Thursday, June 12, 2008

"Eye" Just Can't Help Myself!

I assure you, the title is the first & only time on this blog where I'll be making that pun. I guarantee that you will never see that lame stunt pulled again.

So many words start with I, but many of them are two letter words that make the English language function as smooth as it does.

I, If, It, Is, In, and Igloble. Don't recognize that last one? I just invented it. Without these simple words, how could you tell people what you're doing? Or identifying some object? What about the opposite of "Out?"

Here are some actual words that begin with I.

Inspiration: An important word in my mind. I have several awesome ideas, they can all be due to inspiration, which comes from various sources. Usually inspiration comes in the form of reading or watching something interesting and then originating an idea to possibly improve on it. Some might call it "plagiarism," "laziness," or "theft," but I call it "Improvement." It's one thing to put your own spin on a topic (like the series I'm currently creating), but to steal/plagiarize it is completely different.

There are many times when I'm just laying down, mind completely blank, and then all of a sudden the thought of "I should write down some directions on how Mice can successfully handle Super Soakers!" would pop into my brain out of nowhere. I let many subjects "come to me," as in, I let my fingers to the typing and see what I get. Several of these blogs have originated from that very premise, especially the "Just For Kicks" entry where I typed down random phrases to have the blog be more accessible in Google Searches. Beaming For Bunnies is the #1 search for "Mustard Yellow Pinkjam!"

Where exactly have I received most of my inspiration? Believe it or not, it's either in the bathroom or driving. I'm casually taking a shower, and it suddenly hits me: I thought of five new words for one of these entries!

IHOP: The International House of Pancakes for those of you who actually need to be told what the acronym stands for. I love this place, but I never go there that often. Yes, it's a chain, but a delicious one at that. Sure, there may be better places to get pancakes, but you can't say "no" to eating at a place shaped like a Blue-Roofed Cathedral.

It was Lewis Black who mentioned that IHOP was his health club: "It's my health club because whenever you go to the International House of Pancakes, there's always someone there 500 pounds heavier than you'll ever be!" It's also where Lewis heard the immortal phrase "If it weren't for my horse, I would've never spent that year in college." And yes, the phrase "Hoggle of Coffee" perfectly describes the jug that you get your bean on with.

There's also no beating their Blueberry Syrup. Sorry "Strawberry," "Butter Pecan," and "Original," blue rules all.

Insomniac: I'm not the only person that watched this great Comedy Central show. Dave Attell, awesome, filthy New York comedian travels through major cities in the dead of night while getting drunk at the same time, armed only with his hat, his camera crew, and a disposable camera. You'd be surprised what actually goes on at night besides all the weird bars and clubs that he visits. Every episode started off with Attell performing a set in a local comedy club, and then begins his staggering through the midnight madness until the break of dawn. It seemed like a great job, and I loved watching each episode to see just what exactly goes on while we're all asleep and/or being shut-ins at night.

Among the things he's seen are attending a few night rodeos, go Nutria hunting, commit all 7 Deadly Sins in one night in Amsterdam (and succeeds!), take the Portland Underground Tour, travel through a few fetish clubs, visit the Moonlight Bunny Ranch, take a midnight tour of Six Flags New Orleans, visit Anchorage during the Summer Solstice where the sun was shining through the dead of night, and drink at a bar in NYC for dogs. One of my favorite episodes was, naturally, where he drinks his way back to NYC by starting at the East end of Long Island and travelling west. He even sees the Big Duck in Flanders!

Invader Zim: A cartoon at the top of the list of "Awesome Nickelodeon Cartoons Cancelled Before Their Time," which include The Angry Beavers, Ahh! Real Monsters, El Tigre, and the Spumco version of Ren & Stimpy. I'd add Rocko's Modern Life, but it had a good run and probably would've ended up as Camp Lazlo anyway.

Created by Jhonen Vasquez, the demented mind behind "Johnny The Homicidal Maniac," this was truly one of the greatest and most original Nicktoons to date. It was a about an alien named Zim (Richard Horvitz) who travels to Earth with his robot sidekick GIR (Rikki Simmons. Even GIR doesn't know what the "G" stands for in his name) in order to try and take over the World. Unfortunately, he sucks at it. He hails from the planet Irk, where rank is determined by height. Zim is fairly tiny for his race, and is the same height as a middle schooler. He also reaches Earth by accident, as he was "assigned" to take over a mystery planet as part of Irk's "Operation: Impending Doom 2." Did I mentioned that he was exiled to the planet Foodcourtia after some...mishaps during "Operation: Impending Doom I."

His only rival is his classmate Dib, who is an Amateur Paranormal Investigator. In the world of Invader Zim, Dib is the only reasonably intelligent main character besides Zim, so no one believes his accusations that Zim is an alien and believe he is crazy. The plots mostly focused on these dynamics, but had more aimless topics with a truly dark and/or random feel. A good example is the episode "Dark Harvest" where Zim is convinced by Dib that he would apear more human if he had human organs, so he decides to steal the organs of all the kids in school until he is a massive blob of organs. Another great one is "Room With A Moose," where Zim attempts to send a school bus full of his classmates into a wormhole in space that leads to a dimension that is nothing more than a small, white room with a freaky moose in it. "Say moosey Fate!"

I'll admit, I started out in writing by writing Invader Zim fanfictions. Fortunately for you people, none of the works from that time will ever see the light of day. They were mostly plagiarisms with Invader Zim characters in place of others, nowhere as good and funny as my current stuff (ie, what you're reading now), and full of terrible Mary Sue-like characters. Basically, like every other piece of fanfiction found everywhere. Hey, at least I didn't put the characters into unlikely pairings and had them constantly make out to each other with Linkin Park lyrics inbetween every paragraph.

In short, it was dark, it was well-animated and well-written, GIR was hilarious, and it was cancelled too damn soon. One reason behind it was that Nick realized that they actually gave a kid's cartoon to the guy who created Johnny The Homicidal Maniac. They claimed it was due to "low ratings," but that was because they had the show in the Friday 9:30pm time slot when most of their target demographic was either asleep or watching Cartoon Network. They also pulled the old "Bait & Switch" on us. Sure, they'd advertise an episode airing in the usual time slot, but instead have the same episode of "Baxter & Bananas" play twice in a row.

It's cancellation was the main reason that I have lost all faith in Nickelodeon. Besides what I said in the last paragraph, Nick didn't simply let the network air every episode in a season and then decide not to renew it. No, it did the rare feat by cancelling it while several episodes where in pre- or mid-production. For those of you who have the 3rd and 4th volumes on DVD, several of these unaired or unfinished episodes never saw the light of day, with a majority of them never airing in the United States for some reason. For at least six episodes, only the voice tracks were completed, so we hear awesomeness, but we can't see it. In the last real episode to actually air on Nick "The Most Horrible Xmas Ever," there's evidence for a few plot points that we never got to see, such as the existence of Minimoose (his premiere episode was one of those audio-only episodes) and the plot line of Dib's spaceship (which was the subject of 2 episodes that only made it to DVD and are awesome.) I'll also add that it has only been aired twice on Nickelodeon since the series untimely demise in 2002.

Fun Fact: Invader Zim premiered on March 31, 2001, the same night as Fairly Oddparents. Sadly, we all know which one lasted longer.

My favorite lolcat image. No other lolcat can has the glory of being as great as this one.

iPod: Those little MP3 players that everyone but me has. It's not that I can't afford it, I can. It's just that I don't want to shell out $150+ for something like a nano and then actually buy every single favorite song ever. Apple is kind of a bitch like that. I just never wanted one either, I didn't have that many songs that I liked and I didn't want to go with the flow. This subject came into my view when my MOM of all people got one. As I started to tinker with it, I realized that you can put all the songs on your CDS into iTunes and transfer them to the iPod.

Hmm...interesting. There's also the feature of having videos and podcasts on the iPod as well. The most basic of iPod holds at least 500 songs. What I'm concerned about is if I do actually get one, I just know that on the following day of my purchase. Steve Jobs will unveil a newer, cheaper, smaller version that holds a million songs, is the size of my thumbnail and dispenses yogurt. The possibility of iGalileo is slim, but it's becoming a possibility. The technology to make one a 2D shadow when rocking out to Rihanna has become more advanced in the last few years.

If you ask me, the prefixing of of "i" to everything is nothing more than a fad on its way out. Did no one remember the rise and fall of "e"? Lowercase "i" just isn't that cool or trendy anymore. Now "g," that's an attractive letter you can depend on!

If you need me, I'm going to go think up a definition for Igloble.

"You can't get very far in life without saying 'is,' now can you?"


Dan said...

I agree with you Zim left us too soon. It was such a funny, twisted show but it worked on so many levels! My favorite episode is when Gir takes over Zim's house and goes for tacos.
And rest easy, your not the only one without an iPod, I too am podless.

DC said...

My first job when I was 16 was at IHOP. I worked there for a month and then quit. Never got a chance to take advantage of my employee discount.

And I am also podless. I finally don't feel like the only person in the world without one.

JoshC said...

I didnt get into to Zim until sometime last year when it started airing again on one of the channels here and I proceeded to find everything I could.
I was always convinced that there was a couple of episodes out there that explained why a moose eating walnuts will drive a man to madness but then I realized that this must just be the beauty that is Zim.
I actually just bought a new Ipod, a nano, I love it, my old video died like 3 months after I got it and I hold steve jobs personally responsible to this day.

Denise said...

Invader Zim is a great show. Unfortunately, I feel like it's brand of humor spawned a lot of the poor animated knock-offs out there today. I admire Jhonen Vasquez for his style and sick, twisted soul.

Moving on, I've been through five ipods now since 2004. Two crapped out(I actually made a picture frame out of an old mini), one was stolen from my dorm when my roommate let maintenance people in our room unsupervised(but it actually came free with the purchase of my mac, so I didn't lose money off it), the next one became defective after a few months and was fully replaced by my current 80gb video ipod.
There's a lot to be said about the quality of ipods and their inevitable obsolescence, but that's consumerism. Does anyone need it? No, but I like having it around when I commute (LIRR is no fun without it), or as an alternate to the radio in my car. And no, you don't have to buy everything from itunes! I tend to share and trade mix cd's with friends, or get mp3s from people, but if they don't have something I want I do buy it from itunes. The store also has some good (free!) podcasts worth checking out. :)

TimmyBones said...

Very good post. I was actually considered using inspiration as my word for this week, but I decided to go with another one, which was posted today so all those who read this, check it out! lol Nice job all around Steve, keep these comin'!