've had? Yesterday, Panda happy to have finally hit payday wanted a night out and I tried to assemble the troops - and Patsy was able to convince Kat to come out! We haven't seen her in forever; and Angela was up to joining us too, so we got some DELICIOUS Mike's Place (I always forget that place exists. It's so weird that Patsy just thinks of it as another place, even had a Birthday party there, but I think of it as a place I discovered for our group of friends in 2006.

After a super-delicious and filling meal and drinks there, we met up with Panda and made our way to Bar #1. Which was pretty dead for a bit, so we went for a walk down the street to check the other bars within walking distance. After stopping outside of one bar, I said "Patsy, open the door and see if anyone's in there so we don't all have to walk in." Right after I said that, a Bartender came and opened the window-less door and put a doorstop in. It was empty. We decided to head to the Valley, near Angela's apartment.

The Valley also being dead, we decided to heck with finding a crowded place and just had a good time chatting about all kinds of random stuff. Eventually the conversation got seriously close to myself and 4 girls going to a strip club. But I knew they'd chicken out so that didn't happen, and Patsy and Kat called it a night and Angela invited friend Mike out with us. So we headed to downtown Akron to see what was poppin'.

Most of the usually dead places in Akron were dead, we almost checked out Primo's except for the 5$ cover -- it was definitely packed, which didn't make sense to me with the cover. We could not figure out where everyone was on Friday nights??? In my head at least, Friday and Saturday should be the go-out-party nights. But Fridays are always dead. Anyway, we go over to Paolo's (Bar #5 for those counting) and there it's so packed that after Panda and I get in, Angela and Mike are turned away at the door.
"Vodka is like tofu, it can be anything you want it to be!"
- Panda

"I wish I could take a Facebook picture of the way it smells!"
- Me.
This bar was, shall we say, a bit more urban than we were expecting -- but that didn't mean they didn't make a WONDERFUL Loopy drink that Panda is now in love with. Loopy being Fruitloop Vodka, and damn, it seriously is wonderful mixed with ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING. We finished our drinks, took a look at the dance floor...
"Wanna check out the back room?"
"You're going to leave me here!?"

"No, come with me."

"To the Bathroom!?"

"No, the BAAACK Room, where the music is coming from."
"OH, about to say, uhhh that's not something I can join you with..."
..., and met up with Angela and Mike over at 69 Taps (Bar #6!) for a brief time. Also dead, but their always dead, so there's a different way to enjoy it there - lol. So from there, Mike volunteers to drive us to Taco Bell and we can all crash at Angela's house. So as is typical of our "end of an awesome night out" tradition, we stop at Taco Bell with the intention of watching some good ole' Ghost Adventures. Haha, but after I finish eating, I paassss out. It was probably that last shot that did me in.

(Everyone else still awake.) "Andrew, you're snoring."
"I know, I can hear myself..."
Then this morning, my phone dead, we all head to the wonderful shrine to the morning after: Swensons. The best part of waking up has nothing to do with coffee, and everything to do with Potato Teasers dipped in Ranch Dressing.
"Attractive men running at you, carrying galleyboys:
The Swensons Dream..."

- Angela
(To Be Continued in BEEZ in my Lap, Part 2. Spoilers: Nelson's Ledges & a Hot Air Balloon.)

Song of the Day: "The A Team" by Ed Sheeran. So this has been on 96.5 KISS FM twice now over the weekend, and I gotta say it's not typical pop-y top 100 stuff. More of a Jason Mraz feel to it. Well the songs itself is kind of sad/sobering, but the music video (which is notably amateurish looking) of course manages to be even sadder. (Also sad, that Ed Sheeran's youtube channel does not allow embedding -- so you're going to have to click that link above.) The chorus of this song is "it's too cold outside for Angels to fly..." -- literally chilling imagery.
Quote of the Day: "Everything you say is, like, a movie reference..." haha, Panda's friend Christian said this to me and at the time I denied it (for some odd reason), but it's pretty much the truest statement ever made. I'm the Lorelei half of a Gilmore Girl set (Patsy has volunteered to be Rory, because she is more read than I am. I cover the pop culture and movie/song references with my quick wit.)

Haha, which reminds me of one of Patsy's new favorite words: Complisault. Compliment + Insult. Like when I said during our D.C. road trip that something she said was funny and could have been funnier if she'd said it 20 seconds earlier, haahahaha.