Sunday, August 30, 2009


Saturday, August 08, 2009

The End

Welp, that didn't take long.

Having been impressed by Wordpress' features, I will now be permanently moving over there. I've had a good run here, and I hope to keep this thing up so we can all go back to these days and reminisce.

My new blog is here. Godspeed, everyone!


Thursday, August 06, 2009


I've had this blog for nearly 4 years. I am impressed; I usually doubt my ability to stay interested in projects, even something as simple as this.

BUT, I feel it may be time for a change. Which is why, at the moment, I am experimenting with Wordpress, just to see what can be done with it and if it provides a better overall experience than the perfectly adequate one I've had on Blogger. If I like it enough, I may move over there permanently, combining this and Chamber of Dread posts into one blog. If that happens, I'll link it up here. If I can figure out this shit, maybe I can even move the posts from here over there. We'll see.

So, that's my excuse for the lack of posts in coming weeks. Not that I've ever needed one, but there it is anyhow.


Monday, August 03, 2009

Magic America

I'm so happy now. My room has room (finally) with this new set-up I just bought; I've finally figured out how to turn off the annoying power on/off noise on my phone; I've gone somewhere; and everything is A-OK.

While in Winnipeg last week, I went into a Costco for the first time. My god, it's like that mega mart from The Simpsons, only real. It's an ugly-as-fuck warehouse with little to no organization at all - in essence, a chaotic mess of oversized products. Some of the prices on these huge-ass things are okay, but even when confronted with the best deal, you must consider that you have to pay AT LEAST $40 a year in order to shop there, which is just fucking weird (the different levels of membership even have different store hours. It's like we're living in India). The store I went to even had a little restaurant/stand thing, which served everything and did not require a membership to go to (it's basically its own entity).
The thing isn't as frightening as a Super Wal-Mart, but there's definitely something ugly about it. Unless you really need to have 20+ packs of toilet paper, 32-pack drinks, child-sized bags of chips, or any of the other pointless things...I don't see any real need to shop there. And like hell would I buy a computer or iPod at a horrible warehouse store.


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Friday, July 24, 2009


Last night's dream seems to be a rehash of another dream I had recently, in which I am at work and have to hide in the back. The reason for this is that apparently some sort of important monarchical figure is there, and he's my exact double (I think). Why I was the one who needed to hide is not known, although I'm sure my dream logic included a villainous uncle or duke or something.
Also in the dream: missing the bus downtown, visiting an Oktoberfest-style event in the back of the store, and the dairy cooler being cleaned and flooded.

You know what I realized? All these generic stories involving troubles with royal succession and evil jerks trying to take over whatever...none of these problems would exist if these magical kingdoms embraced democracy. Let's see Jafar try to take over the land when he has to get on the good side of special interest groups!



This is something that must be done. That is, me ranking all of Beck's major studio albums in order of preference! I can do this, because I've actually listened to them enough to form coherent thoughts about them.

1. Sea Change
2. Mutations
3. Midnite Vultures
4. Odelay
5. Guero
6. The Information
7. Modern Guilt
8. Mellow Gold

One could accuse me of picking Sea Change as my favorite because everyone else does, and to that I say nay. Divorced of most of his defining elements, Beck really shows his raw talent on it, and that's what I come for. Nearly every song on the album is affecting in ways few others I've listened to have been (with 'Lonesome Tears' and 'Guess I'm Doing Fine' being my two picks of the best examples), with every element coming together to create this really downtrodden atmosphere (yes, Beck wore IRL on his sleeve for this one, as I'm sure you've heard). So yes, beyond the natter of the music opinion elite, its a great fucking album.

Mutations is a lot more like Sea Change than bith the albums surrounding it, in that many of the songs rely on Beck's pure instrumental and lyrical talent, but it's not too far into melancholy or tradition. You got 'Tropicalia', which is a nutso piece composed of 7000 instruments like Beck's 'party album' stuff and is pretty much on par with his greats, alongside more restrained tracks like 'Nobody's Fault But My Own'. You even get something really twangy with 'Canceled Check'. It's pretty much all of Beck's strengths compiled into one incredibly cohesive album, which is a feat unto itself.

There might be some debate about whether Midnite Vultures or Odelay is the better of Beck's most 'Beck' albums. To be truthful, Odelay has most of Beck's most memorable songs, but I think overall it doesn't quite come together as well as Midnite Vultures, which is an insane album that never lets up. Both are great and essential albums. Whoever called Midnite Vultures one of the worst albums ever (it will be on Wikipedia, but I don't feel like looking up who it was) can die.

Guero was a return to form after the radical departure of Sea Change, and like Odelay/Midnite Vultures, it is just an all-around fun album to listen to. There isn't a weak track on here; everything is able to keep up the funky beat. I can see why this was the first Beck album in a while that seemed to have a more mainstream presence ('E-Pro' has been all over the place, I've noticed), because hey, even people who aren't into alt-rock can enjoy stuff like this.

The Information is kind of like Mutations with more of standard Beck thrown in. It's very weird, going from some lower-key stuff early on (especially 'Think I'm in Love', one of the album's best songs) to upbeat oddities like 'Cellphone's Dead' and 'Nausea', and gets even weirder at the end. Some of that later stuff doesn't sit as well with me, but overall I still really like it.

My first listen-through of Modern Guilt wasn't too great - I thought the whole thing felt a bit dry. Further listens softened my initial reaction, as I was suddenly able to pick out some of the really good tracks ('Chemtrails', 'Volcano', 'Youthless'). In the end, it has more good more than not-good, but it doesn't have much in the way of great material. It is a slightly weaker album, all things considered, but that doesn't deter me from liking it.

Mellow Gold, on the other hand, I really can't get into. 'Loser' is still as great as it always was, and there's a couple more good songs on here like 'Pay No Mind (Snoozer)'. But this seems like a learning experience for Beck, and some of the songs feel a little too twee and odd-but-not-in-the-good-way. This is basically an early prototype for Odelay, and I don't think it is essential listening unless you're a completist.

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Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I see people who want to buy/have bought of the Watchmen motion comic, and I honestly wonder WHY. I have come up with the following theories:

1) They are big fans of the old Marvel Superhero 'cartoons' ("The ever-lovin' Hulk! Hulk! Hulk!")

2) They have a secret love of Reading Rainbow, but feel they must watch something slightly more mature in order to avoid possible public embarrassment.

3) They are collectors who will buy anything branded with a name. In which case, they deserve to have their money siphoned away.

4) They are lazy-asses who can't even read a damn comic.

5) They honestly think this will be a different experience from reading the comic. Whether they came to this conclusion through ignorance or marketing trickery may vary from person to person.


You know what I've figured out? The reason most of the Mega Man bosses are so memorable is because they were originally designed by children. Only children have the imagination to come with things so entertainingly simple (I mean, Heat Man is a zippo, that's pretty inspired). I mean, the guys at Capcom ultimately put the designs through their redrawing/standardization process, but they are smart enough to let the original child-like 'feel' of the characters shine through.

As someone who still likes drawing robots, it is something hard to capture in my age.


Oh yeah, last issue of Planetary is out in October. The last full book might make it in March of next year, if Amazon's prediction (they had the date up before the release of the last issue of announced) comes true.

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Monday, July 20, 2009

Already Dead

It wasn't that long ago that I was complaining that there was no one to talk to online about TMNT: Smash Up. Now that I've seen both major communities devoted to the game, I want to go back to being alone. This is how my standards work.

I can't sleep because it's too hot in here. I have two fans on and a window cracked open and I'm still too hot. This is the downside of summer.

The upside of summer: I'm not too cold.

Just now I'm reading the comments to this, and it got me a-thinkin', about the omnipresent concept of 'dumb fun'.

Dumb fun does, in fact, exist, and it is completely alright. The problem, especially today (and especially considering the material discussed in the post, IE modern superhero comic events), is that they're almost uniformly all dumb and no fun. Postmodern audience awareness has made it so that silliness is now a detriment, and unfortunately that also has a negative effect on creativity. Plus, everyone now thinks they're a genius, and especially in the case of mainstream superhero comics, they are serious writers writing serious literature, even if that serious literature involves zombie Green Lanterns.
So, really, dumb fun is dead, or at least in hiding. In its place is dumb plodding self-aggrandizing tedium.

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