Sleep is Overrated

Ok, short post tonight ’cause I’m working on roughly 4 non-sequential hours of sleep. Why, you may ask? I have sleep apnea and sleep each night with my face strapped to a breathing mask resembling that of a fighter pilot (just call me Goose), which is in turn hooked into the portable equivalent of life support (called a BiPap machine). Won’t go into what all that name means – suffice it to say it ain’t sexy but the nightly process helps me breath (usually!) and DOES keep me from falling asleep at traffic lights, at work, during most TV programs. Just not always a comfortable way to spend the most restful part of the day.

Last week I got a replacement mask for my old one which had worn out & was missing some pads. The new one looks comfy & cushy, but so far has taken some serious personal adjustment time. Not too mention I had WAY too much caffeine before bed, which didn’t help any either.

So tonight I’m gonna avoid anything fizzy & keep a dose of Benadryl handy, just in case. Nothing quite like waking up in the middle of the night gasping & feeling like the Angel of Death has come to suffocate you. Good times!

Enough of my whining. On the bright side, I had a fairly productive day. . . since it started at 5am. Internet traffic is surprisingly light at that time on a Sunday morning.

Mick Mars – Then & Now

I was thinking about Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars today, specifically his long & undoubtedly painful battle with the arthritis Ankylosing Spondylitis. I guess Thanksgiving had me counting my blessings more than usual.

Seriously tho, the usually reserved fretburner lives daily with a situation that would send many of us into a surging downward spiral of self pity yet I’ve never read any interview with him that indicates such is his viewpoint. To me, he comes off as down-to-earth & not making a big deal about his burden. The man is a quiet hero.

And as I started thinking about it, I also started comparing his old look – that of almost a heavy metal vampire – to his newer ‘Alice Cooper meets voodoo blues guitarist’ vibe. Not just anybody could pull that look off, especially wearing a hat that could instantly make one think instead of Slash from Guns n’ Roses/Velvet Revolver. But for Mick, it really works. A cool image with a hat that reeks of mojo & still the amazing playing skills to back it all up as more than just for show. I’m sure maybe he has fashion consultants et al, but still – for as long as the dude has been in the business, he still doesn’t come off as some pathetic shadow of his former glory. He’s still relevant – probably more so now than anytime in the past ten years or so. And he makes it look good.

Well anyhow, just thought I’d throw all this out there. Hope I can age with half as much grace as Mr. Mick Mars.

Bio Beer

Of all places to find news about scientific research being conducted for a better future, I’m pretty sure Cracked.com ranks among one of the more unlikely. All the same, I found out about cancer resistant beer from one of their articles, which in turn led me to a more in depth report on Science Daily.  And of course, I was all over it like a mouse in the Velveeta factory.

In essence the Science Daily article talks about students at Rice University who have been experimenting with putting Resveratrol in beer, much like it is already present in wine. This is the chemical that some studies have shown can reduce cancer and heart disease in mice. Termed ‘Biobeer’, the students plan to brew this wonderful mutation by genetically altering (such a fun term, eh?) yeast so that it will ferment & create Resveratrol at the same time.

All I can say is – THIS IS WHAT GOVERNMENT FUNDING IS FOR!  Where is the American Cancer Society in their promotion of this important study!?!  If these kids pull it off, I’m voting for each & every one of them to get a Nobel Peace Prize.  Or maybe the lesser known Nobel Beer Bong (Not as famous but still loads of fun).

Check out the links & help me raise awareness of this cutting edge technology.  Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s happy hour – I need to go practice fighting off some cancer.

Black Metal Ghost Writer

Let’s Talk about Lily Strange, shall we? She’s currently promoting her book “Lost Beneath The Surface”, a self published horror novel that has a somewhat ‘strange’ marketing angle unto itself; her co-author, a ‘ghost writer’ if you will, she claims is truly dead. Furthermore, by dead, I actually mean Dead. . . as in the nickname of Per Yngve Ohlin, the former lead singer of the pioneering Black Metal band Mayhem. Let me explain. . .

Strange purports to have co-written her book with the help of Ohlin, who committed suicide in April 8, 1991 – as in worked with him AFTER his suicide, not before. Indeed, and as unlikely as this match-up may seem Lily contends it to be true. She claims the restless spirit of Ohlin started visiting her in November of 2005 and grew to assist her with (and later co-author) a novel she had started at the time.

Ok, so yeah – you fans of early Mayhem only THINK you have all the relevant material in your collection but may be missing some more recent offerings – freshly ‘dug up’ so to speak.

Anyhow, I don’t judge here but merely pass along the info to my interested readers. Not gonna comment on the fact that half the proceeds of sales (all of 13 copies according to the site itself) go to the World Federation for Mental Health. There’s definitely fodder for a straight line or two but let’s leave it alone.

I will only say this; check out her site (http://www.lilystrange.com) and decide for yourself. After all, she’s not the first to make such a claim – Rosemary Brown once made quite an uproar with her ‘new’ compositions from classic artists such as Liszt, Beethoven, Debussy and Chopin.

And if Dead is ghost writing, perhaps he’ll pen a new song or two for the next Mayhem disc? Or maybe Metallica??

Movie Review: Twilight [2008]

Per my previous post, saw the much hyped (& apparently very well attended) debut weekend for the film version of Stephenie Meyer’s ‘Twilight’. Yeah, it’s a vampire film. Yeah, it’s aimed heavily for women – YOUNG women. That being said, I still liked it; the action was sparse but when it came, it kicked in fairly well. Of course there is a definite romance bent to the flick but so there was in ‘Titanic’ as well, and a few people enjoyed that one, didn’t they? I mean it could be argued that ‘Romeo & Juliet’ are obvious inspirations here, but that would be selling the story short to categorize it so simplistically.

I’ve never read Meyer’s books so I can’t address the ‘purists’ who froth & moan that their beloved novel was ruined by director Catherine Hardwicke and/or screen scribe Melissa Rosenberg. To me, it was a good teen movie and adequate family viewing. I’ve cringed through worse for the entertainment of my daughters.

It did attempt to modify the vampire legend a bit, which I always find interesting. . . y’know, to see how different artists perceive that venerable archetype, but nothing that will spawn a host of imitators.

From a casting standpoint, Kristen Stewart as Belle & Robert Pattinson as Edward (DESPITE the Jimmy Neutron Hair) are charismatic & create an interesting chemistry between their characters. Secondary players are interesting (The Cullen family as a whole is a bizarre walk through Never-Neverland) and main baddie Cam Gigandet as James is scary enough to discourage dating (something for the dads out there).

The many, many reviewers complaining about the horrible hair & make-up effects – well, they’re right. Every vampire is instantly recognizable as it comes into scene by the atrocious amount of pancake they’re wearing, and I’ve seen better hairdos in a wind tunnel in Chicago – but hey, what do I know of fashion? There is a lot of use of contact lenses to establish a ‘supernatural’ feel to the vamps but little use of fangs, interestingly.

As a whole, go into the film with an eye towards who the target demo was – you’ll be pleasantly surprised even if you don’t fit it.  IMDB viewers currently have it at 5.7 (so call it 6) out of 10. That seems about fair to me, all things considered.

The End of Another Regular Season

Saturday I participated in an annual tradition here in Columbus; the televised clash with that team from up North.  It all started with some ‘Kegs & Eggs’ at my nearby Rooster’s (where upon I stuck to diet soda since it was so early in the morning) and then led to the wife & I tailgating at pretty much EVERY major party on Lane ave.  Ended the evening with some drunken sushi (hey, they had available restrooms) followed by my oldest giving us a lift home so we could watch the Oklahoma/Texas Tech debauchle through groggy eyes on the couch.

The OSU/Michigan game was a particularly nasty affair this time around (for Michigan, that is), going from somewhat of a nail-biter in the first quarter to allowing us some breathing room by the half.  Third & Fourth quarters became almost boring & I really began to feel sorry for the Michigan fans.  It sucks to see your team get blown out badly – 42 to 7 constituting pretty much a bloodbath in my book.

Even more interesting was my alma mater Purdue imposing a greater beat-down on their arch-rivals at Indiana University, a 62-10 routing that marks the last game of the last season for Coach Joe Tiller.  Say what you will about ole’ Joe, but that probably felt good for him on the way out.

So yeah, I didn’t really get much accomplished on Saturday but you gotta do that every now & again.  I payed for all my misdeeds today by taking everyone to see the movie ‘Twilight’ – more on that tomorrow after I get all that sugar-coated romancey stuff out of my veins. Pun intended.

Dr. Pepper WILL Honor Its Guns N’ Roses Promise

Blabbermouth.net – With the tentative drop date of Sunday, November 23, 2008 for the release (FINALLY) of Guns N’ Roses “Chinese Democracy” cd, Dr. Pepper VP of Marketing Tony Jacobs is saying the company will honor it’s promise to give a free Dr. Pepper to every person in America (except Slash & Buckethead).

Click the link above for all the details but it will basically involve signing up on the Dr. Pepper site (www.drpepper.com) anytime on the exact date of November 23 in the US (which oddly enough, is a Sunday not the usual drop day of Tuesday for a CD).  So you have 24 hours to make it happen. Then, 4-6 weeks later you’ll receive a coupon via snail mail for a free 20 oz. drink – redeemable until February 28, 2009.

Now, if the free Ozzfest experience has taught us anything, you should plan on logging in EARLY and being very patient to sign up for your coupon.  Hopefully the powers that be at Dr. Pepper have taken the proper steps to insure a smooth process on Nov. 23 but hey, you don’t want to chance it, do ya’?

Me neither, I might just stay up late on Saturday the 22nd and get it done with my usual weekend cocktails.  Is that morally wrong, to sign-up for a free Dr. Pepper while drinking rum & coke?

Wanna Play Against Tenacious D on Rock Band 2?

A while back you may recall an opportunity arose to play Trivium on the Xbox Live. Well, guess what? Now you have a shot to beat Jack Black or Kyle Gass on Rock Band 2!  So fire up that Rocket Sauce & go kick some ass, children!!

Here’s the press release, fresh out of the ole’ hellbox;

Play Xbox with Jack Black and Kyle Gass of Tenacious D

Satirical rock band Tenacious D, featuring Jack Black and Kyle Gass, will be on Xbox LIVE® November 20 to play Xbox LIVE members in Rock Band 2 and to celebrate the recent release of The Complete Masterworks 2 DVD .

If you’re an Xbox LIVE Gold member, and you want a chance to play with Tenacious D, send a friend request to the following Gamertags and be online half an hour before (8:00 P.M.) the Game with Fame session starts on Thursday, November 20, 8:30 P.M. ET.

Tenacious D consists of Jack Black who has starred in numerous films (Shallow Hal, School of Rock, Nacho Libre, and more) and Kyle Gass who is an actor and guitarist for both Tenacious D and the rock band Trainwreck, where he takes on his alter-ego of Klip Calhoun.

The Complete Masterworks 2 DVD of Tenacious D is a follow-up to the group’s first platinum-selling DVD. The new 2-disc DVD includes a full-length live concert of the band at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, a one-hour documentary about the making of their movie Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny and the (lack of) critical acclaim it received, and bonus features including music videos and the band’s appearances on the MTV Awards, Saturday Night Live, and Late Night with Conan O’Brien

If you get a chance to play with Tenacious D, Xbox wants to hear about it! Send an e-mail to xlmail@microsoft.com with the subject: “GWF – Tenacious D.” Be sure to include your Gamertag and home town.

WHEN: November 20th
TIME: 5:30PM to 7:30PM (PST)
WHERE: Los Angeles
GAME: Rock Band 2
GAMERTAG: JBTenacious, KGTenacious
LINKING URL:
http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/calendar/gamewithfame/2008/1110-tenaciousd.htm

Check out other upcoming Game With Fame at http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/calendar/gamewithfame/

Tom Araya on New Metallica Album & Obama

Blabbermouth.net – Hate to just link to another site, but this interview with Slayer’s Tom Araya on Blabbermouth.net is just too good to pass up – and paraphrasing will lessen the impact. Just go check it.

Hint: He has some unexpected (and fairly straight from the hip) comments about both title subjects.

Meanwhile I’m gonna pout (just a little) that I had to miss Nine Inch Nails tonight with their roughly 30 (!!) song set list. If you went, drop me a line and feel free to brag openly. Hehe.

PARMM – Parents Against Reprehensible Metal Music. Funniest. Site. EVAR.

Let’s go back in time, shall we? Not to a truly interesting period, such as the foundation of the Roman Empire, the courts of ancient Egypt or the active production years of ‘Kolchak – the Night Stalker’ but let’s go back to say. . . April 2008.

At that time, there was an ad campaign running on sites like Technorati for a group calling itself P.A.R.M.M. – Parents Against Reprehensible Metal Music. Indeed. I would count myself amongst them for I too hate REPREHENSIBLE metal (a LOT of 80’s ballads fell into this category, imho) but as the story goes these ads were actually a bait & switch campaign for the Toyota Matrix. By that I mean you click on the banners and instead of seeing a modern day witchburning site, you are being hard sold on the advantages of a foreign subcompact for your teens. David Meerman Scott tells about it best on his site HERE.

Ok then, ha ha – shame on us for thinking it might be a real group. It was all some dishonest marketing blah blah – but wait. A site for P.A.R.M.M does indeed exist, even to this day (HERE) – albeit with sparse content & only a generic email address for contact. Maybe they are for real? Could it be – is anyone really that abysmally ignorant?

Regardless, I encourage you to check out the ramblings of Gladys Montgomery and her bake sale cronies over at P.A.R.M.M. for a good chuckle. If it’s more of Toyota’s tricks then they’ve more cleverly buried their motives this time around. But if it IS for real. . . that’s just pathetic.

Be sure to check out their ‘Public Enemites’ list (that I aspire to be added to). Currently Marilyn Manson holds the top spot, but there are a few surprises like Saxon & Tygers of Pan Tang also making the list. What, no Gorgoroth!?! No Marduk!?!? No Vital Remains!?!?! And these gals call themselves a watchdog group!! Not even a single Black Metal band on the radar. Blatant devil worship and misogyny runs rampant in the lyrics of an entire subgenre while these dipshits are targeting – Saxon!?!

Way to waste the bandwidth, Gladys! Well done. . .