Friday, February 27, 2009

Blogs: This Is Why You're Fat

We were sent this blog by a loyal reader, Sarah, and we've been enjoying reading it ever since. This Is Why You're Fat has the tagline: Where dreams become heart attacks. Half of the time we look at the entries and become queasy with the meat, deep-fried mass of gross. The other half of the time we think, Holy crapola, that looks delicious! Of course, we frequently lick our own buts, so what do we really know?

"The bottom tier contains eight strips of bacon, six sausages and four burger paddies; followed by a second tier of black pudding; topped by a third tier comprised of two diced chicken breasts and six fried eggs."
--The Sandwich of Knowledge (See Picture)

Quick vote: This blog is fun, gross, and fascinating. Watch it!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Movies: Hancock

Will Smith has done a lot of crappy movies, which made us initially cringe when we saw the previews for this show, but we were told several times (Many of which were by our Uncle Chichi!) that we should invest the time in it, and so we did!

Hancock is a worthless superhero. He can fly, is invincible/immortal, and has super strength yet he spends most of his time drinking and messing around. Luckily, he helps a public relations expert (played by Jason Bateman) and in return, he is advised on how to be a better superhero and interface with the world in a better way.

Quick vote: We loved the beginning of this movie, but we didn't love the ending. We won't spoil it for you, but suffice it to say, we had a lot of questions that were left unresolved.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

TV: How I Met Your Mother

We usually don't spend our time watching the classic sit-coms, as they seemed to have hit their heyday in the nineties, but we have heard several people mention that they enjoyed the show How I Met Your Mother, so we thought we'd check it out. It's as cheesy a sit-com as you can get, complete with the laugh track and predictable 20 minute episodes, but it does have something else to it, and we like it.

Ted is a single guy living in New York City, who realizes that he is ready to drop the dating scene and settle down after his good friends Lily and Marshall finally seal the deal and get engaged. Meanwhile, his friend Barney (aka Doogie Houser) is constantly teaching him how to love 'em and leave 'em. Oh, and Robin's just around to provide emotional support.

Quick vote: Funny? Yes. Cheesy? Yes. Worth your while? Meh... If there's nothing else on.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Music: Gossip in the Grain by Ray LaMontagne

Our Aunt Didi passed us this album a few months ago and we've been chewing on it ever since. Luckily we had copied the songs onto our computer before we started to eat it, so we can listen to it on our DogiPods; you know you wish you had one too! Ray is an interesting singer, his music is folksy, alternative rock, very hard to classify. Some of his songs pass easily for Nick Drake, straight off the Way to Blue album, and some get going in a fun and exciting way. His lyrics are meaningful, his voice is rich and beautiful, and his melodies get your toes tapping! We really like this album, and we look forward to investigating more of his work.

"Callous is the old crow, he mocks even the sun;
Eyes as black as blood, bone crack in the craw.
He'd say, he'd say: always never mind,
Always never mind."
-- Gossip in the Grain

"When we first met we were kids, we were wild, we were insects.
And after awhile I grew coarse, I grew cold, I grew reckless.
I hold this memory, hold you, so close to me.
Whispered, we'll always be happy."

Quick vote: This is a great album. Pick it up!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Books: Maus by Art Spiegelman

We have to apologize for our sudden unexpected absence last week, we took off some time to hang out with our Uncle Carter, Aunt Annie, Aunt Heady, and the rest of the crew. A tiny vacation, but we're glad that it's over now, and we hope that Uncle Busty recovers quickly!

While we were waiting for someone to pay attention to us this weekend, we had many opportunities to read, so we picked up our Uncle Buster's copy of Maus, which had been recommended to us before, but which we had never had an opportunity to read. Maus is another graphic novel, but entirely different from Rabbi's Cat, and we loved it. Our accolades are nearly as prestigious as some of the other awards Art Spiegelman has received for it, like the Pulitzer Prize...

The book is a graphic novel memoir told from the perspective of the author as he interviews his father about life as a Jew in Poland during WWII, including a year spent at Auschwitz. The Jews are portrayed as mice, the Nazi's as cats, the Poles and pigs, the Americans as dogs, and so on. We loved the way the story was told, and it's realistic aspect, despite the comic strip format. Again, though it is a comic book, we wouldn't recommend it for younger readers because of the (fairly obvious) graphic scenes and heavy subject material.

Quick vote: This book was phenomenal, and we would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone!

Aunt Annie's 2 Cents: I like to eat mice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Books: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

We have been working on The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski for a long while now. It's a story about dogs, so every time a dog got in trouble, we had to abandon the book for our own sanity until we were prepared to pick it up again. The book is about a family, the Sawtelle's, and the dogs they created through breeding and careful training.

Edgar is a young boy growing up with his mother and father in the midst of dozens of dogs designed by his grandfather for their intelligence, patience, and obedience. From his birth, Edgar is unable to speak, though he can hear perfectly; his disability teaches him to listen and watch, taking in his surroundings and communicating with his dogs on a different level. This book is a Hamlet-esque journey into a boy and his dogs, and the magic that exists in everyday life.

Quick vote: We loved the majority of this book, though the end was confusing and disappointing. It's a good book, but we don't really recommend it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blogs: Superuseless Superpowers

We ran into this blog, Superuseless Superpowers recently, and we've been loving keeping up with it. Each post lists a ridiculous superpower that always makes us laugh.

"Superuseless Superpower: Eventual Kevlar Skin. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Boink."
-- 13th Bullet Bulletproof

Quick vote: This is a great blog. We love it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Movies: 10 Things I Hate About You

We're suckers for classic teen romance movies, and 10 Things I Hate About You is no exception! This is the oldest movie we saw with Heath Ledger in it, and he looks as great in this movie (with an Aussie accent!) as he does in Dark Knight, and more sane looking as well!

This movie takes place in a high school in Seattle, and loosely follows the plot of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Bianca Stratford is young, beautiful, and isn't allowed to go on any dates unless her older sister, Katerina-the-shrew, goes out as well. So some enterprising young men pay Patrick Verona to ask the shrew out, and you can guess where things go to from there....

Quick vote: We love this movie. It's a classic, it's awesome, it's smart, and it's funny.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Current Events: Octuplets

When we first heard about Nadya Suleman and her eight babies we were like, "So what? Dogs have litters that size all of the time, it's nothing to write home about." Then after our extensive television viewing on the subject (The Today Show, and Dateline to name a few.), we realized that evidentially humans don't usually have litters that size, and in fact this is the first successful birth of eight human babies. We're not experts or anything, but that doesn't seem very evolutionarily advantageous...

This picture (supposedly taken eight days before the eight babies were cut out of her belly) truly demonstrates how wrong this is. Basically, we think that somewhere something went serious wrong. We're not sure where the fault lies, but ultimately the fertility doctor should be blamed for this transgression against nature. And who will pay for this travesty? The fourteen children that have to eke their way into society on government welfare (Despite her claims that she won't take welfare, she took disability payments and food stamps.), and a fraction of the love they ought to have received from their parents.

Quick vote: Somewhere the system broke down, and we're not necessarily blaming her, but we do think that she is a psychopath. It saddens us that an event like this is possible, and that fourteen human children will suffer because of it.

Aunt Annie's 2 Cents: I can't have puppies because I don't have any girl parts anymore.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Music: Genius

We are always looking for new and better ways to find new music recommendations, so we were thrilled when we first stumbled across the Genius feature in iTunes a few months ago. It works fairly well, and comes free with the iTunes software on our computer, and the software on our mother's iPhone!

Genius takes the song that you are currently listening to and opens up a world of possibilities. It recommends songs from your library that are similar to the song you are currently listening to, and also recommends songs that you can buy (With one quick click!). It works pretty well too, we're quite impressed!

Quick vote: We have been asked recently about where we get all of our ideas for great music. Although we get tons of great recommendations from readers, friends, and family; we have to give some serious props to Genius. It's genius!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Book: Falling For Science: Objects in Mind by Sherry Turkle

For once, we got started early on this month's book club book, Falling For Science: Objects in Mind edited by Sherry Turkle. Turkle is a professor at MIT who has been collecting essays for years from her students and has taken the best from the last several decades and put them together into this book.

When young children are first discovering their world, there is a huge opportunity for them to be impacted by their surroundings and the apparently simple objects that occupy their wold. These essays are about how simple childhood interactions with objects have the potential to inspire generations of future scientists, engineers, or geniuses.

Quick vote: This is an awesome collection of essays. They have inspired us to go to MIT and get a degree in canine science.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blog: Evil Beet Gossip

We like to think that we're not very interested in following celebrity gossip. We would like to think that, but unfortunately that's not the case. We have been following Evil Beet Gossip on a suggestion from our Aunt Didi, and enjoying their bitter rantings about celebrities and their pathetic, and somehow fascinating, lives. We don't pretend to understand it, but we still find ourselves tuning in...


Haven’t these two realized yet that they’re poison for each other?

The buzz is that Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson are together yet again. They spent Sunday at Owen’s Malibu home, chilling with Kate’s son, Ryder."

--Kate and Owen Back On? You Have Got To Be Kidding Me.

Quick vote: We like this blog. It's ridiculous, and yet still pretty funny.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Movie: The Duchess

We have a love for period piece romances with Kiera Knightley, so of course we had to pick up The Duchess as soon as it came out on DVD (Or Blu-Ray). The scenery and rooms are beautiful and the costumes are bizarre and elaborate, everything you could want from a Victorian England movie.

Kiera Knightley plays Georgiana Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire; a real historical figure known for her beauty, political clout, and fashion sense. She marries the Duke at a young age and tries her best to give him a male heir while he is repeatedly unfaithful. She spends her whole life searching for what really matters, looking for love and satisfaction in a wild and beautiful world.

Quick vote: This movie is pretty much exactly what you would expect. But we love it, and so will you if you liked great movies like Pride and Prejudice.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Video Games: Little Big Planet

We have a Playstation 3, which we mostly use for watching Blu-Rays and DVD's, but occasionally we will play a game on it, which we've been doing lately. Little Big Planet is an entirely unique game full of creativity and discovery, an incredible game that we wholeheartedly endorse.

You are a sackperson named SackBoy and you explore a world where you run and jump and pull and fly. The world is fairly two-dimensional, not unlike the SuperMario type games, and yet has astounding depth. You can create levels, decorate your person, and design your world.

Quick vote: Alright we get it, it's really hard to explain this game, but trust us: it's awesome! If you've got a Playstation 3, rent or buy it for a great time!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Music: Med Sud I Eyrum Vid Spilum Endalaust by Sigur Ros

We have been listening to Sigur Ros for a long time, since ( ) was released. They are a funky band from Iceland (who unsurprisingly sing in Icelandic) who break away from their usual routine in this new cd and dive deep into the acoustic realm. We love this music and have no problem with the fact that we can't understand any of the lyrics. In fact, there is an English song on this cd, and we don't really care for it. The lyrics are captivating, the melodies delicate, and the music mystifying. A great cd to listen to while reading an epic book or working on an intricate project.

Quick vote: No doubt about it, this is a weird album. And yet, we love it.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Books: The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff

We just finished January's book club selection (and not a moment too soon because the meeting is this Wednesday) and can review it for our mother to share at her club that we're not invited too. Perhaps we will start a doggie book club! Yeah, that will show her to not invite us! Anyway, the selection this month was a book called The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff; a book about love, family, home towns, ancestry, and real live monsters!

Running away from a disastrous affair with her archeology professor, Willie Upton arrives in her home town needing some R&R but instead she finds that a 50-foot-long monster has floated up from the local lake, her mother has abandoned her hippie ways and found Jesus, and that her father is not a random man from a hippie commune but a man from Templeton whom she has known all her life. She uses her archeology skills to dig into history to find out who her father is, while unearthing things about Templeton and its members that intended to remain buried. This is a great story and a cool read. Lauren Groff has included 'family portraits' and ancestral trees that lend the novel an air of authenticity.

Quick vote: This is one of the best books we've read in a while. It was different, it was interesting, and it was a great read!