Wednesday, November 30, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 19

Best/favorite line in a movie . . .

It's hard to pick just one I'll go with, "And that's how you play get the guest" from Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf.

Brent's  (embedding isn't allowed.  You should really watch the whole clip, but 2:13 is where it gets good).

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


30 Day Movie Challenge Day 18

Movie that you used to like, that you no longer care for and are kind of embarrassed by:

I used to really like the movie The Crow. I remember making Wendy watch it with me when I lived in San Francisco. I still like some parts, but it's really, really cheesy.


Leslie's pick, which I have never seen

Wendy's pick which I have also never seen:

Kent's pick

Monday, November 28, 2011

30 Day Movie Challege Day 17

Best/favorite acting performance in a movie. I'm going to think about this one a little bit before answering.

Kent's pick

my pick

Wendy's choice

Brent's pick

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Killing time at work!

Top 20 things I'm thankful for:

  1. King Edith - my compass spun when she came on the scene.  I have no idea what was important to me before she showed up.  Now every single decision I make starts with her. She is beautiful and I love her so.
  2. Chelsey Erpelding - My beautiful wife who kept King Edith safe for nine months, and delivered a beautiful baby without any complications.  I can't believe how someone who needs sleep so badly suddenly operated on like four hours a night without showing any ill effects.  She made the most graceful transition to motherhood, and she will always be the love of my life. 
  3. Side Door - Chelsey's dad put a new door on the side of our house this year.  It's so great.  Not as great as the baby, but pretty darn great.
  4. Weekend football - Every weekend I get to watch football with my brother while he holds Edith.  It's a scene I never ever imagined we would participate in, but it's become a weekly ritual that makes me happy to have such a great brother. 
  5. Presents - So many people did such great things for us in advance of King Edith's arrival.  Hand-made blankets, cute outfits, lots of Target gift cards.  And then after we arrived, having in-laws help take care of her, or bring us sustenance when we were too tired to eat.  Nice families.  Nice friends. Amen.
  6. New Tom Waits and Okkervil River albums - two of my favorite artists made two great albums this year.  Hallelujah.  Now I just need the Silver Jews to get back together.
  7. Trip to Logansport with siblings - this should be way higher, but this trip to our old hometown was really special.  Seeing stuff I barely remembered.  Seeing stuff I remembered very well.  Getting to spend time with my siblings again.  Eating Noble Romans pizza.  A wonderful trip that couldn't have come at a better time. 
  8.  The two weeks of FMLA I got to spend with my mom and Edith - I don't normally get to hang  out with my mom for that length of time.  We were able to visit museums and malls and eat breakfast together.  Obviously it would have been nicer if she wasn't going insane over grandma at the time, but realistically what would the likelihood of something like be?
  9. My new computer at work - My old computer hated me, and then I hated it.  And then we hated each other at the same time for a while.  And then it would lock up.  My new computer has two screens and hurts my neck, but it's still way better.
  10. My dumb dog - Deuce has tested the limits of what is lovable this year.  Acting like a dick, needing expensive surgery, getting up in the middle of the night.  Sometimes that dog can be a real pile of garbage.  Yet there is something unsinkable about him.  He serves as a constant reminder that chaos rules in our house.  He hates everything but us.  And he loves us so much it's annoying.  I don't know what we'd do without him.
  11. All the people who reached out when Angelique died - I was blown away by how many people who did and said kind things when we lost Angelique.  Amazing.  Humbling. 
  12. The Superfriends Movie Club - I like watching and writing about movies.  Finally there is a group for me. 
  13. The Cake Gallery - this year we found a bakery that makes the most delicious cakes.  Giant, five-layer, knock you over, super-moist cakes.  They are super expensive.  I love them.
  14. H&M opening in Kansas City.  What great news this is.  Now I can buy my dress shirts (the only ones I've found that fit me right) without having to go to Chicago. 
  15. Adele - I'm so happy that everyone likes Adele.  I hope she gets her voice fixed.  I hope she keeps making albums that everyone likes. I hope she keeps naming them by her age at the time she makes them.  Conversely, I wish Katy Perry would stop doing whatever she's doing immediately.  Are you aware that her album is now tied with Thriller for having the most #1 records.  What god would allow this?
  16. I Love Toy Trains - When we got Direct TV I was excited to watch two shows - I Love Toy Trains, and The In Crowd.  One is about Toy Trains.  The other is about high-society homosexuals.  Predictably the trains proved to be more entertaining.  This is the format of ILTT - in the 1990's this hobby store decided to shoot video of all these sweet toy train set-ups.  That's it.  They even have a camera that fits in the engine, so you can see these set-ups from the train's point of view.  I watch it every week. 
  17. My sister's recent visit to Omaha - few and far between that I can hang out with my sister in Omaha without a 92-year-old grandma in-tow.  This should also be ranked higher.  This year I got to eat at the Radial Cafe with both my mom and sister.  Talk about great!
  18. Kent Woynowski and his ever-expanding music library - This should definitely be higher.  Thank god for Kent, and his willingness to join me in wading through lots of crappy music each year, in the hopes of finding the good stuff.  And then we talk about it.  And get mad.  It's the best.
  19. Omaha - while I dream of leaving someday, it's pretty great living in a town that has the following:  a) great farmers market  b) cheap everything  c) no traffic ever  d) pretty old buildings e) nice people  f) good bands coming through and g) lots of trees.  If it had less hills and white trash, it would be perfect. 
  20. Tragedy and Elation - I walk around this world largely unconnected to the emotional overtures going on around me.  Emotions embarrass me.  They make me go in the other direction.  I don't understand how to interact with them.  Which is why the extremes appeal to me so much.  I get them.  It's obvious.  So I'm thankful for the humanity I feel during both.  They remind me that I can be a human, just like the rest of you.          

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 16

Favorite/best (your choice) scene in a movie.

I was thinking about this while I was walking Birdy last night. I considered the Get the Guest scene in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, or the Christopher Walken/Dennis Hopper scene in True Romance but I'm going to go with the scene between Frank and Donnie Darko in the movie theater in Donnie Darko. It breaks my heart every time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 15

Half way home on this deal.

Favorite documentary:

I like Hoop Dreams, Stevie, Lake of Fire, Inside Job and many others, but I'm going with When We Were Kings.

Brent's choice

Trailer provided by Video Detective

Kent's pick

Wendy's pick

Brent's List of 2011 Music that isn't any good

Hey All -

I am starting to pare down my music so I can start making my best of lists.  The first step is to eliminate the stuff I could never get into or appreciate. Here is that list.  Please let me know of any songs or albums that deserve a further listen for any reason:

  1. Cass McCombs
  2. Death Cab for Cutie
  3. The Decemberists
  4. Fergus & Geronimo
  5. The Flaming Lips with Neon Indian
  6. Guillermo Sexo
  7. I'm From Barcelona
  8. Iceage
  9. The Low Anthem
  10. Man Man
  11. Micachu & The Shapes
  12. Noah & The Whale
  13. Quitron
  14. Smith Westerns
  15. Toro Y Moi
  16. tUnE-yArDs
  17. TV On The Radio
  18. Wilco
  19. Youth Lagoon

DVD Commentary done right.

Maybe some of you have already seen this. My friend Jon posted it on FB this morning. There's some unfortunate editing here, and it goes on quite a while. But still funny.

Monday, November 21, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge 14

Favorite animated movie

I like the Jungle Book, Robin Hood, Spirited Away and a many others, but I am voting for WAll-E

Brent, your American Pop is my Jesus Christ Superstar.

Kent's pick

Wendy doesn't care for Asian cats

Leslie's pick

Friday, November 18, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge 13

Movie that lots of other like minded people like that you just don't get.

Brent, Kent and I have talked about this already, but I get almost nothing out of Oh Brother Where Art Thou. It seems so mannered, as to be emotionally empty.

Kent's pick

Brent's pick

Wendy's pick

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In your face.


Last night Chelsey and I watched the most recent Workaholics.  This scene has been making me laugh ever since.  My guess is that you have to be a fan of the show for this to be as funny as it is to me, but just in case I'm posting it.  You have to watch to the end to get the full effect.

WorkaholicsTuesdays at 10:30/9:30c
Preview - Karaoke Song Selection
Comedy CentralFunny VideosFunny TV Shows

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 12

Movie that you have watched and really disliked.

This is an easy one for me: Crash.

Chelsey's choice

Brent's choice

Wendy's controversial pick

Kent's pick. Insanity.

Leslie's pick along with Kill Bill Vol I.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I know this is kind of unsufferable...

But it also kind of makes me happy.

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Eleven

Favorite classic movie.

I'm going to arbitrarily pick a cutoff date of 1960. So anything from the 1950's and back. Feel free to chose your own cutoff mark.

Here are some I like - Rope, Rules of the Game, M, Harvey, The Last Dictator

I'll ultimately go with 12 Angry Men

Brent's pick

Here's Wendy's

Kent's pick

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day 10

Movie that has the best soundtrack:

I'm not sure if it's the best, but the soundtrack that I most fully embraced was Until the End of the World. I think I've owned like three copies, but I kept buying it because I liked it that well.

Brent's selection:


Kent's pick. You forget how good this movie is.

Leslie's pick

Monday, November 14, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Nine

What movie comes the closest to being a perfect movie. Maybe it isn't your favorite, but it seems the best done.

My vote is for The Exorcist. That movie just seems to have no bad or extraneous movies in it.

Brent's pick. I'm not putting in the Shawshank Redemption due to the whole helping the whole young hood get his GED section.

Leslie's pick

Kent's pick.

Wendy's pick:

Friday, November 11, 2011

Achtung Baby In Review

Kent was nice enough to get me the newest reissue of Achtung Baby.  This used to be my favorite album.  For years and years.  I like U2's entire body of work, but Achtung Baby came out when I was like 17 years old and I thought it sounded like the future of music.  Embarrassing, I know, but that's what I thought.

So in the years that followed, I gained some perspective on all this.  U2 got worse as a band, and I began to seek out a rougher aesthetic to my music.  I favored more do-it-yourself production. And music made from weird instruments. And lyrics about things less grandiose than who was going to ride my wild horses. 

Achtung Baby became something that represented a more naive time in my musical appreciation.  It was so sincere, and in some ways, a one-note album.  The same guitar is seemingly used throughout the album.  The Fly and Ultraviolet light are essentially the same song with different lyrics.  All those things seemed like sins to me.

I always knew I would love the album, but in the same way I love Star Wars.  I know it's flawed.  I like it anyways.  But the re-release on its 20th anniversary brought me a little deeper perspective on the album.

First, it made me feel old.  Everything seems to make me feel old.  Players I cheered for in college back then are all retired from the pro careers now.  They all look like old men.  Bobby Hurley looks like a gramps.  But I'm okay with this.  I'm old.  Whatever.

Second, I think I had a bigger appreciation for where this hit in U2's progression as a band.  I don't think I had any idea how much people thought they were dopes for putting out Rattle and Hum.  I loved that album, but failed appreciate how over-the-top it was in terms of U2 taking themselves seriously.  Whatever punk credibility they had going into that tour was gone by the end. They were dopes.  I had no sense of this.  I though Rattle and Hum was the best thing since sliced bread.  All that earnestness, all that Americana, all those duets with choirs.  I ate it up.

Thirdly, given the new-found appreciation for where the band was at when they made Achtung Baby, I am really impressed that this is what they came up with.  So many bands struggle to get back their magic after it's gone.  Few do so successfully.  I always hear that U2 decided to poke fun at their former image on this record, but more than that, they did so while making a really good album.  I would say their masterpiece "One" is on there, and some of Bono's best lyrics - which admittedly is not saying much.
Lastly, I think I have a greater appreciation for the overarching themes of the album, and I think it's solid.  It starts with all this appeals for the band to stop being so U2-y.  And then goes on this journey to find out what's there in the absence of being socially conscious nerd bottoms.  So the trajectory of the album goes from the sort of high-energy songs that explore love and religion and generally lofty pursuits. But it slowly bogs down again under its own weight.  Heaviness returns, but it's not the social injustice variety.  It's the heaviness of the aftermath of self-discovery.  The weight that follows those bursts of freedom.  Coming down.  I feel like Love is Blindness captures that aptly.  So it's journey into what happens when you set yourself loose, and find that you can't outrun your own demons.  That's pretty cool. 

So I just want to publicly apologize to U2 for turning my back on this album for so long.  They made a really nice album.  It was good when I was 17.  It's good at 37.  You made some real crap after Zooropa, but this here is a solid record. 

So far this month I have apologized to gutter punks and U2.  Who is next?

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Eight

What is the movie that you are most inclined to watch to its completion when you see its playing on t.v.?

I have a few of these - The Matrix, Remember the Titans, but I'll go with Constantine.

Brent, I applaud your actually choosing good movies.

Here is Chelsey's pick.

Here's Kent's pick. I picked the trailer for third movie because it's my favorite and super gay.

Here's Leslie's pick. Leslie, we are only as sick as our secrets. I applaud your openness.

Wendy's choice

Thursday, November 10, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Seven

Favorite movie with your favorite actress in it.

Right now I'd say my favorite actress is maybe Parker Posey?? And my favorite movie with her is probably Dazed and Confused. But my favorite movie that she is the star of is probably The House of Yes, which I haven't watched since it came out but I remember really liking.

Here's Chelsey's choice

And Brent's

Kent's choice, which evidently has the great Charles Napier in it.

Wendy's pick

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Six

What is your favorite movie with your favorite actor in it? Tomorrow we will do actress.

My favorite actor is probably Paul Newman and my favorite movie with him is probably Cool Hand Luke.

Brent's pick

Here's Kent's pick

Leslie's pick

Wendy's pick

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Five

Favorite love story in a movie. . .

I'll go with In the Mood for Love, although I considered Moulin Rouge and Remains of the Day.

Chelsey's pick

Wendy's pick

Brent's pick

Kent's pick

Monday, November 7, 2011

30 day Movie Challenge Day Four

Name a movie that makes you sad.

A movie that I really, really like that also make me sad is Dancer in the Dark.

Kent, it is terrific that you have seen this movie at all, let alone have clearly seen it multiple times. I also love the movie Mrs. Miniver.

Brent's pick

Wendy's pick

Leslie's pick

Chelsey's pick

Friday, November 4, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Three

What is a movie that make you really happy when you watch it?

Okay, this is an odd choice, but I'll pick Jesus Christ Superstar. I could write a lot about this movie but I'll control myself. I am a non-believer, but I love this movie until hell won't have it. I wish I was watching it right now.

Chelsey's pick

Brent's pick

Kent's pick. I have also never seen The Goonies. I thought if you watched the movie Gremlins you didn't have to watch The Goonies. Turns out I picked the wrong one to watch.

Wendy's pick

Thursday, November 3, 2011

30 Day Movie Challenge Day Two

What is the most underrated movie in your option?

A while back I checked the rotten tomato scores for the movies on my best of the last decade list. The Way of the Gun may have been under 50% at that point, so I'll go with The Way of the Gun. I don't understand why it is so lightly regarded.

Brent's pick

Kent's pick

One day before I die, I will watch Bamboozled.

Leslie's pick

Wendy's pick


Last night I figured out that Edith fits just about anywhere in a song where Jesus used to fit.  I figured this out singing "Edith Gonna Be Here" in lieu of Tom Waits's "Jesus Gonna Be Here."  That led to "Chocolate Jesus" being reinterpreted as "Chocolate Edith."  I liked that one because I was able to change

"When the weather gets rough and it's whiskey in the shade, it's best to wrap your savior up in cellophane."

"When the weather gets rough and it's whiskey in the shade, it's best to wrap your daughter up in cellophane."

I am now taking suggestions for other Jesus songs.

Personal Jesus - Depeche Mode
One Day at a Time (Sweet Jesus) - Kris Kristofferson
Jesus Fever - Kurt Vile

Just for Leslie:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

30 day movie challenge?? Now wait a minute.

I found a movie challenge on Stumbleupon. We all liked the music one right? Well, maybe we'll like this one. Wait shouldn't this be on our movie facebook page? I don't know. And I don't want to think about that.

First Question: What is the best movie you have seen in 2011?

For my purposes I'll answer it as my favorite movie that was released in 2011. I have not watched many of the best reviewed movies of 2011 yet, but of the movies I have seen, I'll go with The Tree of Life. It's super indulgent in places and very long, but also moving and very prettily shot.

Brent's pick.

Kent's pick.

Leslie's pick.

Wendy's pick.

Because it's important

Kent and I got into an argument about our favorite Tom Waits songs the other day.  Neither of us is pleased with the other's choice.  But it's stronger than that.  Upon relating our favorite song to the eachother we both set about suggesting other songs for the other to pick instead.  That led to a debate about whose song was more of a "classic" in the Tom Waits cannon.  (I'm not sure if I'm using the word cannon correctly there). 

Anyways, here are the two songs.  I know none of you are huge Tom Waits fans, but from an outsiders perspective, which one sounds more like a Tom Waits classic?



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Story

Since this blog is dedicated to fixing my memory problems, I just had a memory that I need to write down. 

It was Lundi Gras in New Orleans.  As per usual my friends and I were going to take drugs and go down to Frenchmen street.  We did this every year.  I don't know why.  We just did it one year and kept doing it every year for like 5-6 years.  Which is why I don't know which year it occurred. 

But this is what would happen on those evenings.  We would get dressed up in some Uptown apartment.  Lots of glitter.  Lots of eyeliner.  Painful stuff.  Then we would take in a healthy amount of alcohol and marijuana and pile into the back of a truck or something.  The truck would stop at a spot on the St. Charles parade route where the interstate goes over the street.  This creates just the right reverberation to be awesome.  Especially if you are on drugs.  Which we were.  

Once the parade was over we would walk the rest of the way to Frenchmen.  The walk was my favorite part.  Going down through downtown, through the French Quarter, down Decatur street was something to do.   And I always like to have things to do. 

When we got to the Frenchmen area there were a lot of street drums and hippies.  I hated it.  And we would literally hang out there until like five in the morning, so it was always a long night.  Which brings me to my story. (So far this hasn't been the story).

What would happen on Lundi Gras nights on Frenchmen is this:  Dancing, Drum Circles, Rowdy Hippies, Rowdier Hippies, Stuff Gets Set on Fire, Fire Department Shows Up, We All Go Home.

This happened every year. 

So on the night in question, knowing that it was going to be a long night, I found a place to sit.  It was a couch in the middle of the street.  There were always couches in the street on Lundi Gras.  I don't know why, but they were always up in flames by the end of the night. 

So being on acid, I made it my mission to protect this couch this year.  I sat on the couch and drank my beer, and made sure that anyone who wanted to sit on the couch would not be setting it on fire anytime soon.  This was my night.  And as I mentioned before, I like to have something to do, so it brought be great joy.  No dancing.  No hippies.  Just Brent and a beer and a couch that was not on fire.

Over the course of the night, I began to identify my enemies:  people who would try to light my couch on fire.  There were a few hippies or gutter punks or whatever that were eyeballing my couch, and had already set some other shit on fire that night. 

Finally they approached.  They tried to be nice, but I just told, flat our "Look I know why you are here, but you can't set the couch on fire."

They agreed, and in less than five minutes half the couch was ablaze.  I ran over and dumped my beer all over it, and said "Look!  I thought you said you weren't going to set it on fire!"

Too late.  The rest of the couch was on fire.  I sat there.  Disgusted.  Smoking a cigarette. 

I went to tell my friends about it.  I was still worked up.  They didn't care.  It was a hard thing to explain, and all my friends were more the sort to set things on fire.

Soon after, the fire was out of control, and we all got sent home.

I have always thought of this story as a indictment of the hippies that night.  These tender fucking hippies who had no integrity whatsoever.  But while I was showering today, I realized that probably those fucking hippies hauled that couch out of some hippie apartment so that they could set it on fire.  And here some guy plops down on it, and tells them they can't light it on fire. 

I guess I'm trying to say that I was out of line.  And I'm sorry.