Thursday, October 28, 2004

"Pauly Shore"

So Claire and I went to go see Pauly Shore is Dead last night at The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. For those that aren't from Austin, let's just say that the ADH is the coolest theater ever conceived. One of the reasons why they are so cool is because they often times bring in directors, writers and/or actors to talk about their films. And, sure enough, Pauly Shore was going to be at the showing last night.

Normally I'm the one that drags Claire out to these things. But she happens to love Son-In-Law (don't ask), and she heard Pauly and Tim League (the Drafthouse's owner) on 101X's morning show yesterday. She thought it sounded like fun and called me to ask if I wanted to go. Initially I thought that it would be cool. It's always fun to see washed up entertainers squirm through questions like "So what are you doing, now?" during the inevitable Q&A. So, I went online to get the tickets and. . . wtf? $16!?. . . for a movie that not only stars Pauly Shore as himself, but was directed, written, produced and even financed by Pauly? Hmmm. . . I had to think about it. Because $32. . . that's a freakin' new game right there, boy! Anyway, in the end I realized that it's not everyday that Claire requests to go to the Drafthouse. So, at 32 dollars poorer, we had our tickets.

The movie was a train wreck. But not a train wreck in a way that you would gawk in awe of the horror. That would mean that you would actually purposefully look in its direction. I'm talking a train wreck as in it makes you wince at the gore and look away. Yeah, it pretty much sucked.

I admire the guy for being able to put a project like that together. It was a labor of love for him (and an obvious ploy to try to get back some semblance of a career, but we'll overlook that.) And to his credit, he saw it through. He definitely gets props for trying. However, the final product isn't even worthy of cable.

First of all, due to budget restrictions I'm sure, it wasn't even filmed in 35mm film. It looked like a high school production. That was already a bad sign. I would have probably overlooked that except that the acting, mostly his, was awful. And the directing, if you can call it that, was deplorable. The tone of the movie was inconsistent and the pacing was out of whack. I'll give him this though: really, can anyone direct a 1 dimensional 'actor' like Ben Stiller? The best acting job was from the least likely of people. Shore originally wanted Robert Downey, Jr. to play his cell mate in the movie, but I was really impressed with Todd Bridges. Honestly, I thought he did a great job. Someone needs to give that guy some work!

The highlight of the movie, as you can imagine, were the tons of cameos by celebrities. . . some still popular, some forgotten (Rico Suave anyone?) In almost all cases, they're funny as shit. . . especially when they trash Pauly. Yes, at least Pauly was able to laugh at himself. If he hadn't, the movie would have been unbearable altogether. Having Carrot Top move into his house after he was forced to move out, and having Rico Suave selling oranges on the side of the road... now THOSE were good ideas. More of that shit and less of Pauly's 'dramatic' crying scenes would have been good.

Rob's Rating: It sucks.

Monday, October 25, 2004

"Beastie Boys"

So I went ahead and enabled comments on this biznatch. Wor-, wor-, wor-, wor-, wor-, word 'em up!

That reminds me. . . I caught the Beastie Boys in concert this past Friday. Those guys can still rock! Hmmm. . . or is that "still rap!" Or maybe "still jam!"? They're kind of a music anomaly. They're rap/hip-hop artists, but they actually know how to play instruments. They also manage to get air play on rock stations. Really, no other band like the Beastie Boys has ever made it like they did. I mean, they're white, jewish, ex-punk rockers who made it big as hip-hop artists. You don't see a lot of that happening. And how many hip-hop artists play purely instrumental songs at their concerts? Yeah, none. What's most impressive is that they've managed to stay fresh and popular.

And while I'm on the subject of the Beastie Boys concert, I'd like to give props to my homeboy (do people even still say that?), Ricky. I haven't known him for a very long time, but he really impressed me last Friday.

You see, I had originally tried to get Floor/GA tickets, which is the only way to see a concert in my opinion, and had been denied by the shitty website that is It crashed the minute they started selling BB tickets and didn't come back up until all the GA tickets were gone. Bummer. Refusing to pay like $5 less and watch from the stands, I didn't buy any tickets at all. Well, the night before the concert, Ricky mentioned he was going to see them and that he had GA tickets. Upon further inquiry, I found out that his friend had bought them online and was giving one to Ricky in lieu of some money owed. I was flabbergasted (which usually only happens when I have too many pinto beans.) How could have Ricky's friend have bought floor tickets online when it was down? Anyway, I found a ticket for floor level at $25 over face value. And since the Beastie Boys don't come into town often, I went ahead and bought it so I could go with them. The next day, I find out that Ricky's friend was bullshitting about the floor tickets. So now I was stuck with a single floor ticket.

I was pissed. And as it turns out, so was Ricky. This guy knew that I was going to buy a floor ticket (at quite an expense too!) to go with them and still didn't fess up. He basically let me spend $74 bucks without giving a shit. I scrambled to find someone willing to go (and pay $74) that evening because the only thing that sucks worse than not having a floor ticket is having a floor ticket and going alone. No one could/wanted to. Ricky, being a decent person, told his friend that he was going to buy a floor ticket to go with me instead. . . in retaliation for the lying. That was without me even asking him to do so. So yeah, there are still decent people left in the world.

Honestly, I think aliens were monitoring the whole situation to decide whether or not the human race should be erased from existence with a deadly space laser beam. I mean, we were problaby just moments from being annihilated! Whew!

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Thought I'd leave you with an old rant of mine. This one's originally dated April 30th, 2003:


Out of all the types of people I have to deal with on a regular basis, waitresses are by far the most annoying. They're either too busy to bring me a god dammed bottle of ketchup or overly friendly and jab their jaw like I give a shit.

Sure, I know that waiting tables can be a pain in the ass. But, so what? So are a lot of other jobs. If you can't deal with people asking you for shit every other minute, then quit. I would be a shitty waiter. And when I was working my way through college, I never became one because I knew that I'd suck at it and hate it. I don't even like to get my own shit; much less get someone else's.

The problem is that, in America, where people have stopped eating at home, we have about a zillion restaurants... all needing waitresses, and anybody can become a waitress. Don't have a degree and need to support 2 kids? Working your way through college? Have no marketable skills whatsoever? Become a waitress.

Is there such a thing as a good waitress? Sure there is. You're about as likely to find a $20 bill in a wash-a-teria washing machine as you are to get a good waitress, but they do exist. A good waitress is someone that takes my order, turns it in correctly, makes sure it comes out correctly before putting it on my table, then checks on my table with a glance from time to time (drinks filled, I'm not looking around for something, etc.) Maybe she can stop by and ask me if I need anything one or two times after my meal has arrived. That doesn't sound terribly hard does it?

What I DON'T need from a waitress is new fucking best friend. Hooters is the WORST for that shit. Sure, that's kind of the whole gig, right? Attractive (that's debatable too sometimes.... unfortunately) waitresses flirt and shoot the shit with the patrons. I realize that I'm the only guy in there that goes there because he actually wants a Buffalo Chicken sandwich and some wings. But Christ, all those whores want is a bigger tip. And it's sooo obvious. I mean, I know I'm attractive and all, but it kind of kills it when I see them sitting on some ugly-ass motherfucker's lap who keeps ordering pitchers. I mean, c'mon. She wouldn't give him the time of day if they were to pass each other on the street. (I hate strippers for the same reason... feigning attraction for profit, but that's another story.)

I've considered telling a waitress straight out as soon as they take my order that they start with a $10 tip (for an average meal, that's a lot)... and that every time I have to ask them for something, they lose a dollar. If my meal isn't exactly what I ordered, they lose a dollar. If they ask me any personal questions, they lose a dollar. If my straw ever makes that slurping sound for lack of beverage, they lose a dollar. If I run out of napkins, they lose a dollar. If they ever ask me who ordered what when the meal arrives, they lose a dollar. If they have to ask who gets which drink, they lose 2 dollars because seriously.. they took my drink order... what... like 60 seconds ago? Christ. Unfortunately, I never had the balls to do this because 1) It'd take too long to explain it to them 2) They'd just get pissed and spit in my food 3) They'd more than likely end up in the negative tip range, and I'd have to stiff them on part of the bill, and I'm not that mean.

You'd think that since waitresses get paid a shitty hourly wage and that the majority of their income comes from tips, that they'd give a shit. They don't. They expect to get tipped no matter what. What the hell is that? And you can ALWAYS spot an ex-waitress at a restaurant. They're very sympathetic and always tip way more than they should. I hated dating ex-waitresses and going out to eat. I mean, I don't leave REALLY shitty tips, but when someone asks me why I only left someone 5 bucks for a $30 (that's just over 15% people, a reasonable tip) tab, I get pissy... especially if I just paid for their god dammed food. Needless to say, Claire has never been a waitress. I'd never get along with an ex-waitress.

Then there is the "If it weren't for tipping, food prices would be a lot higher because they'd have to pay the wait staff more." One word sums this up: Bullshit. They don't do this auto-tipping shit in Europe, and they don't have sky-high food prices. And why the fuck does it cost twice the price to order a hamburger, fries and a drink at a sit-down-to-order restaurant than it does at a drive-thru where you generally get it faster and it tastes just as good? And even if it did cost more to maintain a sit-down restaurant and perhaps pay the waitresses a bit better, I’d really rather do that and not have to tip all the time. The current method sucks.

BTW, today I found a $20 bill in a wash-a-teria washing machine.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004


What's wrong with video game makers these days? Taito, a once pround Japanese powerhouse (they made the original Space Invaders after all), had a 50th anniversary game come out for the PS2 not too long ago. And what was that 50th anniversary commemorative game? Bujinagai: The Forsaken City. Bujin-what? Most of you have never heard of this game. In fact, Taito didn't even bring it over to the U.S. Instead, Bam! Entertainment picked it up for a domestic release. I guess Taito didn't believe in their own game enough. It's hard to blame them.

Bujingai begins well enough. It's got a cool player-created intro screen, flashy moves, and just a pretty cool Hong Kong movie feel in general. Kinda sorta like a Devil May Cry - Hong Kong Edition. In fact, that's exactly why I bought this game. It seemed pretty damn cool when I tried out a friend's copy. The problem is that the camera is the worst piece of shit ever. Not only that, but the control is sketchy. Well, I guess for the most part it's OK. When you're just running around on the ground slashing shit, it's cool. But let's just say that pinpoint accurate jumping isn't its forte. So what do they go and do? Create an platform jumping level in the sky near the end of the game! WTF?! Did they not play the game they created? The jumping accuracy is pure and utter crap. I've never, ever yelled so much at the TV in my life as I did when I was playing that level. I nearly went hoarse cursing the game's developers, and the asshole on the screen that refused to do what I wanted him to do. Not only that, but the game rewarded me getting passed all that platform jumping bullshit with a game crash at the boss. Fuckin'-A-Awesome, Taito. Good job on that. I don't remember console games ever crashing on me before this generation of consoles. Christ.