Finishing My Coffee

Community’s Brilliance In Two Lines

Basic GeneaologyAvery Edison brilliantly summarizes a lot of what makes Community so great, saying:

These two sentences sum up everything Community is. I’ve tried to break down everything this line accomplishes.

Full post »

[Via Timoni West]


Monopoly: The Wire edition

Monopoly: The Wire Edition

Why doesn't this exist?! I would absolutely purchase, if only to shout out sheeeeeeeeeit! every time someone landed on City Hall.


Dude Vader

Link >>


Why Inglourious Basterds’ Basement Was Brilliant

Brad Pitt as Lt. Aldo Raine (right) in Inglourious Basterds

In Tarantino's world, this is the last thing a Nazi should ever see.

Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds was one of his very best films. When a friend of mine disagreed and, shockingly, told me he hated it (emphasis his), I thought it might be worthwhile to explain why I loved the movie so much.

To illustrate, I noted that every / single / line / by Brad Pitt, in the role of Lt. Aldo Raine -- the Gentile leader of a special group of American Jews tasked with raising terror and killin' Nazi's -- was dominant.

Specifically, I loved his lines in the Tavern Scene.

Lt. Aldo Raine: You didn't say the goddamn rendezvous was in a fuckin' basement.
Lt. Archie Hicox: I didn't know.
Lt. Aldo Raine: You said it was in a tavern.
Lt. Archie Hicox: It is a tavern.
Lt. Aldo Raine: Yeah, in a basement. You know, fightin' in a basement offers a lot of difficulties. Number one being, you're fightin' in a basement!

Why is that so funny, you might ask. Well, I can explain, (quite nerdily, I'm sure), in three steps.


Two Gentlemen Of Lebowski

Thusly The Dude doth abide.

A brilliant adaptation of The Big Lebowski, including couplets to end each section. Can't wait for the zombie version...

Good sir, speak plain. I know not these villains, surely would I ne’er traffic with this man of Orient birth who so abused my rug. I have not the facility to present him with the rate of usance and demand money in kind for that which he has spent upon’t; so I entreat you, speak plain.

I speak the truth; my words are straight and true.
The man of Orient birth is not the issue.

The Orient, Sir Walter?

I speak, old friend, of truths in desert land.
The hour is nigh to draw line in the sand.

Deserts? I had made it plain that he was Orient-man.

Though words in haste be only human nature,
‘Orient-man’ is not preferr’d nomenclature.

Give me no further counsel; my griefs cry softer than advertisement.

I speak of this other man, Sir Geoffrey of Lebowski. Is not thy name, sir, Geoffrey of Lebowski? To be or not Lebowski, that is the question; I see we still did meet each other’s man. Shall we not make amends? A gentleman of high sentence ought to be of unsequestered location, possessed of resources fit to restore a thousand rugs from vile offence. He’s not well married that lets his wife a borrower be, such that men gravely offended bespoil another man’s rug. Be I wrong?

No, but verily—

Be I wrong?

Yea, but verily—

That rug, in faith, tied the room together, did it not?

By my heart, a goodly rug.

And in most miserable tide did this rogue besmirch it.

Prithee, Donald! Thou too eagerly hold’st the mirror up to nature.

My mind races; I might endeavour to seek this gentleman Lebowski.

His name is Lebowski? Verily, ope thine ear; that is thy name, Knave!

On good authority; and his nobleness must oblige. His wife taketh up quarrel and borrows, and they bespoil my rug.

Marry, sir, my heartstrings do you tug;
They urinate upon thy damnèd rug.

[Exeunt severally]


Ron Burgundy Goes To Iraq

A guy I grew up with is an Army MP stationed in Iraq. Here's what he posted as his Facebook status yesterday:

Walked into an Iraqi Police Headquarters this evening where they were all sitting there watching Anchorman. Strange.

Doesn't get much more surreal than that. It's the little things.

What really bakes my noodle now, though, is the trail of breadcrumbs and the use of modern communication which led up to this whole snapshot.

  1. A dispute over poorly-aligned, antiquated punch-card paper ballots in Florida created controversy over whether George W. Bush was our properly elected President in 2000.
  2. A bunch of Saudi fundamentalists, trained in remote, mountainous, largely illiterate areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan and armed with simple box cutters, stole jumbo jets -- small, fuel-filled flying towns -- and crashed them into mountain-sized buildings in Manhattan.
  3. The Towers collapsed, killing thousands of people whose days had been spent working on computers, communicating instantly with colleagues around the world and using the very latest technology to run America's financial sector.
  4. The summary justification for U.S. involvement in Iraq is based on questionable satellite images and photos from surveillance planes presented to the world by Colin Powell, in classic tv anchor style, as proof that Iraq's tyrant was building nukes and/or biological and chemical weapons.
  5. We went to war in Iraq, quickly freeing the Iraqi people from a tyrant's grip. Saddam, overthrown and on the run, is captured and later executed. That execution is illicitly recorded on a cell phone and posted on YouTube for the world to see.
  6. Using jury-rigged, hand made, improvised explosives, insurgents from around the world gather in Iraq to fight off the Americans and our Western allies.
  7. My friend, who I haven't seen since high school, joins the Army and finds his way to Iraq.
  8. There, he works with Iraqi citizens who themselves are working to create order and stability. He stops by their office, a police headquarters, and finds them watching Will Ferrell in Anchorman, a movie lampooning San Diego, America in the 1970s, the absurdity of America's recent misogynistic past, and local U.S. tv news generally and on-air personalities in particular. The Iraqi police certainly have no context for any of the subtle humor, though Ferrell in that 'stache and those classic seventies' outfits goes a long, long way.
  9. An Army MP goes back to his barrack, fires up his computer and logs on to Facebook, updating his status.
  10. As Facebook is what reconnected us, I'm able to glimpse his surreal day from the opposite side of the globe, mixed-in with updates about one friend's Christmas cookies and another friend's love of cheese melted on burgers.

The mind. It boggles.


Lebowski’s Calmer Than Glendale

Amidst a roaring fight over whether or not cell phone wireless towers (or antennas -- T-Mobile's plan hasn't even been finalized) are a safety hazard, interested readers in Glendale turned to Lebowski quotes to tone down the rhetoric. Good times in the comments.

Pete McFerrin: because helping residential property values should be the only goal of public policy, right? If I were a T-Mobile subscriber and I lived near that guy I would urinate on his front door every day, at the very least.

SecretAgent: @Pete McFerrin: And he would take photos of you exposing yourself and you would then be another perma-loser on a state wide data base.

Pete McFerrin: @SecretAgent: "8-year-olds, Dude. 8-year-olds."

SecretAgent: @Pete McFerrin: 8 year olds? That would place you yet again on another data base.

Pete McFerrin: I am considering a boycott of this blog on the grounds that not enough people get Lebowski references. This aggression will not stand!

SecretAgent: @Pete McFerrin: I'm calmer than you, Dude. Calmer than you.
And if you're going to piss on someones property then at least do it on his area rug. You know the one, the kind that really ties the room together.

If only every wish to urinate on an idealogical enemy's property turned out so well.

(via Laura, who first introduced me to the greatness that is The Big Lebowski)


The Inflatable Defender

The Inflatable Defender: Life-Size Ben Wallace

The Inflatable Defender: Life-Size Ben Wallace

The best part of this -- outside of the fact that it simply exists -- is definitely the advertising photo. Real-life Ben looks startled... and maybe a little intimidated? Going with the blown-out 'fro instead of the cornrows was also an excellent choice.

Though this came out in ‘06 when Big Ben and the Pistons were at the height of their game, that doesn’t take away from the fact how amazing this is. The Inflatable Defender makes for a PERFECT gift for basketball fans or your 75-year-old grandmother. Why just imagine her excitement when she wakes up in the middle of the night to a 7-foot Ben Wallace by her nightstand!


  • Life-size dimensions: 84” high and 65” across at the arms when inflated.
  • Thick PVC material reinforced at the bottom for durability.
  • Base holds water for better stability.
  • Repair Kit included.
  • Equipped with 2 handles for easy movement and play value.
  • Um…it’s a life-size blow-up Ben Wallace, with afro, what more features do you need???



Helen Mirren With A Sniper Rifle

ellis_redWarren Ellis' graphic novel Red is being made into a film, and Warren has been kind enough, as is his wont, to answer questions about what's being changed in the adaptation from 66 page comic to hour and a half blockbuster movie.

The tone: no, the film isn’t as grim as the book. The book is pretty grim. But it’s also pretty small. When I sell the rights to a book, they buy the right to adapt it in whatever way they see fit. I can accept that they wanted a lighter film, and, as I’ve said before, the script is very enjoyable and tight as a drum. They haven’t adapted it badly, by any means. People who’ve enjoyed the graphic novel will have to accept that it’s an adaptation and that by definition means that it’s going to be a different beast from the book. The film has the same DNA. It retains bits that are very clearly from the book, as well as, of course, the overall plotline. But it is, yes, lighter, and funnier. And if anyone has a real problem with that, I say to you once again:

Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle.

I mean, if you don’t want to see a film with Helen Mirren with a sniper rifle, I’m not sure I want to know you.

via Warren Ellis.


Cutest Kids Costumes. EVER.



The hair. The belly! But where's the beard? The Batali costume is a great idea, and could also be the basis of an Iron Chef group set or a pairing with Gwenneth Paltrow...

via George Clooney lives in Italy but by himself.