You might remember him as the sidekick from King of Queens or the voice of Ratatoille. If you’re really on top of it, you recall last year when our fair city was the epicenter of a national stand-up comedy debacle when a community theatre hack mindlessly regurgitated his bits verbatim for profit under the presumption no one would notice. Or, from a commentary in the last issue of Wired Magazine pronouncing the geek fringe as the status quo.
Patton Oswalt is a genius, master comedic manipulator of the spoken word, dilletante, and highly sought-after nerd-culture commentator.
His NYTimes bestselling latest effort, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, features childhood reminisces of Dungeons and Dragons and youth mired in suburban DC no-mans land, custom-crafted in his own inimitable style. It is a rare feat how he wields his half-orc comedic pen with 20+ melee damage so effortlessly and without the pretension of his contemporaries.
You may also consider checking out any of his spoken word albums.
Whether or not you think it’s a big deal, it kind of is. Halas versus Lombardi.
For 180 minutes this weekend, typical genteel Midwestern politeness will be suspended and (gasp!) unpleasantries may be exchanged as the Bears host the Packers for the NFC championship.
The last time these two storied rivals tussled for the big one? One week after Pearl Harbor on a frosty day back in ’41. Chicago won and though they are 3.5pt underdogs heading into Sunday, they’ll find a way to extend that tradition an additional 70 years.
Be sure to stop in to the downtown reference desk during the game and feed Bill scores.
Is it good for your mind? No. Is it a titillating hi-def splatterfest with Matrix/300 bullet-time effects enjoyable to watch? A definite yes. You wouldn’t be lying if you told your friends there were love stories and a healthy amount of unpredictable plot twists and skullduggery either.
I came upon Spartacus: Blood and Sand due to its free streams on the Roku box last year. I stayed because I could not look away, despite the thinly-veiled disclaimer at the beginning of the historical drama assuring us “the sensuality, brutality and language is to suggest and authentic representation of that period.” Come on, it’s based on actual history. Does that count?
The production and costuming is exemplary. Virtually every ancient Roman has the standard-issue Shakespearean lilt and some 20th century vulgarities. You’re too busy watching heads and period garb falling off to care about the anachronism. Lucy Lawless will NEVER be able to be called a warrior “Princess” again.
Sadly, production was suspended last spring for star Andy Whitfield’s (Spartacus) health, as he was treated for lymphoma. When it was determined he would need a more aggressive regimen, Whitfield bid the franchise and the most physically demanding role on television goodbye.
In just a few weeks on January 21st, a stopgap measure 6-episode prequel will begin on Starz network, Spartacus: Gods of the Arena. Whitfield is rumored to make a couple cameo appearances among the regular cast of seeming professional body builders. Casting has begun on his Dick Sargent-esque replacement in Season 3.
I, for one, will lament the loss of Whitfield and hope for his full return to good health.
In other news, Kirk Douglas is 94 years old and could probably still reprise his original motion picture role. I wouldn’t rule that bruiser out as a replacement.
Courtesy of savvy shortcut website for modern living, Lifehacker, here are the top ways to stay warm this winter for less dough. Some involve constructing genius DIY doohickeys, others tweaks on classics.
I like the machine that cycles absorbed solar heat through 180 empty cans of your favorite beverage. Well, I’d let someone else actually “make” the device.
And powered longjohns? Interesting and doable, but I’ll leave that one to the experts.
Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons: Tales of Redemption from an Irish Mailbox is the autobiography of comedian/writer Greg Fitzsimmons. Arguably, he’s the most cerebral and grounded working comic out there. Unfortunately, the reward for this distinction within the current media dungscape is relative obscurity.
The framework of the narrative from cradle to his own fatherhood is upheld with periodic instances of actual letters recovered from his parents’ drawers charting his emotional development. Usually, these take shape as disciplinary referrals from teachers and deeply-offended entertainment venues.
The underlying thread of the book is the predestiny of being a hard-living Boston Irish Catholic. While felling his friends and family, ultimately, “Fitzdog” breaks the cycle.
Awww, my stomach. Just rehearsing. But normally that’s the morning-after lament of the serially psychotic that go after doorbuster sales. In case you’ve been a devotee of online bargains using great portals like fatwallet.com, you’ll notice there was a steep uptick in the amount of great posted deals starting a couple weeks ago. The reason for this being, retailers depend heavily on this time of year to bring their ledgers into the black and have a strong 4th quarter. They need more time. As far as they’re concerned, it started the day after Halloween.
Here is an excellent write-up the Argus did, hitting all of the key points with a few tips.
So if they’re bumping Black Friday up, does that mean we can engorge our stomachs a month early as well?
I was walking by the new history books yesterday, and wow, what a gem! The reason WOC: Davenport’s AM-FM-TV probably slipped under the publishing radar is, though incredibly relevant to its local audience, the lack of a national following. I would think this would have at least warranted a half page writeup to herald its arrival.
Coopman has written/contributed to a couple books on our hallowed QC media icons, so the arrival of a new one is certainly like seeing an old friend after many years.
As you would imagine, the work’s value lies in the wealth of vintage photographs, from the eccentric BJ Palmer to the separated radio and television enterprises of the present-day — and the tons of archaic equipment that bridged those eras. We rely on Coopman to furnish us with color commentary and background detail about the sharp minds that contributed to station growth without necessarily walking in front of a camera or microphone.
See the REAL veterans of the late night wars as they blossom from fresh-faced youngsters right out of journalism school to Quad Cities institutions. That kid they called “Dutch” from Dixon..did he ever amount to anything?
Maybe its the element of risk or the fear of commitment, but I’m still skittish about buying shoes online.
There is definitely a larger selection and you can sometimes save a few dollars — especially now as they blow out old stock in the fall to make way for new styles. As far as getting a gander at them, all the online merchants seem to have them mandatorily photographed from a half dozen angles. But what if the dang things make you feel like one of Cinderella’s ugly sisters when they arrive by mail?
Major player Zappos tries to assuage that fear by offering free and unlimited returns. You’re not supposed to notice that they build about 5 bucks back into the item cost.
Take this one for example. Looks like something I could abuse, cover in winter rock salt and be too lazy to polish for the next 4-5 years. But what’s a Stonefly Milano?
After straw polling my peers, I’ve been told an excellent way is to know how a certain brand fits and count on that manufacturer’s internal controls to be consistent. In other words, once a size 11 New Balance, always a size 11 New Balance. In that event, it might not be a bad idea to go to a shoe store with a notepad and number two pencil to build an extensive brand dossier for your feet.
Comment with your shoe tips and favorite merchants, as well as any woeful tales of goofing on a size and getting stuck with $6.95 return shipping each way. Hey, sometimes you roll the dice and lose. That’s life.
It’s a lovely time of year to take a scenic drive through our bedroom communities’ rustic backroads while watching the leaves turn. Here are a few major names in the Country genre (and a couple Folk) churning out albums in September and October.
Lock in those holds on your copy at Davenport Public Library.
L-R: Kenny Chesney – Hemingway’s Whiskey
Sugarland - The Incredible Machine
Darius Rucker – Charleston, SC 1966
Toby Keith – Bullets in the Gun
Taylor Swift – Speak Now
Neil Young – Le Noise
Zac Brown Band – You Get What You Give
If you’re willing to get a jump on chili season before the hooded sweatshirts come out, you can save a mint due to the glut of local tomatoes. Just walk into any break room across this great land of ours and nab the bag of tomatoes labeled “TAKE…PLEASE!” Cut them up and dump them into a pot on top of browned meat of your choice and an onion. Add half a bag of dried beans you soaked overnight.
Congratulations, you’re eating for a week for no money and didn’t get carpal tunnel opening a dozen tin cans.