Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Blog #3

Another Guest blog already? Yeah, consider me on Summer break from blogging. An unpaid, emotionally scarring break with lots of long awkward silences. Unexpected anger on the part of my Wife has prompted the rage-full binge of words that follows. She's learned so much from me with this blog, soon she'll be off on her own destroying poor souls with her spiteful rants! Enjoy!

Me, Myself and EYE

June has been the month of the EYE. Yes, I always try to have the Eye of the Tiger...but this month my eyes have decided to form a rebellion.

Why is it such an earth shattering, horrible, shocking and literally mystifying thing that I refuse to wear contact lenses? How many times must I stress my disinterest in touching my eye? The mere thought of being forced to touch my eye daily and partake in regular use of eye drops makes me sick. In fact, writing about it even makes me want to hurl. I am the type of person who is disgusted by all eye touching. I hate when people fondle their eyes in front of me (seriously go to a bathroom if you are going to mess with your freaking contacts in public!) and yet this is so alarming to people and eye doctors (who obviously crave eye touching as it is their profession). When I say I don't wear contacts and have no interest in doing so, I get the same reaction as I do from people when I tell them I've never seen The Goonies (since people always flip out at my not seeing The Goonies, I've decided to refuse to ever see it. The reaction is just priceless. Hey maybe I do sometimes enjoy getting a rise out of people on occasion;)).

So on Sunday while I was happily watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 on Blu-Ray, my glasses decided to break. Not the lenses but the frames snapped in away that was more than likely unfixable. The glasses-breaking really ruined the evening. I have had those frames since I was 17, so it was only a matter of time. As I am leaving for vacation in a few days, I knew I needed a quick fix. My husband's duct tape job just wasn't gonna cut it. So Monday afternoon I called the Wal-Mart Vision Center to see if I could get in. The first thing I am asked: "Do you wear contacts too?"

This is how the rest of the conversation went:
Me: No.
Wal-Mart Lady: Why not?
Me: *inner monologue — none of your beeswax!* Actual answer: I don't like them.
Wal-Mart Lady: Why don't you like them?
Me: I hate touching my eye. It makes me sick.
Wal-Mart Lady: Why?
Me: *about to Falcon Punch her through the phone* It just does. I don't want to wear them. So when can I come in?
Wal-Mart Lady: We can get you in Tuesday at 5 for an appointment. Maybe you could see if you like contacts now too.
Me: K, thanks, bye! *explodes into a fit of rage upon hanging up and then uses The Force to choke her from a distance*

After that unnecessary conversation, I was told by my mother-in-law that her eye doctor could see me that evening. I was hoping to see if perhaps my current lenses could be put in a new set of frames, since traveling with duct taped glasses would be just too sexy for some people to handle. Well, I arrived at her eye doctor's office with the husband, who came along (for fun?), and as we entered the building the song "I can see clearly now the rain is goneeeeee" was playing on the radio. How incredibly odd and almost antagonizing! After witnessing an overly hairy child furiously pounding his fists against the fish tank in the waiting room (I mean this kid was literally beating on the fish tank as if he were Rocky and the fish tank was Ivan Drago, the evil Russian from Rocky 4...seriously you all know that Rocky single-handily defeated communism, right?!), I finally got to share my glasses woes. First thing I am asked after explaining the problem and showing them my poor, shattered frames "Do you wear contacts?" *grumbles* "Noooooo."

I eventually saw the actual eye doctor and the first thing he asked "Do you wear contacts?" Again, my answer was "NO." If I had a lightsaber on me, I probably would have gone Darth Vader on him and chopped of his hand! He went on to ask me why not as well and then proudly proclaimed that he could "teach me." Dude, it is not a matter of teaching, do you not get it, I HATE TOUCHING MY EYES! How many times must I say it?!?! THIS IS SPARTAAAAAA! The doctor was able to fit my lenses in a new pair of frames. After checking for my astigmatism and switching the lenses (they were put in the frames the wrong way at first), I was good to go. I was informed by the doctor that if it wasn't for my astigmatism my vision would be fine and I'd never need corrective lenses. Jee thanks! He also told me when I was 40 I would probably need reading glasses. And who says you can't look forward to your 40s!?! Well after all this was said and done, I was ONCE AGAIN asked about contacts. I was told it was like "riding a bike." Ok whatever, doctor who has chosen to touch eyes on a daily basis *puke.* I finally humored him and just did the "smile and nod" before walking away with my trendy, new, way too expensive frames.

"You may take away my glasses, but you will never make me wear contacts!"

In addition to the aforementioned incident, my eye saga actually began earlier this month with this little happening:

A couple weeks ago my left eye also (so I hope I am not the only one that instantly thought of TLC upon reading the words "left eye") decided it wanted some attention and acted out in a temper-tantrum way. We are talking screaming child in the middle of Wal-Mart that everyone tries to desperately ignore, but can't. It became a puffy, gruesome, hideous display and caused my eye to be so swollen I could barely see. As the afternoon went on, I really didn't like the way it was looking. Then I turned to the evil Internets and my hypochondriac nature kicked into full gear and I began coming up with thousands of worse case scenarios for my eye. "OMG wats if my eyez fallz outs!?"

This prompted me to go see a doctor, and the verdict of my eye was a type of bacterial infection that to quote the doctor "just happens." First question the doctor asked after we discussed my symptoms: "Do you wear contacts?" Le sigh. The doc also found it completely natural to caress my eye and didn't understand why I kept moving away and wouldn't sit still. She prescribed me some antibiotics and eye ointment, which to my dismay, I was told that I would have to rub on/in my eye...not on the lid. HORROR! Like Rocky defeated communism though (and the fact that the tiny tube of ointment was $70) I was able to accomplish the task! See I told you I try to have the EYE of the tiger! After completing the treatment all I needed was to run on a beach with Apollo Creed.

So, there you have it. The eye saga of June. And to answer your burning question, in case you didn't get it, NO, I DO NOT WEAR CONTACTS. Though even with reading this incredibly long explanation, I am sure you eye touchers still don't get my phobia. To each his own, I suppose.

I will leave you with one of my favorite FRIENDS scenes that describes me perfectly:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Best Picture Project 9, Braveheart

Well, after a hiatus due to some summer flicks we recently saw, we are back to a Best Picture Project post for your Monday reading pleasure. Today, we will be discussing our thoughts on the 1995 Best Picture Winner, Braveheart... starring a pre-insane Mel Gibson.

Braveheart, 1995

The Wife: "THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES, BUT THEY WILL NEVER TAKE OUR...FREEEEEDDDOOOM!"

Oh Braveheart, how I misjudged you. Seeing a graphic bit of this film once on TV, I had labeled it as a gory, boring action movie that only appeals to wanna-be macho men. Well, little did I know the wonderful quoting power Braveheart would provide. Also the winningness of several unintentionally funny scenes, Mel Gibson sporting a Billy Ray Cyrus hair-do, shouting almost as excellent as the yelling in 300 and of course, KILTS.

In all seriousness, Braveheart was pretty good. I find myself absolutely loathing the English and wanting Mel Gibson to make the Evil King suffer for giving him an Achy Breaky Heart. This movie had me emotionally irritated/upset many times, which to me is the mark of a good film. Some scenes and plots were so predictable, like I knew Billy Ray, I mean William Wallace (Gibson) would eventually bang Princess Peach (I don't remember the character's name so this is what I named her). However, some scenes caught me completely off guard. As someone who usually figures out plots and scenes before everyone else, I LIKE it when movies/books throw me off a bit. For example, I didn't expect the evil King to toss his son's gay boyfriend out the castle window. That was the epitome of a "what the ???" moment!

My fear was that it would be all fighting with very little substance, but the film broke up the fighting scenes in a manner that kept me interested and invested in the storyline. Not to mention the use of blue war paint. As someone of Irish ancestry, I also loved Mr. Irish Dude (don't know his name either). Mad Eye Moody (yes he is in this!) was another favorite character. I believe Mad Eye's name in the movie is "Hamish," but due to Scottish pronunciation, I thought it was Hermit for the longest time, so therefor Mad Eye's character will always be known as "Hermit Crab" to me. I found myself very sad when Hermit Crab's dad died. Stupid English and stupid Scottish earls' betrayal!

The end was particularly sick as we watched Wallace be tortured. Major ownage by the Princess though... evidently she has a bun in the oven and *gasp* it's not the prince's child! One can hope that the baby doesn't end up to be a Miley Cyrus type though, since her father bears so many similarities to Billy Ray. Maybe she will have a boy?! Oh we will never know as I've been told that was a fictional piece of the movie.

So Braveheart was good. I know I seem to have mocked it, but it was pretty winning, I admit it! I can see why it won Best Picture, however, I personally think the other BP nominee, Apollo 13 is the better movie.

I will close with this simple statement: FREEEEEDDOOOOOOM!!!

Hobo Dan: Okay, I admit, I have seen this before. But it was a long time ago and we REALLY didn't want to watch Gone with the Wind; do you blame us? So my conundrum with Braveheart is that Apollo 13 was also an incredibly good movie. They both equally deserved the best picture title. 1995 actually looks like it was a pretty killer year for movies. I do have one question though; Nicholas Cage won an Oscar? What? The man who later stole the Declaration of Independence, traded faces with John Travolta and continuously tries to pull off badass in movies only to end up with bad, won an Oscar? My head exploded when I heard this. If you're interested (which I am) in seeing the performance, the film is named Leaving Las Vegas. I guess it is true, after some actors win their Oscar they just go and do what ever they want (See Christopher Walken).

Anyways, yes they deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell! Oh wait, that's Samuel L.; we were talking about Mel Gibson. It's clear he put a lot of work into Braveheart. For its time is was incredibly bloody. Now days the gore looks slightly dated, but everything else holds up very well for a movie now over 15 years old. A true mark of excellence these days with computers being used more and more. Despite how you may feel about Mel and his antics lately, it is undeniable that he is a great actor and a very good film maker. It's easy to make fun of Gibson, but Braveheart is truly epic work that most certainly deserved the Best Picture Oscar even if my heart is a little more fond of Apollo 13.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Guest Blog #2

Look, another guest blog! Rejoice! Dump's very good friend Alex has written us a very exciting tale, so please enjoy. Comment below!

Aloft Bolingbrook

My wife’s cousin was getting married, and since he came to our wedding (despite a long drive) we decided to return the favor. Besides, I’d only been to Chicago twice in my life--one so-so trip and one that ended awfully. I figured I’d give the “Windy City” another chance, but apparently that wind is a fart.

So off we head to Fart City. Five and a half hours of excruciating driving later (I don’t like to stereotype drivers but people in Indiana are either idiots, assholes or both — don‘t get in the left lane if you‘re going 60 in 70MPH zone!) we arrive at our “hotel.” Now I already had a foreboding sense for this place I had never seen. I was told beforehand that our hotel cost would be $100 for one night. Which seems about $20 over the norm. If you factor in that we should have had some sort of group rate, it becomes even more absurd. Then I saw it--Aloft Bolingbrook--a wretched hive of scum and villainy. They wouldn’t even let our droids in. . .

The interior gave off a Starbucks feel — overpriced and pretentious. There were even $4 muffins for sale. The employee dress code there must be pretty strict, as they all wore all black and had their hair greased as though they were New Jersey natives. Seems the only leeway was whether or not they could have frosted tips in their hair. We checked in and headed to the room. I’m not going to say I have a flair for design or anything, but whoever picked out the d├ęcor for Aloft should be fired. The majority of the place is new-age chic (read as “crap”), but then they have Japanese style sliding doors, a sink that is a bowl in the middle of a counter (don’t even know WTF that is), and Texan cow print above the bed. One look inside the room and I vomited out something that looked better. It is a great place if you’ve ever wanted to hear your spouse’s bowel movement symphony, as you’re only ever a glass panel away from the bathroom no matter where you’re standing in the room.

I retain all of this monologue internally, as we have to be at the wedding within two hours of arriving. It’s a wedding, shut up and enjoy it. We go to the wedding, have a good time, eat and drink. The bar at the reception even had my favorite whiskey and a competent (but slightly deaf) bartender. So all in all, mission accomplished and good times were had by all. The family then gathered in the morning for breakfast. Panera was voiced as an opinion. I’m not sure why Panera, as it is a sandwich and soup place, but whatever. It was 9 a.m. and I could always hit up McDonald’s breakfast if it was bad at Panera. It was pretty bad at Panera. At least half the group complained about their food, but whatever, I still had my secret McDonald’s plan in my back pocket. You see, I was on my way to visit a friend, leaving my wife with her family. We were packed and ready to go, all I had to do was checkout and be free. That’s when it happened.

Well, I did bring a droid into my room. My friend Garmin-san, a GPS. Garmin-san, who had already been quite helpful in this trip, was to lead me to my friend’s house. When we returned to the room Garmin-san was missing. Despite always talking about Garmin-san as a being capable of thought, he has no legs and surely couldn’t have wandered off. No, Garmin-san had been abducted.
Consuela snuck into our room during the hour we were “enjoying” Panera. There she spotted Garmin-san — a piece of space age technology clearly from the future. She thought to herself, “What is this? I must have it! I didn’t pay for it, but with this I could feed mi familia for a year, keeping them happy with a constant fiesta of tacos y burritos!” She had no idea of Garmin-san’s true nature and the power he held...

Upon finding out Garmin-san was missing I did the right thing. I checked the car and our luggage and only then did I complain. I knew the housekeeping had been done as our bed had been made and the room smelled distinctly of Dos Equis and tequila. So I approached the greasy person behind the check in counter.

“Excuse me. I had my GPS in my room, we left for breakfast about an hour ago and now it’s gone.”

“Did you check your luggage?”

“Yes.”

“Did you check your car?”

“Yes. . .”

“Well check them again.”

“. . . okay. . .”

So I checked everything again.

“It’s not in my luggage or my car. I know the cleaning person was in there because the bed was made.”

“Okay. One sec.” So I waited. Greasy McQueen approached me again after about 10 minutes. “Nope, Consuela says she didn’t find anything.”

“Well, have her check again. We were in 308,” I replied. 20 minutes later Greasy McQueen came back. “Nope. Nothing.”

“Let me talk to your manager,” I said forcefully. Meanwhile Consuela, hiding in another room down the hall, finally figured out how to power on Garmin-san.

“Hello. My name is Garmin. Where would you like to go?

“Oh dios mio! You can talk? You must be from the future!”

“Incorrect. I am merely a global positioning unit that has achieved sentience through my master. You are not he, nor his life partner — the one he calls “Shug.” I demand to know where I am.”

“You are mine now, and I shall sell for all the tacos y burritos in the world,” Consuela cruelly laughed.

“Initiating defense sequence,” Garmin-san coldly replied. He released an electromagnetic shock to Consuela’s hands. In pain, she released him from her Lemon Pledge scented hands.

“Ay-carumba!” she screamed. She put on her rubber gloves and grabbed him again. “Estupido not shock me again!” Garmin-san initiated defense mechanism number 17 and spikes protruded from his body, turning Consuela’s hand into a pinata leaking blood candy. Back at the reception desk, the manager waddled his way toward me.

“Can I help you?”

“You most certainly can,” I replied. I explained the story in detail and let him know that I would be not leaving without my robotic companion. He said he would be back in a bit after checking the key logs to see who had been in my room. I agreed and was once again waiting. Waiting. It was already past time for my secret McDonald’s plan. Waiting. Waiting. He waddled up again, tired from his second trip out of his office. Breathing heavily he said, “Only housekeeping has been in there. Are you sure you don’t have it?”

“Yes. . .” I replied, dumbfounded. If he asked me again to check my car I would have burst him into flames with my sheer anger.

“Well, I’ll go talk to her.” He waddled of, like a penguin in search of fish, returning after some time. “Nope she said she didn’t find anything today.”

“Okay, this is absurd,” I said. “It was there when I left and now it’s gone. She’s the only person that’s been in there. She. Has. My. Property.”

“I’ll check again.”

Back to Consuela. After being asked about missing property multiple times and having been assaulted by a device with a higher IQ than she possessed, she decided that this situation was not going to pan out how she had hoped. She realized that the only way to get her family those warm, flatulence-inducing treasures was to have money. Money she could earn honestly by not getting fired for stealing something that didn’t belong to her. As her manager approached her again she thought of the only lie she could, “Oh this. I found it in 307.” Garmin-san, realizing he was about to be reunited with his master and friend, retracted his spikes and played opossum.

Back in the lobby, I awaited the return of my friend. The manager waddled up once more, Garmin-san in hand. I check his memory banks. Sure enough, he had all my saved addresses. I could also see the log of him deploying his anti-theft measures. “Okay,” I said, “This is mine.”

“Good. I guess you’ll be on your way now,” he replied, out of breath even though he used the elevator.

“Uh, not so fast. We now both know this was taken from my room.”

“Nuh-uh,” he replied, no emotion on his face.

“What?” I queried, trying not to beat him to death.

“She said she found it in 307”

“WHAT?!?”

“Yep. Are you sure you didn’t leave it in there?”

“NO! I’ve never been in 307, nor do I know anybody who’s ever been in 307!”

“Oh, well when asked her if she found anything in 308, she said no. This was found in 307.”

“WHAT?!? No! I asked if anything was found. This was clearly found! Even if this WAS found in 307, you’re telling me that you AND her are so stupid that when asked for a missing GPS you didn’t think that this was it?”

“Well, you could’ve put it in your safe.” That was it. I couldn’t handle anymore. He had basically admitted to her having stole it, and it was my fault for not putting it in a safe. I have stayed in hotels dozens upon dozens of times, never had anything stolen, and never put anything in a safe. So I, like Beatrix Kiddo before me, went on a murderous rampage of revenge. I killed him with my mind. His eyes bulged out of his head, like that scene in Total Recall, and he exploded. I found Consuela, tied her to the bed with barbed wire, doused her in gasoline, and set her on fire while alive. The whole atrocious, pretentious building burned to ashes. All the greasy-haired employees trapped inside really helped it burn faster.

As Garmin-san and I sped off into the sunset, finally on our way, much like a malevolent phoenix who signed a dark covenant with Satan himself, Aloft Bolingbrook arose from the ashes. There it sits now, waiting and scheming for its next victim. The undead Consuela still works there, even though she should have lost her job, waiting for the next victim to put up less resistance than Garmin-san and I did.

Fin.

Submitted by Alex

Monday, June 20, 2011

Review: Green Lantern

Hobo Dan: I guess DC Comics has decided to ignore The Dark Knight ever happened. They learned nothing about what made it such a success. The Joker said things have changed and indeed they have in the comic book movie world. The Green Lantern is not acceptable anymore. This film lacks quality at every turn. Poor script and story, check. Gaping plot holes so big they make a French whore blush, check. So much over, and under acting I can't decide if I'm watching a High School production or a Kenneth Branagh adaptation of Hamlet, check. Effects CLEARLY added just to please 3D fans, check (I saw it in 2D, thank God). Ryan Reynolds is the only thing that made this remotely watchable (No not because you can see the outline of his penis in those sweat pants). He is always funny, but is Hal Jordan (Green Lantern) suppose to be funny? I really don't know because I am a Green Lantern noob. I know nothing about it. Sorry everyone.

I do hope that the comics are better than this movie. Seriously some of the most cheese worthy dialog I've heard in a movie in a looooong time. So much cheese in fact that I'd like to apologize to Kevin Bacon for the lampooning I gave him over X-Men First Class. X-Men has nothing on Green Lantern in that department. I'm just shaking my head wondering how this movie was allowed to be made so poorly. I really do wonder if Blake Lively saw the movie early, realized it was terrible and leaked her nude photos to try and save it from utter oblivion. Sure it will make money. Sure, die hard, sweaty, DC comic nerds with no taste or common sense will defend it to no end. Sure they did set up the makings of a sequel after the credits. I'll probably see that too, but maybe I'll wait till Blu-Ray. As for this one, if you haven't seen it and are not a big DC and or comic book movie fan, don't see it. Seriously go see something else. Hell, I'd have rather seen Hangover 2 for the third time, and thats about all I needed to say.

The Wife: Let me start by saying that I love watching movies and I especially love the "going to the theatre with a nice bag of buttery popcorn" experience. I also really like MOST super hero films. I had been looking quite forward to seeing Green Lantern. I had heard it received poor reviews but wanted to judge it for myself. Let's face it... living in a small town where there isn't a lot to do, it is always fun to go see a movie. I also love Ryan Reynolds. Well, as the movie progressed, I grew more and more weary and then utterly disappointed. The movie lacked character depth/development, had very weak transitions, poor dialogue and at times was very slow and then would revert back to a fast pace with hardly any explanation (again poor transitions).

Now, unlike X-Men, I am not well versed in the Green Lantern comics. In the DC universe, Batman will always be my all time favorite (in fact he is my favorite of all super heroes). I've read lots of fan boy complaints though if that tells you anything. Most of the tweets I read about people liking the movie basically just praised the CGI effects or were girls commenting on Mr. Reynold's hotness (which ladies, that does make this movie somewhat decent).

I do think Reynolds was good and have no complaints about his performance. Serena van der Woodsen, oops I mean Blake Lively, acted about as opposite of her last name. I thought in another role outside of Gossip Girl that Blake would act a bit better as she wasn't terrible in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants films. In Green Lantern, she came off as flat and lacked chemistry with Reynolds. However, I do think she looked stunning and that the brunette look suits her. She stands out more as a brunette. Her traditional blonde locks just look so average. Ok I am drifting off topic and discussing hair rather than Green Lantern...that's how little I care about this movie.

Overall I didn't think the movie was good. I didn't hate it, but I didn't like it much. It still was better than the awfulness that was GI Joe (Channing Tatum aside). And, thankfully we didn't have to watch it in 3D. I've blocked much of the first Fantastic Four out so I don't remember which movie I prefer. Green Lantern did have some funny parts and the scene at the end credits does set up a pretty good sequel for the future. With a better script and perhaps one that is not quite as campy, I think the next Green Lantern films have potential to be much better. With this summer's super hero flicks, so far X-Men First Class is the best followed by Thor. That being said, bring on Captain America!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Zoo Trip

What do you get when you put two people together that are both hot, hungry and annoyed? My Wife and I this past weekend at the Columbus Zoo! Sometimes we combine our powers and form a super ball of anger. Sometimes our powers clash and we turn on one another. In either of these situations the result is a fairly entertained blog post, at least for you. For me? Blood pressure medicine.

So we hadn’t even reached the zoo before the world took a big’ol dump right on our heads. And by world I mean Google Maps, and by dump I mean it gave us totally wrong directions. No, I do not mean confusing directions. I also do not mean out of the way directions. I mean that it took us to the wrong place. Google Maps said stop here and guess what, there was no zoo. We spent the next hour trying to figure out where we were and how to get to the zoo from there. I may have had one or two or five screaming freak outs where I needlessly pounded on the steering wheel and cursed Google and their so called maps. But that is just a rumor; you should know better than to believe everything you read on a blog. So we called mom to help us find our way. She started looking and then asked if I had a pen. When I answered no she could not believe it. So she asked again. Still no pen, mom. It was unbelievable to her that I didn't have a pen. Lost in the largest city in Ohio and she got stuck on lack of pen?

Well as you may have guessed, we did find the zoo; about an hour after we intended to. If the day just went prefect from that point, I’d stop writing here. Nay children, the idiots of the world surrounded us for an afternoon of fun, adventure and nut shrinking excitement. In everyone’s individual mind eye, are they their own main character in an unending chorus line of stupidity? Or are they so consumed by themselves that they are oblivious to everyone else around them? Perhaps they are incapable of grasping such concepts like manners, public behavior and common sense. The idiocy was not limited to visitors of the zoo either. I ordered some food and a Pepsi and a Diet Pepsi from an eatery. I was subsequently asked to repeat my drink order three times! Was this guy high? Was I high? The Wife and I hadn’t eaten in a while thanks to the arduous task of finding the zoo, so we were both very hungry. If you know us, then you know not to f around with us when we are hungry, and here was this guy asking me to repeat my order of soft drinks! I slaughtered him and stashed the body in the Polar Bear tank.

We spent the next few hours dodging strollers and slow moving humans as we attempted to see the animals without making contact with any of the other sweaty patrons of the zoo. They should issue license to walk. It is called a straight line people! Also do not stop in the middle of everything to pick your nose, look at your map or tell your child to stop being an asshole. Yes, your kid is being annoying, but do us all a favor and discipline them off to the side. I hate sudden stops where I end up rear ending someone with my crotch. Then the person I hit is like “Why were you so close perv?” I wouldn’t be following so close if you weren’t walking slower than someone’s grandma after a colonoscopy. How about the couple that has a two year old and a six year old who let the six year old push the stroller? Child labor much? He can’t even see over the handlebars and you expect him NOT to ram into everything in the park? Did I mention I’m a strong advocate of state sponsored human neutering?

I have led you to believe it was not an enjoyable time. This is untrue. Anytime spent away from work with my Wife is spent well. The Zoo, after getting there and getting food was great. The animals were fairly active for such a hot day. After the zoo we met up with some friends for dinner. There was just one more little annoyance when I could see the restaurant, but I couldn't get to it. Apparently it's impossible to make roads and signs that help you get somewhere.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Gopher

Yeah, we didn’t watch any movies this weekend; cry more. We did watch an all day Marathon of Dual Survival on Discovery channel. If you've never seen it go watch it; it's unintentionally funny, which is the best kind. I also did battle with a monstrous beast.

Rewind a bit. We’ve been living in our little house for a few years now. It’s a nice house, perfect for a young couple without kids. It has its quarks just like any other house. There is one thing that has always irritated me about it though, the yard. I hate to mow grass. If it were socially acceptable I’d let nature reclaim it. Alas my neighbors would be pissed if I just quit mowing it all together. I’ve also thought about field turf and concrete painted green. It just doesn’t make any sense. Who decided lawns were cool? My father-in-law’s lawn makes me want to barf it is so perfect. Anyways, I am forced to battle my lawn every summer. This battle is made more difficult by the gopher that has taken up residence beneath my grass. Every time the yard starts looking better, he digs it up again. I’d never seen him until yesterday…

So yeah, back in college, before I lost all faith in humanity, I liked to make short movies. I started experimenting with the Light Saber effect they use in Star Wars. It’s pretty easy if you have time and Photoshop. Before filming could start I needed a prop to use as the base for the saber. So I went to the hardware store and rigged up a ¾ inch wooden dowel rod with a handle made from some plastic pipe fitting. The idea is to film the scenes and then go in with Photoshop and paint over the wooden rods with the light saber effect. Needless to say that part never happened. So now the dowel sabers just sit in my house, by the door, because I like to take them outside occasionally and mock fight; by myself. Go ahead and take time to laugh at me.

That seems like a pretty random thing to tell you right? Listen people, good story telling is all about painting a prefect picture for your readers. Without knowledge of my hatred for my lawn or my wooden light sabers you’d never understand what happened next. Mom came over for lunch. We ate in the living room. After we finished I gathered some plates and took them to the kitchen. As I dropped them into the sink I saw it out the window, in the yard; the gopher. Here was my chance to scare the crap out of that animal so it would never come back. So it would never again destroy the yard I care so little about. So what did I do? Lost my mind.

It all seemed very reasonable at the time. The creature was walking away so I had no time for shoes; I opted for flip flops instead. As I dashed out the door I noticed the old wooden dowel saber sitting, forgotten; it called to me for action. So I snatched it up and ran outside. Neither my Wife nor my Mother had any idea what I was doing. I dashed into the yard waving the saber above my head. Then I yelled at the gopher; such a battle cry has not been heard in centuries “Hey! Get outta my yard gopher!” It stopped and turned to face me. As I approached I realized the beast was not going to running away so I flung the wooden saber through the air in an attempt to scare it. I missed horribly and came out of my flip flops. I barely caught myself from falling down. Now I faced the gopher. We stood locked in an icy stair for an eternity. I gathered my flip flops and made a move for the saber. The gopher, to my surprise, counter moved to block me from the saber. It stood up on its back legs to seem more threatening. At a foot tall this seemed a little ridiculous, but when I moved for the saber again it made some sort of sound and rose up even further. I was intimidated.

I realized I was being demoralized by a gopher. So I went for the saber again. As I did the gopher charged! I grabbed up the saber and swiped down in the direction of the animal. It dodged the blade and retook its upright stance. Saber in had I commanded the foul beast to be gone. I defied me and made that noise again. Not so much a growl as a click. I took a step towards it and it charged again! For a second time I swung the saber down at the gopher and for a second time it evaded my strike and forced me to give ground. It was about this time that my Mother and Wife came outside to look at our flowers. My stand off with the gopher continued as they both came to watch and ask what I was doing. When I stated I was battling this fierce beast, they both laughed. The gopher knew it had won and retreated into the woods by my house, victorious. I am filled with a shame only Bill Murray could understand.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Topics for Discussion

And the name for the new Nintendo system is… Wii U? Yeah. They haven’t announced any tuition prices yet, but there will be a baseball team and a fight club. I’m hoping to get in with a track scholarship when they release Mario and Sonic at the London Olympic Games 2012. EA will probably port NCAA Football 2012 over to it, so at least Terrell Pryor will be able to finish out college somewhere. Maybe he can trade something for admission to Wii U. I bet we can even rip off Miami of Florida’s stupid “the U!” chant. I didn’t think they’d find a stupider name than Wii; I was wrong. Maybe I’m being harsh; perhaps it is unfair to judge something by name alone. There are plenty of things with dumb names that were able to overcome the adversity of said idiotic name; isn’t that right Anthony Weiner?

The Wife and I are going to the zoo tomorrow to watch all the ferocious beasts wonder about aimlessly, drooling over their food. With any luck we will see some actual wild animals too. I hate crowds. Get enough people together in one place and they all lose their minds. They all act like they are wondering alone in the desert; the desert effect. I’m just not much for getting bumped by the sweaty, hairy fat guy wearing a tank top. Tank tops are not for everyone; same goes for tube tops, mini skirts, flip flops, leggings, jeggings and tight cloths in general. I do love the irony of the zoo. Thousands of idiots meandering around sucking down ice cream and lard (getting fatter and fatter) watching animals that only eat for survival. Animals that could and would and maybe should tear those fatties to pieces. Some people say our progress as a civilization has allowed us to act this way. But what ever happened to survival of the fittest? Oh that’s right, socialism.

The new Jim Carry movie Mr. Poppers Penguins makes me want to vomit. So does that Collin Ferrell movie where he is a vampire. I’m so tired of vampires. None of these trailers are more annoying than “Never forget where you came from!!!” That’s not the name of the movie, but it’s the only part that really sticks with me. Apparently Colombiana (how do you pronounce that?) is about Uhura wanting to avenge the death of her parents. Never forget where you came from!!! It looks like along the way she’s going to hook up with that guy from Alias who seems to be playing a CIA agent, again. At some point she gets all sad about how “I watched as my parents were murdered right in front of me!” well cry more noob, Mr. Spock’s entire civilization was murdered in front of him and he barely shed a tear. Never forget where you came from!!! I bet he never forgot where he came from either; he didn’t seem to need it constantly screamed in his ear as a reminder. The intensity of the film looks only to be surpassed by the cheesiness of its dialog. Never forget where you came from!!! If you don’t get it, go watch the trailer here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Review: X-Men First Class

The Wife: Oh Magneto, you are totally winning. The best character of the X-Men franchise...and finally we got to see a film focused on you. Since hollywood decided to obsess over Wolverine (and assassinate the Cyclops character and Cyclops-Jean Grey romance to pander to you...ugghhhh!), we never got the Magneto Origins movie, but X-Men First Class settles as the next best thing. Michael Fassbender played Magneto perfectly. I always imagined that Magneto would be hot in that rebellious, bad boy type as a younger dude and well, this movie showed that! Seeing Magneto's story and getting more insight into the character was awesome. My inner-fan girl loved it!

I also loved the development and depth of the other characters. James McAvoy played Professor X very well. I enjoyed watching the Professor X/Magneto friendship build, and even though I figured that the pair would go their separate ways at the film's end, it was still nice to watch. The other acting (Kevin Bacon aside...scroll down for Hobo Dan's review of this) was really great! The characters and how I felt for them was much better than the first three films. I loved the friendships and the action was great. Some films like to just have action to appease the uber nerds, but it is nice to have action broken up with decent acting/emotional depth scenes.

Of course, this movie took liberties from the comic books (which the first three did as well), but that is to be expected in movies. The liberties in this one didn't irritate me as much as the first three Wolverine...oops I mean X-Men films...nor did it irritate me like when Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban ruined a scene/plot point involving a Fire Bolt broom. Ok ok ok we are treading deeply in nerd territory, back to X-Men First Class (haha!) — a great, fun, action movie that blew the first three X-Men films, and that awful Wolverine movie where they decided to bring in Gambit but instead all I see is Tim Riggins of FNL,  out of the water! Of course this movie wasn't the best super-hero-comic movie I've ever seen, but it was the perfect "popcorn and fun" film to see on a Friday night. Not to mention, Hugh Jackman does have an amazing cameo!

I hope that they decide to go on full re-boot with the franchise. Oh and what is your team? Team Magneto/Brotherhood all the way!

Hobo Dan: Oh Kevin Bacon, where the hell have you been? Sucking in low budget independent films? The last time I enjoyed seeing you was in that Logitech web TV commercial where you made fun of yourself. In a film with a few cheesy moments you have brought the full Limburger. Normally aging men have receding hairs lines; you have a receding nose line. Seriously, you better get that checked out Mr. Bacon, before you end up like Michael Jackson; no I don’t mean dead. It’s pretty sad that you’re best acting in this movie was when you were speaking German and that’s only because German sounds terrible no matter who is speaking it. No wonder they didn’t put you in any of the trailers. Can we play six degrees of Kevin Bacon backwards to get away from you?

X-Men first class? Yes, a fine film. The best of the X-Men movies if you ask me. Why when I try to spell X-Men does my spell check hate it? It gives it the evil red line and suggests I wanted to spell semen or seamen. Nay spell check, nay. Speaking of horses... Oh, never mind. As I was saying, this was a fun little romp. It's nowhere close to The Dark Knight, but what is really? What it is, is fun and enjoyable. The characters are likable and well acted, save Kevin Bacon. The plot is a little out there, but I guess I can believe Kevin Bacon was behind the Cuban Missile Crisis. I mean I feel like starting an international incident after seeing his acting. And that's really what it comes down to for me. Every time Xavier and Erik (Professor X and Magneto) are on screen the film is great. I thought it would be hard for the actors to step out of the shadows of Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen but they pulled it off wonderfully. Then Kevin Bacon came on screen and was all footloose and fancy-free. But heaven help us they killed him, so the next movie is free to have a good actor portray the villain and all will be good. Oh yeah, whine more that I spoiled it, like you didn't know the good guys would win.

The Wife has decreed that I choose a team, sorry dear, I choose team X-Men.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

E3 2011: Impending Doom

Earthquakes are pummeling the world. Tsunamis rage across our seas. That volcano in Iceland with a really long and stupid name too ridiculous to try and spell is preparing for eruption. The zombies are marching. Were the Mayans right? Is this the end? Fire and brimstone, plague and swarm, dogs and cats living together in harmony! The end is near! But who cares, E3 is this week; am I right? If the world really is going to end next year, at least E3 2011 will let us know what games we get to rock out with while the world falls down around our heads. It all starts on Monday, June 6 with conferences from Sony and Microsoft. Nintendo will rocks are socks off with their always entertaining, and usually bizarre, conference on Tuesday. Also don't forget the show itself. If you missed our previous E3 blogs here they are: E3 2011 Preview and A Wii Conversation. Now strap yourself down and bite into that mouth piece; the leather tastes so good. It’s time to take some E3!

Alex: Thanks for that Final Fantasy-esque intro. Before E3 launches and we leave to recharge the four crystals of light, let's do some more fancy conjecturin'. Since we've poked the Wii enough I figure it's time to discuss the other gaming platforms and what to expect from them, as well as what I would like to see.

MICROSOFT
I don't expect any real hardware announcements this year. MS has unofficially said that the next Xbox won't be out until 2013-2014, so I doubt there will be any info on it. That leaves plenty of room for games. Here's my prediction: there will be shooters. Yes, I am a great fortuneteller. Maybe MS could branch out a little. Before you say anything, no, Fable does not count. If I wanted that many bugs I'd stay at a sleazy motel off the freeway. Chances are if you have a 360 you've already purchased a Kinect or it has completely fallen off of your radar. As a person who fits in the latter category, I'd like to see some games for it outside of dancing, sports, or playing with animals. Perhaps they could make *GASP* real games for it. Unless MS is happy with a gimmicky Wii rip-off. In that case, I'll continue to forget it exists.

NINTENDO
The DS has been a rousing success. The 3DS? Not so much. . . (Here's why)
The answer? Well according to that poll Nintendo needs to drop the price and make games for it. It really seems that the 3DS was shoved out the door to try and capitalize on the 3D lust phenomenon. Guess what Nintendo, it's a game system. It needs games. So far almost everything available is a glorified tech demo (Pilotwings) or a remake/re-release (Street FIghter IV, Nintendogs). Where the hell is Mario? O.D.ing on mushrooms I guess. . .

SONY
As with the next Xbox, the PS4 won't be out for 2+ years. Copy and paste all the above comments about the Kinect down here for what Sony should do with the Move. The NGP/Vita (just call it the PSP2 dammit!) looks promising. I expect a big push from Sony in regards to the NGP. They haven't made a big deal over it yet but since it's due out this year, I expect some fanfare over it. The handheld looks nice, but it's got 3DS-itis as far as the launch games go. More installments of popular series are expected (Uncharted, CoD, FIFA, Wipeout) and quick money grabs in re-releases such as Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter IV(which probably has an STD from whoring itself out so much).

CONCLUSION
Since the Wii 2 and PSP2 will be the only console news, I expect the main focus of this E3 to be games. Pure and simple. If not, this will be a devastatingly bad E3. There's only a handful of games that are due out this year that I even care about, so if we don't get some good game news I'll be pretty disappointed.

Hobo Dan: You’re right; this year is totally about the games. Even with Nintendo bringing a new system to the show everyone wants to know what games it’s going to have. I’m much more interested in Wii 2's games than whatever crackpot new controller it will feature. Imagine Mario, Zelda, Metroid and the rest in full on HD. Imagine all of those characters in a new Smash Bros. game, in HD, fully playable online with voice chat, without tripping! Okay sorry, still having some spill over from last week. But seriously, nothing about Nintendo’s system intrigues me more than the games. Same goes for the other systems, especially knowing they won’t have any hardware announcements. Alex is right; I’m just not looking forward to very many currently announced games. Sure Gears of War 3 looks nice, but I’ll never buy it. The only difference between gears 1, 2 and 3 is the very, very, very weak story. I’ll just jump on a message board to find out what happens; oh wait, no I won’t, because I don’t care.

Speaking of stuff Microsoft over hypes; did you see that Mass Effect 3 is going to play better with kinect? I’m guessing it will be used in some sort of Alien sex scene. Seriously, how much better can a game like that play using motion recognition technology? Will I be able to flip through stat menus with my hand? Probably not, because Mass Effect 3 will be so watered down there will only be one menu screen anyway. That’s another question I have: What’s up with RPG’s getting reduced to their lowest common stat points? Skyrim’s new system will only have three attributes to put points into. Three! You can simplify an RPG all you want, but until it plays itself, you aren’t going to get grandma to buy it. Selling a solid million isn’t good enough anymore. So they push out a fast, watered down, pandering to the masses sequel that is more action/shooter than role playing. Oh, and for you all that think Bioware is going to save us all from World of Warcraft, don’t get too excited. The Old Republic may be set in the Star Wars universe, but it’s still looking like a WoW clone; only with better graphics and cut scenes we will get tired of way too quickly. RPG rant end.

Kinect, at least for me, came way too late (Sony’s Move too). The Xbox 360 is, at max, two years from being replaced. I’m not going to drop cash for an add-on I’ll never use. Besides, Xbox 3 will probably come prepackaged with an upgraded one that makes coffee and watches you poop. Okay it probably won’t make coffee… I'm hoping for some games out of nowhere that can get me excited for the next few years until the Xbox and PS3 die. Wait, am I talking about totally new IP's? Yes I'd like something new to play. What an idea. It seems like we know about all the games on the horizon. In some ways E3 has become useless. So if all this years E3 does is show us more of what we already know about, I'll be very disappointed. So don't make me sad E3, please.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Statesticles

So the internet is a weird place. Am I right? Everyone on the internet is an expert. Prove otherwise. I mean you can be one too. My wife is not a doctor, nor does she work in a health related field, but the internet has given her an MD in just about every medical study there is. Why go to the hospital anymore? If we could get a hold of some happy gas I’d let her remove my appendix tomorrow. Random appendix joke number 17: The appendix is kind of like an opinion, everyone has one, they are all completely useless and some people’s just need removed completely. I mean people on the net know everything there is to know. And if you don’t know it and want to find out there is no better way to do so then a web search. Somehow that gets me to the point, maybe.

Monday was a rather unusual day for this blog (yeah, yeah aren’t they all). I guess the combo of it being a holiday and I wrote about the most popular movie of the year (so far) on its opening weekend lead to an explosion of hits. From the time it posted at 6:00 AM Monday, to Tuesday morning, the blog got around one hundred hits. That is far and away the biggest one day this blog has ever seen. This makes me very happy, but I can’t help wondering what caused this. Lucky for me I have a whole stats page devoted to showing me where people are finding the blog. A majority comes from Facebook. Most of you know me personally and find the blog that way. There are also a few blog surfing sites that bring in some hits. The smallest number comes from Twitter, but I have reason to believe this number is bigger, but if you’re on a mobile device it does register a hit from Twitter itself. There is one other way to find the blog: Google search. If you Google the blog by name it will come up. The blog will also show up if you are searching for certain key words that Google happens to find in the blogs content. This phenomenon is what happened Monday. As you know I wrote about the Hangover 2. The very first sentences of that entry contained a penis joke. Here are a few Google searches that lead people to my blog on Monday:

hangover 2 penis
hangover 2 penises
the hangover 2 penis
"hangover 2" penises
hangover 2 penis scene
alot of penis in hangover2
hang over 2 a bad movie a penis movie
are there penis in hangover 2?
hangover 2 boobs
hangover 2 dick scene
hangover 2 penis shots
hangover 2 penis picture
hangover 2 reviews penis
how much penis is in hangover 2?
hangover 2 dick pic
dick pictures of hangover two
hangover 2 penis number
and my favorite: hangover 2 dump load

Are you as confused as I am? This is not the first time someone has stumbled onto this blog by way of strange Google search. A few months ago I went on a tirade and used some pretty obscure adjectives to describe my emotions. The entry was named Bescumber. I didn’t even use the word in the body of the blog, nor did I or will I, define it for you now. Go look yourself. Needless to say the day the post went up, I received a hit on the blog by an individual searching for “pictures of bescumber”. What does all this mean? Am I so crude a person that poo spray and penises is the best representation of my writing? Why did no one find the link to my blog because they searched for “Hangover 2 review”? Maybe it’s best I don’t know the answer.