Saturday, December 31, 2005

help me through the hopeless haze

movie editors in hollywood must be in short supply. munich was good, but like king kong it could have been a lot shorter. it also got too preachy; i do like movies that make me think, but i don't want a sermon. you don't have to drag the ending out forever just to hammer your point into our skulls. but eric bana and the rest of the cast were great, and the story was good too.

happy new year, kids.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

hymns sound so good to him

my car transmission was acting up again. needless to say i wasn't too happy about that, since it was just replaced in may, but it sounds like there was just a faulty seal. the mechanic is going to check and make sure there isn't any permanent damage to the transmission. so it sounds like it probably isn't as good as i was afraid it might have been. just another one of those things that makes me wish i knew more about cars.

i got sick again last night. it was the third time since i've moved out that i've randomly got sick to my stomach once and then been fine. i think my stomach is hating me for the diet i've put it on since i moved out on my own. even though i eat less fast food than i used to, all i eat is mainly microwavable burritos, hamburgers, and pizzas. plus i'm not balancing the crappy food with good homecooked meals like i used to. i think my body is hating me for it. i need to start eating more fruits and vegetables (besides large quantities of apple sauce) and cut down on all the crap. calling in sick to work was enjoyable, though.

i'm getting my fill of video games in this week with jess in florida. i got sid meier's pirates! finally for christmas. i was hoping that it would be close to the 1987 version, but its even better. once again, sid meier found a way to package smack into the form of a computer game. between this and civ4, i can probably kiss this quarter of school goodbye.

the bengals-bills game was obviously disappointing. my luck with attending great bengals' victories seems to have expired this year, but at least we won one of the three games i went to. i don't really care what happens this week at kansas city. i think we should just keep our starters fresh and healthy. my opinion is that it doesn't matter whether we're the 3rd or 4th seed in the playoffs. if we play our best, we can beat anyone we'd play; if we play like we did against buffalo, we'll lose to anyone we face.

get ready, your 2005 davie awards will be coming soon. *yawn*

Saturday, December 17, 2005

i'm wide awake the more i sleep

if you didn't hear, sometime thursday night part of the building directly across the street from austin and i collapsed. the building is the old turner hall, and is being renovated by uc, which is probably the reason the foundation shifted. good ole uc; they'll shell out thirty grand to italicize our logo, but they won't put out the money for decent building materials and work to stop walls from falling down. that whole section of daniels has been closed off since.

went out and saw king kong last night. someone needs to tell peter jackson that he's allowed to make a movie under three hours. it's okay, really pete. we wouldn't mind. overall, it was a good movie, but i guess they ended up spending so much on the effects that they couldn't afford to hire an editor. they really could have shaved at least half an hour off of the movie without anyone noticing. but the movie looks spectacular and the acting was mostly good too. i was a little leary about jack black at the beginning, but as the movie progressed he fit into his role well. oh, and i still love andy serkis.

and chris henry is an idiot.

Friday, December 09, 2005

it feels like it keeps coming from the inside

nine inch nails are coming to the u.s. bank arena on february 25. tickets go on sale. any takers? justin?

p.s. ticketmaster is the devil.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

goin' out west where the wind blows tall

it never really dawned on me until the past few months have much of a night person i am. i always new i wasn't a morning person; i have a hard time getting up in the morning and could sleep past noon every day of the week. i always feel tired and never do i feel well-rested, no matter how much sleep i get. but considering how tired i always feel, its a little surprising how late i'll stay up.

i could probably stay up till at least 3am every night. its not that i don't feel tired, because i do. but there's always something i want to do, something i want to get done. i never feel like i have enough time normally anyway, and i'd have even less if i started going to bed earlier. i rarely actually sleep in late for that same reason; i feel like i'm wasting my time. part of me wants to go to bed early and sleep in late, only because every day i really hate how tired i feel. but the other part of me just can't be forced to go to bed at a reasonable time. during the quarter, no matter how much i wanted to and tried, it seemed like i could never get to bed before midnight. look at me right now: i finished my last paper of the quarter and emailed it to my prof tonight (well ahead of my noon deadline tomorrow, w00t), but i'm still up. actually, i was already to go to bed when i decided to blog about how hard it can be for me to go to bed. its a viscious cycle. but seeing as i can't sleep in past noon tomorrow (or most days) because i have to be at work by then, i had better get to bed now.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

i've seen the needle and the damage done

i think the vending machines here at work are out to get me. first they would just give me whatever they decided i drink that day, regardless of whether or not that was the button i pushed. now they've just decided they're not going to give me anything at all.

carson palmer is up for the fedex air award again this week. if he wins, this would be his sixth time this season. only one other quarterback has even won it twice this season. also, thurman is up for rookie of the week again, and tab perry's kick return is candidate for the play of the week. currently, all three are in the lead, so go keep them there.

seriously though, how good were our rookies yesterday? perry had an amazing return (he dragged that steeler over twenty yards), pollack got a crucial sack, henry made some great catches, and thurman turned in another defensive rookie of the year-calibur performance.

correction: palmer won the award this week for his fifth time, not his sixth. still, no player has one the award more than twice in one year until palmer came long this year.

Monday, December 05, 2005

i've been a miner for a heart of gold

wow, what a great day. we beat the steelers on the road. not only have we all but clinched our division, but we have our first winning season in fifteen years. and denver lost, which ties us for second in the afc. we have a serious chance of getting a first-round playoff bye. i'm going to keep an eye on playoff ticket sales. it sounds like people who bought two-game packs get them after season-ticket holders but before everyone else, so if they become available i guess i'll just buy as many as i can.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

enigma wrapped in riddle

the bearcats ended up playing surprisingly well today. i had expected memphis to destroy us, so it at least made me happy that we hung with them so well, although that may have made the loss more disappointing than it would have been. the two highlights were how much everyone cheered when huggins appeared on the overhead (a shot of him from an interview with espn) and then the rousing chorus of "fire nancy" at the end that even made espn's recap of the game. i do wish more people would attend the games; its not hurting zimpher if people don't show. she could probably care less. its not fair to kennedy and the team for people to not come to cheer them on. if anything, i like going to be united with everyone for our mutual loathing of nancy.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

breaking my back just to know your name

the game was a lot of fun on sunday. actually, it started out being a blast, but it was a little tempered by baltimore's scoring streak in the second half. i'd like to think that our defense just decided to take it easy, and weren't just falling apart. it was almost enough to make kyle boller look good. our offense has been on fire, and i hope we can keep it up with week against pittsburgh. carson and rudi are both up for the fedex air and ground awards this week, so go vote for them. and vote chad's touchdown catch as the play of the week. it was good to hang out at the game with tim and elly. thanksgiving was fun, and it was nice to have them back in town. tim left yesterday for europe with his job, and he'll be gone for about three weeks.

Monday, November 28, 2005

all i want for christmas

here's my christmas list for 2005.

computer games

x-box games





  • jeans
  • medium length socks
  • sweaters
  • zip-up sweaters
  • athletic shorts
  • long-sleeve casual dress shirts
  • boxers


The 347th Annual Davie Awards

when comparing this year's results to last year, there are several things that stand out. this year had a much larger crop of good movies and cds, but the number of quality video games seems to have declined. x-box games were especially slim. there were several good computer games this year, but those were still mostly sequals. this year saw a lot better albums than 2004, and the selection of quality movies was a lot bigger too. now, without further delay...

The 2005 Davie Awards

best movie: batman begins
runners-up: walk the line, revenge of the sith, serenity, der untergang (downfall), wedding crashers

i'm pretty hard-pressed to not pick revenge of the sith because of my own bias, but walk the line and batman begins were both better, with batman begins edging out walk the line. serenity was great (probably better than revenge of the sith, but like i said, i have a star wars bias); very entertaining and well-acted.

overall top 10 movies
  1. batman begins
  2. walk the line
  3. revenge of the sith
  4. serenity
  5. der untergang (downfall)
  6. wedding crashers
  7. kung-fu hustle
  8. king kong
  9. munich
  10. wallace & gromit: the curse of the were-rabbit

best cd: system of a down - mezmerize
runners-up: weezer - make believe, nine inch nails - with teeth, moby - hotel, team sleep - team sleep, billy corgan - thefutureembrace

i'd known for awhile that mezmerize would top the list. its a great cd, and every song sounds different and unique. it's too bad that system of a down's second release this year, hypnotize, was not as impressive. make believe is the best weezer album to come out since pinkerton, and the only album that really challenged mezmerize. with teeth was less than perfect, but it did have some really strong songs on it. still, it should have been better. moby made a solid return with hotel, and team sleep's self-titled was a good, original album. billy corgan's first solo album had some weak spots, but also had some really strong songs (including a bee-gee's cover).

best album by a someone who's almost a senior citizen: robert plant & the strange sensation - mighty rearranger

this isn't a great album, but i was happy to find that it is actually pretty good. the biggest surprise has to be how well plant's voice works on the album. who would have thought that he could still sing? definitely worth hearing.

most mediocre cd that should have been great: audioslave - out of exile
runner-up: foo fighters - in your honors, system of a down - hypnotize, jimmy chamberlin complex - life begins again

after audioslave's great first album, i was was really looking forward to out of exile. it's not that its a bad cd; it just should have been a lot better. the same goes for in your honor. the rock cd and acoustic cd on the double-album are both made up of pretty good songs, but none of the songs sound very unique or different from each other. hypnotize was a pretty good cd, but something of a let-down after how good mezmerize was. jimmy chamberlin was one of my favorite drummers from the 90s, and i was hoping his album would be pretty good, but... it's kinda boring.

best pc game: sid meier's civilization IV
grand theft auto: san andreas, day of defeat: source, f.e.a.r., darwinia

there was no competition here. civ IV wins this award hands down. sid meier took a step back in the development of this game, deciding only to help guide it instead of being in charge. but it is still the strongest entry into the series, which says a lot. in fact, that would automatically make it one of my favorite games of all time. san andreas was fun, but parts of it felt like the same old gta. dod: source was lots of fun, but there isn't a lot of game there (it's multiplayer only). but it is the best multiplayer game to come out this year. f.e.a.r. is a great shooter, and really really creepy, so much that it is sometimes hard to play. darwinia was a lot of fun, and probably the most original game this year. i also want to throw out an honorable mention for oasis, which is a lot of fun, but feels too simple of a game to be included with the others. but the fact that you can easily just play if for five minutes at a time is great.

best x-box game:jade empire

there wasn't any real competition here. the game was made by the same people who made knights of the old republic, and jade empire used the same formula, but improved upon it. making the combat completely real-time is the best improvement they did, which should be fantastic in the next kotor game. but don't let the fact that there was no competition fool you; jade empire deserves this award.

best song: system of a down - "lost in hollywood"
runners-up: weezer - "this is such a pity", team sleep - "11^11", billy corgan - "tilt", nine inch nails - "only", jimmy eat world - "disentegration"

it was really close between "hollywood" and "pity", but since weezer didn't win best album, i decided to go with the latter for best song. it is a really good and unique song; for some reason they didn't turn it into a sequal.

best song that for some reason wasn't on the actual album, but would have been the best song on the cd if it had been:
billy corgan - "tilt"

this was the best song from billy corgan's tracks for thefutureembrace, except that he cut the song from the album and used it as the i-tunes exclusive track. the fact that this wasn't on the cd is a big disappointment.

worst song: gwen stefani - "holla back girl"

is there even any need to elaborate on this? what an awful song. i can't even think of anything else to put with it.

best chad johnson touchdown celebration: endzone putting green
runners-up: riverdance, cheerleader proposal, football cpr, santa clause, "what do i do?"

they were all pretty hilarious, but his tiger woods impression had to be the best.

things from 2004 that i missed until 2005

best cd from 2004 : the killers - hot fuss

had i listened to this cd in time for last year's awards, it probably would have won best album.

best game from 2004: sid meier's pirates!
runners-up: burnout 3, the chronicles of riddick: escape from butcher bay

i was hoping the the remake of pirates! would come close to recreating the fun of the 1987 classic from my childhood. not only is it as good as the original, it's probably better. sid meier has a special talent for making games that are more addictive than crack.

best movie from 2004: hero
runners-up: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the life aquatic with steve zissou, house of flying daggers, shaun of the dead

all of these are really great movies. each one could have made a case to be one of the runners-up for last year's best movie, but none would have displaced the incredibles.

things i missed that might have made it:

pc games: call of duty 2, quake 4, star wars battlefront 2, gun

x-box games: burnout revenge, mercenaries

movies: harry potter & the goblet of fire; the chronicles of narnia: the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe; hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy; syriana

2006 preview:

pc games: half-life 2: aftermath, star wars: empire at war, battle for middle-earth II, UT 2007, s.t.a.l.k.e.r., company of heroes, sin episodes

next year looks to be a fun year for pc games. aftermath is scheduled for release at the end of april, which will be fantastic. empire at war will hopefully be the first real-time strategy star wars game to get it right. will 2006 be the year that s.t.a.l.k.e.r. is finally released? i'm getting tired of world war II games, but heroes looks like a great rts entry into the genre. the sin episodes will be episodic content distributed periodically over valve's steam. steam was great with its exclusive content in 2005, and i think it will only get better as 2006 goes on, with other releases on it like the award winning wwII mod red orchestra.

movies: x-men 3, flags of our fathers, casino royale, miami vice, superman returns

the x-men movies have yet to disappoint, so hopefully the third one will keep that going. flags is clint eastwood's movie on the battle of iwo jima. i don't know much about the movie, but i hope it's good. i'm interested to see how daniel craig will as james bond fare in casino. he's no clive owen (my personal pick for the new bond), but he's a lot better than some of the rumored actors. miami vice may have colin farrell, but even he has to be better than don johnson. jamie foxx is great, and michael mann has made some excellent movies. i'm actually not very optimistic of the new superman, but i do like the idea of kevin spacey as lex luthor.

Monday, November 21, 2005

winded is the sailor

great, nothing like losing my post when i was halfway through and having to start over.

yesterday was a really exciting game, although the outcome was obviously disappointing. although austin, justin and i may only be 2-1 together now, we're still 3 for 3 at picking good games to go to. i read somewhere that it was the second highest scoring first half in an nfl game. i think penalties hurt us big time; both the penalties that were our faults and the ones that were complete BS. that offsides penalty on the colts' first series after we stopped them on third down hurt us big time. instead of making them do three and out deep in their territory, the came down and scored, and repeated that the next four times they got the ball. on the other side of the coin, there was that completel crap like the pass interference call on third down that would have forced them to settle for a long field goal. apparently when the receiver trips over his own big dumb feet, that's a penalty on the defender. i know, i didn't know that either! good thing those brillant nfl referees are around to tell us these things.

but it was the colts and not the refs that beat us. manning was just on fire and we couldn't stop him. our defense in general was just poor. we were okay against the run, but we didn't stop it much when we really needed to. tackling was horrendous, as was pass coverage and pressure. our running game and offensive line did way better than i thought they would, so i have to give them credit for that. and chad was just unstoppable. i am glad that we hung with them as well as we did, but i wish it would have turned out different. oh well, the colts had at least better beat the steelers this week. they owe us that much.

ufc 56 on pay-per-view saturday night was excellent. matt hughes dominated, st. pierre is one of my new favorite fighters (even if he is french-canadian) and of course, rich franklin dominated. in fact, i couldn't believe how easily franklin destroyed his opponent. i expected him to win, but i didn't actually expect his opponent to be knocked out cold (thanks to daniel for the video). priceless.

the ohio state - michigan game was also excellent, and this game had a happy ending. i was worried for awhile, but it was great to see the buckeyes come back late in the game and put a winning drive together. too bad michigan state couldn't beat penn state.

walk the line was great. i had high expectations for the movie, and it lived up to all of them. joaquin phoenix made a great johnny cash, and even did an excellent job with his vocals. i think some of the reviews i read saying that he didn't sound like cash are just flat out wrong. reese witherspoon was also really good, which shows how talented she can be when she's not in something that is complete crap.

jess' birthday on thursday was a lot of fun. i know she really had an exciting time. first, the lady she babysits for had her baby on thursday. so the birth of xander richard ryan alone would have been enough to make it a great birthday for her. then, we went to pf chang's for a late dinner, and met none other than tj houshmanzadeh coming out the door. jess got his autograph and a handshake, which made the day even better.

so that was my weekend in reverse order. hurray for thanksgiving. tim and elly are coming home too, so that will be fun. by my count i get three thanksgiving meals, which is always a good thing. i had my first day of newton training at work today. that's good because i don't have to be on the phones and i get more money and bad because it's really, really boring.

Monday, November 14, 2005

down on santa monica where tricks are for kids

so penny arcade has started up their annual child's play charity for different children's hospitals around the nation (actually, around the world now). it's pretty crazy how big this thing has gotten. i think the first year they just did it for their local hospital in seattle, then last year it had spread to four hospitals, now there's a ton of them across three countries. i've always thought this charity was a great idea; not only do you get to help entertain sick kids, but you get to stick it to the man by showing that all the popular beliefs about how detrimental video games and gamers are to society is a load of crap. so go help out if you can. speaking of penny arcade, they have a spiffy new layout unveiled today too.

walk the line comes out this weekend. it's going to be great. actually, there's a lot of good stuff going on this week. jess' birthday is thursday, and we're celebrating it with her family and friends on friday. then there's the ohio state - michigan game saturday afternoon, and the rich franklin ufc fight on pay per view that night.

then the best part (except for jess' birthday of course!) is going to the bengals - colts game on sunday. although i'm worried about how we'll do, it should be a lot of fun. that, and the justin-austin-me combo is still 2-0 on bengals games. those have also been two of the best bengals games in the past 15 years (upsetting the 9-0 chiefs and beating the browns in the second highest scoring nfl game of all time). here's hoping we can pull off another upset of a 9-0 team. it's not going to be easy. peyton is obviously amazing and edgerrin james has been rushing like a champ, 2nd only to shaun alexander in rushing yards, and already has over 1,000 yards this season. all aspects of our defense will be put to their toughest test yet. and i'm also worried about our offensive line. indy's improved defense rests on their d-line, so we've got to give palmer time and open holes for rudi.