West Week Ever – 1/10/14


oie_922142seDasWF9ilizashlesingerWelcome to 2014! We’re back, ready to do this another year. While I had about a 2 week holiday break, I didn’t spend as much time with Netflix as I’d expected. In the middle of episodes of Undercover Boss, I watched 3 things over break. First up was Iliza Shlesinger’s comedy special War Paint. If you’re not familiar with Iliza, she won the 6th season of Last Comic Standing, and also hosted the syndicated dating show Excused. I expected funny, but that’s not really what I got. It wasn’t a bad special, but maybe a bit too long. I’m not sure she’s ready for a full hour yet, as most of her act is comprised of weird voices and cloying animal noises. I really wanted to like it, as she always came off as a cool chick, but it just didn’t do it for me.


Next up, Lindsay took me to Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues for my birthday. I can’t give an honest assessment of the movie, as I was having a rough day and didn’t find it as funny as I wanted it to be. There were parts I loved, like Doby the shark and the blindness, but parts I loathed including any scene with Steve Carrell. Man, the Brick character sure wore thin quickly! I expected to laugh more, and I hated the news gang fight as much as I loved the original news gang fight. It felt like they were trying to catch lightning in a bottle a second time, and the cameos took me out of it more than they did the first time around. Kanye and Will Smith?? Really? So, I’m not gonna really have a clear opinion of the film until I see it again.


Finally, I caught We’re The Millers. It’s set in Denver, so it was actually playing on my flight out to Denver the day after Christmas. I refused to give Frontier Airlines my $6, though, so I picked it up at Redbox when I got home. Like Anchorman 2, I expected to laugh more. I love Jason Sudeikis, and it’s great that he has become the new Vince Vaughn. The whole time I found myself looking at Aniston, wondering, “What kind of mistakes did she make in life to still be stripping at 40?” I think Aniston’s cute and all, but I found myself in the @LamarRevenger camp this time around, as she was not doing it for me. I feel like there’s someone else they could’ve cast in that role for the stripper stuff to have been more convincing. Anyway, the funniest scene in the whole movie is during the outtakes, so don’t stop the DVD right when the movie stops.

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Speaking of Denver, I wonder if the events of the movie (Sudeikis has to smuggle a ton of weed over the border for Andy Bernard, pretends he’s a family man in a Winnebago) would happen in 2014 Denver. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you know that Denver has legalized marijuana. When people hear I just got back, their first question was “Oh, did you…yeah?” No, I didn’t. The law didn’t go into effect until last Wednesday, and I left Tuesday. Great timing, huh? That brings up an interesting quandary, though, as I doubt I’d have done it had it been legal while I was there. I’ve never done a drug in my life, and I’m kinda too old to be starting now. Anyway, Denver was great as I got to hang out with my sister (we don’t do “in-law” in this family!), Jamie, and her boyfriend, Sam.

ChromeCastI find it funny that I got Chromecast, yet ended up watching less TV. My wonderful wife got it for me for Christmas, and I have to admit that I didn’t even fully know what it was. Basically, it lets you watch anything from your computer on your TV – all due to a little HDMI flash drive thingy. I’d love to actually use it, but she keeps commandeering the TV for football.


As for awesome gifts, I got a Pebble for my birthday. If you’re not familiar, it’s a smartwatch that started as a Kickstarter, but is now sold in stores like Best Buy. It has an e-paper display, like a Kindle, and is highly customizable. As for the “smart” aspect of it, it features caller ID, as well as Facebook, text, and email notifications right on the watch face. I’ve been having a lot of fun with it, but it’s also making me realize how many notifications I average. The battery is meant to last 5-7 days on one charge (you charge it via USB cable), but I’m definitely more on the 5 day side. Anyway, the only thing it lacks (which the Samsung Gear has) is the ability to answer calls and talk into it. Maybe the next version will have that. They already announced a newer, stainless steel version at CES this week. Yup, 2 weeks after I got mine. Bastards…


I found it funny that Lady Gaga issued an apology to her fans this week. Give it up, Stefani – you’re in time-out. Gaga had a rough 2013, as her album, Artpop, pseudo-flopped, her Muppets special bombed, and everyone’s kinda tired of her shit. Now she’s busy blaming everyone but herself. The problem with Gaga is that she “maxed out on weird”. There was nowhere else for her to go in terms of weirdness. It’s a lot like The Matrix trilogy. Remember how amazing the effects were in the first movie? Time passed, technology advanced, and there were even better effects in the second one. The third movie, however, was filmed at the same time as the second. So, there’s no real dazzle there. They had maxed out the bounds of effects technology of the time and had nothing else to give us. Gaga did the same thing, and now she needs to go somewhere and regroup.

NYT Language Map

Before Christmas, everyone on Facebook was taking a dialect quiz from The New York Times. Contrary to what I thought it would say, the quiz correctly identified my dialect as that of Washington, DC. Or Richmond, VA. Or Winston-Salem, NC. Hey, one out of three ain’t bad! If you didn’t jump on the bandwagon, you can still take the quiz here.

DC Karaoke

So, I found out that this is a thing that exists. An a cappella friend from college is actually in it. It’s team-based karaoke and actually sounds kinda cool. I’m on the antisocial side, so I’m not sure, but I might actually give it a shot. We’ll see…

Last night, I weaseled my way onto the latest episode of The Kliqnation’s Comic Book Chronicles, and the guys were nice enough to let me stay. You can watch the ep here:

If you’re looking for new blogs to read this year, I’ve got some recommendations for ya. First up, my good pal, Tarek, has started a blog documenting his progress with The Ultimate Yogi program. Even if you’ve never considered doing yoga, his observations are pretty funny. It’s worth reading just to witness him lusting over the chicks in the videos. You can follow his progress at Mediocre Yogi. Next up, my pal Dean, AKA @LamarRevenger, has restarted his family blog Fun With The Schaeffers. I love the tagline: “Witness a family trying to live the American Dream, by the seat of their pants.” He’s returning after a years-long hiatus, so I can’t wait to see what he has in store.

In Case You Missed It This Week
Adventures West Coast – Saga Vol 1

West YEAR Ever – 2013


No one had a week like Sasheer Zamata – the newest Saturday Night Live cast member. SNL came under fire a few months back when Mr. Good Burger himself, Kenan Thompson, had to go and say that there weren’t any black women ready to join the cast. Of course, this started a shitstorm, and folks started demanding that SNL try harder to diversify. So, not only did they hire 2 black women writers, but they also hired Sasheer – the first black woman cast member since Maya Rudolph (yup, she counts). If you don’t count Maya, Sasheer’s the first black woman cast member since Ellen Cleghorne. Anyone remember her? Anyway, it’s kind of a shame how this whole thing went down. They could’ve waited until next fall, and introduced her along with the new cast members. Instead, the national spotlight is on her, and her debut will take place next Saturday, featuring host and musical guest Drake. There’s a lot of pressure on Ms. Zamata, and I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. That said, she’s been given the chance of a lifetime, and she’s now on everyone’s radar, so Sasheer Zamata had the West Week Ever.


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