Recently viewed, heard, and read

I’m officially on vacation through New Year’s Day, taking these two weeks as a proverbial “staycation” (groan).

What have I accomplished so far?  Not much.  Some shopping.  Binge eating of meats.  And I’ve started to catch up on a lot of books, music, movies, and T.V.
Here’s a sample:
Taking of Pelham 123-I want to hate Travolta because of his general creepiness and Scientology affiliation, but he was just plain awesome in this flick.  Love him as a sociopathic bad guy.
Inglorious Basterds-Scalphunting, Nazis, Tarantino and Pitt.  Nothing says holiday fun like this one.
“Eating the Dinosaur” (Chuck Klosterman)-Klosterman is my favorite writer, hands down.  In his latest, pop culture, history, and humor are meted out with equal amounts of care and abandon.  Lots of quotable stuff here, but my favorite is:
“The psychological profile of Ted Kaczynski reads like an origin story for someone who’d eventually become one of the Watchmen:  Born in 1942, he’s smart and weird.  His IQ in fifth grade is 167.  He’s so smart that they skip him from sixth to seventh grade, and this ruins his life.  He’s teased constantly and has no friends.  The socially retarded Kaczynski is accepted into Harvard at the age of sixteen and immediately excels at match, specializing in the field of geometric function theory.”
“The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle” (Graphic Novel)-Time and again, I try to like what Jim Butcher writes.  I thought reading him in comic book form would make for a better experience.  Not so much.  His Dresden concepts are fantastic, but his ability to write dialogue, tell a story, and build characters never match up.
Legion of 3 Worlds” (Graphic Novel)-True story:  I used to have a ginormous weekly pull list at Challengers Comics. The economy and a fading interest had me whittle that list down to zero.  Now I’m playing catch-up on a few key storylines from the past few years.  Love the Perez art…kinda love the Johns story…HATE the ending.
Flaming Lips/Stardeath and White Dwarves “Dark Side of the Moon” (album)-A song-by-song remake of the stoner Rosetta Stone. Credit for balls and ambition is certainly due here, but not even the inclusion of Hank Rollins can convince me that there’ll be a reason to listen to this one month from now.
Mudvayne “Mudvayne” (album)-More of the same.  I’m convinced that “Beautiful and Strange” and “Beyond the Pale” are the same song.

Jet “Shaka Rock” (album)-There’s nothing about Jet that’s particularly unique or enduring.  Even so, their third album destroys their last and isn’t inoffensive when it pops into my iPod.
Gallows “Grey Britain” (album)-Heard it all before.  Still kinda like it.
Men of a Certain Age (T.V. show)-Couldn’t even make it past the first 15 minutes.
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