Thursday, October 30, 2008

Teddy Ruxpin

"Hi boys and girls, my name is Teddy Ruxpin...can you and I be friends? I really enjoy talking to you."

Those words set off a maelstrom of parents credit cards being swiped around the holiday seasons on 1984-1986.

I don't remember much about Teddy Ruxpin because I didn't get sucked into buying one. I do recall the endless commercials featuring him and his pal Grubby. A friend of mine had one and I believe you'd put a cassette tape in his back and then he'd start talking and read you a story. With Grubby, you'd hit play on both their tapes at the same time and it would sound like they were having a conversation. Pretty heady stuff 20 years ago.

Teddy Ruxpin was huge, getting his own cartoon but like most fads, he petered out and is a relic of the times.

Anyway, here's an old commercial for Teddy and his pals. I forgot how much I loved how that little girl screams "Its Grubby!" at the 11 second mark. You can still find him today welcoming you to the FAO Schwartz in New York City.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Neverending Story

Every year in elementary school, I guess the teachers had a lot of papers to grade so they'd get all of the classes together to watch a movie. It always seemed to be one of two movies...the first was "Cloak and Dagger" which, other than the lady pulling her glove off to reveal a missing finger, was really boring to me. The other movie...oh my...the other movie I still quote today. Today, we look at The Neverending Story.

The Neverending Story was released I think around the mid 80's and was just really out there. It was about a boy, Bastian (awesome name by the way), who steals an old book from an old bookstore and decides to read the ENTIRE book in one stormy night. The book itself looks like its over a 1000 pages so I guess the kid was a pretty good reader. This is where the movie really takes off.

The story itself involves a place called Fantasia that's slowly being disintegrated into nothingness by a thing called "The Nothing". Fantasia's last hopes are pinned on another young boy named Atreyu. Of course Atreyu runs into some serious problems like his horse dying via sinking into mud, getting nowhere with a giant turtle, and nearly getting vaporized by two weird looking statues.

Instead of recapping the entire plot, let's look at some scenes.

The first scene is probably one of the saddest scenes ever in a kids movie. Everybody loves horses so to see one sink in the mud is pretty wild.

Three things I love about this scene though...the first is the horse is sinking literally into something called "the swamp of sadness"...the second is how Atreyu says "c'mon you stupid horse...and finally, the fade to black as Atreyu lets out that scream". Who thought horses could get sad? Good stuff.

Next up is the weird turtle like creature. The only reason I put this video on here is because his head coming out of the hill there scared the sh*t out of me when I was 8 years old.

Now we get some comic relief although some shots of Falcor were really creepy looking. This clip pretty much runs the gambit of this. I love that creepy look he gives at the :21 second mark too and those weird facial expressions around the 1:21 mark.

This next scene also scared me with those crazy sphinx type statues. The below clip starts off pretty slow but if you fast forward to around the 4 minute mark you'll see what I mean.

Then there's possible the greatest soliloquy in movie history. I give you the Rock Biter. Listen to his words...its like he's starting a new religion and who thought rocks could cry?

Lastly, I give you one of the scariest creatures ever in film. The creature's name was Gmork but I just called him the scary wolf thing. This was the final showdown in the movie. I love how Atreyu says "Come for me Gmork...I am Atreyu".

Well that's that. I highly recommend this film if you've never seen it or rent it for your kids to see as it shows you the true meaning of courage. It will also give them nightmares too...Artex!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Driving On Long Island

I'm going to switch gears today and talk about something I've been observing the past year or two...lousy driving etiquette. I drive roughly 25,000 miles a year so I've seen a lot of craziness out there. Here are some examples and proposed solutions.

1.) I'm pretty mild mannered but the one thing that can set me off immediately are people who lay on the horn behind you at a red light when said red light turns green.

Solution: Give a two quick toots of the horn. Its more friendly than a long blast.

2.) I'll be driving on major highways doing 70mph and will be passed by a car who's driver has a dog on their lap. Are you kidding me? I think its safer driving with a child on your lap than a dog. At least a child will stay put while a dog constantly moves around. Highly dangerous.

Solution: Put the stupid dog in a crate or in the backseat. Or just leave it home and let it shit all over your carpet.

3.) I'm at a red light intersection going straight and the guy facing me going the other way making a left turn nearly cuts me off when he guns it as soon as the light turns green. Can't you wait another minute or two? What's the rush? This is usually where I almost get into accidents.

Solution: Chill out and listen to your hip hop with the bass that shakes the mirrors on your car for another minute, let the traffic clear, and then make your left turn.

4.) Tinted windows....I can't STAND tinted windows. I rarely wish very bad things to happen to people but these people I hope blow out their transmissions or lose a treasured pet. Tinted windows are illegal in the first place so they are getting them knowing they are breaking the law.

Solution: Nothing really can be done but I've honked my horn driving by people who have gotten pulled over at this.

5.) Motorcycles. I'm probably jealous but I hate the fact that motorcycles weave in and out of traffic at their leisure. They are also hard to catch by the police too adding to my jealousy.

Solution: I guess the easiest way to solve this problem is to open your door as they try to drive by you in a traffic jam. That would be pretty cool but would most likely damage your car in the process. Motorcyclists are more prone to fall off their vehicle than a driver of a car would so I guess you're in deep trouble if you get into a motorcycle accident.

6.) People who play Scrabble on their phone while stuck in traffic or watch 80's music videos on their IPOD while driving home at work. Talk about distracted driving, that's probably the stupidest thing a person can do.

Solution: Oh wait, that's me...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Taking A Day Off But Let's Try An Experiment

Things are too busy to put together a proper post today but I want to try something out.

1.) Go to the Yahoo search engine (not Google) and type in the url of this website,

2.) The only entry that should show up is on a Wesley Snipes website...called Rocketnews-Wesley Snipes.

3.) Click on the cache link, not the main link, and the page it takes you too references this blog at the bottom.

Random right?

I guess somebody is a huge fan of Wesley Snipes and anytime his name is mentioned on a blog, it goes on this Rocketnews website. I had mentioned him when I did the top 10 trilogies for Blade and it somehow ended up on that Wesley Snipes fan page.

Since Wesley Snipes is getting four mentions in this post alone, I'm intrigued to see if this it will show up again on that website...I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Charity Singles Of The 1980's - Part One - "Do They Know Its Christmas?"

The 1980's had several charity singles to promote a worthy cause or raise awareness to different world issues. The Granddaddy of them all is the holiday music staple "Do They Know Its Christmas?".

Written by Bob Geldof (probably best known as the actor who played "Pink" in the Pink Floyd movie, "The Wall"), he wanted to promote awareness to the fact that people in Africa are starving. So while the more well off people are enjoying the Christmas season, the poor people in countries like Ethiopia might not even know what Christmas is. Hence, this song.

Alright I'll admit, as much as I don't like poor hungry Africans starving to death, I LOVE this video. In fact, I'll play it for friends after a night of drinking and see how many people they can get right (lame, yes...but try it sometime). If you can stand the detailed review below, trust me, you will NEVER look at this song or video the same way again and will impress your family and friends when the song comes on the radio. Let's go through the video for some highlights shall we?

0:00-0:14 The opening of the video. That's Bob Geldof in his 80ish trench coat around the 0:07 second mark. I love the quick glance of the bass player for Duran Duran as well as Sting.

0:15 - 0:30 - The first line is sung by Paul Young who is best known for the song "Everytime You Go Away" which was actually written by Darryl Hall of Hall and Oates? That alone will score you points in the completely worthless trivia category if there was one. He's also one of the few people who get more than one line.

0:31 - 0:43 Oh yes, Boy George! I'm not sure if he was banging his drummer at this time or if they had broken up but he looks pretty happy here.

0:44-0:48 I absolutely LOVE Phil Collins and to know he played drums on this song is pretty sweet to me. He also shows off the textbook "drummer face" at the :47 second mark. More on him later...

0:49-0:57 George Michael's turn. He's still baby faced here and I'm assuming liking women at this point in his life.

0:58-1:07 - A weird transition here to Simon LeBon, the lead singer of Duran Duran. Its like he's interrupting George Michael. I love how he grabs his headphones for extra dramatic effect too.

1:08-1:13 Hey now, look who magically appears next to Simon...its Sting with a trendy red scarf. Its a shame that this duet lasts only 5 seconds.

1:14-1:22 - The dude joining in here is the guy who sings the song "True". He was lucky that True was a hit around the time they recorded this song or he'd be singing in the background chorus with Bananarama (I'll show you later).

1:22-1:30: The greatest combination of voices around one microphone since the Beatles? Seriously...try and out do that one!

1:30-1:36 Perhaps the most famous lyric of the 1980's. If I ever had the chance to meet Bono, I would forgo cheesy questions and beg him to utter "WELL TONIGHT THANK GOD ITS THEM....INSTEAD OF YOUUUUUUUU!!!"

1:37-1:39 - A classic Phil Collins drum fill.

1:40-1:52 Some interesting things here...not sure who the bird necked guy you see before Sting is. At 1:45 the guy on the right with the drumstick is Boy George's secret lover. I also like the goofy guitar moves around the 1:48 mark yet you can't hear a single guitar anywhere on the song.

1:53-1:55 - There are only two ad libs on the entire song and Boy George gets them both.

1:56 - 2:09 - Random combinations of people and more fake guitar playing.

2:15-2:25 - The middle breakdown section and Paul Young again gets the forefront. I don't know why he got the first vocal and such a prominent spot. Bob Geldof isn't anywhere to be found on this song either. In fact where were other British superstars like Eric Clapton, Elton John and David Bowie?

2:26 - 2:41 - My favorite part...carloads of random 80's bands showing up to sing background vocals. I'm not sure all of them are but a few are easy....Bananarama at 2:28...Kool and The Gang at 2:29...Sade at 2:30. Listen for the classic drum fill by Phil Collins between 2:32-2:34.

2:41- End - The big finish featuring lots of playing around. Some quick questions...

1.) At 2:51, how does Bananarama stand closer to a microphone than Sting?!?
2.) Who is the random guy at 2:55 in the random suit looks like he has no place to stand and sing...I feel bad for him and he gets caught by the camera too.
3.) Who is smoking at 2:59? Sade?
4.) Again, how does Bananarama get front and center as seen at 3:41? Look at Bono using something like a fork to keep the beat. I love his hat there too...shades of the "serious" U2 on their soon to be released "The Joshua Tree" album.

Back tomorrow for the USA's response to this song...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ranking The Facts Of Life Characters

The Facts of Life was a staple of my boring Saturday nights watching TV. I also recall this show being in syndication in the afternoon so I caught a lot of this in the summer time as well. In any event, it was a spin off of Different Strokes (how awesome is that) and it featured one of my favorite TV characters of all time...Mrs. Garrett. She was pretty cool for an older lady. Of course the students were pretty neat as well but as a 10 year old, I didn't understand much about weight problems, pregnancy scares, having a period, and even rape (all topics discussed on the show). Anyway, here's my fond memories of the various characters on this show.

5.) Blair

I never really got into Blair since she was sort of the pack leader / bitch of the group. As a kid, I never liked mean people and Blair seemed to be the meanest of them all. Of course she was pretty much the hottest character on the show but to my pre-pubescent eyes, that meant absolutely nothing to me. She still looks pretty good today although the actress that plays her is sort of like Kirk Cameron in that she promotes religion more than anything else today. I never noticed that huge jug of tobasco sauce until just now. She might be moving up the rankings. That's pretty hot...

4.) Natalie

Natalie was the stereotypical "heavy" character on this show. She actually lost weight as the show went on and grew into her face. If I remember right, her character was adopted so that meant several "very special" episodes dealing with that matter. Oddly enough I'll never forget the actresses name, Mindy Cohn, because she was always on the celebrity game show "Hollywood Squares".

3.) Tootie

Tootie pretty much grew up in front of my eyes as she was the youngest actress on the show. She always seemed to have braces or roller skates and was the one who'd get into the most trouble. Kim Fields, the actress who played her, turned into a pretty good looking woman and she was on a Fox show who's name escapes me. Tootie also has to be one of the most random names ever for a TV show character (though "Boner" on Growing Pains is miles ahead number 1).

2.) Jo

Jo was the rebel on the show and who can forget the moment in every opening credits where she removes her motorcycle helmet to reveal her pretty hair. I loved Jo because she was the one who'd crack jokes at Blair's expense and always seemed to dare to cross the line every episode. Sadly, I remember her being in a lot of bad TV movies in the 90's and haven't seen anything from her in years.

1.) Mrs. Garrett

I watched a lot of TV as a kid and the closest thing that I could identify to a TV grandmother was Mrs. Garrett. She was kind, warm hearted, and seemed to know how to have a good time. Of course I had two grandmothers growing up but if I could have a third grandmother, it would have been Mrs. Garrett. Of course Charlotte Rae left the show due to money and as a result, they completely revamped the show bringing in a pre-ER George Clooney, a pre Dancing With The Stars Cloris Leachman, and a pre-nothing MacKenzie Astin (son of Gomez Adams and brother to Frodo).

Honorable Mention:

1.) Geri

Geri was a friend of the girls who I believe had cerebral palsy. She was the first person I had ever seen (in real life or on TV) that had any kind of disability. I'll admit, I thought the slurred speech and jerky mannerisms were an act at first but then realized that the actress playing her actually REALLY had cerebral palsy. Anyway, I'm sure it was good for the actress that played her to have a recurring role on the show (she was a comedian in real life) and I obviously remember her to this day (maybe not for the most ideal reasons).

Anyway, here's the intro from Season 7. I choose this one because its one of the classic, "hey, our show's been on long enough to run a montage of our characters growing up throughout the course of many seasons!", type intros. I hope I don't put this song into your head the rest of today.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Classic Public Service Announcements

In the 80's, everybody loved or at least watched Bugs Bunny. I was probably more into the Warner Brothers family of cartoon characters like Bugs, Daffy Duck, Tom & Jerry, and Sylvester & Tweety Bird, than I was into the whole Disney thing.

Somebody had the idea of using children cartoon icons to teach little kids the dangers found in a kitchen. What ensued was this advertisement. I vividly recall seeing this ad on over and over and OVER again while trying to watch my favorite shows like Transformers, Smurfs, and G.I.Joe. I stumbled across it last week though and fell in love it all over again.

Here it is in all its pre "Roger Rabbit style animation mixing cartoons with a live setting" glory.

This was a little scary to me as a kid. I could handle the cobra in the beginning because the coffee pot ended up defeating him but that boiling pot of water was pretty nightmarish. That evil laugh he releases with the fangs and scary eye brows definitely taught me to keep any pot handles facing AWAY from the flame.

I also notice here that Bugs Bunny sounds really REALLY whiny here. I know he's trying to get his point across but he's being a little over dramatic.

Ahhhh, the things you pick up as a kid.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Top 10 Cereals of All Time - Part 2

Continuing on from last Thursday...

5.) Trix

Continuing from last week...

Trix was sort of related to Fruit Loops and Apple Jacks except they were more shaped like marbles. The reason they crack the top 5 though is their mascot, the Trix rabbit. Like Wil E. Coyote, the Trix rabbit could never get his hands on a bowl of the tasty goodness who's box bore his image. As a result, "Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids!" become part of our childhood lexicon. I remember more of an X-rated (and racist) version of the above phrase that I will not put on this website, but feel free to ask me the next time you see me.

4.) Cocoa Rice Krispies

Yes, rice crispies had that snap, crackle, and pop going for it but how about eating cereal out of a nice bowl of chocolate milk. That's what you got when you had a bowl of this cereal. A brilliant concept, I'm not sure if this cereal exists any more but if Rice Krispies was the Tina Yothers of cereals, then chocolate Rice Krispies was the Nicole Eggert...I'm talking about Nicole Eggert circa 1993 in "Blown Away" by the way.

3.) Count Chocula/Frankenberry/Boo Berry

I lumped these all together since they practically are the same cereal except for the flavor of marshmallows. It was a rarity when I had one of these but there's something about marshmallows in cereal that just makes perfect sense. The commercials were the best and they had to be careful not to scare little kids into not eating their cereals. I loved Boo Berry's bowler hat though.

2.) Lucky Charms

Another marshmallow cereal but this one gets the nod in the different colors and shapes. I had a friend of mine who's sister would steal all of the marshmallows out of the box leaving him with just the oats. I'll admit, I'd save the marshmallows for the very end to give my teeth that sugary coating they'd need for a strong day at school. On a side note, it blew my mind when they added the purple horseshoe and all the commercials started showing that random looking purple horse. Lucky Charms popularity is lasting enough to have a bad guy based on the leprechaun in Austin Powers.

1.) Cookie Crisp

Its basically a bag of cookies in a bowl of milk. As much as I'd love marshmallows in milk, eating cookies in milk is even better. This cereal is the only one (other than Special K) that has stayed in a somewhat steady rotation but I have to stop eating it because its so unhealthy for you. It seems like this would be more of a dessert for kids rather than a healthy way to start the day off. You have to appreciate the burglar and his dog mascots they featured as well.

Other mentions:

Frosted Flakes - Waaaaaaaaay too much sweetness on those flakes there. I didn't like how the milk tasted like drinking liquefied sugar either.

Wheaties - Not a big fan of the taste but always enjoyed seeing who the local celebrity was on the box every year.

Total - Like Wheaties, I didn't like the taste but still recall their ad campaign where you had to eat 15 bowls of Wheaties to get the nutrition found in one bowl of Total.

Teddy Grams - This was a favorite for a lot of people but I never got into it. Like Winnie The Pooh, bears only wearing shirts with no pants creep me out.

Life - Mikey may have liked it, but that's probably because he was quiet and never spoke. Did he end up as the horny mute kid in Nightmare on Elm Street 3?

Kix - Promoted as the healthy alternative, I'd rather lick the curb for breakfast than suffer through eating a bowl of this. Parents loved this though.

Nut N' Honey - Another honey based cereal that only sold well because of its dumb but catchy ad campaign....
Husband: "Whatcha eatin' there sweetheart?"
Wife: "Nut N' Honey"
Husband:"No seriously, what are you eating for breakfast?"
Wife:"I told you....nut N' Honey"
Husband: "Damn you, you stupid bitch!!!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Beware I Live

As my sophomore freshman roommate used to say after he'd return from a long day of classes..."Look who's back in the motherf*cking house with a big fat d*ck in your motherf*cking mouth!!!" If someone knows what reference that was from, I'd appreciate it because I have no idea where he got that from, if at all.

Anyway, I've been swamped with lots of things going on between work and more work that lately my mind is pretty much mush to put together a high quality post that I hope you would expect from me. Today, I push through the haze I'm in to give you the scariest arcade game EVER...the 1983 classic Sinistar.

Sinistar was one of the first arcade games that you could sit down in to play it. It also was a game that I had no idea what I was supposed to do when playing it. Pacman made sense because all you did was eat all of the pellets and avoid the ghosts. In Gauntlet, you went from one end of the screen to the other and avoid hearing those fateful words "the red wizard needs food". In Sinistar, you were supposed to gather these things called Sinibombs and prevent the construction of what basically a giant scary face called Sinistar. Although I never came close to beating the game, it was that gravelly voice that sucked me right in every time.

Even before I put a quarter into this game back in the early 80's, I'd hear that voice from the game go "I hungerrrrr" or "beware I live". Sinistar was almost goading me into facing him. Of course when I did, I couldn't amass any of the weapons to destroy him and within a minute or two, he would form and basically eat me while making the scariest scream ever.

Below is a quick 15 second video of all of things Sinistar would say to you. I still use several of these phrases today. For example, my wife was getting dinner together last week and I wanted to say "I hungerrr" but that would have probably freaked her out. I also enjoy "run coward" when playing tennis as well. Its the scream that really freaked me out though...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Hang Tight

Ugh, I apologize for not getting an update out today and again on Wednesday. Things have been brutal at work and free time is now being used in keeping my sanity in order. The top 5 cereal will have to wait but I'll probably have it out over the weekend to make up for a lack of a post today.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Top 10 Cereals - Part 1 of 2

Let's do 10 cereals of all time based on my personal experiences eating cereal over the years. Today we countdown 10-6.

10.) Honeycomb

These wheel shaped pieces of goodness were also one of the biggest pieces of cereals you could find. They also had one of the more catchy jingles that I can recall without having to look at the commercial below. "Honey comb's got....a big honey taste. They're not no no". Wow, those are better lyrics than most Nickelback songs. I sadly remember this commercial all too well..."honeycomb, big taste, honeycomb" ....

9.) Special K

Not to be confused with the drug that causes major hallucinations, this is the "Granddaddy" of all cereals. Like a faithful mafia wife, I'll stray to other cereals to mix it up a bit but this is the cereal that I'll always come back to at the end of the day. It has some drawbacks though. It tastes terrible if you eat it dry and the last few bites are like trying to eat dust out of the milk.

8.) Cheerios

There are two kinds of cheerios...the honey tasting kind that features the honey bee as the mascot and then the kind that has a more normal taste. Like the confusion I had with Van Halen/David Lee Roth in the mid 80's the two kinds completely blew my childhood mind. I actually now prefer the more normal kind as I'm not a big fan of flavored cereal as I used to be. Nonetheless, I would be very upset when my parents would bring home from the supermarket the boring yellow Cheerios box and not the box with that rascal of a honeybee on it.

7.) Raisin Bran

It took me awhile to like any kind of fruits outside bananas and apples as a kid so when my Mom brought home a cereal with raisins in it one day, I immediately balked on it. It eventually grew on me boosted by the claim that there were "two scoops of raisins" in every box. I misinterpretted that to mean that I could only have two scoops of cereal when I had a bowl. wonder I was so hungry for lunch back then. I loved the happy sun pouring the raisins into the box though and they also had the best mascots ever...

6.) Apple Jacks/Froot Loops

Let's be honest, these were basically the same cereal except they were different colors and had different artifical flavors. Each had good brand awareness, who can forget the "Kellogg's Apple Jacks!" jingle and our old friend Toucan Sam flying around telling us to follow his long beak to the sugary goodness he was offering. Of course there was as much "apples" and "fruit" in this product as there was honey in the above mentioned Honeycomb.

Back tomorrow for 5 through 1.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen...The Shandle

Happy Tuesday to you all. I'm going to get away from traditional pop culture items to briefly discuss an invention that I think is one of the better ones out there. Its name...the shandle.

Ever been to a grungy men's bathroom to take a leak and notice a newly stained toilet bowl seat down just BEGGING for you to lift it up? Now imagine the fun of trying to lift that toilet seat up. Its not pretty and in fact its like being outside and lifting up a giant rock and finding tons of water beetles and earwigs running around. The Shandle solves that problem by attaching itself to the side the seat so you don't even need to touch the seat PLUS the shandle cleans itself so whoever uses it next doesn't have to worry about it being dirty. Here's a quick picture of one.

The only negative is that its not portable so once its on the toilet, it doesn't come off, but if you work in an office where there's only a couple of toilets, it might come in handy. Beleive me when I say that I have gone into the men's stall at my office and have seen things wink at me when I lift up the seat. I think I'm going to order a handful for that reason alone.

Here's the link to order them...they come in all different designs and seem affordable.

For all of you who I just completly bored to death and am looking for something more mindless and pop culture related, I give you the actual trailer from the movie referenced in yesterday's blog..."The Babysitter Seduction" starring Keri Russel. Talk about low budget...I love the announcer guy and look, its the Mom from the Cosby Show!

Monday, October 6, 2008

It Was 9 Years Ago...

Happy Monday to everyone. To those of you who have stumbled across or have been following this blog, I forgot to mention that I actually had a blog back in 1999. I was living in Allston, Massachusetts at the time and one of my roommates wanted to jump on the tech bandwagon and create a website dedicated to our apartment we were living in. Now these were the days of Netscape Navigator, AOL was the only all-in-one service provider for e-mail and surfing the web, and internet pornography was 10 second videos of the Pamela and Tommy Lee video (harder to find was the Janeen Lundermann heterosexual movie with Bret Michaels).

Anyway, I got as far as three posts on this website. It didn't have any graphics, just text. The first two posts are pretty boring as I hadn't developed much of a writing skill but the third could sort of pass for a post on this website. It was written around the holiday season of 1999, hence the year end recap. I had graduated from college that year as well hence the relative immaturity of my mindset at the time. Again this is from 1999 so bear with me....

Hello again everyone out there. Here are my most recent observations on society I've had the past few weeks:

1.) One of the lowest forms of society are those who buy a bunch of scratch-off lotto tickets at a newsstand. They don't buy the same lotto tickets either, oh no. They have to buy a few $5 "Double Down" ones, a couple $2 "Lucky 7's", and a $10 "Strike it Rich" scratch-off. Even worse, they get upset if the vendor is out or God forbid, hands you the wrong one. Meanwhile I'm standing behind them with a fifty cent newspaper and a dollar bill in my hand.

2.) Ah yes, Christmas time is here. For the first time, my roommates and I bought our very own tree. For all the good vibes Christmas brings you, just go to any mall right now and see society at its most primal.

3.) Is it me or is black the color of choice by women when they go out on the weekends these days?

4.) Tuesday is by far the worst day of the week and here's why. Monday you feel refreshed from the weekend and ready to work for a bit. Wednesday is the middle of the week day and you can actually start thinking about Friday. Thursday you feel the weekend almost upon you and you can go out Thursday night without feeling too guilty because all you have to do is push it a bit on Friday. Friday is simply Friday and its all good. Tuesdays just suck because its the beginning of the week and the weekend seems so far away. Sunday's sort of suck too because you know you have the week ahead of you but at least you have the day off.

5.) Italian food + drinking = rough night. I've heard three people in the past two weeks have a bad reaction to this combination.

6.) My favorite three Christmas songs are "The 12 Days of Christmas" by Jim Denver and the Muppets, "Do They Know its Christmas Time" by all those 80's British rock stars, and though its not exactly a Christmas song, "Life In a Northern Town", the song that goes "hey mum mum mum in the night now."

7.) To all people who have pocket books: PLEASE have your wallet open to pay for something before you have to go digging around for exact change. The cash register has plenty of change, hence the name cash register.

Since it is the end of the year I thought I'd give my 1999 best and worst awards. Mind you these are only opinions but they are not subject to debate:

Top 3 TV Shows:

1.) VH1 Behind The Music: A godsend of a show for a music lover like me.

2.) The Simpsons: Still going strong.

3.) The Tom Green Show: I love how he gets people fired up.

Worst TV Show:

1.) Any re-run of Full House on syndication: Between Bob Saget's cheesy acting and the gay music they play at the end of the episode while the "moral lesson" of the show is being preached makes me want to throw my dinner at the TV.

Best TV Movie:

1.) First hour of "Y2K: The Movie": It was cool to see NYC go dark and panic in the streets.

Worst TV Movie:

1.) Second hour of "Y2K: The Movie": The whole Nuclear fallout thing was a bit too much for me to believe.

Top 3 CD Acquisitions

1.) Filter’s “Title of Record” : Solid CD all around.

2.) The Cure’s “Galore”: Helps get you through anything.

3.) Stevie B’s Greatest Hits: I have no idea what Stevie B looks like, nor did I know it was him singing these songs, but this has to be the most underrated CD in the past few years.

Worst 3 CD Acquisitions

1.) DJ Skribble: A little too hardcore for me.

2.) “Drive Me Crazy” Soundtrack: Just plain dumb. What was I thinking?

3.) “Gran Tourismo Soundtrack”: What did I expect? Its a soundtrack to a video game.

Top 3 Movies

1.) American Beauty: The perfect dysfunctional family

2.) Go!: The E scenes are classic

3.) American Pie: Though intoxicated while watching this move, I thought it was a riot.

Worst Movie

1.) Virus: Any movie that involves robots killing people on a boat in the middle of the ocean and using their body parts to make a super-killing robot is sort of strange.

Top 3 DVD Acquisitions

1.) The Exorcist: Scariest movie ever made hands down.

2.) Michael Jackson HIStory- Greatest Videos: The Smooth Criminal video is worth the price of admission alone.

3.) The Matrix: Awesome special effects.

Worst 3 DVD Acquisitions

1.) Skinner: Hey it was $5.99 and had Traci Lords in it.

2.) Henry and June: I will never buy another artsy movie again.

3.) The Babysitter’s Seduction: Alright, I guess I had the testosterone going when I bought this one but my friend Keith talked me into it.

Top 3 Nights

1.) July 4th Providence. The video says it all.

2.) July 17th West Islip. I’d need a whole new Observer to talk about this night.

3.) August 21st Boston. Bonding night

Worst Night

1.) November 21st (my birthday spent in the bathroom of a bar).

Top 3 Moments

1.) Getting my degree from Boston College.

2.) Being in the mosh pit at Woodstock while Limp Bizkit was playing.

3.) Mets/Braves Game Five 15 inning thriller. Boston to NY and back to Boston at 3am.

Worst 3 Moments

1.) Walking through a bar drunk with my shirt sticking out of my fly. On my birthday too.

2.) Realizing a part of my life was over.

3.) Blacking out on the way home from a work party and having no clue how I got from downtown Boston to my apartment.

Maybe ending on the worst three moments of the year isn’t the cheeriest thing to do but its Christmas time so everyone is feeling on the up as it is. Thanks again for reading. If you have any observations to pass on to me that you’d like to see here, e-mail me them. I hope to have a Millennium edition before the year is out. Happy Holidays to everyone, and ladies, watch out for guys who wear mistletoe on their belt over the holidays. I hope I just didn’t give anyone any ideas…


I actually agree with the first part of this post in terms of all of the observations. I still think Tuesday is the lousiest day of the week for above mentioned reasons and women still use black as the go to color. I can't recall the Y2K movie at all. I'm embarrassed about my movie and CD picks but I'm not ashamed of saying it (The Babysitter Seduction was a TERRIBLE movie starring a pre-Felicity Keri Russel). However, I still stand behind the fact that "Smooth Criminal" is the best music video EVER made.

Until tomorrow...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time For The Weekend

No major post today as I'm completely exhausted and my mind is pretty much mush. I'll throw in the a few tidbits before the weekend kicks off.

1.) Caught most of the VP debate last night though I'll admit I fell asleep a little more than an hour into it. About 80% of it involved Palin and Biden talking about Obama's and McCain's voting records rather than the issues themselves. I did like how Palin called Biden, "O'Biden" at some point, but that was by accident.

2.) Was in a high school today and walked by a locker that was "gift wrapped" for some one's birthday. I'm glad kids still do that although it was pretty lame, but mainly feel bad for the custodians that I'm sure need to clean up the mess.

3.) I'm trying hard to get into the baseball playoffs but with no NY team and the Red Sox starting off on the left coast, its hard to get into Philly/Brewers and Tampa Bay/White Sox. I'd love to get into the Cubs/Dodgers but those games have been over by the 5th inning so far.

4.) I was going to write a post about Paul Newman but couldn't get very far since I'm not a big fan of PG movies (aka Pre-Godfather). I do remember him from "The Color Of Money" which was just okay (lots of dialogue in between cool billiards action) but you can just watch Eric Clapton's video "Its in the Way That You Use It" to get the gist of the movie. I did see "Road To Perdition" that he was in and enjoyed that. Tom Hanks plays a hit man and Jude Law and a pre James Bond Daniel Craig play the bad guys. Paul Newman's best movie to me is "Twilight", not because its his true last starring role, but because its Reese Witherspoon's only nude scene on far.

Until Monday...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Classic VP Debate - 1992

In anticipation of Thursday night's Vice Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin, I think its a great time to go back in time and take a look at one of the more DISASTROUS debates in election history. Let's turn our attention to 1992 and the VP debate between Al Gore, Dan Quayle, and Admiral James Stockdale.

1992 was a rare year for a presidential election in that the independent candidate, Ross Perot, had enough support to justify him being involved in debates. His VP candidate was the closest you could find to a kindly grandfather. Unfortunately, like most kindly grandfathers, Admiral Stockdale was very hard of hearing, couldn't see, and was perhaps going a bit senile.

For those of you who don't recall the classic debate, here are a couple of clips. I vividly remembering this happening and being completely surprised that this was actually occurring.

Wow, I almost forgot about how odd this was. How can you forget your own opening statement? Or if you didn't forget it, at least know enough to have your glasses on. Let's move on...

Whoops! Now he forgot his hearing aid? I'm not here to pick on this poor guy. I'm just using it as an example of how a couple of innocent mishaps can destroy a presidential campaign. Let's hope the same thing doesn't happen Thursday night.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Classic Game Shows - Love Connection

This show popped into my head the other night and I can't figure out why. Was it the old catchy theme song? The premise that I never understood? I honestly think I was doing some kind of math problem involving percentages and all of a sudden the cool noise made when they showed the percentages of the studio audience picking the proper date popped into my head (see video below). Anyway, I can't recall much about the show but that's what this website is all about!

Love Connection was a game show on in the late 80's and it was on here in NY either on around 4ish or on at night around 7:30pm before the network shows came on. I'm pretty sure it was on NBC too. The show was hosted by Chuck Woolery who I loved as host of Scrabble (another post down the road). Anyway, the show involved a lonely bachelor or bachelorette looking for love and they'd get to pick from three single people. Before the show aired, they had already had their date. The audience saw the three people the contestant could choose from and then Chuck would ask the audience who they thought would be the best match...hence the percentage noise thing.

Anyhow, Chuck would bring the date on to discuss how it went. Then he'd reveal who the audience said was the best pick. If the date went well and the audience picked the right date, Chuck would give them $75 to go on another You potentially embarrass yourself on national TV and all you get for a second date is enough to buy a bottle of wine and some condoms.

Here were my thoughts as a 10 year old kid watching this show:
- What is a date?
- Why spend $75 to take somebody out to dinner when you could buy all six parts of the Devastator transformer...and still have money left over to buy Skeletor.
- Why would people think that one person is better than another in terms of dating. Aren't they teaching me in school that all people are created equally?
- Why did the two people just kiss there?
- On the flip side, why are the two people so angry at each other?
- Why does Chuck Woolery keep saying "Be back in two and two" before going to commercial break?

I didn't watch many episodes of this show since it didn't involve a specific game with neat concepts, like Card Sharks or Joker's Wild. It really was just a lot of talking. Still I'm sure old people ate this up.

Ironically enough the exact inverse of this show is "Blind Date" since all you saw was the actually date and no follow up or how the date was chosen.

Here's an example of how the show worked. No need to watch the whole thing unless you have 8 minutes to kill. I watched most of this segment and I love Chuck breaking up half the time. The catchy theme song is a must listen. To show I'm not completely crazy, the "percentage changing" noise occurs at the seven minute mark. It also completely reiterated my faith in how boring this show really was.