Saturday, July 31, 2004

A couple of things

Go to this link and listen to a few tracks by a band called Half Cousin. If the article I read in Mojo magazine is correct then they are from the Orkneys. Me like. I have to admit that I will be forever intrigued by any band from the Orkneys that is compared to Tom Waits. Hey, I'll bite.

Couple of nights ago I watched the DVD version of Mystic River. It was the second time I had seen the movie. If you have seen it once watch it again. I went into the theatrical release cold because I saw that it was getting high reviews across the board on Metacritic. Universal praise causes me to avoid details. Why spoil a movie? After seeing it and then reading about it, the second viewing allowed me to pick out details I missed the first time around. It's a tragedy and therefore depressing but it's such a good movie. One of them slow movers with a story. Unlike, say, Master and Commander.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Camping or, as Dave Attell calls it, "Drinking outdoors."

Last Friday Nancy and I left this ozone oppressed burg for a valley north of Boone called Valle Crucis. There is an annual softball tournament that takes place up there every year called Rhodo. It's a cool tournament. They only use wooden bats and the ballfields are literally pasture that has been mowed short. There are not backstops or fences and the outfield had dips and a creek bordered left and left-center field. I spent most of Saturday sitting in my folding chair watching the games. It really made me want to play. I need to try and get on one of the teams next year. This was the sixth one I had been to and the third time as a blogger.

The campground is this nice rustic place that doesn't have a name as far as I know. It's on some land owned by this alcoholic authentic redneck/hillbilly kinda guy. It's located right across the streat from the Mast General Store annex. If you have teenage kids I wouldn't recommend leaving them alone with this guy.

As always when I go camping I brought beer but these people I was hanging out with made me look like a big pussy. They brought all kinds of liquor and even had bloody mary's in the morning. I passed on that. I prefer to not drink before noon. It's just a rule I have.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Wendell wakes up in agony

Yesterday my roommate was napping on the couch. He had just got home about a half hour before after getting his car inspected. He was laying on his back with his psycho cat Jojo laying on his stomach. Gallagher, the orange tabby with sincere love of annoying Jojo was laying between Wendell's legs. The third cat, the skittish Pippin, was on the other couch to Wendell's right. Gallagher took a swat at Jojo's butt. Jojo dug her claws into Wendell's stomach and bolted up his torso and into the hall. Gallagher, in pursuit, dug his claws into Wendell's thigh. As these cats hissed and snarled, Wendell woke up confused and hurting. Pippin woke up in a panic and ran across the other couch and jumped onto the organ, knocking off about half of what was sitting on it. As stuff falls off the organ in a slow ten second wave of destruction I start laughing from my seat at the computer. Once I can breathe again Wendell asks me, "What just happened?"

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Just in case you was wondering

Tomorrow morning I am leaving Charlotte for two days of camping in Valle Crucis up by Boone. Since the air has been getting ozoney it'll be nice to leave town for a couple of days. And, like James said, my days are starting to run together and it'll be nice to see a new view for a couple of days, eh.

Ever play these games?

My Dad was a giant for a while. He was one of those hard-workin' guys that Bruce Springsteen wrote about. Up until a few years ago he spent 30 years of his life working in a copper works plant in Bellaire, MI called Lamina. After two years of at least three posts a week I no longer know if I have mentioned that or not. I could probably do a series of posts on this guy. In fact, I will. I'll start today and go until I run out of ideas.

I'll call it "My Dad." It'll be fun (for me), I'll start in the middle, work backwards and then forward. Then I go backwards a little bit, then get static and view an era, jump forward, go way back to the late days of black and white photography, slow up into grade school, jump close to present time, ease back to the high school era, focus for a while on my independent days of Marine life, segue into my first five years in Charlotte, reflect on all that shit and then come into present time and our current relationship. It'll be magic. Of course it'll be the kind of magic defined this way in science fiction terms: "Magic: technology that is sufficiently advanced that it defies explanation.

The games

The first game I am referring to in the title is the game my Dad and I played in his car when we were riding back and forth from my home to his when he picked me up every other weekend. No, not that game, you sick bastard. The game was that I would test his prowess at addition. I would give him two numbers, generally in the thousands, and he would add them in his head and get it right. He would do this in less than ten seconds usually. I still have trouble doing that now. I would always be amazed and he was the kind of person that enjoyed impressing people, even if it was his thirteen-year-old son. He coached me on how he accomplished this feat and eventually I got pretty good at. I'm rusty now so, please, don't hit me with an addition problem the next time you see me in the hallway at school.

Another game we played was "time." He had an amazingly adept at telling you what time it was. No matter what the circumstance he would always, and I mean always, guess the time within ten minutes. Ten minutes actually became our window of success. If he was off by more than ten minutes he would fain dejection and wouldn't feel right about himself until the next time I quizzed him and he guessed within the window. I would tease him sometimes when he was off by asking him what time it was just a couple of minutes later. I was called "smarty" when I did that as a child and later "smart ass" once I reached my teens.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Funniest thing I've read in a couple of days

From an AP story concerning the petition filed against Fox News concerning their obvious bias: "Irena Briganti, a Fox News spokeswoman, told The Associated Press that "while this is clearly a transparent publicity stunt, we recognize all forms of free speech and wish them well.""

Somebody give me some oxygen.

You know, what really bugs me about Fox "News" isn't so much that they are biased. What bugs me is that they are so obviously biased and many people don't see it. It's as clumsy as a class bully and just as indulged.

Allow me to be superior for a moment: How many Hail Mary's is Irena going to have to say in order to remove the taint of that statement from her eternal soul?

Monday, July 19, 2004

stupid kids
One time two friends of mine, Dennis and Donald (Little Harold to us) decided to drive Dennis' car across the football field.  Actually what happened was that Little Harold (called that because he looked just like his dad who was named Harold) was driving the car and he decided that he wanted to drive acros the football field.  Judging from the tire tracks I saw as we went out to baseball practice on Monday he didn't so much as merely drive across the field as spin the tires for fifty yards.  A nice gouge was down the middle of the field.
The cops were called in and, of course, the first thing they did was compare the tracks on the field to tires of cars belonging to students.  Dennis was busted in a matter of minutes.  He 'fessed up and never implicated Little Harold although it became common knowledge later who was behind the wheel.  They were cousins and Harold was two years younger.
That day at baseball practice our baseball coach had us all in the dugout hiding from a bitter early spring wind.  He was talking about the upcoming week of practice and right before he released us for the day he looked over at Dennis and said, "I talked to Hollenbach today."  Hollenbach was the football coach.
Dennis asked, "Is he pissed?"  This was important because Dennis was on the football team.  Hell, he was our center.
The baseball coach smiled and asked Dennis if he had ever seen the movie Missouri Breaks.  Dennis shook his head in the negative.
"Well," the coach said, "it stars Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando.  Brando's going all over the place and killing all of Nicholson's friends for some wrong that was done.  I don't remember what.  Anyway, Nicholson decideds to stop running and fight back.  The movie ends with a Brando sleeping outside.  Nicholson sneaks up on him and cuts his throat and as Brando is dying Nicholson says, "In case you are wondering what just woke you up.  I just slit your fucking neck."  
He paused and gave us one of his real big smiles.  "Think about it Dennis." 


Sunday, July 18, 2004

A great half hour spoiled

On Friday night I watched "Master and Commander." What a great opening. It's all canonballs, splintering wood, big booms, shredding sails, dying sailors and Crowe acting all studly. I remember thinking this is going to be great.

Then the chase started. Then the doctor started questioning the captain's motives. Then we get to the Galapogos. Jesus, what tedium. If the filmmakers were trying to portary how long and tedious a sailing journey is then congratulations are in order. I was bored out of my skull and started fast forwarding after a while.

If you ever find yourself in possession of this film do yourself a favor and watch the first thirty minutes and then hit stop right away.
Laughed? I thought I'd cry...

Thursday night after work I found myself alone. The roomie had to go to Statesville due to family obligations. For a while I was playing online with the Xbox and got bored pretty quickly. I then remembered that I had a video that bossman had made for me. It is a documentary called "Something funny happened on the way to the moon." It was made by that nut that has been proclaming that the moon landings were faked. He has a website. The guy is completely off his rocker but I recommend his site as a good time waster.

The movie is only an hour long and it's a howler. It opens with shots of the Apollo 11 spacecraft taking off and intersperses images of starving children between the various shots. I guess his point is that we could have fed lots of kids with the money blown on a fake moon mission.

My favorite point of the movie is when he shows a speech by JFK where the president lists how the Russians were kicking our butts in the space race for a while. The super snotty narrator then asserts how can a nation be so far behind yet catch up so quickly? That part pissed me off. Such dishonesty. First of all the Americans were being careful. Russian cosmonauts had a higher fatality rate than we did back then. What an ass. Kennedy even disproves his point in the speech when he mentions returning men safely to the earth being a significant factor in our program. As dishonest as the documentary is you would think he would be smart enough to leave that remark out.

He also uses a lot of footage out of context and most of the time doesn't let you know what you are being shown. Stock footage hell sometimes.

The reason I really wanted to see the documentary was to see what the person who confronted and got punched out by Buzz Aldrin would create. You can view the footage here. I consider that one of the great moments in American history. God, that's funny.

Obviously he needs to buy this book. I have seen this book and it's fabulous. Check it out from the library if you get the chance.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Judging by this quote, I think John Kerry really wants Cheney to stay on the Repbulican ticket.  This is from CNN.
"Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday that if Bush replaces Cheney, it will be the latest in a string of broken promises.
"It will mean that the president's word once again doesn't mean anything, that he himself is the flip-flopper of all flip-floppers because he's been touting how important Dick Cheney is," Kerry told broadcaster Don Imus. "The fact is that George Bush would be declaring an act of desperation, a sudden move that goes contrary to everything he's said'>">said.""

Feel the breeze

This morning when I left for work the temperature was over 75 but definately less than 80. I noticed while driving past Southpark Mall on Fairview that about 90% of the vehicles on the road had all their windows rolled up. I guess they had their AC cranking and Bob and Sheri or John Boy and Billy laughing at their own jokes.

I had my windows down and it's not because I don't have AC in my little ole Civic, I do. I think the reason I don't use the AC until it gets unocomfortably hot in my car is because of my step dad. He drove with the with his windows down even the dead of winter and now I don't like driving all sealed up. I can't hear what's going on around me. It's like watching television with the sound muted. Drivng is serious business why distance yourself from it?

The only vehicles I saw this morning that had their windows down were trucks carrying workin' men, older cars barely running, some guy showing off his newly refurbished older jeep, some douche in a convertible and me. The more I looked the more alarmed I became with all these people with their windows up. C'mon, it's a cool summer morning, enjoy the breeze.

Is this a sign of how disconnectted we are or is it a sign of how newer cars aren't designed to be run with the windows down? You know how with these newer cars if you roll down the windows the air blows all over the damn place. I hate that. I'll take my boxy 89 Civic. At least I can roll em down when I wanna.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Favorite scenes

This guy linked to a column that listed the writer's favorite scenes from his favorite movies. What the hey, I'll do it also.

In no order

1) Blazing Saddles: The first scene where we meet the governor as played by Mel Brooks. "Why do I always get a warped one!?"

2) Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indiana Jones hops on a horse and takes on a Nazi convoy

3) Geronimo, An American Legend: The mouthy miner who knows he is going to die tells off Geronimo.

4) Spiderman 2: On his way to see MJ in a play Peter Parker dons his spidey suit to help the cops chase down a bad guy and he webs a car right before it wipes out a crowd of people.

5) Almost Famous: The teenage Led Zeppelin fan.

6) From Dusk til Dawn: Cheech's pussy monolog.

7) Get Shorty: When Chili Palmer first meets Martin.

8) The Warriors: The Baseball Furies fight scene.

9) Blues Brothers: When the boys visit The Penguin.

10) Stagecoach: John Wayne's entrance.

11) Rio Lobo: When John Wayne beats the piss out of the boss.

12) Raising Arizona: The chase scene with the dogs (I may have never laughed so hard in a theater)

13) Southpark, Bigger, Longer and Uncut: Satan singing "Up There."

14) The Wanderers: That creepy-ass fight scene on the football field.

15) The Sandlot: Smalls try to convince the boys he's actually heard of Babe Ruth when he hasn't.

16) A Christmas Story: That tongue on the flag pole scene. I love how the other kids just leave that poor bastard out there.

17) The Empire Strikes Back: The whole battle of Hoth.

18) Star Wars: Han solo saying, "I thought we just left this party" when the group is confronted by more storm troopers. I remember my step dad chuckling.

19) Casablanca: Rick drunker than hell wondering why that chick had to show up in his bar.

20) Replacement Killers: Chow saying through cigarette smoke, "I'll need guns."

21) Shao-lin soccer: The brothers arriving on the rooftop.

22) School of Rock: Jack Black convincing Summer to be band manager when she refuses to be a groupie.

23) Bull Durham: Flash telling the batter what pitch Nuke is throwing next.

24) Shawshank Redemption: When Andy meets Red and asks him to buy him a rock hammer.

25) Shawshank Redemption: Andy offers to help that mean-fucker guard with his inheritance. Jesus, what balls.

26) Caddyshack: Rodney Dangerfield.

27) The second Matrix move: That highway chase scene. Yowzers.

28) Braveheart: The first big battle scene and the slow motion footage of the horses riding down on the Scot army.

29) Filth and the Fury: Johnny Rotten crying when he talks about how his friend Sid was marketed after his death. "How fucking evil is that, Julian?"

30) Filth and the Fury: A surprisingly lucid and intelligent Sid being interviewed in a park in England not too long before he departs for America and his end.

31) A Hard Day's Night: That scene on the train with the WWII veteran.

32) Saving Private Ryan: The death of the medic. Jesus, who can watch that more than once?

I reckon that's enough for now. I didn't expect that to go on for so long. Now it's your turn. You do one.

Weird-ass dream

The other day I had a dream where James and Michael started a Tenacious D cover band. It turned out they were pretty successful and played out a lot. In fact they were so successful that they started getting a following and started mixing in original songs with their Tenacious D set. I think Michael played the part of KG and James was Jack Black.

Eventually they were asked to do a gig out of town. James couldn't make it so Dutch took the James' place at the gig. Also they thought they needed a little help and they asked me to sit in with them on electric guitar. I don't know what town we went to but probably Greensboro. We did well. We rocked. We rocked hard. After our set we hung out and and received many compliments. I think Dutch may have even scored.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Even in sillouette he looks like a dufus

You are either with me or agin me

I think in the best interests of our national homeland shining-mountain purple-sea baseball-playin' beer-swillin' golf-playing SUV-driving fake-titted dog-loving cat-tolerating reality-television based security that we should cancel the upcoming presidential election. We should give W enough time to get the job god has given him done. I'll see you at the polls in 2012 when we elect the chosen succesor, Arnold, into office.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Today's big headline

"Ridiculous excuse for a statesman comes out in favor of an amendment which he knows has no chance of passing in order to assure hillbillies that he shares their backwards values."

Just in case you were wondering here is Jimmy Spencer's new paint job and sponsor for this weekend's race.
Read it, heard it

I had read about our lousy president's response to the question he fielded concerning John Edwards. I'll steal this passage from a news site: "A reporter noted that Edwards was being described as "charming, engaging, a nimble campaigner, a populist and even sexy" and asked, 'How does he stack up against Dick Cheney?' Bush didn’t hesitate: 'Dick Cheney can be president. Next?'" Today, while getting ready for work, I heard the quote on NPR. It really comes off badly. I think he was trying to be terse but ends up merely sounding like he was trying to be terse. Just as when he attempts to appear sad when discussing American war dead.

I'd probably merely dislike Bush instead of despising him if he was different in two ways:
1) He could talk in public without shaming my country.
2) He wasn't directly responsible for more deaths than the 9/11 attacks.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Man of fashion

If you are a man of fashion like me you might like to know that the Belk's at Southpark Mall is selling Savane pants for half price right now. Of course if you've ever seen me in person you know that saying I am a man of fashion is total bullshit but I have learned that buying cheap clothes is just a bad idea. My old man always said "you get what you pay for" and I have tried to remember that when buying stuff. Like Dennis Miller said "two of shit is still shit." I like the Savane pants because they have flexible waist band that is hidden from view. If you squat or have a big lunch they adjust accordingly. Now all I need is a decent belt.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

What's up with that?

The last couple of days the temperature has reached 90. Wendell has started his annual summer mantra of "it's hot" and I now sweat as soon as I step outside. But, it just isn't that bad out there right now. The sky is blue (no ozone!), there has been a breeze blowing and the humidity ain't that high. Heck, I'm willing to bet if I started excercising more I might now even sweat all that much when I stepped outdoors. How long will this summer lull last? Will we have a mild summer or is August going to bite us in the ass? I'm always willing to be optimistic about summer. I think it's going to stay just like this until early September. Count on it, bet on it just dont' wager your soul.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Comedy without snappy dialogue

I went and saw the movie Stepford Wives today with Patty. The movie had a real good cast, a decent premise but it didn't have the snappy dialogue one might expect from a comedy with such high aspirations. Each actor portrayed their part well but they just didn't have anything clever to say. I have to say, though, that Bette Midler is one of those people that can make me laugh just with facial expressions. Who can forget her killer cameo in "Get Shorty?" The movie just needed a little more bite.

I do like it when I walk into a movie and find out it's a Dreamworks production. I know that it's not going to suck. Concerning Dreamworks: I love that studios intro. That kid fishing off the moon always makes me smile.

Comedy without snappy dialogue

I went and saw the movie Stepford Wives today with Patty. The movie had a real good cast, a decent premise but it didn't have the snappy dialogue one might expect from a comedy with such high aspirations. Each actor portrayed their part well but they just didn't have anything clever to say. I have to say, though, that Bette Midler is one of those people that can make me laugh just with facial expressions. The movie just needed a little more bite.

I do like it when I walk into a movie and find out it's a Dreamworks production. I know that it's not going to suck. Concerning Dreamworks: I love that studios intro. That kid fishing off the moon always makes me smile.

Friday, July 02, 2004

What the hey?

It's the Friday before the 4th and every computer if full. Don't people travel on holidays anymore? Not that I am complaining, I would never do that. It'll help keep my position valid.