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.