That’s gotta hurt

I had one of the scariest experiences of my life today. I was riding the elevator in the campus parking deck with two undergrads – a guy and a girl. As the three of us were standing there in silence, waiting to reach our respective destinations and observing all the norms of elevator etiquette, the girl suddenly unleashed a vicious low blow to the guy’s most sensitive areas. Out of nowhere. Bam!

We’re talking a “doubled-over and coughing” haymaker of a low blow here. The kind of shot that brought tears to my eyes. As I stood there aghast, the guy eventually managed to sputter out, “Why did you do that?” He received no response. Then, we reached the fourth floor, the guy picked himself up off the floor, and the two of them left together.

Since they left together, I guess they were…friends? Or is this some bizarre mating ritual heretofore unobserved?

Here’s hoping that Nut-Punch Girl doesn’t become my new Fedora-and-Pipe Guy. I don’t think I’m ready for that.

The Hoff

If there was one cultural force in this world powerful enough to draw me back from my blogging hiatus, it’s the pristine majesty that is one David Michael Hasselhoff. That being said, while strolling through Target last night, I decided to check out the Halloween section. As I browsed the costumes (slutty pirate…slutty vampire…slutty nurse…slutty nun), one caught my eye. Could it be? Surely not! Wait – yes, it is. Target is selling a David Hasselhoff Halloween costume.

OMG!

Well, actually, it’s a Knight Rider costume, but you and I both know it’s a David Hasselhoff costume. It even includes a David Hasselhoff wig!

Check out these photos from eBay. Now, I just need someone to invite me to a Halloween party so I can metamorphosize into a near duplicate of Germany’s most popular livesexchat artist.

Speaking of the D-Hoff, Justin recently brought this bit of news to my attention. Ice-T is producing the Hassel-to-the-Hoff’s first hip-hop album? I’m so there.

Two years of the finest in mediocrity

Imagine, if you will, a world without Apropos of Something. A world where this blog doesn’t exist. No tales from the classroom. No weird news. No celebrity gossip. No comics strips with wacky new dialogue. Nothing. Well-intentioned surfers are instead left with little choice but to read one of the literally millions of other blogs available to them on the Web (many of which are funnier, more informative, better designed, and/or updated more frequently).

As utterly frightening as it sounds, such a world existed until two years ago today.

On that fateful day, however, Apropos of Something sprang forth from my head, fully formed like the goddess Athena. Well, fully formed except that it launched under a different name at Livejasmine. And with a completely different tone. And that it ran on different blogging software. Otherwise, though, it was fully formed. Trust me.

Since then, it’s been a fun ride, and I deeply appreciate everyone who checks in regularly to peruse my inane ramblings. Things have been a little quiet around here lately, but I’m working on getting back into the saddle (as soon as I find a saddle blanket that matches my stylish bandana and cowboy hat).

Now, let us celebrate the second blogiversary of Apropos of Something with much joy and merriment! Feel free to quaff the beverage of your choice to mark the occasion. Unless it’s Mountain Dew. That’s just gross.

Reason #92 why World of Warcraft is better than real life

What’s great about games like World of Warcraft is that there’s an incentive structure built into literally everything you do. Kill a bad guy, get a reward. Finish a quest, get a reward. Discover a new area, get a reward. Sadly, real life doesn’t measure up. In fact, there’s not much incentive to do anything in real life.

For instance, my wife and I are moving into a new townhouse next weekend. In real life, all we’ll come away with from the experience are a couple of sore backs and the satisfaction of having all of our junk piled in a different place than it was the day before. Big whoop.

If this were World of Warcraft, however, we’d be charged with escorting our precious cargo to New Townhouseshire and probably slaying any undead we encountered along the way. Oh, and the future of the Alliance would of course depend on the cargo’s safe delivery. If we successfully completed the quest, we’d both get like 5,800 experience points and an enchanted broadsword with +7 Agility.

As it stands, I don’t even have a sword in real life – much less an enchanted one.

That’s Reason #92 why World of Warcraft is better than real life.

911 is a joke in my town

I’ve written about the laziness of the local police force before, but I witnessed the jasminlive phenomenon at a whole new level this afternoon. A couple of cops had parked their cruiser downtown and were enforcing the law via loudspeaker. They just sat there, waiting for someone to break a law and then admonishing them with their car’s PA system.

“You in the white van – you need to put money in the meter.”

“Please don’t pull up past the white line into the intersection, red Tercel.”

“Man in the pink shirt – please don’t cross against the light.”

Honestly, is this what law enforcement is coming to these days? Oh, and I’ll have you know that my shirt isn’t pink. It’s salmon.

Batman Begins

So, I finally saw Batman Begins last night. Given my obvious geekiness, I know it’s hard to believe that I waited nearly a month, but as I’ve said before, Netflix and World of Warcraft are a powerful combination.

What did I think? Batman Begins is easily the best live-action Batman movie to date (and probably even better than the superb animated film, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm). Then again, I’m a guy who didn’t particularly dig either the Tim Burton or the Joel Schumacher films, so take that for what it’s worth.

Things I liked about Batman Begins:

Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne: Seemed to pull off playing a disturbed billionaire playboy better than any of his predecessors.

Lucius Fox: The inclusion of Morgan Freeman’s character helped explain the age-old question of why nobody ever got suspicious about all the military-grade weaponry and bat-shaped sheets of fiberglass being shipped on a weekly basis to stately Wayne Manor.

The ninja training: Of course, ninjas = cool. Plus, it’s a more satisfying set-up for why Batman is the world’s greatest hand-to-hand combatant than having Alfred hold a punching bag while a young Master Bruce unloads on it during a training montage.

Ra’s Al Ghul and Scarecrow: I’m really glad they went with lesser-known villains for the new Batman’s first outing. Having an over-the-top villain like the Joker in Batman Begins would have really taken the focus away from Batman (as was the case with the villains in previous Batman films). Plus, the dude playing Scarecrow was creepy.

Michael Caine as Alfred: What can I say? Inspired casting.

The focus on botany: Hey, the Scarecrow’s panic gas was a botanical compound! It’s as close to Bat-Botanist: The Movie as I’m ever going to get.

Even though the good far outweighed the bad, there were still a few things things I didn’t like about the film:

The Bat-suit: I still wish they’d go with something a little closer to cloth or Kevlar as opposed to body armor for Batman’s costume. Then again, at least Batman could turn his head to the left and right in the new Bat-suit, so I guess that’s an improvement over the previous costumes.

The Batmobile: Um…a bit much.

Katie Holmes: When the Scarecrow drugged her, all I could think about was how much that would probably piss off Tom Cruise. “You don’t know the history of psychiatry, Scarecrow. I do.”

Overall, however, I thought Batman Begins was a fantastic movie – much better than I ever imagined a live-action Batman film could be. Highest recommendations!

My top five films of 2005 (bearing in mind that I’ve only seen five films in the theater this year) follow after the jump.

Review: “The X-Files: I Want to Believe”

What I liked about X-Files: I Want to Believe…

The Mulder/Scully Chemistry: David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson always brought an oddly compelling chemistry to their roles, and it’s still alive and well fifteen years after The X-Files first premiered on television.

The Standalone Storyline: Kudos to series creator Chris Carter for pursuing a standalone plot rather than relying on the convoluted mythology of the series (long forgotten by all but the most dedicated X-Philes).

It Was Creepy: Always a plus when it comes to the X-Files.

Amanda Peet: I’ve been an Amanda Peet fan ever since the criminally underrated Saving Silverman, and I enjoyed seeing her pop up here as the FBI agent who enlists Mulder and Scully’s services. That being said, I couldn’t help but wonder if she and Xzibit were stand-ins for Agents Doggett and Reyes from the show’s later seasons.

What I didn’t like about X-Files: I Want to Believe…

Mulder and Scully’s Ambiguous Relationship: Yes, the show was always evasive when it came to pinning down the status of Mulder and Scully’s relationship, but I Want to Believe seems to go out of its way to make the whole thing as confusing as possible — especially for casual viewers who barely remember where the series left off back in 2002. Oh, and their son William? Written out completely.

The Jokes That Fell Flat: I Want to Believe tries its best to get a few laughs out of a former priest who was defrocked due to charges of pedophilia, and it comes across just as awkwardly as you might expect. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to figure out what Chris Carter was going for when the camera lingers for a few moments on portraits of J. Edgar Hoover and George W. Bush hanging in FBI headquarters while we hear the familiar opening notes of Mark Snow’s X-Files theme playing ominously in the background.

The Low Stakes: After nine seasons of aliens, government conspiracies, super soldiers, and evil bees, I Want to Believe’s plot feels a little mundane in comparison. I won’t spoil the plot here, but I’m pretty sure they lifted it directly from Sensational She-Hulk #3.

Scully is a Magical Doctor: The series portrayed Scully primarily as a forensic pathologist, but all the sudden she’s performing highly experimental neurosurgery in I Want to Believe. I guess she’s one of those magical “omni-doctors” from television and the movies who specializes in everything. Oh, and what does Dr. Scully do when she needs to do some research on stem cell therapy? The same thing any Stanford-graduated physician would do — she Googles it.

The Post-Credit Scene: Be sure to stick around after the credits to see a downright mortifying bit of fan service.

X-Files: I Want to Believe wasn’t nearly as bad as many reviewers made it out to be, but it was still underwhelming in the sense that it didn’t live up to many of the series’ most fondly remembered episodes. In turn, I can’t help but wonder, why now? Why this project? Six years after the television series ended and ten years after the first X-Files movie, what was it about I Want to Believe that compelled Anderson and Duchovny to return to the roles that made them famous in the first place? Now, that’s a mystery worth investigating.

In my dreams, I’m Bret Michaels’ would-be girlfriend

I’ve been fighting off the flu for almost a week now, and I find that I’m spending most of my free time in a NyQuil and Benadryl-induced stupor as a result. As I’ve mentioned before, NyQuil does strange things to me. Specifically, the stuff gives me bizarre, disturbingly realistic dreams. Last night was no exception.

When I finally stopped coughing long enough to dose off last night, I dreamed that I was a contestant on VH1’s Rock of Love. Yeah, for reals. Mind you, I wasn’t myself competing on Rock of Love. Instead, I was this chick:

Yep, I spent all night in a drug-induced coma dreaming that I was the airheaded Brandi C. from the first season of Rock of Love, competing for the heart of washed-up Poison front man Bret Michaels. Needless to say, I think it’s time for a new Nighttime Sniffling, Sneezing, Coughing, Aching, Stuffy Head, Fever, So I Can Rest Medicine. And therapy.