Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Five Best Reasons We've Been Absent EVER!

You may have noticed GSR, the sissy girl that he is, took about a month off and I had an intercontinental ballistic booze missile to destroy. Don't worry, I saved you all from any possible multiple reentry bottles destroying life as you think you know it. Bitches. So, we'll tell you all why we've been gone, just sit tight:

1) Provincial mindset of Brian Dennehy

So I was just walking along the road in the Pacific Northwest when this dickweed starts hassling me about my jacket. I mean, it's a damn field jacket, fuckface. Anyway, I was like, "Whyoo pushinme?"

And he was like, "Blah blah blah, I'm a fucking jerkwad."

So I was like, "Yo, is it againsalaw tugit some'n to eat aroundere?"

Then he said something stupid and drove me out of town, and I know you can see what comes next. that's right, full scale anarchic vigilante fucking warfare. Hell yeah!

So there I was in middle of fucking up some porkrinds when the radio kicks on and dude starts asking for all these guys that're dead. Even Barry, and everyone knows he died of the cancer. Turns out it was some colonel from back in the dizzay. So I let him come and get me in this police station after I managed to shoot up all these civilians and I stole a truck. All in all, it was a busy day. That and I had one of those angry veteran meltdowns again, and they suck. Screwed me out of that job at the carwash last time I had one. I mean shit, I used to drive tanks, you know? Of course you know, you already heard all of it.

2) I got the shit beat out of me on the 4th of July

I was just starting to get my act together, and thinking that maybe I shouldn't be fighting no more. I mean, my locker at the gym was given to some kid. I was getting paid bupkis for beating up the other wannabes who needed to make a buck. And my trainer wouldn't stop calling me a bum.

And then I got that damn phone call.

The guy who arranged the meeting tells me that the champ wants to mix it up with me, and the first thing I could think to say was, "Yo, I wan youtoknow that I won' take no cheap shots, neither. I'll be a good sparr'n partner." And he was like, "No son, Apollo wants to give you a shot to be the champion of the world."

Next think I know I'm runnin steps, chasin chickens, jumpin rope, and gettin worked over by a a gnarled up turd of a man who won't stop calling me a bumb. Man did the 4th of July work my ass, but I think you know that given the chance I'd do it all over again. You never know, this kind of gig could someday lead me to end the Cold War.

3. Unlikely Story, Backward Hat

I had to save my GSR from a life or privilege and wealth with his shoulder pad wearing mother and douchebag stepdad, so I kidnapped him and we went on a cross country odyssey in an old Mack. He was a little shit. I wanted to punch him in the mouth and leave him for the vultures.

Then we had a bonding moment. He was losing a video game and I turned his hat around on his little welp head. Then he won! That incident was very important to this storyline because later, I would reverse my hat and win a new truck. That was awesome in a sort of mid-80's pseudo populist way.

4. Whiskey and Women

So things were chugging along with "The Five." Casey was finally learning how to write sentences without offending people. I was almost ready to start changing my own oil. We were learning from each other - good times.

And then? Casey starts going out on dates, sleeping in tents, and I swear to jebus that son of a bitch actually started to sound happy. It was like how Rage Against the Machine was angry and bitter and awesome on their first album, and then kinda wussed out on their second album because they no longer drove broken down Ford Escorts with donuts instead of tires. And me? I started drinking bourbon and whiskey. I had always been a beer guy, but next thing I knew I was throwing back shots, drinking from a high ball glass, and waking up a 4 am with hot white fear that I was about to piss my bead.

I guess a simpler way to say it is that we both were out having fun.

-"...drinking from a high ball glass..."

Hope it didn't hurt your pinky to be held aloft at so jaunty an angle, Nance. Whiskey is to be ingested angrily from dirty shotglasses and lukewarm bottles. That burning is a comfort to you after a few years, for you know that with every mouth twitch you learn to control, you have just ratcheted one small step closer to quench hardened steel gazes and tattooed women. Also, you should break your nose. Or just keep on the bourbon. Nature will be helpful in that pursuit.

So, I understand it would take months for Happytimes Fun Doll to learn how to drink, but what else kept us?


5. I Banged His Sister

I know, I didn't see it coming. I was told only nice girls worked at the Cleopatra Club, but everyone knows her. Wysteria Lane has no idea who they're dealing with. But, the story is complicated. Listen:

So he had a suave and business like manner and a slough of bad white suits, and I had a flowing mane of unruly locks. That's how it goes here in Cali. So he did some bullshit move pulling over a semi full of drugs instead of doing something intelligent like waiting to see where it was going. But you can't expect much from a pretty boy. Me, on the other hand, I am rebel, though charming and disarmingly unrefined with ladies. I also have a laser sight on my gat.

So then some shit goes down, basically old dude from all those westerns tracks down our asses and has us locked the fuck up. So, there we were in the clink and I'm getting tortured with electricity while he doesn't do shit. I heard later from Stinky Three Finger Jim that Justin gave it up for two candy bars and a collection of paper dolls in the shower. Now wonder he couldn't keep his fine ass sister away from me. But after I put the Caseynagi to her, that's when shit really got...weird.

-Caseynagi? I think I ordered that off of the Sushi menu last night. I was surprised when it promised to be filling and ended up being mostly padded with tempura with little substance. Dick.

So there you have it. For all of you readers who were kind enough to put The Five on your Google Readers and RSN feeds you get a post after about 6 full months off. For those of you who are in tune with me and Casey you will recognize that 4 of the five reasons are spoofed off of movies. The other is closer to the truth. This week (month?) in comments - Name the movies (if you can). Give us your own reason why you think we were absent.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Top 5 Women You Shouldn't Be Attracted To, But Yet You Still Are EVER!

I'm going to give some credit to a favorite blogger of mine for this topic. She introduced me to the phrase "back alley" hot the other week, and I it got me thinking. But first, a definition:

'back alley hot' - 1)of or pertaining to the attractiveness that some conventionally unattractive people convey; 2) an appearance that one finds simultaneously dirty and incredibly hot.

see also - Kissing Jessica Stein for their discussion on "sexy ugly." ; 3) Someone who in the cold hard light of day would not garner your attention, but you would "fuck in a back alley" (quoted from Jenni).

So this week Casey and I will be listing off some of the most "back alley" hot women that we know of. I won't limit this to women who are still alive - that way Casey is free to pull out some random geologist woman from the 1830's who I have never heard of (and who he is most likely making up) - but my first choice is alive and well.

1) Amy Winehouse

I admit it - I think Amy Winehouse is hot. She can sing and she has a "look." Granted, the look can vary between a scary "slit your throat while you sleep" look and a "I'm skinny enough to make people suspect heroin" look, but in any case I find her incredibly attractive. I know that this is in large part related to her vocal ability, but something about her tattoos and her rehab stints have me curious.

Ms. Winehouse fits the "back alley hot" definition for me because I don't usually go for tattoos and drugs. As shocking as this will be for you readers who follow me closely, I have nary a tattoo. Nor do I do drugs. Typically women who have this type of vibe fascinate me at best, but very rarely do they get me thinking about adding them to my "Free Pass 5" list. Amy Winehouse breaks this mold.

-This is, indeed, an interesting choice of topic. I have no clue who Ms. Winehouse is, but the other morning in the City I heard on one of their odd "mix" stations that she was bailing on rehab. Cool!

Now that I have any effusiveness out of the way, I can get on to business. This topic is sweet. I can think of several girls I wouldn't take home to mom, but the best would be:

2) Connie

Nothing hotter that a chick that doesn't speak English. She looked like something between a terrier and tree monkey, but she worked it well. By being a one night stand. And by thinking I was hot. See, this girl was not from this chunk of rock floating in the World Ocean. Fuck no.

I stumbled upon the true nature of back alley hot. I did it. I liked it. I would never do that again. The girl ran a hot dog stand on Luzon or some crap, I wasn't really listening. She had a body like a quarter tight bed sheet and a face like...well. She had a face. It was dark there in that dungeon of lights, duty free liquor, and crappy Euro-pop. I can't remember it real well but to say didn't look at it on purpose. Also:

She had the same name as my boat. She made a big deal about that. Or something. She wouldn't shut up, but she spoke so beautifully terrible English and she was such a calming port in so terrible a storm that I will always appreciate her in my own way. Good woman.

-Well, now that we have lost half of our readers I don't think it much matters what I say. Connie sounds like someone who is very.....special....and I'm sure your presence broke up the monotony of the hot-dog stand....ah, fuck it, I can't even fake this. All I can imagine is some back alley version of The Bridges of Madison County. I hope she didn't spend sleepless nights awaiting your return.

3) Stacey Ferguson (aka Fergie, aka 'The Duchess')

This one is kind of a tough one to explain. I think that in many circles Fergie is considered just plain hot, but for me I can't fully endorse it in the same was as someone like Shakira or Beyonce. Something about her looks fake, but I believe she has repeatedly claimed to not have had any plastic surgery.....and I'm honestly not sure if that makes things better or worse.

Still, I find myself drawn to her. Mind you, I don't seek her out but it is hard to escape Fergie in the world of Top 40, VH1, MTv, and Verizon commercials. Also, I think I had a crush on her when she was still on Kids Incorporated. This is a point that causes me great shame.

-She is fairly easy to escape in the world of rock nerds and bourbon. I, however, understand what you're getting at with her. She strikes me as that sort of sexy trashy dumb girl you woke up next o on a picnic table in a trailer park. Or something. Fuck, I don't know. I only know of Fergie because of the song Fergalicious, and I only know of that song because I recently have been subjected to pop music with some regularity. Long story.

4) Hot Mormons

I’m going to throw out the hot Mormon chick as a desirable “piece of ass.” Why Mormon? Because, I've never fucked a Mormon girl. I've fucked Catholics, Protestants, Atheists, Agnostics, Baptists, Methodists, Buddhists, etc. But, I've never come close to hitting a Mormon girl. There’s something sacred about a Mormon chick that makes them desirable. They really buy into that shit that “your body is a temple.” That just makes her secret garden all that much more sweet for the plunder. Mormon girls are taught to reject any advances that might lead to sexual exploitation. That, in turn, makes them a highly desired piece of ass…

Personally, what I find so hot about the idea of “fucking a Mormon girl” is that she has “saved her self” for marriage, She has made herself the forbidden fruit. Well, that is that apple that I want to bite. The idea of convincing a girl to go against her “moral principles” is a huge turn-on. The real trick is to use her religion to get laid. It is not as hard as you think….

-Oh boy...I think we may have finally done it - offended every possible ethnicity/religion/person. Um....I'm not really sure what else to say, but I will leave you readers with this: I contributed two of these choices Casey contributed one, and Lord Chimmy added one too. Can you guess who contributed what?

Guesses in comments, and apologies all around (Thanks Chimmy).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Five Best Types Of The Devils Magic EVER!

Or: You fucking morons.

This is simple as hell. This is a list of our favorite five Devil's Magics around. You know, different fun things that get blamed on the Devil that don't have much to do with spiritous vapors whatsoever.

No reason to drag this out:

1) Bernoulli's Principle

Spelled correctly, this one's pretty simple. Shit moving faster stretches out. You know, like the air on top of an airplane wing or the movement of hyd fluid as it goes from the reservoir to the tubing to the actuator to the cylinder. In the tubing, the fluid moves faster because the diameter is smaller. Then it gets into the cylinder and the cylinder is a lot wider. The fast moving stuff piles up in there building pressure and pushes against the cylinder moving the piston. That's why a little bitty hose can supply a big fat hydraulic system without blowing up.

Anyway, when this is happening in moving air, you can deflect the air to one side causing a low pressure area on the trailing edge of your deflection, whether it's the slat flap of a Tomcat or the back of your hand when it's stuck out of your car window. The air is lower pressured, but moves faster. It simultaneously pulls your hand into the low pressure area and the high pressure area pushes your hand away. Simple, right?

Right, GSR?

-...This is starting to make me think back to high school physics and chemistry. I was actually pretty smart back then, but I don't remember any of it now. Let me just say that as clever as Mr. Bernoulli was, I have always ranked his "principle" well below things like Planck's Constant and Avogadro's number. In fact, I love Avogadro's number so much that I usually take a moment for reflective thinking every October 23rd, and this year I will be sure to wish Casey a happy "mole" day.

Man this post is going to suck for me.

2) Google

Now I hope you aren't looking for me to explain how Google works. That is going to be Casey's role in this post - to explain things. I am going to continue to blame devil's magic for these phenomenons and remain blissfully ignorant.

I guess I see the "theory" behind Bernoulli's principle, but how in the world do you explain Google? The basic process is you enter in a word (any word!), click search, and you get back a kabillion responses. All of which have some type of connection to pornography, Paris Hilton, or Paris Hilton's pornography. The fact that Google can move so fast, make so many connections, and that is now widely recognized as a deity makes me very nervous. I honestly think Google is only two steps away from the world-dominating machines from the Matrix, but in the meantime I guess I will allow it to provide me with educational (read: pornographic) websites.

Don't even ask what came up when I searched for Bernoulli.

-Google. Is easy, it's a coven of Methodist crones who are driven to madness by the being half submerged in positronic media of some sort. Duh. Anyway, I have to agree that Google is indeed pretty much my go to source for all things porn. Now they have Google Scholar which is an extremely valuable source for even more esoteric selection of porn. I think my favorite part of Google is that I don't have all this bullshit political news and weather info covering up my image search "paris+hilton+lepidolite+chert+hidden+cam" like I do with Yahoo. If I wanted to know what the president thought of my porn tastes, I would ask him. I don't need to know about his stance on North Korean medium range ballistic missiles when I'm having an acute failure of imagination.

So, beyond internet porn:

3) Porn

What else is there to say? A bunch of individuals doing different things from standing there half naked to the complete other end of the pervert spectrum. Things I don't even want to type, because then I might have to attain some sort of visual and then I would end up with images of midgets, skydiving, and loose moralled hamsters stuck in my head. Damn.

Anyway, here is what is awesome about porn:

• Drinks at the bar → two people drinking ≅ $30.00

• Beer at home → internet access (prorated) ≅ $3.00

If the Devil is behind porn (HA!), sign me up for the first goat sacrifice. The world economy is pretty much about naked women, anyway, I figure I'm just giving some unfortunate and uneducated people lucrative work. I'm like a really creepy version of Santa Claus with a different color of bag.

Take it, GSR.

-Take it? You end by saying that the world economy is driven by naked women, and that all those involved in porn are uneducated...and then you say "take it?" That is like putting together a gigantic shit sandwich, complete with all of the trimmings (side of chips, toothpick with an olive, etc...) and then serving it to the guy next to you. Thanks man.

I will say this - my wife owns way more porn than I do, and she gets to claim that it is part of her "research." So while porn may be the devil's magic, I submit my previous statement as proof that there is a God.

4) Scott Baio

Can someone please explain to me how Scott Baio (who is 45 and single) still gets to have his own TV show, on which we learn young attractive women still swoon for him? It has to be Devil's magic, right?

And don't get me wrong, the Baio actually comes across as a likable guy on this show. I'm also sure that the amount of tail that he pulled while actually having a "hit" TV show is a normal phenomenon reserved for Hollywood celebrities. But to have hooked up with all of the hot/famous women, along with what I am sure are scores of unknowns.....and still be living it up? Sorry Mr. Baio - the only explanation I have for all of these events is that you made a deal with the devil him/herself.

I just can't decide if it was worth it.

-Huh. I have to confess to never watching Charles in Charge. That is the show, right? The only thing I know about him is from cultural osmosis. I also haven't seen his new show. He just seemed to reappear out of nowhere. So what does all this mean to me? Not much. Considering. So devil's magic? Sure.

Also I should point out that porn is not necessarily erotica, and erotica is not necessarily porn. So I'm sure there are beautifully done money shots on the face of doctoral candidates out there somewhere, but they just don't seem to pay the bills.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Top 5 People To Trade Places With (EVER!)

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you look around, take notice of someone, and think, "Hey - that person is infinitely cooler than me. I wouldn't mind walking in their shoes for at least a day" ? Well, if you have, this is the post for you. And to be clear, I am happy with my wife, my life, and my, wife. But just for fun, I think it would be great to trade places for a day with....

1) Tom Brady - Quarterback for the New England Patriots

Yeah, I know it is cliche' to want to be the quarterback of an American Football team (that was for you soccer fans...the only one you get). But this guy goes above and beyond being a cool mutha.

To start, he has three (3!) SuperBowl rings and he isn't even 30 years old. Even in the years and games that didn't involve winning a SuperBowl he was a badass on the field. He thrives under pressure, he knows how to lead, and he makes very few mistakes.

On top of being a great player, he is also loved by the ladies. He has had several high profile/hot girlfriends, he has been on magazine covers, and he even got a chance to host Saturday Night Live. As a side note (and this is important for you fantasy football fans out there), he rarely gets hurt. In fact, I think his most extensive injury was a severe case of chapped dick, which came from the deadly combination of living in the cold ass New England weather and lots and lots of sex with hot ladies.

To sum up, this guy gets paid millions to play a game where he is a stone cold killer and his season really only lasts 5 and a half months. In the off season he gets to date supermodels, go on television, and retain his badass status.

-While Tom Brady is more or less cool, even if he does play for the Patties, I really feel no need to trade places with him. Now, John Elway, that would be who to trade with. I mean, he's fucking cool. He pretty much lives life exactly how he chooses. He was a better quarterback than Brady will be in the foreseeable future. He gets hot ass Colorado mountain women, which anyone in the know would take over the duplicitous New Englander any day. He has god status in this state. I mean, the guy basically IS me. So, I mean, I wouldn't mind trading with him, but I wouldn't go out of my way. He probably doesn't get to mountain bike every day. I think he owns a couple bars. I could see that being pretty sweet.

Anyway, to get away from the man crushes:

2) John Otto

Yeah, the guy is more or less unknown. The point of all this is that he was a freelance (read: homeless) geologist who plotted out the extreme west end of the Uncompahgre Plateau canyon country when most science was in the throes of social elitism. He was an anarchist who lived his dream. Imagine nothing but field work every damn day. Shit, if mountain bikes had been invented, I would appeal to John Elway to talk to God about letting me do some quantum place taking back a hundred years ago. I know, more nerdy geology shit.

Look, I'm Casey, "Blah blah blah, rocks, blah blah blah tourmaline, blah blah blah anticline."

Figured I would beat you to the mocking, GSR.

-I highly concur. The Unaweep Canyon that is a part of the Uncompahgre Canyon is amazing. I mean, a canyon with two ends and no beginning? That is like a God's geological representation of bounded infinity. What a "rock'n" good time it would have been to be John Otto.

I'm just fuck'n with you. That guy sounds boring. But my next choice is...

3) Casey

Casey is pretty much the most awesome person that he knows. I would trade places with him for numerous reasons, but mostly I appreciate the way he can be rude, insulting, and charming all at the same time. He can simultaneously cut me to my core and make me laugh.

He is also pretty smart, and not just about rocks and pebbles. He knows a lot about a lot, he has been tons of places, and I have reason to believe that he is pretty strong. If I were ever able to trade places with him I would stay outside, get rained on, lift heavy things, and then drink bourbon. Essentially, I would kick ass and take names.

Oh yeah, he also has pendulous balls.

-Interesting here. I don't know how to concur with you. I mean, you are right about everything you said there, but if I were to trade places with me, I think the universe would have an awesomeness singularity of some sort. The coolness of being me would wipe out all of existence in one flash of more or less furry corpulence. then who would be around to be cool? I know, I know, God and stuff. Whatever. What about me? How could I enjoy being so cool if I caused the end of all things including the coolness of me?

Or possibly my awesomeness is platonic in nature? Maybe I am indeed the fire behind the objects behind the viewer in the cave. The rest of existence's coolness is relative to the shadows cast by my presence. That makes more sense, but to make all this come one home, I nominate:

4) Anyone Who Dates Me

Really, I am jealous of the women who are involved with me. I mean, I really have had nothing if not amazing women come through my life, they're great. On the other hand, I always feel robbed because while I am dating greatness, they are dating perfection. I feel like I'm maybe giving more than them in the long run, even though my overall awesomeness is pretty much effortless. How can these women not have twinges of guilt dating me and never quite giving as much? Especially with how really decent and kind all of them have been.

Sometimes I wish I could marvel at me outside of me. I know my perceptions of self are not skewed in any manner except possibly by simple over exposure to my own greatness. What if I'm not getting the true scope, the proliferating magnitude, of how completely perfect I am?

These are the things that keep me up at night. Did you ever hear the parable of the stonecutter who was granted the ability to become whatever he wanted? He eventually, after a series of objects he found to be less than all powerful, he became a mountain. Then a stonecutter chipped off his toe. I mean, that's my conundrum, here. What is better, being me or knowing me?

-Damn...I've got no response here. It sounds like you saying that you essentially want to fuck yourself, which is what many people have been telling you to do for quite some time. This is indeed heavy stuff.

So now I turn it over to you the reader(s). Who would you trade places with? Why?

And I'm sorry I already took "Casey" as an answer. I trust you will come up with something.

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Five Best Relevant and Current Bands We Currently Listen To EVER!

Yes, I know the titles are getting a sort of desperate stink about them. They strive and strive again to some how end in “EVER!” Eventually I foresee a post entitled The Five Best Things I’ve Ever Done With Broccoli Florets And Vegetarian Meatloaf EVER! Then you will know that the shark has been jumped. At that point, please read no more. Whatever coolness our powers combined can muster will have been drained onto the scorched plains of a sarcastic Ilium. We will utilize smileys. The very Earth will cry out for us to stop, but me and GSR will continue to put out complete crap. You should not support this behavior.

Instead, you should think of clever segues from one random subject to another equally random and totally unrelated subject OR listen to one of these five bands who are still currently relevant. And who doesn’t like relevancy? I never thought I would feel as socially irrelevant as I did with last week’s post.

1) The Black Keys

No, they are nothing like The White Stripes. It is an unfortunate similarity in names as one band is the last gasp of testosterone being unabashedly involved in the making of music and the other is a gimmick that should have died long ago.

The Black Keys are everything I don’t hate about rock. They don’t have long and boring neo-hair-metal guitar solos, they don’t have 18 different vocal tracks, and they don’t have any digital studio crap at all. They are simply the best rock band to come around in a long damn time.

Somehow they avoided the Nirvana scream and the Pearljam mumble that seem to have infected the last two decades. Instead, they manage to evoke something along the lines of the Kinks covering the less moronic aspects of Led Zepplin covering Mississippi John Hurt. What does that mean? I'm not even sure. I think it means you need to put down the Now That’s What I call Music 47! at the music store and pick up Magic Potion. Plug in your iPod (as you invariably will own an iPod, you bunch of goddamn sheep) and feel the lame washed out of you by strange desires and elevators.

Punk ass bitches.

-Okay, first let me say "Baaaaahhhhhhh." The iPod is the greatest modern invention (EVER!), but we can save that for another post. Second, The Black Keys are fucking awesome. Chulahoma was the first album that I heard, and that led me to go find everything that I could by the band. If you need a sample let me know as I should be able to get you one pretty easily.

2) Modest Mouse

This is a group that has only recently gotten popular, but they have been around for a while. The gripe against them used to be that they had this strangely dissonant music paired with the lead singers dissonant and atonal voice. Sometimes it sounded like he was wailing with excitement, and other times he would drop to a near mumble, but the early albums only appealed to a small population.

Things really changed with Good News For People Who Like Bad News when they released an album that had some catchy hooks and softer melodies paired wiht the same dissonant voice. This combination on a song like "Float On" seemed to catch a lot of people's attention, and the album as a whole was great. The newest album We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank is a continuation of what they started on "Good News..." Whether you are an original fan or a new fan the combination of music and lyrics doesn't disappoint. (p.s. to Casey - you owe me a "thank you" for resisting the urge to steal Cross Canadian Ragweed from you).

-Right, I'm going to recommend the Ragweed to this list. I probably would had I not made the qualifier of relevance a criterion of this bunch. Not that they are irrelevant, but I doubt that their relevancy would mean much here. Anyway, Modest Mouse rocks. I saw these guys a couple years ago (holy shit, that was five years ago) in San Francisco and I have to say you need to see them live. The experience elucidates a lot of the attitudes that are only hinted at in their amazing studio work. Still, I like them.

Anyway, for the next contestant, I nominate:

3) Nickelback

That was for you Jill and Janet.

The real deal:

Queens of the Stoneage

I love this band. They have just enough weirdness not to lose a rocker and just enough rock not to lose the indie kids. They're also fun. I know that fun is not what a person is supposed to look for outside the genres of cartoon hip-hop and pop, but I can't think of a more apt descriptor of their songs. The songs have a tendency to be about fucking, drugs, and irresponsible drinking. I think that about sums them up, really.

I should mention that for all their bacchus tendencies, they never get stupid. They never get crunk. They never turn into Nickelback (I shudder) and they never descend into the bullshit angst that passes for thought in our modern times.

If you disagree with me on this, you are wrong.

-I'm not going to disagree on this one. I love Queens of the Stoneage. I was hooked when their first big track got released and it had Dave Grohl on drums. He is one of the few drummers that actually separates himself from the others, and the rest of the band kicked ass on the first track too. They have since gone on to have some consistently good albums, and I can't for the life of me figure out why they don't get more airplay.

Oh yeah - I think you need to apologize to Janet and Jill. There is no way ladies with such good taste like Nickelback....right?

4) Arcade Fire

Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that this could be our first disagreement?

This band kicked down the doors with their first major album Funeral, and then made their fans wait a solid few years before getting the next big release. Man was it worth the wait.

The current album (in heavy rotation with anyone who is cool) is called Neon Bible. The thing I like most about this album is that it is an honest to goodness album. It has a beginning, middle, and an end - and it is clear the band spent some time thinking about song order, tone, and theme. On top of that, the songs kick ass. You should go right now and listen to (Antichrist Television Blues).


At least you didn't say The White Stripes.

And I'm out.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Five Best Sitcoms from the 80's, EVER!

So Casey has once again turned the reigns over to me, and boy do I have a feeling he won't like this choice. Do I know he won't like it? No. But tell me this: Does Casey and his guitar playing, mountain biking, rock-nerding self come across as someone who spends a lot of time front of a television? Exactly - but I figure there is some chance that the younger version of Casey watched at least a little bit of television.

This week we are talking about the five best sitcoms from the 1980s (EVER!). During the 1980s there were many sitcoms that had people glued to their TVs. They were so popular that the mere mention of some of the titles will have more than a few people I know humming/singing the theme song. Cases and points - Silver Spoons (Here we are, face to face...), Family Ties (Sha na na naaaa), Full House (Whatever happened to predictability...).

Fast forward to 2007. The reality shows, the crime scene investigators, and the survivors of a plane crash are currently dominating television. While I am admittedly hooked into some of these shows, the sitcom as a genre has very quietly gone to shit. With the exceptions of a few notable shows (How I Met Your Mother, The Office, and 30 Rock), sitcoms are just plain bad. More noticeably, there aren't that many to choose from. With all this said, my first pick is:

1) The Cosby Show

This show is an all time favorite of mine, my wife, and my immediately family. It was funny, smart, and it managed to deal with both real life and family issues. Reruns of the show come on some late night cable station (Wife - which channel are you always watching?), and I am amazed at how just a few minutes of an episode will instantly trigger my memories of the entire show.

To break it down even further, Bill Cosby (possibly a less funny curmudgeon these days) was hilarious. Phylicia Rashad was great (reminded me a lot of my mom). All of the kid-actors were awesome (and my wife contends that Raven Simone was the best child-actor ever. EVER! Seriously). From the crazy intros, to the obscure jazz references, to the heavy-handed/heart-warming life lessons - this show was great.

-Um. I spent the '80s in a cultish. We never watched TV much unless the Broncos were playing. See, we only had the one TV and it was about the size of a tasteful microwave. And we had bikes, pellet guns, and, you know, activities. I did watch the occasional show, but I think whatever knowledge I have on this subject comes from some sort of generational mob memory. This statement will probably drive our readership into the negative integers tomorrow, but 99% of anything from the '80s is crap.

I remember this show, but I don't think I'm in near the danger of a steamy makeout session with Theo(?) Hucstable that you are. A lot of the show was just jokes lifted from Cosby's standup brilliance watered down for primetime. The show was OK. I remember stripey clothing and a lot of sweaters. I also think, in retrospect, that this was the first of a goofy genre of comedy. lieu of any actual knowledge on the issue, I will nominate:

2) G.I. Joe

This counts, right? I mean, they had drama and comedy and more intelligent dialogue than I remember on any live-action '80s show. You had goofy in-the-closet man friendships, you had the obligatory ball-busting feminist types with the shoulder pads in their suits, you had helicopters doing unrealistic things, and you had copious amounts of bright colors. This was like any '80s sitcom, only cool. It seems to me like there has been a steady campaign to remove testosterone from television that more or less started with shows like Full House. G.I. Joe tried to fight them off, but he just couldn't fight a tidal wave of crap. Now you know. And knowing is half the battle.

-Nice pull with G.I. Joe. It used to amuse me that in my part of the country G.I. Joe was followed by Ducktales. Talk about opposite cartoons. My strongest memory is of the character named Snake-eyes. He didn't speak, but was a pure badass when it came to bringing the pain. To go in a completely different direction....

3) The Wonder Years

This is a show that I didn't like nearly as much as a kid as now do as an adult. For anyone who may be unfamiliar, this show followed little Kevin Arnold as he dealt with growing up in the 70's. The show has some classic voice over narration, and it didn't back away from making you uncomfortable with some real life family issues/drama. It was a unique "sitcom," but often the show was intended to make you laugh.

What is funny is that now that I am older the show has as much potential to make my wife (and by "my wife" I mean me) get a little misty eyed. The relationships between the mom and the dad, the dad and the sons, as well as all of the supporting cast/neighborhood friends are solid. At least once a week while flipping through the stations my wife and I will settle on The Wonder Years and watch two back to back episodes.

-Interesting choice. I remember it now, the little kid from The Princess Bride grew up in this one. I remember he had a pretty hot girlfriend, and the show seemed real enough. Wasn't there an episode where he crashed his bike and put himself in a coma? I could have swore there was, but I just can't remember much.

Thank you, Wikipedia.

Right, so the show had a huge influence on my development. I can't overstate how much the Arnolds and their whimsical neighborhood brought into my adolescence. Remember the episode where Norma takes the pottery class? Magical.

4) Doogie Howser, M.D.

I like this one. This show occurred after our family had purchased a color TV set and we had sufficient antenna power to pull in stations from Albuquerque. In other words, I have at least some fucking clue what this one's about. There was a kid. He was a doctor. Hilarity ensues.

I mean, sure, you could ask, Wait, how the fuck is a 14 year old a doctor? You could indeed ask what hospital in its right mind would open itself up to so much negligence related litigation. Intelligent questions have no place in sitcoms. So stop it.

Anyway, the guy had a dumb friend. He also had a computer in his own room! By '80s standards, the kid was a freakin' pimp. The computer also added a nice little place for the writers to tie up loose ends and close the show with a handy PSA about some emotional crap or another.

-Casey, you forgot one of the most fundamental points of this show - Wanda (the object of Doogie's affection) was hot. HOT!

So now it is your turn 8 faithful readers. I want to know what you would add to the list of best sitcoms from the 1980s....just don't knock the Cosby show.

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Five Best Ways To Immediately Improve Your Life EVER!

This blog is nothing if not an indulgent waste of time, and I feel guilty about that. I think I feel guilty about that, but I'm not all the way sure. My rural sensibilities of modesty tingle a little at the wastefulness of time and resources devoted to the blogosphere. When I hit publish, I feel a thousand eyes staring at me from the unfortunate souls of Earth who are more worried about finding their next bowl of rice as opposed to the next friendly person to kiss their cyber-ass and give them eProps or something else equally vacuous.

I forget where I was going with this. Ah yes, making the world a better place. We will hand down, all Prometheus-like, some easy methods of making your life instantly better. Listed in the normal fashion and reached by the normal methods (fallacious fabrication and thoughtless speculature), are this week's Five:

The Five Best Ways To Improve Your Life Ever!

1. Listen

Specifically to Mike Watt's In the Engine Room (1a. Don't worry if you're citing sources correctly). This bass line makes me happy. I like major/minor key ambiguity almost as much as music nerd obscure references. Vapor lock, clock stop, time hangs limp. Yes, Mike Watt's healthy bass causes time to stop. What finals? What paper due in two hours? I don't care. A voice from the tube says the boat's gotta move/Can we dot it?/We can do it. When you're the left hand man of the boilerman, who gives a shit about anything, really? You know she's running true.

The removal of stress has to be an improvement. I feel like bobbing my head along with the steady 4/4 beat of this beautifully chaotic song. In the Engine Room! Hey-O!

What whimsy! What happiness! My life is not so bad now. And the song ends in the sounds of surf and shore birds. Thank you Mike, my life is better. Hopefully all twelve of our readers' lives will be better too.

-You know I'm not going to disagree with you when it comes to music. I only have limited experience with Mike Watts, and you've already got me ready to download more. The only thing I can add to Casey's advice of "Listen," is that it will also be worth your time to check out some early Ben Harper. I suggest Live From Mars, Disc 2. It is all acoustic, and if it doesn't help you relax and drift off to a better place you should seek help from a higher power. Or a bottle.

2) Read

In case you haven't noticed, Casey and I like the written word. I can't stress enough how important reading has been (and is) to me. The biggest reason why I am a reader is that books allow me to experience characters and situations that I will never meet in my every day life. At the same time books show me people/places that remind me of my family and fondest memories.

If you are looking for some specific books that might grab a hold of you and not let go, let me recommend:

Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson
Wind Up Bird Chronicles by Haruki Murakami
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera

-Dude, you like to read, too? Awesome!

I would agree with this one whole-heartedly. In fact, I would expand it in two ways: 1. Read something you've read a hundred times already, or 2. Read something you'd never even try.

I started reading Uncertainty by David Lindley. While science fascinates me, I rarely delve into the more complicated aspects of physics without having a paper due. This one is kind of hard to explain. Imagine a twentieth century physicist soap opera. My life is better.

For the next one, I'll get even simpler:

3. Dip

Pretty simple, really. On a hot day, find a couple extra minutes along the pedal commute. Remove your helmet. Dip it into the flowing water. Replace helmet. That's pretty much it. My life is now better.

-Dude, I thought you were talking about tobacco here for a moment. I was prepared to strongly disagree. Little did I know you were referring to what I believe some people call "outdoor activities." I've heard of these. They sound interesting. I'm not sure how to get into them and keep my job right now, but I am pretty sure I'll try one sometime in the '08.

4. Drink

Yeah, that's right. Another "GSR is talking about drinking" moment. But in this case I'm not advocating going out and getting drunk (note: I do advocate going out and getting drunk). Instead I am referring to finding a nice cold drink that suits you for the summer. I've recently had iced-cold Lemonade mixed with Gin recommend to me (Awesome). Others have suggested a glass of gin garnished with watermelon or cucumber (Interesting). My personal preference will always be a bottle/can of beer that is so cold that I can barely hold it, but not cold enough that it has started to freeze. Honestly, at the end of a long day in the summer, walking home from the D.C. metro, there are few things better (my wife being one of them) that I would rather have greet me at the door. And sometimes that one cold drink is all you need (note: By "you" I actually mean you, since I need more than just that one drink).

-Sorry about the outdoor activity reference, I forgot who I was working with. Of course, you just talked about public transportation and I only vaguely recall what that entails. Smelly people and diesel fumes, I believe. Either way, gin reminds me of smelly people. And puking. I would recommend something more along the lines of good vodka, i.e. Stoli, mixed with lemonade. Also, grind some mint into the bottom of a glass, mix a standard vodka martini, pour onto mint. Add a splash of Cointreau. I usually throw some ice cubes in it. Seeing as how you're drinking a bitch drink, remember to hold pinky aloft.

Should you want to drink like a man, there is the glug down a good summer brew method. Around here, we have no less than six breweries, so I am a pretty lucky guy. Throw down a Palisade Red Truck if you're in Colorado, or if you're not, try and find a Springboard Ale by New Belgium (Fat Tire). It's good stuff. Beer makes me happy. So do bitch drinks. So does PBR. Or, well...anything.

So, there you go, the secret to happiness is to not be picky about alcohol. You would never have guessed without our little corner of the Internet. For five, same as always, you recommend something, we ignore you. I would nominate Hiking, Camping, or Fornicating (with protection). Possibly all three at the same time.

Either way, comment on how much you agree with us.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

The Five Most Influential Books EVER!

This week we turn back towards the literary realm to discuss The Five Most Influential Books EVER!. This is also the first post that we have put up that is completely influenced by one of your comments.

During our first post Heather very correctly pointed out that to have a true discussion on the five best books of all time we needed to consider books from our childhood. She suggested books like Harold and the Purple Crayon and Good Night Moon, both of which could end up on the list. To define our thinking just a little bit (but Lord knows that there is only so much "definition" that can be applied to our collective thinking) we will be picking books that had an impact on our development as grown-people. Notice I did not say "grown ups." We would never be so bold as to make that claim.

1) Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
If you didn't read this book as a child I am sincerely sorry. It was a favorite of mine growing up, and it is the first one I bought for my friends who just had their first child. The story of the book centers around the main character, Max. Max is about 7(ish), and within the first few pages he gets sent to his room for making mischief. From this point in the story Max closes his eyes and drifts off to "where the wild things are."

The reasons this book was so great for me as a kid came from two key places: 1) Max was in charge the entire time, and wasn't scared of the Wild Things and 2) The pictures are amazing. I would literally listen to this story as many times as my dad was willing to read it to me, and it is one of the first books I can remember holding. As some of you already know, I am now a reading teacher. Anyone want to guess which book I taught to 1st graders on my very first day?

-This book is very deserving of number one. I loved it, even today as soon as I see one of those pictures, I recognize it immediately. Good times were had in my life around the time I first read this. The funnest memory of Where The Wild Things Are, and I warn you children and adults with sticks up their ass should not read this, was from a party where I was shrooming something fierce.

My buddy James was in a corner of the living room of the old house specifically decorated for just what we were doing. he had a giant circus ball on his head, and if he read this he might be offended, but I swear to God he turned into Moeshe. If you knew James, you would know why this was not an enormous leap for one's chemistry enhanced brain to take. Me and James were always into Stanislav Szukalski, so his morphing into a yeti was not as frightening as one would think. We had been expecting them to rise one day.

Even weirder was my friend Ash, who became one of those fucking Kangaroos from:

2) Horton Hears A Who

I know it's all politically allegorical, but I loved Dr. Seuss. I was lucky in my formative years that my parents made it a priority to get us to the library as much as possible. When I got my first library card, this was the book I checked out along with the Asimov's Norby, The Mixed Up Robot.

And thus I nominate myself to be mayor of Nerdton.

I don't even really have a complicated reason I think this is in The Five. I read it, it got me reading early and I loved it. My life-long obsession with reading had its start in this little critique on Roe v. Wade. I wish I had had the opportunity to meet Dr. Seuss. I feel he deserves some serious gratitude. The other day, my little niece came home with this book under her arm. I was very touched, I hope that someday my contribution to humanity can be half of what Dr. Seuss' is.

-Yeah, that Ted Geisel was a pretty clever dude. I also loved "Horton," The Cat in the Hat, and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I do have to say that I never got into Oh The Places You Will Go. I saw so many people both give and receive this book during a college graduation that it made me vomit a little. But then again, maybe I am just a cynical bastard.

3) The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

I can't say too much about this book or I will be crying salty tears on my keyboard. I remember my mom reading this to me and my brother when we were kids. I think that even as a child I knew that someday I would want to read this book to my own kids.

The plot is simple. It is about a young boy who falls in love with a tree. As the boy grows up/older so does the tree, and it is amazing how it affects people both young and old. I know that sounds like a pretty simple book, but if you've never read it you should take 5 minutes the next time you are in a bookstore. I won't predict or promise that you will cry, but if you don't think that it is a worthwhile book to read to a child you may have something wrong with your soul. Specifically, your soul may be missing. If that is in fact the case I recommend that you move over to the self-help section of the bookstore and start looking for some guided help.

-I remember my principal reading this to our class in first grade. All he told us about the author is that he was "an old man." After he read the story, he asked us what we thought the old man looked like and let us ponder for a minute. Then he showed us the picture on the back cover. The man was black! He asked all of us if we had any idea that he looked like that, and of course none of us did. The school had either poor, dusty country white kids or poor, dusty Navajos and Utes from the Res. I doubt most of us had seen a black person outside of cartoons. It was an important lesson that I don't think I fully understood for years.

Also, this book has interesting point/counter-point going with another Silverstein masterwork, A Boy Named Sue. Whatever you do, make sure you don't mention to an ignorant redneck that such a classic country song (and several others) was written by a black man.

Sort of a departure, but I really have to put in here:

4)White Fang, Jack London

You have to understand that this list is about personally influential books. I doubt this would make anyone else's list, and frankly I don't care. This might not even make my list, this is the last week before finals and I'm a little brain-dead. This list might suck because of me. I hate you all.

Um. The book is good. It's great, actually. I read both White Fang and The Call of the Wild the summer our family had to squat in an orchard. How much of the setting in which I read the books (no electricity, no TV, kerosene lamps, etc) effected the net influence on my life verses how much the books alone would have changed me. I tried to read some London a while back, but it was just too tough to focus. I have had the urge my entire life, and I place the blame square on London, to pack up all my belongings and move to the Yukon.

I owned a wolf once, he died. Talking about these books makes me sad, and arguably dumber. How do you conjugate stem-changing -ir verbs in Castille Spanish? Vosotros pedis ir al banco? Poor dog.

-Wow. Lots of info about you that I didn't know in there. I have nothing negative to say about White Fang. I will say that if you like books about wolves, and if you don't mind having your heart ripped out of your chest, you should check out The Crossing by Cormack McCarthy. Pretty good book if I say so myself.

So now it is up to you the reader. This week should be a lot of fun because we are looking for your contribution to our list of influential books. Be creative. Don't limit yourself to "kids books." And as always, chime in on what we've given you.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Five Best Things You Can Do With Meat Ever!

Get your minds out of the gutter, people. This post refers to removed pieces of animal, not metaphorical chunks of anatomy.

I am aware that some people do not eat meat, and I am also aware that those people believe they are all going to some type of sustenance-related heaven where they meet Oprah or something. It's been awhile since I updated my subscription to Veg!, so my knowledge of your cult is a little vague. Regardless, I should mention that eating meat in no way makes one superior to the chlorophyll swillers of Earth and that eating of meat has nothing to do with masculinity.

Regardless of my respect for those who do not partake of animalia, I am staunchly embroiled in the hobby of improvisational carnage related culinology. No need to run that sentence by, it means I like to cook meat. Further, I probably cook better than most of humanity and feel I should help out those less fortunate.

Anyway, I am starting this post up right, the order is 1-5, the subject is carne:

1. Braised to Perfection

Rub it with olive oil, salt (not too much), pepper, sage, a touch of cumin, and chile caribe. Sear it on six sides in a hot pan. Deglaze with a 50/50 combination of broth and bourbon, and for the love of God use the cheap stuff (cheap broth, not cheap bourbon). You should probably first drink some of the bourbon to make sure it's still good and hasn't spoiled. After you've scraped all the vulcanized goodness from the bottom of the pan, braise (fancy word for simmer) the meat and a good selection of carrots and onion in the liquid until the meat is tender. The liquid will reduce into a savory bourbon candy glaze coating the vegetables and meat. Note that chicken broth should be used with poultry or pork.

I have cooked just about every chunk of meat I can think of from one of those creepy lumps of deboned turkey to elk ribeye with this method and it always turns out somewhere between "really damn good" and "one night with Keira if she put on twenty pounds."

Caution should be used in selecting guests when this is on the menu. I conceived of this dish as an easy date meal for those occasions I decide to treat a romantic interest to a cooked meal instead of a purchased one. I tried it out on a casual fling figuring it would be safe, but became increasingly alarmed as she named our future children after assassinated presidents. I mean, the history nerd thing kind of got me horny, but the leachy infringement on my future of single living gave me the heebies.

Note: Do not let dinner guests smear you with the bourbon glaze while it is still hot, they will burn their tongue.

-So Casey has a lot more cooking knowledge than I would have guessed. I mean, I figured he could kill animals with guns, arrows, his bare hands...whatever. And I assumed that meant his killing would be followed by some kind of "roasting over a spit." Casey has that whole, "I could have been an Eagle Scout but they kicked me out for burning down a tent" thing going on. So who knew he was a pseudo-chef?

2. Only flip it once, and make sure it bleeds

If you have ever accurately cooked a steak, you immediately knew where I was going with this after reading my title. As a drunken friend once declared in a crowded restaurant - "Holding a raw steak is amazing." Cooking a steak is a subtle art form.

You have to begin my marinating the meat in some kind of concoction. If you only use something pre-made and out of a bottle you are cheating. I recommend using your favorite brand of Worcestershire sauce, a healthy dose of season salt, and a good bit of steak seasoning. Let the raw steaks sit in that for about a half hour (longer is fine too), and be sure to get both sides covered.

After the marinating, throw the steaks on a grill (or put them in the oven if you live in an this case I suggest a pre-heat of 325 degrees), and cook them approximately 7 minutes on each side.

Only. Flip. Them. Once.

Will the steaks be bad if you flip them twice or more? No. But you will be. This is an age old art form that should be respected.

If you have done your job successfully the steak will bleed a little when you cut into it. If it doesn't bleed you have ruined a perfectly good steak.

If you don't like my directions you can follow the wisdom of my good friend Chuck : Walk the cow through a warm room and start cutting.

-Absolutely. The only way to cook a steak is somewhere between mooing and vociferously objecting to being cooked. I can say that anymore, I forgo the marinating, but I still appreciate when others do so. I also agree that buying marinade is like paying for a massage. You may end up with something OK, but extraordinary pleasure is a reach exceeded by monetary grasp.

I would argue for preheating to 400, but that is subjective opinion.

3. Campfire Perfection

Most of my enjoyment of the fine art of campfire cooking probably has to do with the fact that by the time dinner rolls around I am figgity-fucked-up. If you do not understand gettin' figgity (yo!) out in the woods, I probably would not associate with you. This is because you suck.

Back in my golden god era, which most archaeologists agree occurred throughout most of the early 2000's, I camped out as often as possible. I would write something here about camping being an escape from California, but all my writing on the Golden State descends into vitriolic scatology with some haste. Point is, take a chunk of something red, any chunk really, slice it into one inch sections, slather one side in honey, one side in Wild Turkey, roll the fat edges in some salt and black pepper (garlic powder for game meat). Lots of black pepper. Throw that shit over a fire (I usually take the grill mesh out of an old BBQ with me camping), and wait just until you see the fat, sealed with the pepper, start to bubble. Your meat, of which I prefer cow elk, is done. At least done enough. That shit is good. Especially if your camping with me since 1) we are already drunk 2) I've already broke out the harmonica and guitar/mandolin/banjo and the Bob Marley. Things are good when you have music, food, and serenity.

Serve steak on a stick. Make out in the tent. Wake up hungover and mountain bike. You are a badass.

-Mmmmm, steak on a stick. And don't let anyone call it "satay" neither. If I enjoyed camping I am sure this type of thing would be my highlight. Unfortunately, I was raised "wussy" with the idea that "camping is pretending you don't have a bed."

4. Jerk it out

If you are looking for specifics on how to turn beef into jerky you are going to be disappointed. I am sure I could look it up, but I actually prefer to have this dried salty goodness remain a mystery, because there is some chance that the "mysterious quality" of jerky is part of what makes it delicious.

Beef Jerky is the ultimate snack. You can take on any type of trip, it would survive a nuclear bomb, and it involves copious amounts of salt and meat. And, aside from all of the sodium, you can get some great protein from a snack of beef jerky which is more than I can say for my tube of Pringles. The truth be told, I will eat anything that is in jerky form. Chicken? Yup. Pig? Pig is great. Alligator? Tried that too - tastes like chicken. If you have ever avoided jerky for any type of aesthetic reason I encourage you to push through it, pay your money, and enjoy the salty-goodness. Just make sure you keep yourself hydrated.

-GSR, jerky rates right up their with smoking in my pantheon of meat-related deity. Covered in salt, loaded with protein, no fat to speak of. This stuff and a good stout has been proven by scientists* to be the best workout recovery combination possible. I do wish the jerky makers of the world would back off a little with the "lemon-grass teriyaki" and "mandarin-creole BBQ" nonsense. It is meat that is dried, fancying it up accomplishes nothing.

The last entry here will be for all of you to decide. I would like to see something along the lines of bacon, or sausage, and don't forget to be all the food snob you can be. I should mention here, that several preparations of meat came close to my favorites including the Buried In The Ground With Hot Rocks method and the very pleasant Smokehouse process.

Have fun kids, and stay away from the tofu, it lowers sperm count.

*I routinely hear this from the scientists I keep as friends. They may be geologists and hydrologists, but I assume they have at least some knowledge of physiology. Don't argue with science!

Friday, April 27, 2007

The FIVE Best Women(Womyn?)-Centric Movies EVER!

Alright ladies and gentleman (Chimmy), GSR is back at the controls here at The Five. That means you can sit back, relax, and get ready for your weekly dose of estrogen thanks to this week's topic: The FIVE Best Women-Centric Movies EVER!

Before I kick things off, allow me to offer the criteria that is being applied. The movies that we will be listing are movies that have to (1) appeal to a majority of women that we know (we would never be so bold as to speak for all women), (2) have characters/themes that were purposely marketed with women in mind, and (3) they have to be movies that could be enjoyed by men who are watching with their mothers, girlfriends, or sensitive-clarinetplaying-metrosexual-blogger friends.

Make sense? Great - cause I have a great first pick.

1) The Little Mermaid

That's right. I said it. The. Little. Mermaid. Yes it is a cartoon, but we never said that cartoons don't count. Especially one as woman-centric as this one.

This is a movie about a mermaid named Ariel, who just so happens to be a princess among regular mermaids. Life appears to be good under the sea, but deep down this strong independent minded redhead wants to break free of her pedantic days of swimming, singing, and collecting items from the world above. To highlight her boredom with her collecting, Ariel at one point informs the audience that she has collected over 20 dinglehoppers, and she follows this declaration with the existentialist question, "But who cares?" [Wife and MG! - please stop your singing here. You are scaring the people in the coffee shop].

To make a long story short, the plot of this movie boils down to a young girl who needs to follow her heart and search for true love, even if (especially if) it involves rebelling against her father and breaking some rules. And of course the movie has a happy ending. Growing up my younger sister loved this movie, and I have still yet to meet a woman who didn't like it. It has turned into a classic, and it will forever be around to help young women understand that sometimes you have stand up to your father, follow your heart, and wear sea-shell-crafted bras.


Everything in the last two paragraphs never happened. Ever.

My nomination is:

2) Gladiator

Oddly enough, this movie almost made in the list last week for one of the best man-centric movies ever. Stay with me on this one.

First off there is Russell Crowe. Obviously, the female demographic was in mind during casting call. It's not that I don't like Russell, in fact I think he is an amazing actor and I would drink beer with him given the chance. However, when I am locked in lipped passion with a lover, my mind does not form Russell Crowe out of my carnal antagonist, and I have on good faith that every woman I know in fact does just that. All those sweet nothings girls whisper to me, all the little hugs and pats that octogenarian women give their wrinkled and pickled men, they are all for Russell. Given the fact that men are in the minority of the planet (49.7%), if Russell ever created and ran for the office of High Chancellor of All Terrestrial Being, he would be elected. Probably be a margin of 50.3%.

And the reason Gladiator is one of the best woman-centric movies ever, is that if he were elected, I don't think I would have a problem with that. If we were invaded by aliens, I would not worry. Did you see Gladiator? He would kick their ass.

And so, I move that all matters uteran are intimately embroiled in the existence and teddy-bear looks of The Crowe. Refute me if you can.

-I think you are missing the point of our Women-centric post. This is not a post about "male actors who it is okay to man-crush on," which is obviously what you are doing with your "teddy-bear looks" Crowe. This is about finding those movies that help women embrace their inner goddess (or princess....or princess/mermaid). Let me reorient this list back to the topic:

3) An Affair To Remember

I have no trouble admitting the following two facts: (1) When my wife told me we were going to watch this movie I sulked like a petulant child, and (2) By the end of the movie I was completely absorbed in the characters and story. This is a great movie.

It makes this list because it is another movie that most women that I have met seem to agree on. It has a love story, Cary Grant, and some really great acting/dialog. In fact, there is a scene in Sleepless in Seattle where a group of women talk about this movie and start tearing up just at the thought of the ending. My wife and my mother-in-law do the exact same thing.

This movie earns classic status because for those who have seen it and enjoyed it, they think about it every time they see the Empire State Building or a glass of Pink Champagne. If you have not seen it, I highly recommend it. If you saw it and you didn't like it, I want to hear about it in comments. Especially if you are a woman.

-Ok, this movie is fine. The plot isn't great, the acting is so-so, but at least it doesn't involve a piscine prostitot. And don't even pretend you are not a pervert for liking that show. Perfectly fitting clam shell bra my ass, Chester. The movie in question here, though lacking explosions or helicopter is more or less fine. I can watch it, though not too many times and not after a hard day at work. At least I don't feel gay after this nomination. I knew there was a reason I stayed away from woodwindies. Orc-dorks por vida!

I nominate:

4) Sleepless in Seattle/You've Got Mail

I have to admit to not really being able to tell these two apart. One involves a rich software guy who lives on a boat(?), one involves a rich bookstore guy who lives in a boat(?). I don't know what exactly goes on in the two movies, but I can remember some decently funny parts. I like Tom Hanks, so he can add a shot of comedic value to whatever weepy slush-fest they cast him in. These movies also have Meg Ryan, and I could stare at her all day because she's just so darn cute. I don't even care that she doesn't get naked. She is adorable and I want to give her a hug. I also like the nerdy aspect of Tom Hanks' characters in these two movies. it makes me think I may have a chance with curly headed women, though crushing reality should set in soon enough.

One downfall of one of the movies is the inclusion of children. I like kids, hell, I probably have some, but kids on screen annoy the shit out of me. They never seem to add a damn thing to a movie save make those prone to sympathy tear up when the little shits start fake-crying. These are the same people who keep asking children how life makes them feel. They are kids, life doesn't occur to them. I would prefer from here on out if they cgi'd kids into production. I would watch more chick flicks if Calvin was the snotty little shit who gets the reluctant, but flirting, parents back together, if for no other reason than the movie might have a T-Rex. Calvin with the stuffed tiger, not Calvin the reformationist exegist, just to clear that up.

-Casey, you have made a fine selection here. I actually debated using one or both of these movies when I was making my contributions. As for your comments on The Little Mermaid, I never used the adjectives "perfectly fitting" in relationship when describing the sea-shell bra. Those are your words, and I find them very revealing (but not as revealing as the outfit they dressed Princess Jasmine in for Aladdin....)

-Absolutely. If she were not animated with possibly irritating paints and inks, she'd be on my list of five thing to do before I die. And, honestly, I didn't really read The Little Mermaid shit. I figured at some point you'd mention the movie's only redeeming quality.

We'll leave five up to you guys again, though icthyan porn will get your ass booted, but for the record I nominate Predator.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Five Best Man-Centric Movies Ever!

**Note: The comments are now fixed-thanks.

Alright, GSR got to go first last time, so it's my turn this week.

I'll have to leave a quick note before we get started to tell everyone I will be an absentee blogger for a couple of weeks. You all have fascinating looking places to read set up, but my ability to read, let alone comment will be limited for a while.

On to the list. The movies available to rate are required to be mostly about and, to a point, targeted at men. No movie fitting that description would make my five top movies of all time, and that is the point.

1. First Blood

We talked about this movie the other day and it inspired this list. If you can get past the incoherent speech defect of Stallone long enough to watch the movie, you'll notice some fairly good acting on the part of the supporting cast. Also, the realism of this movie compared to any of the others in the series is shocking. I have seen many more violent movies, but I have to admit to getting a little squeamish at the life and death portrayed in First Blood.

However, realism in violence and acting are not what make this movie great. The story powerfully demonstrates the trials of reassuming an identity. Most of my appreciation for this film stems straight from personal experience, so I am a truly biased observer. Biased observation seems to be a recurring theme of this blog thus far, so I believe I will rest on my laurel of authorship when it comes to this movie. More than any other soliloquy, with the possible exception of the ramble in Prometheus Bound, I am touched by the climax ending this psychodrama: "Back there I could fly a gunship, I could drive a tank, I was in charge of million dollar equipment, back here I can't even hold a job parking cars! "

A lot of my friends are having a pretty tough time, one of them is homeless, I have nothing but empathy for their plight.

-Casey, I can't argue with this one. First Blood has held up in a way that a lot of other movies from that "genre" have not. There is a lot more to the movie than a man with some big-ass guns and a lot of ammunition. Is there are chance that this will be the first "5" where we are in complete agreement?

2. Rocky

I know, I know - Casey already picked a Sylvester Stallone movie, but this movie is the real deal. The movie is about a broken down boxer and his broken down trainer in the broken down parts of Philadelphia, and every time I see it on cable I sit down to watch.

The character of Rocky is an everyman that you can always root for, and his trainer (played by the dare-I-say incomparable Burgess Meredith) is the kind of salty old man that you can't help but like. Everything from the opening scenes of Rocky fighting in a broken down gym, to the final scene of his fight against Apollo is amazing well done (especially when you factor in that Stallone was the actor AND the writer).

I've never been in a boxing ring, but every time this movie comes on I find myself saying, "Man, I should really take some boxing lessons. That would be awesome." Fortunately now I have a wife that points out what a horrible idea it would be for me to box since I am lucky to weigh in at 160 pounds and I have no discernible muscles. This movie might actually be in my top 10 movies of all time, and before you groan - it did win the academy award for best picture.

-GSR, I agree completely with you on this one. This movie rocks on so many levels. Consider for a moment the fact that it was released in the midst of the cheesy '80's movie bullshit period when people like Tom Cruise and the young and cheeky Val Kilmer (as opposed to the gritty Val that's made his appearance lately) and Don Johnson ruled our collective thoughts of masculinity.

Then You have a movie about a meat packer who takes on the whole world through the escalation of II, III, and IV. V never happened.

3. Over The Top

I have no idea why I'm nominating this. It is a movie about arm wrestling. I don't even know what the studio was thinking when they greenlit the script. It's cutesy and trite, but I can remember more about this movie than I can remember from any of my years of school.

Yet another movie where a hero rises from the ranks of the popular grind and takes fame and fortune from the heap of money that seemed available to everyone in the 80's, provided you did not have a job involving sweat. I should note here somewhere that my dad was and still is a truck driver, and my two brothers and I have an unhealthy fixation on large freight moving vehicles. I love trucks. I took my first steps across the doghouse of a cabover Pete. If any reader knows what that means, I will have a beer with you. The way they smell, the rubber of the tires and the asbestos of the brakes, the whine of the turbos when they go by, the chatter of the Jake brake; I never grew out of wanting a truck to play with.

This movie, where the truck driver thwarts the snotty suit, plays large in all or part of my personal philosophies. Sly wrote this movie as well, so it has the occasional unbelievable dialog, but the depictions are very accurate. He very believably drives the trucks with the skill of a veteran. I can really appreciate that extra effort. Then there's the part where the truck goes crashing through the gates of the rich man, the analogies come easy and profound. If you didn't like this movie, I can only assume you are not only tasteless, but part of society's problem.

-Casey, don't forget the part where the movie culminates in the ultimate (professional) arm-wrestling competition, during which Sly's character is essentially arm wrestling for his truck AND his kid. Talk about fatherly love and devotion.

Since all of our current choices star only Sylvester Stallone, I feel the need for a change of pace:

4. Tango and Cash

This movie stars Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. And the movie is awesome.I saw this movie when I was 12 and it was huge for me as a kid. Part of it being "huge" was that it was R rated and I was allowed to watch it. My parents were typically very strict about this sort of thing, but my dad stepped in on this one because he was fairly certain that, "That movie will kick-ass." What can I say? My dad is a man of few words, but when he speaks we all listen.

The plot for the movie is hazy for me, but I do remember that Tango and Cash are rival cops who get forced into working together, at which point hilarity ensues. Except when I say "hilarity" I mean lots of guns, gadgets, souped up cars/trucks, and lots of explosions. My older brother (older by a year) and I still talk about how this was a bonding moment with our dad, and we almost forgave him for making us watch Gone With the Wind with our mom. The movie was awesome as a kid, and it is still fun as an adult. As a bonus, the movie also featured a very hot Teri Hatcher and the always-bad-assed Jack Palance. What's not to love?

-Man, I was wondering how long it would be until Jack Palance showed up in this entry. I remember quite a bit about this movie, as it was my first R-rated movie I was allowed to watch. The devil's minivan won this movie over pretty quick. Terri Hatcher is Kiki Tango. Enough said.

-So there you have it. Four of the top five "Best Man-Centric Movies Ever!" Just like last week we are turning it over to you the readers to contribute. And keep in mind - these are not the "Best Movies Ever!" That will be a separate post. And also, I may be able to talk Casey into a "The 5 Best Woman-Centric Movies Ever!" I'm pretty sure the conversation will go like this:

GSR: Hey man, can we do a post about the five best woman-centric movies? I've got some great ideas.
Casey: If I lived in D.C. I would punch you, make you drink bourbon, and puke the sissy out of you.
GSR: So....that is a yes?
Casey: I honestly worry about you.
GSR: ...
Casey: You can post it while I am away for the next week and a half. Let's never speak of this again.

-On the contrary, GSR, I can think of several good woman-centric movies. What was that one where Raquel Welch was a cave-woman?

Thoughts/ideas in comments.

*Last weeks Winner was judged and decided as Paradise City by Guns-N-EFFING-Roses, with Sister Christian taking a close second.