March 27, 2009

The Weeklies #79

The Weekly Mental State. Frazzled.

The Weekly Tantrum. The title goes to Mia. The issue? Grapes. Seriously. Kids are weird.

The Weekly Impressive Display of Physics Knowledge and Patience. The Easter Rube Goldberg machine.

The Weekly Read. I will pretty much read anything Harlan Coben writes. I'm especially fond of his Myron Bolitar series but his stand-alone thrillers aren't half bad either. Hold Tight, his latest standalone novel, is decent but it could have been better. See, Coben is a very good writer with a great sense of humor an uncanny ability to create great characters. Yet, while his Bolitar series proves all these things, his standalone novels are frustrating because almost none are evident. It's like he's trying to be less Coben. And that makes the books - like Hold Tight - a little generic. Don't get me wrong, Hold Tight is good. It's an entertaining page-turner. But parts felt forced and there were almost too many things going on. It seemed as though Coben took two novels and laced them together. I kept wondering why he was telling so many different stories. In the end, I never really got an answer. Coben can write a damn good book. Hold Tight is good, but he's capable of more.

The Weekly Music. Pearl Jam's Ten is among my favorite albums. I think it's a combination of the music and the memories. It was transformational to me. I picked it up in high school, during my senior year, and it saw me through many changes. It also launched my entirely flannel and ripped jeans wardrobe. The remastered Legacy edition of the album was just released this past week. Packaged alongside the original album is a new version of the album remixed by long-time producer Brendan O'Brien. While I was dubious about Ten Redux, I was curious. But damn, is it an experience. The thing that's always kept Ten from being a perfect album was the mixing. It's too heavy on reverb and too many things are buried in the mix. Ten Redux fixes this and exposes things about Ten I never imagined were there. Vedder's vocals are perfect and who knew he had recorded so many solid backing vocal tracks? The guitar work is insane. It sounds rougher, less polished, in this mix. Mike McCready's Pete Townshend and Jimi Hendrix influences were right there on display buried this entire time. The rhythm section is solid, as usual. Listening to Ten Redux is like having the sand blown off an island exposing buried treasure chests. It makes a near perfect album feel less dated and exposes the inner workings of a great album and great band in the making.

The Weekly Schadenfreude. Though I've never been a Three Stooges fan, I hope this is a joke. Hollywood is, once again, trying to remake something that wasn't terribly broken to begin with. The Three Stooges. And the cast? I'm not making this up. Jim Carey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn. Yeah, like I said...I hope it's a joke.

The Weekly Hypothetical. A meteor is going to collide with the earth. No one will survive. But you know someone out there will study us and what we contributed to the universe. What three things do you send into outer space as to explain humanity?

Posted by Chris at March 27, 2009 8:51 AM

I'm so excited to see you comment on the "new" Pearl Jam album. 'Ten' is, hands down, one of my top favorite albums ever. I picked it up my freshman year in high school and still continue to listen to it frequently 15 years (ACK!) later. I'm going to have to pick up the new, remastered edition now.

As far as the hypothetical goes...dude...I haven't finished my coffee yet. So, no intelligent life here.

Posted by: js at March 27, 2009 9:49 AM

How do you not have any comments yet?

Something to explain do we explain ourselves?

I don't think we really can.

Posted by: jessica at March 27, 2009 9:50 AM

Explain humanity? Or inhumanity?
Lately when I look out over the earth (including here in the good old USA) I see far more inhumanity than humanity.
I guess I would write a note:
Dear Alien Being,
The earth was once a lovely place, before greed and inhumanity took over.
There were many wonderful people who got caught up in the lies that rotten politicians told them all over the world.
These people worked hard, raised families and loved.
We may be gone, but hopefully the best of us will survive in some spiritual life beyond.
Good luck.

Posted by: Maribeth at March 27, 2009 9:59 AM

We've recorded so much of our humanity and documented it so well. I think I'd send a collection of DVDs from A&E, Discovery, and History channels, with some movies thrown in for good measure. I'd be sure to include our best writing, music, art, technology, wars, and humanitarian efforts.

Posted by: Brad at March 27, 2009 10:13 AM

Sean Penn? Um. NO.

Posted by: k8 at March 27, 2009 10:23 AM

1. Shakespeare's unabridged works.
2. A construction paper cut out heart.
3. A photograph of two people holdings hands.

Posted by: Arwen at March 27, 2009 10:40 AM

First off, so glad you wrote about the Ten remix, because I wouldn't have known about it otherwise, and that album was also a watershed moment for me.

So, Earth is doomed and we have to sum it up. Well, humans boiled down to three things are:
Food, Sex, and the quest for the ultimate answer ( or question, depending on your point of view ), so I'd send this:

1. Beer - one of the oldest foods, and it so well speaks of us. I was going to say bread, but then I remembered that there are theories that bread was a byproduct of beer production, so beer wins.

2. A really good porn dvd - one of those ones that shows all the possible combinations( boy / girl, girl / girl , boy / girl / gerbil, etc. ); lets face it, our creativity in the sexual arts throughout human history pretty much meet or exceed our passion for anything else ( except perhaps beer )

3. A vial of human blood with a picture of DNA on the outside and some pictograms on how to clone us. Since we seem to be the virus species of this planet ( move in, consume all the resources, move on to the next area, rinse, repeat ) then we can probably get some sucker species out there to create a new batch of us to start the cycle all over again. We will dominate the Universe and not be denied! * ahem * Sorry, got a little carried away. But if we even have a chance of continuing on, then all the crap we went through for four billion years was not for naught.

Respectfully ready for the weekend ( and beer ),


Posted by: metawizard at March 27, 2009 10:51 AM

Would it be wrong to send out DVDs of "Armegedon" and "Deep Impact"? Hm. Can't think of a third one...

Posted by: Roses at March 27, 2009 11:29 AM

"like having the sand blown off an island exposing buried treasure chests." I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm a long time Pearl Jam fan and Ten got me through the highs and lows in college, looking forward to enjoying this while flipping through old journals and photo albums.

Posted by: elsye at March 27, 2009 11:32 AM

The Ten tour was one of the best concerts I've ever seen. It really was one of the best albums ever.

Posted by: Mr Lady at March 27, 2009 12:15 PM

Send into space...

1) A copy of the video where a chimp is giving a cat a bath in the sink.

2) The complete DVD collection of THE HONEYMOONERS.

3) An unsolicited offer from a credit card company.

Posted by: Gramps at March 27, 2009 1:18 PM

I'd send Jim Carey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn. Because maybe the meteor would take a last minute veer, and then we wouldn't have to deal with a new Three Stooges.

That and chocolate cake. Because it's just delicious. And nutritious.

Posted by: harmzie at March 27, 2009 1:25 PM

I love the Myron Bolitar series! In fact, we use Myron as our fake "code" name when we go out places just because we are weird like that. I just got "Hold Tight" from a neighbor last weekend. Now I'm not that thrilled, but of course I'll read it anyway.

Posted by: Shelly at March 27, 2009 1:48 PM

Just wait until the tantrums are for something valid, like the seams of her socks, or or that the shoelaces are too long. Good times.

Posted by: Shannon at March 27, 2009 3:26 PM

a sperm and an ovum atop a large quantity of (non-disappearing) dry ice.

in lieu of that, a michael jackson album, a record player, and batteries.

Posted by: RD at March 27, 2009 4:58 PM

Is the Three Stooges idea more of a movie ABOUT the Stooges, rather than a movie of Stooges skits? The backstory, so to speak? Because then I could almost buy it. Almost. Benicio Del Toro as Moe...I can almost see it. Almost.

Posted by: MidLifeMama at March 27, 2009 7:44 PM

Is the Three Stooges idea more of a movie ABOUT the Stooges, rather than a movie of Stooges skits? The backstory, so to speak? Because then I could almost buy it. Almost. Benicio Del Toro as Moe...I can almost see it. Almost.

Posted by: MidLifeMama at March 27, 2009 7:44 PM

I think I like harmzie's idea about sending Jim Carey, Benicio Del Toro, and Sean Penn. Even if the meteor does take us out, they can act out what humanity is all about.

Posted by: Dreamybee at March 28, 2009 10:11 AM

Ten is one of my all time favorite albums, however, I had no intention of buying this remix. You have now changed that and apparently I have no choice. Way to go bucko. (Actually very excited but will wait until tomorrow to buy it! *squee*)

Posted by: Amy at March 30, 2009 12:33 AM

Maybe it's not the 3 Stooges, but some kind of punk band or something. I'd get that more. Probably. If you're going for a ridiculous 3 Stooges cast, how about Ben Kingsley, Chrisopher Walken and Gary Busey? And in a reality show format?

If I got to pick what went in the time capsule for aliens, I'd put in a fake Indian arrowhead from a Route 66 tourist trap, a used but otherwise normal rubber duck, and an unopened package of "Oriental" flavored Ramen noodles. And to be sneaky, I'd wrap it up with unopened Capitol One Visa solicitations inside a mostly-plain cardboard box from Amazon, big puffy air-pack thingies included. Without Earth as a context, that'd be as good as anything. And I'd make sure a couple of my hairs fell in the box "accidentally." Hope the aliens aren't sensitive to Muller dander.

Posted by: rpm at March 30, 2009 7:49 PM