I know I don't update it daily. Shut up.

January 31, 2007


Yesterday, to my utmost woe and hurtful surprise, a most scandalous occurrence befell the coffee maker: That is, it wasn't working.

So I made an adventure to the top floor, the seventh, wherein the illustrious Dan Yergin plies his trade. (It should be known that Dan Yergin is the CEO of CERA, and recently was published in the Wall Street Journal. Not only have we put it into CERA style and made it our own on our Web site, but he was compelled to e-mail a pdf of it to everyone in the company yesterday. And I was snubbed by the newspaper in Lexington!) On the top floor the wheels of industry make their monolithic sweeps across the chasm of business and academia. The footprint mimics that of the lower floor, the sixth, where the grunts live, and having become acclimated to the environs I was well-equppied for the foray. Sho nuff, there before my wandering eyes stood The Maker, gleaming in its stainless-steel glory. I made the usual, a Sumatran blend from a golden packet. The Maker has three settings: Weak, Hella-weak, and Peel the Paint from the Walls Cuz Bubba's Goin' Bonkers.

I of course chose Bonkers.

The process is quick, smoothly bubbly and hot. The usual assortment of milks and creamers (14 bottles of milk to every carton of real creamer, and this is not a figure I am making up) line like the Gestapo in a prison-camp fridge. I did the dance without the required red straw; there were none at hand so I chose a spoon against the wishes of the Soup Eaters. I imagine they'll find their tools elsewhere, or switch to chunky.

I later remarked to Gig, who set me on my path in the first place ("Bryan, there's a coffee maker upstairs, you know." "Aoouuuu?") the coffee tasted better from upstairs, and I wasn't lying. A creaminess encapsulated the dense Sumat, unlike that of which I'd tasted from the grunts' device. I thought perhaps altitude, or attitude, had something to do with it. That was until this morning, nigh on an hour ago, when I rejoiced at the Maker sans "out of order" sign. Sometimes if it's cold out and my legs carry me on their own volition with blatant disregard for my heart or shinsplints, I make it here with coffee to spare. Oh, the joyous mix, oh, the rapturous swirl, the blending of worlds as Sumat and Pepperminty grocery-store goodness cohabitate my silver cup. Such was this day, and all sang praise to the Maker, for it was not only in service but working much like its upstairs twin.

But alas I am now without, and before my eyes are vetted with explanatory participles without ending or context, I shall meet my Maker for another.

January 27, 2007

Cartoon mania, part II

I received a lot of feedback on my post to name the best cartoon intros ever.

So I scoured Youtube and found a couple more oldies but goodies. Seems there's a real market for those of us that enjoyed the old-school cartoons.







January 24, 2007

Oscar De- la - Rentals

How I miss the days at Blockbuster. Last year I had seen just about every film nominated for an Academy Award, and was able to intelligently join the discussion. This year ain't over yet, though, so to stay true to you, the loyal reader, I shall in these weeks try to see as many of the nominated films as possible, making my predictions the week before the Oscars.
You can play along too. Here are the nominees.

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Leonardo DiCaprio in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Ryan Gosling in “Half Nelson” (THINKFilm)
Peter O’Toole in “Venus” (Miramax, Filmfour and UK Council)
Will Smith in “The Pursuit of Happyness” (Sony Pictures Releasing)
Forest Whitaker in “The Last King of Scotland” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Alan Arkin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
Jackie Earle Haley in “Little Children” (New Line)
Djimon Hounsou in “Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Eddie Murphy in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Mark Wahlberg in “The Departed” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Penélope Cruz in “Volver” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Judi Dench in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Helen Mirren in “The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox)
Kate Winslet in “Little Children” (New Line)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Adriana Barraza in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Cate Blanchett in “Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Abigail Breslin in “Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
Jennifer Hudson in “Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Rinko Kikuchi in “Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)

Best animated feature film of the year
“Cars” (Buena Vista) John Lasseter
“Happy Feet” (Warner Bros.) George Miller
“Monster House” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Gil Kenan

Achievement in art direction
“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Art Direction: John Myhre
Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
“The Good Shepherd” (Universal)
Art Direction: Jeannine Oppewall
Set Decoration: Gretchen Rau and Leslie E. Rollins
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse)
Art Direction: Eugenio Caballero
Set Decoration: Pilar Revuelta
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)
Art Direction: Rick Heinrichs
Set Decoration: Cheryl A. Carasik
“The Prestige” (Buena Vista)
Art Direction: Nathan Crowley
Set Decoration: Julie Ochipinti

Achievement in cinematography
“The Black Dahlia” (Universal) Vilmos Zsigmond
“Children of Men” (Universal) Emmanuel Lubezki
“The Illusionist” (Yari Film Group) Dick Pope
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) Guillermo Navarro
“The Prestige” (Buena Vista) Wally Pfister

Achievement in costume design
“Curse of the Golden Flower” (Sony Pictures Classics) Yee Chung Man
“The Devil Wears Prada” (20th Century Fox) Patricia Field
“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount) Sharen Davis
“Marie Antoinette” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Milena Canonero
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Consolata Boyle

Achievement in directing
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Alejandro González Iñárritu
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.) Martin Scorsese
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.) Clint Eastwood
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Stephen Frears
“United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal) Paul Greengrass

Best documentary feature
“Deliver Us from Evil” (Lionsgate)
A Disarming Films Production
Amy Berg and Frank Donner
“An Inconvenient Truth” (Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
A Lawrence Bender/Laurie David Production
Davis Guggenheim
“Iraq in Fragments” (Typecast Releasing)
A Typecast Pictures/Daylight Factory Production
James Longley and John Sinno
“Jesus Camp” (Magnolia Pictures)
A Loki Films Production
Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
“My Country, My Country” (Zeitgeist Films)
A Praxis Films Production
Laura Poitras and Jocelyn Glatzer

Best documentary short subject
“The Blood of Yingzhou District”
A Thomas Lennon Films Production
Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon
“Recycled Life”
An Iwerks/Glad Production
Leslie Iwerks and Mike Glad
“Rehearsing a Dream”
A Simon & Goodman Picture Company Production
Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon
“Two Hands”
A Crazy Boat Pictures Production
Nathaniel Kahn and Susan Rose Behr

Achievement in film editing
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Stephen Mirrione and Douglas Crise
“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Steven Rosenblum
“Children of Men” (Universal)
Alex Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
Thelma Schoonmaker
“United 93” (Universal and StudioCanal)
Clare Douglas, Christopher Rouse and Richard Pearson

Best foreign language film of the year
“After the Wedding” A Zentropa Entertainments 16 Production
“Days of Glory (Indigènes)” A Tessalit Production
“The Lives of Others” A Wiedemann & Berg Production
“Pan’s Labyrinth” A Tequila Gang/Esperanto Filmoj/Estudios Picasso Production
“Water” A Hamilton-Mehta Production

Achievement in makeup
“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista) Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
“Click” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Kazuhiro Tsuji and Bill Corso
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) David Marti and Montse Ribe

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage) Gustavo Santaolalla
“The Good German” (Warner Bros.) Thomas Newman
“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight) Philip Glass
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse) Javier Navarrete
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada) Alexandre Desplat

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
“I Need to Wake Up” from “An Inconvenient Truth”
(Paramount Classics and Participant Productions)
Music and Lyric by Melissa Etheridge
“Listen” from “Dreamgirls”
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger and Scott Cutler
Lyric by Anne Preven
“Love You I Do” from “Dreamgirls”
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger
Lyric by Siedah Garrett
“Our Town” from “Cars”
(Buena Vista)
Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
“Patience” from “Dreamgirls”
(DreamWorks and Paramount)
Music by Henry Krieger
Lyric by Willie Reale

Best motion picture of the year
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
An Anonymous Content/Zeta Film/Central Films Production
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Jon Kilik and Steve Golin, Producers
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
A Warner Bros. Pictures Production
Nominees to be determined
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
A DreamWorks Pictures/Warner Bros. Pictures Production
Clint Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz, Producers
“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
A Big Beach/Bona Fide Production
Nominees to be determined
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
A Granada Production
Andy Harries, Christine Langan and Tracey Seaward, Producers

Best animated short film
“The Danish Poet” (National Film Board of Canada)
A Mikrofilm and National Film Board of Canada Production
Torill Kove
“Lifted” (Buena Vista)
A Pixar Animation Studios Production
Gary Rydstrom
“The Little Matchgirl” (Buena Vista)
A Walt Disney Pictures Production
Roger Allers and Don Hahn
“Maestro” (Szimplafilm)
A Kedd Production
Geza M. Toth
“No Time for Nuts” (20th Century Fox)
A Blue Sky Studios Production
Chris Renaud and Michael Thurmeier

Best live action short film
“Binta and the Great Idea (Binta Y La Gran Idea)”
A Peliculas Pendelton and Tus Ojos Production
Javier Fesser and Luis Manso
“Éramos Pocos (One Too Many)” (Kimuak)
An Altube Filmeak Production
Borja Cobeaga
“Helmer & Son”
A Nordisk Film Production
Soren Pilmark and Kim Magnusson
“The Saviour” (Australian Film Television and Radio School)
An Australian Film Television and Radio School Production
Peter Templeman and Stuart Parkyn
“West Bank Story”
An Ari Sandel, Pascal Vaguelsy, Amy Kim, Ravi Malhotra and Ashley Jordan Production
Ari Sandel

Achievement in sound editing
“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista)
Sean McCormack and Kami Asgar
“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Lon Bender
“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
Alan Robert Murray
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)
Christopher Boyes and George Watters II

Achievement in sound mixing
“Apocalypto” (Buena Vista)
Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Fernando Camara
“Blood Diamond” (Warner Bros.)
Andy Nelson, Anna Behlmer and Ivan Sharrock
“Dreamgirls” (DreamWorks and Paramount)
Michael Minkler, Bob Beemer and Willie Burton
“Flags of Our Fathers” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by Paramount)
John Reitz, Dave Campbell, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)
Paul Massey, Christopher Boyes and Lee Orloff

Achievement in visual effects
“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (Buena Vista)
John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and Allen Hall
“Poseidon” (Warner Bros.)
Boyd Shermis, Kim Libreri, Chaz Jarrett and John Frazier
“Superman Returns” (Warner Bros.)
Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould, Richard R. Hoover and Jon Thum

Adapted screenplay
“Borat Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” (20th Century Fox)
Screenplay by Sacha Baron Cohen & Anthony Hines & Peter Baynham & Dan Mazer
Story by Sacha Baron Cohen & Peter Baynham & Anthony Hines & Todd Phillips
“Children of Men” (Universal)
Screenplay by Alfonso Cuarón & Timothy J. Sexton and David Arata and Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby
“The Departed” (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by William Monahan
“Little Children” (New Line)
Screenplay by Todd Field & Tom Perrotta
“Notes on a Scandal” (Fox Searchlight)
Screenplay by Patrick Marber

Original screenplay
“Babel” (Paramount and Paramount Vantage)
Written by Guillermo Arriaga
“Letters from Iwo Jima” (Warner Bros.)
Screenplay by Iris Yamashita
Story by Iris Yamashita & Paul Haggis
“Little Miss Sunshine” (Fox Searchlight)
Written by Michael Arndt
“Pan’s Labyrinth” (Picturehouse)
Written by Guillermo del Toro
“The Queen” (Miramax, Pathé and Granada)
Written by Peter Morgan

January 22, 2007

Walking with purpose

Marcy and I have decided to take full advantage of the 10-mile bike path behind our apartment by walking it whenever we can.
I've already been hit by motivation. After living in the land of the SUV for so long, I forgot that people in this world actually walk to places. Then I got a job downtown and though I take a lot of public transportation, it's still a hell of a lot of walking. That, coupled with my mostly no-beer diet, will hopefully get me in good enough shape to almost think about getting off my ass this spring and overhauling my bike so that I might look svelt in a tux.
But right now my fiance is sitting next to me looking at cake. An uphill climb awaits.

January 13, 2007

Cheese monster

There's a cheese monster in the kitchen, I've just been told.

It keeps sending me fresh mozzarella via my fiance.

Best. Monster. Ever.

January 11, 2007

I battle and I win.

Crazy day around here. We don't have a wall left in the guest room. Perhaps I should explain:

So here I was getting caught up on Craig Ferguson when Mr. Boo came out into the living room.

"Wrow?" he says. Which, as you know, means, "Bryan I'm sorry to disturb you - and by the way thanks for breakfast but the water was a tad cold so please run the warm water first next time - but I think something's amiss in my room back here, and I'm not talking about how you guys are leaving things in my chairs and forced me to fight you last night. I'm talking about the large, lizardlike creature flying outside."

So I said, "Whatchoo talkin' bout, Willis?"

And he turned around and dashed into the guest room. And I followed him and you know what? A dragon got its tail caught in the gutter! So I took the bottom part out of the window to help him, but I leaned too far out the window and fell out but I still had a hand on the dragon's tail. And of course it's floppin' and flyin's around and making an awful ruckus and now my fat butt is weighing it down. But luckily one of the kids on the first floor is having his birthday today and his parents set up one of those bouncy castles. The crew had just finished setting it up so it looked good to me and I let go of the tail and dropped down. But I hit the floor too hard and bounced out and landed on top of Maintenance Guy Glen's truck, on one side of a ladder. The other side flew up and hit the power line which ripped the tranformer out - and it connects to a line on the overpass there. It sent up all these sparks and hit one of the roots of a tree which got knocked loose since it was growing out of the slope and knocked into the dragon which fell back into the building and obliterated the wall. Frank (the landlord) had to come down and was pissed. Mr. Boo and I got some plastic tarp from Glen, who was also mad that he needed to get a new ladder. We had to keep the door to the room closed for awhile but Frank's mortar guys were able to come by today with a new window. Everything was patched up by the time Marcy got home. Crazy, huh? You can't make this stuff up.

Oh, and I got a new job. Yippeee! I be working for an energy-research publication company. Neato!

January 5, 2007

A photo of us

Ain't we the cutest? And yes, Mom, I shaved since this weekend.

January 3, 2007

Bigtime Sports

By Dan Lutman

Buffalo Beat
The Buffalo Bills ended their season with a 19-7 loss on the road to the Baltimore Ravens and missed out on finishing the season at .500 by dropping to 7-9. The Bills did play the Super Bowl contending Ravens tough in their own back yard despite the loss.
That is a good sign for a Bills team that under Mike Mularkey had a tendency of rolling over and quitting. The Bills played hard under Dick Jauron all year long and there is something to be said for that.
Also, despite two interceptions, J.P. Losman seemed to establish himself as the quarterback of the future for the Bills. The bright spot for the Bills in their final game was a 44-yard touchdown pass and catch from J.P. Losman to Lee Evans. Evans and Losman seem to be the answer at quarterback and wide receiver for the Bills for many years to come.
Evans ended his first season as the Bills' No. 1 receiver with career highs of 82 receptions and 1292 yards. He also had eight touchdown catches.
The big questions this offseason will be if the Bills will be able to sign top cornerback Nate Clements, who will be seeking a big payday, and linebacker London Fletcher-Baker. Also, the Bills will need to focus on improving their offensive line via free agency or the NFL Draft in April. The Bills ended up with the 12th pick in the upcoming draft.
To go along with their improved 7-9 record, the Bills also ended up playing the toughest schedule in the NFL this year according to the records of each team. All this leaves reason for a lot of optimism in the 2007-2008 NFL season.

The Buffalo Sabres completed a four-game homestand with a 4-0 record.
They first got a little payback by exploding for six first period goals en route to a 6-3 victory over the Washington Capitals, making up for a loss in which the Sabres may have played their worst game of the season earlier this year.
Then the Sabres went on to complete a season sweep of the defending Stanley Cup Champions with a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Next, the Sabres went on to beat the Southeast Division-leading Atlanta Thrashers 4-1. The final game was a 3-1 win over former head coach Ted Nolan and the New York Islanders in the first game of 2007.
The Sabres head to Ottawa tonight to face a Senators team that the Sabres have had plenty of trouble with this year. The Sabres are 1-3 against Ottawa this year heading into tonight and are looking to prove that they are the better team.

Top Story
The BCS Championship game is approaching between Florida and Ohio State with the winner being crowned the College Football National Champion.
There is only one problem with this. If Ohio State wins, there will still be two undefeated teams in college football. If Florida wins, there will be only one undefeated team. No problem right? Wrong, that’s because the lone undefeated team will not be the National Champion.
A little unfair? Just a bit. That’s because Boise State, fresh off their exhilarating 43-42 overtime victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, has finished its season undefeated, yet has no chance at winning the National Championship. This topic has been beaten into the ground, but they need to shorten up the regular season schedule and incorporate a playoff system.
To go along with this, the layoff between the end of the regular season and the Bowl games needs to be a lot shorter. Ohio State will have been off more than seven weeks before they play in the BCS Championship Game. I don’t think people are looking to watch a game in which the players are rusty and out of sync. You can practice all you want and any way you want, but there is no way to replicate game speed and conditions in practice. Until a playoff system is put into play the BCS is nothing but a BC MESS!

Dan's Three Cents
Each week, I throw in my three opinions on anything going on in the sports world that I haven’t discussed or significant stories outside of sports.

1. The NFL Playoffs are finally here and the road to the Super Bowl should be a good one. The Super Bowl, once again, may not be the best game of the playoffs. That’s because it seems that the teams in the AFC (San Diego, Baltimore, Indianapolis, New England, New York Jets and Kansas City) once again seem to be head-and-shoulders better than the teams in the NFC (Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, Dallas, and the New York Giants). Expect the Super Bowl Champion to come out of the AFC.

2. Along those same lines of the NFL Playoffs, it is time for some predictions. In Wild Card Weekend, I like the Patriots over the Jets, the Colts over the Chiefs, the Eagles over the Giants, and the Cowboys over the Colts. In the Divisional Weekend, I like the Chargers over the Patriots, the Colts over the Ravens, the Bears over the Cowboys, and the Eagles over the Saints. In the AFC Championship I like the Chargers over the Colts, and in the NFC Championship I like the Eagles over the Bears. Finally, in the Super Bowl, I like the Chargers over the Eagles. That virtually guarantees my predictions sure to go wrong.

3. To conclude my “Three Cents” (NFL version this week), I’d like to touch on the Darrent Williams shooting death this past Monday. Though his death was in no fault his own, professional athletes need to realize they have a target on their back and are under the public spotlight. They can’t be going out to strip clubs and dance clubs in areas where they are prone to getting into disputes and altercations. These players have plenty of money to be able to go into better areas that have bars and clubs that are a lot safer. They can even throw their own parties and invite whomever they want. Maybe athletes need to hire someone to make sure they keep away from the areas that could cause them problems. I understand there can be bad people in good areas, but I have to believe that altercations are happening in worse areas because shootings, fights, DWIs, and deaths are taking place way too often. Let’s think, athletes, before you become the next one shot or arrested.
With that said, my thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Darrent Williams and anyone else who has been injured or killed in this type of altercation.

In honor of sweeps

I know I'm a little early thinking about primetime sweeps, but I was pondering last night the volume of shows that are getting off their rerun schedules in the coming weeks. Is it just me, or was there a time when shows took off a week or two at Christmas then resumed immediately after the New Year? Do shows still do that? I watch so very little TV these days.

With sweeps in mind, and Lost getting back into full-swing, I present you with this short video to get you caught up on what you may have missed in the series so far.

January 2, 2007

Correspondence from my betrothed

You ask for one favor in life: Get eggs.
See, there are two groceries in our neighborhood. Three if you count the mini-mart that does not sell eggs. But the one we always use, Stop and Shop, was out of eggs. HOW ARE YOU OUT OF EGGS!?!?! my mind screamed as I stood in the dairy section. YOU ARE A STORE THAT SELLS EGGS!!!!
Then, my judgement clouded, I called Marcy and asked that she pick up eggs. I of course did not remember the other grocery, Foodmaster, probably had eggs and was, like, 200 feet away. But I made it all the way home and just shot an e-mail to Marcy. "Please get us some eggs."

Then I got this, in e-mail form:

Where am I supposed to get Eggs? I only drive by THAT stop and shop! I’m just going to have to find me a CHICKEN!! And yell at it! Hey chicken – give me eggs! Bryan has to make a casserole!! And he did not get eggs! Because he was not master enough to go to FOODMASTER!! Oh, but I am the master, and so I will go to FOODMASTER and get the master of all eggs and then I will master the miniscule drive back to our master domicile and present you with eggs from the FOODMASTER and then you will bow to me because I AM the FOODMASTER and all along you thought it was just a store!! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

Stupid Chicken.