Monday, June 27, 2011

Chris watches True Blood.

Hey there, fang bangers!  I must apologize for my prolonged absence.  I have been suffering under the demands of a busy schedule, the terrible effects of nicotine withdrawal, and run-of-the-mill summer laziness.  These long days of summer simply don’t lend themselves to blog writing!  I’ll try to motivate myself a little better and write at least one new post each week.  And - not to dangle a metaphorical (or literal) carrot in front of your face - but I have some cool new stuff in the works that will be unfurled in the weeks to come.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, whether you love this show or are too cheap to pay for HBO let’s see what’s new on…

True Blood!

Now, THAT'S how you get pink eye!

Spoiler Alert:  If you haven’t seen the season 4 premiere of True Blood, I’m going to be discussing it in detail.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Before we recap True Blood together, let me fill you in on my complicated relationship with this television program.  I have been watching True Blood since the very beginning.  “That’s not very complicated,” you say.  Shut up for a minute, dummy!  I have watched every season of this show and I DON’T EVEN LIKE IT THAT MUCH!!!  I’ve tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for this but I can only come up with two explanations…and both of them are boobies.  I like boobies!  I like vampires, I like serialized television, I like plot twists…but I REALLY like boobies.  That said, let’s see if boobies will be enough to keep me interested in tonight’s episode!

I saw a quick preview of this episode about a week ago and it looked unnervingly bad.   We join our gal Sookie in the Fairy Realm.  If you’re wondering what a Fairy Realm looks like, it looks like an Olive Garden with a lot of glowing fruit hanging from fake trees.  Sookie was brought to this mystical Olive Garden by her…wait for it…Fairy Godmother!  I am starting to lose faith in this entire endeavor.  Sookie notices her dead Gran-Pappy, Bill Lumbergh, chowing down on a glow apple.  Sookie catches up with Lumbergh and meets Mab, the Queen of the Fairies.  Sookie wisely decides that the light-up fruit is bad news and things go downhill in a hurry.  Within minutes, Sookie and Lumbergh are being chased through the desert by a bunch of sepia-toned orcs.  The pair are forced to jump into a chasm because the creepy orc-fairies keep throwing lighting balls at them.  Am I getting older or is this dumb? talents are being wasted.

Boom!!!  Sookie and Lumbergh are back in Bon Temps and the world is no longer sepia-toned.  Lumbergh is not long for the world because he has been eating glowy apples for, like, twenty years and apparently that means he has to die now.  Alright!  Lumbergh bequeaths his pocket watch to Jason and turns into dust.  Thus far, Milton and Lumbergh have been killed off on this show.  Somebody in the writers’ room has a vendetta against Office Space alumni.  Sookie makes her way home and discovers that she’s been missing for more than a year!

Sookie heads home to discover that, while she was missing, her house was sold to a suspicious company.  There is NO WAY that this plot point will come up again!  As soon as the sun sets, her dueling vampire suitors: Bill (the bad actor) and Eric (the good actor) show up at her front door.  Eventually the law shows up, in the form of Andy Bellefleur, to find out where Sookie’s been for a year.  At Bill’s urging, Sookie admits that she was away on “vampire business.”  My eyes are starting to glaze over. 

Meanwhile, we meet Lafayette on route to a witch P.T.A. meeting with his boyfriend Jesus.  Lafayette has always been one of the more entertaining characters and he continues to make this train wreck palatable.  The writers believe that having a homosexual character named Jesus is shocking enough that they don’t have to create anything interesting about said character.  Whoops.  As it turns out, Lafayette is some kind of super witch because every single character on this show is contractually bound to be something.  All the witches join hands and bring a parakeet back to life.  And now we know what ADDITIONAL supernatural creatures are going to be featured this year!  Hint: IT’S WITCHES!!!

Like this, if Darren had a mowhawk.
As things chug along, we meet Terry Bellefleur (the blonde cook), Arlene (the redheaded waitress), and their baby Mikey (the baby named Mikey).  Mikey is a few months old and is already decapitating Barbie dolls.  Things are looking good!  We also check in on Jessica (the vampire) and Hoyt (the non-vampire).  Jessica and Hoyt treat us to a scene that is destined to usurp Rocky for the best use of raw eggs and domestic tension since 1976.  We also learn that Sam Merlotte DID NOT kill his brother but, rather, shot him square in the leg.  It turns out that Sam is dealing with this guilt by drinking wine, stripping nekkid, and turning into a horse with a couple other shape-shifty types.  I’d like to exaggerate some of these plotlines but I no longer believe that to be necessary for the sake of comedy.  Yikes.


Jason, who in the missing year became a cop or something, is still visiting his young charges in the meth hamlet of Hotshot.  While giving out some chunks of raw meat, Jason gets beaned in the head with a shovel and thrown into a freezer.  Okay.  Also, we are shocked to discover that Sookie’s house is now owned by Eric (the good actor) who has now decided that he owns her too.  Alright…

Initial Thoughts:

Yeah.  That wasn't very good, right?  We did meet Tara for a minute.  She’s living in New Orleans and she’s a lesbian kick-boxer now.  I didn't think it would be possible to NOT be interested in some half-naked, lesbian kick-boxers.  Hoo boy, this is gonna be a long season!  I will try my best to keep up with this show but I’ll let you know how long I can make it.  Boobies are helping a little, but…really?  I’ll meet you back here soon, Internuts!

P.S. - Also, Bill is King of the Vampires or something now.  I legitimately forgot about that...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chris learns about Andrew Jackson (and some other guys).

Hello, everybody!  As you’ve probably noticed, I am adopting a more laid-back summer schedule for the blog.  I needz to get my sun on!  These thighs don’t bake to a golden brown by accident, people!  I’ll probably write one post per week.  Maybe two.  Maybe three.  I don’t know.  I’m also toying with the idea of doing a brief, weekly True Blood recap – maybe some more live blogging – so let me know if you’d be interested. Anyhooooooo…let’s see what we have in store today.  Why, it’s…

A Pile of Presidents!

I started this feature with the intention of writing about one American President every few weeks.  Well, I ran into a bit of a snag…some of those guys are really boring.  Even my patented mix of Wikipedia facts and outright lies (see: Wikipedia facts) cannot make these people interesting.  So, I’m going to breeze through a bunch of the boring Presidents so we can get to someone a little more entertaining.  Let’s do this quick, like ripping off an informative Band-Aid!

James Madison!

Known For:  Writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights…not too shabby.
Fun Fact:  During the War of 1812, Madison had to flee the White House before the British set it on fire.  
Outright Lie:  James Madison actually burned down the White House by smoking a joint in bed.
Did He Marry a Widow?  Yup.
Did He Own Slaves?   Yup.
Was He a Werewolf?  Nope.

James Monroe!

Known For:  Reducing partisan squabbling by ignoring party lines.
Fun Fact:  Monroe is the last American President considered to be a Founding Father.
Outright Lie:  As a boy, James Monroe bound his feet like a geisha and would subsequently tip over all the time while in office.
Did He Marry a Widow?  Nope.
Did He Own Slaves?  Yup.
Was He a Werewolf?   Yup.  Monroe ran under the seldom seen Lycanthrope Party.

John Quincy Adams!

Known For:  His shitty, shitty Presidency.
Fun Fact:  Adams was elected to the House of Representatives after his term as President (weird!) and was an outspoken opponent of slavery.
Outright Lie:  Every day of his Presidency, John Quincy Adams would strip nude and sun himself on the roof of the White House like an iguana.
Did He Marry a Widow?  Nope.
Did He Own Slaves?  Nope!
Was He a Werewolf?  Nope…but he was extremely averse to being shot with silver bullets.

Andrew Jackson!!!
Andrew "Mo-Effing" Jackson.
Now we’re talking!  Andrew Jackson was awesome.  So awesome, in fact, that I’m not even going to make up entertaining lies about him!  Everything that follows in the absolute truth.  Andrew Jackson was born in 1767 in parts unknown.  At the age of thirteen, Jackson joined a militia to fight in the Revolutionary War.  In 1779, Jackson was taken prisoner by the British.  Jackson refused to shine the boots of a British officer and the officer stabbed him in the neck with a sword.  Andrew Jackson was simply too badass to die so he bottled his seething anger to use later in life.  Luckily, Jackson wouldn't have to wait long before opening that particular can of whoopass. 

Jackson quickly rose through the ranks following the Revolutionary War and was leading the Tennessee militia when the War of 1812 broke out.  Jackson’s troops considered him tough but fair and gave him the nickname “Old Hickory” because that is an awesome nickname.  Despite being considerably outnumbered, Jackson led his men to a decisive victory at the Battle of New Orleans.  How decisive, you ask?  The British suffered 2,037 casualties and the Americans suffered 71.  That is, like, super decisive.  Jackson went on to pretty much singlehandedly take Florida from the Spanish during the First Seminole War.  His nickname during that war was “Sharp Knife.”  Seriously.

Oooh, I almost forgot!  In 1806, Jackson got into a dispute with Charles Dickinson over the results of a horse race.  The animosity worsened and, on May 30th, the two men met for a duel.  Dickinson was awarded the first shot.  He walked eight paces from Jackson, turned, and shot Jackson square in the chest.  Andrew Jackson DIDN’T EVEN FLINCH.  Dickinson was understandably freaked out by this and started to run away.  Jackson snarled at him to honor their agreement and proceeded to kill Dickinson with a single shot.  Andrew Jackson took a musket ball to the lung, then MURDERED A MAN because he was salty about a horse race.

Boom goes the dynamite.
After winning two wars (and shooting a guy just for funsies) Jackson decided to become the President so, in 1828, he invented the Democratic Party and did just that.  During the election, Jackson’s opponents kept calling him a “jackass” so he made it the symbol of the Democratic Party.  The political rhetoric got even more heated when John Quincy Adams accused Jackson’s wife, Rachel, of bigamy.  Rachel died suddenly before the inauguration and Jackson never forgave Adams’ dirty tactics.  Andrew Jackson built a tomb for his wife in her favorite flower garden and hung her portrait at the foot of his bed so he could see her face before he fell asleep.  Doesn’t this sound like the beginning of Braveheart? 

Jackson was still reeling from the death of his wife so he threw a party to console himself.  Jackson invited whoever was in town to his inaugural ball at the White House.  Throngs of poor people flooded the White House and the party became so crowded and rowdy that it had to be moved to the lawn so people would stop breaking stuff.  Jackson’s first term passed without incident and he was easily reelected in 1832.  In 1835, Jackson paid off the entirety of the national debt, probably because he was mad at it.  While in office, Jackson was the target of the first assassination attempt in the history of the American Presidency.  Richard Lawrence, a disgruntled Englishman, jumped in front of Jackson and fired two pistols at the President.  Both guns misfired.  Jackson was so enraged by this assassination attempt that he beat the hell out of the would-be-assassin with his cane and had to be restrained so he wouldn’t kill Lawrence.

So far, it seems pretty clear that Andrew Jackson was the best President ever but not so fast, reader!  Andrew Jackson isn’t as perfect as he seems!!!  Jackson’s administration was responsible for some utterly deplorable treatment of Native Americans.  Jackson offered the Native Americans terms for their relocation but the terms were not exactly “ideal.”  By that I mean that Jackson’s administration REALLY fucked over the Native Americans.  Although the Trail of Tears happened under the watch of Jackson’s successor, the seeds were planted by Old Hickory himself.

Jackson retired from public office and died on June 8th, 1845.  He survived three wars, thirteen duels, and two terms in office.  Despite his shameful treatment of Native Americans, Jackson was a living legend and the public only revered him more after his death.  His image has been immortalized on postage stamps and a bunch of money.  We know him best from the $20 bill but he’s also appeared on the $5, $10, $50 and $10,000 bills in the past.  Yeah, there was a straight-up murderer on the $10,000 bill for a while.  Alright, friends, that’s all for now.  Have a lovely weekend and I’ll see you back here soon!