A Slice of Fried Gold

Surviving Black Monday

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not the best day ever today, not by any means. I mean, come on. The Dow Jones dropped 777 points today, the Asian markets are going down as well, and all because the proposed economic bailout was rejected by the House. People are calling it Black Monday, and that it could be a precursor to another depression. What's my take on it?

Well, to be honest, I was never that into wallowing. Why go into it when everyone else is going to be sharing their opinion on it. I choose to sink my thoughts into something diverting. Something fun. Something...like Chuck.

Chuck (Zachary Levi) and John Casey (Adam Baldwin)

Chuck is the forgotten child of Josh Schwartz of the OC fame. Sure, it isn't a tawdry prime time soap like Gossip Girl or the OC, but it may be the single most entertaining hour on television on a week to week basis. People say last years broken season (due to the writer's strike) was one with no great rookie programs, but those people must have missed this show.

It's a strange premise that somehow feels very natural - Chuck (Zachary Levi) is a twenty something who is wasting his life away at a Best Buy style workplace until he gets an email containing an intelligence document called "the Intersect." The flash of images contained in this document is witnessed by Chuck and burned into his memory, and when the CIA and NSA (the creators of this Intersect) find out, they assign two agents to cover him as they try to redevelop the original.

On a week to week basis, Chuck and the two agents that cover him - John Casey (my boy Jayne - Firefly's Adam Baldwin) and Sarah Walker ( the unfathomably gorgeous Yvonne Strahovski) - get involved with ridiculous secret agent plots that are often action packed, intense, and always entertaining. Plus, there is the ongoing romance between Chuck and Sarah, Casey's continuous development of actual human emotions, the cast of characters and hijinks related to them at Chuck's day job, plus Chuck's roommates - his sister and her fiance (fiance's name = Captain Awesome - best. name. ever) - helping him figure out his life.

Really, it all works because Zachary Levi is such an engaging lead star. He pulls off the secret agent stuff with a mix of believable suaveness and goofy energy, comes across as he is hardly acting when he discusses video games and computers with coworkers, and pulls off the romance stuff as well. He seems like a guy everyone would want to hang out with, even if he is really dorky at times. I relate to parts of his character I'd say.

Plus, what other show could you possibly get the Thermals best song, Flight of the Conchords, Cake, and Phantom Planet played in one episode? I mean come on. That's musical gold right there.

When the times are dark and full of all kinds of questions, why go with something depressing or massively dramatic? You could go with Chuck and get a ray of sunshine injected straight into your brain. It's an hour of pure entertainment, and while it may not be the best show on television, I'd be hard pressed to find something that is more fun.

Oh yeah, and the fact that they somehow always find a way to put Yvonne Strahovski in her underwear every episode isn't so bad either.

The Weekend Edition

Another weekend down, and another great one in the books. This one was definitely spotlighted by big events on all three days of the weekend, and it was a great second to last weekend to my very good friend Kim. She moves next Monday to Portland but we're throwing a party for her next weekend and it's going to be legendary. No less, this weekend was great too (but perhaps not legendary). What'd I do?

  • Debate party! (Amy, Colver, Lorna, Jason, Hannah, and Jesse came over to watch McCain/Obama duke it out and eat Moose's Tooth pizza and drink their tasty brew as well)
  • Coffee with sister and niece (delicious and fun)
  • Taking my niece Emily off my sister's hands for 2.5 hours while she saw a movie (which was actually really fun - put my niece into slave labor bagging and boarding comics, had Benny's, watched the Spiderwick Chronicles)
  • Frisbee Golf for probably the last time for a while (I will miss you!)
  • Dinner out at Hannah's sister Kim's place
  • Drinks at the Avenue with Amy (weird night, but fun!)
  • Football Sunday (Amy made biscuits and gravy + orange chicken for Jason, Colver, and I!)
  • Sleeping ELEVEN HOURS on Sunday night

So yeah, this one was packed of great events, plus I somehow managed to fall asleep at 8:30 PM and not get up until 6:45 AM (with a bit of a wakeful period to transition to my bed) which was both very needed and ridiculously awesome. I was crazy tired, and it made me feel amazing.

The highlight of the weekend (which was full of them) was the dinner out at Hannah's sister's place. Josh and Kim were incredibly gracious hosts, making a delicious dinner with chicken and beef skewers with peanut sauce, a tasty salad, rice, amazing brownies and cookies, and a hummus/oil appetizer. Plus, they were incredibly cool, as Kim was really funny and Josh and I could go on and on about music for hours. Plus we all had a political conversation that was entertaining and covered all sides of the discussion without getting heated.

Definitely not a normal night for me, but it was awesome no less. Even if it was in the mythical land of "Palmer."

Also a highlight amidst the nights was the mid debate discussion amongst everyone there about how shocking it was that Lorna had never seen Star Wars. It was eerily reminiscent of the premiere of How I Met Your Mother and was incredibly entertaining, veering wildly off topic and somehow going full circle to bring us back to 30 more minutes of incredible dryness from McCain and "John...John...now that's simply not true"'s from Obama. Possibly the funniest section of an extremely entertaining debate experience.

Paul Newman dies at 83

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman

A few years back my mom got me to watch the Sting, telling me how it was an incredibly good movie and how great Paul Newman was in it. I was familiar with the guy, but didn't really think he was all that. I mean, I'd only seen him really in two movies (Nobody's Fool and the Hudsucker Proxy) and had only heard that he was this "legendary" actor.

After watching the Sting that all changed.

Over the next few years, I went on a bit of a Newman frenzy, watching and buying his classics - Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the Color of Money, the Hustler, the Verdict, and Cool Hand Luke number amongst my favorites (along with new found appreciation of his character in the Hudsucker Proxy). To say he became one of my favorites was an understatement. He became my de facto favorite actor. His classic rogue characters were filled with charm, personality, and a humanity that some actors couldn't comprehend let alone portray. His work with frequent acting partner Robert Redford, to this day, is the pinnacle of tandem acting.

Not only that, but he was a great man. He was one of the world's most unselfish philanthropists, giving away millions upon millions of dollars through his "Newman's Own" brand (all proceeds from that brand went to charity). One of the most impressive things about him was his dedication to his family, an unheard of trait for an actor. He married Joanne Woodward at the age of 33, and was still married to her at the time of his death this morning.

That's right. Cool Hand Luke is dead. Henry Gondorff is dead. Eddie Felson is dead. Butch Cassidy is dead.

Above all, Paul Newman is dead, and the world is that much worse off for it. Rest in peace.

Check out a great write up about his life by Alonso Duralde on MSNBC here.

Happy National Comic Book Day!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not to be confused with National Free Comic Book Day, today was National Comic Book Day! Hopefully everyone celebrated that in the customary manner (and by everyone I mean me and...me), which is going to the comic store and picking up your weekly books! Yay! That's what I did, and it was a hell of a week. Huge list of great titles, and everything I'd want from a week in comics. Perfect way to celebrate one of the best national holidays.

Slices of Fried Gold - 9/25/08

I didn't get a chance to do this over the last few days due to tiredness and being occupied with other things, but I wanted to make sure to toss out my two cents on some new releases and a wonderful and ignored favorite. These all come highly recommended from me.

Music: TV on the Radio - Dear Science,

I've never been the level of fan of TV on the Radio as some have. Perhaps it's because I haven't listened to them a lot before. Perhaps it's because they never really were my style until now. Whatever the reason, right now, I love this album. It's been universally praised, but I want to throw my opinion on the pile as well. This is one of the best albums of the year, and it's highly unlikely that it will drop out of my top 10.

It's experimental rock that somehow manages to be catchy, it's somehow on the cutting edge and mainstream. It's everything at the same time. This is a must have for music lovers I feel.

Music: Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty

This album is rather divisive from other opinions I've read, but I'm just an absolutely huge fan of this bands sound. My friend Erik told me he didn't really get why they're a big deal (or something of the sort) and I said I loved them because their music was "dangerous and sexy." I'm not really sure what exactly that means, but I think if you listen to either of their albums you'll understand.

While it may not be another Robbers and Cowards and most reviews may be right about some things ("Avalanche in B" is a pretty bad song for the Kids), it still features the awesome instrumentals and bluesy vocals I love the band for. Until that formula changes and they start singing bubblegum pop, I can't imagine not digging their releases.

Music: David Byrne and Brian Eno - Everything that Happens will Happen Today

This album doesn't get released until November 25th (two months from today) but that doesn't stop me from really digging it right now. I never would have checked it out if it weren't for advance reviews, but this album from the former frontman of the Talking Heads and the legendary producer is the best album ever to be released in the gospeltronica genre. Because...you know, there aren't any other entries.

But it's still a damn good album full of fantastic vocals, catchy tracks, and tons of soul baby. Who doesn't need a little of that in their life?

Comics: Criminal by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips

I've recommended this in here before, but it needs to be said again: Criminal is a criminally under read (heyoooooo!) comic from a legendary team - Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips of Sleeper fame - and it perfectly encapsulates the pulp genre into the sequential art medium.

Also known as, Brubaker spins some great yarns about down on their luck criminal types, the women that love them, and the men that don't exactly, with Phillips doing his standard, perfect for the genre pencils. This is completely and absolutely one of the best five books on the market, and it's first two arcs (and collection of three individual stories) are out in trade paperback form. Plus, it's two issues deep in a new arc about a counterfeiter that's in love with a gangster's girlfriend.

It's sexy and dangerous, sort of like a Cold War Kids album.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

So today is my Mom's birthday and I wanted to make sure I sent off a big happy birthday to her! She's one of the most important people in my life, along with my dad of course, because without them I couldn't be writing this blog. Because I wouldn't exist.

No less, my sisters and I are taking her and my dad out to dinner at Orso's tonight, and it's going to be grand and delicious. Can't wait!

Also, I made her a birthday mix, and if I do say so myself it's one of the better cd's I've made in recent memory - if not ever. Yay great mixes! It's below, make it yourself if you don't believe.

Mom bday mix
  1. the Stills - In the Beginning
  2. Death Cab for Cutie - Cath...
  3. TV on the Radio - Crying
  4. MGMT - Kids
  5. Hot Chip - Colours
  6. Pinback - Good to Sea
  7. Nada Surf - Concrete Bed
  8. Yo La Tengo - Black Flowers
  9. the Wrens - She Sends Kisses
  10. Rogue Wave - Salesman at the Day of the Parade
  11. Belle and Sebastian - Wrapped Up in Books
  12. Jens Lekman - Kanse Ar Jag Kar I Dig
  13. Ghostland Observatory - Sad Sad City
  14. Cut Copy - Hearts on Fire
  15. Mirah - Don't Die in Me (Nighttime in the Delta mix)
  16. the Boy Least Likely To - Be Gentle With Me
  17. David Byrne and Brian Eno - Life is Long
  18. Andrew Bird - Scythian Empires
  19. the Kings of Convenience - Know How

Erik and Katie got married!!! (Wedding Weekend Edition!)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

So my wonderful friends Erik and Katie tied the knot this past Saturday in Canby, Oregon (essentially on the outskirts of Portland) as the highlight of a whirlwind venture that took place from Thursday evening at 6 PM PST to Sunday evening 9 PM PST in the greater Portland area. What'd I do in those hours? Let's check it out!

  • Tried on tuxes with Erik and Sobo
  • Went out for a Bachelor Party to downtown Portland with Erik, Sobo, Colver, Brian, Todd, and Andy (what a freaking blast!)
  • Went to some rather tawdry places that will not be elaborated upon (here's a hint: tripsay lubscay)
  • Hot tubbing a plenty
  • Black Bear (aka Snow City Portland or Snow City - Man Styled) times 2 (home of the world's largest biscuits)
  • Wedding rehearsal
  • Dance party with Meeka in Todd's car
  • Rehearsal dinner with frisbee, delicious food, great foods, and tons of fun
  • Visiting John's Marketplace (aka Mecca for beer drinkers)
  • Going out on the town with Kim, Lorna, Colver, and Todd (and running into old Bosco's buddy Jared! nice!)
  • Brian and I screaming lyrics to every song on the way to the wedding - much to Todd's chagrin and Colver's eternal delight
  • Ho hum...the wedding
  • The reception! (dance parties, delicious food - stuffed portabello mushrooms, prime rib, cheesy potatoes, keg o' beer, hearing Cut Copy and Ghostland Observatory at a wedding, Meeka's speech, the first dance, the cake, everything)
  • Lazy football Sunday with Todd, Sobo, Sarah, and Kim

So yeah, it was an absolute blast. I always have a lot of fun hanging out with my full crew once again, and it was great hanging out with people I hadn't seen in a long time (Meeka and Kristin = awesome), plus there were a ton of things that will strangely last forever in my memory. The hilarity of the ZJ (if you don't know what it is, you can't afford it.). Mmmm bow bow (chick chick...chickitacah). Johanna and Roy Naylor cutting a rug to Ghostland Observatory's "Sad Sad City." Oh yeah, and getting to see how happy Erik and Katie both were because they just got married and because it was finally done and they could just get to having a great time.

Thanks so much for having me everyone in Portland, and thanks for trusting me to not screw up that speech Erik and Katie. I thank you so much for your trust and friendship!

Oh yeah, and thanks for the second dance Katie. I never thought I'd shake a leg to the Talking Heads, but you know what, the song was just calling me.

See pics below!

Brian, Todd, and I out at the bachelor party

Me, Colver, and Brian

Andy and Erik

Brian, Sobo, and I

The whole gang with me unaware of their presence

Sobo, Colver, me, Todd, Brian, and Erik at the rehearsal

The groomsmen and groom holding up the bride!

The family portrait

Full family portrait

Todd's our big baby apparently

The groomsmen and the groom

Us acting ridiculous for my camera and the bridesmaids

The whole crew plus the bride and groom's parents

Looking sharp guys!

Erik and Katie learning how to eat cake for the first time

"Don't stop...believin'!"

It's amazing Meeka could stand next to me wearing heels for the first time

Sobo and I towards the end of the night

Meeka, me, Katie, Erik, Colver, and Sobo

Lorna, Barbara, and Kim at the reception

"This shit just got real."

David Harper vol. 4: Gets It Together

Yeah yeah!

So every once in a while I go to something or experience something that makes me want to get my business in order. Most of the time it's an unnecessary need, but recently I've fallen in to a number of bad habits. For example, I'm eating much more and worse food than I did when I graduated from college, working out far less (those two facts combining to a hefty weight gain), letting my place be a mess all the time and not caring, staying at my place too much, getting back in my bubble (aka not leaving my little area in Anchorage), and really kind of becoming boring.

My head has been kind of muddled for the last while, and I'd gotten used to blaming other things, but I think I just need to refocus myself. So that's what I'm doing, starting with a massive cleaning of my place last night and working on readjusting my diet. We'll see how those two steps work and then I'll work on other things once those are completed.

Also, the things that motivated me all came on my vacation, where I got to see how my friends are doing down in Portland and where I got to find out that my pant measurements from July didn't fit my tux anymore. Stupid massive weight fluctuation. No less, that leads in to the fact you should expect to see a blog post tonight about Erik and Katie's wedding. It was glorious. There are many pictures to prove it, and you shall see them all later.

Peace Out Alaska!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Domestic violence aside, they're a great couple

I'm heading out of town for the next four days, so don't be expecting many updates at all. Hopefully not. That'd be a little sad if I updated on vacation. No less, going down to Portland for Erik and Katie's wedding (they're the kicking couple up above) and it should be a great time filled with nice weather, good fun, and the best of friends. Very excited! Hundreds of pics upon my return, I promise.

Creative License

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My boys Yorick and Ampersand

Sometimes when adapting something to film, liberties must be taken to make something work in the scope of the project. A great example of that happening are with the Harry Potter movies. They have managed to cut massive books into very entertaining films that capture the essence of the books very well. It is very possible to make these extremely pared down versions of the story work, and work well. It just takes a group of people who are passionate about the project and know what it takes to make it work.

With the film adaptation of comic series Y the Last Man, I thought we had someone who was really trying to make it work in DJ Caruso. He was saying all the right things in interviews, talking about how he was dealing directly with series writer/creator Brian K. Vaughan, how he was looking to make a trilogy so he can capture everything into the series, and how he is just a passionate fan of it. Even with his seemingly unflinching desire to have Shia LaBeouf star as Yorick Brown, I liked what I was hearing.

Until recently that is, when I read a couple interviews with him. In this article, Caruso talks about how he is going to separate Yorick and Ampersand (his pet capuchin monkey) early on to increase dramatic tension - both in the fact that the partnership is broken and in the fact that Yorick will become sick. Extremely frustrating.

Even more frustrating? In this interview, Caruso discusses removing the entire Beth "subplot." Beth subplot? You mean the entire driving force behind the series? You mean the entire reason why Yorick and his motley crew travel around the world? Subplot! Excuse me, but my faith in this project is all of a sudden extinct.

To top that off, word on the street (from people who have been to screenings for the film) about the new Harry Potter is saying that not only are we not going to get a funeral at the end of Half Blood Prince for one of the biggest characters in the story, but the entire structure of the finale has pretty much been altered to form an entirely new finale - and by that, I mean they might as well have erased the last 150 pages of the book and rewritten it. Because you know, that's what they did.

I understand having to make hard decisions to make the movie palatable to the average viewer (you know, the one who doesn't want to watch 4 hours of Harry Potter), but come on. There must be 300 pages of snogging in the sixth book. Can't we cut some of that? Can't we trim the fat elsewhere, as opposed to butchering the most important section of the book?

Creative license is a necessary evil in almost every adaptation. It just has to happen and with every beloved project that comes to fruition (because face it, Hollywood is out of original ideas), we face the possibility of the project falling into the wrong hands. Two personal favorites are looking hard at questionable futures, and it's disappointing. In my opinion, these stories worked so well the first time through, why can't they work well on the screen under the current alignments (especially Y, which is based in a visual medium)?

Perhaps that would just be too easy.

Slices of Fried Gold - 9/15/08

Monday, September 15, 2008

This week in Slices of Fried Gold we have a very music heavy group. That's okay though, as there is only a finite amount of time to do things and music has a tendency to overlap over nearly everything for me. No less, on with the show.

Music: The Walkmen - You & Me

The Walkmen have long been a very frustrating band to me. They always have had the potential to be a great band in my opinion, but their other albums have always been composed of great elements that never seem to jive together. It's like they could never bring everything together.

With You & Me though, they've seemingly developed the cohesion they were missing out on and made a truly great album. This is a hard one to not spin on repeat for me.

Music: Dr. Dog - Fate

Hannah and I were sitting at Barnes and Noble and I was looking through Paste Magazine when I saw this album. It was one of the bands to watch out for according to the magazine, and I pointed them out to her. She responded with "Oh, I just bought that!" I hadn't noticed her bag, but while we were separated for a few minutes, she went and purchased it.

Thankfully, she let me rip it and we've cofounded a new genre just for Dr. Dog - precious pop. This band creates a folky mix of 60's pop that's full of dreamy background vocals and the most fun sorrow you've ever heard. Stellar album from a band that I'd never heard of before a few weeks ago.

Music: The Stills - Oceans Will Rise

I'm a big fan of these Canadians, as I own their two previous albums (Without Feathers and Logic Will Break Your Heart) and quite like the both of them. Picked this up at the same time as the Walkmen, and initially I was blown away and liked it more than the Walkmen. With more listens, this album has been downgraded a bit (repeat spins have revealed it to be mood music, not any time music) but it's still a good one from a great band.

It may not have the standout tracks of Logic or the eclectica that filled out Feathers, but it is consistently good.

Comics: DC: The New Frontier by Darwyn Cooke

Two prefaces to this: I'd already seen the animated movie before reading this, and I'm as close as you can possibly get to being a Darwyn Cooke (the Spirit) fanboy.

With that said, it blows the movie and Cooke's other work out of the water. In fact, it has to be considered one of DC's seminal works about the DC Universe, right up there with Kingdom Come and the original Crisis. Cooke perfectly captures the feel of comics from yesteryear but infuses that with the modern day political and dark edges that were absent from 99.9% of the comics of that era. He nails every character, from stars like Batman and Hal Jordan, all the way to more unknown characters like the Challengers of the Unknown, Rick Flagg, and King Faraday.

Even better? His art, which is the perfect amalgam of Jack Kirby and Tim Sale. The guy is a ridiculously talented interior artist, and the fact that he can make his art look both modern and retro is incredible. A must own for DC fans.

Movies: The Iron Giant

I first saw this movie in theaters at Totem in Anchorage with my Mom and Dad, and strangely I think it was the only movie that all three of us outright loved. Sure, Dad wasn't a huge fan of the thinly veiled anti-gun angle the movie took, but it's such a good movie that it's hard not to love.

Last night, instead of putting in Toy Story like I planned, I looked over and saw a mini-documentary about Brad Bird and had to watch the Giant, as Bird directed that and to this day it maintains itself as one of my all time favorite animated movies (and movies overall). It's a very funny, sad, and beautiful to look at movie, and it features standout vocal parts by Harry Connick, Jr., Eli Marienthal, and even the man himself, Vin Diesel (as the titular hero).

It's one of the only movies that seriously gets me choked up. Gets me every time, cursed movie. Why do you have to be so good? God, I'm getting misty eyed just thinking about it.

If you haven't seen it, you owe it to yourself to check it out.

The Weekend Edition

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My last weekend before heading off to another friend's wedding (Erik and Katie's down in Portland next Saturday - woo!) was a good one, although one that ended up being slightly different than I expected. What went down this weekend?

  • Burn After Reading with my mom after work Friday (bizarre, but entertaining - JK Simmons and Brad Pitt rule)
  • Dinner at Bear Tooth with Hannah (plus rolling over to Barnes and Noble for some shopping)
  • McCain/Palin rally at the new Denai'na Civic and Convention Center downtown with Hannah
  • Breakfast at Snow City with Hannah and Amy
  • Finally getting Madden '09 and realizing I'm terrible at video games anymore
  • Dinner at Marx Bros. with Amy and Hannah (good, but not worth the price - atmosphere kind of sucks)
  • Going out with Hannah, Amy, Colver, Lorna, and Kim (shuffleboard rules!)
  • Football Sunday at Colver's (go Patriots! Matt Cassel is the man!)
  • Getting hooked on Pixar all over again while watching The Pixar Story

So yeah, it was a pretty happening weekend. I went out really for the first time in a month and a half. I've went out, but hadn't partied hard in a while. I immediately realized why I wasn't doing that for a while (the concept of paying tons of money to feel sick the next day is a very, very bizarre one), but it was still a great time and I had a lot of fun hanging out with my friends. Plus, going to a classy joint like the Buckaroo Club and playing darts and shuffleboard was a lot of fun.

No less, I'm going to cut this short and go watch Toy Story before bed. Haven't watched it in years and this documentary totally has me in a Pixar mood.

The Pursuit of Knowledge

One of my biggest pet peeves are people who claim to know things that they really don't. When people put on a front that indicates that they know far more than they actually do. It bugs the living crap out of me.

Strangely, I recently realized I do this. Not only do I do this, but I do this near constantly. It's almost a perpetual state of being for me - the representation of myself in a way that indicates I know a good amount, but really when you get down to it, I don't think I know that much. In a way, my addiction to trivia is the perfect example of this. Trivia really isn't anything besides very superficial knowledge, it's a collection of glossy facts taken from a far bigger picture.

So really, when you get down to it I know a lot about the trivia behind things. It allows me to talk about it (sometimes at great lengths) but doesn't exactly allow me to really get down to the details.

One of the topics I've come to realize I'm by far the most notorious with this on is when I'm talking about the political world. Because of this realization, I've decided I'm not going to talk about anything related to that until I get a far better grasp on it. Really get into the details and get in depth, particularly when it comes to the Presidential race.

This may come as no surprise to most of you, but I think quite often I like taking the less popular point of view simply because it provides me the opportunity to argue. I love debating, and taking the less popular angle always provides me with the opportunity.

So here I am at the beginning of a journey in the pursuit of knowledge. I'm calling it a restart to my knowledge base and really hope that at the end of it I can figure out which way I'll go on November 4th, and this time it will be based off serious facts and less off conjecture and my beloved trivia. We'll see where I go from there, but this seems like a good starting point in really developing my knowledge base.

McCain/Palin Rally in Anchorage

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah Palin and the First Dude (Todd Palin) signing autographs

With Sarah Palin being nominated for Vice President, she went from just the Governor of that giant state to the north to being the most famous person ever to come from Alaska. Quite often when posed with such an escalation in fame in such a short amount of time, people have a tendency to lose touch with who they are, what they stand for, and where they're from. Sarah Palin, as she proved Saturday morning at the Denai'na Civic and Convention Center, lives in direct opposition of that thought.

Sarah Palin speaking to her people

To a crowd that was a bit smaller than I'd imagined it would be (estimated number was around 1,500), Palin gave an at times riotous, thoughtful, and impassioned speech. But with this Palin really showed Alaskans that she'll stand tall for Alaska if the McCain/Palin ticket is elected to the office.

Palin: "Alaska, I'll be doing it for you."

Going in to the event, I was going mostly just because I'm a huge fan of events. I love local happenings, and the Republican Vice Presidential candidate stopping by for a speech was pretty much as big as it's going to get around these parts. I generally lean in the direction towards voting McCain/Palin just because of the economic policy supported by the duo, but I'm not fully in support of everything they have to offer (or even a majority). However, Palin showed us once again (as she had with her introduction and at the Republican National Convention) why she was the ideal person to pair with McCain - someone full of passion, spirit, and the conviction one looks for in a national leader.

The sweet setup at the Denai'na Convention Center

The thing that Palin did during this speech is reinforce the primary reason why I like her more than everyone else in this race - more than McCain, more than Obama, more than Biden. Palin really feels genuine. When she speaks, she really does not feel as if she's giving the company line, like she's just playing the role and like she is really just trying to do this for some sort of malicious plan to force her will upon the nation.

Whether she was speaking about the difference between snow machines and snow mobiles, about economic policy, or about her running mate, it all came out the same - real. I know I'm not going to agree with everything any candidate is going to say. I love a lot of what Obama says, I agree with quite a bit of what McCain comes out with, but when they say these ideas for the country it feels like a means to an end.

When Palin says it, it feels heartfelt. There is a sincerity there that other candidates lack. There is definitely something to be said about that.

Myself and Hannah on the Road to Victory

Quick notes for what I did and didn't like from the rally:

  • Palin coming out to Springsteen (even though he's a mega democrat and has stated that he'll just take all royalties and give them to Obama's campaign)
  • Playing Van Halen and AC/DC at the rally (Republican party strangely wins the music war, even if the Decemberists are BFF with Obama)
  • Even though I know she's very religious, starting the rally with a prayer felt a bit forced upon me (not to mention the prayer didn't exactly sing to me)
  • Chants of "Drill Baby, Drill" felt a bit disgusting to me - I believe in a healthy economy but that felt sickly capitalist of everyone
  • Palin: Hotter in person. Straight up.
  • The Wasilla High School band performing a rendition of the Offspring's "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" that featured the line - "Give it to me Palin, uh huh, uh huh (repeat)." Simultaneously the worst and best thing I've ever heard.
  • The DJ pair from KFAT who suggested we start an Obama chant (Give me an O! Give me a B! etc.) to see how long it would take for the crowd to catch on - awesome.

I can haz a bonghit?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A good example of a LOLcat

Recently I've made a couple posts about my opinion on the lack of emphasis on English and basic sentence structure today. Those posts are here and here. Anyways, so yeah, I'm a bit of a grammar nazi/word nerd. Guilty as charged, but that's just how I roll. Apparently though, this is a well known thing as Colver copied and pasted something out of a Reddit forum discussion on the legalization of Marijuana that tickled my fancy.

Most of you may be aware of LOLcat's and the barely functioning but highly entertaining form of the English language that is paired with it. Well, apparently a long running tradition in the hot debates that go on in Reddit is to interrupt the running dialogue with LOLcat sentences which obviously are going to bring down the quality of discussion.

However, traditionally there aren't LOLcat grammar nazi's on at the same time. Click on the image below to see what exactly that would look like. I'll give you a hint - it's funny. Thanks to Colver for actually sending this to me - it provided me with lots of entertainment.

Lazy Tuesday (now with links!)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I'm pretty sure they're trying to kill me at work. Okay, perhaps that's a tad on the dramatic side, but my responsibility levels are through the roof and I'm fairly certain that they think I'm some sort of marketing equivalent of Atlas. Between that and being physically beat from a lack of sleep and intense basketball after work with Colver, I don't have the energy to really think something out. There were a number of things I wanted to post about, but due to the lack of energy I'll do another smattering of mini-posts with links to satisfy my horrible, horrible addiction to blogging.

  • Think comics are just for nerds? You know who disagrees? Kobe Bryant. Read this awesome article about what his reading materials were for the trip to Beijing for the Olympics (100 Bullets and Preacher! Good call Kobe.) along with pics for proof. Thanks to blogger "To Infinity and Beyond?" for dropping that knowledge on me.
  • CERN lit up the world's largest particle collider - the Large Hadron Collider - in an attempt to discover how atoms are created (amongst other things, such as finding God's particle in the mess). Some skeptics suggest this could be catastrophic to the Earth if things go wrong, as a black hole could potentially open. Clearly scientists are too busy making particle colliders to watch sci-fi, as they haven't thought of the possibilities of zombie breakouts, monsters from other dimensions, or even big glowing fields sucking in all metal and people in the room.
  • Portugal. the Man's new album Censored Colors is streaming on their myspace page. In typical P.tM fashion, it's massively different than their other albums but is also really, really good. Congrats on being perpetually surprising and good guys. You represent Alaska well.
  • Suck it Kindle! A company called Plastic Logic is working on an e-reader similar to Amazon's Kindle that is 8.5 by 11 (like a standard piece of paper), light weight, flexible, loaded with wi-fi, adobe/office compatibility, and has a battery that lasts days. It pretty much rules, and is looking at release some time in the first half of 2009.
  • Proving people really can waste time and money on anything, a group at the Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, England did a study of 36,000 people to figure out if musical tastes have any relation to personality types. Their findings? People who listen to indie rock are creative, but are lazy, unkind, not generous, and have low self esteem. I disagree.
  • Michael Caine claims that Johnny Depp is playing the Riddler and Philip Seymour Hoffman is playing the Penguin in the next Batman movie. I'd love to know how he knows this when Christopher Nolan has yet to start writing a script. Not a huge fan of Depp in that role - it's a pinch obvious and Depp would be more distracting than anything.
  • Preacher was sent packing by HBO, as they claimed it "was just too dark and too violent and too controversial." To this I reply with, did they even read the series before optioning it? It's about a reverend powered by the word of god on a road trip with his hitman ex-girlfriend and a vampire to get God to atone for his sins. Yeah. They had to think that was going to be a family show.
  • When did James Marsden become so funny? Check out the red band trailer for this new teen comedy Sex Drive to see Marsden really max out on the ridiculousness meter, plus a surprisingly entertaining looking teen comedy surrounding it.

Slices of Fried Gold - 9/8/08

Monday, September 8, 2008

So I'm looking to start some new blogging traditions. I started some a while back (lists on Mondays, reviews of new albums on Tuesdays, reviews of new comics on Wednesdays, plus the Weekend Edition) but now I think I'm going to get back on it. I'm going to start up a recommendation segment on Mondays, and I'm going to call it "Slices of Fried Gold." Get it? Like my blog title? God. I'm good.

No less, I'll recommend three to five things (or more if I'm feeling saucy) that I've been enjoying quite a bit lately in the world each week. Here we go!

Music: Cut Copy - In Ghost Colours

I went from not having listened to this band a month and a half ago to blaring this album over and over to the number of 221 listens in that period of time. I'm quite the fan. I've pretty much been digging anything electro pop lately, and this is about as good as it gets when it comes to that tasty little genre.

Incredibly dance-y, remarkably easy to sing along to, and just a blast of an album.

This is a definite contender for 2008 album of the year for me.


Comics: 100 Bullets by Brian Azzarello and Eduardo Risso

I picked up the first trade for this last year, read it, liked it a good amount and asked for more for Christmas. My wish was granted, as I received four more trades. Awesome right? Yeah, except I didn't read them until recently. Now I can't get enough, as this brilliantly intertwined crime opera by Azzarello and Risso is an incredible study of morals, the interconnectedness of life, and the human condition.

Plus, there are all kinds of cool gangsters, shady organizations that control the United States, secret agent types that are the ultimate badasses, and so much noir goodness that James Ellroy looks at this book in awe.

One of the best books on the market today and another reason why Vertigo is the greatest publisher out there.


TV: Entourage season 5

After seasons 3 and 4, I was ready to let this show go. With Medellin, Walsh, and pretty much everything else growing tiresome, I didn't have much patience left. Early reviews were out as well, and it sounded like more of the same. I went into the premiere with much trepidation and was ready to pull the plug at any time.

Surprisingly, I loved it. It's like they remembered what made this show awesome, and then focused on putting that formula back in place. Welcome back guys.


Online show: Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog

I waited with much anticipation at midnight as Joss Whedon released the first episode of this online show a while back, enjoyed it, then promptly forgot about it for quite some time. Tonight, I loaded it all up on my 360 and watched it - and it was fantastic. Funny, surprisingly touching, and full of strangely great music. Plus, a cast featuring my boys NPH (Neil Patrick Harris for the uninitiated) and Nathan Fillion? How can you go wrong with that?

If interested in watching, make sure to click the link because it takes you to the whole series on Hulu. Gotta love the Hulu.

The Weekend Edition

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Another very good weekend in the books and another that was super diverse and full of events that were slightly out of the norm. Okay, maybe not so out of the ordinary, but I had a great time with some classic Anchorage events and managed to experience some serious culture while I was at it - and I got to hang out with all kinds of great friends! Here's the breakdown:

  • Early dinner/drinks with Amy, Hannah, and Joanna at Crush (plus we met a new friend!)
  • First Friday exhibits with Amy, Hannah, and Joanna in downtown Anchorage
  • Late dinner/drinks with Arianna, Amy, Hannah, and Joanna at Orso's
  • Catching the bank job at my place super late with Hannah and Joanna (I'm beginning to think I did a lot on Friday!)
  • ESPN Gameplan going off without any problems at all!
  • Kim and I catching Kung Fu Panda at Bear Tooth (awesome again!)
  • Falling in love with 100 Bullets
  • Lunch and coffee with Kim at Middle Way Cafe
  • Going to the opening ceremony thingamajig for Freeze (a big local art event Amy and Cate's agency is doing work for) with Kim, Amy, Cate, Darren, and Eric
  • Drinks and appetizers at Bernie's with Kim and Elisa (and Amy for a bit)
  • Football all day long with Jason and Amy

It comes out as a lot more when I type it all out. All three days were great fun. First Friday was full of great artwork, tasty drinks and even tastier food. The Freeze event was pretty cool and it's always good to support events that promote culture in the Great White North. Football coming back was obviously the highlight of the weekend (even with my boy Tom Brady going down...*cry*) as Jason, Amy and I snacked on delicious food all day while being rather ridiculous as per usual (highlights: bacon and eggs, tons of coffee, tasty sammiches, getting suckered into Bud Light Lime and Volcano Tacos, Hole in the Wall, our commentary show, five yard punts, Peyton Manning's audibles, the Panthers' come back, etc.).

So yeah, it was a good time. See below for some pics from the weekend, including the comparison of Amy and I wearing Sarah Palin masks and a group shot from Freeze. Good times to be had for one and all once again!

Amy (left) and me (right) wearing Sarah Palin masks from Bernie's

(l to r) Me, Kim, Eric, Cate, and Darren at the Freeze event at the Museum

Black Sunday

Tom Brady being helped off the field by trainers

Today was supposed to be a glorious day. First full day of the NFL season, my favorite of times, and my team the New England Patriots were kicking off the season with a layup of a game against one of the worst teams in the NFL - the Kansas City Chiefs.

All of that changed on one play, as beloved hero and team leader Tom Brady went down with an as yet undetermined knee injury. He ended up walking off with help after a few minutes, but the buzz is saying it's likely an ACL tear and that Brady will be done for the season. Even with the running game looking great and Matt Cassel playing efficiently, the Pats barely beat the Chiefs. Patriots Nation awaits the news from the MRI tomorrow dreading what it could bring. Odds are he's going to miss games one way or the other, I'm just hoping it isn't a season long injury or, god forbid, career ending.

Obviously the latter is very unlikely, but you never know with these types of things.

Just an absolutely terrible day for Pats fans around the nation, and it's never been far from my mind all day. I still think we're a playoff team without him, but the thought of starting Cassel, Chris Simms, Tim Rattay, or whoever they coerce to come over for a tryout (Daunte Culpepper?) instead of number twelve is just a thought I really can't even stand to think about. If any team can recover from that, it's the Pats. I just don't want to be forced into doing that.

Be okay Tom!

I'm not with them.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Sometimes I'm absolutely shocked that I belong to the same species as other human beings. Especially when they are in the same age group as me, but really overall, I just feel like I'm some sort of anomaly amongst people in general. This really comes up during election times, as I am decidedly in the middle while seemingly every other person I know is extreme in one direction or the other. It's not just that they are liberal or conservative, it's with that comes the resolute, single mindedness that makes politics a field I'm not remotely interested in.

The amazing thing I find is that you have two different sides who honestly believe that this one candidate will lead us to a glorious future while the other will lead us to ruin. There are no other options. That is simply the way it is. Of course both sides believe this, which means in all likelihood both are right and both are wrong to a certain degree.

That doesn't stop them from accepting no alternatives, from belittling candidates for things that they honestly probably don't understand, from saying "candidate A is clearly a liar, but candidate B has the best interest out for the American people." In my opinion, both candidates are liars. It's their nature, and they will say whatever it requires to be elected.

Sadly at this point, the key is finding which candidate fits your ideals the most and then choosing from there. There is no such thing as the perfect candidate (or in my opinion, a good candidate) so your best alternative is choosing the lesser of two evils. Whoever that is happens to be your best fit, but acting like Obama is the second coming of Christ himself or that McCain is the cure to all of our ills is going to be received with a shake of the head and a scrunched face from me.

Also, seriously people, destroying public property and causing riots at the Republican National Convention to show how you feel about the poltical system and war? Is that really necessary? I've been reading people defending those characters in Minneapolis by stating the Constitution allows for people to assemble. Yes it does, but if that coincides with the assembled groups breaking very logical and understandable laws (such as throwing bricks through businesses' windows and forming human chains on off ramps to block traffic) then you're going to get some tear gas thrown at you. Deservedly. Don't drop any "don't tase me bro" lines either, because you've earned it in this case.

I guess the point of all of this is for the first time in my 24 years of existence I want to vote, but the more I get involved with the whole process the more sickened I get. The more I feel disconnected from my age group and everyone around me as a whole. Maybe that's why young people are considered so apathetic when it comes to politics. All I know is every day closer to November 4th is just adding legitimacy to my joke of "I'm voting for Belichick/Brady '08." Better the devil you know, I say.

Are you ready for some football?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Tom Brady doing what he does best: throwing touchdowns


You feel that?

That little bit of electricity in the air can only mean one thing.

It's time for football!

Starting tomorrow with the Washington Redskins versus the New York Giants, we have four months straight of the greatest sport in all the land, and I couldn't be happier. It's like having one of my best friends back, except one that can only hang out every once in a while (sort of like my friend Brian, except way more intense). Due to Alaska being ridiculously far to the west, the game is starting here at 3 PM but you better believe I'll be there for kickoff.

Here's hoping my boys can finish the year right and go 19-0 this time. None of that messing around with 18 and 1 business, although as long as that one loss does not come in the Super Bowl again I suppose I'll be fine. Excuse me though, I have to go knock on some wood, rub my Wes Welker jersey, and say about forty two different prayers to make sure I didn't jinx the Pats.