Fat Dad With Glasses: Bachin’r

I was bachin’r last week.  That’s pronounced batch-in-er.  It’s derived from bacheloring.  Which, as far as I know, is also a fake word.  It’s when your spouse leaves you alone while they visit family or friends, and they take every other occupant of the household with them.  Wife, kids, pets, responsibilities of all kinds disappear for a period of time greater than one night but less than forever.  It’s also the reason I didn’t feel like blogging with so many other possibilities (video games) available to me.

I had been bachin’r since Sunday evening, when I got back from dropping Mel and Charlotte off at her parents’ place in the middle of Buttfuck Nowhere (BFN).  Here’s a map:


This is a null image.
Do not Google Image Search “Buttfuck Nowhere”.

The experience ended Friday evening when I returned to BFN.  Bachin’r is a wonderful time in a Fat Dad With Glasses’ life. It teaches you many different lessons that you need to be reminded of.

The first nights are wonderful.  Since it was insisted upon that the place be clean before we left, I got to return to a bright, clean, empty, quiet home.  After calling the family to say that I landed, I shut off the phone, and turned off pretty much every screen in the place, without having to put it on Yo Gabba Gabba or that goddamn Bruno Mars video with the monkeys.  My MMORPG of choice, City of Heroes, required an update, so that bought me some time to make food, perform 2 out of the 3 S’s, and watch stuff on TV that wasn’t fuzzy shit singing and dancing at me.

Once the update was done downloading, and applied and such, it was time to play.  I played like I was 20 again (i.e. pretty well constantly for the next 6 or 7 hours).  I had some beer.  Once that was over, I watched an insanely shitty zombie movie, read some of A Feast For Crows and went to bed.  Then… I woke up in the morning.  Not 4 times through the night to the screaming of my delightfully sleep-hating daughter.  I went to work, and the process repeated itself.

After those first few days are up, you slowly start to realize what your life would be like without your family.  That’s less than exciting.  But it’s great at the same time.  You appreciate your life and family and whatnot more, and you really look forward to seeing them again.  In my case, I also realize that without a female influence of some kind, I’m perfectly willing to live in complete squalor.  At least, you are until you realize that tomorrow you’ll have to head off to retrieve the family again and you need to suddenly make your home not look like it’s a warzone.


Pictured: Bachin’r, Day 3.
How am I going to clean up that tank without help?

Here are some of the week’s highlights and lowlights:


Brains…

‘Round about Day 4.


Phoning It In: R2-D2 Puzz 3D

I feel like I’ve slowed down on my posts this week.  It’s not because I’ve lost interest.  It’s just because this week has afforded me a lot of time to slack off and play video games.  I started out tonight making a post about that.  Then, when it started taking too long, I decided, “Fuck that.”  Instead, I’m going to phone one in.

Here’s a review I made 11 years ago today on an R2-D2 Puzz 3D.  Between the Blu Ray releases, and the recent discussion of 3D this seems kind of fitting.  (Okay, the 3D thing is stretching it a bit.  I doubt there were many puzzle purists railing against the onslaught of 3D puzzles in the marketplace.)

And It Makes A Lovely Hat.

And It Makes A Lovely Hat!

Ahh… the joys of University life. Life is simple in the Joy Kidd Residence. Quiet, Peaceful, Serene. That is until Third River wakes up. The hall has always been synonymous with ridiculousness. Our first year, random hall events such as the Pantsless Drag Races down the hall, were almost constantly getting on the nerves of our proctor (Hall Rule Enforcer Guy), Cam. Often, procrastination creates boredom. This boredom was quite frequently the cause of our ridiculousness. So when we returned the next year, what was Cam to do? The obvious choice was to create a constructive, fun, non-class related project that we could all enjoy. R2-D2 was it. 

Cam had received it as a Christmas present the year before. He was always too busy to be bothered with it. So, he contracted the Ridiculous Fan-Boys of Third River to construct this wondrous monument to that fun loving harbinger of comic relief. 

Of course, we attacked the project with the vigor only a group of young students who will do anything to avoid school work can muster. Most of the work was done by yours truly, and a close personal friend of mine, Brian. I focused on the arms (or legs, I guess) and the half spherical head of that cute little Droid. Brian focused on the torso, and assembling the completed pieces. 

But that’s enough of my pointless story. It’s time to get down to the good and bad things about R2-D2. As far as puzzles go, he is quite a challenge. It took us the better part of a week to build him. There are lots of helpful pictures on the box. I really enjoyed the challenge. But Artoo was great fun to build. After I built the head, I got to wear it around as a hat. When Brian was finished with the torso, we attached that to the head, and I wore that as a hat. I was stylin’. 

There are a few bad things about it. Like after about 5 hours straight of looking at the colors blue, grey and white… your eyes might start bleeding. This is never good. It is time to put the pieces away. 

On a serious note, there are several waste pieces… fortunately, Cam and Brian had gotten rid of most of them before I tackled the project. Also, once you’ve completed the head and torso, they fit together quite well. But the arm-legs don’t attach together all that easily. 

In the Star Wars saga, R2-D2 gets blasted or shot by something at least twice a movie, and it never really phases him. They should make all their vehicles out of the same material as that little guy. This puzzle, however, is not made out of the same alloy. It would take less than a stiff breeze to blow it apart. It needs some kind of sturdy display area, lest there be much swearing in your home as it breaks over and over. 

Our particular package did not have the little voice box thing. So, I can’t really comment on that. Artoo does come with a warranty, though. And apparently Cam was able to get the voice box later through the mail. I hear it is quite annoying to listen to more than once a month. 

Over all, Artoo has his little annoyances, but is extremely fun to build if you are doing it with a bunch of people who are as goofy as you. I’d recommend him to Fan Boys and Girls around the globe. Just don’t push him around too much.

Recommended:  Yes.

As you can see, I’ve never taken a “formal” approach to reviewing.
A few years after I wrote this review, I found another R2-D2 Puzz 3D on super clearance at a department store.  I bought it, and left it unopened.  Not for collector’s value, like most of my unopened Star Wars shit.  But because I knew one day I’d build it, and make Mel laugh again.  She was on the same floor when I built this puzzle, but we didn’t know each other then.  
She laughed senselessly when she saw me wandering around with Artoo on my head as a hat.  Somehow I managed to keep it, unopened and unbuilt, through 6 moves, or more and Jebas knows what else.  Now, it’s been long enough that I’ll wait until I can build it with Charlotte, and make them both laugh senselessly by wearing it as a hat.
If you read all this garbage, Why would you do that?  If you enjoyed it…  Congratulations.. you may just be as batshit crazy as me.

Peter Dinklage Wins Emmy

Peter Dinklage won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the Primetime Emmys on Sunday night.  I’m incredibly glad that he received the nod, because it was a difficult category.  He beat out Nightcrawler, Howard Stark and Shane Vendrell, and a couple other people.


Where’s Joffrey? I’ve got something I need to smack him with.

Continue reading to watch what looks to be a very chopped up video of him accepting the award, and win a free* SlapChop™.

I can only assume that Mr. Dinklage was nominated in the Supporting Actor category as to not spoil things for those that haven’t read or seen A Game of Thrones.  When it comes right down to it, he’s clearly the lead actor.

*SlapChop™ prize available only to the first 0.127 viewers.  Winners of SlapChop™ prize must submit valid credit card information along with current mailing address to claim prize.  Fat Guy With Glasses is not responsible for any or all worries slapped away with the SlapChop™ prize.

Charlotte Says…

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Hi.

Re-Watching Dead: Guts



Two Down…

We wrapped up another episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.  This time, there’s more of everything.  More characters, more gore, more diversity, more shooting stuff in the head, more suspension of disbelief and more frustruating departures from the comics.

Read what we thought of the show’s second episode, “Guts” for a chance to win a free* puppy.

As Rick escapes from his sticky situation with the help of Glen, he fires off a ridiculous amount of gunshots drawing every extra that turned out to spend a hot Atlanta day in sticky makeup.  This greatly upsets Glen’s ethnically diverse group of tagalong co-scavengers.  They spend the rest of the episode sulking while Rick and Glen work their asses off to help them escape.  Particularly upset is a bald and racist Rowdy Burns, who doesn’t much care for anyone but himself.

Meanwhile, back at camp, Shane is making correct decisions based on the situation while coming off looking like a weasely chickenshit.

Things We Agree On:

Mel and I both enjoyed the episode overall.  Despite a few problems here and there, it is very strong.  It does a great job at suspense building.  The story isn’t entirely predictable, especially so if you hadn’t read the comics before watching.  The casting, acting and directing are fantastic.  The pacing of the episode is also great.  There aren’t many lulls in the action that aren’t neccessary or character building.

My guess is that someone in a boardroom looked at the first trade of the comic and said, “Hey… these are almost all white people.”  They likely did this because:
  • It’s true.
  • TV Boardroom types need to worry about this shit.

So, their answer was to, of course, recreate some characters from the comics as people who are other races and draw attention to the fact that their cast was now such an incredibly diverse rainbow of colours by adding a raging racist redneck as a plot device.


You sonofabitch.
You just made me say the “N” word.

The talent makes it work though.  Rick manages to take a punch like a bitch, and then summon his police training powers to difuse the situation with a cool speech and his trusty handcuffs, which surely won’t leave anyone in a Mad Max/Rorschach situation later on.

Another interesting part of the episode is seeing how Shane is ruling the roost over at Camp Dale’s Campertown.  Shane really is making (mostly) the right decisions, in my opinion.  Problem is, in a survival situation like the one these characters are in, the right decisions make you look like a weasel-douche.  They do a great job showing Shane’s relationship with Lori and Carl, though. He’s really developped a new family, which (thanks to last week’s too long car scene) was something you could tell he was really looking for.  It’s clear that the powers that be didn’t want anyone thinking Shane pulls an Anakin Skywalker later on.  They want the pacing and reasons behind his transformations to be perfectly clear.

Thing We Didn’t Agree On:

During the guts scene, Mel thought Rick’s pause was corny. It does seem a bit too reminiscent of Fight Club.  Still, I thought it performed its task well.  It’s there to show us that Rick hasn’t lost his humanity.  He’s really struggling to deal with this new world.  He doesn’t want to let go of the old. And then he hacks a dead dude to fucking pieces.

His name is Robert Paulsen.  His name is Robert Paulsen.

Random Rants:

Rant 1:  I remember reading after this episode aired, that several fans of the show were upset with Glen’s portrayal.  He steps up and makes a plan.  Some argued that this was against his character in the comic.  That he never steps up, and isn’t a planner.  I disagree completely.  Glen is the fucking Scarecrow.  The Wizard of Oz one… not the Batman one.  He comes up with some of the best ideas at any given time, but is constantly down on himself for not being smart, or a leader.  And in this episode, on that point at least, they fucking nail it.

Rant 2:  Mel thought that the zombies in this episode showed us that we’re dealing with a hodgepodge of different style zombies.  They’re slow.  They’re kinda fast.  They’re usin’ rocks.  They’re stumbling up ladders.  They’re climbing fucking fences.  She asked me what I thought of it.  I’m pretty sure she expected me to explode in anger.  But honestly, I’m more into consistency these days.  If this show puts forth a set of Zombie Rules, and it sticks to those Zombie Rules, that’s more what I’m interested in seeing.  At least until they pick up a gun and start firing.  I know Romero loves that shit… but fuck him.

Final Thoughts:

With enough suspension of disbelief, this episode is another great one.  If you can’t suspend enough disbelief to enjoy this…  then, probably, you’ve no business watching this show in the first place.  Despite showing some signs of heading down the wrong path we’ve still got ourselves a fantastic fucking show.

I’m not dead, I’m getting better.

*Free puppy subject to shipping and handling charges, and taxes and surcharges where applicable. Free puppy offer not available to Zombies. Free puppy may cause or contribute to the following illnesses: temporary blindness, permanent blindness, incontinence, outcontenence, supercontenence, mild cough, death, stomach discomfort, hoofenchoof, rabies, or chaffing of the thyroid.

The Lion King (1994)

Disney may be making another mad grab for cash, digging through “the vault” and re-releasing a remastered, 3D-ified The Lion King in theatres this weekend, but that just means it’s even more timely that I review the unremastered, original, March 3rd, 1995 released, VH-fucking-S cassette tape that my family sat down to watch last weekend.


Hashtag:  Old School, Mother Fucker.







The Circle of Life:

Recently, Mel decided that we should have a Wonderful World of Disney type viewing of various Disney classics, and not-so-classics, and ugh-I-hate-that-garbage-ics on Sunday afternoons.  The reason being, because when we were growing up and had to deal with TFC cable, (that’s Two Fucking Channel for the uninitiated) a highly concentrated source of cartoons could be found on CBC when they aired WWoD.  Since we (she) liked this as kids, obviously we need to try to replicate the situation so that Charlotte grows up thinking that all awesome things are awesome and whatever the hell kids are doing these days is lame.  (Hey, I can dream.)

Now, most of our collection of Disney movies is on VHS.  So that meant making sure the VCR was hooked up and working.  A quick run through with a headcleaner a few weeks ago and we were ready to go.  Just pop in The Lion King and enjoy the majesty.

Fuck no.  I forgot Disney movies have commercials.  Shit tons of commercials.  One of the commercials was the entire “Colors of the Wind” sequence from Pocahontas.  So yeah… 20 minutes later and the movie starts.

ZAAAAAAA!  ZE B’WINGYA!  OBADEECHI BADA!  OH WING YAMA!


The Lion King is a great goddamn movie.  In my opinion, it’s probably the best of the Disney movies.  It’s moving.  It’s hilarious.  It’s suspenseful.  The songs are catchy.  The catchphrases are catchier…  I had actually half-forgotten how many quotable lines there were.  The opening sequence is textbook great film making, let alone great animation-making (is that a thing?  That doesn’t sound like a thing.  It can’t be a thing.  I probably shouldn’t use it).  It is outright iconic.  Everyone who has had a child since 1994 has held their baby up into the sunlight muttering “CHUNG!”  Very few scenes are repeated this often in real life.  There’s this, “You Talkin’ To Me?”, The Orange peel from The Godfather, and “I’m King of the World!”


Pictured:  Mandatory Baby Display Technique

But to sum up how great I think this movie is:  Even though it reminds me of a girl that tore my heart out in High School, it’s so fucking good that I watch it anyway… and fucking love it.  But I digress.  I know it’s a complete ripoff of Kimba the White Lion, and it’s still so good that I don’t care.  I know that whining crazy people have tried to ruin it for me by saying Scar is a bad influence on kids because they think he’s gay.  Oh… that makes him a bad influence.  Not regicide… or fucking fratricide… or being such a shit ruler that completely ignores counsel and runs his kingdom into the ground.  Those don’t make him a bad influence… but the fact that his paws are limp during a fucking song and dance number means he’s going to ruin us all.  I know all that… and the movie blocks it out with only the power of its own sheer awesomenitude.

VHS Forever.

So, aside from the total nostalgia trip of the movie… there’s also the nostalgia trip of the technology.  Have you played a VHS tape recently?  Goddamn that is an awesome experience to revisit.  Yes, I’m admitting that, until just recently, I hadn’t really sat down to watch a movie on VHS in years.

I got to run the whole gamut.  I got to get mad at myself for not rewinding.  I got to get mad at myself for not remember to stop rewinding before the previews started.   I got to wonder if auto-tracking was going to be enough, or if I’d have to fiddle with the settings myself.  I got to pause the screen, and have a shaky image with distortions running all through it.  I was warned that the movie had been formatted to fit my screen.  (No it hadn’t.)  When it was over and I rewound it, I got to worry about whether or not the tape was getting eaten.  Damn those VCRs can make some freaky ass sounds.  I swear at one point it sounded like Cookie Monster.

OM NOM NOM!

So… yeah.  I do wish that The Lion King had been re-released a few years from now, instead of now, so that I could have taken Charlotte to go see it.  Regardless, even during an old, worn out, VHS, low definition, mono-sound, 2D viewing The Lion King is still epic.

5/5

Found On the Internet: Community Season 2 Recut Psycho-Romance-Suspense Montage

They might look happy… but they’re all murdererererers.

I enjoy re-cut trailers. I enjoy Community. So when I happened upon a video re-cutting Season 2 of Community into a Fatal Attraction-type Psycho-Romance thing… I was interested.

I came across this link on Community’s Facebook newsfeed… which put me at Entertainment Weekly‘s Inside TV blog. Which had made a post embedding a video from NBC’s website. And in order for you to watch it, you’ll need to click once more. Or look it up for yourself. But that’s seriously much more work. Why would you do that?

We need to go deeper.

Season 3 of Community starts next Thursday, Sept. 22, on NBC. Now with 100% more John Goodman.

Source

Gregory Maguire’s Wicked

This review was originally posted, for the most part, at Goodreads.


Wicked by Gregory Maguire

“When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked?

Gregory Maguire has created a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again.” – Goodreads blurb.

 Wicked is essentially the story of Elphaba, better known as “The Wicked Witch of the West”.  It follows her from birth to death.  It shows us her origins, and then attempts to show us her side of one of the world’s most famous stories.  Wicked has earned a great notoriety of its own.  In addition to being a successful novel, it’s a very successful Broadway musical.  Of course, like everything else, it’s also being looked at to be turned into a movie.

It’s not very often that my wife and I are both interested in reading the same book. This was one of the few times I can think of. Neither of us had heard of it before, and we spotted it on a shelf in a local thrift store.  We both saw it at the same time, and reached for it.  Reading the back cover, the premise excited us, as it has so many others.

For me, however, it failed to deliver. It came out of the gate strong. Sometimes brilliant, but sometimes preachy, I found myself mostly enjoying Elphaba’s birth and early years. But as her entrance to college started a downward spiral of less brilliance and greater preaching, I found myself enjoying the book less and less. By the end, the author seemed to be trying too hard to say too much and I lost almost all interest in Elphaba’s origins.

Added to the preaching was the fact that many things happened that seemed to be left unresolved or unexplained. Now, I don’t mean that in a “I’ll leave this for the sequel” kind of way. In attempting to ground the land of Oz to reality, you really need to go into greater details regarding the hows and whys of the Wicked Witch’s strange appearance. You should probably not explain the fantastic details of your main characters oddball traits to your reader with, effectively, the equivalent of, “I dunno… maybe her mother screwed some pixies or something?” This problem is compounded by the fact that this is supposed to be an origin story, and recurs throughout the novel.

I can see why some have greatly enjoyed the novel. Maguire’s “adult” look at the world of Oz is an interesting take. The idea that this world that we all know of as beautiful and majestic, inhabited with wonderful creatures, is actually filled with as many horrors and horrible beings as our own is quite interesting. And most of the messages Maguire tries to get across (equal/human rights, moral ambiguity, the evils of tyranny and the abuse of power, etc.) are things that many enjoy reading about.

Once it was done, though, I was glad to be through with it. I have to say that “It’s Okay.”  Thus:

2/5