No Bro

This is from "Brohemian Rhapsody," an internet video.

This is not me on the couch.

Glad that's cleared up.


TV: Kid Nation "Bonanza Is Disgusting"

Just when I think that there's no way this show can get any better, that there's no way this new episode can live up to the previous episodes, I'm proven wrong.

I really should have blogged about him after he told Taylor to shut her disrespectful mouth in episode two, but aside from totally awesome shut downs of The Little Dictaylor, he hasn't done much. And then, bang, here comes this episode. He's making inspirational speeches when Guylan can't, he's bringing everyone together to refill the town's water tank, and he's talking sense into two Zuckusses (oh, yeah, I'm calling the other 20 kids who have yet to do anything a Zuckuss, after one of the inconsequential bounty hunters from Star Wars). Seriously, DK should be on the council and the level of his involvement in this episode is astounding. This is also totally done through editing. But still. The way Guylan looks up to him is so admirable and the way DK rooted for Guylan when he was digging was touching. DK is so great, he should be on the green team. When he raised his hand to go home, the entire town seriously fell apart. Fell apart. Even Taylor, who DK defended, was making with the waterworks. Guylan had to talk DK into staying because, duh, DK was about to get $20,000. Emotional rollercoaster! DK's decision to stay and subsequent call to his family was reality TV gold. And not That-Crazy-Italian-Guy-On-Tila-Tequila reality TV gold, real, heartfelt, Extreme-Makeover-Without-The-Dirty-Feeling gold.

A glimpse of a real personality popped out this week. Leila, also known as That Thing Attached To Taylor's Hip, decided to go help dig a giant hole for the trash after initially refusing to with Taylor. Yeah, she was only scared of the punishment Laurel promised the two of them, but this teeny tiny act of independence might mean that Leila has some smarts about her. Um, well, that is until the end of the episode when she's once again all BFF with Taylor, making fruit salad instead of doing the dishes. Zach really has his hands full. Yeah, Anjay has Olivia making his life hell ("Geez, you wouldn't think it would take a guy ten minutes to pick up one can!" eye roll), but that's almost familial when compared to the tension between Zach and Taylor. I swear Zach was about to punch her in the face. And Leila's reaction to everything is to cry. I think I should go back and institute a Leila cry count.

Oh, and there's this.

What. The. Question mark. I would say that I feel sorry for her parents, because her teenage years are going to be the stuff of Lifetime movies, but I know, just KNOW, her parents are going to find her sassy acts of personal destruction charming. She refused to go on the garbage trip ("Leila and me have stuff to finish in town so people will stop complaining") and turned her nose up at her punishment ("Oops, my bad" after knocking over her water pails). I'd write about how shocked at her behavior, but really, who didn't know a Taylor growing up? The council's confrontation of her in the bunker was one of the most tense things I've seen on TV since Gladys hit Abe on Road Rules: Latin America. I thought Zach was going to deck her! I thought she was going to claw Anjay's eyes out! I even thought that Laurel, the future president herself, was going to pull Taylor's hair out! Taylor pushes buttons something fierce and I hope that DK's almost disappearance (hey, Taylor, he was complaining ABOUT YOU) makes her straighten up. But then again, if she did, Leila wouldn't have a personality and the show wouldn't have a villain.

Mike is every guy I was vaguely friends with in elementary school. He's smart, lacks most social skills, is ridiculously loud when he expresses emotion, and also thinks that being loud is synonymous with being sarcastic. No, Mike, wrong on all accounts. He is adjusting to non-council life well, though, although it must suck to be lead by Guylan who nearly peed his pants with excitement after reading the town council manual. Oh Guylan, you are so young.

I love her. I don't understand how she does it. She has to put up with so much crap and personally dealt with Taylor multiple times this episode. She did so while remaining calm, composed, reasonable, and rational. It's a shame that she can't win the gold star. For all her hard work, she deserves it. And when she tells Zach "good job" after yelling at Taylor and Leila mid-fruit-salad-making, I smiled.

Zach's young and his extreme proclamations are sometimes annoying (his "viva la revolucion!" yell last episode being the prime example), but no one else handles Taylor better. Laurel is sweet and if Taylor was, you know, a person that recognizes that the people around her aren't characters in her Hannah Montana esque Disney series, Laurel would be getting through to her. But no, it has to be Zach who yells at her, threatens her, and eventually takes her money away to get through to her.

And that was this week's episode. I'm still a huge fan of Michael and Sophia and everything they do. Is it wrong to hope that there is a very G-rated romance brewing there, based on the absolutely zero hints being dropped in the series? Meh.

Next week, Jared goes on THE RAMPAGE!!!


TV: Kid Nation "Viva La Revolucion"

I haven't had the time to write about the last two episodes, which is a shame since they were both insane. The kids having a full-on keggar with root beer, doing Irish Car Bombs with coke and cursing up a storm, followed the next week by a whole mess of producer-manipulated religious turmoil. Those episodes were amazing! So, I don't really feel like going back and watching those episodes in their entirety. Instead I'll blog about the latest episode after giving some brief thoughts about the two episodes that came before it.

Kid Nation "Deal With It!"

COLTON This kid came to my attention because he was nearly trampled by a bull. No amount of confidence and Wal-Mart bought cowpoke gear could protect this kid if that four legged engine of down home fury had decided to charge, but fate smiled upon Colton. He's still with us, but he's not doing much else. His near-death experience, total cluelessness at the danger of the situation, and the cocky face he's sportin' earns him a blurb in this blog.

The third gold star winner, Mallory has a great future in retail management. She'll probably spend her high school years working at Sam's before jumping at the opportunity to work at a Kohl's. While at Kohl's, Mallory will learn all about dealing with middle-aged soccer moms with loads of their husbands' money to blow on affordable fashions. Once she hits 18, that $20,000 is going to go towards opening her own boutique, a corner of the store decorated in blue bandannas and dirt to honor her time at Bonanza City. But for real, Mallory does work hard and come on, it was way touching that it was her sister that vouched for her to get the star on her birthday. Sweet.

"Bless Us & Keep Us Safe"

This kid finally got some decent screen time, and man was it worth it. This kid took a survey of the townspeople to find out what the religious majority was. He knew more about religions than the lil' ones that actually practice that religion ("Two types of Jews? Muslim? What's that?"). Not only that, the kid talks like he's teaching class. Here's a quote from Alex's CBS profile.
Who have been some of the worst U.S. presidents, and why?
George W. Bush, for leading us into a war without checking his facts first and for not having a clear plan prior to the invasion. He also suppressed anyone who wanted to question his decisions, which is against the American concept of free speech. William Harrison because he was too stupid to wear a coat at his inauguration speech, and caught pneumonia and died without doing anything in office.

Oh man. Whipped at age 9. Cody got a letter from his girlfriend, a letter written in crayon and including the quintessen
tial school picture (I think a fake plant and a bench were involved). This opened a floodgate of emotion, causing most all of his bunk to drown in Cody tears. Cody drowned his sorrows in root beer (kids are re
ally aware of the purpose of alcohol nowadays) and split at the council meeting. Bye Cody. Enjoy your lady.

The green team is going to run America one day, you just watch. When Laurel elects her cabin
et, you can bet that Michael, Sophia, and now Morgan are going to be right there. Morgan spent this episode uniting everyone against the stupidity of the council in a totally peaceful way. The council was forcing everyone to go to one church, and Morgan asked everyone if they wanted to go to a little prayer meeting. Morgan is a leader and she deserved the gold star.

"Viva La Revolucion"

Finally, after five episodes, Anjay develops a personality. Granted, most all of it comes out of his restrained blood-rage against Olivia, but it's still something that sets him apart from the other under 5 footers. He spent most all of the episode promising that he's going to become a better leader and, surprisingly, kept his spot on the council. This is fine, since Olivia is totally not going to go easy on him and, with Greg a happy camper, I think Anjay is the next one to put on a countdown to meltdown. Keep pushing those buttons, Olivia!

Olivia isn't totally selfless, as we discovered in this episode. The wise older sister who pushed for lil' sis Mallory to get a 20K b-day present let loose her mean streak in this episode, running a fierce campaign that got under Anjay's skin something fierce. Now that I think about it, look at her picture. It's sneer-ific. She's a plotter, a schemer, and she's giddy about it. I want her on the council, totally, just to see what ABSOLUTE POWER does to her.

Guylan? Who is Guylan? What is Guylan? For real, the soft features and flowing hair had me guessing about his gender for the first couple minutes of his television existence. This kid has hung around in the background for four episodes and now he's on the council. The only reason he ran was to get more leadership experience since he's always been a follower. This fact didn't escape Mike, who was shocked by Guylan's decision to run. Since the entire red team (except Mike) voted for him for the sole reason of "why not?," I'm looking forward to seeing a lot of second guessing on their part in future episodes. Does Guylan have what it takes?

The new radical has entered the picture, everyone, and he has a pogo stick. Markelle, after reading Taylor's inspiring campaign jingle, ripped down her poster and pogoed all over it in the middle of town. Any other kid who hated Taylor (like all of them) would have ripped down the poster and ran. Not Markelle. This kid is brave. Even when the entire town tried stopping him, Markelle kept shouting his anti-Taylor rhetoric. This sent the Taylorite who made the poster into a fit of tears, causing Greg to comfort her. GREG. Greg is now a gentle giant, misunderstood but with a heart of gold. Markelle, obviously the only kid to consider the CD jacket to Kanye West's Graduation a religious text (could that collar be any more popped?!), may be the new bad boy in town. But he's a bad boy
who hates Taylor...so he has some sense.

He got a gold star for taming his inner beast and earning in thr
ough hard work that was not shown this week in favor of a retarded game involving piƱatas and presidential trading cards. And his call to his mother was played under the credits. He got the shaft.

No one even ran against her, proving that the green team is the best team. Filled with the only non-council members deserving of a spot, the team knows that Laurel treats them right. And this week, they became merchant class. Things may finally be looking up for the green team.

And that was the last three weeks' worth of Kid Nation. I still love this show. I'm saving up for the DVD box set right now. No LOLJarid this week because the evil producers refused to let him grace us with a nugget of wisdom. This had better not happen again.


October Music

Finally, seriously, after what has been way too long, it finally feels like October outside. Something about October always entrances me (I'm sitting indian style next to incense right now). The weather brings back memories of Halloween, fun school moments, and great music. More than smell, I'd say music triggers more memories than any other stimuli. When combined with the season appropriately, I get the max amount of enjoyment out of the music.

My two October albums were busted out today: Chutes Too Narrow by The Shins and Room On Fire by The Strokes. Released just weeks apart in late October, 2003, both of these albums became synonymous with driving around in my car, light coat on, as the leaves turned colors. Before getting an iPod a year later, I carried my disc man to school and listened to this music while studying in the library. October 2003 is also a great month because that's when me and my friends partied with Zach Galifianakis and discussed these two albums. Listening to them today (the first time for Chutes) in quite a while, I had a smile on my face. Nothing like listening to "You Talk Way Too Much" when it's nice and cold.

This isn't just October. The Masterplan by Oasis is my favorite Christmas album ever and it's not a summer without The La's self-titled debut.

I invite you all to think...what's your favorite October music?


Digsy Doodles II

Two more doodles. One good. One blah (I cropped out most of the blah).

(from Marvel Comics' X-Force series)

Holo character design
(original character)


The Face Of Terror

My friend Ethan just wrote a blog about his phobias and, in an attempt to get back to blogging regularly, I've decided to blog about my biggest fear. The one thing that totally freaks me out and reduces me to tears.

Real aliens. Not fake aliens. Not cute aliens. Real, gray, Roswell-crashing, body-abducting, soulless, clinical beings that view us as nothing more than toys and insects, destroying lives and messing with our geneology with a devil may care attitude.

Did I just out myself as a crazy?

I don't know if this counts as a real phobia since I actively seek out information on aliens and purposely watch programs that feature real aliens (X-Files and the many FX, Fox, and History Channel documentaries). Arachnophobes don't surround themselves with spiders, but I force myself to look at aliens knowing the sheer discomfort they cause me.

This all originates in my childhood when I would only check out books from the supernatural section of the library. This little kid in the third grade constantly reading books about bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and, of course, aliens. And if those books didn't do it, then Unsovled Mysteries totally did. That show, that cursed show, combined the creepiness of Robert Stack with smoke machines and scary synth music to visually assault my little brain on a weekly basis with images of ghosts, monsters, and beings from beyond our galaxy. Yeah, they also had lost loves and stories about angels and that junk, but I only watched for the freak show. I tortured myself! I remember my mom comforting me one night, saying that the aliens might be like Chewbacca, and I like Chewbacca.

That might have worked then. It doesn't now.

I don't live in constant fear that I'm going to be abducted, that we're going to be colonized, blah blah, I'm not really a conspiracy theorist. I don't even know how solid my pro-Roswell convictions are (they've never been tested by a Scully-esque lady) and I've never experienced anything remotely bizarre...ever. But I just don't buy that the aliens are good or that they are here to help us after reading and researching and watching countless interviews with abductees. And yes, I have done that. In my speech class in college, I did a persuasive speech about why people should be open to the idea of extraterrestrials. I also did speeches about how to collect comics and why people should watch better TV. My teacher asked me to join the debate team, no joke.

The picture above comes from one of the more disturbing alien videos I've seen. It's a video between a government official and a captive alien. Towards the end of the video, the alien starts having some sort of medical emergency and medics rush in to help. It freaks me out.

I also can't watch Signs.


Sometimes I love my job STRIKES BACK

Four months ago I found and wrote about this article, in which a family clinging desperately to their past fights to get back the mummified baby that is so rightfully theirs. Now, the story concludes...

Judge Orders New Hampshire Man to Bury Mummy Baby Heirloom

CONCORD, N.H. — A judge has ordered a New Hampshire man to lay an unusual family heirloom to rest: a mummified baby that has been passed down for generations.

Judge Richard Hampe said the baby known as "Baby John" belonging to Charles Peavey's family must be buried because there is no DNA evidence proving kinship.

Peavey said Wednesday his family is disappointed, but will not appeal the decision.
"I'm just washing my hands of it," Peavey told the Concord Monitor for its Thursday editions. "I'm disappointed it came to this."

The mummy had been on display on a bureau in Peavey's home until police confiscated Baby John last year. Relatives and friends treated the desiccated infant as a family member, giving it cards during holidays and a dried fish as a pet. Authorities learned of the mummy's existence after Peavey's niece mentioned to day care staffers that her uncle kept a dead baby at his house.

Peavey said his family believes the mummy is the stillborn child of a great-great uncle.

Testing by the state concluded the baby died of natural causes shortly after its birth and confirmed the remains were decades old, but did not determine the mummy's age or origin. Peavey said he cannot afford DNA testing and the state will not release the remains unless there is proof of a family relationship.

"It's one of the few things from our family past that we have left," Peavey had written in a petition to the court. "And when I pass on, I was looking forward to passing it on to another family member, to keep some of the history for future family members."

In court, prosecutor Richard Head raised concerns about the family's treatment of the mummy if it were returned, pointing to Peavey's page on the social networking site MySpace that opens with the "The Addams Family" theme song and makes joking references to Baby John, including a photo of a small crypt and a suggestion that it may hold the remains of Baby John's sister.
Peavey said the page was created as a joke by his niece and he was going to ask her to take it down.

"I do not think this is a joke. I've never treated him like a joke. No weirdness was going on," he said.

Yep! That's it for Baby John! And what a startling conclusion! This latest and hopefully last article drops three bombshells:

1. They gave it greeting cards. Hallmark is finally making Mummified Baby's First Birthday cards. Or maybe they got Baby John American Greetings cards, not like he's going to turn the card over and check.

2. They gave Baby John a little dried fish as a pet. I would bet money the littlest Peavey will author a children's book about the Adventures of Baby John and Cactus, The Dried Fish under a pseudonym in 2037.

3. MySpace page. Addams Family theme. Baby John's sister. There's something Bashir-interview-Michael Jackson-esque about Peavey's assertion that "no weirdness was going on" despite the previous two facts.

God rest you little soul Baby John. You've earned it.