Monday, September 24, 2012

Going, Going, Gone.

  • Daniel didn't submit enough candy reviews
  • Abel refused to share his delicious pastry recipes/secrets
  • David took 6,420,080 pictures using a fish eye lens
  • I'm getting married and wishing that my mom still paid for internet, groceries, and rent 
  • I'm also lazy
  • You all have Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to keep busy

R.I.P. I.E.C. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Apartment Life: Have A Seat

Yes, that's a chair sitting a top the trash heap behind our complex.

It makes sense that sharing an apartment building with a hundred other people would lead to something like this, but you never get used to it. Every week the garbage piles high above the dumpster brim as a lovely inviting odor floats around the parking structure.

I can't wait to see what's on top next week.

SPOILER: The Dark Knight Rises Ending

SPOILER ALERT!: Stop reading and looking at this post and move on right now if you have not seen The Dark Knight Rises. I take zero responsibility if you have not moved on to something else by now. Last chance.

Now, for those of you that have already seen it...

I can't be the only one who thought of this for at least a second during the final minutes of The Dark Knight Rises:

I know, the final minutes are intense and incredibly emotional but I'd be lying if I told you my mind didn't wander to the vision of that poster for a moment. 

Dodgers Trade For Hanley Ramirez

Dodgers recently acquired Hanley Ramirez from the Marlins. Let's get to know him:

  • According to, his top 5 favorite actors are (in this order) Denzel Washington, Adam Sandler, Al Pacino, Damon Wayans, and Samuel L. Jackson.
  • His favorite recording artist is Don Omar. Don Omar's most watched video on YouTube is for a song called Danza Kuduro. They're on a boat.
  • His hometown of Samana in the Domican Republic is known as the epicenter for whale-watching tours.
  • His likeness was used for a bobblehead in a Coca-Cola uniform.
  • He offered chewing tobacco to a New Zealand cricket player and warned him not to swallow it.
  • He dyed his hair orange in March but shhh, don't tell nobody:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Special Guest Blogger: Everyone's Favorite Star From 21 JumpStreet, Richard Grieco

Attention fellow bloggerinos, Booker is now on the loose! I know millions of you have been wondering what the ol' grieconator has been up to for the past 20 something years, well fear not my devoted followers, the original g-unit is here to give you the 411!

First of all the griec-dogg is in talks to get the movie studio to release "If Looks Could Kill" on Blu-Ray so be on the look out!

Okay so there is a minor setback to the whole blu-ray thing, it seems as though nobody at the studio knows who I am.

I've been in heated talks with FOX to do a remake of the TV smash "Booker" trying to get them into having it star me, seeing as how after all these years I'm still not allowed on the premises, it's prob about an 80/20 chance its a go.

Been on a mission to get Michael Bay to put me in the next "Transformers" movie as Shia's big bro, things are looking good, every time I run after, I mean into him he gives me a dollar and tells me not to waste it on booze, what a kidder.

Gonna be at the Laker season opener in a couple of months, yours truly got a job moping the wet spots on the floor, Kobe holla at cha boy!

I'll tell you what, that McDonalds dollar menu is a real godsend, a man can only eat so much top ramen.

If anyone sees that fat Deluise kid, tell him im still waiting on those 5 bucks I loaned him in '89.

That pretty much wraps it up for the Griecski and my guest bloggentary, in closing id just like to say, Hey Johnny pick up!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Funemployment Corner: Comic Con 2012

Another San Diego Comic con has come and gone. For those who have never been or refuse to go on Google, Comic-con is a week on the scenic shores of San Diego where over 200,000 nerds from all walks of life gather without fear of persecution or swirlies. The last eight years of the show have seen a 15% yearly growth of attendees and an influx of movie studios, TV networks and other things trying to get a piece of the mass media spotlight. Some years, these seemingly outside forces can take away from the celebration of the art that is comic books, but I found a lot to be excited over this year. So IEC is going to run down the top 5 announcements from comic con, after these 3 tips for anyone who remains on the fence about attending comic-con in the future.

 1. Just go, I know it goes against what I said before, but honestly the crowds will never get smaller and everyone should do it at least once.

2. It can actually be inexpensive. The amount of free stuff given at the con to fill the giveaway bag that can hold toddlers and medium sized animals is enough to make you look like you spent a small fortune. If you have a knack for preplanning you can even eat and drink for free at the various parties around the convention area. We had a blast hanging out with LA Times Hero Complex and crew.

3. Tickets too expensive? Volunteer. Honestly, you can save yourself about $200 on the ticket price by donating 2.5 hours of your comic con day to the show and if you do this right all the free giveaways come to you. (Check site for more details)

Now on to the top 5 announcements from Comic-con 2012

5. Legendary Pictures makes bid to be #1 comic publisher: The studio behind movies like The Dark Knight threw a boulder in the comic book pond by teaming up with A-List talent like J.Michael Strazinsky, Mark Waid and Superman Earth One artist Shane Davis. Waid and Davis pair up to do a book called Shadow Walk, about a group of special-ops soldiers -- armed with the skull of John the Baptist and a piece of the True Cross -- searching for the real-life "shadow of death."

 4. Quienten Tarantino comes to DC Comics: Only comic legend Jim Lee has the clout to interrupt his own company's panel to bring the audience a special announcement that just couldn't wait. He introduced acclaimed film director Quienten Tarantino who took the stage, jittery mannerisms and all, to announce his new movie Django Unchained, would also be a comic book to be published by DC.

3. Marvel 2nd wave of movies: Riding off the comet dust of Avengers, Marvel packed hall H on saturday and gave the 3 year movie plan that will hopefully lead to Avengers 2 Electric Boogaloo. Though Warner Bros got people talking with the Man of Steel presentation, it just couldn't compare with the announcement of Captain America "The Winter Solider". (Typing that last sentence made me drool) Edgar Wright showing his Ant-Man test reel was just Boba in the tea. Also my favorite con moment happened here when Robert Downey Jr danced through the crowd as only Chaplin could.

2. Neil Gaiman returns to Sandman: With the upcoming 25th anniversary of the character coming up, it seemed like a no brainer that one of literature's most prolific writers gives the fans that one last story he always wanted to tell. When this news came out I'm sure goth kids around the world and Robert Smith of the Cure peed their pants. If you've never read Sandman, please stop cheating yourself and get it. Sandman is a great tale about what Death really thinks of us and is one of those books that comes off your shelf again and again when you're looking for entertainment.

 1.More Happy and the announcement of Oliver: Friday 24hrs before his big announcement, I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down with Darick Robertson to talk about his up coming book Happy from Image Comics. I was also treated to a tidbit of information about his friendship with Gary Whitta, writer of the film Book of Eli, in which he told me the two are now in production on a book they've been working on for the last nine years. Oliver, is a post apocalyptic steam punk styled take on the classic Oliver Twist. As Darick flipped through page after page for me on his iPhone, I couldn't help but realize this wasn't just another comic book, instead I was looking at a world being created like Halo or Lord of the Rings. Why is this number 1 in my view? Because I was already going to the Marvel movies and Gaiman's return to Sandman is awesome but not unexpected, the news of Oliver was the curve ball that struck me out looking.

There you have it now enjoy some Robert Downey Jr video and pictures

Apartment Life: Jeri Wilburn Don't Live Here No More

It feels good to live on your own. This July marks our one year anniversary of living Han Solo and the thing I'm most proud of is that we landed the place without needing the help of a friend or family member. We scoured newspapers, checked online, and asked around vaguely until the PennySaver led us to our utopia. We put in work, checked out a bunch of dumps, drove through a few cities, and after about a two month process it all paid off.

There's a whole lot of advantages to living here. We both work within five miles of where we live so for an entire year we've saved loads of money on gas. A lot of favorite restaurants are closer and we get our own parking spaces that are safely locked up in the back. There's a pool here that we never use and a post office, grocery store, community college, and freeway entrance all within a few blocks.

But what kind of American would I be if I didn't use this blog to complain about all of the little things that continue to upset, confuse, and frustrate us on a daily basis? In this "Apartment Life" series, I'll shed light on what you should expect to annoy you when leaving the nest. This week our topic is mail.

Mail. Expect to receive someone else's mail from the day you move in until the day you move out. The first week we got here I went to the post office to try and prevent getting mail addressed to the Wilburn family. Filled out the right forms and asked all the right questions to make sure I don't get invitations to the next African-American AARP meeting in Long Beach. But here we are, a year later, and I got my second subscription notice for Essence magazine. I appreciate the fact that they're trying to save me $53.82 but enough is enough.

The simple act of taking mail that's not yours and throwing it away becomes tedious in no time. Most, if not all of my mail is sent to my new address because I did the right thing and changed it the official way. The process is painless. I'm sending this request out ATTN to Jeri Wilburn and the Wilburn family: change your address and save the rain forest.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fluffy Towel Smell?

I didn't know fluffy towels had a smell until the Yankee Candle company told me so.  -Mobile Blogging live from JCPenny.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Great Tamale Incident

The Dodgers committed five errors today. Speaking of errors, here's something I just learned about and it should be able to distract you from today's embarrassing loss:

From SAN ANTONIO — It was called the "Great Tamales Incident" because President Gerald Ford committed a no-no by picking up a plate of tamales during an April 1976 visit to the Alamo and started to bite into one still shuck-wrapped. Then-Mayor Lila Cockrell, who was at the brief tour of the Alamo, said most people gulped when they saw Ford eating one of the tamales with the husk. "I think he just picked up the plate because if someone had given him the plate, the tamales would not have had the shucks," Cockrell said. "The president didn't know any better. It was obvious he didn't get a briefing on the eating of tamales."

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Only Comic-Con Update That Matters

From The former California governor said during Lionsgate‘s panel for the action pic The Expendables 2 today at Comic-Con that he will make a sequel to the 1988 movie Twins in which he co-starred with Danny DeVito. He is reteaming with that movie’s original director Ivan Reitman too, Schwarzenegger said, the project is in development and they are looking for a writer.

Here's the direct link in case you think I made this up.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Live Mega Doppler 7000 Reports 80% Chance Of Complaining

Recap of Friday, July 13th, 2012:

  • I spent 9 hours at work today. Six of those nine hours were spent entertaining comments and complaints from window shoppers who took advantage of our free air conditioning and explained that it was hot and humid.
  • I ate America's Best Tri-Tip Sandwich at Wood Ranch today and yes, it is the best tri-tip sandwich in America.
  • I found this video online entitled "Oy It's So Humid" by 2 Live Jews: .
  • I caught up on everything Dee Gordon related: his twitter feed, his Facebook page, and his injury status ("Hey #DodgerFam just want to let you all know my surgery went great and I'm hoping for a speedy recovery!!"). He will be out 6 weeks.
  • I learned that this year's 2012 MLB All-Star Game received the lowest ratings of all time.
  • I smelled a whole lot of marijuana smoke while driving down my street (It's Friday!).
  • I chose the picture below to end this recap:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Forever Singing Bill Nye's Theme Song

This is asking a lot, but if you have fifteen minutes to spare you should watch this video by Michael Shermer, a contributor to I saw it a few years ago and revisited it recently after watching a ton of Syfy's Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files episodes with the Mrs.

Best Sleeper Hit Video On The Internet?

Don't judge me.

I'd like to prepare all of you for the possibility of more frequent updates. They'll match the short attention span themes (picture, video, paragraph) you've come to love about Internets in 2012. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Shot through the heart and you're to blame, I give blogs a bad name

The last time I was here the best buy CEO thought it was a good idea to fuck secretaries and use company money on viagra, lube and ball gags, while the best buy founder thought it was an even better idea not to tell anyone. Yet somehow the geniuses steering the best buy ship better known as the dicktanic, decided it was an even better idea to pay millions of dollars to part ways with someone who was already out the door. That's like being thrown out of someone's house for fucking the babysitter and then when you're halfway down the street, the owner of the house gives you 1000 dollars and tells you they never want to see you again. 

Now that Ive gotten that out of the way on to more pressing issues, mainly everything besides work.

-First off, it was absolutely amazing to have the kings win the stanley cup, for me though, I don't think anything is going to top the 88 dodgers, although the XFL's L.A. xtreme came close.

-The Miami heat won an NBA title, I guess dreams really don't come true.

-Carl's jr gave out free burgers to anyone who dressed like spiderman on July 4th, coincidentally I was giving out free facials to ladies who dressed up as catholic school girls on that day as well.

-I know I told Mike I would do a weekly thing on here based on baseball cards, but after further consideration I realized that was way too much work on my end for this blog, sorry Mike.

-Miller lite created a beer can that allows you to puncture the top for a better pour? increase the beer to air ratio in the can? I think miller's top priority should be to create a beer that doesn't taste like miller lite.

-My attempt to update the blog and bring back the funny is like Matt Kemp at the HR derby, straight weak sauce son! I'll do better next time


FFZ - Freelancer Fun Zone

Let’s start with a new thing. The name of this column is on longer Unemployment Fun Zone. We have now made the switch to Freelancer Fun Zone. Now all our events will be 15% less fun, however you will still get the best in free and cheap entertainment southern California has to offer. Including at the end of this column, five ways to get into E3.

After a one-year hiatus, yours truly was back in the saddle last week hobnobbing with celebrities and getting pushed around by foreign media just like it always was. E3 itself felt like a rebuilding year for the New York Yankees, there is still some talent there but nowhere near World Series level, in fact it seems as though 2012 will be a stale year for gaming.

For the remainder of 2012, Playstation and Xbox will most likely be relying on Black Ops 2 for driving sales, while Nintendo Wii U will try to capture the magic the Wii had at launch. Yes there is a Halo on the way but in all honesty it doesn’t feel fresh just updated.

Look ahead at 2013, Gears of War and Bioshock both have new games, Playstation will try to copy Nintendo’s Smash Bros with Playstation All Stars Battle Royal.

Only three games at the entire show caught my attention, Ubisoft’s Watch Dog looks bold. Finally, a game where machines talk to me and I can talk right back, seems as if it was right out of a science fiction story.  Though not being a fighting game fan, Injustice from the makers of Mortal Kombat caught me like a Liu Kang fireball.  The game has an instant appeal to comic fans, during the demo I caught a glimpse of Superman tossing Flash into the atmosphere and spiking him back down to the pavement. Injustice definitely earns a penned in spot on my want list. Best of show went to Naughty Dog studio’s The Last Of Us. A post apocalyptic thrill ride combining intense action with very good character driven story telling = innovation.

Ok now that the show is over you might be asking, how do I get into one of these industry only shows?
There are many different ways to get in that won’t get you arrested or ripped off by craigslist:

1)   Work for the industry in any capacity, while retail attendees are being denied there are still hundreds of positions that qualify, even career college students can go.
2)   Xbox live has contest for guest passes to the show, see Xbox live for details next year
3)   Most of the people at the booths do not work for the companies directly. Models, brand ambassadors, and people willing to dress up in costumes are hired weeks before the show every year, check casting sites and craigslist.
4)   Start a media channel in a blog and you tube, there were so many media badges with names I’ve never heard of it made me nauseous. One group of foreigners was filming an interview with an Iphone.
5)   Goes with number 1, freelance in any capacity for the companies and make friends. These companies have hundreds of guest passes for people they work with throughout the year.
There it is E32012 in five minutes. Next year, I’ll be getting an additional twenty people into the show be sure to tune into the blog for details. 
- David

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Sweet Sassy Molassy

We live in an age where everything on the Internet is abbreviated. There are memes, blogs, tumblrs, tweets, instagrams, e-cards, and graphs. In an effort to make your attention span shorter than my own I present to you (click to expand):

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Avengers: Early Review Exclusive

And then there came a day unlike any other, when Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor would be on screen together. While it’s every fanboy’s dream, the harsh reality is that more often than not this can go very wrong, however every once in a great while a movie comes along and becomes the blueprint of what a blockbuster movie should be.

Let’s save the suspense, this was gigantic scale action on steroids. Avengers is every awesome two page spread you've ever seen in comics come to life. I’ll try to keep out major spoilers but in order to fully explain a film with so many volatile elements something has to give. The movie picks up where Thor and Captain America left off; S.H.I.E.LD has the cube and is trying to turn it into a weapon. Loki’s reappearance and attack cause it to fall in the wrong hands, we also loose Hawkeye for a bit but fear not. Nick Fury has to rally his troops, but each is less than thrilled to be working for S.H.I.E.L.D.

We get one awesome fight after another, Cap/Ironman vs Loki, Ironman vs Thor, Captain America vs Thor, Black Widow vs Hulk, Hulk vs Thor, Thor vs Loki, Hulk vs Loki. The battle against Loki’s army is the best mega battle scene since Two Towers or Braveheart, it clocks in at a little over 30 minutes alone.

My concern was Mark Ruffalo as Hulk/Bruce Banner, while he plays the role to hold his own on screen, one could not help but wonder what an Edward Norton Hulk would have been like in this film.

Also certain parts of the movie require you to have at least watched Thor and Captain America, but if you haven't it really won't take away from your enjoyment of this film.

There were only two things Avengers did which were not wrong, just a bit odd. First there was never an “Avengers Assemble!” battle cry (hope this is the scene that was filmed the night of the premiere). Second the death of one of the characters seemed like just a plot moving device and I really liked that character.

No doubt you were going to see this movie regardless of what my opinion would have been. All my intent here is to get you to brave the crowd on opening weekend and see this movie on day 1, it’s just that good.

Note: at the time only the Thanos mid credits scene (possibility of a sequel based on the Infinity Gauntlet story) was shown, there is word another post credits scene will be included in the May 4th release.

5 out of 5 Thank you Joss!!

- David N.

Wondercon and IEC giveaway

[Editor's Note: I haven't updated in a while, eat me. Also, enjoy this post and the next from David.]

Last weekend Wondercon in Anahiem did not attract Albert Puljos but it did attract these two and was awesome none the less. Here's just a few shots:

St. Patty's Day was not ignored by the cosplayers

Best Joker Ever

The rock was not here promoting G.I Joe

Super professional and one of my favorite writers Brian Buccellato

I had no expectations for this show but ended up loving it. If you're intimidated by the hustle and bustle of Sandiego check out Wondercon, a lot of fun with half the hassle. This was also a reminder of what the purpose of comics is, to pass on these awesome stories. In keeping with this tradition we're giving away this handful of #1's given by DC comics. This giveaway includes signed copies of Captain Atom by J.T Krul and Savage Hawkman and Demon Knights signed by Tony Daniel.

All you have to do is caption this pic in the comments section below by April 20th, 2012, the best one selected by the editor will win the prize. Have fun!

- David N.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Walt Disney Presents: This Review of Walt Disney's The Secret World of Arrietty Inside Walt Disney's El Capitan Theater

I've driven to Hollywood, through Hollywood at least a hundred times since getting my license ten years ago but it wasn't until this past Monday that I finally saw a movie inside of the famous El Capitan Theatre. The building has loads of history as a California landmark and draws you in with it's vintage facade. Aside from open-mouthed gasping at all the antiques and chocolate malts from the Disney Soda Fountain next door my favorite part about the whole nostalgic experience was the music played by the on-site organist. It reminded me of getting to Dodger Stadium early to listen to Nancy Bea play ragtime as I watched Nomar Garciaparra stretch near third base. You should know though that I enjoy organ music so much that: a.) I bought Nancy Bea's CD (now out of print?) from the Dodger Stadium top deck store, b.) listened to my dad's Organ Music Vinyl LP about thirty times as a kid, c.) downloaded the song The Happy Organ by Dave Baby Cortez because I heard a clip of it from an infomercial, and d.) love this song way too much.

The El Capitan is owned and operated by Disney so obviously everything is Disney related. The previews are all for Disney movies, the snacks are Disney themed, and the guy working the concessions was none other than Shaun Weiss, the fat kid from 1992's Mighty Ducks. Just before the movie begins the curtains raise and you get to watch as five different LiteBrite sprinkled backdrops reveal the projection screen.

We went on a Monday afternoon to watch The Secret World of Arrietty, an animated film from Japan based on the book The Borrowers. There were maybe ten people in the theater making that one of the few perks of working retail and having weekdays off. The plot is simple: Arrietty and her family are little people that live inside the walls of a house and borrow things to stay alive. Arrietty is spotted borrowing by a normal sized human boy named Shawn and since "beings" pose a threat to all little people, Arrietty and her family have to move.

Amy Poehler, Will Arnett, and Carol Burnett highlight the voice-over dubs on the American version. I am not a fan of English dubbing over Japanese animation. It annoys me when the speech is out of sync with how the mouths on the character are moving. This alone keeps me away from staying open-minded about most Anime shown in the United States. I'll read a million subtitles before I accept this tradition.

Arrietty's story is familiar but the animation is not. Again, I'm not an authority on Anime or Studio Ghibli films but the way they illustrate wide landscapes and action scenes made me feel like I had 3D glasses on. I've seen so much Pixar that I forgot how good something non-CGI can look. There's a short scene where Arrietty's father drops a rock to propel her upward that left me wondering how many weeks that took to animate. The following piece where Arrietty gets her first glimpse of the kitchen is simply amazing. Every landscape is met with great detail and color.

Ultimately, the film is for children. The writing is simple and it won't keep you as invested as most feature Disney animated films, but any adult who remembers watching The Littles on mid-Sunday afternoons will love looking at this and following Arrietty on her journey towards becoming a real borrower.


- Mike O.

When Much is Expected...

Recently I had the privilege of being invited to see the first project from the recently formed Manley productions. To Whom Much is Given is a documentary film, which chronicles eight weeks in the lives of a handful of troubled inner city students at New West Academy, a non-public school in south central Los Angeles which focuses on growing needs of special education.

Directed by up and coming filmmaker Cory Lutz, To Whom Much is Given takes the road of turning this feature in to an outlet for the kids being showcased such as former gang member Roderick. The decision to go this route doesn’t hurt the enjoyment of the film, but at times does tend to leave you with questions on other interesting subject matter in the film. New West Academy’s founder Dr. Andrew Manley is seen throughout the documentary but the audience is only given bits and pieces of his story. Watching Dr. Manley on screen drew comparisons to Morgan Freeman in Lean on Me, in his no nonsense attitude on dealing with kid’s behavioral problems. Of course I’d want to know more about a guy like that, how could the audience not? At the end we see the kids graduate but we aren’t informed of their post academy fate, only of one of the kids in the actual film. (note during the Q&A with director and founder we did learn a few of them and it was tragic)

The work done on this film by the Manley Productions crew is strong first outing for a rag tag bunch of fresh USC graduates. Most films like these have a skeleton budget, which sadly can often times reflect that fact. With the exception of a couple of built in text titles, this film doesn’t feel amateur or dialed in.

Ultimately To Whom Much is Given doesn’t take the most dangerous path, but it doesn’t take the safest path either. The film itself doesn’t take a side, it only tells an unbiased story through the eyes of a few kids society gave up on. Giving these kids an outlet succeeded to laying in an anti gang undertone to the film, but ultimately we aren’t left with post filming information. I enjoyed watching this film and was left with a lot of questions after it was over, but maybe that is what a good documentary should do, inform you just enough to where you want to know more.

3 out of 5

Personal note, hadn't been back to USC since my time there, still the same campus is like a stripper, pretty on the outside confusing on the inside.

- David N.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Drive-thru Anarchy

Sunday evening, lunch time. I'm on my way back from celebrating Dr. Pepper Sunday (the one day of the week when I allow myself to consume soda) when I remember I need to grab cash for the week ahead. I've got enough time and this Wells Fargo happens to be the best Wells Fargo in the world since the parking lot is massive and it's never crowded. Not on Fridays, not on the first of the month. It is an island to itself, a fiscal oasis.

Leisurely, I advance to the drive-thru ATM. Here's where it gets tricky. There are two drive-thru ATM boxes with one car at each station. I pull up and into the center just behind both of them. Because there is ample room and absolutely no lines that would dictate you having to commit to either lane, I patiently wait centered in the middle. A reasonable decision that would be self-evident to anyone pulling up behind me.

Unless you are this asshole:

Even though I arrived first and should have first pick of the stations, the guy behind me decides to swerve in crooked and ignore the line queue I have created. I understand the need to want to commit to a line because it may seem more orderly, but in the case of a spacious drive-thru ATM it creates anarchy.

Now before you take my fiance's side (who disagrees with my stance in this matter and refuses to marry me unless I change my position) I want you to ask yourself this question: How can you predict which car has the old person in it? You know, the one who thinks they're at Burger King and can be overheard trying to order a Whopper Jr. with extra pickles. The answer is that you can't predict anything because all you can see is a shadow of hair through a back windshield. That's the purpose of the queue, first come first served. If the guy on the left finishes first, then you go left. If the one on the right finishes first, go right.

Confused, I gesture over to the guy with arms fully extended. Now it's clear; a Larry David-like situation is about to occur. The guy who swerved in front and picked a lane got to the ATM before me and I got forced to the right, stuck for ten minutes behind Ms. Daisy who couldn't figure out why her AARP membership card wasn't accepted.

Weigh in on this great debate in the comments section below. So long!

John Carter of Burbank

Last night Disney treated a select few to an early screening of its latest feature film John Carter. For the benefit of those without WIKIpedia, John Carter is based on the Edgar Rice Burros character, which has been around since 1912. After so many incarnations in comics and a few movies that never came to be, this is John Carter’s first appearance on the big screen.

But you’ve already seen this story.

Some did it very well; I’m talking to you Daniel Day Lewis. While some didn’t do it justice, I’m talking to you James Cameron. The story is in fact one of the earliest versions of the cliché: Man travels to foreign land, sheds skin, becomes one of the people of said land and finds unlikely love in that land.

Even though in many ways it’s the original version of that tale, John Carter could have been a victim of cliché. Instead Andrew Stanton, the Pixar visionary behind great stories like Toy Story and Finding Nemo reminded the audience that something becomes cliché because it’s originally worth repeating over and over again.

John Carter won’t take you on a lot of twist and turns story wise, however the plot remains solid without surrendering to the action. We get a great John Carter in former Gambit Taylor Kitsch and another super animated performance from Boondock Saint Willem Dafoe. Each important role in the film could have been a lesson for writers on how to give characters voice.

The visual of transforming Utah into Mars, creatures and all is the skeletal support of this film. Without drowning the viewer in dry red everything, Mars becomes a believable world on the brink of death. CG characters are so true to the actors and material, personally Dafoe is now my favorite Martian. Kitsch on screen superpowers make me believe this is what we’re all like when we become superman and get superpowers by going to an alien planet. Well choreographed action with complementary score, seems basic but still manages to go beyond film 101.

Bottom line, to all the skeptics like myself, relax this is John Carter of Mars.

Overall I give the movie a 4 out of 5 but the true importance of John Carter is to our current age of cinema. Beginning with the dark tone of Batman Begins, then that moment where we saw the first Watchmen trailer and now seeing a movie that some fans have waited more than twenty years for. John Carter solidifies this age of cinema as the age of the movie we thought we’d never get to see.

Thank you to L.A Times, and Geoff Boucher for hosting these events, it’s probably a lot of fun for you guys, but it can’t be easy. Hats off to you! Though I will not pay to read it online for $5.

- David N.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Duct Duct Goose

To save time, here is a brief run down of the amusing things that have happened since January 2nd, 2012, the last time this space was updated.

Self-Inflicted Car Accident: When you go off course (go to work on your off day, text the wrong person, etc;) you're prone to something awful happening. I proved this theory a few weeks ago when we drove to the wrong location while scouting for wedding reception halls. As we were leaving to drive towards the correct address my front bumper got snagged on the curb, made a loud noise, and flipped up and inside out. There were two kids walking home from school who witnessed all this happening and acted appropriately, laughed heartily while staring at me. Our friend Victor gave us white duct tape as a housewarming gift (?) seven months ago and it finally came in handy:

Made New Friends: For those of you who read this blog religiously, the How Y'all Doin' Today guy that roams our apartment complex and was once found shaving outside in the back parking lot had a long conversation with me about music. I rolled up one night blasting some CCR and he told me that was a great way to end the work day. We talked about music for twenty minutes and I surprised him with my knowledge of Chess Records' artists like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Howlin' Wolf.

Video Games: Gave up on Call of Duty, went back to Fallout 3. Every now and then I continue to embarrass myself playing Dance Central 2, but that's a private matter and will offer no further details.

Sticking Around: Got these songs stuck in my head over the past month:

Consider Yourself - Oliver Soundtrack
Laid Back by White Horse
Hoedown by Aaron Copland
Fly Like an Eagle by Seal

That's all for now. See you in another 40 days!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Top 5 Favorite Places To Camp In Modern Warfare 3

As my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 bracketed callsign indicates (Number zero, or [#0]), I do not think highly of my game. Despite a few lucky head-shots and Semtex sticky blasts you'll most often see me spinning around in circles racking up my death count and ruining any chance of our team winning a match.

After playing the game for about fifty hours since purchase I can tell you that all of what I have learned comes courtesy of the more experienced players. Through years of practice, the seasoned COD player knows where to find every hidden grassy knoll or shadowed corner. They wait and stalk, quietly hovering above the trigger button. Moving slowly, they wait to hear your footsteps until, just like that, you're shot dead. Then they move on.

I choose not to.

Not only because it's the only way I can get multiple kills, but because I'm still awful at this game after hours of practice. Also, I find it incredibly funny to provoke someone I may have killed four times from hiding in the same spot for five minutes.

So, for all of you cowardly assholes looking for some easy kills and hearty laughs I present you with my top 5 favorite places to camp in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3:

#5.) Map: DOME. Specific Camping Location: There's a grassy corner right near the giant dome that you can squat in for almost the entire match and average at least three kills. It's near two exit/entrances and there's a third one up towards the left.

#4.) Map: MISSION. Specific Camping Location: Near two barrels you can set up shop where most of the action happens in this map. Much like the Dome camping space, you have enemies flying in from all over. They're usually running up and down the hill in front of you as well as coming from across the bridge to your left.

#3.) Map: HARDHAT. Specific Camping Location: In the middle of the map you've got everyone's favorite underground sewer. Sit atop it at any point during the game and you can kill people coming out of it or anyone coming from the enclosed area to the right.

#2.) Map: ARKADEN. Specific Camping Location: This one almost made my #1 pick. Here you're hidden in the center of the action with enemies spawning right in front of that entrance. Most of the seasoned players will come from behind and knife you but I find it worth the risk. I can't tell you how many people never look there and run to your right just waiting to be sniped.

#1.) Map: CARBON. Specific Camping Location: Making #1 on my list is this enclosed area located in the left corner of the map. It's great because nobody can run behind you and if you're fast enough you can kill anything that runs/walks by. Careful though, after you kill the same guy a third time he will be frustrated and may start throwing grenades from every angle to try and oust you. This spot will guarantee you at least 6 or 7 kills during a match and provide loads of laughs.

Friday, December 30, 2011

The 96%, More or Less

Count me in.

Speaking of wishful thinking, here's what I demand/expect from the upcoming 2012:

1. More courteous thank-you hand gestures when I let people merge.

2. Less sodium intake.

3. More reflection on the music I bought ten years ago. More listening to that music in my car and remembering how much Fantastic Damage changed my taste in Hip-Hop and music in general.

4. Less Tebowing from everyone.

5. More grilled asparagus and exotic beer tasting.

6. Less time spent having to use my current pair of glasses.

7. More Dodger games attended.

8. Less worrying about the roots slowly decaying from beneath my molars.

9. More time off from work spent with the Mrs.

10. Less cutting people off mid-sentence. Not sure how I picked this up but it's a dick move and I've already cut back.

11. More of a routine around health checks. Medical benefits being wasted every month is nonsense.

12. Less jury duty.

13. More movie watching and less TV show watching. There's so much I still haven't caught up on.

14. Less people blocking the driveway.

15. More visits to Seal Beach.

16. Less TVs falling on my head in the warehouse.

17. More priority around updating IEC and reminding myself how fun it is to write.

Be safe you filthy animals!