October 31, 2007

Pocket of Hate: Scrappy Doo


















I hate Scrappy Doo. You know, Scooby's nephew with all that pup-pup-pup-pupeeeeee power!!! Now, I'm no toked-out hippie, but Scrappy used to really harsh my cartoon-watching mellow. Especially considering Scooby and the rest of the gang were all looped out, just cruisin' around, trying to solve a mystery or two. Then, in storms this hyperactive pest of a pup, all eager to give any monsters the one-two punch.

In every non-Scrappy episode, Scooby and Shaggy would inevitably run into a monster, ghoul, what-have-you, and then run away scared--directly into a large, party sub. And, what's cooler than a party sub?!?!?! But, Scrappy Doo? Run? No way. When he was in town, he wanted to fight the monsters. His ego was that big. He had that much monster-fighting mojo. He thought he was sooooooo coooooooooool. Well, I have something to tell you, Scrappy Doo. You ain't shit!

So there.

BOOM.

October 26, 2007

Radio Station Callers

I was listening to Indie 103.1 on my way home from work the other day and the DJ was like, "Next up...Data Rock, by request." And, this got me thinking... WHO CALLS RADIO STATIONS TO REQUEST SONGS ANYMORE? Music is currently so accessible it's out of control. If you really need to hear that one ditty you love, you can find it on the internet, guaranteed--and quickly. Is it that these people don't have computers? And, do you think they have a cassette tape on deck, with their finger itching to hit record when their request finally airs--like we did when we were kids? I mean, seriously... I haven't called a radio station to request a song since like 1989.

October 24, 2007

Pocket of Hate: Raisins

This is going to be a really short and sweet Pocket of Hate. I hate raisins and I always have. I have absolutely no idea why anyone would want to knowingly eat a withered, nappy grape. I'm not a big fan of dried fruit in general, and don't even get me started on jellies, preserves and "fruit leathers," etc. But, the raisin is just the worst of the worst. It's small, ugly and puckered, and they taste like, well, just plain gross. I can't even say that I'm on board with the dancing, sunglasses-wearing California Raisins.

I am just unbelievably angered by raisins. Oh, and, please, please, please keep them out of cookies and other baked goods. And, while you're at it, don't flavor any cookies or cakes with any sort of lemon zest either. Blech.

Thanks for listening.

October 22, 2007

Flash: New Feature Coming Soon

I've decided to start running a regular, weekly-ish feature on Pickpocket. Because I think it'll be fun. And, because I hope to one day be showered with loads of cupcakes and moondust.

Pocket of Hate (Wednesdays)
I swear I'm a really fucking positive person. But, even us happy-go-lucky types are filled with mounds of hate. And, I hate a lot. So, set your Google Readers to receive Pickpocket's weekly Pocket of Hate, every Wednesday, to see what's ruffling my feathers that week.

Good night.

October 20, 2007

Apartment Composting 101

I got my old composting bin back up and running today. The last time I tried to compost, my roommates were tossing in McDonald's leftovers and other nappy shit. I'm hoping this time I can keep it clean and green.

It's really easy to compost, even if you're living in an apartment. The two types I've tried with my limited space are: the bin and the pit. The pit is the easiest. All you have to do, really, is just find an out-of-the-way patch of dirt, dig a hole, fill the hole back in with the loosened soil, maybe mix in some mulch and some leaves, and then start tossing in your leftover organic waste. Every time you toss in an egg shell or the rest of that bag of lettuce that's gone bad, just turn over the dirt so that it's buried, and then let the soil and the worms do the rest. Oh, and sprinkle a bit of water in from time to time to really kick things up.

Now, I'm composting in a big storage bin I bought at Target. I drilled a bunch of drainage / aeration holes in the bottom of it, filled it up with dirt, mulch, leaves, etc...and am keeping the whole thing covered--to keep things shady, moist and, most importantly, to keep any potential stench under control. It's good to make sure you get a lot of friendly little earthworms tossed into the mix so that they can help aerate the soil even more. [Remember Oscar the Grouch's BFF Slimey? Lil earthworms are our friends.]

After a good bit of time adding raw, organic waste and turning over the dirt, you'll have your own, homemade batch of nutrient-rich soil to add to your garden or to your indoor, potted plants.

Neat.

October 17, 2007

Powder the Rabbit: Part One

As promised, here's the first Powder the Rabbit installment from "The Gabe." He really loved this rabbit and claims he was "the best pet ever." RIP Powder, RIP.

Powder was a rescue bunny, saved from an elementary school that was going to feed him to a large python. He was a Florida White--a short, stocky, stout breed of rabbit, generally used in labs for experiments.

As his name implies, he was all white, with blue eyes and was cute as could be. He had a somewhat playful personality with a little stubbornness thrown in. Sounds like someone I know--they say pets are reflections of their owners, or is it that owners are reflections of their pets?

I had him since he was about 2 months old. He was an adorable ball of bunny fur. He had plenty of energy and was very hard to catch when it was time for him to go back to his cage--if he hadn't gone on his own free will already. Usually I'd end up just leaving the cage open to let him go in and out at will.

He lived in large cage. Well, as large as I could fit in my condo. When I'd get home from work I would let him out to roam around and do bunny things. Hopefully not poop--which happened more often than not. No big deal.

One thing I learned: rabbits/bunnies are high maintenance animals....

Check back for more on Powder soon. And, please grace my guest author with a comment or two.

October 16, 2007

:(

I censored myself today. If you checked my blog around 2:30pm, you may have seen my post. But, it didn't last long. It had to come down. It was funny, in a way. But it was also really dark. I'm waiting for a friend of mine / coworker--known around the office as simply "The Gabe"--to deliver a few guest-posts about his childhood pet rabbit, Powder. I'm thinking it's going to be a three-parter. Anyway... ho-hum.

[Correction: "The Gabe" just informed me that his rabbit died but a mere year and a half ago; and that he's not a child. We have a lot to look forward to, folks.]

October 15, 2007

Check My Domain

PICKPOCKET is growing up. I just revamped the page header--penmanship credited to Lea; overall design to Adam. Now I just need to figure out how to get rid of that damn box up top. I know. It's probably really easy. But...

Also, this just in... Please redirect your searches and your URL love-spreading to:

http://www.pickpocketmag.com

I'm trying to phase out the blogspot and to go hardcore dot com instead.

Thanks for reading and commenting, and for putting up with me in general.

October 13, 2007

THOREAU, Walden

There is some of the same fitness in a man's building his own house that there is in a bird's building its own nest. Who knows but if men constructed their dwelling with their own hands and provided food for themselves and families simply and honestly enough, the poetic faculty would be universally developed, as birds universally sing when they are so engaged? But alas! we do like cowbirds and cuckoos, which lay their eggs in nests which other birds have built, and cheer no traveller with their chattering and unmusical notes. Shall we forever resign the pleasure of construction to the carpenter? What does architecture amount to in the experience of the mass of men? I never in all my walks came across a man engaged in so simple and natural an occupation as building his house. We belong to the community. It is not the tailor alone who is the ninth part of a man: it is as much the preacher, and the merchant, and the farmer. Where is this division of labor to end? And what object does it finally serve? No doubt another may also think for me; but it is not therefore desirable that he should do so to the exclusion of my thinking for myself.

October 12, 2007

Gearing Up for the Season of Giving

I know, I know. It's not even Halloween yet. But, the damn holiday catalogs are already getting stuffed into my mailbox, and I have a hard time not flipping through the one's I get through public radio and television mailing lists. Why? Because they're just so strange. Half the stuff in these catalogs is completely New Age-y and weird. The other half, well, is typically just, like, odd. For example, a few years back, you could purchase a framed, voided check from Jack Haley, the actor that played the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. I contemplated getting it for someone, because it was just so ridiculous, but it cost over $300! WHO BUYS THIS SHIT?!?!

My long-time favorite is the Signals catalog, but lately I've been receiving a few spin-offs, too. The must-have-gem pictured here was found in the Wireless catalog. For those of you reading this that are on my gift list...watch out. You might just be lucky enough to rest your wrists on this beauty. Or, maybe I'll just buy you a real baguette to test-drive first.

Browse and enjoy.

October 11, 2007

10 Scarily Bad Movies

This is an article I wrote for "Movieline Magazine" back in 2000. I thought it might be kinda cool for a re-up in the spirit of Halloween 2007...and in the spirit of retro, millennium Hunter. So, I don't mean to be pedantic, but when I say "we" below, I mean "Movieline," but, like, it's really just ME. Here it goes...

Sure, as far as hair-raised-on-the-back-of-your-neck terror, The Exorcist is unparalleled. Or is it? What about the first moments of Dario Argenta's Susperia? Or the climax of the The Wicker Man? The debate around the scariest movies of all time will go on and on, but this Halloween, we've opted out of participating.

Instead, we've chosen to look at a different kind of scary movie--the kind that, through whatever cosmic force, made it onto screens against everyone's better judgment. You know, scary in the same sense as the seemingly benign sentence: "In one week, Americans may elect George W. Bush as the next President of the United States."

In that spirit of scary, here are the top ten scarily bad movies for this Halloween:

10. Throw Mama From the Train
The plot of Throw Mama From the Train is promising. Two friends, played by Danny DeVito and Billy Crystal, have someone in their lives they want dead--for Crystal, his ex-wife; for DeVito, his controlling, whiny mother. So, they decide to collaborate and swap murders. The scariest element of this flick is actress Anne Ramsey, who plays DeVito's Mama. Ramsey's hideous looks and grating voice are bad enough in normal circumstances, but her incessant whining--especially when she yells her son Owen's name over and over and over throughout the move--drives you to the point where you really do hope to see her feeble ass thrown from the train...

9. Titanic
Yes, everyone loved the play-by-play destruction of the ship--the looming ice slicing through the hull, the clawing of abandoned Irish peasants, the passengers bouncing the ship's length to their death, from the end-up stern to the frigid water below. But, the Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet dialogue is so goddamn cheesy and horrific it's amazing anyone was able to see past it.

"You jump. I jump." We all jump. Come on! You get the picture. Take away the big floating set piece and you're firmly in "Days of Our Lives" territory...

8. Joe Versus the Volcano
Most people forget about the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan romantic comedy that--preceding Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail--could've started it all. Hanks, who plays the title character (Joe, not the Volcano), is a hypochondriac who is informed that he has a terminal illness. A stranger with mucho bucks offers Hanks an opportunity to "live it up" on his dime. So, off goes Hanks to Waponi Woo, a volcanic island inhabited by a tribe of orange-soda fiends. There is one small catch, though: Hanks will have to jump into a volcano at the end of his vacation.

What happens next? Honestly, it's all just so terrifyingly bad that we really don't know where to begin.

7. The Next Karate Kid
Everyone should write mean letters to Pat Morita for agreeing to make this film. [2007 note: RIP Morita!] The title character this time is played not by Ralph Macchio, but by Oscar-toting Hilary Swank--a bit of casting history that demonstrates the most frightening fact of life for actors everywhere: you have to start somewhere. The Karate Kid series started slipping after the original, but the second and third installments were at least digestible. Unfortunately, adding a fourth title with a feminine twist proved a horrific disgrace to the original '80s classic... Just watch... You'll know what we mean. BONSAI!

6. The Island of Dr. Moreau
We are, of course, referring to the 1996 remake, starring Marlon Brando as the doctor. In the film, Dr. Moreau creates an isolated island community of "monsters" he has created through some kinky crossbreeding of human and animal DNA. One of his most memorable creations was his miniature sidekick, Majai, played by the world's smallest man, Nelson de la Rosa. He dressed just like the Doctor and even played his own mini piano alongside his master. Sound familiar, Austin Powers fans?

It's truly one of Hollywood's most surreal offerings in some time. Try watching it stoned...

5. Last Action Hero
Yet another piece of post-Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger drivel. The premise of this film revolves around a young boy who is given a magic ticket that transports him into the movie world of his favorite action hero, played by Schwarzenegger. And although the good guys always win in movie land, the cinematic bad guy swipes the ticket and travels into the real world, where evil can (as evidenced by the likely triumph next week of George W. Bush) win. The "bad guy" in this insane mess of bad dialogue and unimpressive action scenes is the scariest element of the film. He has a removable glass eye and owns a set of different eye designs. So, in one scene you see him with a menacing cat-eye and in another, he's sporting a gleaming smile of an eye. (We don't get it either.) This eerie villain also has a pack of highly trained pitbulls who, on command, can form a dog pyramid in a matter of seconds. Umm...[2007 note: Now that I own a dog, I have an entirely new respect for this feat. It's an art, really.]

4. Look Who's Talking Too
The original Look Who's Talking was baffling, but the sequel is even more so. Having baby's thoughts translated to us in voice-over is scary in general, but throw in Roseanne Barr as the narrator of the film's second child, and we've got a horror movie on our hands...

3. Junior
The scariest of Schwarzenegger's "Mr. Sensitive" flicks (Cf. Kindergarten Cop, Jingle All the Way) is Junior, in which the meaty Austrian thesp plays a scientist who is impregnated as part of a study on embryos (what we would give to be in on that pitch meeting...). Later on, complications arise when he becomes attached to the baby growing inside of him. Hmm.. Enough said, really.

2. Multiplicity
Multiplicity stars not one, not two, but an entire crew of Michael Keatons. Now that, folks, is scary. Keaton stars as a stressed out dad who feels pulled in too many directions, so he decides to clone himself. We loved him as Mr. Mom and Batman, but Keaton ain't no Brad Pitt, so we don't need more than one of him per flick... Sorry.

1. Sidekicks
This movie stars Chuck Norris as himself. Now, if that's not enough to terrify even the most fortified viewer... Sidekicks is about an asthmatic kid named Barry who has an incredibly rough life. So rough, in fact, that the only enjoyment he has is fantasizing about being Chuck Norris' sidekick. After getting pummeled one too many times, Barry decides to learn karate. Can anyone guess the ending? (And, has anyone noticed that Chuck Norris has looked exactly the same since Delta Force?)...

That's it. That's the article. So, um, let me know what you think the scariest movies of all time are, in that baaaad sense. Thanks for reading 2000 Hunter, too. I know. It's spotty.

October 08, 2007

scents
in a sense
innocence
incent
cents
incensed

October 03, 2007

HOLY TOLEDO!

Just an itty-bitty tidbittered nugget for today:

Wilbur D. "Bill" King (October 6, 1927 - October 18, 2005) was the radio voice of the Oakland Athletics for twenty-five years (1981-2005), the longest tenure of any A's announcer since the team's games were first broadcast in Philadelphia in 1938. Prior to joining the A's, he had been the radio play-by-play announcer for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders football team and the San Francisco/Golden State Warriors basketball team for many years. During his career as a broadcaster, he was known for his catchphrase "Holy Toledo!"

October 02, 2007

"Dare to be Different"

Remember Zubaz pants? Those crazy Hammer-styled exercise pants that tapered at the ankle? Nothing says "extreme workout" quite like these early-'90s gems. They're breathable. They're flexible. They're FIERCE. I remember these things used to really freak me out. And, they still do honestly. They're just so WILD. Too wild. And, like, they allow way too much movement. I mean, I think they move even when no one's wearing them.

I honestly don't know how 2007 gym rats are even able to work out without these PANTS. They obviously do the working out for you. They're that good.

The Wikipedia entry claims the founders put out a limited-production re-release at some point this year. WTF?! And, apparently people are buying these things on Ebay...USED?! Oh, and my favorite line from the wiki article: "The word Zubaz came to mean “in your face” among sports fans and athletes." ...enough said, really.