PIER 1 TRAINING RAP!

Once you read that headline close your eyes and imagine a Pier 1 training rap from the early 90’s. Now watch this and if your vision isn’t 100% the same then I’ll buy you an Arapaho chair and dinette set. It’s so great how the  black guy can go from sounding like the most timid and whitest white guy in white town Connecticut to full on Tupac during different parts of the rap. Rap skills like that don’t come easy. Just be careful, rhymes like these may be too edgy for the feint of heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=s3MUCucFCyw#!

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Bob Odenkirk Talks Saul

I interviewed Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk about the new season of the ridiculously good show returning this week. He was awesome and I was pretty giddy considering he’s the Bob from  Mr. Show With Bob and David, probably the most brilliant sketch show ever made. Well I guess  my adoration came through because after I sent him the story that ran in Star he actually checked out this here site and thanked me for posting the Taint Magazine sketch from the show.  Here’s the actual correspondance:

Matt
Great article
and thanks for posting TAINT
I directed that!
Fun.
THANKS.
Bob
Yeah thats right mother fuckers! Anywho, as promised here’s the entire interview I did with Bob. Enjoy.

Matt: How much Bob is in Saul?

Bob: It’s all on the page.  I just find it and play it. I‘ve done a lot of writing and comedy, but I promise you every word I say is on the page.  Every word.

Matt: How was Saul described to you when you took the role?

Bob: I called Vince and he goes he’s a sleazy lawyer, and I go I can do that. And then he goes his name is Saul Goodman and I go whoa whoa whoa just so you know I’m not Jewish. My kids are Jewish, my wife is Jewish, but I’m not Jewish.  He goes he’s not Jewish; he just changed his name to appeal to the gangsters and homeboys.  He’s Irish.  I said oh good I’m half Irish I can do that.

Matt: How would you describe Saul’s style? 

Bob: He looks like a clown including the colors of his suits, clown colors. If a clown wore a suit, that’s what he’d wear. He knows how to manipulate the system and keep his clients out of court essentially.  They never go to court.

Matt: How has Saul’s relationship changed with Walter? Bob: Well, I had everything at arms length.  Saul Did.  This whole mysterious activity was kept at arms length and I was just the lawyer. I  didn’t want heat about what he was doing. As the show has progressed Saul has been dragged in to the dark end of this activity and he really doesn’t want to go there. The whole point of this was he was going to stand back and manipulate the situation and make a lot of money. But he is in it now and he wants out, but he’s past the point of getting out.  He’s scared of Walt and he should be. Walt is really transformed.  He’s a pretty awful guy now.  So Saul is not just out to make a lot of money, he’s out to stay a live.  His self-interest is a little more empathetic.  I guess watch him protect himself and watch him wheedle his way out of a straight jacket. And I hope he gets out by the way.

Read More

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Breaking Bad Preview

Everyone’s favorite high school teacher turned crystal meth mastermind is back as the second to last season of Breaking Bad returns on July 15. I think they actually filmed the whole final season and decided to break it up into two shorter seasons to give TV fans something to look forward to. I first got turned onto the show when I was preparing to interview Bryan Cranston. I watched the first ep of the second season and was blown away, then realized that Bryan was also the doofus dad on Malcolm in the Middle as well as the sexy  dentist from Seinfeld! I was hooked. Since I’ve been a die hard fan and I had the pleasure of watching the first two episodes of the new season. They are simply kick ass sublime.

No spoilers here, but a few thoughts.  While I was watching I couldn’t help but think of two of my favorite shows of all time the Sopranos and The Shield. They both had very gray lead characters who you always knew were pretty evil but rooted for them any way with the hope that they were actually good because they were just amazingly interesting. Was it because  they were bald and bald guys are inherently lovable and awesome? Probably. But in the end it turned out that while they had a semblance of a conscience they were pretty bad dudes who’d kill whomever got in their way. Which in a lot of ways made them worse. They knew what they were doing was wrong but did it anyway as opposed to say a Ralphie who killed a hooker because he was  a psychopath.

Of course they had arcs and we saw more facets of who and why they were who they were but for the most part  from first episode to last Tony Soprano and  Vic Mackey didn’t change a whole helluva lot.

What’s great about Breaking Bad is Walter White began as a  poor sad sack chemistry teacher with cancer struggling to make ends meet.  He started cooking meth out of sheer desperation but as he overcame obstacle over obstacle he embraced his dark side to become a drug kingpin who blew up his competition in a nursing home and manipulated his partner by poisoning a young boy.

 

That’s a character arc that I’ve never seen before and it’s the main reason why the show is so great, Another reason? Aaron Paul is one of the best actors on TV. Another, another reason? Magnets, That’s all I’m going to  give away.

PS. I’m interviewing Bob Odenkirk who plays Saul tomorrow and will post that interview ASAP. He’s one of my favorites back from his days of Mr. Show with Bob and David. This may  be my favorite skit of his.   YouTube Preview Image

 

 

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Django Unchained Trailer

Quentin Tarantino’s latest looks pretty damn good.   http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xrcz2c

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Johan Solo!

See what I did there? Cause his name sounds like Han Solo and he can pitch 9 innings in less than four parsecs!  Puns! I can’t believe how happy I was that New York Mets lefthander Johan Santana pitched a no hitter Friday night. I, along with pretty much every Mets fan, have been waiting for it as long as I’ve been a fan, which for me dates back to my first game in 1982 at Shea stadium with my dad. It was exactly like Field of Drams but instead of playing catch my dad smoked cigarettes and any time a foul ball came within an acre of us he covered my head and screamed in fear. Still, great time and from that point on I was obsessed with baseball, the Mets and cigarettes but mostly the Mets. We’ve had great years (86, 88, 99, 2000, 2006) and horrendous years (91 – 93, 2002-2005, 2007, 2008) but throughout it all every time I watched a game and the Mets hurler got out of the first inning without giving up a hit I had hope that game would be the first  no no.  YouTube Preview Image

There have been a ton of teases but nothing past the 7th that I can remember. One time I recall being at a game when Rick Reed, the onetime strike scab turned formidable middle of the rotation guy, went 7 innings but no cigar. It was ironic of course that the Mets out of all baseball franchises hadn’t had one. I mean they have two impressive championships but they’re not synonymous with domination. The one tradition the Mets have had is excellent starting pitching from Seaver, Ryan and Koosman, to Gooden, Darling, Fernandez on to  Ojeda, Cone, Leiter  and even Glavine and Pedro. Which brings me to Friday.

I went out for drinks after work and started listening to the game in the third inning from my MLB 2012 app while walking to the train. There was no score but I looked for any enemy base runners,  which I have instinctively done for over 30 years.  Two guys were on so, no chance for a no hitter. Damn maybe next time. That was until the end of the fourth when I arrived in New Jersey and Howie Rose said in a round about way (of course you never mention a no no while the game is being played, more on that later). Then I got a little too excited to watch when I got home. When I put it on a  couple of weird things struck me.  Santana was not dominant but he was getting outs. His pitch count was ridiculously high, so not a chance he could last nine. And Gary, Keith and Ron were talking openly about the no hitter which I found strange since you’re not really supposed to mention it out loud and fuck with the baseball gods. It’s like the Voldemort of baseball. The reason they were talking was because, of course, they like me thought with his pitch count there was no way it was gonna happen. But… Ok there’s a drive to left it’s over we can get on with our lives, but Mike Baxter makes a crashing grab! And Manager Terry Collins goes out to make a change, but, nope he’s keeping Johan in. This thing can happen! 

The rest of course has been well documented. As the excitement grew in the stands I started getting texts from friends and everyone was on their toes, especially at the ballet. Zing! I had been playing a soccer game on my ipad, which I ignored but kept  on so I wouldn’t jinx anything. And then of course the glorious wonderful ninth inning when Santana struck out Freese and the whole city let out a collective ear to ear grin which hasn’t dissipated since. It was a ridiculously happy moment that I didn’t want to end. I watched two more hours of post game coverage and almost started crying when Terry Collins began choking up in the post game press conference. OK maybe I teared up a little.  And judging from the papers the next two days, and R.A, Dickey’s shutout the next, the feeling still permeates the city. So congratulations Johan, you the man, and can can do the cancan! Thank You!

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Facebook Winning! And also losing!

OK, maybe it’s not the juggernaut I had hoped it would be but I’m a magazine editor what the hell do I know about finance?  Stop hitting me! The stock,  which is down to like $4 a share from the $38 I bought it at last week, did have the good grace to stay above $30 until Monday securing myself a sweet $100 bill from  the bet with my brother.  So even though I may be down I’m down slightly less. See kids, gambling really is the best way to make money.  

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Facebook or Facebroke?

It’s funny how people react to Facebook. Some are obsessed with it posting about every shit they take and how much better or worse it makes them feel, others, like myself, enjoy using it to keep in touch and stalk… er, find out what our friends and casual acquaintances are up to. But others like my brother Andrew despise it and everything it stands for from a conceptual standpoint. They’re bothered by the lack of privacy it gives them and  incursion into people’s lives being the harbinger of some sort of dystopian reality show apocalypse where everyone knows everything about everyone and nothing’s worth knowing about to begin with. But what I really want to talk about is the stock. Being a man of modest means and little math skills I decided to buy a very small amount of shares of Facebook when it went public last week. I had heard all of the chatter that it wasn’t worth it because despite being hugely popular world wide they hadn’t really figured out a way to monetize it yet (And I can only assume that has something to  do with Claude Monet but I don’t know who he is either.) Still I figured, when else will something this big go on sale, and unlike the rest of my vast portfolio (which can buy dinner for a family of three for two full nights) I actually understood the product. So basically I thought it would be fun to follow and I hopefully would be on the ground floor of something that could be a huge money maker, and I could finally get my dog Stella a solid gold bone!

 

When I brought this up to my brother he scoffed, guffawed and mocked me. To be perfectly honest that’s how most of our conversations go but this one lasted a little longer.  “Balderdash!” He declared, and I’m paraphrasing here. “The whole thing is a con job. Look at today’s New York Post, even they say so!” Now being a sane person who understands gravity and believes in evolution I  take everything the Post says with a heaping grain of salt. They obviously have an agenda and it colors everything they do. However,  being someone who understands gravity and believes in evolution I’m also not an idiot and could see  that in this case, as with 3d movies, perception is reality.  However, I bucked up in my belief that at some point the value of attracting 1 billion users must be worth something. So I bet my bro $100 that the stock would be over 30 by this Friday. To my chagrin it’s dropping like  a stone and is now at 31.5.

 

Which brings me to the point of this post, in order to save me $100 I need all of my followers and guests to this site to  buy stock of Facebook now to raise the price for at least a few more days.  It may not be easy, may cost you thousands of dollars and I — as well as all of you  — could, I guess in theory, go to jail for stock manipulation, but I don’t care! If you want to help me it’s worth that risk to your freedom!

 

 

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Nick Offerman Wood Man

YouTube Preview ImageI had to watch this twice before realizing it’s 100% real and not a bit. If you’re a fan of Parks and Recreation you love Nick Offerman’s man’s man character Ron Swanson. Well it turns out Nick doesn’t just play a man on TV, he’s also more of a man in his real life than I’d be if I killed a bear with my hands while installing a toilet. He’s a professional woodworker, who builds everything from tables to canoes with large slabs of wood using custom made tools in a huge hangar sized workshop. Where does he get his huge slabs of wood? “I always tell people that all over the country there’s somebody with a chainsaw or a tree service or some of the guys at the lumber yard will know a local guy  who mills up pieces.” Great tip! Despite barely knowing how to hang a picture, I found this video mesmerizing. Enjoy!

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The Avengers are Super Friends

As a child of the 80’s I was a huge fan of reruns that started in the 70’s. I’ve watched every episode of Three’s Company 15 times because we didn’t have cable and it was on constantly. SPOILER ALERT:  when Mr. Furley over-hears what he thinks is Jack was having a threesome, it’s actually Jack  struggling to put up a shelf. Another one of my favorites was the Super Friends. The simply awesome Hanna Barbara cartoon paired up my favorite superheroes (Superman, Batman, Robin, Aquaman, The green Lantern, Wonder Woman, the Wonder Twins) and pitted them against the  all time toughest villains who formed the Legion of Doom (The Joker,   Bizarro Superman,  Lex Luthor,    Mr. Mxyzptlk, Cheetah, the Riddler). So each episode was like a Superbowl of super heroes! (Note to self: trademark Superbowl of Super heroes).  Not only did I have Super Friends sheets but it was my first introduction to a sublime segue,  “Later at the Hall of Justice. Meanwhile at the Legion of Doom.”  

Which brings me to the new film The Avengers. I haven’t seen it yet but it looks awesome and is sure to be  a huge hit. But essentially it’s following the same formula as Super Friends by bringing together a who’s who of heroes (Thor, Ironman, the Hulk, Black Widow, Captain America). And yes I know there’s probably some Marvel vs. DC thing with the comic book franchises but my point is that why isn’t there  more of this?  Stallone did it with the Expendables bringing together 80’s action heroes, and while it was a bit of an explosive mess it was entertaining.  Anywho, I’m just hoping that we see more of these team efforts with cool characters. I like lone wolf stories but pack wolves’  are equally entertaining and a lot less common.

 

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Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained Rocks!

Soon after Pulp Fiction came out I was in college and myself and a few of my buddies sat in a dorm room, took about 500 bong hits and put each scene into chronological order off of the top of our heads. We had only seen it once in the theater but were mesmerized by it — and apparently so was the rest of the world as the dozens of knockoff movies and lame attempts at Tarantino-esque dialogue for even more films can attest. Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs,  True Romance (which he wrote but didn’t direct), Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Volumes 1 and 2, Inglorious Basterds, even Death Proof are all either really good or great. So when I heard he was filming a new movie which he also wrote called Django Unchained I read the screenplay. It’s too big of a file for me to put up but here’s a link for you to DOWNLOAD HERE.

If you’re a Tarantino fan I highly recommend it as a really great read that’s sure to be an even better movie.  Filming just began with Jamie Foxx, Leonardo Dicaprio, Samuel L. Jackson and Christoph Waltz starring. It’s a spaghetti western type of film set in the pre-civil war south where freed slave Django (Foxx) becomes a bounty hunter and tears up some real sadistic slave owners and overseers on a quest to free his wife. I don’t want to say anymore but if you have some time check it out. I’m already excited for the flick!

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