Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Movie Log 2006 #20: Melinda and Melinda
Took a break from pub quiz and watched this, which arrived this weekend presumably about the time Matt was watching it. Everything he says about the film is right on. The framing scenes set me against the film from the get-go, and frankly Allen's total body of work is such that he can't afford to dig himself into such a hole early on. This guy was much more believable playing a religious assassin in a futuristic dystopia than as a struggling musician with a pad that makes the Friends loft look like a hovel.

As to Matt's theory that Will Ferrell could successfully remake Woody's early-to-mid films: Maybe Sleeper. Anything else would be a bad idea.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Movie Log 2006: #17-19
Seems like a big gap between movie posts. We've watched a fair amount of TV material on DVD, but I don't count it. I did catch up on a little bit of Oscar fodder with Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room and Brokeback Mountain. The former explained very simply just what was going on at that company, and could make one wish the death penalty extended to financial crimes. The latter was as good as everyone says it is, with the exception of Anne Hathaway, who seemed to be playing dressup.

On Saturday one of Dee's MDN selections was the excrable Newsies. It was a complete mess, but thankfully nothing about it really stuck with me.
3-Chord Monday #9
Crossfading between Blck History Month and Women's History Month, we have the UK's X-Ray Spex, featuring English-Somali singer Poly Styrene. She claimed she'd rather shave her head than be known as a sex symbol -- then she did, pre-dating Sinead O'Connor by a decade. X-Ray Spex cut one album, then Styrene quit and became a Hare Krishna.
X-ray Spex - "The Day the World Turned Day-glo"

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

I think that win was officially eked out. We trailed until after the photo round, where I think we only missed one -- Amazingly, we know what Serge Gainsbourg looks like. Then we had a sorta crappy final round, but others had a harder time, it seems.

so, some questions (and I finally updated the ones from last week, too):

How many teams play in the Grapefruit League? 18 - Since this is becoming "guess a number between 2 and 30," I'm invoking the mercy rule.

How many Ramona books has Beverly Cleary written? (that is, books where she's part of the title) eight (Mark) - I came up with five titles right away, but had forgotten Ramona Forever, Ramona and Her Mother and Ramona and Her Father. I am actually going to feel bad once I collect dead pool points for Ms. Cleary's passing.

95 percent of the world's opals come from what country? Australia (Mark) - Two of us independently came up with Madagascar, so we went with it. D'oh!

Who delivered the eulogy at Malcolm X's funeral? Ossie Davis (Brian) - I knew this stone cold; not sure why. I think it had to do with reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X for classes right around the time Do The Right Thing was out.

Who was the first president born after the signing of the Declaration of Independence? Martin Van Buren (Brian) - We were one off, guessing Jackson.

Monday, February 20, 2006

This succinctly sums up the problem with figure skating.
Hey, my curling post got eaten. Anyway, to sum up:

The US women faltered because unlike Sweden, they did not have a cheezy metal video promoting them:

Hammerfall - "Hearts on Fire"
3-Chord Monday #8
Black History Month + Presidents Day = Dead Kennedys. Why? Because of drummer DH Peligro, who went on to a brief stint with the Red Hot Chili Peppers before fronting his own band.
Dead Kennedys - "Take This Job and Shove It"

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Great news from the gaming front. During the holidays I was pleased to see Out of the Box's Apples to Apples in Target and the megachain bookstores, and Rio Grande's Carcassonne in Toys R Us. Out of the Box's other games are inexpensive and well-designed. In addition to Carcassonne, Rio Grande puts out most of the best of the German game crop, but has at least four games that deserve to be huge in the US: Puerto Rico, TransAmerica, San Juan, and DVONN. Here's hoping some of these games make their way into mainstream stores (and come down in price, too).
apologies to poor Julia...
but this is the perfect wedding gift for Matt Bruce.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

We bested a small field tonight. Thanks to Dee for filling in. A few questions:

Whose concert riders demanded a gallon of coffee backstage? Johnny Cash

According to commentators at the Olympic opening ceremonies, what does the color red in Italy's flag represent? charity - According to Costas, the colors represent faith, hope, and charity. We did go with marinara, along with too many teams to net anyone comedy points.

In what town did Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton duel? Weehawken, NJ (Craig)

In what Chicago neighborhood did the St. Valentine's Day Massacre occur? Lincoln Park (Alma got it first without looking it up) but we missed a bonus point when I whiffed on the address, going with 2121 (the pizza place Chris talks about) Clark instead of 2122. I should have kept in mind that the west side of the street should have been even, like my on block. Still, Evanston is just contrary enough to reverse that.
If I had actually gotten around to writing an Olympic curling preview, it would have been the exact opposite of what's happened thus far. The US women, second in the world last year, are now 0-3, while the guys, who barely qualified for the Olympics last year, are a respectable 2-1. The women, though, have had the tougher draw thus far -- Norway and Canada should be in the medal round.

It's interesting and scary to read the fan comments on Team Johnson's website. Dig "Sam" from NYC: "Have you ever been to the big city?" Um, check the team gallery: they're better-traveled than you, tool! The declarations of love for Cassie Johnson are something else too, but I'm thinking Maureen Brunt is cuter.

Monday, February 13, 2006

3-Chord Monday #7
Not only is it Black History Month, but here's a Valentine's Day treat for you:
Fishbone - "Lyin' Ass Bitch"

Tuesday, February 7, 2006

Wow, we must have been pissed or something, as we laid quite the convincing smackdown tonight. We led wire-to-wire and won by something like 9 points. Selected questions:

What star of That 70's Show has two toes fused together? Ashton Kutcher (Kirsti/Alma) - He had a birthday that day, so we figured it was him.

Aside from the US, what two countries have land borders with Mexico? Belize, Guatemala (Brian) - For once, geography doesn't bite me in the behind.

Marshall Crenshaw played what character in the film La Bamba? Buddy Holly (Brian) - Coming after a round entirely on the Holly plane crash, this question was even easier. I'd've rewritten it to make Crenshaw the answer.

What singer gave Sid Vicious his trademark padlock necklace? Chrissie Hynde -- nigh-impossible to get on its own, but this came to us in a "Chrissie Hynde or Debbie Harry?" round, and we knew she was the more UK-centric of the two.
Top 40 Twins
Baseball blogger Aaron Gleeman is counting down the Top-40 Minnesota Twins. Time spent as a Twin is a key factor, so already we have the counterintuitive decision of Scott Erickson in and Jack Morris out - despite pitching THE best game in World Series history, in the end, one season isn't gonna cut it. Anyway he's up to #36 today. Check it out.

Monday, February 6, 2006

Movie Log 2006 #16: Another Man's Poison
One gets the idea the songwriters never actually saw her films and the words "Bette Davis" were inserted into the famous song about her eyes just to fit the meter. Her eyes are her least appealing feature: buggy, baggy, wrinkled, rolling...of course this was 1952, a couple of years past All About Eve and nearly 20 years after the big break in Of Human Bondage. Still, I can't think of anyone this side of Ron Jeremy who had such a fruitful career playing supposedly seductive characters, yet who was so homely. Despite all that, this was a pretty good, not so stagey adaptaton of a murder/con stage mystery.
Movie Log 2006 #15: Oldboy
B-Fest aside, I haven't been to a proper movie theatre at all in 2006. And sadly I don't see this changing until a President's Day screening I have passes for. Anyway, I was thoroughly impressed by Oldboy. More than anything, it underscored my need to restart The Count of Monte Cristo.
3-Chord Monday #6
It's Black History Month, and who better to kick it off than Bad Brains, the legendary D.C. Hardcore/Reggae outfit.
Bad Brains - "I Against I"

Sunday, February 5, 2006

Y'know, thanks to YouTube, even the only remaining reason to watch the super bowl (the ads) is gone. All the good ones will end up there. Instead I finally caught up on the Chappelle/Rick James thing, and generally spent the afternoon and evening recovering from this weekend's bonspiel in Monroe, WI (went 1-2). We all agreed that this game was officially Freaking Awesome, and well worth the $1700 price tag in anyone's rec room.

Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Netflix curse?
Not long about I posted about watching The Red Shoes. Less than two weeks later Moira Shearer, its star, passes away.

We have Chappelle's Show Season 2 sittting on the TV, so Dave better look both ways crossing the street, I guess...