Friday, December 22, 2006

The Tree

Happy happy joy joy and all that crap. See you on the other side.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Ring of the Wild

As a general rule, I despise the Ringtone Revolution. I don't want to hear your atonal approximation of Belle and Sebastian's latest single everytime you get a text message. And as much as I love to groove to Mark Morrison's Return of the Mac (that's my jam right there), I don't want to hear it beeping out of your pocket. And the only place I want to hear Dark Side of the Moon is blaring out of a jukebox in a dive bar - not from your cell in the grocery store line. Of course, I don't even have a cellphone so maybe I'm just a luddite with cellphone envy lashing out at what I can't have. But I don't think so. It's fucking annoying. How about we go back to a normal, decent sounding telephone ring?

Clearly, that's not going to happen. Ringtones appear to be here to stay. So, as an alternative, I'd like to suggest that you give the Ash Breasted Tit Tyrant a shot. Or perhaps you're more of a Rio Grande Leopard Frog type of person. Or maybe you want to represent H-Town with some Houston Toad action. H-Town BITCHES!! I would even suggest a Bare Shanked Screech Owl for some of my readers. Fortunately, our friends at the Center For Biological Diversity have made that possible through their new website, If you're going to annoy me, the least you could do is raise awareness about endangered species while you do it. Get yourself some Orca action. Me? I'm holding out for the Arroyo Toad, the toad that Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts famously called "hapless" in his efforts to undermine the Endangered Species Act and limit the reach of the Interstate Commerce Clause. Of course, first I'd have to get a cellphone.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday Posting Frenzy Finale

If this is your first visit today, please note the multitude of posts that have appeared since this morning. I posted a lame video of Britney Spears drunk (her in the video, not me in the posting of it) because I didn't have time to post anything better. Kristin called me on it, so I started posting more to make a legit VTK day out of it. Now it's several hours later and I really need to get some work done, so this is the last one of the day and it will consist of me cleaning out all the garbage in my VTK Possible Posts file, which hasn't made it to publication yet. So, feel free to skip it. all of it. but here goes:

If you want to be distracted for 1 minute, watch this:

If you want to be distracted for 2 minutes: try this (

If you want to be distracted for 4 minutes: try this (SB)

If you want to be distracted by a sad story for the rest of the afternoon, read the 5 part series about NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster's descent into mental illness and homelessness and it's likely connection to all the head trauma he incurred over the years in football.

If you want to feel slightly better about the story, read about the slight consolation of justice afforded to his family.

If you want to hear something Orwellian that I may or may not have posted about before, listen to this: the USDA is attempting to stop using the word “hungry" to describe people who are hungry. The new phrase is "food-insecure". People who live in hunger are now residing in "households with very low food security" – and there are 330 references using this lingo on the USDA website.

If you want to see a picture of the massive andouille sausage and broccoli omelette that I made myself last weekend, here it is.

If not, too bad.

If you want to stay informed on the situation in New Orleans post-Katrina, including the ways in which the Bush administration is using the tragedy as a sacrificial rat for their pet policies (sound familiar?), read this site.

If you want to be truly morally righteous: root for UMass tonight at 8 PM EST when they play in the Div 1-AA National Championship football game.

Have a great weekend, VTKids.

Clever Index Cards

The Friday Posting Frenzy continues:

I found this clever little blog through the nonist.

The Essien Strike

For you sports fans, here's the video of the insane goal by Essien in last week's Chelsea - Arsenal match. Pretty damn close to perfect.

Described here by longtime soccer journalist David Hirshey as a "surface to air missile". If you're not a Deadspin reader, check it out if only for the great articles on soccer by Hirshey.

Nietzsche Family Circus

The mother of excess is not joy, but joylessness.

This is probably old news, but if you click this link, you get to a random generator that pairs quotes from Friedrich Nietzsche with cartoon images from The Family Circus. It creates some pretty good results, like the above.

(thanks to SB for the tip)

Candy Pants

It's a Friday posting frenzy now.

(thanks to Trivmaster Carpetman for the tip)

Glenn Caperton

Britney Spears: Pea brain

God forbid someone film me when I'm drunk and babbling, but here's a funny clip of Britney Spears being a drunk moron anyways. She's geeking out a little so maybe she's on drugs. Either way, she's a pea brain:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

33 is 50

December 7th, 2006 - A unique day in history - Larry Bird turns 50 during my Larry Bird year. Coincidence? I think … so. Yes, probably. But notable, nonetheless. So this gives me the perfect opportunity to do my VTK Bird post, the second half of my obligation to comment on the two halves of the Jesus-LarryBird moniker of this year.

Larry Bird was not my first sports idol. That honor goes to Reggie Jackson, the Yankees’ slugger from the late 70’s and early 80’s (When I got my glasses and Yankees hat at age 8, I ran up to Father Callahan, who used to come to my house to give mass to my grandfather, and yelled, “Father Callahan, don’t I look like Reggie Jackson!?!?” That’s not really funny unless you know that Reggie was a mustachioed black man with an afro and I was a pale faced dork with a bowl cut). So, Reggie was my first sports idol, but Larry was unquestionably my biggest childhood sports idol. I idolized him in the true sense of the word – he was like a god in my mind. Hyperbole? Maybe a little, but not a lot. There were definitely times when he appeared ordained to make the big shot. To the point where it was shocking when he missed one with the game on the line. The best example of that was the shot he missed in the Garden against the Lakers in the 87 Finals after Magic’s mini-skyhook. The crowd, the teams, and the basketball world was stunned. The Lakers ran off the court like giddy bank robbers. Of course, context is everything, and that moment came at a point in time when the C’s were the reigning champs, Larry Legend had won the NBA MVP 3 years in a row, and he was one playoff series (10 days maybe?) removed from The Steal.

The Steal was probably the single greatest sports moment in my life. It came against the hated Detroit Pistons in game 5 of the best of 7 Eastern Conference Championship. The Pistons were up by 1 with possession of the ball, 3 seconds on the clock, poised to send the series back to Detroit with a 3-2 series lead. It seemed pretty hopeless to me as your 14 year old future VTK scribe lay awake in bed, in the dark, headphones on, listening to the iconic Johnny Most call the game. And then:

Now imagine that radio call in the dark. I nearly shit myself. I started yelling and jumping up and down. I didn’t see it until later, but that call by Johnny, that gravely voice. Wow. I’ve got goosebumps right now. “OH MY, THIS PLACE IS GOING CRAZY” I’m seriously getting choked up over here… Ok, I’m ok. Anyways, just an insane play by Bird in a seemingly hopeless situation.

There are also great stories about his game winning shots. My favorite is the one that Xavier McDaniel told about a game in which the Celtics were tied and had the ball coming out of a timeout with a few seconds on the clock. Larry Bird walked up to him and told him what he was going to do and where he was going to shoot the game winner from. He then proceeded to do exactly what he told him and hit the shot from where he said he would, in XMan’s face, to win the game.

And then there was the Three Point Contest in which Larry walked into the locker room beforehand and asked the other contestants “who’s playing for second?” Then he went out and, needing one more basket to win, he shot the last ball on the rack, put his finger in the air and walked away as the ball fell through the net:

That's why they call him Larry Legend. I mean, in your fucking face, walking away with his finger in the air. Bam. Quintessence. He didn't even take his warm-up jacket off!

What else to say about # 33, Larry Bird? So many memories: the 60 point Atlanta game (called by current Yankees radio announcer John Sterling, btw) where the Hawks were falling off the bench in awe; the playoff game against the Pacers when he left the game with a concussion after smacking his head against the floor and then ran down the aisle ala Willis Reed and torched them in the 2nd half; the 92 Olympics Dream Team game when he grabbed a rebound threw the outlet pass to Magic who drove the ball to the hoop before throwing a no-look pass behind him to a trailing Bird who nailed the 3 pointer. That’s Larry Legend, or Basketball Jesus as the Sports Guy calls him. I guess I’ll leave it with his career stats for the VTK record (Career averages of 24.3 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 6.3 apg, .496 FG%, .376 3P%, .886 FT%; 3 rings, 3 MVPs, 9 All-NBA first team selections) and a youtube clip of the NBA Superstars music video from back in the day.

Happy 50, Larry.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Movie Remake Boycott / VTK Actor Curse Post

As the title would suggest, this post is about my boycott of movie remakes and the curse I'm putting on the actors who star in them. When a movie is done really well and an actor creates an iconic character, why would you possibly want to remake that movie and role? Well, obviously it's because of the money. It's certainly not because of some imitation is the highest form of compliment bullshit. The remaking of movies is a disturbing trend in Hollywood. I can somewhat understand it if the story can be told better through the use of modern special effects, but that's really the only excuse. And what's more annoying is that it's not even like the actors who are remaking these roles are unknown or struggling actors who are doing it to launch their careers. These movies and roles are being remade by actors (and directors) who are accomplished in their own right and have created iconic characters of their own. Specific examples of what I'm talking about include Steve Martin attempting to remake Peter Seller's Inspector Clouseau in the Pink Panther, Johnny Depp reprising Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Billy Bob Thornton redoing Walter Matthau's Coach Buttermaker in Bad News Bears. Adam Sandler redoing Burt Reynold's Paul Crewe in the Longest Yard isn't in the same category, but still worthy of mention. The two most egregious offenses are clearly the Steve Martin and Johnny Depp crimes. Why the fuck would you ever even consider playing the role of Inspector Clouseau or Willy Wonka after what Sellers and Wilder did with those roles? We're talking about two titans of comedy, two geniuses who created two of the most memorable characters in the history of film.
It's so offensive that I've decided to boycott the remakes of these movies. Furthermore, I am putting a curse on the actors that they must watch inferior actors play their signature characters. May Freddie Prinze Jr redo The Jerk, may Haley Joel Osment remake Edward Scissorhands (this would double as revenge on Tim Burton), and may Ryan Phillipe play the guy in Sling Blade.