Sunday, February 27, 2005

My Oscar predictions

Being such an astute observer of our wacky modern culture I decided to share my Oscar predictions with the world. These are not the results I think should happen but what I think will happen. Something like that. I'm not even sure if that was proper English.

Best Picture: Million Dollar Baby
Best Director: Scorsese for The Aviator
Best Actor: Jamie Fox for Ray
Best Actress: I got no fucking clue but probably Swank.
Best Supporting Actor: Morgan Freeman for the boxing movie
Best Supporting Actress: Cate Blanchett from the Aviator

Top that, Ebert, you son of a bitch.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

I am an airhead

Today at my library as part of our ongoing 'movie nights' I chose to show the movie "Star Wars." Not "Star Wars: Episode Six: A New Hope: Let's Plot Backwards." Just plain ole goddamn "Star Wars."

My bossman brought in his DVD copy since, as long as we own the movie on VHS, we can show a copy not owned by the 'brary. At some point during the day I misplaced it. Forty five minutes before the movie is set to start I go to my desk to grab it and start putting all the shit together I need to show the movie. Stuff like the subwoofer, speakers, popcorn, cheesy sprinkles, salt and DVD player. I find everything I need but the DVD. Where's the DVD? I don't know and neither does anyone else. I then scour the branch, tracing my steps after I took possesion of the DVD. Nothing. Zip. Nada. Squat. Naturally as I'm doing the search I am asked by other staff members what I am looking for and I'm sure as I relate to them what's going on they are thinking, "This goddamn doofus is a librarian? Jesus."

Next step: go to Blockbuster and spend five bucks for a rental version of the movie. I get to the Blockbuster down the road and all I can find in the action section is a VHS copy of the damn thing. I go to the counter and ask the cashier if they have any DVD copies of the flick. He takes me over to the new release wall and grabs one of the twenty copies of the movie stored there. I hadn't thought of that in my frazzled state. I pay for it and head back to the library with about twenty minutes to set up. Melanie is nice enough to pop the popcorn for me and I am ready to go by showtime.

The whole time I am dong this there is a thought in the back of my head and that is "we've been having trouble with attendance to these things and if no one shows up I am going to hurl myself out a window." Showtime comes around, nobody has shown up. Ten minutes after showtime, no one. I decide to watch a couple of scenes and the pack everything up. After the first scene I choose to view someone jiggles the door latch. I let a father and his young son in. I start the movie quickly so we can finish before the library closes. Ten minutes later a mother and very young son come in. Alright, we got a movie night rolling here.

The mother and three-year-old sit behind me and every once in a while he asks her stuff like "who's that?" and "What's that guy doing?" I didn't hear her answers. I think she shushed him a couple of times. Didn't bother me. I like telling kids what's going during movies. There's no reason to leave them confused, is there? I remember when I was watching one of the Batman movies at the Park Terrace theater. It was opening weekend and the theater was full of kids. I sat up front because that's where I prefere to be and I was surrounded by kids who had been allowed by their parents to sit up front. One kid was telling another that Bruce Wayne, who was oncsreen, was Batman. His friend refused to believe that. The first kid turned to me and said, "Mister, that guy's Batman, isn't he?" I said "Yup." He turned back to his buddy and said, "See, I told you he's Batman."

Thank god a few people showed up.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Howdy

This last Saturday my roommate, Wendell, bought the DVD version of the film "Ray." We watched it that night after I finished destroying my friend Granville at Madden 2005. I'm sure you've seen plenty of reviews that praise the performance of Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles and they are well deserved. His portrayal of Ray Charles is transcendent. It goes beyond mere mimicry and he embodies the character completely.

Like all biopics it's not a great film but it's worth seeing. Wendell came away from the movie wishing he had seen a documentary instead of a feature film but it is good at what it tries to do. I thought it did the little a things a documentary can't do by giving you a peak into the character of Ray Charles. Of course it's their vision of how Ray may have behaved but it felt authentic to me.

Also Sharon Warren as Ray Charles' mother was radiant. I'd never heard of her before and she is just gorgeous and was a great choice to play his young mother.

Seeing the movie reminded me of an appearance by Jamie Foxx on the old Chris Rock HBO show. I remember Rock asked Foxx the difference between being on television and being on the big screen. Foxx told Rock that he had thought TV pussy was good but had found that movie pussy is a million times better. As I was watching the movie Ray and as I was remembering that interview I also recalled an interview I saw with George Clooney right before he became a big movie star. He told of a time when he was on a plane with Mel Gibson and they struck up a conversation and left the plane together. He said that when they got into the middle of the public people would come up to him and treat him like a buddy since they only saw him on the tube. When the same people saw Mel Gibson they went gaga and treated Mel like a god. I think those two anecdotes demonstrate pretty much the same thing.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

My lunch date

Here's a picture of the squirrel I shared my lunch with a few days ago.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Here, have a bite

Yesterday after climbing into my car with my turkey sub from Quizno's I realized that I was one stoplight away from Park Road Park and it was over sixty degrees out. I went to the park and sat at a picnic table and ate my sandwich surrounded by noisy geese and aggressive squirrels. I even hand fed one of the squirrels a litte bit of my bread as he darted around the top of the picnic table. I found out today, while eating at the same picnic table, that if you tap your toe rapidly in the dirt the Canadian Geese will start to behave like there is a threat in the area and move away. Is it because my tapping toe sounded to them like the slapping of a beaver's tail which is a signal of danger? Sounds good to me.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hard to feel bad

You know I've been hearing about how US Air might go belly up and, even though it may cost a lot of people in Charlotte their jobs, it's hard to sympathize with a company that forces poor Charlotteans to drive to Greensboro and fly back into Charlotte for a decent air fare to other parts of the country. I see a new airline is moving into Charlotte and they have reasonable fares. You know what? Screw US Air. Their willingness to gouge us over the years just because they can has been despicable.
Hard to feel bad

You know I've been hearing about how US Air might go belly up and, even though it may cost a lot of people in Charlotte their jobs, it's hard to sympathize with a company that forces poor Charlotteans to drive to Greensboro and fly back into Charlotte for a decent air fare to other parts of the country. I see a new airline is moving into Charlotte and they have reasonable fares. You know what? Screw US Air. Their willingness to gouge us over the years just because they can has been despicable.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Me likum Roger Angell

"television is a huge difference. TV has changed us all more than anything has in my lifetime, obviously. And instant replay, which changes everything. Instant replay replaces memory—in all of us—I think. Our memories are not what they used to be because some part of us says we can turn memory off and just find the replay. I once talked to Carlton Fisk—I was writing a piece about home runs —and I asked, "Do you have any memory of that home run in the sixth game in 1975, any private memory of what it was like? We all know the famous TV shot of you going to first base waving the ball fair, pushing it to the field and it hits the foul pole and the game is won." He said, "It's very interesting that you should bring this up. I have only seen that shot about four or five times in my lifetime. Every time I see it coming up, I leave the room or turn the set off. Because I want to keep a crystal memory of what that was like for me." I was very touched."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Wowzers!

No one says 'wowzers' anymore. Hey, I know that. I just didn't know what else to say after I learned that the Paris Review is building a database of their author interviews.
My mistake

In my previous post I referred to Drudge as a wannabe journalist. I found a better description of him in a news article about the Chris Rock comments. The AP news story referred to Drudge as an internet gossip columnist. That's close. I would have preferred "sleazy internet gossip columnist" but that may just be redundant.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The fallen mighty

You know, I used to go to the Drudge Report a lot and I've stopped going during the presidential election. Not because he's biased but because he is dishonest in his portrayal of those he opposes. If you go there now you can see he is trying to drum up some fake outrage against Chris Rock and his hosting of the Oscars. He takes out of context words said by a comedian and tries to portray them as the rantings of a homophobe. I'm sure Drudge knows what sarcasm is and his attempt to stir up this controversey is dishonest for someone claiming to be a journalist.
The Asian Market

This weekend I had planned at some point to go to the Asian Market at the intersection of Tryon and Sugar Creek so I could buy a few boxes of green tea. A co-worker told me that on Saturday they were having a new year's celebration. Well then, I thought, it looks like I'll go on Saturday.

Outside they would set off a huge packet of firecrackers and guys in a dragon suit would dance around it.


Inside, the mall was packed.


They had singers.


A beauty pageant.




I stayed about 1 1/2 hours. They also featured children doing traditional dances but I didn't get any good photos of that. I did get three boxes of tea and drank green tea all weekend.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Our beloved president and the death penalty

Sister Helen Prejean in the New York Review of Books.
May god continue to bless George Bush

Oops. As you can see Richard Clarke's assertions when his book came out were obviously the words of a opportunist.
The fall

If you've ever been to my place you know I kinda like to hop around. The way our living room is set up with two couches, two lounge chairs and a big glass table it doesn't offer easy passage from the living to the kitchen and the bathroom. So I like to bounce over the couch near the hallway to get to the other areas of the apartment. Recently I brought my sleeping bag into the living so I could sit under when it gets chilly and I left it sitting on the couch I bound over. As you may know sleeping bags have to sides. One side is fluffy and warm and mine has a slick surfaced exterior. Last night I took a break from gaming and was climbing back over the couch and my foot hit the slick side. I twisted my ankle and planted myself on the floor face first. I scraped my knee and slammed my right hand onto the plastic squirt gun I use to discipline cats, shattering the gun into tiny pieces, a couple of which stuck in my hand.

As I lay on the floor feeling like a fucking idiot I did a quick inventory and found that I hadn't hurt myself (other than twisting my ankle). It's been years since I have fallen that hard and it scared the shit out of me. I missed the big glass table by only a couple of inches. Yikes.

I know what you're thinking. You are saying to yourself, "how many beers had you drank before the fall, Ed?" Since I'm off today, sure, I'd had a few beers but that wasn't what caused the fall. The fall was caused by a 37 year old jumping around his apartment like he's twelve. I better slow down. I don't want to break my hip and end up in a rest home.

All I'm left with is a sore ankle and a reason to post more than a few sentances.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Must...post...something

In about two hours I have to lead a book discussion. We are going to discuss "Empress Orchid" by Anchee Min. Sorry, no link, I don't have a lot of time right now. I was a little disappointed that it didn't appear on any year end lists that I perused. Maybe it's actually a crappy book and I read crap. Crap, that would suck.

One thing I am sure of is that the few people that are going to show up tonight better have read this book because although I did a 15 minute talk on this book a few months ago I sure as hell am not prepared to talk about by myself for half an hour. If they sit there like a bunch of retarded statues I am going to be pissed.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Hopefully President Bush will have to answer for this someday

"The Bush administration has turned Guantánamo into a place that is devoid of due process and the rule of law. It's a place where human beings can be imprisoned for life without being charged or tried, without ever seeing a lawyer, and without having their cases reviewed by a court. Congress and the courts should be uprooting this evil practice, but freedom and justice in the United States are on a post-9/11 downhill slide.

So we are stuck for the time being with the disgrace of Guantánamo, which will forever be a stain on the history of the United States, like the internment of the Japanese in World War II."
The new style

Whaddya think of the beard?

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Yikes

File this one under why I am happy I gots no kids.

Today I was in the bathroom at work. As I was doing my thing I heard a conversation between a small child and his father in the far stall. Apparently the little boy was pooping and having a little bit of a problem. I heard him tell his dad, who was in a bit of a hurry, "The big one's already out."

"Oh, good," Dad enthused.

"Just a little bit left," the boy said, "just a little one hanging there."
All has been prepared

Really there is little to do to prepare for a Superbowl party. A friend of mine is hosting a few of us fellas today and I just got back from a stroll over to the Harris Teeter with a bag of tortilla chips, mild cheese dip and a large bottle o' Mountain Dew. Goddammit, it's Superbowl day and I got enough shitty-ass junk food to keep me revved up for four hours of good ole 'Merican head bashing broken up by 'clever' commercials.

Paul McCartney is going to do the half time show. I reckon they figured Beatle Paul would be the last person to do anything to tarnish his or America's reputation. He is the stoner every mother wants her daughter to bring home. You know what would be great? It would be great if Paul snapped and took his clothes off and waggled his wang at the world. I would consider that a successful half time show.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

You've got to be kidding

I see that President Douchebag and some congressman out of California say that social security should be changed because black men don't live as long as white men and therefore they aren't able to enjoy their benefits. That has got to be the most ridiculous assertion ever made. First of all black men don't live as long because black babies die at a rate twice as high as white babies and the odds of a young black male and dying violently are much higher than for young white males. The problem ain't social security. African Americans also don't have access to the same quality of health care as whites. Do you think that might be part of it, you sorry excuse for a president? Jesus, the lies this fuck tells are infuriating. George Bush: friend of the black man. What a joke.

Facts

White infant mortality rates in 2001: 5.7 per 1000
Black infant mortality rates in 2001: 14.0 per 1000
(Source: US Center for Health Statistics)

In 2002 the percentage of whites of total people murdered in US: 48
In 2002 the percentage of blacks of total people murdered in US: 48
(Source: FBI)

In 2002 the percentage of blacks of total US population: %12.7

So, you can see how changing social security is going to be a big help.


Cell Phone news

If you drive while on the phone you are a dick.