Archive by Author | Benjamin Gullickson

An Inspiration Forgotten, But Not Gone

This is the first in a weeklong homage to one of the greatest musicians of the modern era.  Please don’t look for any other videos other than the ones I’ve posted, or else it will ruin the surprise.

Dear readers, sorry I have been MIA for so long.  It is perfectly explainable, I swear!  Recently, a friend of mine reintroduced me to one of my inspirations, and I have redevoted myself to the enjoyment of this person’s talents.  There are only a few people (on the entire planet!!!) who know this person, which makes it even more special.  However, I have decided it is time to share this person with the world.  And by the world, I mean the 10 people who read this blog.

My inspiration is an exceedingly talented musician, nay!, artist, nay!, entertainer!  That’s right, I’m talking about the timeless, the one-and-only, the indomitable: Jan Terri.

This week, I will devote one post a day in tribute to the legend, nay! the icon, that is Jan Terri.  In the literally hundreds of seconds I spent scouring her severals of videos on the Youtube, I think I’ve been able to narrow her bevy of hits into what I am now referring as the Top 5 Greatest Jan Terri Videos Of All Time (TFGJTVOAT).

The first is her greatest hit, naturally.  It is called ‘Losing You’, but should you ever play this while trying to woo someone into your bed, or impress with your sophisticated musical tastes, there will be no threat of you losing anything.  Except maybe your pants and underwear simultaneously.

First off, leather needs to be featured in more music videos.  Second, Chicago has never looked more beautiful than in this music video.  Third, mullets are making a comeback!  Fourth, there is nothing sexier than a woman with a voice, and Jan Terri knows it.  Fifth, Michael Bay was the camera operator for this shoot, but he was only able to film 1.3 seconds of footage, so they had a stray cat film the rest.  And the cat did a great job!  Sixth, I need to stop and just let the video speak  for itself, because my words don’t do it justice.

Enjoy

I have also written down the lyrics as I understood them, so don’t be shy about singing along!

I don’t wanna lose you tonight/You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t wanna lose you this way/Just need your love

I don’t wanna lose you tonight/You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t wanna lose you this way/Just need your love

Losing you will be the hardest thing to do/My heart is open like an open book, and yours is closed
I never thought it would be like this/So how do we move on?

CHORUS X2

Remember long walks, sandy beaches, all those swims together?/We were like a merry-go-round going around in circles
You said we’ll always be together/But you weren’t telling the truth
You were telling lies

CHORUS AGAIN

Pick up the phone, give me a call, and talk to me
It shouldn’t have been like this/I can’t take it no more

CHORUS PART III

I don’t wanna lose you tonight
You’re the only thing that matters
I don’t blah blah blah blah
Just blah blah blah

Blah blah blah blah blah blah….

Top Ten Helen Mirren’s Boob’s Movies

In honor of this week of love, I would like to share my feelings about an elderly woman I admire.  In fact, the only older women I admire more than her are my grandmothers.  That’s right, I’m talking about Dame Helen Mirren.  However, as great as she is, I think there are some facets of her that go unrecognized.  Yes, she’s utterly hilarious, and yes, she is one of the greatest actresses working today, but I’d like to highlight some of her best assets.  Or rather, her breast assets.

Yes, I’m talking about the talent that is Helen Mirren’s Boobs.  Here it goes…

1. Calendar Girls:  Without question, their finest, most raw, most revealing performance.  Literally.

2. Age of Consent: A light and airy performance in which they let everything hang out.  Though they are now old and perky, this performance captures the time when they were young and perky.

3.  Prime Suspect:  Gritty police work and tenacity have nothing on a well-fitted bra and flattering lady blazer that helped define her iconic character, Jane Tennison.  Showed that they were more than a pair of boobs.

4.  The Queen:  Regal boobs whose sheer authenticity and suppression of natural skill won themselves an Oscar.  Established themselves as icons.

5.  The Love Ranch:  They played a madam.  They were married to Joe Pesci.  Helen Mirren’s Boobs: ain’t nothing to mess with.

6.  Raising Helen:  Fashionable, yet older, this performance put the work of Kate Hudson’s boobs to shame.

7.  Excalibur:  One of their more supple and pure performances, showing they could be alluring and menacing at the same time.

8.  RED:  A killer role.  Literally, they killed men.  It was very impressive.

9.  National Treasure: Book of Secrets:  Obviously done for the paycheck, but they performed in surprising harmony with Nicolas Cage’s toupee.

10.  Shadowboxer:  Decently exposed performance. Unfortunately overshadowed by the performance of Stephen Dorff’s half-chub.  Seriously.

Overall, this body of work they have demonstrated throughout the years is quite impressive.  In spite of that fact that I’m not really even into boobs, the fact that these ten performances were so memorable speaks to the talent that is Helen Mirren’s Boobs. Academy, are you listening?

Random Thoughts Loosely Connected to Valentine’s Day

During my weekend of walking around aimlessly, running errands, cringing at the worst broadcast of the Grammy’s in decades, and sitting through a glut of advertisements beating Valentine’s Day to a bloody pulp, I had a random assortment of musings that have absolutely no connection whatsoever.  Typical

Are You There Grammy’s? It’s Me, Apathy

  • The Grammy’s were terrible
  • Apparently, the go-to hairstlye of 2012 is Bad Combover.  Thank you, Justin Vernon of Bon Iver and Mr. Molesley from Downton Abbey for making balding the chic ‘do of the year.
  • Adele’s music has been scientifically proven to induce sobbing, according to the Wall Street Journal.  So really, she’s not some poor girl trying to get over a bad breakup; she’s a ruthless villain trying to destroy the world one heartbroken, slobbering mess at a time.
  • I’ve watched more videos of Whitney Houston in the past few days than any white, upper-middle class male living at home has any right to.  However, I’ve come to the conclusion my favorite Whitney is a toss up between “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” Whitney (a song my friends and I requested at our senior prom), and reality TV star Whitney. Yes, she was “The Voice of a Generation”, but clips like this show you she was really “The Comedic Voice of a Generation”.
  • Words I have the misfortune of seeing in the future: Chris Brown, Grammy winner.
  • Words I have the joy of writing without fear of libel: Chris Brown, convicted felon

And What Did You Do This Weekend?

  • I recently got a library card, and while hanging out at the library on the weekends, have begun to wonder if this might be the catalyst my dating life needs to sputter out of reverse and into park.  This weekend I saw the large print section overflowing with elderlies, the computers crowded with people muttering to themselves, and the DVD section being devoured by people fighting over the newest copy of Breaking Dawn.  Of course, I stayed and scoped out the crowd.  Nothing this week, but there’s nothing more productive to do on a three day weekend than troll the library.
  • It was 75 degrees in Los Angeles this weekend.
  • Our refrigerator hasn’t been working, which means that I’ve had the enviable task of eating all of the perishable food before it goes bad, and drinking all of the beer before it gets too warm.  It’s been a rough week.
  • I went on another date with my sister, this time to the mall.  Horrifyingly, I had a great time.

Why Valentine’s Day Can Suck My Nuts

  • I hate everyone who has someone special to spend Valentine’s Day with, during which they express their love and affection for each other.  It’s disgusting.  And yes, that includes you, Mom and Dad.
  • I considered sending myself a box of chocolates at work to make it seem like someone loved me.  Then I realized that would seem desperate, so I settled on an Edible Arrangements.
  • If I see anyone, and I mean ANYONE, holding hands on, I will yell at them to get a room.

Things That Help, Thanks For Asking

  • I will probably go see This Means War by myself today.

    There can only be one!

  • If I don’t go see This Means War, I will rent Human Centipede, as I feel they both offer up the same sentiment, expressed slightly differently.  Either way, Reese Witherspoon is in the middle.

There can only be three-surgically-fused-as-one!

  • For lunch, I’m going to go to Applebee’s and order the 2 for $20 deal for myself.  And I will finish both entrees.
  • I received a card on Valentine’s Day from my grandparents with $10 inside.  It totally made my day

Celebrity Encounters

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for going on 8 months, and it’s expected that I’ve come into contact with celebrities during my time here, because naturally most celebrities live in small cul-de-sac communities out in the suburbs, 90 minutes away from Hollywood.  While I, like most everyone who lives here, have had some celebrity contact, it’s not exactly what you think…

You see, whenever I see a celebrity, I only see them from the back.  I’ve never really seen a celebrity straight on, only from behind, and usually from far away.  I don’t know if this is a common thing here, or if it’s just me, but I’m getting scarily good at identifying people from behind.  And it’s not like the celebrities I see are really famous, they’re just kinda famous.

These occurrences all started when I came home for Thanksgiving from school because I had mono (long story…).   I got off the plane and I was walking to baggage claim, I noticed I was walking behind Jennifer Garner.  She was very short, and had brown hair, and was nondescript but for the back of her head.  It looked distinctly like the back of Sydney Bristow’s head, (Secret Agent (and Overt Badass) from Alias), that I decided it MUST be The Back of Jennifer Garner.  The back of her head also looked like the back of Elektra’s head, so that’s what really gave it away.  As she was whisked away in a tinted limousine by her big burly security team into the welcoming arms of The Back of Ben Affleck, I basked in the glory of my first celebrity encounter.  And you can never tell me otherwise.

The Back of Jennifer Garner and her husband, The Back of Ben Affleck

Another such encounter I had was at a club in Hollywood when my friend Ross was visiting.  We were hanging out in this super fancy club with loud music and really beautiful people (I guess that’s a thing down here), when the crowd parted and I saw something I knew I had seen many times before, but couldn’t place my finger on it.  Then it hit me.  That big, black head I noticed was attached to a tall, black man, that I was SURE was Cedric Yarborough.  If you don’t know him, he’s the black cop from Reno 911!.  Anyways, to make a long story short, I was in fan heaven, so I made Ross’ girlfriend take a picture of me with The Back of Cedric Yarborough.  It was a great night.

The Back of Cedric Yarborough is just as funny as Cedric Yarborough is on TV

Of course, my celebrity encounters were not just limited to these two.  I’ve had plenty of other encounters with the backs of celebrities as well:

  • Paul Walker (The Fast and the Furious) – walking across the crosswalk at the Burbank Airport.  He was wearing sneakers and a backpack.  He was really cool!
  • Brad Garret (Everybody Loves Raymond)- shopping at Barnes & Noble with his children.  The back of him is as tall as it looks on screen!
  • Kim Richards (Escape To Witch Mountain)- making out with her boyfriend outside of a movie theater.  She had a really nice ponytail, so she must be really nice as well!
  • Leann Rimes (Adultery)- sitting at a booth behind me with her adulterer, Eddie Cibrian.  She was wearing a fedora.  I like Leann Rimes in fedoras, she should wear them more often!

Now, there was one time that I have seen a celebrity full on, in all their glory.  One of my most favorite actors of all time works out at the same gym as I do.  Yes, that’s right! I have seen Cole Hauser!!!!!!!

He's just as shiny in real life

For those of you poor souls who don’t know Cole Hauser is (like that’s even possible!), you might know him better from his formidable resume:

Good Will Hunting – Billy McBride

Acting the pants off of Ben Affleck, Casey Affleck, and Matt Damon

The Hit List – Allan Campbell

Talk about an acting powerhouse!

The Cave – Jack McAllister

One of his multiple breakout roles

Pitch Black – William Johns

If not for Vin Diesel's blatantly melodramatic performance, he would've received more recognition

2 Fast 2 Furious – Carter Verone

A meaningful performance from a meaningful movie

Paparazzi – Bo Laramie

His most visible and honest performance to date

So, while I have only had the fortune of seeing the face of one “celebrity” so far, I look forward to seeing what the future holds for me.  Maybe one day I can graduate from seeing the fat doppleganger of Steven Spielberg to seeing his hand, or his shoes, or even the back of his hat.  I don’t ask for much, because I don’t need much to get excited.

Kim Kardashian: Hero

In honor of MLK Day and the most recent roasting of her on the Golden Globes (toally related), I offer this piece up for your mastication.  Just call it an ode to all things odious…

Living in Los Angeles, you get celebrity updates from all sorts of news outlets, more so than you would anywhere else in America.  And of course, since the blowout wedding and subsequent fairytale divorce, there has been no lack of fodder when it comes to the Kardashian klan, specifically Kim.

While most of the articles written about her have been justifiably negative (and the treatment of her (ex)husband, Mutant Taylor Lautner, even worse), there is one side of her that the tabloids, mainstream media, and Barbra Walters have all missed: gay rights activist.

It’s no secret that Kim Kardashian is gay friendly, as can be seen by her asexual best-friend-who-just-hasn’t-found-the-right-woman-yet, Jonathan .  However, no one knew just how gay friendly ol’ Kimmy was until she single-handedly obliterated the ‘sanctity of marriage’ argument through her wedding of a lifetime to Mutant Taylor Lautner.

(As an aside, I would like to explain why I am referring to Kris Humphries as ‘Mutant Taylor Lautner’.  Here’s why:)

(As a tangent of this aside, it would also be possible to refer to Taylor Lautner as ‘Mutant Alpaca’.  Here’s why:)

For years, millions of Americans have argued the pros and cons of gay marriage, and have reached a stalemate.  Opponents have resoundly defended that marriage is a sacred act between a man and a woman.  Supporters have forcefully argued that marriage should be about love, regardless of gender.  Kim Kardashian just took a giant shit on those who oppose gay marriage (and those who support any sort of long term committment in general.  Like dieting) It’s really quite impressive that something billed as the American ‘Wedding of the Century’ could turn out to be the biggest P.R. stunt in support of gay marriage.  Only Kim Kardashian could take the earnest belief in true love that red-blooded Americans felt while watching her wedding ceremony in a four-hour-two-night special on E!, and crush it between her extremely taut buttcheeks. 

There is no argument against gay marriage anymore.  Sanctity of marriage?  More like sanctity of fulfilling contractual obligations with a television network.  If you ever find yourself in an argument about gay marriage, all you have to do is say ‘Kim Kardashian’, and the argument is won.  Maybe someday in the future, there will be a challenge to this ‘Wedding of the Century’ with a ‘Gay Wedding of the Century’, which is exactly the same as Kim’s except that there’s 7 fewer crystals. 

So going forward, I ask that your opinions of ol’ Kimmy be tempered in light of this new perspective.  History books will be rewritten to put Kim Kardashian in a revered place alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and Susan B. Anthony as a true pioneer for human rights.  I look forward to the day when my kids come home to me and say, “Dad, I have to right a report of gay rights activist Kim Kardashian.”  I also look forward to taking my kids to her fabulously leopard-printed and diamond-encrusted grave at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and paying homage to such a brave and fearless trailblazer. 

Love ya, babe.

Golden Globes

Welcome to the Golden Globes Live Blog Brought to You by Franzia®

This is a running commentary of this spectacular event, during which the commentators will attempt to finish a box of delicious and mature Franzia® wine before the telecast is over.

Please join us:  Golden Globes Live Blog

A Special Announcement

Everybody get excited, because it’s the Golden Globes! Ben and Gen are going to be viewing and commenting on the  whole shit show from their respective coasts. Each is responsible for demolishing one bladder of boxed wine over the course of the event. To watch what happens, click Golden Globes Preview

Top Ten Advantages of Living at Home

This movie is basically a less-dramatized version of my life

1. Free Booze – This one’s a no-brainer.  Better yet, seeing as parents have generally accumulated some level of wealth, and hopefully some level of taste (depends on the parent), they probably have good quality shit too.  Double bonus.

2. Premium Cable – HBO, Showtime, you want it, you got it.  On Demand? Yes, please. No need for a social life when you get to spend you evenings with Laura Dern, Sean Bean, William H. Macy, and Claire Danes.  Friends? What friends?

3.  Food – Best part of being a child back home?  Love and care that doesn’t need to be reciprocated.  Better yet, I allow myself to be bribed into running errands by using food as currency.  I have low standards.

4.  Pool/Hot tub Combo – This applies specifically to California, as it is apparently mandatory for every suburban home to have a pool and a hot tub.  Especially handy when escaping the heat of winter.

5.  Cleaning Services – The worst part of going to college was doing everything yourself. And it was so hard! Now, as long as your room has the illusion of cleanliness, your mom takes care of everything else.  And the best part is, because she’s your mom, you don’t have to pay her!

6.  Surplus Cash – Best thing about having aging parents is their inability to remember recent events.  Like exactly how much money they gave you and your brother to go see a movie.  Or how much that book you bought them on their credit card was.  You know, things they should know.

7.  Drama – Often times living away lacked the life-and-death situations and shouting arguments that happens when you put family in a small environment for long periods of time.  Never a dull moment anymore.  Nor a quiet one.

8.  Nighttime Freedom – Once 8 o’clock hits, the house is yours.  With your parents out and snoring like a light, who’s gonna ask you why you’re going to that seedy bar down the street, or who those strange asian men are, and why are they betting around the kitchen table.  As long as you get rid of evidence before the next morning, ignorance is your bliss.

9.  Increased Self-Importance – You’ve just come home with your college degree in tow, and how do you put it to use?  Not by finding a job, silly! You lord your superior intellect over everyone and demonstrate that, in fact, you do know everything.  And boy, what a great feeling that is.

10.  Love – My mom made me put this one in here…

How To: Watch a Movie Alone

This is part of a series of How To Guides about living on your own, in a new city, and/or with your parents.  Growing up is never hard to do, but it can be funny when you make a lot of mistakes, and force yourself to do things most people find shameful.  This is for your own erudition.

Living at home is phenomenal.  Nothing beats hanging out with your parents, eating home-cooked meals you didn’t have to make, getting your laundry done, premium cable (!!!!).  However, one of the things you first notice missing is your social life.  Living in the suburbs (where your parents probably live, if they haven’t already gone off the grid) is not conducive to a vibrant social scene, unless you’re into antiquing or socializing at the grocery store.  Then by all means, go crazy!  But me, I need some time with people that either a) didn’t have a direct hand in my existence and b) are under the age of 65.  I’m pretty easy.

For this reason, I like to go see movies.  Unlike most normal 20-somethings, I don’t usually have someone to go with.  Or I don’t want to take my 13 year old brother to see ‘The Kids Are Alright’.  So what do I do?  I go see the movie, by myself.  The following are the steps you need to follow in order to get through seeing a movie by yourself without taking a ride on what I like to call the Shame Cycle.

1. Confidence

This is the first and most important part.  Sharks and movie tellers are the only two known species that can smell fear on a person.  Second grade teachers have been rumored to have this ability, but there has been no empirical evidence to confirm the hypothesis.  Anyways, you need to walk up to the teller and say, in a loud clear voice, “ONE FOR TOY STORY 3, PLEASE.”  If they ask you if you’re meeting anyone, run.  They’ve already caught onto you and you’re dead in the water.  If not, you’ve passed the first test.  All that’s left is to get past the ticket taker, and often times they’re asleep, so it ain’t no thang.

Alternative: Instead of buying a ticket in person, you can also buy one online.  However, this means you have planned to see a movie by yourself ahead of time, and if this is the case, you’ve got some deeper issue to work on, buddy.

2. Movie Selection

This is a very important part as well.  Pick a “Schindler’s List”, you’ll be crying for hours with no one to comfort you.  Pick a “Spy Kids”, you’ll be getting suspicious stares from parents and children alike.  Pick a “Notebook”, you’re bound to be alone forever.  Pick a “Fool’s Gold” and you might actually go into the world’s first stupidity coma.  The point is, selection is key.  Not too sad, not too happy, not too many families, not too many friends, not too much action, and just the right amount of Bruce Willis.  You don’t want to be reminded you’re all by yourself, but you also don’t want to forget that movie stars need to pay their bills too.

3.  Seating

Once you’ve gotten past the vicious hoardes, seating is very important.  Just like a school cafeteria, where you seat in a theater will slap you with a label that will remain with you the rest of your life.  Wait, that’s not right… but for the sake of the argument, I present some master-theater-goer archetypes.

Tracy Flick: You’re showing that you’re overeager and don’t want to see people’s faces when they see you’re alone.  This is for the weak-hearted and the strong-necked

Jennifer Grey: This position is naturally back in the corner.  Don’t fall subject to your inner Jennifer Grey.  There may be a Patrick Swayze to come and rescue you, but mullets take a long time to get perfect, so don’t hold your breath.

Jake Gylenhaal:  This is what happens when you arrive late to slip in unnoticed, but all the seats are taken, so you have to sit in the middle.  Just like Jake Gylenhaal did in Brokeback Mountain.  Which is not a good movie to see by yourself.

Steven Segal: This is the position of the seasoned veteran.  You don’t flinch at your solitude, you relish in it and sit in the very middle.  You don’t care that your ponytail looks stupid, by god you’re going to see the movie and you’re going to enjoy yourself!

4.  The Escape

As important as all the other steps were, this last one is just as important.  Stay too long, you’ll get called out for being a lingerer, and god forbid, get roped into a conversation to discuss the movie (ewwww).  Leave to early, and you run into getting judged by the attendant who is wondering why you’re leaving so early BY YOURSELF.  Timing is essential, just like in throwing a hand grenade.  Both have equally grave consequences.

Hopefully, if you should every find yourself standing in front of a theater pondering seeing a movie by yourself, remember these 4 important parts, and you should be fine.  If not, you could always just Netflix it.

Enter the Axis of Evil, aka: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

In honor of the passing of one of the world’s leading unintentionally funny psychotics, I would like to share an email I received while I was studying abroad in Beijing during 2009 regarding an opportunity to travel to North Korea.  If you weren’t aware, China is very close to North Korea.  Here’s a picture:

Super close!

This is from a fellow student, and I have not edited this email in any way, as any changes would ruin the essence of it:

In recent history, Americans have only been allowed to enter North Korea on four occasions: in 2002, 2005, 2008, and now in 2009. Not only are we here on the right year, we also happen to be here during the one month Americans are allowed to enter North Korea during 2009. 

It is dangerous and travelers do on occasion get detained but you would literally be one of 600 Americans to have stepped into North Korea since the country closed its borders to foreigners in 1953. What is most spectacular about the trip is that we would be going during what is called the Mass Games. The Games only take place once every few years and is comparable to the Olympic opening ceremony only this features 100,000 synchronized gymnasts inside the world’s largest stadium[1]. North Korea has decided to open its borders to foreign tourists like us for these games.

Upon entering North Korea, your passport will be taken by North Korean officials for the duration of your stay. You may not bring your cell phone. You may not bring your laptop. You are not allowed to use local currency. You may not speak to any North Koreans. Assume you are being listened to at all times. You may not say their leader Kim Jong’s name (it is Holy and not be said out loud). Not under any circumstances can you voice any criticisms of North Korea. Any pictures you take have to be government approved and will be checked upon your departure[2].

For anyone who is up to going, there are a few of us who are also really interested and we would love for you to come too! Every detail of the trip has to be settled TODAY on Wednesday, Sept 30 so please call me PRONTO if you want more information and are interested in coming!

This was equal parts shocking and intriguing, and during the 5 minutes I actually considered going, I decided to send it to the one person who would freak out the most: My mother.  I like to do things like that to keep our relationship interesting.  And by interesting, I mean dramatic.  Here was her response:

No Fing way!!!!!!!!!!!  Don’t even think about it Ben!!!!

Your personal axis of evil,

MOM

So as I look back on the life of a man I never knew, I’ll always remember two things: 1) My mother loves me enough to not want me to get abducted in a foreign country and 2) North Korea is bat-shit insane.  I only hope this new guy proves equally exciting for many decades to come.  Fingers crossed!!!

Los Angeles Correspondent,
Benjamin Gullickson

[1] The Mass Games are done for the sole purpose to honor and praise Kim Jong-Il.  It’s super creepy.  Check it out.

[2] She really had me at “assume you are being listened to at all times”.  Nothing says “vacation” like espionage!