{ August 6, 2006 Archives }
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Laughing Gassed

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" *** (out of four): This ode to the NASCAR life is easily one of Will Ferrell's most consistently funny comedies, and that's really saying something.


I was worried about Will Ferrell there for a while. When I heard he was re-teaming with Adam McKay - his co-writing/directing partner from the disappointing “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” - for the similarly titled “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”, I was afraid we were going to see another “Saturday Night Live”-level character stretched out to 90 minutes. Thankfully, I was wrong. With “Talladega”, Mr. Ferrell and Mr. McKay find a venue ripe for their particular brand of parody, and they manage to skillfully straddle the line between laughing-at and laughing-with, which should make this film much-beloved in the middle states.

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Cave Reviews

"The Descent" *** (out of four): Neil Marshall's gleefully gory spelunking spook-fest may make you rethink that cave-diving vacation.


If you're going to have any fun with "The Descent" you're going to need to buy the premise: six thrill-seeking British women get together for a wee spot of spelunking and quickly find themselves trapped deep underground where someone or something may be stalking them. There. If that sounds like a good time at the movies, “The Descent”, Neil Marshall’s gleefully gory spook-fest, is the film for you.

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Summer Reading List

According to Human Events, the national conservative weekly, these are the ten most harmful books of the 19th and 20th centuries.

1. The Communist Manifesto
2. Mein Kampf
3. Quotations from Chairman Mao
4. The Kinsey Report
5. Democracy and Education
6. Das Kapital
7. The Feminine Mystique
8. The Course of Positive Philosophy
9. Beyond Good and Evil
10. General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

There’s also a list of honorable mentions, since, ya know, a little knowledge and critical thinking can be a dangerous thing. Dust off those library cards, kids!

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On Canada


Those Canadians sure have mastered the whole national pride thing.

Two YouTube clips. First, my all-time favorite TV commercial: "I Am Canadian" from Molson.

Second, Edmonton fans belt out "O Canada" before the Oilers take on Carolina in the Stanley Cup Finals last May.

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Commuting Suicide: Volume XVII


Friday morning I missed my alarm and caught a later bus. With the rush hour(s) behind us, I didn't recognize my fellow passengers. Gone were the subdued commuters, scowling-and-bearing-it, worn down by life. In their stead were a bunch of scabs who marveled at the excitement of bus travel. And these day-trippers marveled out loud.

The competing wailing babies added a nice touch. As did the chatty elderly couple I was ready to fit for hearing aids. But the boisterous stars of Friday's performance were two college girls. They stole the show.

Girl One [The one who had me praying for deafness]: "Everyone always says someone should write a book about our lives. The next Sex and the City!"

Girl Two [The one who had me praying for a fiery Turnpike crash]: "Obvi! Obvi!"

By "Obvi," I assume Girl Two was saving her breath by shortening "obviously," suggesting a certain respect for an economy of language. It was a shallow gesture. Like ordering a Diet Coke at the Pizza Hut Lunch Buffet, then finding room for the cherry pie dessert pizza. And with "Everyone always says someone should write a book about our lives," Girl One set back my Respect For Jersey movement ten years.

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I knew I'd seen that mermaid before.


Looks like someone's a Star Trek fan.

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Early retirement not in the cards


Our parents learned from their parents’ mistakes. Instead of landing in the trash, my generation’s baseball cards ended up in hard plastic cases in climate controlled rooms. And now, the hard plastic cases are worth more than the cardboard they protect.

So one generation regrets tossing away a fortune, and the next needs to find a backup retirement plan. What a depressing hobby.

My buddy Dave Jamieson prompted this post with his very entertaining piece on the rise and fall of baseball cards in Slate. Enjoy.

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Breakfast Links


- Ever seen a live performance of Total Eclipse of the Heart? Really? How about one performed on kitchen appliances?
- Reading that Sylvester Stallone is shopping another Rambo reminded me of the time Al Franken met him at the library.
- What...you're white and you dream of being an NFL wide receiver? Does your dad own a team? Well then call these guys.
- Part two of the crazy blonde chick from The View. And no I don't watch. I just can't get enough crazy blonde chicks.
- And the last scene from the Boxing episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is comedy gold. I did not see that coming.

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Cat Fight

I’ve never been to the Florida keys, but when I get there, I want it to be exactly like it was when Ernest Hemingway was a resident. However, the USDA wants to rid the Hemingway home of the dozens of six-toed cats, descendents of Hemingway’s cats, who continue to live there.

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Do You Feel Like I Do?


Atom gets Frampton feeling the love in this excellent remix.

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