Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tyrannosaurus Wrecked

Dinosaurs are awesome. In fact, they are such badasses that they keep coming up in the news even though they were killed by a meteor a bazillion years ago (Baptists read: by God exactly 6,000 years ago). For example:

2/01: China is bogarting our dinosaurs. Apparently Communist China thinks the rest of the world should have to stop discovering dinosaur fossils because now it's China's turn. So China gets to be the world leader in prehistoric excavations. Or at least that's what Chinese Google says.

1/28: Scientists finally know what color dinosaurs were. Scientists think some dinos had red mohawks.  Now, before you freak out, keep in mind that that the dino being discussed in the article is a tiny, feathered little punk called the Sinosauropteryx, not one of the cool ones. We all know none of the really cool dinosaurs were gingers.

1/21: Dino Death Pits.  A bunch of little dinosaur skeletons were found literally stomped into the ground inside the giant footprints of "the massive sauropod dinosaur Mamenchisaurus," who was certainly NOT a ginger.

But we all know the only things MORE AWESOME than regular dinosaurs are DINOSAURS FIGHTING.  The History Channel used to have this show with the most ballin' name ever: "Jurassic Fight Club."  But, despite sounding like it would be a bunch of sweet prehistoric cock-fights, it was actually kind of lame. (So lame, in fact, that when it was re-broadcast in the U.K. they renamed it "Dinosaur Secrets," which sounds like the mom from that old T.G.I.F. show "Dinosaurs!" finally left her fat slob of a dino-husband and moved to Wisteria Lane.)



Fortunately, even though the show got mediocre reviews, the History Channel website features an interactive dino-fighting game called "Turf Wars" where you can make your own animated dinos fight each other. ALL DAY.

And because this blog is more awesome than the History Channel, here are some sweet pictures of dinosaurs fighting:





 

(Yes that's Jesus fighting a dinosaur...with Excalibur. And yes, it's an actual photo of Jesus.) 


Wow that last one was scary! So awesome. And I LOVE Jeff Goldblum's Transitions (R) Lenses.

As a final note, I'd like to give a shout out to the people at The Animal Review. It's a consistently hilarious blog that just got a book deal (cross your fingers, my ONE follower - it could happen!) to write scathing, pop-culture-laden reviews of ridiculous animals.  Check it out.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"I don't really deeply feel that anyone needs an airtight reason for quoting from the works of writers he loves, but it's always nice, I'll grant you, if he has one." – J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger died today at 91. There's been much internet hub-bub about him mostly devoted to his iconic novel The Catcher in the Rye and/or the eccentric last half of his life as a near-total recluse. The latter fact is of particular interest to those of us who closely follow either movies or law (and of superlative interest to the occasional aberration like me who follows both).

Salinger stopped publishing in 1965, but according to a neighbor, his children, and a few ex-lovers (all of whom he must totally HATE), he's written prolifically since then.  Salinger was adamant about never publishing again, and unfortunately, he was one of the few celebrities who actually retired when he said he would and didn't stage a series of lukewarm comebacks (I'm looking at you, Favre). He refused to license the rights to Catcher or any of his other published stories for films; he also prevailed in a number of lawsuits enjoining the publication of biographies, personal letters, uncollected works, and most recently, a purported "sequel" to Catcher by other authors.

So, something of a countdown to J.D.'s death had begun in creative circles, making him a bizarre literary hero whose fans want him to die so they can finally read more. A safe full of juicy Salinger stories and the legal rights to the super-famous published ones are rumored to be hiding in his New Hampshire cabin.  And today, for the first time ever, they might be open to the public.

I, personally, have said many times that J.D. Salinger is my favorite author; I've also been known to lecture people on the Glass family after too many glasses of my own.  But I've never been a lover of Catcher.  Sure, when I was fourteen, it spoke to me in the way that it does to all bored, skeptical, self-important teenagers. But I tried re-reading it last summer, and like the sleigh bell from the Polar Express, I suddenly couldn't hear it.  Catcher seemed whiny and juvenile and less satisfying than it was before (of course, being whiny and juvenile is probably what made it satisfying when I was fourteen).

But I am a longtime devotee of the Glass family.  Salinger's publications Franny and Zooey, Seymour: an Introduction, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters, and Nine Stories are some of the most important books in my life.  I truly stumbled on them all, so I won't make a pretense of some insightful literary discovery (Salinger, after all, would hate that).  Franny and Zooey was the great love of an old  boyfriend of mine; I merely (but sincerely) adopted it from him.  And when I went to college, I decided I wanted to be able to say important things like "I've read all the books [so and so] ever published".  When I found out Salinger only published five books and they were all pretty short, I figured he was my man.  But I fell in love with them in my own right, accidentally and unexpectedly, as we always do. And these books, those characters, have resonated with me for many years.

For a long time I exhaustively looked for more Salinger (so maybe I do understand the death-wishes that come from his biggest fans).  A few years ago, I found a website that hosts a bunch of uncollected Salinger short stories, the kind once printed in ladies magazines and literary journals.  But don't feel like you have to read them the movie versions are probably already underway.  Let's just hope the Catcher movie is a better adaptation than Benjamin Button.


Do it for the fat lady, J.D.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Turded Alllllll Inside My Ski Pants

While preparing to go skiing this weekend (my first time ever), I've been less nervous about my klutziness and inevitable bruises than about appropriate off-the-slopes etiquette. Lucky for me, Saturday Night Live put together this instructional video on sexy ski lodge behavior. Lucky for my fellow skiers, I have some really inventive solo dance moves.

Kristen Wiig (channeling Ann Margret) on last week's SNL:

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Motherload

So I'm almost as big a fan of Sarah Silverman as I am of Tina Fey (read: I've never dressed up as her, been mistaken for her, or demanded people call me by her name during drinking games...but I still fantasize about being breast best friends with her).  And I'm a sucker for Parks and Recreation because I love:
  •      TV shows starring Amy Poehler (see also, Upright Citizens Brigade),
  •      primetime TV shows featuring ex-Human Giant cast members (see also, The League),
  •      single-camera mockumentary sitcoms about would-be boring jobs (see also, The Office), and 
  •      the tedium of government employment (see also, my current job).
 So imagine my surprise when today I stumbled upon the motherload: Aubrey's Plaza* of Parks and Rec doing a spot-on impression of Sarah Silverman. Watch it, your jewgina will thank you:



*You may also know her (and Aziz Ansari) from her supporting role in the misnamed "Funny People," aka the most depressing waste of my On Demand $4.95 since "W."

Options for J.D.'s

While emailing out some job applications, the relevant links in the sidebar of my Gmail said:

"More about:
Sample Attorney Resume »
Law School Resume »
Resume Formats »
Dental Assistant Career »"


Zing! That sounds about right. But where could I possibly meet a dentist...?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

While we're talking about Lady Gaga...

I just realized that "Bad Romance" is the new "Psycho Killer" in that it makes you sound like a crazy person if you ever try sing it a cappella:

Exhibit A: Chorus of "Psycho Killer" by The Talking Heads

Psycho Killer
Qu'est-ce que c'est?
fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa better
Run run run run run run run away
OH OH OH
AY AY AY AY AY
Woooooooo


Exhibit B: Chorus of "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance

Ra Ra-ah-ah-ah
Roma Roma-ma
Ga-ga Oh la-la
Want your bad romance


Not to mention that "Bad Romance" also includes unexplained French lyrics ("je veux ton amour/et je veux ta revenge") and a reference to "Psycho" (as part of a trilogy of hilarious, misplaced Hitchcock references - "want you in my Rear Window" just became my favorite pick up line of all time).

In conclusion, if you are staying at your crazy, religious, paranoid aunt's house and she has never heard of that Lady Goo Goo or those Talking Faces, maybe you should refrain from singing either of these pop gems in the shower...lest you find yourself being exorcised. Of course, you also might find yourself the proud new owner of a Lithium prescription, in which case, I want your love. And I want your revenge.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring" - David Bowie

Today is David Bowie's birthday, and he's probably turning 87 or something old and gross and weird. But he was extremely influential in his heyday, and I'm a big fan.  For those of you who don't follow the careers of '70s crypto-homo-androgynous-glam rockers as closely as you should, David Bowie is his generation's Lady Gaga (and before you say I'm being insulting or reductive, I think they'd both revel in that comparison).  Like Gaga, Bowie is a pleather-wearing, spectacle-worshiping, tranny-looking, unbelievably talented musican whose performances look like an acid trip at the greatest drag show on Earth. 

Somehow it all adds up to greatness: Bowie was named "The #1 Most Influential Musician of All Time" by his peers, in 2000 (England's New Music Express magazine polled famous artists).  And Bowie was named "The #5 Most Influential Person in Fashion" by Vanity Fair in 2008.  Bowie cha-cha-changed (sorry guys, it had to be done) the way music, gender roles, and fashion interact, and inspired more than one generation of artists. Your take away: David Bowie did for liquid eyeliner what herpes did for the condom: made straight men want to wear it. 

So, in tribute, my top 5 favorite Bowie pop-culture references:

5. Douglas Adams, in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish (the 4th in the Hitchhiker's Guide series) describes a character as:

"If you took a couple of David Bowies and stuck one of the David Bowies on the top of the other David Bowie, then attached another David Bowie to the end of each of the arms of the upper of the first two David Bowies and wrapped the whole business up in a dirty beach robe you would then have something which didn't exactly look like John Watson, but which those who knew him would find hauntingly familiar."

That's vivid imagery.

4. Bowie judging the "Walk Off" in Zoolander



3. Seu Jorge's acoustic, Portuguese versions of Bowie songs in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou



2. Bowie burns Ricky Gervais on Extras





1. And the very best, and perhaps most accurate Bowie portrayal ever - Flight of the Conchords video for "Bowie's in Space"

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A Jersey Shore-Themed Post, or why pretend I'm something I'm not?

First came the SNL Sketch, then the Jersey Shore Nickname Generator. But the newest jeer at Jersey Shore isn't fan-made at all. Watch the most stereotyped guido/ettes of the house make fun of themselves in their really charming and not-un-hilarious new video. The Situation especially owns the parody; he sheds his caricature so convincingly that he's bizarrely likable for a few minutes. Though I'm not sure Snookie totally gets the joke, and Pauly D's accent is completely unidentifiable, they prove that the when everyone's laughing at you, the best approach is definitely to join in.



P.S. My Jersey Shore nickname = "The Back End". Who says that thing is random?

This link is my boomstick

The perfect introduction:


Now Playing:

peter hates the godfather video

Friday, January 1, 2010

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