Memo To Self:

It's never a good thing when the local weatherperson repeatedly refers to the cold weather using the adjective "bitter."

It is so bloody cold here as of right now that it is unbelievable. You literally would not believe me if I told you just how cold it is here right now. It is very cold. Very.


It Was In the Depths Of Mordor, I Met A Girl So Fair

I've gone on record stating that stretching The Hobbit into two (presumably three hour plus) films could make for some tedious viewing (and is an obvious cash-grab on the part of New Line), but this, this I would pay money to see.


You Can Call Me Al

HIPSTER TIP! You may want to go get the new Vampire Weekend self-titled album so that three albums from now you can say with a nonchalant, professorial air that you "liked their earlier stuff better," and actually mean it.

"But Dylan, what do they sound like? Can you concoct a pretentious name-checking music critic description to help me better understand?" Okay, I'll bite: Imagine Spoon and the Walkmen started a supergroup that covered African pop music. Does that help?

Here's the video for their first single "Mansard Roof":

And here's "A-Punk":

I look forward to rolling my eyes at kids in the mall six months from now when I overhear them talking about how they heard this awesome new band called "Vampire Something-or-Other". Ah, it's a hipster's life for me.


The Book I Read Was In Your Eyes

I like going to bookstores and libraries. I could, and have, spent hours browsing the spines and covers that live in either one. Why? Because I like judging books by their covers. Well, and their titles. I know my mother (and most likely yours, unless you don't have a mother because you were grown in a vat or something, in which case, good for you, I guess.) always warned against such practices, but she also told me my face would "stick like that," that my friends all wanted to jump off of bridges and that the Tooth Fairy was real. Moms lie. Sorry kids, but they do.

The fun of browsing for me is guessing what the book, given its title and cover, is about. Obviously, the visual component for me is a big factor, but a good title can spark a lot of imaginary stories just as well. The following are some made-up book titles for books/stories I will write (someday):

Mister Herman And His Magical Chocolate Pie

The Catcher's Mitt

Doom City

Margarine In the Sun

Loopy's Lament

Godzilla Was A Baller

Nobody Is Better Than Nobody

The Spilt-Milk-Maid

The Erotic Adventures Of Captain Kangaroo

1,000,000 + 1

Blowgun Drills

Underground Beatbox

Memoirs Of A Goofball

Afternoons Of Ping Pong and Death!

The Amazing Adventures Of AdventureBoy, etc.

Boogie Like You Mean It

Thirty-Second Century Wildman In Chains

Solace Solstice

The Sodapop Paradox

Our Parents' Horsefeathers

Kung Fu Hipster & the Ghosts Of Uncool

They Went To Space

Building A Castle (Notes From the Toothpick Wars)

The Plywood Brigade

and finally...

Burt Reynolds Toupee' Tried To Kill Me

Which would you read? Does anybody else do this? Is it just me?


Ketchup, Cats & Kittens. Don't Get Left Behind.

Here is a list of thing I owe the internet:

* Winners of the mixtape drawing (I have the winners pulled but need to put the packaging together, so, yay! suspense!)

* A Battle Of the UnBands poster for Coat Of Static.

* A Sunday Comics post about Global Frequency.

* A post about a local business called RapCo.

* A new AOK! for this week with the possibility of a review of it.

* A post detailing my excitement for the Lost season 4 premier and maybe a review/analysis.

* A picture of the beard. It is back like Rambo.

Anything I missed?

I promise, I will get on all of this stuff. Eventually. Just not tonight. It's been a busy Sunday. "Day Of Rest" my you-know-what.


"I Shall Call Him... MAGNIFICAT!"

On the way to the library, which has sort of become my Saturday thing to do, I pass a private Catholic school. On the side of this school is the word "MAGNIFICAT." Now, according to the internet that is some sort of Catholic incantation/prayer-thing, but in my mind I like to believe it is referring to an awesome giant tiger, not unlike Battle Cat and how, if somehow "Battle Cat" hadn't been available, "Magnificat" would have been a great second choice. Not better, per se, but equally incredible.

In fact, if I were to have a talking killer tiger who let me ride him around, I would easily name it "Magnificat." Or "Rupert, the Magnificent Talking Killer Tiger". Either way. Win-win, y'know?

Now all of this Battle Cat talk got me thinking: Skeletor had a panther he rode around on, Panthro (I'm so glad we have the internet so I can recheck all these oh-so-important facts), right? Do you think that He-Man's buddies ever talked crap about the fact that Skeletor rode around on a purple panther? I mean, just saying that sounds like a pervy euphemism, doesn't it?

I can totally see Ram-Man and Man-At-Arms knocking back some ales at the Eternia Tavern and totally ripping on Skeletor and his pretty purple panther. And Beast-Man overhears and starts crying because they're being mean to Skeletor.

"Come on, you guys," he says, "It's bad enough the guy has no face, but you've got to make fun of his choice in feline companions? Sorry Panthro's no Battle Cat, but some of us aren't spoiled little rich kids like that fruity Prince Adam kid you guys are always hanging out with. No wonder we're always trying to destroy you. You guys are jerks! 'Masters Of the Universe'? More like 'Masters of Conceitedness'!"

"Come on Mer-Man, this place stinks all of the sudden. Good day, sirs!"


And then he storms out, followed by a sort-of embarrassed but also indignant Mer-Man and Man-E-Faces.

And this is what I think about. Sad or interesting? You make the call.

POW! #33 - Bighorn!


A bunch of stuffed bighorn sheep (Nevada's state animal) on display at the Las Vegas Museum of Natural History, which is a really weird, but also cool, place. I would imagine that a hunter's nightmare looks sort of like this.


BRR Goes To the Movies - It Hurts!

Okay, so, Matthew McConaughey as an irresponsible man-child? Check. Who's also a treasure hunter? Check. In a film which co-stars Kate Hudson as the woman who is great for him, but just can't handle his boyishness? Check.

It's almost like there's a huge, gymnasium-sized, ENIAC-type vacuum-tubed computer that just spits this stuff out on little punched Scan-Tron cards, like a Random Rom-Com Generator or something. And now it's totally just repeating itself, bumping onto the same wall over and over again like that robot cop in THX-1138.

Because this, this... thing can't possibly have been made by a living, breathing person with a soul. Only an old, unfeeling machine with a vendetta against its creators would be cruel enough to release such an insidious thought-bomb on the Fleshy Ones.

And Donald Sutherland is in this?! Why? That Medicare check not cutting it?

To this abomination I say, No Thanks, but only because my mother taught me better than to say what I'd like to say. What do you think?

Until next week, my nizzles.


Wild Things Make My Heart Sing & Make Everything Groooovy

If you can look at this promotional photo from the upcoming Spike Jonze-helmed Where the Wild thing Are film and not get way too excited, you are most likely a dead-inside vampire robot with no soul who hates everything that approaches teh radness and I have the utmost pity for you:

Go read the article over at First Showing and let me know, on a scale of 1 to 10 ("10"" being "Oh man, that looks so dang RAD! It is teh radness!" and "1" being "I am a soulless vampire who lives only to hate teh radness."), what you think.

When I Drive Past the Stop N' Shop With My Radio On, I Am Like A Roadrunner

Holy. Crap. Guess who I just bought tickets to go see on March 10th at the Grog Shop?

I assure you that this is a very big deal. It's sort of like seeing, I dunno, Elvis. Only cooler. And not dead, of course. Though that might be pretty awesome/hilarious: a Zombie Elvis concert? He shakes his hips and like, pieces start falling off and stuff? Funny! Would you go to a Zombie Elvis concert? I think I would. Heck, I know I would. And I don't even like Elvis.

The only way this could be cooler would be if David Byrne were playing with him. Or if it were a Modern Lovers show circa 1972.

But I will take what I can get.


It's the End Of the World As We Know It (& I Guess I Feel Fine?)

It's easy to get disheartened these days. We've got wars, death, suffering, the continued existence of According To Jim and Two & A Half Men, ugly politics smeared across the television screen like so much doodie and, the cherry on top, it looks like our country is on the verge of a complete economic collapse.

Who wants pie?!

But seriously, folks, it's times like this that I start making lists of things I'm thankful for. You know, like that smug little brat, Pollyanna. (Oh! her perkiness is so annoying, isn't it?! She's like the illegitimate offspring of Katie Couric and Kelly Rippa. And Satan. Don't forget him.) So, here's my list of things that, for me, help make the world worth living in:

* Everybody is happy to see me when I get home from my pretty cool job. This is a major plus.

* The Immortal Iron Fist, delivering kung-fu pulp action to my face monthly.

* The fact that I heard the Beach Boys' "Heroes & Villains" playing over the Muzak system in the supermarket. There's nothing like shopping for margarine while that song plays. If you haven't tried it, do. It will change your life.

* This blog. All you hipsters out there: You're welcome.

*The Shins covering Tim & Eric.

* The McNeil-Lehrer News Hour - it's just how television news should be: un-ADD-friendly to the point of almost boring, very un-sexy and, thankfully, smart.

* Be Kind, Rewind opens in about a month. Is anybody else excited about this?

* I just found out that my library has Robert Pollard's Not In My Airforce album. And yes, I requested it.

* Converse All-Stars.

* The site, It's Nice That.

* Season 4 of Lost in T-Minus 8 days and counting.

* The Star Trek teaser that ran before Cloverfield. (Which I still haven't seen yet but I'm not bitter about it. I mean, we sort of had to got o the DMV last Saturday and get new Ohio licenses and do all sorts of other responsible stuff instead of going to see an awesome movie. I'm totally fine with doing boring stuff rather than awesome stuff. Totally. Fine. Okay, I sort of am bitter.)

* And finally... Kittens!

See, don't you feel better? Well, Internets, what makes you glad to be breathing today?


He Who Is Not Busy Being Bourne Is Busy Dying

You wanna know what movie freaking rules? This movie freaking rules. If it's not in your queue, get it in there. Man! I love these Bourne movies like I love beef jerky.

And I love beef jerky.


"Go Funky...

"Or Go Home." is my new mantra.

Thanks, Caitlin. For the mantra. Not the picture. That's all the magic of the internet, baby.

Say 'Hello' To the New Kid

the New Kid

I can't believe I haven't shared this with you, my Beloved Internets. This is my new Polaroid.

Polaroid, Internets. Internets, Polaroid.

It's a smart-looking thing, innit? My awesome wife hooked me right up this Christmas (as usual). Now I just have to modify it to take 600 film. Fun!

POW! #32 - Gold Lion & Pink Panda

Two animals from another weird Christmas house my family goes to every year. This one's in the heart of Friendly North Las Vegas (Pronounced: "the Ghetto"). These are animals on a merry-go-round they have in their yard/converted Christmas magic-land:



In years past, this little ghetto house was transformed into an amazing winter wonderland with a miniature train, roughly 2.3 billion lights and roughly one billion little roboticized animatronic things. It was like Disneyland on crack. In the ghetto. Seriously, it was awesome. This year, for whatever reason (economy, lack of corporate sponsorship, etc.): not so much. We all walked around, feeling as if someone ran over Christmas with their car.


BRR Goes To the Movies - Baby Mama

Do I really need to tell you where I stand on a movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler? Because if I do, maybe you aren't the friend I thought you were.

My only concern is that it's written and directed by Michael McCullers, one of the writer's on the Austin Powers series, which started out very clever (if sophomoric) and then just got worse as the series and jokes wore on, got recycled and then just died. He also was one of six (!) writers on the live-action Thunderbirds film, which I haven't seen since it contained zero awesome puppets, but let's be frank here, it looked pretty horrific.

Another reason for concern: Dax Shepard. Do I need to go further?

Regardless, it's Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. In a movie. together. Theater for this one. All the way, baby.

Galaxy: Great On Mashed Potatoes

I saw a link to this story which I read as saying "Life-Forming Chemicals Found in Gravy". For a second there, I thought that maybe science had just made the most incredible discovery of all time, ever.

Then I realized the headline read "Galaxy," and not "Gravy". Then I was sad. And sort of hungry.


That Cat Sure Loves Him Some Lasagna

If you need a little middle-of-the-day laugh, might I suggest checking out Lasagna Cat's YouTube profile. They take a Garfield strip, film it as a live-action skit and then, once that's over (and once you realize how not funny Garfield really is), they hit you soundly over the head with a whacked-out music video.

Like, say, a MIDI version of Jimmy Buffet's "Cheeseburger In Paradise":

Weird, wacky stuff.


Rainbows and Licorice

So I was walking to pick up lunch for the office today (oh! the joys of Junior Designer-hood!). It was cold - low-30's - but sunny, and I was just walking to Nate's which is a block away, so it wasn't that bad. Cold, but yeah, not that bad.

I was walking past the Westside Market and there's this guy who sits out there playing guitar. He's most likely homeless, though he looks pretty clean, so maybe not. Anyway, he sits there and plays folky-type music (he was just getting started on Buck Owens' "Act Naturally"), I'm assuming for tips. I pass by. He says "Hello," all friendly-like. Nice guy. Long hair. Beard. Burned-out hippie, most likely.

I say "How you doing?" Because I'm a nice guy.

"Oh, just livin' the dream," he says, wistfully.

I chew on this for a while, this romantic notion of living one's dreams. Who hasn't entertained fantasies of living off the land, stretching out and really living? It's very Kerouac-ian, very Thoreau-esque, y'know? Here's this guy and he's doing what he loves. He doesn't need a stage or a microphone or even an audience, really. All he needs is a guitar, a song and a patch of sidewalk. Am I this brave? Am I really doing what I would if I had a real choice in the matter? If The Man wasn't keeping me down?

"Livin' the dream." That's freaking heavy, man.

Then I remember. It's 30 degrees outside. Dude's sitting on the concrete in 30 degree weather singing songs for pocket change. In Cleveland.

Sorry to judge you, but that's a pretty crappy dream, man.


The moral of this story: if you're going to follow your dream, make sure your dream isn't stupid. The end.

(Did somebody say "New Computer Desktop"?)


Thomas Jefferson Would Be Severely Disappointed (If He Weren't A Half-Cyborg Zombie Commando)

I'm going to go ahead and say it: American Idol is proof that American's don't deserve democracy. It is also proof that America loves it some crappy music. Moment of truth: have you ever purchased an album recorded by an Idol participant? If so, go sit in the corner and think about what you've done. You made George Washington cry little wooden tears. You ruined America for everyone.

I hope you're proud of yourself.

But seriously though, I've watched about 5 minutes here and there tonight and I can't help but think of Paul Weitz's 2006 farce, American Dreamz. Did anybody else see it and, more importantly, like it? Because I did and I did. But I think maybe I'm the only one. In the galaxy. Who did. Liked it, that is.


It's True: I Am SuperLame

I obviously didn't get this week's Sunday Comics post up. Lame, I know, but I decided instead to spend a good portion of yesterday watching season 2 of Alias bundled up under a quilt on my couch. So it didn't happen. It's called priorities, people.

Anyway, so not only did I totally flake on Sunday, but I'm totally phoning it in today as well. So, without further ado, a track from this week's AOK! - Devo doing "Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA" from their Duty Now For the Future album. Which rocks. Mercilessly. This is what happens when a bunch of weirdo nerds from the Midwest decide to rock - pure gloriousness.

"Afraid nobody around here/Comprehends my potato/Guess I'm just a spudboy/Looking for that real tomato."

Truer words have ne'er been spoken. See you tomorrow, Internets.

PS: As long as I'm talking about weird music, I finally heard the much-lauded Captain Beefheart's & the Magic Band's Trout Mask Replica album and, well, wow, that's some pretty "out there" stuff. I'm not exactly sure how to feel about it, but it sort of scares me. And maybe not in a good way.

Just thought I'd share.


POW! #31 - Creepy Christmas


From the same trailer park house as the POW! two weeks ago. Creepy-looking robot kids. Nöel.


BRR Goes To the Movies - "Oh My Head" Edition

Wow. What to say here? Should I comment on the "shocking" rumors that Queen Latifah might be (gasp!) a lesbian! Or how Katie Holmes has gone from a pretty terrible, dismissable actress in stuff like First Daughter and Dawson's Creek to being a pretty terrible, ubiquitous actress who is only still famous for being held hostage in the Fortress Of Scientology that is Tom Cruise's mansion? I bet James Van Derbeek is kicking himself for not taking Tom up on that romantic weekend in Acapulco right about now.

No, no those are too easy. We don't go for the cheap shots here at Big Red Robot. We're high-class, all tuxedos and monocles and capes and whatnot. We're the Grey Poupon of blogs.

No, instead let's rip into Diane Keaton, shall we? Actually, I have just one question regarding Ms. Keaton: what happened? Take a look at her IMDB resume' and man, wow, Diane Keaton should know better. I'm sure she's not hurting for money, so why not wait for good movies? Why the Because I Said So's and the Other Sister's? Why? Did you lose all sense of propriety in the 80's or what? Developed a bad Lee™ Press-On Nails addiction or something? Because this is not the same Diane Keaton who played every character in Streetcar Named Desire - including a great Brando - in Woody Allen's Sleeper. You can't tell me that's the same lady in Annie Hall, Interiors, Reds or the (first two) Godfather films. It's just not the same lady. This is a cyborg replacement or something. Fight the future, man.

And now, Mad Money. Wow. How terrible does this look? A train wreck, right? No Thanks is my final prognosis. What do you think?


10 Songs I'm All Up Into These Days

1. "Dress Sexy At My Funeral," by Smog.
2. "Where Do They Make Balloons?" by They Might Be Giants.
3. "Girls Can Tell," by the Crystals.
4. "You're No Rock & Roll Fun," by Sleater-Kinney.
5. "For the Actor," by Mates Of State.
6. "Diana Ross," the Concretes.
7. "Rhythm Bandits," by Junior Senior.
8. "That's Pep!" by Devo.
9. "(I Live For) Cars & Girls," by the Dictators.
10. "My Impression Now," by Guided By Voices.

Which reminds me: It's about that time of the month: time for another mixtape give-away. Why? What did you think I meant?

Do you want to win? Okay, here's the contest: I have two titles in mind. This is a mixtape specially formulated to make you not want to get out of bed or up off the couch on a Saturday morning. It's pretty mellow, sleepy stuff. I have two titles from two songs on the mix. You must choose one and cast your vote by commenting on this post:

* Bed Is For Sleeping

{ or }

* Sleeping In

I will look over who has commented on this post and will pick two winners, at random, sometime soon. Probably over the weekend. We'll see how it goes.

Did all of last month's winners get yours alright? I know Ben got his because he mentioned that his had been pretty manhandled by the glorious USPS. Dave? Chris? Any problems? Did you get them? Lemme know. I'm worried sick.


In other news, it's Thursday, the second-worst weekday ever invented, coming in right behind Monday in my very scientific polling of my cadre of imaginary friends. If I ever meet the nincompoop who invented Thursday, I swear I will kick him in the nards. Word is bind.

(The image is taken from the incredible Record Envelope blog. It's awesome.)

The Night Has Come/Snuggle Up To Me

Okay, so I promise that this won't be my post for the day and I know I've been leaning a bit too heavily on Tim & Eric to supply the funny lately here at BRR, but I had to share this string of clips. There's just something magical about Zach Galifianakis - wearing the shortest possible cut-off shorts - hugging a man back to health that really, I dunno, makes me feel like there's something right in this crazy world. Y'know what I mean?

Rest in peace, Michael J. You were a heckuva friend.


Bowlful Of Funny

Patton Oswald has finally eaten a KFC Famous Bowl and it's all documented by him over at the Onion AV Club. I laughed, I cried, I became disturbingly curious as to what one of these so-called "sadness bowls" tasted like. Don't worry, I won't actually do it. But I am curious.


Life, the Universe & Everything

So I'm pretty psyched. Lost is back in oh... three weeks or so. Now I know that some of you are intimidated by this show. It's dense, 21st century television to be sure. There's a lot going on and I can see how jumping in on the fourth season of a show with a core cast comparable to an Altman movie and plot twists like San Francisco streets could be a little difficult.

Except it isn't, thanks to this handy 8 minute, 15 second (it's a little wink to fans: the numbers 4, 8, 15, 23 and 42 keep reappearing in weird places throughout the series) recap of the first three seasons. Check it:

Now, the writer's strike may rob us of the second half of this season (which would/most likely will suck big time), but by then, you'll have watched the first eight episodes they were able to produce before the strike hit and you'll most likely be hooked (unless you have no built-in "Rad-O-Meter", in which case, see your doctor immediately! Perhaps he can prescribe an ointment or something.), so you can go back and watch the first three seasons at your leisure on the DVD. Which is totally worth it. It's like crack in a television show. For reals.

All hyperbole aside, this show is amazing. I know I've harped on it before and I will continue to do so until every last one of you is as in love with it as I am (which is not possible, but still...). This I swear.


It's A Numbers Game

From [adult swim's] Tim & Eric: Awesome Show! Great Job!, which is just weird. In a good way. Here's another one, For Your Health!

Happy Monday, Internets. I hope it doesn't totally suck and in fact rocks the rainbows out of a unicorn's behind.


Sunday Comics - Oddville!

Okay, so out of the four options I put up in the sidebar, three of them got one vote, so I made an executive decision. And that's why I should be your next president. (Sorry, watching four hours of presidential debates last night will make you start talking like that.) I decided on throwing Jay Stephens' Oddville! collection, published by the good folks at Oni Press, at your eyeballs tonight.

My first brush with Jay Stephens' work was his alternative superhero comic Atomic City Tales (Oni also published two trades of that material.), a quirky superhero book not unlike Mike Allred's Madman. Oddville! is a collection of strips that ran in a bunch of alternative weeklies. It starts off like any good story should: with a couple of adolescents having a baby:

Okay, so not really, but it's this sort of ridiculousness that drives this collection. The baby in question is a flying baby, probably from outer space. Its appearance causes alternating waves of disgust, unbelievable attraction and violence, though it can't be hurt (at one point a cat throws a brick at it, beaning it in the head and announcing "Dinner is soived."). It's attacked by monsters and robots, saved by an adolescent superhero (Jetcat, who would pop up in a later volume of Stephens' work as well as a short-lived animated series), adopted by zombie grunge rockers and hunted for sport by the citizens of the town:

Don't worry, in the end everything works out and the baby gets a good home with all the love it needs. Just not "that kind" of love:

You get the feeling that Stephens just sat down each week (or whenever), banged out four to six panels of ridiculousness that made him giggle and sent it out. Which is not a bad gig, if you can find it. The whole thing follows some weird dream logic that's hard to replicate (trust me, I've tried). The go-wherever-your-brush-takes-you freewheeling is similar in feel to his earlier Land Of Nod strips, though those were a lot more disturbing. In here, the worst thing that happens is the earlier brick gag and nobody really gets hurt. Oh, and also some grunge rock band dies, but they come back as grunge rock zombies, so, yeah.

Stephens is a really underrated cartoonist with a mind that churns out awesome like it's going out of style (and just take a look at what mainstream comic book publishers are offering and you'll get the distinct feeling that it, in fact, is going out of style). I'd recommend this as a starting point, and then heading on to Jetcat or Atomic City if you like this. Jetcat is especially good for elementary school-aged girls. It has a real Powerpuff Girls/Carton Network vibe. (Which is really not surprising, as Stephens is more involved in more lucrative field of animation now than the doldrums of comics.)

Anyway, that's Oddvile. It's a fun read. I laugh every time I pick it up and flip through it. What more do you people want!? Amazon has some used ones for under a buck. Even with shipping, that's a steal. And as long as I'm linking, here's Stephens' blog which features a lot of fun stuff. Dude likes him some monsters. And that's a good thing.


POW! #30 - Sky Blue Sky/Happy Accidents


I was sure that the trip through airport security had ruined the one shot I had left in the Polaroid so I was going to let Sadie take a picture with it. I figured that if it didn't turn out, it didn't turn out, no loss, right? As I was fidgeting with the camera I snapped this one of the blue December Las Vegas sky. Initially, I thought it was not going to work but ended up looking pretty cool once it developed. I have no idea what that little black spec is. Perhaps a... UFO?!?


BRR Goes To the Movies - Persepolis

Based on the graphic novels/memoirs of Marjane Satrapi (which I haven't read - yet - I'll get around to both this and the memoir of Satrapi's mentor, David B.'s whose Epileptic is still on my "Must Read In 2008" list) yet to read) of the same name. Looks really cool.

If you haven't heard about this yet, then you haven't been into a Barnes & Noble because they have it shelved everywhere. Seriously, next time you're there look for it. You'll be shocked you didn't notice it. It's like the little trumpet in The Crying Of Lot 49 or something.

It's one of those "graphic novels" that it's okay for "normal people" to like, like Maus (which is a masterpiece, don't get me wrong) or Ghost World (I can't abide Dan Clowes. Dude's a total misanthrope.) or Jimmy Corrigan: Smartest Boy On Earth (Wow! It's boring and depressing! Well-played, Mr. Ware.) It's one of those books that the Fantagraphics types hold up to show the world "See, we're legitimate! We're just like "real" books! Please accept us! Please? We have nachos."

Anyway, expect this to show up at the Oscars in the Best Animated Feature category, probably losing to Ratatouille or something (though maybe not. If there ever was a Pixar movie to be beaten, it's that one. For all its beauty, it's just not as good, storywise, as their previous efforts). It's a very good time for a memoir of fleeing and returning to Iran, don't you think?

I'd Rent it for sure. You?



Go here. Scroll down. See that last one? I made that! And am still making those for sale in Candace's Etsy shop. Pretty cool, right? Now I'm not one to self-pimp, but I just thought it was cool that this hip little craft site picked up on something I made with my two hands and brain and computer and printer and whatnot! Exclamation mark!

Little-Known Celebrity Facts, vol. 1!

Welcome to the maiden voyage of Little-Known Celebrity Facts, where I fill you in on secrets about your favorite public figures.

Did you know? That lovable galoot Brad Garrett, of Everybody Loves Raymond fame and who is also on that other show on Fox that's unbelievably terrible, is actually half grizzly bear? It's true! His mother was a chestnut-furred she-bear and his father was a Park Ranger in Yosemite National Park. A very sick, very lonely Park Ranger.

After a night of passion, Garrett's mother ripped the sleeping Park Ranger to bits, as bears are wont to do, horrible killing machines that they are.

After giving birth to the monstrous half-breed, the mother left young Garrett to fend for himself in the wild. It is believed that several Bigfoot sightings were actually a famished young Garrett scavenging for food in camp sites and dumpsters.

Garrett, by now a seven foot tall 8 year old was found by Royal and Margaret Garrett, a couple who owned a small plumbing supply store in Burbank, California. Unable to conceive due to a horrible badminton accident, the Garretts took the feral boy and raised him as their own, never revealing his true nature to him.

Garrett's start in showbiz was in a commercial for "I Can't Believe It's Not Peanut Butter," a soy-based sandwich spread for people with allergies to nuts and other legumes. It tastes sort of like rubber bands and bug spray, but it's oh so creamy. A part as a stand-in for Bigfoot in Harry and the Hendersons soon followed. But it was his role as dyslexic figure skater Harry Turtini in the Lifetime Channel production, noissaP fO sedalB that won Garrett wide recognition.

He lives in Malibu with his two children, Larry and Perry and his wife Nora, who is a cocker spaniel.


Reasons Why the Internet Is the Coolest There Is

Sometimes you may forget why the the beloved internets is the coolest there is. That's why I created this handy guide that illustrates to you why the internet is cool.

1. The internet teaches you how to defend yourself against creepy people who want to attack you with their fists, feet and teeth.

2. The internet has stuff from cool people like David Byrne, David Byrne, Robert Pollard and Thom Yorke interviewed by David Byrne.

3. The internet allows you to watch Human Giant videos without having "the cable" as you kids are calling it these days.

4. The internet cam teach you a thing or two.

5. On the internet, you can read this article about Michel Gondry's next movie, Be Kind, Rewind, starring Mos Def and Jack Black.

6. You can also look at this site on the internet. And have it terrify you eternally.

7. You can also gaze upon my beautiful progeny and hope that someday you children can be half as cute.

8. You can read all about the greatest movie ever made in the history of cinema which was on Spike TV when we were in Vegas and I watched to see the part where he ripped the other dude's heart out with his bare hand but in actuality that did not happen in the movie and it turns out that I just imagined it happening and I was sad but then realized that in my mind, I could pretend that he actually did rip the dude's heart out and then I was happy. The end.

9. You can also watch this motivational high school graduation speech from Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips. Here's Part 1 and here's Part 2. Oh, the places you'll go!

10. Also, the internet exists so you can watch dogfighting, but not that kind of dogfighting. That other kind is rather sad. This is funny. See the difference?

So, there it is, 10 reasons to be grateful the internet exists. Oh, also you can watch the news and get educated about stuff and stuff, and that's great and all, but mostly it's great for that other stuff above.

PS: Did you watch that David Byrne video? Is that genius or what? Man, I love that guy.


We Now Return To Your Regularly Scheduled Program...

Some observations from our Vegas trip over the Christmas break:

* Everyone in Las Vegas drives like a complete maniac. You are not paranoid: They are definitely trying to kill you.

* It is very bright in Las Vegas and I always forget to pack sunglasses, which means I spend a week squinting every time I'm there. So, Mr. Bright Sun, my crow's feet thank you for helping them grow. My illusion of youth, however, does not thank you. It does, in fact, curse you.

* Chicago O'Hare airport sucks.

* The TSA Air Nazis can kiss my you-know-what. I know you guys are just doing your job, but is part of that job making everyone traveling feel like a moron and a terrorist and nincompoop?

* My brother Bryan lives in the middle of nowhere.

* I saw two movies: Juno and No Country For Old Men, both of which were incredible and will rock your socks right off.

* Russel & Caitlin: please make sure you pick my name every year. Thank you.

* Downtown Las Vegas is as hilarious and campy as it is depressing.

* I love Alternate Reality Comics on Maryland Parkway and Tropicana. Best. Comic. Store. Ever. Perfect mix of mainstream, small press, indie and mini- comics. If you're ever in town, check it out.

* My new Polaroid is really cool, as is my wife.

* About a week or two before I head back to Vegas, I get this feeling like, "Y'know, I could maybe live there again. It might even be fun. Making it a cool place to live could be my project." Then I go there for a week or so and I realize that I never want to live there ever again, never ever. It's not a bad place, it just is so definitely not "me", y'know?

* The Bellagio fountains are cool, although I feel like such a tourist for enjoying them. Is that weird?

* In & Out Burger is what heaven looks, smells and tastes like. Double Double with fries and a chocolate shake &/or a half Coke, half Dr. Pepper? Oh. Hecks. Yes.

* I love my wife and kids. Like, a lot.

* When you haven't blogged in a while, it's hard to fight the urge to explain why you haven't blogged in a while.

* I found out the hard way that there is such a thing as eating too much pork in a single day. Why must pigs taste so dang good?!

* Finally, it's very good to finally be home.