Thursday, December 27, 2007

You're the Best Around! Nothin's Ever Gonna Keep ya Down...

Figured I would make a little BEST OF THE REST of 2007 thingie. FUN WORK BOREDOM TIME!

Best things I put in my mouth:
Rosati's and Cane's. WAAAAY too close to pick a winner, just don't eat both at the same time. But who ever thought I would like a Chicago based pizza over NY/Philly style?

Best moments in gaming:
Metroid Prime 3's controls. Knights of Cydonia in Guitar Hero 3. Super Paper Mario's 2d/3d flip ability. Super Mario Galaxy's star bit collecting. FINALLY beating Green Grass and High Tides on Medium drums in Rock Band. The opening level of God of War 2. Everything about Portal, especially "speedy thing go in, speedy thing come out" and of course, Still Alive.

Best movie moments:
Any time that Megan Fox appeared on screen. Superbad's "It's like a division sign" line. Charlie Wilson meets Gust in Charlie Wilson's War. 300. Luna Lovegood in HP:OotP. Beowulf in IMAX 3D.

Best on-stage moments:
Spamalot. Sarah Silverman's "old Jewish women vs young black men" bit. Dave Matthews after much consideration.

That's all I have for now. Might find some more fun to put up later, but who knows, maybe this really was everything that happened to me this year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

If you feel like dancing...

Considering I rarely talk about music here, I figured I would end 2007 with a list of my favorite music from the past 365 days or so. So, without further ado, here is my list of 2007’s best music. Click on a song’s name to listen to it on YouTube.

EDIT: Just remember that The Shins album, Wincing the Night Away was a 2007 release. I will give "Phantom Limb" the "best song named after my favorite Venture Brothers villain" award.

Best song of the year, period, end of story:
Paramore- Misery Business
Wow, where did Paramore come from? The incredibly energetic and pumping Misery Business still gets me going whenever I hear it. This is my absolute favorite song of the year, hands down. Take into account that the average age of a Paramore band member is just 19, and it makes it even more impressive. I hope Paramore isn’t a one hit wonder, and that teeny tiny Hayley keeps belting out that big voice.

Best song to sing at the top of my lungs:
Jimmy Eat World- Big Casino
Close contender for song of the year. Jimmy Eat World is back after the mediocre 2004 Futures album. The entire album, Chase the Light, is a solid effort, but Big Casino is the best song Jimmy and the boys have put out since A Praise Chorus.

Best album of the year, even if no single song stands out:
Radiohead- In Rainbows
In Rainbows has made a big impact due to it’s “screw the record companies and download the album online only” trip this year, but it is also the best overall album of the year. Just like OK Computer, Radiohead knows how to put together a complete package that acts more like 1 single 45 minute song, instead of a series of different tunes.

Best song that was written while high:
Modest Mouse- Dashboard
“Even needs have needs, tiny giants made of tinier giants. Don't wear eyelids so I don't miss the last laugh of this show.” ‘Nuff said.

Best “we don’t usually do this kind of song” song:
Linkin Park- Shadow Of The Day
Also could have won the “most fun to sing the harmonies” song. Shadow of the Day is a great softer song from Linkin Park.

Best “this sounds NOTHING like our last single” song:
Finger Eleven- Paralyzer
Everyone has felt this way before, being completely ignored by someone you want to get the attention of, and Finger Eleven put a humorous and rocking twist to the idea.

Best song that sounds nothing like our old music, but rocks anyway:
Matchbox Twenty- How Far We’ve Come
A clever music video compliments a solid performance. For those who can’t tell just by listening, the old drummer is now the rhythm guitar player.

Best sweet and heart warming song:
Ingrid Michealson- The Way I Am
Just listen to this woman sing, and you will feel the the love.

Best “who resurrected Freddy Mercury?” song:
Mika- Grace Kelly
If you thought The Darkness was the new Queen, Mika takes the crown (or is it a tiara) for the glam rock sound of the year.

Best original theme song to a TV series:
Barenaked Ladies- Big Bang
BNL doing what they do best: great harmonies, clever lyrics, and lots of energy.

Best song that makes me want to eat a lot of granola
Eddie Vedder- Hard Sun
Vedder's premier track from the Into the Wild soundtrack makes me feel like lighting a camp fire, playing the guitar in a tie-dye shirt, and having some trail mix.

Best harmony that is better than the melody:
Foo Fighters- The Pretender
Foo Fighters disappointed me with 2005’s In Your Honor double disk set (don't get me started on the need to install software to listen to it on a PC), with Best of You being the only good song out of the 20 found on the album. They came back with a vengeance on E,S,P&G. The Pretender also wins the best DLC song of the year for Guitar Hero 3. Oh, and CLICK HERE to see me brag a bit.

Best song I fell in love with in 2005 that became way too popular this year and kind of ruined the fact this was my favorite song for years:
Plain White Ts- Hey there Delilah
I think the title said it all. I have loved this song for years (the original version…) and am actually disappointed that it became so main-stream. It used to be my favorite song, but now I feel funny when I hear it on the radio. I feel like one of those indie music guys, complaining that a song is popular, but I can’t control how I feel.

Best follow up song to a breakaway hit:
Plain White Ts- Our time is Now
If you are going to get big like the PWTs, at least follow up and prevent being a one hit wonder (although, in theory, Hate was a bit of a hit). Great follow up to the explosion of Delilah.

Best “trust us, we know what we are doing” album:
Incubus- Light Grenades
Oil and Water
Anna Molly
Close contention in my mind to album of the year, but with a few less than “stellar” songs (ha, I made a funny!) Great series of fantastic singles prove that Incubus can write a lot of good music.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's like a storm... of metal...

One of my favorite games on the original NES is Metal Storm. Haven't thought about this game in a long while, but the recent Racket Boy article about games that pushed the NES to it's limits had me reliving my younger days. Check out the "Happy Video Game Nerd" review of it below.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rock Lobster!

My desk at work rocks. Click to embiggen:

Friday, December 7, 2007

Mid-season Report Card...

Alright children, before you run off and enjoy the Chrismahanakwanzakah break, it is time to hand out report cards. Some of you did very very well this semester, and some of you are Heroes. A lot of you are not that unique, but do what you do so well that you stand out. Some of you have finally hit your stride and couldn't be doing better. So many of you are doing such a great, wonderful and incredible job. And again... some of you are Heroes. So let me hand out your report cards and see who is doing well, and who is sucking big time *cough* Heroes *cough*.

Subject: Sundays
Overall Grade: C
Mediocrity, thy name is Fox
Family Guy, Simpsons and American Dad (Fox) C- Yes, I lumped these 3 together, because they are all performing the same. A good episode peppered with 3 or 4 turds in between. American Dad is the most consistent of the bunch, but unlike Family Guy and Simpsons doesn't have any big standout episodes. Nothing to write home about, but nothing terrible either. Each gets a C.

Subject: Mondays
Overall Grade: B
Two surprises and one huge disappointment start my weeks off with confusion.
The Big Bang Theory (CBS) A- Holy crap, where did this one come from? TBBT is the Super Mario Galaxy of TV: nothing that new, nothing that unique, and nothing that original, but done so spectacularly well, it shines through the muck that surrounds it. For those out of the know, take 1 big hearted physics nerd, add 1 Aspergers roommate, a spoonful of Gynephobic Indian, a dash of smarmy Jewish gamer, and finish it off with a sweet, naive young blonde, and you get the best written dialogue this side of a Joss Whedon WGA speech. No question, an A.
Chuck (NBC) B- Chuck has surprised me. While nothing amazing yet, it has managed to capture my attention. The acting is what makes this so good, especially Zachary Levi, Joshua Gomez and, of course, the incomparable Adam Baldwin. A good action/comedy movie in TV format, and just a fun ride.
Heroes (NBC) D- What the f*&k happened here? To agree completely with another friend and fan of the show, Peter is a moron. Peter is like my pug Inky. He follows those around him blindly if treated nice, and doesn't realize his potential or what he is capable of, and will sooner piss on the floor than take the time to think about his actions. Hiro's storyline sucked just as badly. While the last 3 episodes before the finale were pretty decent and well done, it doesn't make up for the other 8 or 9. I enjoyed the ultimate Adam/Kensei storyline ending that came around, but there were just too many other issues with this season to make it salvageable. Tim Kring has promised a completely revamped 3rd chapter, as was clear by the rushed finale. Let us hope he can bring back the magic. Oh, and I could care less if Nikki is dead or not.

Subject: Tuesdays
Overall Grade: A
Tuesday nights are, as they have been since Full House aired in 1987, my favorite night of TV each week.
Reaper (CW) B- Reaper has been a mixed bag full of one trick ponies. I want to love this show more... Almost every episode follows the same formula, something that is usually reserved to children's shows. Each episode, although very similar to the last, has enough in it that is unique and special to make me look forward to this every week, but the writers better start showing something more if I am to keep watching.
House (Fox) A+ - House is currently the best program on television. 'Nuff said... but when have I been known to keep quiet? The competition that House put the applicants through was a great idea, and a lot of fun. And, not to brag, but 2 of the 3 people I said he would pick, he picked. Sometimes change is good, and House has gone through some great changes this year.

Subject: Wednesdays
Overall Grade: B-
Further proof that NBC really knows what it is doing this year.
Bionic Woman (NBC) B- -Bionic Woman is another Chuck. Nothing overly great, but just a lot of fun and a good time. It also doesn't hurt that
Michelle Ryan is not only absolutely gorgeous, but a genuinely good actress. And to confirm my suspicions, she is British, and doing a nearly flawless American accent. I would like to see more of the secondary characters get fleshed out more, and completely rid of the horrible acting of Katee Sackhoff/Sarah Corvus (sorry Battlestar fans!).

Subject: Thursdays
Overall Grade: B
Swan songs and dead ducks.
CSI (CBS) D- To quote myself, from September, "
Why do I still watch this show?" I wish I was kidding when I say that EVERY episode has AT LEAST one "big boobs" joke... I love boobs as much as the next guy (maybe more) but grow up and be a drama with good writing, not childish jokes.
30 Rock (NBC) B- This show has yet to disappoint. A Scrubs meets the Office style show, I am sad to say I missed the first half of the first season. Tina Fey is the best, Alec Baldwin is still legitimately funny, not forced, and no character is useless or not funny. Good job 30 Rock!
The Office (NBC) A- Consistently the best written show on television, despite my early whining. A true character based sitcom that is as close to perfection as you can get. I am disappointed to say that Pam's character has plateaued and is no longer a lot of fun to watch, even though she is now always forced into tight sweaters. Now that she is with Jim, she has blossomed, but has become dull. That is, however, my ONLY complaint.
Scrubs (NBC) B- Thank goodness the writers came to their senses here. Scrubs doesn't have to be one crazy and goofy joke after another. They have yet to find that magical 2nd/3rd season magic they once had, but this is a large improvement over last year's super goofy attitude. The characters are adults this year, and are realizing that themselves. It's nice to see Scrubs mellow out and go back to what made it fun in the first place.

On a serious, closing note, I just wanted to add that, despite that so many shows will not be returning to TV as soon as I would like, I completely agree with the current writers guild strike. These extremely talented men and women should be paid for everything they create, regardless of whether it airs on national TV, a website, additional DVD content, and should be paid proper royalties without question. How Hollywood has not signed a deal yet is beyond me, but I will enjoy these shows much more knowing that the amazing talent behind my favorite shows are being compensated for their amazing body of work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Lunar: it's pronounced Loo-NAR

Those who were involved on my recent "modern JPRGs suck because they are too complicated" rants have already seen this. Two of you commented that it was "the gayest thing I have ever seen" and you aren't wrong. Who cares though?! Remember when RPGs had amazing characters, music, and gameplay, and didn't care about the wildest and craziest battle/upgrade/alchemy system possible?

Just shut up and watch, and let the memories flood back in: