Monday, January 26, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday

It amazes me that I've never used this headline before. I mean, this blog is called Blog Like An Egyptian, I tend to headline posts with the day of the week in them, and I've never used another Bangles song? Kind of weird, don't you think?

But today is a different kind of day. I feel like poo, a bit. I just woke up from a little nap, and naps always make me feel even more like crap. So, good times. But you don't care about all of this. Let's have some fun.

I was out of state for a bit of this weekend. You want to know what I learned? Well, there is a card game called Phase 10. I don't believe it to be real. Has anybody else played this game? If you were to play best of three, since this game is all about getting the lowest score, wouldn't the winner be the person with the lowest combined score? I would think it would be just like golf and the Tour de France. I just make too much sense, right?

What's going on right now, though? My friend SJ published a blog post inspired by my Thursday diatribe about PDA. She looks at the big mistakes guys do when dating. There are some revelations here. I mean, who knew that women didn't like to be groped in public? That's one of my best moves. Although, seriously, one of her subheads is "Sand Paper Face." I must admit that this is a problem of mine. I tend to shave every couple days, which means I'm typically a little scruffy, and that, of course, does not feel good to a woman when they're getting kissed. It's a problem. Maybe I should go to counseling? After I finish this here blog post, I'm going to comment on SJ's entry with a little bit of a male perspective. Check that out.

What else? Well, "Paul Blart: Mall Cop" topped the box office for the second week in a row. I don't think this is a sign of the apocalypse or anything, but I do know it's something that makes my co-worker Joe Amarante very happy. He's never seen "Mall Cop," but he believes he's going to love it. Of course, Joe brought a new Derek Jeter picture to work today to put in a frame. This means that Joe's desk has two separate framed Jeter pictures. Jump to your own conclusions.

I have a friend that claims she's amazing at the game of Memory. Well, here's some fun Memory for everyone. Is should help get you even more excited for the Oscars.

I plan to win this contest. I just wanted you guys to know that.

The SAG Awards crowned "Slumdog Millionaire" last night. Even I couldn't bring myself to watch this show. I just couldn't. Just couldn't.

A new season of "The Amazing Race" will premiere on Feb. 15. I used to watch the show, but, I admit, I haven't seen it since they had that family version a few years back. That was the definition of jumping the shark.

Does anybody really care if John Rich got married? I mean, seriously? The guy makes bad, generic music, and his band isn't even that popular. So ...

So Andy Pettite turned down $10 million from the Yankees, and now he said yes to $5.5 million. Poor guy. How's he going to feed his family? If only the Yanks would resign Bernie Williams, Joe Amarante would so happy.

Oh, my, please, please, please, never mention Barbaro in the press again. It's a damn horse. It died. OK, let's move on people.

This kept me from going to Prime 16 yesterday. I hope it's under control now. I wanted a big burger badly.

I guess that's all I got for now. Here's a video to enjoy. What is it? Well, I'm glad you asked. I love the new Animal Collective record. This is a video for "My Girls."

Thursday, January 22, 2009

What Not To Do At A Concert

I, like many of you readers, probably, checked out Drive-By Truckers last night at Toad's Place. Now, the concert was simply great. The band sounded fresh, vibrant and engaged. I've seen DBT a handful of times, and this was easily one of the best performances from them I've caught.

But something overshadowed the show. A big something.

Let me make something abundantly clear: I don't care where you are, if you're in public, don't make out like eighth graders who have no idea what they're doing.

That's right, just in front of me at Toad's, two wild-eyed people who were, at least, in their early 20s, were engaged in the most violent makeout session I've ever seen. As is probably the case with most of you, I've done my fair share of making out, but never like this. I went to bed fearing that the poor girl is going to wake up with whiplash from the amount of tugging on her neck.

Heck, at one point, the dude grabbed her face with both hands, opened his mouth, stuck out his tongue and started licking her all over. This was not a mistake; he didn't just miss her mouth with his drunken tongue or something. He was trying to lick her entire face. And she, apparently, enjoyed this. I would hope that if I ever try to lick a woman's face all over, she would punch me. Or at least kick me in the junk. Please.

Yet it didn't stop there. As DBT continued its fiery set, this set of young and drunk or high lovers decided that the physical sport of making out they were playing wasn't enough. They needed to step up their games, go to the next level or something. The next level made me want to vomit.

Again, for those of you who don't know or are unsure, it is not OK to physically manhandle your girlfriend/friend/wife's chest over and under her shirt in public. It's just not right. I mean, I know some of you out there might be thinking, "But, Pat, I love to pretend my lady friend's breasts are a pair of stress balls in public," or, "Pat, I enjoy it when my dude gets his cardio workout in on my boobs when we're in public." Well, to you people, I say, hide behind a big plant or something. Honestly, the way this guy was playing with her chest, I almost thought a call to the police to file an abuse report was warranted.

It didn't end there, though. Soon, they decided to take a seat. Of course, there was no doubt only one seat was needed. That's when the grinding began. Not subtle grinding, but rather some real simulated sex. She was actually making sex noises that could be heard over the very loud band playing through a very substantial sound system.

It was all the most ridiculous display of PDA I've ever seen. It would probably be considered over-the-top at one of those sex clubs that are always on "CSI." Of course, it was supremely entertaining, too. After they possibly finished (in every way), the festivities stopped and I was able to enjoy the rest of the show. Thankfully.

Now, I know you have some obvious followup questions.

1. Why didn't I move since Toad's doesn't have seats? We just had perfect sight lines. Perfect.

2. Didn't you tell someone? When a couple of my friends who work at Toad's walked by, I just pointed it out to them, hoping they would get a laugh and then boot them.

3. How come you just didn't tell them to stop? Well, we sort of did. One of my friends asked them how long they had been dating. Nine months. I honestly assumed they met 10 minutes beforehand in some seedy Yale basement where Ecstasy is available for free and everyone's reading "Doors of Perception" or something. These folks were remarkably able to tune out everything around them. If the guy had any athletic ability (it certainly didn't look it), I have no doubt he would have been one those pros that always "comes through in the clutch." Instead, he's forced to come through in the crotch while people like me have to watch.

4. What is OK for PDA? Nothing, really. Some hand holding, something subtle, maybe. You know, stuff that doesn't involve multiple forms of bodily fluids. The above photo works, except the guy looks to have on way too fancy a pair of jeans. That's not cool. Call me old-fashioned or something.

Oh, and this dude was funny looking and wearing leather pants. Leather pants! Did he think we were at a Quiet Riot concert? Didn't he realize his premature ejaculation could ruin the leather? He shouldn't exist on this earth for just that reason alone. Leather pants, people.

Video Time

Finding Some Fate

New Haven's MT Bearington's got a video for the song "Fate Finder" of off "Cloak of Nouns and Loss." It's a great song, and Matt Thomas and whoever helped with this did a cool job on the visuals here. Next time I see Matt I'll ask who helped and report back. But, until then, enjoy this. I'll be back with more later in the day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Best Films Of 2008

For the first time since maybe 1999, I didn't publish a top-10 films of the year piece in any publication. Why? Well, for some reason, a lot of the major contenders for Oscars and other awards got released here really late.

What would be the point of me writing a best-of piece for the Jan. 23 newspaper? It's too passe by then. So I went with the great Roger Moore's top-film story in the Register a couple weeks back, and resigned myself to spending plenty of recent weekend days at Criterion downtown.

Over the past three weekends, some friends and I have seen a ton of movies. A ton. And I've finally, I think, figured out my favorite films of 2008.

Now, I'm doing this in from a critical perspective. I enjoyed "Iron Man" way more than "The Dark Knight," but I understand the Batman flick is the better movie. I loved "Role Models" a ton, but I know it's not one of the best films of last year.

As usual, some movies featured great, great performances, but didn't quite make it as a film ("Frozen River"). While other buzzed-about flicks seemed rather silly to me. For example, I don't know how any critic in their right mind could give "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" a better than mediocre review. It's the definition of "all style, no substance," or "good idea, horrible execution." But, hey, it sure did look good.

And I'll go on record as saying any movie that needs to be watched four times to even be somewhat understood — I am talking to you "Synedoche, New York" — is just not a good piece of filmmaking, no matter how much Roger Ebert wants to snuggle and caress it.

With all that said, let's get to my list, which actually wasn't that hard this year. Well, it was really only easy picking the 10 films; ranking them was another story. But tough things need to be done all the time. Here we go:

TEN — 'MILK'



Sean Penn clearly deserves the best actor trophy for his portrayal of Harvey Milk in this stirring drama. That is one thing I'm sure of. Oh, yeah, I love Mickey Rourke and we'll get to him soon, but Penn is just amazing. Gus Van Sant's film plays a little too much like a standard biopic to be ranked higher than this, but in a year of many not-great films, just the stellar acting from Penn and others gets it on this list.




Before I even get into what was so great about this movie, I do have to mention how tired I am of hearing people say this was the best movie of last year or, heck, one of the greatest films ever. I even heard someone compare it to "The Godfather." Um, no. Christian Bale, a normally good actor, is laughable as The Caped Crusader, Maggie Gyllenhaal is simply awful and not believable as a hot woman and the film rattles on about 30 minutes too long. With all that said, for a comic-book film to have so much gravitas and realism, well, it's a notable accomplishment. And Heath Ledger really is very good as The Joker, just not Philip Seymour Hoffman-like good.




I know a lot of people will argue that this Danny Boyle film should be higher, and I can somewhat understand why, but I just can't get past the fact that I believe most are just loving this because it's different. And it is different. And it is very good. But great? I'm not so sure. The narrative convention works well, but it's just a standard device in film and literature. The acting is good, but hardly memorable. Mostly, this is just an underdog story filmed in a fascinating place that incorporates minimal Bollywood characteristics. Yet, the film really shines and is a eclectic and dizzying ride at times.


SEVEN — 'THE VISITOR'



This is a film that's destined to get lost in the shuffle of bigger movies by bigger directors with bigger stars, but "The Visitor" is one of those truly compelling, thought-provoking dramas that come to screens each year. Richard Jenkins deserves an Oscar nomination for his work here. This is a really interesting take on post-9/11 politics.




I know some people consider "The Wrestler" too much like "Rocky," but let's not forget that "Rocky" won a best picture trophy. This is an underdog story at its core, but it's affecting like far few of these kinds of movies are. And, yes, Mickey Rourke is startlingly good in the role of Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a broken-down professional wrestler looking for one last shot at the big time. Even director Darren Aronofsky does a great job filming the wrestling scenes and the touching, intimate moments, something I would have not expected. Credit must also be given to Bruce Springsteen, whose original song is one of the best tunes I've heard for a movie in years.

FIVE — 'DOUBT'



Whatever "Doubt" loses in its transition from stage to screen, it makes up for in the great performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. As someone who really enjoyed the stage version of the play, I think this is a totally different experience, even though it's very, very similar in script. Just the way sermons are delivered and metaphors explained change this enough. But I really enjoyed this movie. Although it's not anything that should ever win a best picture trophy, it's just a quality four-and-a-half star drama.




Bring on the barbs and insults, but "Tropic Thunder" is a pitch-perfect satire of Hollywood that is filled with great, great performances from Robert Downey Jr., Nick Nolte and, of course, Tom Cruise. I have to admit, I laughed so hard during this movie that it really hurt. And I totally must have annoyed the five or six friends I was with. I just couldn't stop. But this is not just a straight comedy; it's actually really smart. Seriously. I'm laughing right now thinking about it. I truly hope Downey Jr. lands a supporting actor nod for this. I doubt it will happen, but it should.

THREE — 'WALL-E'



I have to admit, "WALL-E" is the only Pixar movie I've ever seen. But the sheer majesty of "WALL-E," especially the gorgeous first 40 minutes or so, makes me want to see more. I might get to a couple this weekend. We'll see. For a mostly silent movie, this one says a lot. And it just looks so perfect. I never thought an animated movie could be so adult, but this one is. Bring on the Pixar.

TWO — 'THE READER'



I really struggled with numbers one and two. I enjoyed "The Reader" more than my pick for the top spot, but I think the top one says more. I went into this Kate Winslet drama not expecting too much because the director, Stephen Daldry, always disappoints me with odd directorial decisions that seem to scream, "Look at me, not at my movie. I'm a director!" That doesn't happen here. The narrative is told in an interesting way that keeps things moving along and not dragging, all the acting is superb and the ending works perfectly.




OK, so I love "Ordinary People," "American Beauty" and "The Squid And The Whale" and other dysfunctional family takes, so maybe that explains this choice. But I just found this drama so affecting and effective. It's beautifully filmed, the mood is perfect and, of course, Kate Winslet is simply dazzling. I don't want to give away too much, but, seriously, see this. You won't ever want to see it a second time, but that's OK. Once is enough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Terrific Tuesday

If you're like me, or any other rational, non-crazy person, you don't like moving. But for the last four days, I've been doing just that: moving from one apartment to the next. It's been a pain in the bum, especially since I've had no Web or (basically) cable for the last four days.

I only went from one place in my building to an other, so I didn't pack or anything, but I must have made 3,459 trips up and down the stairs. Good times. I lost everything important in the very few boxes I did pack. Cellphone charger? I wish I knew. Important stereo cables? Got me. At some point very soon, though, I should find these things.

In the meantime, I haven't updated this here blog. To be honest, I was going to wait till tomorrow, but I promised an update today, so that's what's happening. I am a man of my word. This is true. Remember that.

So let's start with the announcement that "Prison Break" is calling it a day after a handful of new episodes. As any longtime reader of this blog knows, I really fell for the show in its first season. I couldn't get enough. I remember running home from work every Monday, picking up a pizza and watching it with a friend. This is very unlike me. I honestly watch very little non-sports-related television. But the show got too far off course, starting trying too hard and I haven't seen it since early season two. Someday I'll rent all the DVDs, but, for now, it's good that this thing is coming to a close. How many limbs could T-Bag lose?

What else? I always thought Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner seemed like normal Hollywood people. Apparently not. Sadly, the couple has named their newest kid Seraphina. I mean, don't people understand their kid is going to be mocked? They just don't care because having a child with a sort-of-unique name is more important to them.

Melissa George is going to quit "Grey's Anatomy," just a bit after signing on to the show. She only has nice things to say about the other actors, but there has to be some reason she's leaving. Maybe it's because the show is a sinking ship. These kinds of soaps last about five years, get ridiculous and then slowly lose its audience. It's happening.

Before Scarlett Johansson thinks about directing, she should figure out how to, um, act. I mean, she's only 24 so she has plenty of time, but to say things like this ... it's just funny.

That's about it in on this end. I leave you with a video. Of what, you ask? Well, I was listening to my iPod on shuffle at the gym this morning and this song came on. I love it. So here's Beulah's "Landslide":

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Poor Mario



I want to take a moment and mourn the fact that "Super Mario Bros." is no longer the best-selling video game of all time. Yep, it's finally been passed by "Wii Sport."

I'm in a weird age bracket, sort of. For most kids, their childhood featured three different generations of video game systems. People born a couple years before me got to live through Atari, the NES and systems like Super Nintendo or Genesis. In terms of the history of video games, that's the second through fourth generation of systems, with the first generation being things like Magnavox Odyssey, which came out in 1972.

I was a little too young to have ever wanted an Atari. The only friends I had with one where kids with older siblings. So the first system I ever owned was an NES, which means the first video game I ever played at my own house was "Super Mario Bros." I received the system really early on, for my birthday back in 1986, which was only a mere six months or so after the system came to America.

When I was a young kid, I can remember spending hours upon hours trying to beat "Super Mario Brothers" and, to be honest, I don't think I could ever do it without using warp zones. But, you know, I've never been much of a video game kind of guy.

I never owned a Super Nintendo or any of the later systems like a PlayStation, XBox or anything even newer. Little Nicholas has a Wii and it's about the most fun possible, but I have no desire to scope out and find and then wait in line to pay to buy one. If someone walked over to my desk right now and said I could have this brand new Wii for whatever they cost, I would pay and be happy. But that's not going to happen, is it?

And because of this, I'm kind of nostalgic about my old NES and "Super Mario Brothers." I had a lot of fun playing with that system. And from the limited experience I've had with later games on newer systems, it's all way too complicated and not nearly enough fun. Do I want to spend 100 hours trying to master a game? Nope. I could finish "Super Mario Brothers" and other similar fare in a couple hours, leaving plenty of time to still play loads of kickball, Wiffleball and every other outdoor sport my friends and I would play daily as a kid.

So let's pass the torch from "Super Mario Brothers" to "Wii Sport." The only thing I know about the new best-selling game of all time is that when Little Nicholas first got his Wii, he wanted another controller and went to a video-game store to purchase one. He loves to tell this story.

So he goes in asks for a controller, and the young kid behind the counter says, "We don't have any controllers, but we have 'Wii Sport'." Little Nicholas responds, "Yeah, but when will you have controllers?" And the kid repeats, "We have 'Wii Sport'."

This went on for a while until the apparently socially inept kid — too many video games I bet — told Nick that "Wii Sport" came with a controller.

Anyway, let's all mourn "Super Mario Brothers" now. I'm wearing black when I got out tonight.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tidbits For A Tuesday

Here we are on this cloudy Tuesday. It's still a happy day. Do you want to know why? Because tonight is both trivia and Kill the Keg night, two things that will make me a very happy boy. But you're not here to hear about what I'll be doing with my upcoming Tuesday night, are you? You're here for some entertainment info, so let's get to that.

We can start with something I've been meaning to mention for the last couple days: The New Haven Cold Stone Creamery is now a thing of the past. The store closed. I must say this is a tad depressing because I've walked by countless times (and even been in a few times with friends) and never actually tried anything. I've always meant to do that. You see, I'm not much of an ice cream or dessert guy, so I usually just don't want any. And I was always hear the voice of my health nut of a little brother in my ear when I think about Cold Stone saying, "It could give you a heart attack just walking by and smelling too much." Sadly, that voice isn't audible when I end up at KFC or something.

What else? Well, it seems Jennifer Love Hewitt is no longer engaged, meaning a bunch of 20somethings and 30somethings who remember her from "Can't Hardly Wait" and all those lame horror movies are rejoicing their new chance with her. Or maybe not.

"The Bachelor" premiered again last night, and a new lineup of particularly crazy women are lined up to nab a dude who has no problem exploiting his child.

The guy who co-founded the legendary and influential Kraftwerk is leaving the band. Here's my question though: Did anybody realize the group was still together, anybody but die-hard fans?

The Stooges' guitarist was found dead
. It's a sad day for fans of punk.

Does anybody care even a little if Lindsay Lohan is still dating her DJ girlfriend? I mean, seriously? Who cares? I know this has been written countless times before, but there was a day when Lohan seemed like she could be a good actress for a long time; now she's just a joke. A big one. Although from what I gather, her parents are completely nuts and Lindsay herself has grown up in the spotlight, so should we expect anything else?

When did it become OK for people not to care about the fact that Roman Polanski did, in fact, have sex with a 13-year-old girl? I remember after "The Pianist" came out, people felt bad that he couldn't be at the Oscar ceremony. It's crazy. He raped a girl. That's it. End of story. He should go to jail. Not make more movies, no matter how good they are.
Lance Armstrong is a baby-making machine. Soon, he'll have more kids than he does bicycling trophies.

It looks like Rip Torn likes to drink and drive, and this time he's done it in our own, wonderful state. Isn't the obvious joke something about his name being Rip, so it makes sense he's ripped?

What else? Well, not much. I'm calling it a day on this here blog. But before I do, I want to mention that I was indeed wrong, and David Archuleta's album has gone gold. Billboard's numbers are, apparently, wrong.

This doesn't change anything I wrote yesterday at all, but it was a mistake and should be corrected. I am not posting any of the 25 or so comments, though, because many — not all — of these fans clearly have mental issues. Let's leave it at that and if you ever see me in a bar, ask me and I'll tell you some funny stories.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Definition Of A Flop

OK, so I got in this morning, only to check my voicemail and find numerous messages telling me that I'm dumb in not-as-nice terms.

You see, in my column about 2008, I joked about the crapstorm that happened when I panned David Archuleta's debut record. The folks on my machine wanted to let me know that the album did not flop, and that, in fact, I am an idiot.

Well, I would call them back and explain that it did flop and that I might be an idiot, but not about this, but, you see, these folks call at 10 p.m. at night and don't leave phone numbers.

So, let's get this out here: If you're a major-label artist with a company that invests millions on your promotion and your record hasn't even gone gold after two months, you're a flop. A flop. Let's say it one more time for good measure: You're a flop.

It doesn't matter that the record debuted at No. 2; that doesn't mean much. Oh, sure, it's a great accomplishment, but the key to not being a flop is to actually keep momentum, not plummet down the charts immediately. For example, David Cook's album, which came out a week later, has sold just about double the amount of units and will more than likely go platinum because it is still selling product. That is not a flop.

Or, let's put it in terms of a movie: A film may come in at No. 1 its opening weekend, but that doesn't make it a hit or mean it earned its budget back. Remember when "Semi-Pro" topped the box office in March by making $15 million in its first weekend? Well, the "comedy" then only made $18 million more, coming nowhere close to making its budget back. That's a flop. It doesn't matter that it topped the box office. That movie needed to make $100 million to be a real success, $75 million to be respectable.

To end this by responding to one guy who went to great pains on my voicemail to tell me that I need to check facts: Do not compare David Archuleta's debut to Taylor Swift's last album.

Her disc is a huge, huge hit that was also critically lauded, for good reason. She writes her own songs and will be around for a very long time. Archuleta's album was killed critically and tanked commercially. When you sell 400K on a major label, you usually get dropped by said label. That's the truth. So, to repeat my claim from my column: David Archuleta's debut tanked critically and commercially. You can love the album and buy three copies for yourself, but, in all honesty, the album tanked both ways. It's actually impossible to argue otherwise. Really.

Happy Monday everyone. I'll write up another blog entry later. Woo-hoo. But I'll leave you with this video, which I find hilarious. And, like another truth in my 2008 column, it's always good to see Erin Andrews. And this USC player knows that, which is another reason that the college should be playing for the national championship.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

'Man' oh 'Man'



I'm not one to make definitive statements or anything, but ... Wait, why am I lying? I make a whole lot of definitive statements, and I enjoy making them. So why stop?

OK, I will admit that I am mostly watching this Eagles-Vikings game, rooting for the Eagles to win for two reasons. One is that I think it will make for a much better game against the Giants next weekend. And, secondly, my good friend Tommy is a die-hard Eagles fan, so it'd be good for him, especially since he has to live through watching the Mets blow division leads each year.

Anyway, so I started flipping through the channels, and on this station way near the end of the digital-cable dial is "Encino Man," the most underrated dumb movie of all time. Yes, the most underrated dumb movie of all time.

I've been on this earth just about three decades, so I've seen a lot of movies. And I've seen a lot in theaters over the years. My memory might be a little hazy, but I think I've seen "Encino Man" in a theater more times than any other flick. I remember my friend Paul and I seeing it about four times after catching it late at night in some movie theater in West Dennis, Mass., back in the halcyon days of 1992.

The flick came out before Pauly Shore got annoying, before Sean Astin stopped aging and became weird to look at, back when Megan Ward was really hot and, most importantly, it never asks Brendon Fraser to do something he can't do, like act. Oh, yeah, even Rose McGowan shows up in a cameo.

Even right now, having seen this comedy at least 50 times over the years, I'm still laughing as Sean Astin tries to teach Brendan Fraser how to talk. It only takes about three minutes. And Fraser was frozen in a block of ice for centuries and centuries. Amazing stuff. I must have seen it at cinemas around Massachusetts five or six times, right at the same time that the grunge was making me love Pearl Jam and dislike Poison.

If I were you, and, you know, I'm not, I would buy "Encino Man" on DVD. It'll be the gift that keeps on giving. Like herpes or something, but better.

In other news, remember to listen to me on 99.1 WPLR's "The Local Bands Show" at 10 tonight. You can listen online here.

That's all I got. Watch the "Encino Man" trailer above. And, remember, "The cheese is old and moldy." Good times.

Friday, January 02, 2009

By The Way ...

I forgot to mention this, and I'll remind you again come Sunday, but I'll be on WPLR's "The Local Bands Show" come 10 p.m. Sunday. James Velvet and Rick Allison are bringing in a couple different co-hosts throughout January to talk about the best local music of last year. I'll be on this Sunday. And, remember, you should listen to "The Local Bands Show" at 10 p.m. Sunday every week on 99.1 WPLR.

Friday Filler



This is quite the odd Friday. It really feels nothing like a typical Friday. I mean, first of all, I don't work Fridays, but I did today since Register Arts Editor Donna Doherty's on vacation, which means I put Sunday's Arts page together. Oh, and since I had most of Wednesday and all of Thursday off, today just seems like it should be a Sunday or Monday. My head is all messed up.

But, this is the first Blog Like An Egyptian post of 2009, so happy new year folks. Let's all make 2009 the best year of our lives. Or maybe the second best. Or maybe just a good one. Oh, heck, how about we all just say we're going to have as much fun as possible this year? Responsibly, of course. When I think of a new year, I always think of the song above. Well, at least I have the last few years, since it was released in 2003. I thought it was the best video to start this year off with.

Anyway, so I can't help but feel bad for Dane Cook since his brother stole a ton of money from him. But, on the other hand, I feel it's kind of karma since, of course, Cook isn't the least bit funny and somehow high school kids like him. Can't blame the children though; they're young and impressionable. I blame Dane. I think his brother deserves a good-guy award of some sort.

Well, there's good news and there's bad news. Which one do you want first? Well, OK, so album sales fell again last year. But, hey, digital sales increased a ton, again. That's good news.

It looks like a revamped "Melrose Place" is getting closer to happening. With shows seemingly getting new, revamped lives all the time, how much longer till we get a new "Small Wonder"? I wonder if Billy Corgan would be OK to reprise his starring role.

Taylor Swift is on a role. Maybe I'll never listen to Swift in my free time, but with all these crappy artists and bands that feature young kids, it's nice to know that one can really write good music, even if it's not something you want to hear.

Oh, God, what are we going to do with our lives? The world is over as we know it. This is the worst thing that could ever happen to the world. Oh, jeez. Yes, Bret Michaels says there will be no more "Rock of Love" with him. Oh, poo. Seriously, who cares?

And, also, does any care a wee bit about these two people? Heck, I don't even really know who they are since I refuse to watch "Hairspray."

In today's paper, you can read my first column of 2009, which is kind of funny, I think. And you can also see what I think are the 10 best singles of 2008.

I guess that's it for this first blog entry of 2009. I'm going to make this the most blogtastic year ever. Expect more blog than you can handle. By the end of 2009, you're going to be binging on so much Blog Like An Egyptian, you're going to have to purge some of my words to still feel attractive. Good luck with that. Happy new year.