Saturday, November 26, 2011

Black Friday or disaster deals

I am sitting in the Las Vegas airport with a large beer witnessing Oregon state get demolished by Oregon. I hate this airport. I hate layovers. This lady has a small dog that is going bonkers. I would like to mace her. Speaking of macing people... how about crazy Walmart shoppers? Is it just me or does black Friday seem a little too dangerous? Maced or shot, you can get cheap crap and a bonus gift! It seems to me that Walmart is a lot more dangerous then the other retailers. I am not saying it has anything to do with the degenerates that regularly shop there or the terrible corporate overlords running the place..... But it does. What do you expect with all the hype, limited supply and the short timing of the big discounts? If you say the sale is for 2 hours shouldn't there be enough for that time period? I saw a lot of ads say every store only has 20 of the best deal. So you know that means people will continue to act crazy. Getting maced while trying to get a stupid video game is insane. Getting shot on the way out is even worse. What is wrong with people? How much do you need to save 30 bucks? Walmart claims despite the incidents, the ones that seem to be adding more victims every year, customers were positive about racing through a store for some stupid deal. Except isn't it their responsibility to protect their customers. Shouldn't they indicate more concern? Where is there plan for avoiding future incidents? By the way how is that Oregon greeter who was hospitalized last year after being trampled doing?

Friday, November 04, 2011

The Flu Shot Debacle

I have no movies to review this week. It is not because there were no screenings because I had an opportunity to see 2 or 3 movies this week. The reason I didn't see any movies was because I was sick. I figured I needed to sleep more and be entertained less. As a result this was the longest week filled with very little memories of actual events. I think the kids had fun and I am almost sure they learned a few things. It's just that, I am the one who is hazy on exactly the what, where, when, why and how of what happened this week. Sure I planned and oversaw all activities but I was struggling between exhaustion and the Dayquil fog. Dayquil has the ability to make me feel like I am watching the happenings and not actually participating. The problem with that is I am watching my own happenings and not having a real clear idea of what I am doing. Luckily, there is a part of my brain that is doing what needs to be done so that little part of me that is cluelessly watching can just zone out. If only that made me a better or more patient person....

You might be asking why I am spending time writing about this, when I obviously have nothing new to share. I am very glad you wondered that (and if you didn't I am really glad you are continuing to read). The reason I am writing today is to ask what you think of flu shots. Do you get them? No matter what the answer, why?
If you don't get them: Have you ever got one? What is your reason for not getting them? Do you think they have ever made you sick?
If you do get them: How long have you got them? Why do you get them? Do you think they have ever made you sick?

Here are my experiences with the flu shot. I got one a few years ago (like10) and I immediately came down with something. I swore off them. Then I went back to school to become a teacher and people started singing the praises of flu shots. I was still adamant that I didn't want them and I stuck to my guns. In my 2nd and last year of school (Winter/Spring 2009), my underemployed self came down with a severe flu right before I had to teach for Mad Science. I am sure plenty of kids got that bug from me but it literally hit 10 minutes before I started teaching and by the time I was done I was an achy, snotty, sweaty mess. The materials I had to cart back to the office felt like it weighed 6 times more even though it weighed a few pounds less (we gave them things to take home and make). Anyway it was the worst flu I had ever had. I was shivering under several blankets. It hurt to move, sit, lie down, and stand. I had a fever. I emptied my contents from both ends that evening. It felt like a week of sheer Hell.

When I recovered I was once again reminded by all these people about the benefits of the flu shot. When I was employed as a teacher last year, I got my first flu shot in 9 years. I had a few colds but no flu. So this year I got the free one last Wednesday and by Saturday afternoon I could feel it waiting in my shadow. As the night progressed I knew by morning I would have some kind of illness but I was being positive, it would just be a cold. The next morning it had hit and I felt awful. I went to Williams-Sonoma because I was stubborn but as the class continued to roll I realized I was no longer interested in sampling the free freshly baked pie and that I just wanted to sit down. I ended up sleeping the Sunday away and my body hurt, I had chills and sweats, and I felt feverish. I did not go to the doctor (because I secretly believe the doctors gave me this flu like episode) because they tell you to get rest, drink liquids and give antibiotics that don't work; which means that I am not sure if it really was the flu. Having said that, I am totally sure it was the flu.

So tell me, should I chalk it up to error and gamble on the shot next year? Or should I gamble on no shot and take my chances?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tower Heist, A Rambling Review

Once again came through with tickets, this time they were to see Tower Heist.

I have to admit this review would be a lot easier if I hated this movie. It is always easier to write the movie review for a movie that nobody should see then it is for a movie that rocks. The biggest issue is not giving people too much info or over hyping it. Having said that, I was excited from the moment I saw the commercial for this movie, the industry folks like to call them trailers (but I write this for the non-industry types, sorry Ben Stiller). When I am excited about a movie it falls into 2 categories: I hope this movie is as good as it looks or this movie looks stupidly funny and I hope it is. This movie, with it's overabundance of star power, fell into the former category. This movie is/was poised to be either terribly disappointing or astoundingly entertaining. I am happy to report that it was the latter in this case. I was amused, the free movie crew I roll with were amused, and the rest of the cheap-skate movie viewers were entertained as well. There are lots of laughs and Eddie Murphy's character was a character you really enjoy seeing him play: an angry, rude, chip on the soldier black man. A character he used to rock in SNL skits. It was the best movie with Eddie Murphy in the cast since the days of Beverly Hills Cop. I do not want to ruin the movie so I will give you a synopsis that you can easily get from watching the preview. An evil business man screws hundreds of people out of money by fraudulent investments including the people who work at the hotel he lives at. Ben Stiller, someone who admires the guy up until that point, creates a plan to rob the money back. He collects his crew of misfits and adds one inept criminal to the mix and gets to work. Unless you are a rich guy who got rich from stealing people's pensions, you will probably like the underdogs' tale in this flick. It makes you cheer and laugh right along with all the craziness. One of my favorite scenes was when Eddie checks the guys stealing metal by daring them to shoplift at the mall. That scene had me laughing so hard that I would almost miss the next hilarious scene.
I enjoyed this flick but oddly enough as I walked out I heard two large ladies (and when I say large I mean defensive line in the NFL type of weight on a smaller less fit individual) complaining about some inconsistency in the story. I had a similar thought about a weird plot thing that bugged me a bit but I thought "Hey this is a comedy.... who cares!" and got over it. The ladies, who could block for Phillip Rivers (QB for San Diego), were actually complaining about something that happened that I am still not sure about, what I mean is they were talking about a detail that I do not even remember occurring. Their whiny natures made me want to revoke their abilities to see a free movie. It was not like the studio execs were going to rework scenes a week before the dang thing is coming out! So why bother the poor worker with all your stupid plotholes? The only real answer, of course, is that you are stupid. Speaking of stupid, all these people that I was around as I walked out of the movie were whining that it was taking 5 seconds longer to leave the theater because people are expected to give an opinion about the free movie they just saw. One lady was like "I can't understand why we are not exiting the theater!" Her friend agreed with some words that sounded just as stupid. I said, "It's because they are collecting comments as we exit." Some other idiot said, "It seems like they could move out into the lobby a little more so we could get out." "My first reaction was to look at him sympathetically, like you would if some mentally handicapped dog was humping your leg After I pushed the guy off my leg, I said, "Well, I think a few seconds longer to leave while being asked to give an opinion is a pretty good deal for a movie. If they were to move it back a little bit you might not get a chance to put in your 2 cents. Not that your 2 cents would be worth much...." At this point people stopped talking out loud around me, I am not sure why. Anyway go see this movie! Also go to and then join my free movie crew at the next flick. Just make sure to whine about the exit time later or I will mock you as we leave. (BTW whining about a crappy movie is fine, I did that at the stupid bird movie)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Texas Killing Fields; A Rambling Review

My free movie trend was slower then usual this week. I only had a free pass from the Facebook version of, Buzzbo Phoenix. It was for the Texas Killing Fields and I was not sure I would make it in time to get a free flick considering they just posted it for anyone on Facebook to download and print off. I arrived later then normal but I had plenty of seats to choose from, not many people came. I think it might have something to do with the title being Texas Killing Fields. Every one hears that title and immediately assumes it is some trashy horror flick but it is a cop story. Combine the misled belief, that it is a horror flick, with the fact that this is the month of October and people did not pay much attention. Which was good for my late arrival but probably not good for their sales numbers. This review is going to sound bad and I feel bad about that but it is mainly because it is kind of bad. I want to let you know that through out the whole thing I could not help but be curious about these characters which is a positive. It was a very good base to build upon but it needs the details filled in. Without the details for the other story lines, that it drops everywhere, we are left with a very simple story that we already know the outcome of. I wanted to like this movie but I kept finding myself thinking that the movie was never going to end, which is not a good thing when it is only about an hour and 45 minutes long. So I have mixed emotions, I want to like it but I keep discovering holes in the story and plot as I keep thinking about it. So I guess I have to say that I did not like it and wish that they had shown it to me earlier so I could have suggested some changes be made. Unfortunately that is not going to happen, but here is a review of Texas Killing Fields.

The movie is set in and around Texas City, TX and is based on a real story. Actually, the movie states that it was inspired by a true story, which leads me to believe it is not as "true story" as they want you to believe. I may be wrong...

The story opens up with a shot of a swampy, marsh area and an abandoned car with the doors thrown wide. Then we get introduced to our 3 main players, two of which are cops. One is named Mike and the other's name escapes me, funny that I remember the character with my name. I just looked it up and discovered the other cop's name is Brian. The third character is a 14-ish girl named Anne. This girl played a vampire in Let Me In which was the American remake of Let the Right One In, which are both good movies although my preferred version is the original one. The girl is alone at a gas station and seems to have nothing to do and the 2 cops are at a homicide crime scene. Later on, after they have left the dead body behind, the cops stop and talk to her as she wanders the street and we find out this girl is on probation (which never gets explained and this lack of information is still bothering me) and has a drug addicted and a prostitute for a mom. They drive the girl, who they know from prior experiences (that are never explained either), to her home where we meet a group of guys and the mom. We find out later that one of the guys that files out is this girl's brother but it was not clear to me during the scene. My focus was on Mike, who is in the process of staring down some smarmy guy. The creepy guy seems to accept the proffered challenge but no fists fly and not a whole lot of words are exchanged. They leave the home and those at the home are now a bit more tense and you are now twice as worried about this poor girl. When they are driving away we get introduced to a 4th character who I would dub lead supporting character. She is another police officer from a neighboring district, named Pam, and she is calling for Brian and during the conversation we learn she is the ex of Mike (once again a piece of interesting information that never gets explored). She has found the car we saw in the opening scene and she wants help form Brian but Mike is adamant that he shouldn't help her. He follows his partner's advice (kind of) and says when she finds the body to call him. What was weird was that after this conversation she gets to the car and starts hollering at people. Why would she call for help on a case before their really is a case? Why would she call that quickly anyway? Is she the only cop in her district? It certainly doesn't look like that when we see her station the next day. We get treated to a scene where she is beating up some guy and asking him about his visits with women. We do not ever see this guy again and she never gets called on assaulting him. We do get treated to Mike showing up and telling her that her request for Brian ended up with her working with him instead. Except she hasn't found a body so why did she make the call? As I write this I realize that I am just getting more and more dissatisfied, this was not a good movie. Meanwhile, the other case has some starring candidates for the first murder. There seems to be a pimp involved with the dead girl and he has a crazy Nazi tattooed friend. This was a weird pairing because the pimp was a big, giant black guy and he was hanging with the creepy, also giant, Nazi tattoo guy. Anyway they are guilty of something if not all. The movie contains more verbal exchanges, another cop assault (Brian hits a guy), a car chase, a shootout and a stabbing. The one thing I have to question is the one near rape of a lady who is home with her daughter, it seems like a stupid scene and we never see her again after the scene ends. So we are treated to a traumatic scene for no clear reason. I have no idea why it was in there, it was not needed and only helped muddy the water.  There are a few scenes that aren't explained as well as a few random characters (including Brian's wife and family). A lot of the movie's characters were not explained and their issues were not explored and I found that had this been done that this would be a good movie. With it not done it is basically a slightly boring movie with good actors in it.

As far as the direction of the movie, I found a lot of the shots looked crappy and kind of low budget. There are several points where their are black screens while the scene changes. There are often weird edits and cuts that make you think someone was showing off recently learned editing skills. A lot of these things occurred to me as  I watched the movie and I do not claim to be an expert in the art of movie directing. If these things caught my eye, being a film making novice, then it makes me wonder what a more tenured film professional saw. The worst part was all the fancy editing actually only seemed to make me aware of time passing. It made me come out of the movie completely and wonder when it was all going to end. The worst part was that it's weird slapped together and disorganized feel made me think that it was a very early version of the film and that edits will be made. Which would be fine except that the movie came out in some theaters last week and I am assuming that it is due out in more theaters soon. If you have to see this movie make sure you rent it and that you don't pay more then a buck or a netflix monthly subscription to do so.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bear with me: the interview

She got a concerned look on her face as she looked at her mobile phone and said to me, "Bear with me for a moment."

That was not the first time I had heard this from her and I had only met her 5 minutes ago. I felt annoyed by this phrase more so then the fact that we kept getting interrupted. I was dressed in a 3 piece suit and interviewing for a job that I secretly hoped I didn't get but that I desperately needed. It was not a big deal that it was not going well or that I wasn't holding her attention. It was mainly the idea that she kept seeming so falsely apologetic. It is not like you can ever say "Forget that ya repulsive beast! I am not bearing with you, you either focus on my needs or I go home!" I am not the person in power, we are not meeting during my busy day, and I definitely didn't have something she needed so that she could pay the rent. She was the person in power, who made time during a busy day (sort of, since she was constantly dealing with other issues) and had a job available that could prevent me from eating paste and living in a refrigerator box behind the local Best Buy. The thing is that it wasn't even the fact that the phrase relies on a false belief that I am really bearing with you and that we are in some rough patch together. The phrase reminds me of that awful cat picture that has a cat dangling by one claw and above it are the words "Hang in there!" The cat is already doing that! Why doesn't that jerk of a photographer put the stupid camera down and help that cat out!? What you don't see in that picture is the huge vat of acid the photographer put under the cat. Stupid evil photographer! No one really likes that poster except for simpletons and soon to be crazy cat ladies. In fact one store had a promotion once where if you made a purchase they gave you that poster and the building was set on fire and the owner was run out on a rail. I am sure that last bit is completely true and in no way just popped into my head. Why am I talking to myself? Will this fricking lady get off the phone?!? Crap she is doing the sympathetic frown/smile thing, that shows she really values me but has to deal with the phone issue. Which brings me back to the original thought, why does "bear with me" get stuck in my craw? (BTW I hate that phrase too, who has a craw these days? Crabs with speech impediments?). The phrase, bear with me, bothers me because it is spelled like the animal and yet if I clawed her desk or pooped in her minifridge I would be in trouble. So somehow I am expected to "bear" with her without doing bear-like things. I should probably google the phrase.... It probably has nothing to do with bears.

"Sorry about that, busy day around here." She says as she puts the phone down. "Where were we?"

You had just asked the ever sucktacular question about what my weaknesses are and I was trying not to bear with you (meaning, of course, that I was resisting the urge to poop in your minifridge). "I am not sure exactly, I think I had just talked about some challenges I had faced that I had been able to find solutions for." When in doubt, change the subject.

"Oh.... ok... yes, I see that here... so why don't you restate that to me so that I make sure I got it all."

Wow, who is not paying attention to me at all? You aren't! Where should I start? I could tell her about the crazy guy that I made so happy he broke into dance. I made him happy by putting enough mayo on his sandwich and apparently I was the first to ever get it right. That probably isn't good enough..... what is believable but better then all my actual experiences? How about if that crazy guy wasn't crazy but he was someone who had a conference that I was able to negotiate a great price for food and beverages and he started doing business with us on a regular basis? Too far fetched? I got it I will just have him send a thank you note to the store thanking me for my tremendous effort and attention to details. Done. I think she liked it.... and now some witty banter from her. When will this end? I feel kind of hungry. Did she just offer me a job? Did I just say yes? People love sandwiches! I want a sandwich! I wonder if yelling random facts about bears would be ok at this juncture. I wonder if she likes sandwiches.

"I'll go get the paper work from HR and if you will just bear with me we can get you stated tomorrow."

That does it! I am at least going to urinate on her plastic plant.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Great Satellite Caper

It was late September and the news media was alive with the tale of the crashing satellite. I had talked about it with my class at school that very day and we had discussed where it would land and where it was coming from. It tied directly in with the subject we were discussing, the layers of the atmosphere. My students left school knowing the satellite would not fall in their backyards but eager to see where it did fall. I arrived at my mom's house for a nice dinner and somewhere along the way we began discussing the satellite. That was when she dropped this bombshell, "Today when I picked up Becky I saw a piece of the satelliteon the road near her work." I laughed at her and figured she was kidding but she wasn't and she was determined to be heard. She insisted she saw it and that she had shown it to Becky. So I ask, "How do you know it was a satellite piece?" Her responsewas "It was sitting in the middle of the road, what else could it be?" I had several arguments to dispute that but I decided to take a different route. "Did you get out and look at it?" She had not of course. "Mom, I am still not understanding why you think this was part of the satellite, were other people noticing it? Were the cops around?" No one else seemed interested and no cops were involved. "So.... you saw what looked like a piece of the satellite and you did not immediately stop and scoop it up?" That had not occurred to her but what had was "I was just relieved that the satellite had fallen and that we no longer needed to worry about it." I continued asking questions. "were ther any craters in the ground? Had it even left an impact on the concrete? It hadn't of course and my only real question was why she thought it was a part of the satellite. I could not discern any facts or reasons that she thought it was the satellite. As far as I could tell she figured it was a satellite because it was in the middle of the road and it was metal. I started asking about why Becky had not insisted on stopping and getting a good look. She was not sure but thought maybe Becky was just relieved like she was. I realized I was getting nowhere and all of a sudden I wanted this piece of the satellite. She offered to get the satellite the next day but I was nervous that it might actually be the real satellite and that I might miss my chance. I was playing the odds you see. I figured it was a win win. Either I would find a piece of the satellite inexplicably in the middle of the road in a business zoned area of Phoenix or I would find some random piece of metal that I could write a blog about. So we hopped in my truck and she showed me the way. It was not where it had been and it was not until we were leaving that she saw that some one had moved it out of the road. We stopped the car and we grapped it and gently put it in the truck and now I want you to tell me.... do you think this is part of the satellite? Should I call NASA?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two More....

I saw two more movies this week. One was free thanks to and the Arizona Republic. Here are the reviews...

The Way

I was the motivating factor for my free movie watching crew to see this movie. Last weekend we saw the code for two movies in the paper. One was the terribly boring flick, The Big Year, and the other was for this movie. The crew had decided that this particular theater was outside of their travel boundaries. I drive a lot for my job and that has changed what seems far and what doesn't for me. I pushed and they came along. Which of course meant that this movie that I had never heard of had to be god or else I would have whiny companions. They might have rioted. You know how angry older (then me) people get. I have seen shows about the 60's they like protesting! The good news is that riots and protests were not ever staged because the flick came through. The movie is about a man and his estranged son. Of course it is really about the man because his estranged son dies in France on his first day of a pilgrimage that apparently lots of people participate in. The father goes to collect his son's body and his things and spontaneously decides to do the pilgrimage for him. As he walks he ends up collecting some unwanted tag-alongs that make the journey interesting and finally help him confront his son's death. It is really well acted, the cinematography is amazing, and the story is pretty lighthearted despite some very serious issues that the people involved are dealing with. It stars Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez (also the director, I believe) and some other people.... ;)

Dream House

If you caught the preview then you have seen this movie. If you have not seen the preview then you have a chance of enjoying it. If you have not seen the preview, and/or want to see the movie, stop reading, this is your last warning. James Bond (who cares about his real name) is a retiring editor who is very successful and well liked. He has a hot wife and two adorable girls that he is leaving his job to spend more time with and to write that ever elusive great novel. The first issue I had with the movie was here. I got the feeling this was the '40's or something until I got a good look at the city and saw graffiti as he rode the train. The next thing that bothered me was that Elias Koteas was on that train being creepy. Elias Koteas has starred in a lot of movies and you will recognize him right away. When I see him I always figure he is a bad guy because I think I have seen him be a bad guy in a lot of movies. He was a crazy serial killer in Fallen and I will always recognize him and associate him with that movie. Anyway when he gets to his new town, a lady who sold him the house picks him up but he doesn't remember her. Then all of his neighbors, cops and towns people seem to hate this guy. He seems like a nice guy and it seems weird. Of course right about here I remembered why, that stupid trailer!!! He isn't a retiring editor. He is a dude who is crazy and just got out of a psych ward and everyone thinks he killed his family. What is weird is in the movie he starts looking greasy and dirty before the reveal that he is the crazy suspected killer.So you keep thinking why hasn't he put on new clothes? Because he is imagining a nice home and a nice family but he is living in his condemned home where his family died. So after the reveal they kind of have us straddle two worlds with him and it seems to be going nowhere. Apparently the director thought so too because suddenly it is dangerous for him to live in his house (according to his hot neighbor). That is when we discover what really happened that night. The ending seemed slapped on and it just kind of felt unsatisfying. Was it terrible? No. Was it worth seeing for 7 to 13 bucks at the theater? no. If you really must see this flick, rent it for a buck or wait for it to stream on Netflix. The movie starts off so well and interesting that I still can't fathom how the second half came about. It seemed like a good premise but not real well thought out. I saw this movie with my nephew and he has his own take on it, you can read about it here:

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Free Movies!

The last couple of weeks I have seen 4 movies for free thanks to
I figure I owe it to you, my reading public, to review the movies I have seen.

This movie is about a guy who gets diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that has a survival rate of 50/50. Hence the name of the movie. It is a movie that deals with his journey from being diagnosed and through his treatment. It is pretty darn good and I laughed quite frequently. I was with some people who are older then I am and they enjoyed the movie despite Seth Rogan's supportive friend character being obsessed with having sex and for his cancer ridden buddy to participate in the sexing of willing females. It was a good movie and there are a lot of laughs despite such a heavy topic. I would recommend that you check it out.

Ides of March

This is a political thriller that was super depressing (and not really very thrilling). I hated this movie. I am not sure exactly why..... well that is not true. I went in with a different expectation of what the movie was about. I guess the name implied to me a more Caeser type story, where the powerful politician ends up dead. This might be a spoiler but he doesn't. The other thing that was going on is that it paints such a hopeless and bleak picture of the political landscape that leaves you cold and defeated.


I loved the first version of this movie, especially the overly dramatic dance punching sequence (which the movie Hot Rod expertly lampooned). I had mixed feelings when I heard it was being remade but considering how dated the original is I though that it could be a good thing. I am happy to confirm that this was a great movie. I am not the only one who thought so, the crowd watching it with me cheered at the end of this film. It has a very similar story line and utilizes some of the original music. They did change the story and the storytelling a little bit, which was a very good thing. If you do not know Footloose from the original you may want to skip ahead. It starts with the preacher's son losing his life and advocating for the new set of laws. I have to say it was nice to see it before it is randomly explained. It gives you a little more of a connection to the town. Then Ren comes to town, a few years later, on a bus. He is alone and we find out his mother passed away after a long sickness. I liked this differing version a lot because it set up a better connection between Ren and his aunt, uncle and cousins. The best change was that the uncle was not a jerk like he was in the original. I hated the original uncle! So lame! The other major change was that the speach he gives to the council is actually a good one. He starts off nervous but soon is passionately talking about the dancing laws. It seemed more authentic then Kevin Bacon's super awkward speech. There are a few other changes but discover them on your own. As far as the music we have a lot of the originals including Footloose and Let's Hear it for the Boy. The latter is still used as the song that the awkward non-dancing friend learns to dance with. Go see this movie it is awesome!

The Big Year

This movie has a lot of outstanding people in it. That would lead you to believe that it should be awesome. Unfortunately it is a weak concept, three bird dorks are trying to see the most birds they can in a year to be named number one birder..... I am not making it up. That is the entire concept. The laughs are few and far between and the people are only moderately interesting. It was not a bad movie as much as it is a boring movie. I have no more words for this dreck!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11; 10 years later

Am I the only one who found I was unable to watch the news replay the entire coverage of the terrorist attack? I saw it all almost as it happened and I was glued to the television for weeks after. I sometimes think that tragedy is the reason I never make it through the news any more. It was like I watched enough news coverage for a life time.

I feel like I experienced the tragedy a little harder then those around me, I am talking about my immediate circle, because it was during one of my many periods of unemployment. That means I soaked in the tragedy in a non-stop viewing because I had nothing else to do. In fact, I had an interview that day and I even went to it. I dressed up in a tie and showed up feeling dazed and out of it. While I waited I watched the news reports on their television. During the interview we even talked about it. When I left I listened to the radio and when I got home I watched even more coverage. I found myself with friends watching it and over at my families house watching it. I was living and breathing a disaster.

It was terrible watching the footage over and over again. Seeing them circle those trapped people who decided to jump before starting the footage again. Watching that f'n second plane crash into the other tower. Watching both of them collapse. Seeing the people evacuating the area. I remember feeling super powerless and I had a burning need to do something. To help. To strike back. How do you help when you have no money to travel and donate time? I was a breath away from joining the armed forces. I never did because what I really wanted to do was go there and help the survivors and hopefully help find some alive in the wreckage. I never really figured out how to make that happen. Of course seeing how the government has treated those brave people, who could and did help, makes me count my blessings. I could be dying from the toxic fumes right now as a lot of those first responders are. I also feel lucky that I did not join the armed forces because it seems they pulled a bait and switch. We wanted to find those who did this and exact justice but that was not what happened. The mission became tainted for other reasons that I still do not understand. Nearly 10 years after he organized that terrorist attack we finally got Bin Laden but he was able to live in a place that was not very secretive for who knows how long and masturbate to American porn films. I am glad he is dead. If that makes me terrible... so be it.

I tried to watch the memorial coverage today and the people who actually lost people to that day were inspiring. They are so strong, it is amazing. Unfortunately they couldn't just stick with that. They had to show their coverage of the event in it's entirety and that felt overwhelming. I feel so bad for the people directly affected by this. They must go through hell every time the anniversary comes around. To have to relive that terrible day every year. I know it is part of history but I think I need a little more time to pass before I will be comfortable watching the footage. I don't even know anyone who died as a result of it, so I can onlyimagine how thise that do feel. I wish the news could focus on the survivors and how they are doing and what help we, as a nation can offer them.

I am shocked that we are not taking care of the first responders. I am happy that CNN did a special with Sanjay Gupta about what was in the dust. I recorded it and will be viewing it later this week. Hopefully it helps us get our government's butts in gear! I hope we can figure out how to take care of all those affected by this tragedy and I decided I needed to do something so I included a few links in this post. I am sure there are more out there so if you know of one please leave it in the comments or email me at:

A few organizations that are trying to help:

This site had a few more links to look at:

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Phone Drama

I am dealing with phone drama and have almost decided to go prepaid..... I am so tired of paying what I pay for the phone service. I have not been happy with my reception or the quality of the phone. I have the notion that part of my drama with my phone company stems from my uber-crappy phone and that might be the case. Unfortunately when I tried to rectify this situation I ended up getting into a bigger hole. Somehow I ended up with 2 lines when all I wanted was one with a new phone. I am still paying for a phone I no longer have and the amount I am paying I might as well be with Verizon as it is only 10 bucks more then what I pay now. Of course the representative assures me that this is all being fixed and that I will be refunded the money. In the meantime I am doing my research and I have realized that several companies out there have a prepaid plan with a smartphone and a monthly unlimited plan for 50 bucks. I think the writing is officially on the wall.... goodbye regular and super expensive plans, hello prepaid!

The company I am currently with is T-Mobile. The plan I am on should be 69.99 plus a 7 buck protection plan and of course the stupid taxes and what not associated with mobile phones. What I am paying however is around 108 bucks! In March I had a revelation, the phone I had was the reason I had terrible service. It was slow and annoying when I tried to use the android features. This is not the case on other phones that other people have. Nor was it the case with the phone I got for the week before realizing T-Mobile had taken stupid pills. I have been with T-Mobile for what seems close to 6 years. I was until this last year pretty happy with them. This last year I have been using this stupid Motorola Cliq. It seemed that this might be the issue. Add to that te fact that I was in Globe and spent my time on the nearby Apache Reservation. I figured it was just a bad mobile phone area. I talked to my sister and brother-in-law, who are T-Mobilers, and they get service where I don't. So I decided to get a new phone and for 5 glorious days I had a phone that worked and was fun to use. Then I went online to see about getting a case for it and I discovered I suddenly had 2 lines. I immediately called and told them that 2 lines was never my intent. I told them that I wanted the phone but not the extra line. They assured me they could do that but that I would need to send back the phone I had spent hours transferring phone numbers too. They told me that they would send a new, new phone to me and it would all work out. They put me on hold and typed away and when they came back they had more stupidly bad news. The payments I had arranged would need to change. As I was listening I realized that I did not feel like dealing with it. I told them I was sending everything back and that I no longer wanted the new phone due to their error. 3 months later I am still trying to get it cleared up.

This is the reason I am looking so hard for a new phone company. The phones I really want are expensive (even with the 2 year agreement) and then the stupid plans are too. That was why I started looking at prepaid plans. The phones are about the price I would pay for a phone anyway but the plans are cheaper.... by half. So I am deciding between Boost and Cricket and leaning towards Boost. Hopefully with the result of a little less grief.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Video Rental Reviews

The video rental reviews are in...

The Green Hornet - A lot of people have spent time talking about how terrible this movie was. They made some valid points but I wouldn't say it was as bad as they claimed it to be. It is a goofy Seth Rogan movie... what did they expect? Having said that, this is coming from someone who has never seen the original Green Hornet show. So I have no real frame of reference. All I know about the original is that Bruce Lee played Kato which means it must have been cooler then this one. If you want mindless and semi-entertaining then this be your flick!

Drive Angry - If I felt like lying I would tell you that I saw this because I wanted to save you from the horror of seeing it. SO.... I saw this to save you from the horror of seeing it. You are welcome. I thought this movie would be similar to Faster (which I also saw, do you see how much I do for you?) It was not like Faster and yet it was. Nicholas Cage plays.... uh... I forgot his name.... Either way he is super mad, some might even say that he was angry. HEY! Wait a minute! I bet that is how they got the ANGRY part of the name! Anyway he is killing people who were involved with the murder of his daughter and the kidnap and planned killing of his granddaughter. Which seems like a good thing to do... you know especially if you happen to be an escapee from Hell! Yeah you read that right! Nicholas escaped from Hell to revenge his daughter and recover his granddaughter. He is being pursued by the very scary Accountant (he works for the devil, I think). Nope, I am not making this up. This movie is kind of like Spawn, Faster, The Crow, and Ghost Rider all in one. This movie was not good at all but I am still kind of glad I saw it. If you sometimes like bad movies then this one definitely qualifies.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - I liked this movie. If you (or the kid that you are hiding behind, "I take my kid to kid movies, I only sometimes enjoy them") like the books then you will like this second movie. Self centered Greg Heffley is back at his scheming to become popular. He is also dealing with sibling drama. Mom has made it her mission to get the boys to get along but in typical mom (tv/movie mom) fashion she is terribly misguided. What she ends up doing is making the boys battle harder. Until Greg and Rodrick have something to hide and they bond over the experience (but for how long?). I like this character and hope they keep making the movies and books.

The Fighter - I am sure a good chunk of the people reading this have seen this flick. This was a great movie and one I think those that haven't seen it should check out. It is based on the real life story of boxer Micky Ward. He is going through a rough patch in his life. Things with his family are not going well. His brother is a crack addict and not really doing his best to look out for Micky despite being Micky's trainer. His mom and sisters are completely devoted to his crack addicted brother and seem to take Micky for granted. What is worse is his mom is his manager and she also fails to look out for Micky's best interest. They allow him to get beat by a much larger opponent so that everyone can get paid. When he gets home Micky gets involved with a woman from the bar, who ends up being his wife (they don't show this). Together they start making changes that ultimately get him back winning matches again. This is a very involved movie and it was great to watch. See it if you haven't. Just for clarity sake, I recommend renting it. I have no desire to watch this family interact again because I found myself yelling at the TV in disgust a few times. Make sure you know that it is a movie you want to see again before buying it.

I Am Number Four - This movie felt like a great start to a new series on ABC Family. That is not necessarily a bad thing. ABC Family has occasionally created good shows like Kyle XY and 10 Things I Hate About You (based off the much earlier movie of the same name). I enjoyed the film but had a few moments of "WHAT THE HECK!?!?! STOP KISSING AND RUN!!!!" It is basically a love story with a side of sci fi. The main guy.... John Smith (I am not sure of his real name as he is in hiding and using a fake name, this super fake sounding fake name) is a high school aged alien who wants to be a real boy. Wait, nope that "wants to be a real boy" bit is definitely Pinocchio. Anyway he is tired of running around and hiding but has no choice. His latest new home leads him to make a friend and land the hottie from Glee. It also makes him not liked by the Sheriff's son. Also, during this time he starts developing his new awesome powers (which include lame flashlight hands shown above). Of course the bad dudes he is hiding from are getting closer each day. What will happen? Anyway being "Number Four" of nine aliens hiding on our world ends up not being a bad gig because you get to make out with a cute girl and blow things up. This movie doesn't do anything new or extraordinary but it was fun to watch.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Collection of Movie Reviews

I can't believe I promised to write more.... Ha!

I have been seeing movies a lot the last few weeks and I feel like I should give my take. To do this I am reviving the "Mini Rambling Review". Let's start with the movies that are currently in the theater.

X-Men First Class - Despite having the lamest name ever, this movie was pretty darn entertaining. It gives us the beginnings of two distinct factions in the Marvel mutant world. The X-Men and Magnetos peeps (do those guys have a name for the crew?) Having read some early issues (Thanks dad!) I know that the origins of Professor X was not something they kicked off with. This is a recent thing, the Professor X story I mean. I do not remember the early comics having this much back story. They had very simple origins. For example: Cyclops was a kid who suddenly started shooting magenta rays from his eyes and next thing you know he is kicking bad guy but with his tights wearing posse. Even the Wolverine back story was invented well after Wolverine was a popular character. I am getting off track here...... The movie was good, see it.

I am so upset! I typed away on this for an hour and it all disappeared because of a server error! GRRRRRR!!! Anyway I guess I will start over...

Super 8 - I enjoyed this movie. A group of kids are shooting a monster movie when a train crashes. Of course the train was carrying something very mysterious and it causes havoc in the small Ohio town. The kids get back to filming their movie but can't help getting sucked into the strange happenings. You should see this movie it was well done and the kids did a great job.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides - The long awaited SECOND installment of the pirates franchise has finally arrived. Muhahahahaha! Yes I know there were 4 movies but the 2nd and 3rd were worthless so I am ignoring them and you should too. Anyway in this second movie Captain Jack Sparrow gets sucked into a hunt for the fountain of youth. He is up to his usual amusing antics the entire time including flirting with a foxy lady (Penelope Cruz this time). Apparently Penelope is Blackbeard's Daughter and she is helping pops find the fountain of youth so that he does not die. There are also mermaids in this one. It was fun. Not groundbreaking or anything but definitely entertaining.

Since this is the second time I am typing this I am going to separate the video rentals from the theater flicks. I will also have a review of Green Lantern and/or Transformers soon.

Friday, May 27, 2011

College? Really??! The mid-college dropout crisis and how to deal.

I write this on my 6th graders last day.... Of course per my interest in self-preservation (employability wise) this is not about them. Nor is it about the school. If you want those stories we should meet up over drinks and some grub (hey I would even do coffee). I am mainly writing today to develop a writing habit over the summer. Luckily for you I have something to type incessantly about (as opposed to previous posts where I brought nothing substantial to the table). Allow me to "word vomit all over you" if you will.... even if you won't. Oh and don't forget to excuse the grammatical errors but if you see them please do me a favor and let me know about it. I can always use the help, especially after taking the entire year off from doing any serious writing.

Last night, I was watching a television program, one of those programs referred to as a sitcom. It is not a particularly awesome sitcom but I find myself chuckling enough to leave it in my dvr settings and watch it sometime during the week. In this sitcom a college aged kid quits school and ends up running off to Hawaii. Within 3 days this kid lands a place to sleep and a place to work (which is super amazing). His mom, dad and all her friends fly out to convince him to come home. I am thinking "why?" As I see it there are those who can seamlessly go from high school to college. They have the drive, they have figured out the funding and they have a plan. Then there are those who go because it is expected of them. This kid was one of those people. He is smart and will get back on track but he hit a few road bumps and decides to drop out and live life for a while. The people on the show see it as throwing his life away but I could not disagree more. Sometimes a step back puts things in to perspective. I was a kid who wanted to drop out and be in the real world. I had no direction and no idea what I wanted out of life (I am still figuring it out). I had concerned parents who pushed hard against the walk away I wanted to do. I stayed in school and graduated college. I got a degree in a field I only spent a year and a half doing post college but I have a paper showing my effort. After that career path tanked I spent the next 7 figuring out what I really wanted. I decided on teaching.... This year made me question the whole "really wanted" part of that but it is still something I see value in. The first degree was kind of a throw away degree. It has very little value besides the fact that it allowed me to get a masters degree.

I had a great time in college and I have several really good friends because I stuck with it. I still wonder what my path would have been like had I experienced the corporate world sooner. It is a mixed bag. There was good and bad, in my case, by continuing in school. There would have been some good and bad had I dropped out as well (I do understand that). However I did spend 7 years in jobs with no real future in them (despite trying to make one out of a few).

I guess what I am saying is, if you are a parent, listen to your kids and curb the knee jerk reaction to push them back into school. Sit down with them and discuss it; push for you side of the argument, make your case, but ultimately leave it in their hands. If your child deciding to call it quits on school worries you too much, work out a plan. If you are one of the people who can afford to foot the bill, that they are walking away from, have them repay you or make them finish the term out. In fact strongly encourage them to at least finish the term whether you gave them money or not. No reason to waste the money if it can be helped. They can get a tutor if that is the issue and putting "some college" on applications might actually help (I have no real idea on that one). Make them move out (if they are still in your home) at the end of the term. When they finish the term, place a year date on the reevaluation of where they are in life and what they want from life. When you sit down with someone who has a year of real world work experience under their belt they may see the benefits of school open up before their eyes. While they work have them save a portion of their check for schooling while they work. This will help them decrease school costs when they finally do go back. Continue to push them in their work life like you would in their school life. Expectations and honest dialogue might help them really figure out what they want in life.

Keep in mind that plenty of people make really good money without a degree. It is harder to do but the extremely driven person (most of us do not qualify) can make things happen. Also, remember the wonders of trade school. So Billy hates reading Emily Dickinson or solving large and overly complicated equations, that does not mean Billy has no interests that will turn into a well paying career. I love the idea of trade schools. I think they really feel voids that people forget we still need filled. Not everyone can be a doctor or a lawyer (or a teacher) and there is no shame in that. It is only shameful if you give up altogether. In fact, if someone can spend half the time or a quarter of the time and end up in a field they want to be in I would say they definitely succeeded.

Life sometimes interrupts all the best laid plans and getting school out of the way can sometimes help you avoid that. I understand that argument. It makes sense but it is flawed. For one thing the unexpected can still happen to a college student. Another thing, sometimes that undecided, rudderless college kid ends up getting a history degree, a communications degree, or an English degree with no real plan on how to put it to use. This is a really big issue in my eyes. This type of degree with no real plan in place will put that kid in a job that any high school graduate can get. Believe me... I've been there. A lot of those jobs tend to be the type where the less you know the easier they become. Just ask my old managers, a lot of them were as smart as moldy cheese. Yes, I am saying that regular cheese has an edge on them. My big point is that when you spend thousands of dollars on education you need a freaking end goal. Some sort of realistic plan. Just ask my student loans... they are large and could care less that my dream of being rich and famous never really took off.

In other countries it is common for the high school grad (or the equivalent term) take a year off and experience the world. They travel, they work jobs, they eat ramen, and they have a great time. When they get back it is expected that they will buckle down and start putting a life together. I like this model. I am a huge fan of the walkabout and would like to see it occur in the US a little more often. Especially for the unclear and the undecided (perhaps even the life decision phobic). The world is an interesting place and it is important to look around and get a feel for what is going on. I think the more outside of the classroom experience you get the better off you are when you do pursue that newly formed dream. Which leads me to my final idea, a lot of the time jobs want you to have experience these days. It is not easy to get a job out of college or high school that is high paying and has a real career track no matter what the degree is. One thing everyone should do; whether you have a degree and are still looking for that dream job, are a recent high school graduate, a current high school student, a current college student or a person on a walkabout; volunteer in a field that interests you. Get your feet in the door, get experience and see if that ideal job really is ideal. You definitely benefit from volunteering, perhaps not financially, but you get a real view of that world, experience to pad the resume, and you make those so very sought after connections.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Quick whine and then a Rambling Review of The Conspirator

I picked a heck of a week to take off from adult beverages. Rough week and this time it had nothing to do with my students. Anyway, I am cleansing the system for a while (at least a week). I am also trying to see if the resistance to alcohol helps me increase the pound sheddage. I have lost about 7 pounds since the beginning of March and I feel like the Friday night imbibage needs to be curbed a bit to aid my exercising and change in diet. We shall see.

Last weekend I saw a great movie with my mom and Becky. It was called The Conspirator. This movie crept up on me and I had no idea it existed until my mom mentioned it as a possible option to me. I was interested the minute they told me it involved President Lincoln's assassination.

I was amazed to see that Gilmore chick in it.... I think her moniker in that yappy show was Rory. Yes I do know her actual name... do you? It's Alexis Bleidel. I locked that name away because she was the reason I watched those 3 to 4 episodes of the Gilmore Girls. She is adorable... her character in this flick is a bit snooty though. Glad to see her working. As far as the movie was concerned it follows the trial of Mary Surratt who is basically tried because they can't catch her conspiring son (this was according to the movie, I am awful at my civil war era history and have done no research to verify it). SPOILER: She is basically railroaded into being hung and I feel like since this is historical this wasn't a freaking spoiler. I repeat she definitely hung for this crime, justified or not. My mother was also caught unawares by the ending which made me feel less shameful of my lack of historical knowledge. I have to tell you this was a great movie. Considering all I knew about that assassination was that John Wilkes Booth and some others conspired to kill Lincoln, I was completely blindsided by all the proceedings. I had no idea these guys set out to kill more then Lincoln and that they actually got another guy. I also had no idea what happened to the non John Wilkes Booth conspirators SPOILER: or that a woman was hanged. I like adding spoiler alerts in this review because it is based on historical events. I feel like one of those guys who tell you the Titanic sinks at the end of the movie Titanic. I know! Total mind blower! Should I put a spoiler alert around the Titanic bit? The only watchable part (besides a topless Minnie Driver) was when Leo froze up and sunk to the bottom of the sea. If they had only showed him getting chomped on by the sea life. Wait! I am reviewing The Conspirator (rather badly if I do say so myself). The conspirator is a well acted and very engaging movie based on historical events. It is definitely worth seeing. I did spend a great part of my time after the movie trying to figure out if they were trying to be political. I have reviewed a few flicks on here that have gotten people's dander up. My problem is that I am usually oblivious but this movie had a few story ending facts that seemed like they could be construed to favor a political side. I decided to put that out of my mind and take the movie at face value... because I hate being told what to believe. When I did that I found that I really enjoyed the movie and was almost completely unaware of the annoying people surrounding me (with the exception of the annoying people who had cell phones ringing). That fact says a lot, I am usually aware of every slack jawed sloth that surround me and I am usually irritated with them (sometimes just for breathing weird). Anyway go see the movie and try not to leave your freaking ringer on.....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A small update, a mini movie review, and a poem

It was a weird week of testing at the school I work at. I think sitting quiet for two hours, for these kids, is like putting new batteries in a slow moving toy. All of a sudden that toy is moving with new purpose and can't wait to show you all the new tricks it has learned. What I am getting at is the rest of the day is filled with very excitable students who need to express themselves. Expecting them to focus after the test is over is simply insane. I tried to ask for their attention for brief periods and then allow them to work on their own at a reasonable noise volume. Of course my definition of reasonable noise volume is slightly higher then it was when I walked in as a brand new teacher. Either way it was relatively painless last week. This week we finish up the testing and I am trying to figure out how to be better prepared. I would like the week to be even smoother.

During the week I happened to fit in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. I was hesitant to see this movie because the previews turned me off for some reason. I am happy to report that I was completely wrong about this movie. It was a very fun and entertaining little flick. I recommend that you check it out. I have heard it is based off of a comic book, more specifically I believe it was a Japanese comic book. I have done no research so I might be completely off my rocker. I don't plan on doing research for that matter. The movie is set up kind of like a video game. Scott Pilgrim fights ex-boyfriends of a dame he has the hots for and when he defeats them he gets rewarded with coins. There is also cheesy old school game music in the beginning. The movie is based around a guy named Scott Pilgrim who had his heart broken by a now famous rock chick. He seems to have a pattern of being in relationships he is not invested in since his dumping. He is in a floundering rock band and lives with a friend, and it is a studio with one bed, for free. He starts the movie off dating a seventeen year old girl with a cool name, Knives Chau, who ends up being a little stalkery and definitely a little intense. He then meets Ramona Flowers and is instantly enchanted. Of course because he is kind of a jerk, though a likable jerk, he fails to end the relationship with the 17 year old until a little later. He doesn't like dealing with emotions or something. Anyway eventually he discovers by choosing to pursue Ramona that he must battle her 7 evil exes to win her. This is not her idea but something she has been putting up with because of her habit of dating evil guys. It is kind of fun to watch the silly battles and see this scrawny kid come up a winner. It is kind of a strange movie but after my skepticism faded (like 2 minutes in) I really fell in love with it's quirkiness. In fact, I think I even had a mini crush on Scott's special lady friend. It has since passed (or has it?) but I do believe you might develop a crush while watching the movie too. Like I said go grab this flick and watch it!

And now for my first poem in months (hope it doesn't suck):

Spring: The Haiku
Warm days lure me out
for fantastic walks, hikes, runs and hoops.
Hold off summer heat!!

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Drinking Made Easy

I have been sick for over a month! This is ridiculous. As infuriating as that is I don't want to talk about it. I want to whine and complain about it but I definitely don't want to type about it.

I feel like I should talk about something I find fun and cool. So I won't do a review of the Adjustment Bureau (if you read between the lines I am implying that it sucked). In the very least it is boring.

Instead I will share my new found joy for Zane Lamprey's show.... Drinking Made Easy. I happened across it on accident. I was recording a guilty pleasure of mine when I first noticed the ads. I had to see the ad several times before I was ready to add it to my full slate of DVR'd shows. Even then I was putting it off for some reason. The show is about drinking and traveling. I like both of those things so my reluctance was mind boggling. And yet. When I finally pulled the trigger I enjoyed it but it would take several more episodes before I stopped deleting the episodes.

Here is the basic set up. Zane is touring the US hitting up cities and immersing himself in their drinking culture. He heads to really old bars, newer bars, bars with famous drinks, bars that are famous for other reasons besides drinks, signature drinks and little odd places. He drinks beers, mixed drinks and in one ill advised instance one of his cohort slammed a beer with a huge thing of ranch dressing dropped in it. He has two buddies who ride along and drink along with him, Marc and Steve McKenna. Steve McKenna was the guy who drank the ranch bomber and booted. Steve McKenna is always the guy who does the ill advised stuff. He started off the tour by being the local eating challenge guy but he kept losing so Zane now competes against him. It adds a nice level of trash talk to the event and makes me giggle. They also compete in a 6 six-pack challenge every episode which can be pretty damn funny. What is really cool is you learn about a lot of cool bars and special drinks in a city. Places you can go to when next you stop by. This is why I started to save them. I figure I can start checking them off the list when I know I am heading to that town. In fact, this week promises a show on San Diego.

A really amusing part of this show is that it has a drinking game component. So you can imbibe as you watch. I plan to do that one day. As of now it is not available in DVD format. You have to have HD Net.

Ps. if you are thinking that you prefer world travel he has a show for that too. Zane has a show where he is solo (if you don't count the camera crew) and he travels through various cities. The format is similar but I feel he gives a little more education on this show as a lot of places in other countries have some interesting drinks. That show is available on HULU and on Spike. The show is called Three Sheets. I have the book that trip inspired. Enjoy both shows!

Monday, April 04, 2011

Rebellion and a Movie

It's past my bedtime.

It's past my bedtime and I just put in a movie.

The movie is an old standby. Pump Up The Volume. I am not sure exactly where my fascination with this movie comes from. I do have some form of an idea. I saw this movie in high school and, according to contemporary wisdom, that was when you form your identity. The music you listened to and the movies you saw become your favorites and follow you through life. That is fine and dandy but I really don't listen to a huge menagerie of old music that I pretended to like then. I also only have a handful of movies that I keep going back to. So what is it about this movie in particular?

Honestly? I think it started with the fact that my mother saw me watching it and heartily disapproved. In fact, I had to re-rent this movie to see the end a little later. Then I purchased it on VHS and kept it a secret. I have since upgraded to DVD because nobody should still be watching VHS. This movie is filled with bad words, sexual content and a nice looking topless girl. As much as that makes me love it, I don't think it is the reason I consider it one of my favorite movies ever. It's not even a guilty pleasure. I am not ashamed to love this movie because it really is damn good. One reason I like it is that it deals with the desperation and pursuit people feel to be relevant. It is focused on the teens and I identified with it then but I really identified with it during my meandering 20's. So far my rough riding 30's has not improved much and I still feel trapped and frustrated. My outlook is one of perpetual frustration. I am not sure why I feel that way. It seems like maybe I put too much faith in the next thing instead of embracing the here and now. Either way this movie does help remind me that I can do something and I can change my personal situation. Thus the movie about being stuck in a hard situation and finding a way to fight back, to rally back, is very appealing.

This movie made me want to become a pirate radio station DJ. I don't know why I never wanted to do the legit radio thing... I don't know why breaking the FCC laws, albeit a stupid set of laws, is so appealing, but it is. I tried to start an audio podcast at one point but kept running out of things to talk about. Once again I put it out there that I would willingly do a podcast again if someone was interested in being a co-host. Somebody to talk to and bounce ideas off of. We could make it weekly or even bi-weeekly. We could even have a few adult beverages as we did so. Of course that might cause it to be a little more profane....

Anyway.... it seems that my rebellion these days is confined to starting movies after my bed time and depriving myself of needed sleep. Talk about a rebel.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The New Years Card

I just mailed out my Christmas/New Years Cards. A lot of you didn't get one so I included it here....

Happy New Year! Or as they say in Italy “Dove sono i miei pantaloni?”
I know most of you were expecting to see this card in the form of a Christmas greeting. I apologize for my inability to deliver on that but life has a habit of getting in the way. The French sum that up very elegantly with this phrase: “Est-il acceptable de merde ici?”
I guess, instead of spouting elegant French and Italian sayings, I should explain myself. It all happened very innocently and I like to think of myself as a pawn in the events that would take away my ability to deliver on a Christmas related paper greeting. It was a crisp November day, I believe it was a chilly 84 degrees, and I was headed to the post office to get some stamps. It occurred to me that I had no money for the stamps so I went in and held up the nearby bank. Which is a perfectly fine and acceptable thing to do if you live in Canada; but apparently it is not such a good idea in the US. I soon found myself in jail next to Randy Quaid who told me about his encounter with the aliens that caused him to commit some sort of crime. Hearing about that on television is one thing but to get the blow by blow account of all the probing was quite harrowing and kept me up that night. That inability to sleep was a boon for me because I was able to pretend to be another inmate who was getting bailed out at 4 AM. It was a little confusing at first for the person who paid my bail but she soon decided she liked me better than the other guy that was in there. Unfortunately that relationship was doomed before I ever stole her Mercedes and ran over her Zebra (which is an entirely different story).
I found myself still in need of stamps and without a penny to buy them with. So I decided to become a famous member of a boy band. They make lots of money and have marginal talent which meant I was perfect for the job. Unfortunately I did not see any ad in the paper for a boy band looking for their next big star. So I was back to square one. No stamps and no money. That was when I received an email that would (or, more accurately, will) change my life. Apparently I have a long lost relative in Zambia who died with no heirs to give his massive fortune of 4 gajillion Zambian dollars too (or $16.85 in US dollars with a minor transfer fee of $75.23 and of course the lawyer’s fee of $287.19, which is totally reasonable). So there I was and Christmas had passed without a single letter being sent while I awaited my huge Zambian fortune.
Luckily for you I found out that my neighbors have a laptop while I was stealing food from their fridge. That is why you have the extreme joy of getting a welcoming note for the new year. Thank you very much ugly neighbors! I hope your fridge is better stocked next time! Budweiser and Cheetos? Really?
Have a safe and successful new years, love,

Michael Williams
Ps. Think of me fondly as you envy my rapidly approaching fortune or as the Germans say “Seien Sie vorsichtig, oder der Bär wird deine Frau zu stehlen!”