FiestaRed’s review of the Wrestler

Man I have seen some good movies lately for example:  Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, Milk, Gran Torino and the Wrestler.

The Wrestler is freakin awesome.  An ace character study.  Plus any child of the ’80’s remembers wrestling whether they were into it or not.  Yeah like spending the night when you’re ten years old and watching Saturday Night Main event and watching and thinking “that’s so fake” when Big Jim Doogan (or some such) hitting some guy with a 2×4.  But in the 80’s it was rock and roll and this was touched upon in a way in the film.  And you will take an affinity for these guys with their comraderie and brotherhood.

Anyway this guy was a top guy in the late 80’s ala Million Dollar Man, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan etc.. and now lives in a trailer in depressing New Jersey and can’t afford rent.  It’s hard to see what these guys do to themselves (imagine staple guns) but they do it for the crowd like any rock star so it kind of makes sense.  And although orchestrated – there is an athletism to be admired. 

My favorite scene is where he plays Nintendo (yeah the 8-bit NES) wrestling game with some neighborhood kid because he is one of the licensed wrestlers in the game.  It reminds me of the wrestling game I had (Wrestlemania I think) which was fun but painfully outdated by today’s standards.  So anyway they flash to his trailer and his Nintendo – but since it was kindof “his” game it makes sense.

So how does a guy who starred at Madison Square Garden in 1989 end up in a trailer.  Well, that’s not really touched upon but I’m sure we can all come to our conclusions.  Regardless, he is painted as a fan of ’80’s pop metal and a theme introduced is that wrestling had a very similar popularity in that decade that faltered in the ’90’s due to Nirvana etc..  So now he lives in a trailer.  I’m not saying Kurt Cobain is directly responsible for this guy living in a trailer, but you know…..

Regardless, it’s worth seeing.

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Mahavishnu Orchestra–Visions of the Emerald Beyond, Live Skull–Positraction: Two Underrated Records By Great Bands

visions-of-the-emerald-beyondpositractionMahavishnu Orchestra–Visions of the Emerald Beyond and Live Skull–Positraction: these are both late  period records by these two bands, and I have typically preferred their harsher, rawer, earlier records.  However, I just realized that not only are these records very good, they’re sort of masterpieces in their own rights–they’re both very, very good.  Just a bit different from their earlier stuff.

Mahavishnu Orchestra’s Visions of the Emerald Beyond is very much looser, and larger in scope than earlier Mahavishnu–it’s quite an atmospheric and expansive record, not all heavy prog/math rock like their earlier stuff.  There’s crazy stuff going on, but on such a large and expansive scale that you might not notice it/realize it at first.

Similarly with Live Skull’s Positraction.  Positraction is very atmospheric and sophisticated, though the complexity is not so initially as obvious as with their earlier records which had more obviously walloping rhytms and harshness.  Positraction is still very complex and interesting but the complexity is drenched more in mood and atmosphere.  Maybe 10, 20 years ago Positraction didn’t make as much sense when heavy math-rock riffs and noise were more in style, but atmospheric music has come more into vogue in the last few years/last decade or so with music like Godspeed You Black Emperor, indie folk, some Radiohead, etc.  Great records, both.

RARE Sonic Youth Death Valley ‘69 demo outtake

Whoa!  Check this out–a RARE Sonic Youth Death Valley ’69 demo outtake!!!  Or…is it John McLaughlin/Tony William Lifetime’s “Beyond Games”?  I’m having a hard time figuring this one out…

Here’s the album version

Sonic Youth–Death Valley ’69

Lego Cafe Corner, plus Cheaper Bricks, Please, and Germany’s Rhine River

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So, it’s time for someone to buy me a Lego Cafe Corner set.

It’s amazing.  Their whole line of city stuff is amazing, hearkens back to their 80s stuff.  They should sell this stuff in stores more.

But one sec–There’s something I HATE about Lego!!!   I have to get this off my back.  I love AND hate Lego.  I mean, great toy.  But it’s pricing is evil.  It’s like–let’s make this wonderful, mostly non-violent, creative toy that will be great for kids worldwide.  But let’s price it so that the sets are worth more than their weight in gold.  Yeah, I couldn’t afford that awesome Lego train set when I was a kid–and now Legos seem even way more expensive.  Check it out: $483 for this “Lego Creator Model Townhouse.”  If you bought this at this price for your kids, I wish you had spent your money on providing clean drinking water for kids in developing countries!

Lego, I heard  you just lost your trademark with the EU on the way the bricks fit together.  I hope you and competitors start making some more affordable kits (China, you listening?).  No more Lego monopoly!  Have you ever heard of volume sales?  Maybe if you priced your $139.00 Cafe Corner kit at like $75 or $85 you would sell 3x as many sets–and that’s still pretty expensive.  I mean, you mark your sh*t up way more than Apple yo!  I mean…it’s plastic?  How much can some plastic bricks cost to make in bulk???

I mean, come on, you don’t have to make Legos of such high quality that they withstand a nuclear war.  Maybe you could make two versions of each kit–a budget, less expensive version with bricks that use 1/2 as much material and a version with the normal (luxury quality) bricks?  Don’t you want to have the world enriched by kids playing with Lego everywhere?

More on Lego losing their trademark protection.  Wait ’til I get my rapid plastic injection molding/rapid plastic prototyping machine to make my own Lego bricks!!!

This is the awesome European music they listen to in the Lego Cafe Corner: Francis Lai–Snow Frolic.

Don’t worry, if you don’t feel like shelling out for the Lego Cafe Corner, just look up photos of Koblenz/Coblenz, Germany on the Rhine and watch Germany’s Romantic Rhine and Rothenburg on PBS, there might be some other awesome PBS show about the Rhine…here’s a picture of Koblenz from Wikipedia, everything there and in all these cities on the Rhine looks like Cafe Corner….

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Here are some awesome pictures from the awesome Lego blog Bricktown Talk.

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FiestaRed’s 10 places in America that everybody needs to see

OK, here’s my list of what everybody should see in this country and it’s pretty predictable but I feel like posting it anyway.  No groundbreaking off the beaten path things or alternative stuff – just general.

1.  New York City

You must see New York City.  You just must, must, must.  Love it, like it, indifferent, or hate it you need to see it.  You’ve seen it in movies and tv and anyway you should still  see it.  It is an impressive jungle of urbanism (woah that’s deep) and it is a world of it’s own.  You can walk 100 blocks in Manhattan and never escape dense city.  Also anything you eat there will be the best you ever had (pizza, gyro, hoagie, etc..).  You can’t stay in the food business without being incredibly good in New York.  Things you need to do:  Empire State Building, ride the subway, get a slice of pizza, Rockefeller center, Coney Island, get a hot dog from a vendor, get breakfast from any diner, and see a show.  Central park ise negligable and Times Square is not worth it ever since Guiliani cleaned it up and made it “Disneyesque”.  Word of advice – always have your mind made up in any situation (ie. what to order, where to go, what street to take, what train to take) because people there have no patience for indecision- AND DON”T STAND OUT (do not wear your University of Alabama sweatshirt, etc..)

2.  Any city in California

Los Angeles, San Francisco or San Diego – take your pick.  In fact preferrably you should do a SoCal city + San Francisco.  I don’t really like L.A. but I say that because I lived there for two years growing up – but it is essential to experience the Southern California lifestyle.  Yes you need to get stuck in a freeway traffic jam.  Plus Hollywood (arguably overrated), Venice beach and Santa Monica pier are essential.  If it’s all about the beach, then I recommend San Diego – the laid back L.A..  Plus you can do a much needed day trip to Mexico – be sure to run into the guy with the whistle and a bottle of tequila at any TJ bar.  If you’re civic minded – then San Francisco is the place to go.  Warm enough with all the culture of any east coast city.  Plus a side jaunt to see the freaks in Berkeley is recommended.

3.  Washington DC

Yeah you should see the nation’s capital.

4.  Chicago

I read in a tour book that this is the most “American” city.  It is – drive down Wacker drive a la Blues Brothers (of course not at 110 mph) and it’s bitchin’.  I like this city more than New York because it has all the culture and public transportation plus people are actually nice.

5.  Las Vegas

Yes you need to see mega casinos in the desert.  Revel in fake Eiffel Towers, Volcanoes and people on the street hawking escort services.

6.  Any mountain range in the West.

Rockies, Sierras, Black Hills, Cascades or Denali – it’s beautiful.

7.  True Autumn

You need to see the leaves change – you need to get the crispness – ideally this can only be done north of Maryland and east of Ohio during the month of October.

8.  Urban Blight

Yeah high end shopping, theater, etc.  is great but it’s good to see what was once great that has fallen by the wayside.  Great cities for this: Detroit, Baltimore, Philadelphia, the Bronx, parts of D.C, Cleveland, etc.. – these cities also have their high end shopping, theater, etc. to make them worth while.

9.  Some place outside the US besides Canada.

Yeah it’s good to get out and see some of the world.  No offense to Canada – it has its own feel but its kinda like the U.S.

10.  Snow

Not everybody in this county has seen snow – go see it if you haven’t.

Honorable mentions:  New Orleans, Boston, Disney theme parks (if you are over the age of 12 and don’t have kids then nevermind), Yellowstone, the Desert, Texas, Miami, Philadelphia and Hawaii.

Flex-tastic Toe/Foot Therapy!!!

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*UPDATE* I finally found an awesome product for separating/strecthing/exercising toes, Flex-tastic, you can buy them at Walgreens!!! They feel so good!!!

Whoa!  For a few weeks I’ve been wanting a way to keep my toes separated/stretched and a way to exercise the muscles in one of my feet due to a foot injury; I just happened to see the box for “Pampered Toes” in a recycled bin!  This looks like it’ll do the trick!   I know, I know, it looks cheesy, but hey–if you’ve got any better way of doing this, I’d like to hear it.  Are there sandals that pretty much do the same thing?  Any thing less infomercial-ly?

50 NES Quotes Every Gamer Should Know

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Oh, the wonderful nostalgia:

50 NES Quotes Every Gamer Should Know

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