NOTE: If you are easily offended by offensive things then please go somewhere else. I suggest or, you wuss!


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Podcasting ...

Hey gang!

Guess what?

I have a podcast now!

For realsies!

One of my longtime religious followers decided to start a podcast starring me and featuring the two of us riffing on different movies.

The first episode should premiere on iTunes and on youtube at the beginning of next week. I will let you know when it becomes available.

Until then, why don't you listen to this? It's anothe podcast by my new partner. It's two really cool old guys talking about things. It's pretty entertaining and definitely worth a listen.

Enjoy ...

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Bela's Birthday Party/Maxwell's Birthday Party ...

First, it's Bela's birthday party in Seminole ...

Cute. Real cute stuff.

Now, it's Maxwell's party at his Auntie and Uncle's house ...

Good times. Goooooood times.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Watching Firefly For The First Time: "Safe" ...

Guess what time is it, my apparently vaguely interested readers?

Yes, my friend, it is time once again for me, the skinny Mexican you keep seeing in the pictures, to watch an episode of Firefly for the first darn time.

If you're just joining us, let me sum up. It's been about a month since I started taking my first steps into the world of movies and tv shows that I've never bothered to watch for varying reasons. And the first one I have decided to tackle is none other than Joss Whedon's scrappy cult hit Firefly.

I'm doing this because 1) Any show that can still hold people's hearts after such a long time off the air is a show that I can respect. And also, 2) my favorite musician and semi-secret mancrush Adam WarRock has made some great Firefly related music and that's good enough for me, dammit!

So how has it been so far? Well, The first pilot was just ok. Then I saw the second pilot episode, and that was much better. The third episode didn't have a lot to say but it was still a good blog post, and then the next one I saw had boobs, so of course it was awesome. And the last one I saw was a funny as hell blog post, if I do say so myself. It was a mighty fine shindig. (See what I did there?)

So why don't we all sit down, watch another episode, have fun and, above all, find a way to make fun of Tucson, Arizona, whaddaya say?

Lets do this ...

Ok. We're back on track again in regards to the order of these episodes. See, apparently Fox showed the episodes out of order, then they got put back in their proper order on the dvd. However, the old Netflixes, which is where I'm watching these bad boys, has the episodes in the convoluted Fox order and not the proper order. I had originally intended to watch them in the order Mr. Whedon intended me to watch them. But then boobs happened. But now we're back on track with this, the fifth episode.

Wait, what? Wikipedia just told me that this marks the tv debut of Mr. Zac Efron! WHAAAAAAAT?!?

Ok. Let's do this. For realsies this time!

Beginning. Opening narration. I liked it better when Preacher did it. No offense to Mal. And WHAAAAAT??? Wow, was that a "Previously on Firefly" there? How amazing! I've never seen one of those before. Wow. Cool. It's like "E.R." or something. And oh yeah, the cows. I almost forgot the cows and the bad guy from Darkman.

Now we're in the show proper. Flashback. And HEYYY! There's wee Zac Efron. Ha!

Hey, hate him if you must ... and it pains me to say this ... but Zac Efron was prrrrretty good in the movie "17 Again" ...

Dood! I just took an aside from Firefly to post scenes from a Zac Efron movie. That's ... something. Seriously, though, the stupid movie is cute. And he does a pretty good job playing an older guy. The movie surprised me. And, man, seriously, Thomas freaking Lennon is in it! THE STATE! LIEUTENANT DANGLE! C'MON!!! So the move can't be all that bad. You should give it a shot.

Anyway, back to the show ...

Now, Summer Glau is attractive and cute and she looks like a pedobear's dream come true. No arguments there. Buuuut here she is freaking out and trying to actually ACT aaaaand I'm not buying it. I'm just not. She seems wooden and fake. Her pretending to be freaked out is almost laughable. I liked her better as a lady Terminator. So they're landing. Rednecks skinning rabbits. And credits. Alright then.

Funny. The doctor steps in poop. Someone mentions breaking in his "pretty shoes." And what's the name on the credits? Someone with the name "CONVERSE" ... huh, huh??? William Converse-Roberts. HUH? Comedy gold!

So now they're on some dusty, desolated, backwoods planet in the middle of nowhere where they're being stalked by crazed men with weapons ... hmm, sounds like downtown TUCSON, ARIZONA FOLKS thankyouGOODNIGHT!!!

I just realized, watching Spacewhore and Kaylee in the general store, that Kaylee is a Space-Manic Pixie Dream Girl! DOOD! THAT SPACE-EXPLAINS SPACE-EVERYTHNG!

River takes off. What a big surprise. Mal is trying to sell cows. AHH YES, the legendary "trying to sell cattle" scene that the fanboys love so much, he types sarcastically. And Simon is running around what looks like the abandoned set of Will Smith's Wild Wild West. GAWD what a crappy movie, right?

River dances. I think they're going for a touching scene in contract with the shootout that's happening with the captain and the cattle. Ehh. Apparently I'm supposed to care about the dancing.

So Preacher gets shot. That's sad. NOW I'm emotionally invested.

Another flashback. NO ZAC EFRON? BOO! And now apparently Simon and River have been taken captive by the smartest men in Tucson while the rest of the crew takes off to try and help Preacher. There's a scene where Zoe talks with Preacher and I feel like this is the first scene I've seen so far in this show that features the only two black characters . That's surprising. And I could make a few racist jokes here but I'll hold back, seeing as these Firefly posts are so popular. So I'll just say this: fuck Tucson.

So two plots running side by side. Simon has been kidnapped to be a doctor for the town and Mal is trying to find a ship with those nice government boys. Man I sure do love those government people with the Alliance. So clean cut and polite. There should be more people like them in this galaxy, that's what I say!


So the good Alliance folk tend to Preacher. Hmm. I wonder why, he asks without sarcasm because I don't want people to assume. And wow but I reeeeaaaalllly don't care about River and Simon. She's not a great actress, which is probably why she was a good choice for a Terminator. I mean, Arnold wasn't winning Oscars for "Hasta la vista, baby." And the guy, the doctor, Simon, he just seems like a little bitch. Man up, dood, seriously. Mr. Whedon is forcing them down my throat so much that I know, I KNOW, that they're going to be important to the overall story but I just don't give a shit about the interim. Sorry. The truth.

Wait, they think River's a watch? A thirteen year old, badly acting witch? Eh. Burn her. Whatever. Just show me more of Mal.

Yet another flashback. Simon's dad tells him "I will not come for you again." Wow. Incest. That's messed up, man.

No answer on Preacher's backstory. Just hints. Lame.

Simon and River going to be burned. Seriously, you too, get a ROOM!

And the crew with the last minute save, which no one expected, he typed sarcastically. But I do like the "Big damn heroes, sir" like. That's good stuff, right up there with "Yes sir, Captain Tight Pants."


Eh. I liked this episode, I guess. I liked seeing the cattle from the last episode and I liked seeing a small, fleeting glimpse of what might be Preacher's hidden life. And I liked seeing Zac Efron for a few seconds and, again, you should give that stupid movie a try because it IS pretty cute. I guess I liked everything about this episode ... except for all that Simon and River crap. So, what I liked maybe 50% of the episode? 40%? I don't know. I just don't like them, especially her, that bad acting twelve year old Terminator. No don't like her. Nope, I sincerely hope that I get some Mal-heavy episodes soon. Or maybe Wash. Or Jayne. Or pretty much anyone but those two.

Anyway, that's that. Hope you enjoyed yourselves.

Stick around for more Firefly.

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week ...

Free movie time again!

About time, too! The last free movie that I posted was a big hit and gained a lot of page views, probably due in part to the wonderful article about me on, so lets keep the free movie ball rolling with another classic!

Enjoy ...

Yoinked liberally from the amazing wikipedia machine ...

"Kronos is a 1957 black-and-white science fiction film directed by Kurt Neumann, released by Regal Films, starring Jeff Morrow and Barbara Lawrence. The film is also known as Kronos, Destroyer of the Universe.

Kronos was filmed in a little more than two weeks (mid-January to late January 1957) in California; special effects were created by Jack Rabin, Irving Block, and Louis DeWitt. The idea of an alien machine absorbing energy is similar to the giant alien machine from the later (1966) Star Trek television episode 'The Doomsday Machine' which destroys planets and uses them to fuel itself. George O'Hanlon, who plays Dr. Arnold Culver in the film, was later known as the voice of George Jetson in the popular cartoon series The Jetsons.

When the film was first released in 1957, Variety magazine gave the film a favorable review. The staff wrote, 'Kronos is a well-made, moderate budget science-fictioner which boasts quality special effects that would do credit to a much higher-budgeted film ... John Emery is convincing as the lab head forced by the outer-space intelligence to direct the monster. Barbara Lawrence is in strictly for distaff interest, but pretty.'

In the years since its release, Kronos has been widely praised both for its above-average storyline and its farsighted portrayal of the consequences of over consumption of both natural and man-made resources; it has achieved minor cult status as a result."

Good stuff.

Enjoy the movie ...

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The World's Best Cover Songs (Part 3) ...

Welcome back, invisible friends and neighbors!

This, my good friends, is part three of an ongoing series of posts that I started doing last month. It's really good stuff. My blog has really been on fire these past few weeks, right? My funny Firefly posts, a few free movies, free music, and that last post I did about "elderly water aerobics" was prrrrrrretty awesome.

Anyway, this is going to be an ongoing list of free music, each song being an awesome ass cover song that I absolutely fucking love. Part one was good and part two was awesome, so here's part three.

Ready? Ok. Lets do this ...

Ruth's Hat: Super Heroes

Springman Records was a record company at the beginning of this century that, as far as I could tell, was run by a small handful of high school and college kids. They released some really good punk albums and usually they'd be fairly inexpensive. And one of the ones they released was called "The Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show" and it was an awesome. Really awesome. Punk cover songs of classic RHPC songs. I got that cd in about 2005 and I still listen to it constantly. This one stands out as being particularly awesome.

Boston Boys: Welcome to Paradise

This one is amazing, a real reinvention. The Boston Boys play a sort of bluegrass roots rock sound and their music is all very good, almost an Americana sort of sound. And when they turn that sound to a classic Green Day song, the results are absolutely amazing. I have always liked the original song, I guess, but hearing this version of the song really makes me love the original even more. And that's a good sign of a wonderful cover song, right?

Forever Plaid: Perfidia

I'm not exactly sure of this is considered a cover song or not but I;m including it here nonetheless. This is from a musical called Forever Plaid and it's about a fifties quartet of teenage singers who die but are given a chance to come back for one big performance. It features some really amazing classic songs and they do them all in an original style. This song here is the second musical number that they do in the show and it's super cute, especially when they start singing in spanish. I estimate that I have seen this play about eight or nine times live. In fact, both of my daughters were varying levels of obsessed with this soundtrack for a while and we ever took them to go see it in San Francisco once. This play is a major part of my family. Fyi.

Me First and the Gimme-Gimmes: East Bound and Down

Wow. This song. Wow. So 'East Bound and Down' was written and recorded by Jerry Reed, the personification of the truck driving 1970s, for the soundtrack to the film Smokey and the Bandit. The song was released in August 1977 as a single and spent sixteen weeks on the U.S. country music charts, reaching a peak of #2. It was huge. And I absolutely hate it. I hear this song and think back to an embarrassing time in our country's history when truck driving was a "fad" like pet rocks or disco music. I hate hate hate hate HATE this song. But when the world's greatest cover band does a punk rock version of it then of course they make it better and OF COURSE it's amazing.

The Ramones: Surfin' Bird

Family Guy reference aside, everyone should know by now that "Surfin' Bird" by The Trashmen is one of the greatest songs of all time ...

Surfin Bird - Saga por pedrocasanova83 no

It was released in 1963 and reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a combination of two R&B hits by The Rivingtons: "Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow" and "The Bird's the Word". It's a great song. It was one of my personal favorite songs when I was a child. I was all about Dr. Demento, which should come as a surprise to no one. Anyway, The Ramones did some truly awesome covers and this is another one of their bests.

The Hullabahoos (Pitch Perfect): The Final Countdown

Wow, this is a very pop culture heavy list this time. Wow. Well, this is a song by the Swedish band Europe, released in 1986. Europe was the king of 1980s cheese and this song was one of their cheesiest bits. This version, however, is an a cappella version recorded by The Hullabahoos. They are a student-run, all-male a cappella group at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. The group was founded in 1987 ad they are considered one of the greatest a cappella groups of all time. They are one of a handful of collegiate a cappella groups that were featured in the non-fiction novel "Pitch Perfect" which was then turned int a fictionalized motion picture of the same name and in the film The Hullabahoos sing this song. Didja follow all that? Good. This song is awesome.

Freelance Whales: Let Her Dance

This song is from a Wes Anderson tribute album comprised entirely of covers of songs from his movies. This is from The Fantastic Mr. Fox. And since I have kids, this means that this adorable stop motion film is easily the one film of his that I watch the most. Maxwell loves this movie. He really does. This song ends the film perfectly. I hear this and I think of a clever stop motion fox dancing in an empty supermarket. And this is a pretty awesome cover version of that. Hope you like it.

Richard Cheese: Rock You Like A Hurricane

I'm going to end this with my main man, Mr. Richard Cheese. He is the absolute best lounge singer of all time and you should go to his website right now and buy millions of dollars of stuff. Anyway, I never really liked this song, but when it gets cheesed up then of course it's going to knock it out of the park.

Hope you enjoyed yourself.

I'll put more music up here later, so stay tuned.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Twins, Drinking, Crybabies, Madonna, And The Horrors Of Elderly Water Aerobics ...

My parents were always health conscious. And I think this was on account of spite.

See, my father is one half of a pair of twins and his twin brother Pancho was and is a very heavyset man. Big individual. Ok. No other way to say it. Fat. He's a fat man. And so obviously my father made it his mission in life to be a fit, muscular man. That is (prrrrobably) why my father became a semi-professional tri-athlete, bicyclist, and marathon man. He worked out. A lot! And, while this is all purely assumption, he was more than likely working out five to seven days a week and doing races on the weekends just to avoid the heavyset ghost of Christmas future that he feared lay in waiting for him.

So this is why my dad spent a lot of time at the small gym that opened up in a strip mall by our house.

And my mother always went along with him because, well, as long as she wasn't drinking them she was always playing the role of obedient housewife. She was a very old school Latina wife. She always cooked, always cleaned, always made sure that the beer was chilled to the temperature that my father liked when he gt home from work at night. She was always at my father's side. I both admired and pitied that.

And please don't think that she drank a lot. My parents would have a beer or two most nights, nothing big. No. It was when the weekend rolled around was when the beer would REEEALLY flow. But the weekend drinking wasn't all bad, though. This isn't some anti-parents post. It was an amazing family moment. We'd stay up late watching a mixture of Saturday Night Live and mexican television. The steaks my father would make would melt in your mouth. There would be music and conversations and stories chronicling the hazy family history I know so little about and real good food. These were amazing times. And there was only a 40% chance during these late steak nights that there would be an argument and I'd have to tuck my crying mom in bed.

I digress. This isn't about drinking. It's about my health conscious family and the small gym that opened up in a strip mall by our house. And it's also about Madonna, old people, and the reason why certain songs freak me the hell out. But that's just a teaser. We're not there yet.

Growing up, I always felt that my parents were a bit ashamed of me and my delicate frame. My brother was taller and bigger and stronger. He didn't cry all the time. He didn't have a hard time making friends. He didn't have a blanket and a Cabbage Patch Doll when he was twelve. My brother was rough and strong and played sports. I, however, was still shopping in the little kiddie section of J.C. Penny's when I was a senior in high school. Even now, as I near the big Four-Oh, my parents have a hard time comprehending the fact that I can fit into my father's clothes.

The shame was definitely there. I remember being forced to work out to try and gain muscle mass. I remember being forced to eat a baked potato before most meals so I can gain weight. I remember once being taught by my parents how to walk properly because the way I was walking was too feminine. It wasn't manly enough. I remember my mother buying me the book “The Get Along Gang and the Cry Baby” which must have been a not too subtle hint. I remember being forced to eat this hideous tasting weight gaining shake. It was revolting. It “supposedly” tasted like chocolate but what it REALLY tasted like was chocolate flavored dog food. In fact, to this day I have a hard time feeding my dog because the smell of her food will remind me of those horrible shakes.

These reminders, these reminisces, didn't hurt to much individually. But when you put them all together then you have a painting of a pair of parents that didn't like their sissy son and wanted him to toughen up. And this is how I was forced to accompany my mom and dad almost every weekday to the small gym that opened up in a strip mall by our house.

I'm not good at dates, obviously, so I'm going to have to say that this story took place somewhere between the years 1987 and 1993 in Glendale, Arizona. The gym was small in retrospect but as a child it seemed huge. There was a wide area for stationary bikes and machines and beyond that was a wall of free weights places strategically against a giant mirrored wall so that the conceited guys could ogle themselves. There was a snack bar near the front where you could get smoothies, milkshakes, and ice cream, apparently all healthy, but wouldn't it be just like a company to sell the unhealthy stuff to healthy people to secure customer loyalty to their gym? I know that's just an old memory that's being darkened by my cynical older self. But, dammit, it's probably true.

The rest of the gym was hellish to me.

First, there was the locker room.

I hated hated hated hated HAAAATED that locker room.

Now, when I started going to the gym I was about nine or ten years old. That's a pretty awkward age to be introduced to the world of full frontal male nudity. Nude men. Nude men all over the place. A massive gaggle of old men standing in a locker room completely nude but still having fun and frendly conversations like they're fully clothed and waiting in a line at the early bird senior buffet at Golden Coral. It was horrific. Flaccid wangs everywhere! Middle aged men and old grandfathers smiling and shaking your hand and talking to you WHILE BUCK NAKED! And here's the shy ten year old boy who's just learning what puberty is and now he's supposed to get naked in front of a room full of strangers.

And, I'd like to add with a modern mind, that this story happened waaaay before pedobear and the rise of internet chatrooms. This is me being old. You would keep your front door unlocked back then. Kids would be allowed to go outside and just explore, completely unsupervised. It was a different time, is what I'm saying. So no one thought it was odd that there seemed to be a lot of men who would spend a wee bit tooooooo much time in the locker room, a bit toooooooo much time naked, and a bit too friendly to the young kids getting changed.

No one thought anything of it.

A different time.

The shower area was another major slice of hell as well. Shit. The shower area was a massive community shower. It didn't have walls separating it. It was one big room with twelve showers running, the water all draining into a single drain in the middle of the room. Everyone showered together. And my father was adamant that if I swam in the pool then I absolutely HAD TO take a shower. And just like the locker room, there was ALWAYS a few men in the shower. And boy were they friendly to the nude ten year old boy showering without adult supervision.

Again, it was a different time.

But the crazy thing? See, the crazy thing is that the nudity and the creepy guys weren't the thing that haunted me.

So lets talk about the pool.

Yeeeaaah, the pool was prrrrrretty awesome.

It was a big Olympic sized pool. It was heated, so it was always the perfect temperature. It was the best. And next to that was a huge jacuzzi and behind that was a massive sauna that I would hang out in so that the pool would feel colder. It was great. And I had full run of the place, the pool and the jacuzzi and the sauna. I think that now there would be strict rules against a ten year old boy being left alone to play with either one of those, either the pool or the jacuzzi or the sauna. But back then I had it all. This was my home base for a few years. Besides, I figured out even at that young age that my parents were forcing me to accompany them to the gym in order for me to toughen up and fatten up and gain weight so that I wouldn't be such a delicate crybaby. So I figured that the pool was my loophole, a way to swim and have fun and stick a finger up my parents and their secret plan.

There was one problem.

Elderly water aerobics.




A bizarre random happenstance occurred in the scheduling department of my life in that five days a week there would be an elderly water aerobics class in the pool that would start at the exact moment that I would arrive at the pool. Here I am excited to go swimming and what do I see? I see a pool full of old, fat women in bikinis dancing around in the water. I technically COULD go swimming in the pool still, but there wasn't a lot of room that wasn't filled with withered cellulite and then I'd risk bumping into them or having them hit me or, once or twice, be in the front row for a very unfortunate "wardrobe malfunction" that would haunt my dreams and sour me on the opposite sex for years to come.

The coach was a very eighties seeming woman, think dusty Olivia Newton John, who would bring a massive, cumbersome boom box to the edge of the pool and she would play the same mix cassette for every class. Each and every class, different old people, but the same music. Over and over again, the same music.


I got sick of hearing those same damn cheesy songs over and over again. In fact, I got so sick of it that I quickly related each and every song I heard as being "elderly water aerobics" songs in my head and that connection stuck with me.

I had such a hatred for the fat old people and the bad songs and the locker room and the nudity that TO THIS DAY whenever one of the songs from that horrible mix cassette comes on the radio or it plays at a store, my eyes will go wide and I'll freak out a little. One of the "elderly water aerobics" songs comes on in a supermarket or, recently, a Halloween store by my work, and I'll smell the scent of the chlorine in the pool and I'll feel the wet cold tile underneath my feet and I'll feel DEEEEEEPLY uncomfortable, almost as if I'm a nine or ten year old boy and I'm surrounded my fat old women in bikinis dancing in the water to cheesy eighties music.

The thing is, I have a hard time remembering exactly which songs were on that mix cassette. That is because once I hear the song I remember that period in my life, I have a mini panic attack, and once the song is done my mind just WIPES THE SLATE CLEAN and I try my best to forget that memory and I try to forget what that songs was, what it means to me, and everything else associated with it.

But, in the interest of science, I have spent the last few weeks writing down a few of the "trigger songs" that I've heard so that I can share them with you.

And you'd better fucking appreciate this shit, Because this is hard for me.

Here are a few, in no particular order ...

Like I said, cheesy eighties crap, right?

I also remember a Janet Jackson song being played, however I do not remember which song it is and I don't care to find out, so there.

If I hear any one of these songs, even now as I near forty, I will be a frightened boy in a locker room in Glendale, Arizona. It'd odd and weird and I don't like it.

Now, this strange little tale isn't something I ever tell anybody. I think before now that maybe three or four people know about my "elderly water aerobics" songs. But I just felt like sharing because this is an odd little story, plus there's more to my hatred of Madonna besides the fat that she's a withered, conceited old bitch who has lost her talent but still thinks that she's a million times better than God, plus she's fighting aging with plastic surgery and that's a despicable act to me. Grow old gracefully. Don't fight it with money, you bitch.

After a few years of old people dancing in a pool, I gave up on my parents dreams of a bulky, manly son. I made them give me five dollars and while they worked out I would walk to the Burger King in the parking lot. My five dollars was just enough to buy a burger and fries with enough change left to walk to the mexican restaurant when I was done and buy me an ice cream. I'd bring a stack of comic books with me and eat and read. It was really one of the first times that I truly felt independent. It felt good.

And that feeling still hits me whenever I eat at Burger King. Their food is like an anti-water aerobics food for me. Just like I'm filled with dread from those songs, I am filled with happiness whenever I eat their food. I mean, sure, their food is just okay, but what I love about the food is that almost tactile sense memory that I feel whenever I eat there. I bite into a flame grilled burger and I am filled with memories of happiness and first time freedoms and escaping the sadder, creepier parts of my lonely childhood and finally feeling the slightest bit free.

Also, and I can't stress this enough, fuck Madonna.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Watching Firefly For The First Time: "Shindig" ...

Guess what time is it, my vaguely loyal readers? Yes, it's time once again for me to watch an episode of Firefly for the first time.

If you're just joining us, it's been a month or two since I started taking my first baby steps into the much larger world of movies and tv shows that I have never bothered to watch for various reasons, the first one I have decided to tackle being Joss Whedon's Firefly

My first few step into the world of the Browncoats have given birth to some funny and interesting blog posts that I really like very much. The first pilot was just ok. Then I saw the second pilot episode, and that was much better. The third episode didn't have a lot to say but it was still a good blog post, and then the last one had boobs, so of course it was awesome.

And so now it's time for me to sit down and watch the "next" episode ... and I'm in a bit of a bind already, seeing as this next episode was technically the last "next" episode.

See, if you recall from the last Firefly post, the fourth episode of the series is entitled "Shindig" ...

Buuuuuuuuuut according to Netflix, the fourth episode is entitled "Our Mrs. Reynolds" and has to do with Mal accidentally getting married and pale boobs. And I wanted to watch them in order. But boobs. So I watched the seventh episode as the fourth episode. Because boobs. So today I'll be watching the fourth episode.

Was that confusing enough?

Anyway, lets do this!!

WHOA WHOA WHOA! What the hell? Why is Mal doing the opening narration now? Where the hell is Preacher, my main man Ron Glass, aka Det. Ron Harris from Barney Miller? What the hell, man? I loved the calm, soothing voice of Randy Carmichael from Rugrats and A Special Rugrats Kwanzaa at the opening of every episode. Bad form, Mr. Whedon. It's about three seconds in and already I'm pissed.

By the way, here is a comparison from the man I knew in Barney Miller and the man now in Firefly ...

That's awesome right there.

Wow. Um? Ok. So. Where to begin ...

So the episode starts proper and they're playing pool ... WITH VIRTUAL BALLS! GET IT? BECAUSE IT'S THE FUTURE!


You know what this is like? This is just like two episodes back when they were playing a game of "space ball." And now look at them. They're playing space pool. That's totally what I'm calling it. Space pool.

By the way, strange aside here, that bit a few lines up, when I did the whole "get it?" bit, that's taken from my older brother Joe. We saw a preview of The Amazing Spider-Man once in the theaters and the football coach asks Peter to be in the team and, all snarkishly, Peter says "No. Too dangerous." And so my brother, as LOUD AS HE CAN, belts out in the crowded theater "GET IT? BECAUSE HE'S SPIDER-MAN!" Half the audience cracked up. My brother's good like that. So I stole his bit and now I use it whenever there's something stupid on tv or in a movie and I want to telegraph just how ridiculous it is. I'm sure that Joe would be proud.

Ok. Bar fight. Jayne, the guy I like from "Chuck," kicks ass and smokes and smirks. Opening credits. Alright then.

So they're going to visit some planet. Spacewhore is planning stuff. Is this going to be a Spacewhore-centric episode? Sigh. I guess she's ok. She's vaguely pretty and a good enough actress. Bland, but good. Hey. Maybe this episode will make me really like her. Maybe this will be the big turning point for me and her. I seriously doubt it. But oh well.

Now we're in the city. Some big city. I don't remember its name, something or other. I like the city. I like the small glimpses of it that we get once they land, just like I enjoy the glimpses inside an Alliance ship. The city is sleek, modern, clean, nice, a very modern seeming city. It's an anti-Tucson, Arizona is what I'm saying. And I'm not just saying that because I manage to diss Tucson in every Firefly review, either. It's just the facts. Science. This city looks nice. And Tucson is a crapfactory.

Wow. Kaylee takes precious tv screen time to pine over a dress, only to have Mal diss her because of the stupid "Will they, won't they" thing that he's got going with the Spacewhore. GEE, he typed sarcastically, I wonder if we'll see Kaylee in that dress later in the episode on account of how obvious the writers of this show just telegraphed it? ... ehh. I'm sure we won't. Lets move on ...

So Badger is back. Vaguely remember him from the first first pilot. He offers them some sort of a job that I'm not clear about. Not sure what's happening here. First off, they don't make it clear. Lots of Whedon-ish dialogue. Plus, I'm having a hard time following the episode because of outside influences. Maxwell, my now three year old, just woke up and he's sticking a Batman toy up my shirt. And now he's upset because he can't have ice cream for breakfast. Grumble grumble.

Wow. About ten minutes in and we're already at the ball? Wow. Did someone give Whedon cocaine when he wrote this? I'm surprised that so much has happened without twenty minutes of well written dialogue. Good job, Mr. Whedon. Many golf claps.

Aaaaaaand there's the dress. Freaking called it. Dayuuum I'm good ...

GAWD she's so freaking cute I just want to choke her to death, all Quentin Tarantino "Inglorious Bastards" style.

Ok, that last line sounded ... kiiiiiinda fucked up. Ok. Just to be clear, I do not endorse chocking fictional women to death. Or live ones, for that matter.

Ok. Here. Let me explain. and I'll explain it with Johnny Depp. See, THIS NEAR PERFECT LINE that Johnny Depp says in the movie "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" perfectly explains why I want to choke out Kaylee in this episode ...

Shooting the Cook, Restoring the Balance. That's why I want to choke Kaylee out. She's too cute in this stupid pink dress. So choking her out would be restoring the balance to the galaxy. Wow. We just went somewhere strange there, didn't we? Anyway, back to the show ...

Ok. I know I said this about a snippet of dialogue in the last episode, but now here is yet another BEST LINE EVER!

KAYLEE: "Yes sir, Captain Tight Pants!"

Good line. Verrrrrry good line there. I'm making that my new go-to catch phrase from here on out, people.

HOLY CRAP! Now they're playing Space Cards! Seriously! They're freaking playing Space Poker! Space 21! GET IT? BECAUSE IT'S THE FUTURE!

Kaylee is beng dissed by a gaggle of Space Mean Girls, but then she's saved by some strange old man who looks an awful lot like Captain Kangaroo Pimp from the movie "Black Dynamite" ...

HOLY CRAP! The man that they're looking for is Mr. Durant from the movie "Darkman!" Awesome! I loved that movie when I was a kid! And Kaylee holding court with all the other mechanics warmed my heart. That was sweet.

Ok. So there's a duel going to happen. Creepy looking 12-year-old River keeps having bipolar scenes. Spacewhore is trying to teach Mal to be a swordsman. Ok then. Lets move this along, if we can.

The swordfight is happening now. My son has suddenly taken GRRRRRREAT interest in Firefly! Oh man, he's watching this swordfight like it's freaking Super Why over here. It's amazing! He's gotten his fork from the cheesy eggs I made him and he's fake swordfighting a group of invisible invaders. It's crazy cute. How many three year olds pretend they're in an episode of Firefly? Maxwell just won childhood.


YES! Finally!

I've been waiting to see the episode with this bit of dialogue because it starts one of my favorite Adam Warrock songs ...

Good stuff right there. That's my jam.

Words. More words. A dress in Kaylee's room. A ship full of cows. AAAAAND THE END!

Good episode. Really good. I didn't care for all that stuff about Badger in the ship and the gang trying to break free so they can rescue the captain. And the sex scene between the married couple just seemed t be an excuse for Mr. Whedon to write a superfluous scene with some really good dialogue but didn't move the story along. Typical Whedon. He Whedoned me. I got Whedoned there. But I liked the duel and I loved seeing Kaylee out of her element. It was a fun show. My son gives it two thumbs up. And I have to agree.

I can't wait to see what the crew does next.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Steve's Church-less Movie Of The Week ...

YAAAY! Free movies are back!

In celebration of being named the Cinema Insomnia fan of the week, I present a very special Cinema Insomnia version of a classic horror film.

Enjoy ...

Yoinked from the almighty wikipdia god ...

"The Day of the Triffids is a 1951 post-apocalyptic novel about a plague of blindness that befalls the entire world, allowing the rise of an aggressive species of plant. It was written by the English science fiction author John Wyndham Parkes Lucas Beynon Harris, under the pen name John Wyndham. The story has been made into three radio drama series in 1957, 1968 and 2008, two TV series in 1981 and 2009, and a 1962 British film directed by Steve Sekely. The movie was filmed in color with monaural sound and ran for 93 minutes.

Although the film retained some basic plot elements from Wyndham's novel, it was not a particularly faithful adaptation. 'It strays significantly and unnecessarily from the book and is less well regarded than the BBC's intelligent (if dated) 1981 TV serial.' Unlike the novel, the Triffids arrive as spores in an earlier meteor shower, and some of the action is moved to Spain. The ending used in the film appears to be closer to the ending of The War of the Worlds than Wyndham's novel and was also used to similar effect in M. Night Shyamalan's Signs.

It is this version of the film to which the song 'Science Fiction/Double Feature' (from the 1973 play The Rocky Horror Show) refers, in the lyric: 'And I really got hot when I saw Janette Scott fight a triffid that spits poison and kills...' Also, a triffid appears aboard the spacecraft as one of the plants harvested by the aliens in the 1982 film E.T.

The film was also featured on an episode of Cinema Insomnia, a nationally syndicated American television series presented by horror host Mr. Lobo."

Friday, September 12, 2014

Watching Firefly For The First Time: "Our Mrs. Reynolds" ...

What time is it, boys and girls and boys?

Yes, my friends, it's time once again for me to watch some Firefly.

Well, it has been a few weeks now since I started taking my first steps into the larger worlds of movies and tv shows that I've never bothered to watch, the first one being Joss Whedon's Firefly. My first few step into the world of the Browncoats was a good, strong, funny blog post that I really liked very much. Then I saw the second episode and, technically, the second first pilot, and that was even better. The third episode didn't have a lot to say but it was still a grrrrreat blog post!

And so now it's time for me to sit down and watch the fourth episode, which I'm having some trouble with here.

See, according to the internet, the fourth episode is apparently entitled "Shindig," which to me ranks right up there with the past episode in terms of horrible names for an episode of a science fiction television show. Seriously, I thought that "Bushwacked" was bad and now this.

To be fair, THIS is Shindig ...

Buuuuuuuuuut according to my Netflix account, the fourth episode is entitled "Our Mrs. Reynolds" and has to do with Mal accidentally getting married.

Soooo ... umm ... what?

I'm confused here. Why is the order that Netflix has the show different from the actual order of the show? I know that Fox showed the episodes out of sequence on tv but I assumed that Netflix would put them in their proper order. And should I watch them in the order that the internet says is the order or should I watch it the way that my Netflix tells me I should watch it? I am all the confused today.

Well, I guess I could change the order and watch them properly ...

But apparently Christina Hendricks is in this episode. And I'm a big fan of two big parts of her.

Sooooo. Yeah. Watching this episode.

Lets do this ...

The opening scene where Mal is in drag? Ok, first off, I obviously support being in drag. Secondly, I have been waiting to see Mal in drag for a while now because it's been a very popular internet meme that keeps popping up on my faceybook feeds ...

So it's nice to finally see the scene. Good stuff.

There's a hoedown now. It reminds me of childhoods spent at Rawhide, the fun western town in the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona and, unfortunately, Old Tucson, the less fun western town in the outskirts of the hellhole known as Tucson.

And I mention Old Tucson because it really does LOOK like the hoedown and NOT because I have successfully dissed Tucson in every review of Firefly I've written so far.

I'm confused as to why the guy from Chuck, the angry guy, whatshisname, the muscle, Mr. Facial Hair, umm, Jayne, I think, but anyway, I'm confused as to why this rough, tough, hard nosed guy gets all teary eyed and Frankenstein-ey when the elder gives him a rain stick. He gets choked up and, directly taken from "Bride of Frankenstein," he says "You ... friend." It doesn't make any sense. Hey, it's funny, sure, and I know that he's supposed to be playing drunk there, but it still doesn't make any sense character wise.

But hey, whatever. I'm focusing too much on this.

It's happening ... see, when I first saw Firefly and I first heard the theme song, I chuckled at it. I thought that it was silly and a bit heavy handed. Cheesy. Now I look forward to hearing that twanging guitar and those sappy lyrics.

Specifically, THIS is happening to me ...

It's a prophecy.

Christina Hendricks. I love her. And not because she's got a huge rack.


Ok. Yes. It's because she has a huge rack. I'm a guy. Okay? And I'm quite impressed as to how this show managed to keep her bountiful rack covered up in Old Tucson costumes so far.

So, after Mal realizes that he's married and gets angry and PaleBoobs (my new nickname for Christina Hendricks, so, tell your friends) runs off in shame, Kayley and Mal have some words with each other in Chinese. And I'm sorry. Every time I hear people talking in Chinese in this show I CANNOT think of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ...

I guess that just shows that I'm a dad.

Saffron. Good spice. Great stripper name. Fyi.


BOOK: "If you take sexual advantage of her, you're going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater"

Verrrrrry good. I just golf clapped to that line.

Wow. Christina Hendricks, PaleBoobs, washing your feet. That HAS to be a Japanese website somewhere.


Ok. So. I have a theory.... every single thing that ever happens has a Japanese website somewhere that eroticses it. A fat woman at a Wal-Mart sneezes into her shirt? Japanese website. A grandmother picking a wedgie in a dirty McDonald's bathroom? Japanese website. A busty ginger actress dressed as a pioneer woman wanting to wash your dirty feet? That is DEEEEEFINITELY a Japanese website SOMEWHERE. In fact, sometimes during my day I'll witness something and just blurt out "JAPANESE WEBSITE!" because it amuses me.

So, in summary, Japanese website.

Mal just told Jayne to "Go play with your rain stick." Nice. Me, I've already played with my rain stick today. I usually do when I wake up. TMI right there, I know, but whatever. This is my blog after all.

Juggling geese. Well, this has certainly turned into the "wacky" episode, with large finger quotes. Also, juggling geese? Japanese website.

BOOBS! I mean almost, because this IS a television show and not the HBO or Showtime version of television. But still. BOOBS!

So PaleBoobs turns on Mal. I will admit that I did not see that coming. And now she's taking over the ship. Nice. She's really kicking ass on this. Good for her.

So she takes off, they are going into some sort of net, they survive, and now they go looking for her. They find her, fight, and Mal punches PaleBoobs in the face. Again, Japanese website. That is toooootally a Japanese website, some web address like WesternWomanHappyPunch or something like that.

Aaaaand the end.

Good episode there. I mean, I was expecting a shindig and instead I got PaleBoobs, so that was definitely an upgrade. It's interesting that Netflix has the order of the episodes all screwed up, but I must admit I was pleased with the episode that I saw and I'm not just saying that because of the boobs. No, it was a fun episode. It wasn't all serious and moody and dialogue heavy. It was light and fun and I enjyed myself very much.

But I think I'll get back to the regular order of things next time.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Random Pictures I've Taken Recently ...

I'm feeling great!

My bipolar disorder is under complete control, my asthma is in remission, my family is awesome, I have cool friends, and I cannot remember the last time I have cut myself. Work is good (and I might be up for something soon). I am a happy, happy man!

So here's some pictures.

Here's Maxwell hugging his hero, WWE wrestler John Cena ...

This obviously redneck man believes in two things: 'Muica and Dodge trucks ...

The "Hurts Doughnut" shop in Norman, Oklahoma sells cereal doughnuts ...

Now THIS is what I call "cross promotion" ...

An honest-to-Wood black widow spider at the gas station in town ..

I somehow made everything fuzzy except my son's face. How amazing is that ...

This is a hand-painted picture of an angry bald eagle sharpening his claws in front of the American flag, just in case you didn't fully realize I live in redneck-ville ...

Maxwell has an Iron Man, a Captain America, two Spider-Man and a John Cena action figure and he's determined to carry all five everywhere he goes. The bathroom was difficult but he is quite determined ...

Friday, September 5, 2014

Watching Firefly For The First Time: "Bushwacked" ...

What time is it, kids?

Yes, it's time once again to watch some Firefly.

Well, it's been a few weeks since I decided that my "having a life of my own" adventure should also include taking my first steps into the larger worlds of movies and tv shows that I've never bothered to watch, the first one being the two hour pilot of Joss Whedon's Firefly. I turned that first step into the world of the Browncoats into a pretty strong blog post that I really liked, then I saw the second episode and, technically, the second first pilot, and that was even better than the first one.

Good stuff.

Now it's time for the third episode, entitled "Bushwacked," a horrible title that reminds me of my childhood love of wrestling.

Seriously. WWF, man. Doesn't anybody remembers the Bushwackers anymore ...

Old school right there.

This is going to be a difficult one because, well, my almost three year old son just woke up early. So I'll be watching this third episode of Firefly with him. Now, Maxwell Edward is a great kid. He's freaking cool. But unless it's Super Why or a Godzilla movie, this boy isn't interested. So we'll see what happens with him and Firefly.

This should be interesting ...

Opening narration and ALREADY Maxwell is screaming and dancing and being loud. So, pause to put the closed captioning on. I love closed captioning! I do! I've been obsessed with it ever since I was in high school. And in my house, the closed captioning is almost ALWAYS on. My family has gotten used to it. In a house with loud little kids, closed captioning is a Wood-send, which is an Ed Wood-version of a godsend.

BTW, Maxwell is using his action figures to pretend that Spider-Man and Captain America are fighting, then kissing each other. Soooooo apparently I have a very progressive son.

Episode starts. What are they playing? Space ball? Is it Space ball? Can it be CALLED Space ball? It looks a bit silly. It looks like a game you invent when you're babysitting.

Anyway, there's a nice little scene between Simon and the high class spacewhore. I forget her name. I don't know whether I like or hate her. She's a good, well written character and she seems like a fairly good actress. It's just that the concept of the intelligent spacewhore with a heart of spacegold seems a bit space-trite to me, like it's been space-done be-space-fore. But hey. This is only episode three. Lets see where this goes.

They find an empty ship. Then a jump scare. Dialogue. Men in fake sweaty shirts. And here comes 16-year-old seeming Summer Glau with a spooky non-sequitur line, as always.

"Shall I remind you of the story of the Good Samaritan?" Gawd, what a cheesy line. Grade-A cheese. Mac 'n' cheese. Musician Richard Cheese, for Wood's sake. Facepalm.

So they're going into the ghost ship. Alrighty them. It's typically spooky in there. Like, seriously, the way the ship looks is EXACTLY how I would have described it in my head even before watching this episode. You know? It looks like a cross between a scene in Aliens and the Vogon Fleet from the early 80s BBC tv version of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ...

They're going through the ship looking at stuff. Dark. Spooky. And the same exact piano keys keep playing over and over and over again. I want to say in my best Tom Servo voice "Get that cat off the piano."

Okay. Bodies found. Spooky guy. Shots fired. Good. That means things are happening. Good. Joss Whedon likes to write well written scenes of amazing dialogue. And I looooove his dialogue. But damn, how much dialogue is TOO MUCH dialogue? You gotta have a bit of action now and then, Mr. Whedon.

Sooooo. Reavers. More talk about Reavers. Great. The first episode, the original pilot, it had a lot of talk and discussion about these apparently scarrrrrry Reavers. It's episode three. Not like I actually want to SEE whatever the hell these mysterious bad guy macguffins are or anything, right?

Now they're being boarded. And there's another nice look at the inside of an Alliance ship. I like the Alliance. They're all dressed so nice. Their outfits are clean and pressed, like milk men in old television shows. Everyone who works for the Alliance seems to be sharp and clean cut and neat and professional, not like the unwashed masses in that junker Serenity. The Alliance is like the ROTC in high school, you know? Gooooooood people.

You know what? I just convinced myself. I'm rooting for the Alliance now. I hope they capture Captain Hammer now, that damn Han Solo wannabe.

I found it interesting that, given the current police state and the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, once the Alliance soldiers enter the ship, Wash puts up his hands up, as if to try and prove his innocence ...

... and seeing that really moves me because I couldn't help but be reminded of this ...

That's what I first thought of, right there, the riots.


Diiiiiiiid I just see a Godzilla figure tossed aside by an Alliance member while they're searching the ship? Did I? Because that would be prrrrrrrretty awesome.

Brother and sister hide outside. Guy goes nuts. Fake Han Solo to the rescue.

End of episode.

The thing is, seriously, this is a fine episode and all, but ... what happened?

Hardly anything, is the answer.

Lots of talking. Space ball. They find a ship. They find a survivor. They get boarded. Guy goes nuts. Aaaaaaaaand ... that's it. That's all that's happened. That's the whole frigging episode. So how the hell did Joss Whedon stretch that much nothing into an hour long episode? So much of nothing is happening. Hey, don't get me wrong, it's good nothing. It's damn good nothing. It is. But nothing is still nothing, you know?

Still, it's a good episode. I liked it. I liked the last episode I watched a lot more than this one, but hey, can't win them all.

So I guess I'll stick with this show. It's intriguing enough for me to want to stick around.

Thanks for putting up with my craziness.

Stay tuned for more first time Firefly!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Court Friend ...

Apropos of nothing, here's a picture of me during a recent storytime ...

I wanted to talk about a friend of mine and how she's getting screwed over.

One of my bestest friends is in a lengthy court battle right now, a nasty divorce.


Can you believe that crap? Someone out there is trying to use my friendship against someone in a court of law.

That's cold. That's the lowest of the low.