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Friday, March 25, 2011

the perfect proposal. OR how a sitcom made me cry like a little girl.

[I am not going to recap the episode. If you haven't watched it, go watch it.]

I miss the days when The Office was out and out the funniest show on television. Being on television for over 125 episodes, obviously crafting new storylines for these characters that we know so well must be a challenge. Last night's episode, "Garage Sale," was not perfect, and did not tread new ground (something the series has become known for, but has been lacking in the last few season), but was, nevertheless, quite excellent.

Everyone has known that Steve Carrell is leaving The Office for some time now. This season has been all about Michael's growth as a human being. Throughout the series, Michael has acted inconsiderately, selfishly, and childishly. He has shown growth at times, but never so much as when he had a reason to be better. Holly Flax is Michael's reason to be better. When Holly returned to the office, Michael did something very "Michael." He dumped a gift from Holly's boyfriend into the trash and poured coffee all over it. But, the longer Holly stayed, and the more involved they became, the more Michael matured for her. He was able to respect the office's PDA policy, he made the difficult decision to breakup with Holly rather than drag it out like in "Employee Transfer" when he vowed to, "make this way harder than it needs to be." Michael was also able to let his "BFF" Todd Packer go because he realized Packer wasn't really his friend when he insulted Holly. And, in perhaps the biggest sign of Michael growing up, he was able to laugh at himself and his so-bad-its-good movie "Threat Level Midnight." Of course, he threw a hissy fit when Holly was honest with him about it, but he was quickly able to see things more realistically.

Michael Scott begins the episode by trying to figure out the best way to propose to Holly. This path has been tread before by many a sitcom, but with Michael involved, the ideas being brainstormed include gasoline, dead bodies, and heads falling off. Like anyone, even usually calm and collected Jim Halpert, Michael was nervous about his proposal. In fact I thought it was cute how Michael was not impressed by Jim and Pam's proposal story. Michael had always idolized Jim and Pam, but here, they weren't good enough. Here, he wanted to create the big moment that would be objectively memorable and a good story to tell. He probably would have gone with one of his ideas, had it not been for the voluntarily involved employees of Dunder Mifflin [Sabre]. Everyone in the office has always resisted Michael's friends with them and being involved in their personal lives. Today, however, a few of them get involved without him even asking, and everyone in the office helps Michael with the proposal.

The most beautiful thing about the proposal is that everyone Michael cares about most was there to support him. And they weren't there because it was "a car wreck that you want to look away but you have to stare at it because your boss is making you," but because they genuinely care. The employees of Dunder Mifflin, like us, have grown to love Michael. This highlights the most telling act of Michael acting like a grown up. For almost 7 years we have heard Michael talk about his employees as if they were family, in fact calling them family on many occasions. He loves them, Dunder Mifflin, and Scranton. When Holly told him he had to go to Colorado, he never for a second considered staying in Scranton without her. Michael Scott is ready to move on.

Monday, March 21, 2011

really gq?

As you may have read, GQ recently released its list of "Worst Sports Fans in America." The list is a reminder of why so many Americans read and trust the household names of GQ writers, such as...you know, those people who we all love for their authoritative and responsible reporting. You know who I mean! Those guys! Oooh it's right on the tip of my tongue!! Those guys who named the "25 Douchiest Colleges in America," and the "Top 10 List of Major League Baseball's Fattest Men! (Parts I and II)" Whatever, you know who I'm talking about.

Well, those titans of journalism have conducted a very scientific study, in conjunction with Harvard University and MIT, to determine which cities and which teams have the "Worst Sports Fans in America." At the top of the list is Philadelphia with a double win, for our scummy, scum-bag Eagles and Phillies fans. "Philadelphia has long been derided as a terrible, terrible place to visit, and not just for visiting sports teams and their fans. It's nice to see our city celebrated on this prestigious list," commented one fan in an interview definitely not conducted with my mirror. It's true that while Philadelphia may be a stinky, smelly, dung heap, as that very famous and well known GQ writer would have you believe, we really haven't been told as such in the national media before. I mean, sure, we've had mentions in the local news, the blogosphere, associated content, and USA Today, but THAT IS ALL of the examples. So it is definitely nice to be in the spotlight as a great city, in the eyes of the nation.
Unfortunately, the purpose of this post is not merely to heap praise upon that famous GQ writer that we all know, love, and are unavoidably influenced by (though he, of course, deserves mountains of praise for a well conceived and well executed example of journalistic integrity). No, this post has something to say about the congratulatory blurb that accompanied the picture of a Phillies fan at our #1 (and #2) spots atop the list.

The article states, "Over the years, Philadelphia fans have booed Santa Claus as well as their own star players. They've even booed a guy who just helped the city win a friggin' World Series title—while he was getting his ring. Boooo! Admittedly, there are some things fans have cheered. Like Michael Irvin's career-ending neck injury and a fan being tased on the outfield grass. Things reached their nadir last season, when Citizens Bank Park played host to arguably the most heinous incident in the history of sports: A drunken fan intentionally vomited on an 11-year-old girl. The truth is this: All told, Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system. "Some of these people would boo the crack in the Liberty Bell," baseball legend Pete Rose once said. More likely, these savages would have thrown the battery that cracked it."

Really GQ? Philadelphia is so much worse than this. We deserve an even higher ranking than #1 AND #2. Yes, we booed Santa. We also pelted him with snowballs, a fact your "article" conveniently leaves out. Also, I accidentally AND intentionally vomit on people of all ages at every Phillies game I go to - especially if they take away my firearms at the gate. You also forgot the many people we throw batteries at (some of them the only black players on the team at the time) or the fact that OUR LAST STADIUM HAD A COURT AND JAIL IN IT.

In short, Adam Winer (I remembered it! man, I love that guy and his super insightful articles in GQ on Take Me Home Tonight, "The Worst Sports Fans in America," aaaand...THAT'S IT.), this "article" is a joke. Philadelphia sports fans are much, much huger and more disgusting monsters than you ineptly give us credit for. Next time, probably you'll be writing for the New York Times or Maxim or something by then, make sure you get your facts straight.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

awesome.

maybe i should use my free time to make a stop motion short...

(notes on) biology from ornana films on Vimeo.

Monday, March 14, 2011

most anticipated game of the year

You know its going to be a good year for gaming when the RUNNERS UP to this title are Mass Effect 3, Arkham City, and The Elder Scrolls V
[possible spoilers]



Monday, March 7, 2011

jennifer aniston's sex tape!!!!!

not sure I "love smartwater" but I do love Jenn Aniston.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

OMFG HAVE YOU SEEN THIS?!?!?!?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

whaaaaat? seriously??

Monday, February 14, 2011

top 5: why i chose android over apple

top 5 reasons i chose android over apple

My contract with Verizon was almost up, so I took the opportunity to upgrade my phone. While i LOVED my Palm Pre Plus, it was starting to show signs of age - plus I hate how thick it was with the extended battery I couldn't get through a day without. So, looking at Verizon's lineup it was obvious my choice would be between the Droid 2 (because of the physical keyboard) and the iPhone 4. I'll be honest. I was tempted to go with Apple. The huge app store, along with all the gaming options that Android simply doesn't have right now weighed heavily in the iPhone's favor. It took me a little while to come up with these 5 reasons NOT to choose Apple, but once I did I never looked back.


5. iTunes is a pain in the ass. If I want video or music on my phone, then I don't want to have to jump through a thousand of Apple's hoops, and then wait FOR EVER for my phone to sync with iTunes.

4. I used a phrase in reason #5 - "my phone." I want my phone to be my phone. I want to do with it what I want to do with it, and I don't want Apple's grubby, stainless steel, robotic hands all over it after I've paid for it and taken it home. The iPhone's utilitarian grid, refusal to include widgets or customization of any kind is supremely frustrating.

3. I wanted to pick a phone with an OS that I thought had the best chance of "winning" the mobile war. My last phone was a Palm phone that ran webOS. While I LOVED webOS as a mobile platform, Palm really dropped the ball with getting their devices out there and marketing them well. As a result, developer support was virtually nonexistent, so the App Catalog remains almost empty. Slickness and innovation in the UI wasn't enough without software to give the phone functionality. I feel that Android hits a nice middle ground between functionality and a smart UI. Meanwhile, Apple's iOS has been rather stagnant for awhile. How much longer will people put up with staring at a 4x4 grid of icons? And pretending "multitasking" (don't even get me started) is new - anyone else remember copy and paste? - is insulting. Consumers should demand real innovation and improvements, not common sense ideas that are masquerading as genius.

2. I am voting with my wallet. Apple has a VERY closed way of doing business. I really don't believe that censorship and eliminating competition is the way to innovation and the best products for the customer. I do not want my money (well, more of my money) helping Apple to achieve an even stronger position in the mobile market. Shit like this and thiscan NOT continue to happen.

1. The iPhone's notification system flat out sucks. It is archaic and broken, and I can't believe so many people are able to "use" it.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

vw star wars commercial bloopers!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

SOLD.


my birthday!!!

sooooo any of you lovely people want to not worry about getting me a birthday present for the next 10 years?? here you go.

got PLENTY of these

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

best ad...ever? yes i think so.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Best Movie of 2010!!!

Heyy ladies and kids,

As you probably know, I am a huge dork. So, in light of that, and the fact that it is awards season, I would like to hold voting to award the very first Jim's Facebook friend's Best Movie of the Year Award. Or JFFBMYA for short.

I am interested to see what a "normal" people's Academy Awards would look like...plus I'm a huge dork and think this will be fun.

So the way I want to do this is that every person who votes will get 10 points. The voter (you) will have to pick 5 movies to assign points to. On the night of the Oscars, I will put out a list of movies according to how many points each got.

The only restrictions to this are:
You must choose five movies.
Each movie you choose must receive at least 1 point.
You must allocate all of your points.

So all you would need to send to me would look something like this:
True Grit - 4
The Social Network - 2
The Kids Are All Right - 2
Toy Story 3 - 1
Inception - 1

Sound good? This shouldn't take too long, plus its cold out, and the only thing on TV is the dumbass Pro Bowl (and the SAG awards! Watch on TBS/TNT for inspiration!!!)

To vote, either comment here, or send me a message!

Let me know if you have any questions, or if you just want to make fun of me. Otherwise, have fun!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_films_of_2010
(this is just a list of American movies released in 2010, and these are not the only movies you can vote for)

aaaamazing.

haha this was seriously only 17 years ago??


BOOOO NBC HAS NO SENSE OF HUMOR!!! apparently, they not only scoured the internet to try to take down all the instances of this video, but they also FIRED the guy who uploaded it! what a bunch of wet blankets!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

will ferrell?? really?



I read yesterday that Will Ferrell is going to be guest starring on The Office before the end of the season. I hate this idea.

Will can be funny at times. But there is already a king of happy cluelessness on The Office, and I love Michael soo much more than whatever Will Ferrell-ized character Will Ferrell will surely play on the show. More than that, I have grown to love The Office again. Sure, the show is not as strong as it was in its first 3 seasons, and it probably never will be again. But despite the characters' crazy personalities, they are written so well, and I've spent so much time with them that I want to be able to enjoy Michael's last few moments with the show without Will Ferrell's annoying faux screaming 'comedy' overshadowing* Steve Carrel's farewell.

*I am however, very excited about Ricky Gervais' upcoming appearance on an episode. What will Michael think of David Brent?

What do you guys think? Hit me up in comments and let me know!

why video games matter




I recently read Tom Bissell's Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter. It was very entertaining for someone like me, though Bissell should have added "To Me" to the end of his subtitle.

Through a series of sometimes uncomfortably personal essays, Bissell relates to the reader why videogames are such a big part of his life - and, I suppose, anyone's life. He divides each chapter by examining a different game which he feels exemplifies one aspect of games at their best. There is a sprinkling of pretty candid interviews with big names within the industry, like Cliff Bleszinki and Jonathon Blow. The book is undeniably interesting, and an easy recommendation for any videogame fan. However, while Bissell's writing is not at fault, I feel the thesis question he began with is.

The biggest problem with the book, and with many aging video gamers today, is that many gamers are looking for justification for their hobby. "Are videogames art?" "Why do videogames matter?" These are questions that may be interesting to some, and they may even be answerable - but do they matter? Does it matter if videogames matter? Does it matter if they are "art?"

Bissell struggles with this problem. He clearly loves videogames, but not without reservations and guilt borne out of a sort of misguided need to compare games to 'higher' narrative experiences such as books and films. He finally concludes that though video games do matter, issues like encountering “appalling” dialogue, despite hearing actors give line readings of “autistic miscalculation,” despite despairing over the sense that gamers and game designers have embraced “an unnecessary hostility between the greatness of a game and the sophistication of things such as narrative, dialogue, dramatic motivation and characterization," are why "[video games] do not matter more."

I feel that Bissell is missing the point. Videogames matter because video games move, enthrall, enrage, and impress millions of people every year. Video games are in their infancy. Despite being new (especially when compared to books and movies, even though I don't think that is a fair or wise thing to do), videogames have progressed in leaps and bounds since the days of Tennis for Two.

As the sometimes crass Gus Mastrapa eloquently writes, "Art can never be Videogames." Mastrapa argues that it doesn't matter if the general public accepts videogames as 'art.' Gamers are not looking for their approval, we just want them to see what we see in them. Says Mastrapa, "Those of use who love this silly stuff just want others to fell the thrill of discovery, the satisfaction of a win, the senses of fear and wonder and boredom and delicious tedium that videogames can instill. We want non-gamers to get that games aren't just games -- they're an amalgam of a half-dozen different modern forms of communication leveraged to create magic, to transport and tell stories and to stimulate the mind, heart and guts."

I couldn't agree more.

While Bissell's work is a fantastic book that any videogame fan should treat themselves to, anyone who chooses to do so should do it with an open mind, and remember that we need no justification for engaging ourselves in something we love.

Monday, January 24, 2011

edward sharpe and the adoooorable magnetic zeros

like fallout? you'll love this. brilliant.

in my grocer's freezer?

I absolutely want this for dinner for all the dinners.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

the kids are all right

Last night, Rach and I watched The Kids Are All Right. It was really quite good. The beauty of this movie lies in the perfectly honest moments that happen between people going through a pretty unique situation. The parents in the film, Nic and Jules (Annette Bening and Julianne Moore), are two lesbians who were both artificially inseminated in order to conceive. Their children, Laser and Jules (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson), are independent in their own ways, and very much like each of their birth mothers. The movies begins as Laser, the younger sibling, asks Jules to get in contact with the sperm donor "Moms" used (yeah, they both used the same guy). Despite this very "sitcommy" setup, the movies strengths are not the plot devices or its unorthodox family. The movies succeeds because of solid, down to earth writing, and genuine, home run performances from all five of the leads. The genius of the film lies in its ability to be in turns humorous and moving, sometimes simultaneously. The laughs are subtle, yet piercing, and serve to counterbalance the aching sadness of life, of growing up, of struggling to stay in love. I absolutely recommend this movie to anyone grown up enough to not recoil at the thought of gay parents. The truth is, these kids are alright.

Friday, January 21, 2011

here we go...

So I've finally decided to start writing here...not sure what this is going to be yet, but probably just a place for me to dump stuff that I'd like to share with no one in particular. Some "banal blatherings" if you will.

I'll try to keep this from being a "this is why the world sucks" whine-fest, but with all the Sarah Palins, Glenn Becks, and people like this - http://bit.ly/eJNrtl running around, there are bound to be a few entries like that.


So. What's going on in my life? Not much. Right now the dorkiest thing I'm doing to registering a team for the Grifball League. "What the hell is Grifball?" you ask? Well, my friend, it is a "sport" "played" on the XBOX 360, in the online multiplayer portion of a game called Halo: Reach. It is 4 on 4, and, using only two melee weapons each, the teams try to carry a "Grifball" (which is also a bomb) to the other team's goal, whereupon it explodes, and the offending team scores a point. The grifball carrier can run faster and has more shields than the other players, but only has access to a melee weapon with much shorter range whilst s/he is carrying the ball. Players killed during the game suffer a time penalty, but then respawn back near their own goal. A matches are played best out of 5. Got it?

OK I'm gonna go. I've been cleaning the apartment all afternoon so that I could have a couple hours of guilt-free gaming. Time to begin. Later on!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

hello all! (and by "all" i mean no one)

Hi. I'm Jim. Nice to meet you.

I have no plans for this blog, but if you're reading this, I've posted a couple times now and am generally happy with whats going on so far. I'm gonna keep this to myself for a bit, and see how it goes. I'm not sure what I'll write about - I'm not a particularly interesting person - but it'll probably be a lot of general thoughts, movie/music stuff, and maybe a few rants.