Monday, June 30, 2008

Overloaded 'Bus'

Funny...I was just remarking to Kelly that people have suddenly started saying "thrown under the bus" constantly.

You can't watch a reality show anymore without one person accusing the others of throwing him/her under a bus.

I guess the phrase got more popular with the Obama/Jeremiah Wright business, but still, it seemed odd for everyone to suddenly start saying it at once. I mean, five years ago, people would have just said, "You screwed me," or maybe, "Yah uuused me, Skinnah!!"

Anyway, I noticed today that Slate devoted a column to the topic.

He mentions some other phrases and asks whether they should be eradicated:

* stay classy
* up in your grill
* overshare
* tell us something we don't know
* man up
* go-to
* drinking the Kool-Aid
* mad props

I guess I'm still okay with most of these, although I thought it was spelled "stay klassy."

I've tried to start some catch phrases in my day. This one never caught on. And back in the 1980s, my brother and I tried to popularize the line from "Born on the Fourth of July" where Tom Cruise holds up a bag of urine: "This is my penis!!" Or at least, we said it a lot. I also was fond of the Al Pacino line from "The Recruit": "My dick's on fire!" [Is there a recurring theme here? -ed.]

P.S. I hate "it is what it is."

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tired Movie Titles

There are a couple of movie naming techniques that are so played-out, you wish people would just stop.

One is to take an "-ing" verb and then add a noun, especially a proper noun. The approach is especially popular with a woman's name ("Chasing Amy," "Guarding Tess," "Kissing Jessica Stein"). Note: A lot of people refer to these as gerund titles, but I don't think that's quite accurate. A gerund is a verb that becomes a noun by adding "-ing." For instance, "The Taking of the Pelham 123" -- that's a gerund. "Kissing Jessica Stein" -- not a noun, I would say. The subject of the predicate is just implied.

The other titling approach I hate is to say, "The Secret Life of..." ("The Secret Lives of Dentists," "The Secret Lives of Altar Boys," "The Secret Life of Bees.")

Today I saw two different posters that trotted out awful versions of these names. "Finding Amanda" and some show on ABC called "The Secret Life of the American Teenager."

Enough already!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

One More...

Wait, the fetus would like to also give his review for "The Incredible Hulk":

Esdgdsghghhh!! So loud...scares me. Make it stop. UHGHSHhhh! KICK MOMMY IN THE BLADDER. KICK MOMMY IN THE BLADDER.

BuboBlog Summer Movie Roundup

I've been remiss with my film criticism, so here are some quick capsule reviews of the big summer movies I've seen so far:

"Forgetting Sarah Marshall": Not quite up there with "Knocked Up" or "Super Bad," but definitely a solid outing. There were a few comedic setups that didn't seem to have enough of a payoff, but the good-natured feel of the film carries you through. (One question, for those of you who have seen it: Didn't it seem like they took pains to set up a scene where Aldus was going to fall off the wagon and become drunk? It even looked as if the waiter was serving him something alcoholic accidentally. But then they drop it abruptly. Maybe the scene was edited out.) Rating: *** (out of four)

"Iron Man": A great action film, but also really funny. Probably the best comic-book adaptation since "Batman Begins" in 2005. In fact, it was maybe even a bit better than that film (and I worship Christopher Nolan). If you stay until after the credits, there's a short teaser for the planned "Avengers" movie. While it was a fun capper to the movie, I actually think it's just as well not to see it. It features a cameo of Samuel L. Jackson in an eye patch (as Nick Fury). And while I love SLJ, having him in a superhero movie (especially if he's wearing an eye patch) usually means it sucks. So that left a slightly funny taste in my mouth. Rating: **** (out of four)

"Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull": For my review, click here. Rating: **1/2 (out of four)

"The Incredible Hulk": No "Iron Man," but a decent comic-book movie all the same. The early scenes in Brazil are great, and the shots of the shanty towns are so amazing -- with the sheer density of homes -- you may think they're using CGI. That part of the movie almost has the feel of the "Bourne" films. The downside: The computer-animated hulk looks really fake. I think his hair, which flutters in an odd, artificial way, may be the most egregious part. It makes me wonder if the hulk in the last movie (in 2003) wasn't more realistic, despite the five years of supposed advances since then. Lou Ferrigno's cameo was fun, but could anyone understand what the heck he was saying? One other gripe: There's a scene at the end of the movie that was clearly supposed to run after the credits. I can tell because it doesn't follow from the previous scene and breaks the tone. I wonder if they were afraid audiences were going to leave before seeing it, but c'mon, staying past the credits is a time-honored comic-book movie tradition (as evidenced by "Iron Man"). Rating: *** (out of four)

"The Visitor": This movie is about a college professor (Richard Jenkins) who learns to live life to the fullest after meeting some illegal aliens and playing bongo drums. Sounds cheesy, and it kind of is. But it's also a really well-made film -- good dialogue, nicely paced, moving performances. We were a little perturbed that after Jenkins' awakening, he becomes the sort of guy who bangs out rhythms on the table while you're trying to have a conversation. Yeah, in real life those kind of people are not "awakened"; they're just annoying. I also felt the ending left a little to be desired. It may have fit the film perfectly, but I think a great movie should always surprise and delight you with its ending (even if it's a downer). This one didn't. Rating: ***1/2 (out of four)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Mrs. Fix-It

Has anyone ever gotten a fix-it ticket? I got one the other day for having a missing front license plate. If you fix the problem, the fine is $10 (versus $100 if you don't).

So I fixed it. But then you have to find a police officer to sign the ticket. Like apparently you're just supposed to find one on the street while you're going about your business. How does this work? I mean, most of the police I encounter (or the "po-po" as they're called in my neighborhood) are doing police work -- or at least pretending to do police work. Isn't it a bit awkward to interrupt them so they can walk three blocks to my car and confirm that it has a front plate?

What if I had interrupted the shotgun-brandishing SFPD officers the night they were stomping on gas-vandals in our alleyway? Ahem, excuse me...

Anyway, so last weekend we were driving the car and we saw some cops go into a Starbucks. "Now's our chance," I said. Kelly jumped out of the car, went into the Starbucks and puchased a danish -- you know, to seem all breezy. She pretended to notice the officers just then, and said, "Oh, hello, could you help me with something?" One of them came out to the car, examined the plate and signed off on it.

Way to go, Kelly!

Decorating the Nursery

[Apologies for another baby-related post. -Ed.]

When we were kids, my mom hung a terrifying marionette in our room. I think its face was hand-painted by Latvian gypsies and it would twist around slowly on its string, casting fiendish shadows on the walls.

Anyway, so naturally I'd like to up the ante with my child's room. I've been looking around for something creepy, but without much luck. Until now.

Thanks to a mention in this New York Times blog, I think I found it. Taxidermied hybrid "fantasy" animals!

Unfortunately, these things start at around $500. Maybe we can forgo a crib. Priorities, people!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Way to Go

I'm happy to see that dads-to-be have a new role model: Matthew McConaughey!

Manliest Names

Thank God I saw this in time! This is an awesome article on the nine manliest names in the world. All the names belong to real, living people...well, I guess Max Planck (pictured) is technically dead.

It's going to be hard to choose one of these. Also, changing our last name may be a legal issue. But totally worth it!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I'm Here...

According to the news, we're going to get inundated with gay weddings when they become legal in California tomorrow.

And yet, guess how many I've been invited to: ZERO.

What is up with that, gay and lesbian Californians...did I mention I own my own DJ equipment?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Babies 'R' Us

Today we went to "Babies 'R' Us," an alternate universe where all the women are pregnant.

This is apparently for parents who don't expect their child to get past "E" in the alphabet.

Rock out!!

It's evidently very important to hear your baby in high-definition. For instance, if it's doing a repertory reading of "The Crucible."

I believe "My Breast Friend" was a popular series of stag films in the 1970s.

Parking lot danger: running over used diapers.

Can I Kick It? (Part 2!)

Get this: We have visual contact!

I can see the baby kicking on the outside of Kelly's fact, outside her shirt.


I would say he's going to be a good soccer player — if it weren't for the fact that I think soccer sucks. [Uh-oh, I sense another kitten-apology post coming on. -Ed.]

BuboBlog Regrets Its Errors

It's been a while since BuboBlog apologized for anything. But, well, I'm sorry for a comment that may have offended some readers.

I didn't need mean to imply that retarded babies behave as if they're drunk all the time. Or that drunk-all-the-time babies behave as if they're retarded.

In reparation, a picture of a kitten.


As loyal readers know, I love movies with twist endings. In fact, I wrote this essay for the Script Frenzy site about how to do twist endings.

So I enjoyed this article on the Entertainment Weekly site devoted to the topic. I also liked that they called out "Mulholland Drive" for, well, basically sucking.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Who's to Say?

I read this story with interest:
There are few greater causes for celebration than a brand new baby, but one Polish mother started her celebrating a bit early, showing up at the delivery room with a blood alcohol level of 0.12, which would be the equivalent of drinking an entire bottle of wine.

At birth, the baby's blood alcohol level was 0.29, a level she should not even be close to attaining until well into her college years. The drunk mother could face up to five years in prison because of the celebration (or self-medication, whichever the case might be) for child endangerment.

I've known several people who drank before they even knew they were pregnant and the guilt over possibly harming the development of fetus they didn't realize was there was crushing. I can't imagine purposely getting drunk knowing full well that the baby is partaking everything you are.

Doctors say so far the baby appears fine and I hope for the child's sake she suffers no ill effects from her mother's poor judgment.

I ask, was this a mother being negligent or an attempt to create A SUPERHERO IMPERVIOUS TO ALCOHOL!!

Another Fine Idea Rejected

Since we have to do some remodeling to our home to make way for Baby Oberon [name not approved -ed.], I asked Kelly if we could look to this basement apartment for inspiration.

Apparently we cannot.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lake Mead Death

Wow, this must have happened while we were on the water.

I told them not to let me drive the boat! (Just kidding -- so not funny...)

California woman killed by boat propeller at Lake Mead

LAKE MEAD, Ariz.—Officials say a 54-year-old California woman who swam behind a boat as it backed up on Lake Mead was killed when she was hit by the propeller.

National Park Service spokeswoman Mary Hinson says witnesses reported seeing Lois Johnson jump into the lake and swim behind the boat Saturday.

She was pulled from the water and Lake Mead rangers met the boat on its way to the shore and provided advanced life support.

Johnson died at a hospital.

The incident is under investigation.

Lake Mead is on the Arizona-Nevada line. Johnson was struck on the Arizona side.

Her death is the 14th at Lake Mead National Recreation Area this year.

Play Pictures

Here are some photos from last month's play in D.C. By the way, the same production is going to be performed this weekend and next as part of the NVTA One-Act Festival.

Here I am in front of the theater:

Holding the program:

Accepting my award:

Here's the play itself. If the set looks a little spartan, that's intentional -- it's just supposed to consist of a card table and three folding chairs. They decided to add that cinderblock-looking thing in the background -- totally above and beyond the call of duty:

Oh, That Too...

Just got back from a houseboating trip to Lake Mead (near Las Vegas).

The night before we embarked, we stayed at the Paris hotel on the Vegas strip. Kelly and I were playing a little video poker and I won two dollars. A cocktail waitress delivered me a drink and said, "Congratulations!" I was like, "Thanks, I'm pretty excited about it," as I thought of all the things I would do with the two dollars.

Turns out she was talking about the baby.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Moment of...Not Having Enough Show

Is anyone watching "The Moment of Truth" on Fox? Well, I am.

Now, you might object to this show on the grounds that it's exploitative. Or that its host, Mark Wahlberg, is both sickeningly smarmy and, in fact, no relation to Marky Mark and/or the Funky Bunch.

But no, this isn't my problem.

Here's my issue: The show is an hour long — and yet, invariably, they have enough material for about 15 minutes. So they pad things out. Every time you come back from commercial, they show you what you just saw before the break. And then they often show the highlights of what you've already seen that season or what you may see later in the episode or later in the season. Like, ALL THE TIME. It's freakin' CRAZY. Like a "Family Ties" clip show, only worse.

I'm about to call the FCC on their ass because this has got to violate numerous laws or something. Anyone have the number of Kevin J. Martin?

UPDATE: Previously, the award for most-padded-out show went to "At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper" (I think it's still called that, even though Ebert now has the same amount of media exposure as Fidel Castro). But at least that show has the decency to only be half an hour.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Vindicated at last!

Back when I was in my 20s and single, I had a giant container of Gatorade. I think it was so large that it didn't fit in the refrigerator. Anyway, after a while, a piece of mold began floating in it. Yet, for some reason, I kept drinking it. And the mold grew. This went on for quite some time as it was a very large container.

This story is often referenced as evidence that I am better off married than I was single.

But now I learn that the mold that forms in bottles of Gatorade (well, the example they give is Vitamin Water, but I'm sure it's the same thing) is PERFECTLY HARMLESS.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

Can I Kick It? (Yes, You Can)

So I felt the baby kick for the first time this weekend. (According to Kelly, it's been kicking up a storm for some time, but I wasn't feeling anything on the outside.)

I've also been noticing a lot more other pregnant women in the world. Maybe I'm just more attuned. We passed a lady today and I said to Kelly, "Hey, was she pregnant?" Kelly said she couldn't tell. I assumed she had developed some kind of "preg-dar" by now, but apparently not.

'Billy' Trapped In Trunk

We saw this tag inside a rental car trunk. It's supposed to help you figure out how to open the latch if you're stuck inside. But why does the man have to run away from the car after escaping? And does it look like those "Family Circus" strips where Billy leaves a dotted-line trail behind him?