Tuesday, July 31, 2007

HTTP 411: Cool Links

My buddy David is what I like to call a "net hound." He's always bring up some really interesting/weird/scary website in casual conversation. The man is a champion web surfer of the highest order. I'm always telling him he should start a "cool website of the day" type blog. I'm not sure if he's just being polite or what, but he always agrees...then never does it.

So, I went and set up "HTTP 411: Cool Links." I added David, Leah, and David's brother Jimu as authors. Anytime any of them find something cool they're supposed to contribute. Anything cool or interesting (or even better--useful) on the web. This stuff is out there, it's crazy how much crap is out there. If nothing else, I think it'll be good to have a place where these links exist together (when my laptop died I lost ALL my "favorites" but luckily have a bunch of them saved up here on "Thoughts of a Limemonkey").

Anyway, go check out "HTTP 411," and every so often pop back in and see what's been added. You never know, your new favorite website could be lurking there...


Monday, July 30, 2007

Texas trio blows the Limemonkey AWAY!!!

So I'm in St. Louis, which means only one thing: I had tickets to a concert. Last night was the big "Arch High School Reunion" show down at the Scottrade Center. Me and Leah parked at Union Station and had lunch/dinner in the food court before heading over to the show. I was tired. I mean really, really, really tired. I worked the night before, 11PM to7AM. When I got off I jumped in my car and made the 3 hour ride. I got to her parents house in time to see Leah off before her playoff game (they lost, they're out of the playoffs...which sucks). Anyway, despite being so tired I was ready for a good time.

The Gin Blossoms went on a little after 6:00PM. I felt bad for them, they were the youngest and thus least successful act. They were alright, they played all their radio hits: "Follow You Down," "Hey Jealousy," "Hear it From You," etc. I have nothing really good or bad to say about them, they kinda just were there.

Then they Stray Cats came one. Holy shit were they good!!! Brian Setzer is an AMAZING guitarist. I love rockabilly and New Wave...they were great. Good stage show (running around, jumping). They played "Stray Cat Strut" and of course, "Rock this Town." I wasn't really too familiar with them prior to the show (other than "Rock this Town" which everyone pretty much knows). After seeing this set though, I'm sold. As soon as I get some money (i.e. never) I'm going to buy a CD or two.

The Stray Cats were followed by The Pretenders. I had high hopes for the The Pretenders. They were just put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...chick guitarist/singer. They have a really good song in Guitar Hero II. And yet, they let me down. For one thing, Chrissy Hynde is suffering from "I'm not too old to be doing this"-syndrome. She still wearing the outfits, the hair, cussing, etc. Only she looks like my grandmother. I guess it's sexist, but women of a certain age can't pull off the "young and sexy" act. Beyond that, though, she sounded terrible--screeching her way through past hits like "Back on the Chain Gang," "My City was Gone," "Precious," "Special," and "I'll Stand by You." I was bored to tears (when my ears weren't in pain). Leah was pissed they didn't play "Tattoo Love Boys" (from GH). I glad to see them leave.

ZZ TOP came out after The Pretenders and fucking blew everyone away. I was expecting the guitar virtuosity...but not the sheer...for lack of a better word "heaviness" that the band has. ZZ Top is a heavy band. Sure, the blues influences were there...but they loud and vicious. The hits kept coming as the dudes with beards ripped through their greatest hits: "Cheap Sunglasses," "Pearl Necklace," "I'm Bad...I'm Nationwide," "Rough Boy," and of course..."La Grange." They also did a smokin' cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Foxy Lady." They busted the big fuzzy guitars out for "Legs" (which made me happy). The Top sounded great...they moved like they were still kids (instead of being 30+ year band vets). Overall, they kicked ass.

Leah still fell asleep (how the hell she managed that is beyond me). Anyway, a good time was had by all. As we were leaving, we even got our "diploma":

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Teaser trailer for THE DARK KNIGHT. Visually--it's not very impresive, but listen to Heath's Joker at the end...scary/good stuff (love the laugh):


Thursday, July 26, 2007


The Ain't it Cool News people posted this pic from Comic-Con. Check out the release date...

UPDATE! From EW (due out tomorrow):

The Limemonkey @ Work Part II

Yeah, I lied. What can I say? I just can't stay away...I've been up for over 24 hours, but before I nod off I wanted to post these pics I took yesterday during my marathon shift. I felt like a paparazzi, what with all the guerrilla photography (the places I work and the company I guard are VERY secretive--they don't advertise but they own 85%-90% of the buildings downtown...needless to say they don't like getting their picture taken). Anyway, I know a bunch of you wanted to see my goofy ass on the Segway...so I took a short little movie with me riding it.


The Lyric Opera House (home to Channel 9):

They had a tennis match yesterday down at B. Allis Plaza (about a stone's throw from our Command and Control Center):

Inside the Deramius building (used to be a hotel, now it's corporate):

This is the KC public library...did you know they have a garden on top? I didn't:

Alright, I mean it this time...I'm going to be gone for a few days...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Back in the Kitchen (again)

With the move out coming up, I suddenly realized that I'm going to have to cook A LOT really soon. Sure, Leah is a good cook too...but she might not always be around. Therefore, I've been trying to get back into the habit/practice of making my own food. I also figured out that most of the cookbooks aren't mine...so I'm having to record the recipes I like and use the most.

Tonight I made Chicken Parisian with crisp onion-roasted potatoes. The worst part about potatoes (besides having confusing spelling (for Republicans)), is having to peel them. Ugh. We have two 'tater peelers in my house: a new one and an old one. Guess which one works better? The old one! For some reason, the new one sucks (too much safe plastic...not enough finger slicing metal). I could peel a ton (literally and figuratively) of potatoes in no time at all with the old one. But with that crappy new peeler...ugh...takes all day to just peel half of one. This just goes to show you how important the proper tools can be.


Chicken Parisian~

1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
6 skinned boneless chicken breast halves
3 tablespoons margarine or butter
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry white wine (I'm not allowed)
2 teaspoons Wylers chicken-flavored instant bullion cubes
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves

In a plastic bag, combine flour, paprika, and pepper. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time; shake to coat. In skillet, brown chicken in margarine; remove from pan. In same skillet, add remaining ingredients, simmer 3 minutes. Add chicken; simmer covered 20 minutes or until tender.

Crisp Onion-Roasted Potatoes~

1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion soup mix
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter or margarine (melted)
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon marjoram leaves
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds potatoes, cut into quarters

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a shallow baking or roasting pan, thoroughly blend all ingredients except potatoes. Add potatoes and turn to coat thoroughly. Bake, stirring occasionally for 60 minutes or until they are tender. Garnish with parsley.


The Con

I'm a sexist-pig, and like all sexist-pigs...lesbians fascinate me. Like so many good things in life, I found out about Tegan and Sara from Little Steven's Underground garage. Their third album SO JEALOUS was a fantastic blend of garage rock and Lilith Fair type folk. The girls have sugary sweet voices but what really interested me was:

1. Identical twins

2. Cute as hell

3. Lesbians (both of 'em)

Putting all that aside (stupid male brain), Tegan and Sara are a great musical talent. I think SO JEALOUS is one of the best records of the past 10 years. Hell, Jack White agrees...his little band, The White Stripes (perhaps you've heard of them?) released a single a year back (or so) that was a Tegan and Sara cover ("Walking with a Ghost"). And in general, they're the best Canadian artist...like ever (sorry BNL and Rush). Anyway, I've been waiting for them to put out a new record--and they finally did. It came out today, and I streamed it on Myspace.

How is it? Not as good as SO JEALOUS. My biggest problem with THE CON is that it's nearly all acoustic indie-folk...not much garage here. I don't mind folk, per say...but Tegan and Sara devolve into (let's face it) a music cliche (thank you Indigo Girls) without the harder stuff. Sure, the voices are still sickly-sweet (even as they sing about heartbreaking things)...but it feels like a rehash.

There are a few highlights: "Hop a Plane" is quicker and recalls the better tracks on SO JEALOUS. I love the synthed out treatment this song got...I wish they would have diversified their sound like this a bit more. Another good one is "Burn your Life Down." The title track "The Con" is also really good...everything else just sort felt like filler. I was disappointed. Rather than buy this one, I think I'll just download those "choice cuts."

Jason gives THE CON a "C-"

Giant Robots...mega-floods...a typical night off

Against my better judgement, I went to the drive-in last night (yes alone). Despite working my ass off that morning, I knew I was going to be up all night (I was). For seven bucks, I had something to do until 2:00AM. What was playing?

Not much. The drive-in I frequent is playing it safe by really only showing "kiddie" type movies. Which is a shame (I really wanted to see the new Die Hard movie outside...where I saw parts 2 and 3). It was a toss up between Harry Potter and TRANSFORMERS. Now despite what you might think, I'm not a Potter "hater" per say. But I find the books are waaaay better than the films (which are, let's face it, a bit watered down). Though I do enjoy Alan Rickman. Anyway, I ended up seeing the giant robot movie.

As a kid, I wasn't as into Transformers as you might think. True, I grew up in the '80s...but my thing was He-Man (you know, "Master of the Universe"). In junior high/early high school I used to watch the excellent Transformers: Beast Wars. That one featured all the old bots, but instead of cars they were all animals. It was all early CGI (like reboot). If you ever get a chance to see it, I highly recommend it.

Basically, my hopes/expectations weren't up too high. Michael Bay is the Devil. As a serious movie/film buff, he work is pretty much bringing down the industry/art...blah...blah...blah. What the fuck do you want? They're giant robots! Bang bang BOOM! Ripped lads and sexy lasses looked hot as shit blew up all around them. The robots looked great. The military got represented in a positive (unrealistic?) way. God bless the USA. I hated it and I loved it. Michael Bay's only great movie is THE ROCK, everything else he's ever done is just a pale imitation (the lead character at one point has to flag down some choppers with a flare on top of a sky scrapper a-la Nick Cage at Alcatraz).

The only thing about this movie that surprised me was Shia LaBeouf. I kept hearing so much about this guy, I was curious to see if the hype was worth it. Granted, this isn't the best vehicle (pun intended) for an actor to show off his "chops," LaBeouf earned my respect. Is he truly the next Tom Hanks/Harrison Ford? Only time will tell. I will say that I was worried to hear that he would be playing Indy's son in INDIANA JONES 4...but after seeing TRANSFORMERS I think he'll do just fine. He plays that in-over-his-head average guy who wants to be brave/tough quite well (which is the act Ford uses for Indy). I'm almost hoping the rumors of a JONES JR. trilogy with LaBeouf are true.

The other movie was EVAN ALMIGHTY. Which was about as good as a Jim Carrey-less sequel can be. I was worried how they were going to fulfill Evan's prophecy but still remain (sorta) accurate to the Bible (I don't know much about religion, but the dude did promise not to do the whole "flood" thing again). The ending was (almost) worth the hour of bird poop jokes. The whole time I was watching it, I realized how much Leah would probably like it (lots of animals). Was it worth my money? No, but thankfully I only paid $3.30 to see it.

God bless the Drive-in. Oh!!! I almost forgot!!! I got to see the 1-18-08 trailer before TRANSFORMERS. It was scarier on the big screen...but frankly, it's lost some of it's teeth since I've seen this (awesome) parody:

Monday, July 23, 2007

Free Game

Check out this really cool, really strange game (free to download, I might add):


It's a lot like Katamari Damacy except with clouds...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I *heart* Leah

Something I made for Leah:

The Limemonkey @ Work

Oh man...I am so tired! I just got off work, it was a long, long, long...long 16 hour shift. I did a 16 hour shift yesterday night, too. To kill some of the boredom I took my camera to work. Once again I filmed a really good video, but it was too long/big of a file for YouTube. I really need to get some editing software (I played around with Microsoft Movie Maker, but it doesn't support my camera's video files). Anyway, I also too some stills. They turned out kinda crappy...as good as my little camera is--it sucks at night/low light.

This one is an in-joke between me and Leah (basically, a bum yelled this at us at the Delmar Loop one time):

Fun in the bathroom:

The view from my building:

Friday, July 20, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Double Trouble

Uh-oh...there goes the neighborhood!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Videos from The Star Spangles

Couldn't find any videos from the new album (that's what happens when your label drops you I guess), but here is "I Live for Speed" off of BAZOOKA!:

and "Which One of the Two of Us is Gonna Burn This House Down?" (also off BAZOOKA!):

Dirty Bomb

Back in 2003, a lonely college student sat on his bed, streaming Little Steven's Underground Garage--and sketched. Scribbling whatever the music inspired him to draw, he filled notebooks with doodles of broken hearts, beetle bugs, big droopy sun flowers...then The Star Spangles came on. Their first single, "Which One of the Two of Us is Gonna Burn This House Down?" erupted from his cheap plastic Dell speakers. That college student was me--and I had no idea what I was supposed to draw for that song. Needless to say, The Star Spangles killed my game.

I downloaded the full album, BAZOOKA! from the iTUNES store. It was fantastic! But the band lived in the shadow of the more famous New York band, The Strokes. Then the garage rock revival ended as quickly as it had started. Despite being an amazing band (I've yet to meet a person who's heard it and not liked it), they were dropped from Capitol Records (fuckers). Adrift and alone in the world, lead singer Ian Wilson bragged that the band would be back. They had over a thousand songs written...you know, the usual nonsense. But then drummer and bass player quit, and I never expected to hear from them again.

Flash forward to late April/early May and on the Rock and Roll Geek Show Indie cast Jasper (from the Plan 9 Rock Show) mentioned that the band had a new record coming out. I was stoked. I ordered it (this time from independent CD seller CDbaby rather than iTUNES). I got it, listened to it while I fixed dinner for my family...and was underwhelmed.

BAZOOKA! was such a brilliant, instant-karma kind of record that I was disappointed by DIRTY BOMB. And then a few weeks went by, and I put it on...and it sounded better than I remembered. A month later I'm a true-believer. Despite all the shit the band's been through, DIRTY BOMB delivers.

While staying true to their punk/garage roots, The Spangles seem pop-ier this time around. "I'm on a High" and "This Side of the Sun" would easily fit on any of the pop stations playing Rooney or The Plain White T's. The sonic boom of "Which One of Us..." is felt (though to a lesser degree) on the opener "Take Care of Us" and "Tell Lies." It's a good thing.

One of my favorite songs from BAZOOKA! was the Rolling Stones-influenced "Crime of the Century," here on DIRTY BOMB they pay homage to the Stones with "'nother Weight to Hold Me Down." This may seem like a small detail, but it really impressed me on the first record...and I was wondering if they'd do it again. I know there are only so many riffs a guitarist can play, but the fat Keef-riffs really makes me smile.

The lyrics again are nice and dark (instead of burning down houses, the Spangles now have a song called "Bash Your Brains Out"). I would have liked to see a little more variety in the songs. Everything is basically in the same tempo (fast or really fast). I really enjoyed the slower (dare I say country?) end track "Someone in You" and wish they'd done a little more experimentation. The first album was actually quite varied in this regard. But that's a complaint not against this record so much as it is against the genre in general. The Star Spangles play their garage rock role well.

Overall The Star Spangles have come out of a trying period intact. I hope they get picked up by another major label. These boys need another shot.

Jason gives DIRTY BOMB an "A-"

And check out BAZOOKA! (which Jason gives an "A+"):

Monday, July 16, 2007

Back in the Kitchen

It's been over a month since I did any cooking. I've been so busy (I still am). There are a lot of "hard parts" when it comes to cooking. The hardest though is making something that everyone can agree on. In my house there are two groups: my sisters (who won't eat ANYTHING it seems like) and then everyone else. I made Ratatouille tonight. Looking up the recipe for David inspired me to make it once again. It really is a hearty and more importantly healthy dish. I slaved for an hour chopping, dicing, mincing, and cooking. Then, when my sisters found out what I was making my pop came into the kitchen and fried them some chicken (I refused). These are the same people that LOVE "Hamburger Helper."


Whatever, what do kids know? Anyway, the whole incident is like reason #100,009,874 that I can't wait to get the hell out of here. Leah and Rusty won't complain when I cook for them. I can't wait to go where my culinary talents will be appreciated.

In case you didn’t see it earlier, here is the complete recipe:


2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 medium eggplant, pared and in cubes
2 small zucchini, cut into strips
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
1 8OZ can stewed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
4 teaspoons Wylers Instant beef bullion (which, if you want to be veg...just leave out and/or replace with vegetable stock)
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon basil leaves
1 teaspoon of oregano


In a large saucepan cook garlic and oil until lightly brown. Add remaining ingredients, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir for another 10 minutes or until veggies are tender.

Sometimes I feel like I'm taking crazy pills...

Seriously, why are people so fucking stupid? Am I crazy, or am I really that fucking brilliant?

Bio-diesel is the WORST IDEA WILLIE NELSON HAS EVER HAD. I understand people are desperate to solve the world's energy crisis. It's a real problem and I'm glad the world's country/western singers are hard at work on it. Thanks Willie.

But...ya see...country music blows--and so does Willie's idea.

Grow corn to power our cars? Sounds great! America has TONS of corn, and lots of area to grow it. Right? And America's farmers are all on hard times, why not give them a helping hand by buying all their corn and turning it into pollutants?

The problem with all this is to grow enough, we'd have to use pretty much all the land in North America to grow enough (bye bye Yellowstone). Hell, we could grow more if we fill in the Grand Canyon...a little desert Hydroponics...wah-la!!! Corn fuel for all.

Great. Our cars will run...but we won't. See, what Willie and all these other fucktards (and that's what they are for being so damn stupid as to not think of this) don't realize is: IF YOU MAKE CORN OUR FUEL...CORN WILL BE EXPENSIVE LIKE OIL IS CURRENTLY.

But who cares! Well you should...if you like to eat, that is:

It's already happening people. Thank's uncle Willie. Hey here's an idea, let's use pot as fuel...maybe if the price of weed goes up enough Nelson will sober up and pull his head out of his ass.
I can't believe that people are so desperate they'd be this stupid.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Limemonkey on The Rock and Roll Geek Show (plus a Jason's life update)

Well it's Sunday, my day off!!! I haven't had a day off in two weeks...so despite the fact that I should be out making money, I'm taking a break. I feel pretty good/happy right now. Me and Leah got the apartment in St. Louis, which took a load of worry off my mind. I took care of my loan stuff for the upcoming semester (all by myself). I'm getting a nice fat Pell Grant this year (which makes me happy). And, most importantly, last week I put in my one-month notice at work. I give them a month's notice when I work for them over the summer, because frankly--these people need as much time as they can get finding a replacement. Not to say that I'm some great guy that it takes forever to replace...just that it's a shitty job and they're a shitty company and so it takes a while. Last summer I left and despite a month's notice, they didn't have anyone for my slot. Yeah...oh well, not my problem.

The Limemonkey continues his global domination of all media!!! This weekend I appear on rocker Michael Butler's podcast, The Rock and Roll Geek Show. Butler has a really good (though somewhat off-the-cuff) podcast where he geeks out and talks rock. He plays a lot of really good bands that most people have never heard of (as well as some ones you have). I phoned in a concert review for The Police show I went to two weeks ago. Anyone interested in listening to that can do so in a few different ways:

1. Go to iTUNES search for "Rock and Roll Geek show." It'll be under podcasts, you can either subscribe to the show (which I recommend, it's great) or you can just download the one show (which is the latest one, show number 249).

or for you Luddites out there (for whom iTUNES is a mystery)

2. Go to http://rockandrollgeekwp.podshow.com/ and near the top of the page is the show notes for the show. Look for the green/orange speaker/play button. You can stream the entire episode from his website OR you can download the file directly from him.

The Limemonkey appears about 11 minutes into the show. Check it out...

I had an interesting conversation with my boss a few nights ago (I've been working so much I haven't had time to post about this). Somehow we got to talking and he told me about how he had tried to write a children's book a few years back. It was interesting to talk to someone else who is a wanna-be writer/security guard. I told him he should keep working on it...and felt pretty stupid encouraging him when I've pretty much given up on my own shit. This motivated me to do a little writing (a la Murphy, at work). I mapped out what could me a short story (thank you Terri for pointing out one of my recent posts could be a story "seed"). I'm also thinking that in these last three or so weeks I might smuggle my laptop into work and do some work on "Sea Change."

I regret not doing this earlier in the summer, but my laptop problems and the sheer number of hours I've been working has really limited how much I could do. Anyway, I'll be out in St. Louis in about 2 weeks for ZZ Top, and I'll be moving in about 4 weeks. Until then, I'm busy busy busy.

Interesting...if TRUE

An interesting article (from a mainstream news site) about 1-18-08/Cloverfield. Apparently the "Slusho" website is loaded with clues...also, check out the slightly spolier-is bits at the end of the article (concerning the creature):


Also, Ain't It Cool News is reporting that the film will open with rescue/clean-up workers finding a camera in the debris of NYC. They push play on it, and then the audience gets a feature length version of the trailer. Sounds a bit BLAIR WITCH to me...but the realism of the trailer was compelling.

And, for anyone wanting to find out a little more about SLUSHO and such...check out this blog I found:


This one appears to be more through/updated more often than the first blog I found devoted to this mystery.

UPDATE: Here is a link to the Ain't It Cool News story:


Friday, July 13, 2007


I've dated a lot (and I mean a LOT) of vegetarians. Some lived this way because they found it morally wrong to eat meat. Some did so for vanity (i.e. lose weight). And some were just batshit crazy (okay, most were batshit crazy). In High School, during my Senior year, I took two "foods" classes. I did so to:

A. Pick up chicks

B. Learn a skill

C. Get out of "shop" type classes (those, I'm sad to say are "sausage fests" of epic proportions).

In my time in the school kitchen I learned to cook reasonably well. I enjoy cooking, even though it can stress me out (I prefer cooking for myself...no pressure there). My biggest problem is managing everything and getting everything to be done at the same time (in my opinion the hardest thing to do in a kitchen).

Anyway, long story short...dating all these vegetarians, I've became something of a vegetarian cook. My all-time favorite vegetarian recipe was Ratatouille. Even though I could never figure out how to say it (I took Spanish, not French in High School) it became one of my signature dishes here at the homestead.

When I heard that the next Pixar movie was called RATATOUILLE, I was excited. Despite the glut of CG kiddie flicks, I find the Pixar movies to still be fantastic. Sadly, I think some people have trouble telling the difference (the movie has only done so-so). That's a real shame to, because the quality of the Pixar movies is head and shoulders above 99% of the films being made (animated and live action).

What puts Pixar above and beyond all the rest is the writing. You can tell they actually get a SCRIPT together before they start making the toys and other merch. Also, the films always seem to have so much heart and a message--but not a "down-your-throat" didactic (I hate it when a film tries to "preach" at me *HAPPY FEET*).

I took my baby sister to see RATATOUILLE today, and it was great. The animation is no longer a gimmick, but new medium for story telling. The voice talent was top-notch (yes, Ratzenberger in it as usual), the water animation was astounding...Paris looked great. I like the Pixar movies because, unlike say SHREK...Pixar doesn't hit you over the head repeatedly with "jokes" that are nothing more than frantic pop-culture references. It would have been easy to do nothing but bash on the French, too--thankfully Pixar steers clear of this. Despite being about a rat that wants to be a chef, the film is one of the most human stories I've seen on screen all year.

Go check it out, even if you're not a kid.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

A Guitar Hero Update (with a Rock Band mention)

Well it's not like riding a bike...

I've taken about a week off from Guitar Hero, so tonight I decided to dust of the X-plorer and give it a whirl. Man was it sad. The problem with bumping up to a higher difficulty, is that it's impossible to go back. The once blazing "Medium" is now turtle slow, I get bored playing it. So I'm a "Hard" man now. Problem is, when you take time off and come back--it hurts.

The orange button isn't a problem. In fact, I think my slide technique is awesome. No, what is still giving me trouble are the "quick notes" that lay nearly on top of each other. Also, the hammer-on/off's are still giving me trouble. After about an hour I was back where I should be, but for how long? I finished with my double shifts this week...so I guess I'll have to use my new found free time on sharpening my skills. I know one day I'm going to win some money with this game...they do have championships after all. I'm not there (yet).

I was a bad boy today. I spent money, and not on gas (which is all I'm supposed to be spending money on). I was on the official RedOctane website (http://www.redoctane.com/store.html) and saw that they were selling individual X-plorers (for only $56!!). I didn't know they were doing that (I keep looking in the stores for individual guitars...but they never have them for the XBOX 360). Anyway, now that me and Leah are going to be moving in/sharing a TV, I know I'm going to have to find ways to include her in my Guitar Heroism (lest my skills get weak). So I bought a second controller. That way we can play the co-op/vs. mode together!

Couples that play together, stay together.

Needless to say, the only person I've told (who would care) was my baby sister Lindsey--she's really excited (even though I'm only going to be here another month). She beat "Easy" in about three days, and has gotten about 1/2 through "Medium" (she quit when our save files got corrupted and I had to delete them).

I downloaded "Less Talk More Rokk" by Freezepop (the greatest Bonus song in the game) on iTunes earlier this week. It was free, I got two downloads when I bought the ZZ Top tickets. Great, great song. My friend David is a fan of it, too. I really wanted to score a 5 star rating and dedicate it to him. But alas, despite four attempts, the best I can do is STILL a lousy 4 Stars:

You can see I'm playing pretty well, actually. The lowest I scored was a 90% on the second chorus. Which makes me wonder, just exactly how are the star ratings scored? I mean, some songs a 94% is a 5 star. Does the difficulty effect the rating system?

Anyway, I have a bunch of 5 Stars on "Hard." The latest I scored tonight (in between "Less Talk More Rokk"). It's a newer song, but one that I really like (both listening to and playing). "Stellar" by Incubus:

My overall score:

Also, I saw a trailer today for Guitar Hero 3...holy shit. SLASH is in the game!!! He's like a boss character (yes, there will be boss characters apparently). I read he wrote a song just for the game (ala Buckethead in GH2). I am so excited about this game, seriously you people have no idea. I plan on taking my $100 uniform deposit and putting it towards the game THE DAY IT COMES OUT!!! I WILL SKIP CLASS, WORK, WHATEVER TO WAIT IN LINE TO BUY THIS GAME. I'm sick...

Speaking of sick, are you following ROCK BAND? This game is going to be better than Guitar Hero. Hands down. IGN posted pics of the drum set (looks sweet):

And they announced that THE STROKES are going to be in the game!! Harmonix is also saying that they will apparently have 2 new songs a week to download. And FULL ALBUMS you can download and play (can you say "Appetite for Destruction" anyone?). I read they hired my idol "Little" Steven Van Zandt to help them decide what songs are going to go into the game.

Come December I may be selling my blood for this game.


Okay, this just keeps getting more and more strange.

I can't believe that Amber has sucked me into this damn thing...anyway, in case anyone cares (sorry if you don't):

Abrams old TV show was called ALIAS (perhaps you've heard of it), apparently on one episode one character offers another character a drink called a "slusho." A sharp eyed net-hound noticed a character in the 1-18-08 trailer appears to be wearing a shit for the fictional slurpy brand. It's also been reported that the film is shooting in and around LA under the guise of "Slusho" (complete with film trucks painted to look like Slusho trucks).

I dug around, Googled "Slusho" and found what appears to be a Japanese website for the product(http://slusho.jp/index.html). The site is super-cute (sorry no monsters here), and appears to be (mostly) in English. You can "email Slusho!" (which I did). I can't wait to get a response.

Interesting that the main character from the trailer is going to Japan (home of giant monsters...the most famous being Godzilla of course) and now this Japan-inspired website. Obviously this is a nod to the man-in-rubbersuit made famous in Japanese cinema. But could the creatures in 1-18-08 come from Japan???

That said, click on the "history" button and read about the "company." Interesting, no? Magic plants at the bottom of the sea? Changing from a small fish into a big whale? Could the monsters plaguing NYC be from the sea? Lots of fish/amphibian images...could this be a hint at the appearance of these creatures?


UPDATE: Well, I got an email response from the Slusho-site...this is what they wrote me:

Slusho! loves your mails!! You Can't Drink Just Six!!!

Also, there is a blog someone is running that covers this marketing/promotion:


The 1-18-08 Mystery

Good news everyone! Leah called me today and told me that we got the apartment. I'm really excited to get out there and start living in it (even though I've never had to pay for my home...the concept is foreign to me). Anyway, that kinda got me up a little early. So, I went upstairs...and found Amber staring at her computer.

Seems that my little sister is obsessed with the trailer I posted about yesterday. She "Googled" and "YouTubed" this thing, and let me tell you--I'm impressed. The research she's done is pretty good. Here is what she told me:

1. This is NOT a new Godzilla movie. Apparently it's being put out by Paramount (which puts out J.J.'s TV show LOST) which does NOT OWN THE RIGHTS TO GODZILLA. Godzilla is distributed by Tri-Star in this country. Now that could have changed, but it would have been news.

2. There is an official website for 1-18-08, you can find it here: http://www.1-18-08.com/. It's very basic, just two time-stamped photos. One is a pic from the party (one dude giving another dude a shot). The other is more interesting, it's a close up of two chicks...who seem scared out of their minds. We thought there might be something hidden in it...and it seems there is an image of a devil in the girl on the left's hair (in between the faces, do you see it? Or are we crazy?).

3. A guy on YouTube did an analysis of the sound, and when he slowed it down proved that the people on the street are saying: "It's alive, it's huge." You can go here and see all his (super-nerdy) research: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uHbwPF5yJk. So no "lions" thank God.

4. The movie is not listed on Paramounts website as an official project (with a release date). Why is that? Also there are a bunch of websites out there claiming to be related to this strange marketing campaign, but on Ain't It Cool News, J.J. himself claims that the only site people have thus found is the official 1-18-08 site. You can read his open letter here: http://www.aintitcool.com/node/33261.

5. Apparently, this film is known as "Cloverfield." Where she got that I don't know, but we both think that's a red herring/fake name or "project handle." This is common in Hollywood. I read that RETURN OF THE JEDI was called "Project Blue" or something like that.

Also, anyone with Bible knowledge think 1-18-08 could be Biblical verse? That's a claim that's out there...I haven't looked it up (alas, my heathen family has no Bible).

I'm sure this bores some people to tears, I also know that this level of interest is exactly what J.J. and his studio are hoping for. I think that as we get answers we're all going to be disappointed. Me and Amber talked about that aspect and have decided that we're going to see this thing no matter what. The way we see it, Abrams is ALREADY entertaining us by giving us such an interesting mystery. I remember when they did this for "A.I." and wasn't pulled in...not sure why I got sucked into this one, but I'm sure this won't be my last post about this film.

UPDATE: IMDB had a link on it's main page to an article on the website Filmthreat.com that has an outline of the 1-18-08 mystery. You can find the story here: http://www.filmthreat.com/index.php?section=features&Id=1990. Ignore the "Ethan Haas" stuff, if you read the J.J. Abrams note on Ain't It Cool...he debunks these sites (or is he trying to throw us off track?).

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Viral Marketing Works...

Super-Producer/LOST creator J.J. Abrams next movie has a super-awesome, super-mystical trailer before the new TRANSFORMERS movie. Ever see the trailer for RED EYE? It's a bit like that...it starts out looking like one kind of movie--then "transforms" into something darker, something bat-shit crazy!!!

Go check it out over at the Apple website, and then tell me what you think:


The Next President of the USA

So I've been listening to more talk radio at work...did you know the election is coming up? Yes, its nearly time once again to pick the lesser of two (or is it eight, nine?) evils.

Right now it's early, and it seems like everyone is running for the big job. I can't say I blame them, it would be kinda cool (I guess). Despite the glut of candidates, none of them are really doing anything for me.

However, here is a ticket I really could get behind:

Now, before you say he's not right for the job...let's take a look at the facts. Shall we?

1. Murph served his country bravely in the first Gulf War (you know, the one that was run better).

2. Murph has a Master's degree in History (he's a college grad, so you know he's smart).

3. He has a delightful, slightly Southern accent. People love that in a President!

Shame on you America for wasting Murph's talents on lesser jobs. I can't think of a man more qualified to run our nation than my fellow blogger Murph. Now, I know the progressive thing would be to have Terri run as President...and believe me, I thought about that. Frankly, with all due respects Mrs. Clinton--American just isn't ready. But Terri's Vice-Presidency will help pave the way for a chick President! Terri has no experience in politics, but she has managed numerous writing workshops. Trust me, she can handle Congress...those guys are nothing compared to a room of wanna-be writers. Without bruising egos, Terri is able to offer constructive criticism like no one.

Now, before you post a comment...yes David, you are more qualified than Terri and Murph combined (David, I'm convinced, is the smartest fucking person alive). However, I want you to stay pure (and out of Washington). Besides, you and I are going to hustle people in bar-quiz games...you can't do that and run a nation.

Anyway, Murph/Terri has my write-in vote.

When the Devil Beats His Wife...

So I just worked a 16 hour shift...during which something really weird happened to me. I was out on patrol, when I emerged from one of my buildings to find a old-timer leaning against a wall. He was smoking, just being lazy in the vicious summer heat.

It was raining, but I had my sunglasses on. I had them on because despite the rain, it was sunny. A halo of ash colored clouds floated overhead--it framed the bright blue sky directly above us. Sorta like the "eye" of a hurricane. The precipitation was light, but more than a mere drizzle. I was getting wet, but the heat from the sun was drying me out.

I love it when it rains when the sun is out, the harder the better. For some reason it just seems magical. Like snow in the dessert. The old-timer seemed to like it too. He saw me and smiled.

"The Devil's beating his wife," he said to me as I approached.


Now when I'm at work I expect to see and hear all kinds of strange/nonsensical things (what with all the vagrants and their alcoholism/drug addiction/mental illness)...but this stopped me in my tracks.

Did this guy just say something about the Devil beating his wife?

He repeated himself when he saw the puzzled look on my face.

"The Devil," he said. "He's beatin' his wife."

He looked up at the sky, as if it's dark edges were explanation enough.

"I don't get it."

"Ain't that what you called when it rained even though the sun was out? You know, when you was a kid?"

I laughed with relief, even though I had no idea what he was talking about--I knew he wasn't crazy. He seemed almost embarrassed, but not for himself...for me.

"I know I got a few more years than you do, but everyone knows that...it's a common saying."

Guess I must have missed that one. Anyway, I'm not sure if she deserves it--but I like it when the Devil beats his wife.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Where Have I Been? Part 2

I'm not dead, just working (which is nearly the same thing). I was supposed to do 80 hours this week...but I'm only going to do 72. So I get to sit back and relax. I'm about to go and take a shower, then go work a double (16 hours). Wish me good luck. If you haven't seen it yet, I posted a new excerpt on Writings of a Limemonkey.

Also, later this week I'm going to be on The Rock and Roll Geek Show podcast (talking about The Police concert). More info on that as soon as Butler gets the show posted (he said it'll be on the next show).

Hope everyone is doing well. I'm fine, just really busy. I have so many things I want to blog/write about, but I have no time!!! Expect a deluge in the coming days.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Stone Temple Pilots was an amazing band.

Guns 'N Roses was an amazing band.

You would think that if you took the lead singer of STP and three members of GNR (basically everyone but Axl), that the "super group" created would be the greatest band on Earth...well if you thought that (like I did) then you'd be wrong.

Velvet Revoler is like a hard rock Purgatory...Scott Weiland, Slash, Dave Kushner, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum--they're all sitting in the dark, playing chess (or Twister) with Death. Their respective bands have fallen apart, and they're just passing the time, waiting for a judgement to be handed down...

The band released their first record CONTRABAND a few years back, and it was okay. I didn't feel the need to buy it (though I did download the lead single "Fall to Pieces" from iTUNES). An increased love of STP and GNR (no doubt fueled by GH2) lead to picking up LIBERTAD (which is Spanish for "Freedom"). The July 2 release date was appropriate (for many reasons, if you think about it).

Anyway, I put it in my CD player and listened to it...and was severely disappointed. Then I played it again...and was just let down. By the fourth listen, I've come to terms with the fact that Velvet Revolver is a good band--but one that will never be better than the two bands that spawned it. Sometimes more is not better. Six geniuses (and I'm not saying Slash is a genius per say...but bear with me for a sec) can get together and produce something LESS than what they could have made on their own. I think that if you take away the big names, this would be a better record, if that makes any sense. The expectations are just too high for these guys.

Anyway, LIBERTAD might initially feel a little paint-by-numbers...but just underneath the surface there are some interesting things going on. Scott Weiland lends his distinctive STP pipes, and Slash lends his technically brilliant/intricate guitar work. The second the first track, "Let It Roll" opens...you realise it's Slash. Musically, this is a tight record (and I mean that literally). I have no problems with Weiland's vocals...but the lyrics are lacking.

Despite the song being called "Let It Roll," Weiland sings "candy-O" over and over (to the point where I just wanted them to call the song "Candy-O"). Nothing wrong with that, except that's a Cars song and ALBUM! Slash and Weiland referencing '80s New Wave? Perhaps, or perhaps they're really that clueless. See, that's the biggest problem I have with the band...none of these guys are known for their brains--only their rawk. When they try to be serious I have trouble believing them. The next song, "She Mine" uses the word "candy" a lot as well. I don't know what to make of it. Candy, candy, candy...

Critics complained that CONTRABAND was hook-less...and on the first listen, it would appear that LIBERTAD is as well. However songs like "American Man," "Mary Mary," and "Gravedancer" all have really good hooks (both of the lyrical and guitar variety). The last track "Gravedancer" is actually one of the best hard rock songs I've heard in a long time. Everything else on the record has good pieces...but only pieces. I don't agree with the choice of "She Builds Quick Machines" as the lead single. The song is good, but it's clearly a 'deep album cut' and not a radio-friendly tune (which the band needs). I'd say the Elton John-ish sounding "Last Fight" makes more sense to me. That or "Gravedancer."

If the band wasn't a vanity project (and was a legitimate band that would be around in 5 years), I'd say the future looks very bright for Velvet Revolver. Sad truth: this isn't going to wow old fans of GNR and STP. And even worse--it isn't going to sway the rap/hip-hop lovin' youths of America to like hard rock. I predict that VR will put out one more record then die a quiet death. Rather than try to act like the past never happened, Weiland needs to reform STP and Slash & company should go reach out to Axl Rose.

I was going to rate this very (very) low...however it has gotten better the more I listen to it--which tells me it's a good record and I'm just tainted by my love of two old bands. Whatever else you can think to say about Velvet Revolver--they have balls. Big ones. Don't believe me? Go download track number 10. It's a little ditty called "Can't Get it Out of My Head."

Yeah, they covered ELO. And not only does it sound awesome, but they totally make it their own.

Jason was going to give LIBERTAD a C- but then he listened to it again and has decided it's a bit higher than average...so it gets a B-

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Dinos in the Garden

Woke up early today and took my little sisters to Powell Gardens. To be honest, I'm not a big "plant guy." No, I was more interested in the dinosaurs. I saw an ad in the paper about the "Jurassic Garden" exhibit that just opened out there (http://www.powellgardens.org/default.asp?page=JurassicGarden) ...then I saw the billboard downtown. I got excited. Every since I was a kid I've loved dinosaurs. Love 'em.

Anyway, it was really hot (90 degrees) but we still had a pretty good time. I hadn't been to Powell Gardens, but it was actually pretty nice. It wasn't nearly as good as the Botanical Gardens in St. Louis (but really, what out here in KC is better?). But the flowers were pretty.

Leah told my sisters that I'm afraid of butterflies...so the whole time they were making fun of me/shouting "there's a butterfly on you!" Thanks Leah.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

From the Limemonkey Archives: Old Artwork

Again, not much to do...uploading some old pics onto my new laptop--and I thought you all might like to see some of my old artwork. I was inspired to post this after seeing a sketch that my friend/fellow blogger David posted recently. Go check his blog out.