I accept a job that entails crafting a Washington, D.C. travel guide for a Scandinavian tourism company. They assure me they can pay in U.S. dollars but I still fear receiving coupons for shrimp redeemable only in Stockholm. My birthday is spent in the company of good friends, delicious cake, and my roommate’s demon bitch cat who communicates not with its eyes or mouth but with its razor-sharp hell claws.
The Phantom Menace is released in 3-D and I come dangerously close to trying to interview Jake Lloyd about it; at the last minute I decide to wait until Jingle All The Way gets the 3-D treatment so we have a little more to talk about. I sign the contracts for my book deal with my Lego Darth Vader pen (I will fight adulthood until my goddamn dying breath).
An attempt to make enchiladas goes horribly awry and becomes the year’s one food-related incident I refuse to ever speak of in detail again. ScyFy airs a Leprechaun marathon that proves the beloved series peaked with Leprechaun 4: Lep In Space.
I immerse myself in Canada for the first time and discover Montreal can serve up a serious plate of nachos (the cheese, it covered all the chips!). Titanic is released in 3-D; although the temptation to shell out twelve bucks to watch Billy Zane’s big stupid head pop out at me is great, I avoid it just the same.
The travel guide job finally ends. I am not paid in fish or coupons for fish. I rejoice. “Desperate Housewives” goes off the air, reminding me that Marcia Cross exists.
Rodney King dies, suspiciously around the same time tortured chanteuse Fiona Apple reappears on the music scene. Conspiracy freaks have a hard time connecting the dots on this one, probably because they were too busy arguing about Prometheus’s status as an Alien prequel.
A visit is paid to my parents in Florida. We watch the Olympics together, during which my father reveals his lust for the people’s princess Kate Middleton. I am so disgusted by the sight of Mr. Bean during the open ceremonies I eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food in one sitting.
The button breaks on my only pair of shorts but I refuse to purchase a new pair because I am a big stupid man. I watch a bunch of Scott Baio movies and realize this bozo’s probably got more money than me.
The Great Billie Joe Armstrong Meltdown of 2012 occurs, but it seems a bit rehearsed, so no one really buys into it. I buy The Baddest of George Thorogood, not ironically, the same day I buy the second Old Skull record. I am wearing a tuxedo suit at the time.
I turn in my completed book manuscript. Hurricane Sandy makes a media darling out of Chris Christie, much to the chagrin of Cory Booker fans. Disney buys the rights to Star Wars and finally gives us Max Rebo die-hards something to talk about. For Halloween, I am the Alternative Lifestyle Lone Ranger (i.e. a dork in a cowboy shirt with a pink bandana around his neck).
The guitarist from Gluecifer gives me a copy of their second album on blue vinyl, bringing my colored vinyl collection up to one. I visit Connecticut and am reminded it is illegal on FM airwaves in that state to go more than five minutes without playing a Rolling Stones song.
I finish proofreading my book manuscript and decide to interview cartoon voice legend Joe Alaskey for shits and giggles. A Christmas miracle occurs when my family decides to get barbecue for Jesus Day dinner. I spend New Year’s Eve in airports, fending off screechy children and looking for a bottle of soda under three dollars. I end the year with a $2.49 Mello Yello.
Calendar stores: they exist, and right now many of them are trying to squeeze the final savory drops out of 2011’s greatest/most uncomfortable celebrity meltdown. Sorry, Madison Avenue, but “Winning!” is headed back in time, not forward, to the same marketing graveyard that entombs the Budweiser frogs and Burger King’s disastrous “I’m Not Herb” campaign. The party’s over.
In other news: Sarah Michelle Gellar has hypnotized me with her intense stare and perfect hair forever. What’s that, Sarah? Watch the Scooby Doo movies? Okay, whatever you say.
Guest bird flip courtesy of Andrew “D-Roc” McMahon.
How magical are the words “Vice President Dell’Abate?”
1941: Spielberg’s big comedy bomb from 1979 about life on the California coast immediately following the Pearl Harbor attack. Disjointed and broad, yes, but also very funny in places. Don’t go in expecting Dr. Strangelove and you’ll probably have a lot of fun. Also, the music here is the best John Williams ever produced.
2012: Cliché-ridden disaster epic that culminates in some goofy boat nonsense. John Cuask has never worked harder for a paycheck. You will become intimately familiar with the back of your skull from all the eye-rolling if you watch this one until the bitter end.
Hot Tub Time Machine: I hate the phrase “it is what it is,” but this comedy is a great example of those five words. Complaining about the one or two plot holes/character flaws seems irrelevant because, you know, the movie’s called Hot Tub Time Machine. It brings the LULZ, so who cares about the science or attention to detail? Still, it’s hard to swallow some of the Crispin Glover stuff. He didn’t recognize these guys twenty years later or whatever?
Shutter Island: Lea-NAHD-oh D and MAHK RA-f’lo play Masshole feds investigating an escaped mental patient in Scorsese’s latest effort. Despite a thin, predictable story, Marty keeps you enthralled and wondering just how things will play out until the final frame. One of the first flicks I’ve seen where the CGI integrates seamlessly with the real three-dimensional junk. Way to go, old dog.
The Dream Team: Dennis Boutsikaris sports a pretty impressive beard in this ’89 flick. It’s almost as good as the one Matt McCoy wore in The Hand That Rocks The Cradle four years later. I’d love to see a live beard-off between those two (my money’s on McCoy should that ever happen). Anyway, The Dream Team finds Michael Keaton, Christopher Lloyd, Peter Boyle, and Stephen Furst hamming it up ’80s-style as escaped mental patients in New York City (Shutter Island would have been ten times better had Leo & Mark been chasing these four goofballs). Light-hearted yuks perfect for a rainy Tuesday afternoon.
Sex Drive: Seth Green’s finest acting work. Plot? Horny kids drive a zillion miles to try and have sex with the blonde assistant from “30 Rock” only to realize A) life isn’t entirely about the slizz and B) people on the Internet aren’t always what they appear to be. Funny enough not to shut off once you get rolling, but seriously, the Fallout Boy cameo was pushing it. Dropped a whole letter grade in my book because of that scene’s implausibility/stupidity/easiness.