Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The New Home of Toast Patrol-- All Toast, All the Time

Greetings and long-postponed salutations, toastyfriends.  After crashing on this blog's figurative couch since its inception, the Toast Patrol segment is finally getting its own place!  All the Toast Patrols to date, as well as all future patrols, will be up for your eyeballs' viewing pleasure here.  Remember, we can't get anything done without proper motivation, so follow us over there for immediate toasty-gratification.  You can also follow us here, or over here.  Really, any of those places.  Go!  Go now!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: A Retrospective Ranty-Rant

The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides, comes out this Friday amidst mixed feelings.  While the first film won me over entirely, my fandom was tested by the second and third installments, and I don't think I'm alone when I say my loyalty could get its final bludgeoning with this latest effort.  However, in the spirit of both inquiry and optimism, let's take a look back.

Curse of the Black Pearl was, in short, life-changing.  It wasn't just a rollicking good time, it was the best damn thing I had seen in my young life.  It was the first movie that I wanted to see--nay, DEMANDED to see more than five times in theatres.  I had no ambition left in the world except to watch Jack Sparrow so much that I would BECOME Jack Sparrow, thereby achieving great hair and perfect comedic timing.

Dead Man's Chest was enjoyable enough, but wasn't quite up to par with the the staggering accomplishment of the first movie.  Sure, it had its moments--there was some excellent fight choreography, Jack Sparrow was his usual self, and I particularly liked seeing stuffy, ice-cream-headed Norrington scruff up and become a drunken, sardonic mercenary-type--but the saving grace of Dead Man's Chest was the fact that a third movie was coming out to wrap up the trilogy.  Thus, we didn't complain.  We just waited to see how well At World's End would prop up its predecessor.

Unfortunately, At World's End failed even to disappoint. Most everyone I talked to came out of it saying, 'It was okay,' before launching into a lengthy discourse on all the reasons it WASN'T okay. It wasn't awful, it just bogged down toward the end, went in all the wrong directions, and ultimately failed to round out what should have been one of the great trilogies of... well, forever.

As far as the last one is concerned... a fourth movie is even more unnecessary than a second movie, but since the powers that be have insisted on trilogy-busting, here are some pros and cons based on what we know so far:

Pro #1--No more wet blankets.  While the put-upon romance between Will and Elizabeth was crucial to the plot--and as a target for Jack's delightful irreverence--their drama got very old, very quickly.  However, At World's End saw the strange and rather unsatisfying resolution to their storyline, so with any luck, the newly-unencumbered piratical shenanigans will have fresh zazz in #4.

Pro #2--Mythical weirdos.  Zombies and mermaids as they're meant to be--twisted, fun, and dangerous as hell.  Sure, there are far too many mythological creatures being ruined in the movies these days, and zombies have blatantly infiltrated almost every genre regardless of whether they had any business doing so, but the little evidence we have thus far suggests Bruckheimer and co. might get it right.

Pro #3--Captain Jack Sparrow.  Can we all be frank for a moment, and agree that no one would have cared about ANY of the pirates movies without the Cap'n?  To be sure, there are plenty of other great characters, but Jack Sparrow is the series' greatest asset, and the fourth movie's apparent focus on him shows promise.

Con #1--Too Far, guys.  Too far.  There's a certain path of logic indicating that, if you made a movie people loved, then followed it with a movie people didn't like as much, then followed that one with a movie people liked even less, making yet another probably won't set things right.

Con #2--New Captain at the Helm.  Gore Verbinski, director of the three previous films, has jumped ship (pardon the pun).  True, fresh blood could be exactly what the series needs to get back on course (pardon the pun), but it's less likely that a new director can recapture the magic of the first film.

Con #3--Or should I say, 3D.  The previews look decent on my home television, but not so much in 3D on the big screen.  Also, if there's a single gimmick in the film that involves someone throwing something toward the audience, so help me, I will lose my mind and slaughter every man, woman, child, screaming baby, and nameless theatre-peon in the path of my blind fury.

In short, since Bruckheimer and co. are forcing a fourth movie upon us, we can only hope that they can do it right.  We might see a resurgence of the series if they can breathe some new life into the story with this fourth film, but if the last two movies are any indication, it isn't likely.  So, until I see it this weekend, I'm crossing my fingers... but I'm not holding my breath.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Well, toastyfriends, I promised both content and relevant pictures, and you'll get them... eventually.  While I was writing and illustrating several posts, my ability to access my former college's facilities--including their lovely, lovely scanners--expired, so I'm currently without the means to import drawings.  I'm also in the long, arduous process of finding a job and keeping my apartment from falling into disrepair.

In light of said obstacles, the blog is going to be on a brief hiatus.  Instead of posting what little I have, I'd rather wait for scanning capabilities and take the time to put together posts that might actually be good.

Keep an eye out, though--as soon as the blog is back in business, there won't be any shortage of posts for a good long while.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mr. Pither Comes to Visit/Pithku

The crew's been on something of a crossword kick, to the point that we've started trying to make our own.  Pither got to brainstorming on the fridge, aided occasionally by F-Gumps, and the result was a greater pile o' poetry than any drunken lyricism can contend with--thus far. 

Haiku 1-- On the Subject of Relationships

Haiku 2-- On the Subject of Sharing

Haiku 3-- On the Subject of Bodily Functions

... Sounds like someone didn't avoid those drunk drunkard ladies.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mr. Pither Comes to Visit/Sketti Tacos

We at Toast Patrol HQ love us some young-adult television programming-- such as iCarly, a show that features delightful hijinks and a whimsical dish known as Spaghetti Tacos.  In the spirit of inquiry--and a moment of hunger--we tried making our own.  You can find the recipe over here at my food blog.  Go!  Go now!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mr. Pither Comes to Visit/Drunken Haiku

Esteemed contributor Pither is visiting me and F-Gumpty for two fun-filled weeks of shenanigans.  On a largely related note, the combination of the Toast Patrol crowd, alcohol, and a fridge-faceful of Shakespearean magnetic poetry pieces resulted in a new segment: Drunken Haiku!

The rules are simple--do a few shots, then construct a meaningful expression in the 5-7-5 syllabic pattern without plundering any existing fridge-poems for words.

See?  Literary.

Haiku 1:  In which hos are given precedence over bros

Haiku 2: In which hos exhibit bro-like qualities

Haiku 3: In which hos cannot handle their libations, and have subsequently misbehaved 

With the Toast Patrol assembled, look for plenty of toasty content over the next two weeks.  In the meantime... beware those drunk drunkard ladies.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Blog New.0

For anyone who's been actively following posts for the last month or two (I know you're out there... show yourself!), I need hardly mention that (a) I haven't been posting much, and (b) the blog has been in a rather awkward, almost pubescent phase.  Well, no longer!  I give you the new and improved, extra-super-toasty Blog 2.0-- The Insomniac Book Club!

As the title implies, I'll still be focusing largely on literature, and my unbiased [aHEM hack cough splutter] opinions on the matter.  However, all books and no play make the Impster a cranky, muttering, ankle-gnawing hermit, so I'll also be writing about whatever I damn well please (like dinosaurs in rocketships).  What's really important, though, is that now the blog comes with pretty pictures!

...Well, pictures, anyway.

To kick things off, I'll introduce myself a bit better, so you can all rest assured that you're in good [Cough] hands.  This is me.

This is a more accurate representation of me.

I'm a recent college graduate who still can't decide what I want to be when I grow up (IF I grow up, which seems increasingly unlikely).  My shelves are full of classic literature, comics, vinyl toys, and ridiculous hats.  I like good books and bad movies.  Like all right-thinking people, I love bacon.  I'm allergic to gluten, but I love cupcakes, pies, and cinnamon buns.

As you might have noticed, I also love toast, but I have a complex relationship with my toaster.  My toaster is possessed, you see.  It behaves itself well enough most of the time so I'll let my guard down, but I'm on to it.

On a not-entirely-unrelated note, I spend a great deal of time yelling at inanimate objects.  This is because I know that all of my household appliances are conspiring to make my life difficult.  It may sound paranoid, but look at the evidence in your own life.  It's a perfectly reasonable conclusion.

I also love plants.  I have two, with more on the way.  Generally speaking, I find houseplants to be more trustworthy than appliances, but the patch of sunlight they're currently sitting in is right next to a mini-fridge, and mini-fridges are notoriously charismatic.  I'm keeping tabs on the situation as best as I can.

I may or may not also give plants silly names like 'Jefferson Aeroplant'.

Enough about me, though.  There will be plenty of time to trod out my little quirks and Batman-themed clothing in later anecdotes, where they'll probably be absolutely necessary to explain myself.

If you're new to the blog and feel like browsing some archives, feel free, but be warned that you're entering a pictureless world of great sadness.  The only books dealt with up 'til now are the first two Twilight books--which, incidentally, I highly recommend NOT reading.  If a painstaking, chapter-by-chapter descent into madness is your thing, then archive on.  Otherwise, I recommend 'Lessons From the Shmeyerverse' for a brief, mocking foray into Twilight's content, or any of the Toast Patrol segments for a laugh.

Since illustrating posts (in lieu of getting tipsy and pulling them out of my bum) takes time, and I have to go to my job so I can live in an apartment and put bacon in my tummy, posts will be somewhat less frequent... but totally more PICTURE-RIFIC.  I think getting to use awesome suffixes is worth it.

In the meantime, read safely (I'm looking at you, aspiring speed-readers!), and make good literary decisions.  Don't make my mistakes.