Monday, July 31, 2006


I think it's now at the point where I'm the one a little scared of the neighbor. She has that whole anger of youth going on, but it's not even that. I think she's a "black widow" in training. I think she has that power to wrap certain men around her finger and have them do her bidding. Luckily, I'm old enough not to be drawn by her web of charm. Still, if I end up on the run for "Body Heat" type crime, you know what happened.

At Bob Jones one of my favorite things was when they tried to explain that when "wine" was mentioned in the Bible it was really grape juice. So Jesus wasn't really drinking alcoholic beverages, and therefore their rules against drinking were Biblical. Did they really expect people to fall for that?

Current Man Crushes:

Denis Leary

Buster Olney: The next Peter Gammons

Greg Dulli

As a Cubs fan I think I can speak for all of us: Why can't we play the Cardinals all season? Seriously, how can we suck so bad yet beat the Cardinals (second best team in the NL) 10 out of 13. Also, I realize Itzuris is an upgrade on defense and has some speed, but we couldn't perhaps get a pitching prospect for Maddux? Do we need another player with a long list of injuries? We kind of need pitching. Prior is clearly done, and yes I mean career done. He's mentally shot. You can see it in his face.

For some reason I still get a kick out of this commercial. I wish they would still play this long version.

Would you say Jon Lovitz is overrated or underrated?

I got my retro Tottenham Hotspurs shirt yesterday. The problem was that I was in the shower when it came. I apologize to the old mail carrier lady. Nobody should ever have to see me with my shirt off. The shirt is pretty sweet though. 17 days till the season begins.

I saw Miami Vice over the weekend. It doesn't really come close to "Heat," but it has it's moments. The audience I saw it with clearly hated it. The second the credits rolled the audience started yelling how awful it was. I was rather surprised, and couldn't really figure out why. It was a little slow to get rolling, but it had enough action moments once it started. The story was wafer thin and cliche, but I don't think this audience hated it for that reason. It looked great. I figure they either hated Colin Farrell, or they expected a spoof on the TV show rather than a straight forward reworking. The Farrell story line was pretty awful.

The Movies I'm Looking Forward to in the Fall:

The Black Dahlia: Adapted from Ellroy novel: Plus. Directed by De Palma: ugh minus
Science of Sleep: I like the Gondry
The Departed: ditto Scorsese
The Prestige: ditto Nolan
Invincible: I'm always a sucker for a sports movie.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Don't Like the Drugs But I Like the Songs

I still have The Twilight Singers "Powder Burns" in heavy rotation. While a few of Dulli's previous songs have been about drugs, (See "Fountain and Fairfax" - "Angel, forever/Don't you promise me what you cannot deliver Angel, together/I'll be waiting for you on Fountain and Fairfax") his album "Powder Burns" is his "getting clean" album.

Often such albums don't really work. It's sad, but often some musicians are just better on drugs and booze. Anyway, there are a couple great drug songs on the album, "Bonnie Brae" and "Forty Dollars." Forty Dollars turning of the word "love" to mean drugs takes a twist when using The Beatles chorus of "All You Need Is Love" for its refrain.

This got me thinking about other great drug songs. I tried listing a top ten, but then it kept growing. This is by no means a complete list, but those that came from the top of my head. Actually, this list barely scratches the surface. They do cover all facets of the drug world: using drugs, buying drugs, selling drugs, trying to get off drugs, etc. Add your favorites in the comments.

"All Down The Line" - The Rolling Stones
"Flying High (In the Friendly Sky)" - Marvin Gaye
"Heroin" - The Velvet Underground (Actually see almost the whole Lou Reed catalog: "Perfect Day" "Sweet Jane" etc. The same goes for David Bowie)
"Master of Puppets" - Metallica
"Sugar Blues" - Thin Lizzy
"White Lines (Don't Do It)" - Grandmaster Flash and Melle Mel
"Another Girl, Another Planet" - The Only Ones
"Mr. Brownstone" - Guns N' Roses
"The Needle And The Damage Done" - Neil Young
"Needle In The Hay" - Elliott Smith
"Something For The Weekend" - Super Furry Animals
"Fools Gold" - Stone Roses
"There She Goes" - The La's
"And She Was" - Talking Heads
"I Wanna be Sedated" - Ramones
"Don't Stop Me Now" - Queen
"Pusherman" - Curtis Mayfield
"Chinese Rock" - Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

We Can Make It Better, Stronger, Faster...

I really like my Nano. I like its simplicity. I like its form. I even like the uniqueness the scratches give the device. Yet, over time I have become a little disappointed by the operating system. Before the Nano, I had the monstrosity called Dell DJ, and a Creative Zen Micro. While the mechanism of the Zen isn't as accurate as the Nano, there are some things that the Zen does that the Nano can't. Why can't I delete a song from within my Nano. Often I buy an album and just throw it on the Nano to listen to it. With the Zen if I came across a song I didn't like I just deleted it. With the Nano I have to connect it to my computer and then delete it there. Also, when I have my player set on shuffle and come across an artist I want to hear other songs from, why can't I access those songs with a push of a button like on my old Zen? Why can't I add songs to a playlist when actually listening to the song? I do enjoy my Nano, but there are things I miss about my Zen. All this to say that in a couple years when I want a new player I might not go back to the iPod. I probably won't go back to Creative with their Zen V Plus (too cute and toyish). I guess I'm saying they have yet to create the perfect mp3 player in my eyes. This is what they need to make:

1. Sleek design and click wheel of an iPod.
2. Operating system that is a more streamlined version of Creative's.
3. It should be able to work with both Mac and PC
4. Line-in recording and a voice recorder
5. There should be no limits on what formats it can play. This is for those hardcore OOG fans.
6. If you want, it can play video but that means the screen has to be at least Gigabeat size. It also need to have a video out.
7. It needs Bluetooth so you can wirelessly transfer songs from your computer and eventually headphones.

Someone needs to get on it too. They have a two years to make one. Actually, if they came up with one sooner I'd probably get it anyway. I don't think it will be the Zune, either.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Joy for the PSP!

As many of you know I get a little impatient sometimes. Usually it comes with something meaningless like an album, a gadget, or a videogame. Well, this time around it's a videogame. I've been anticipating a clever simple game called Loco Roco. Anticipating it so much that I went ahead and ordered an import version, so I could play it a month ahead of the US release date. Why the U.S. gamers have to wait for the good games like Katamari and Shadow of the Colossus, I have no idea. It's like they don't trust us. Anyway, I received the game Saturday and have been playing it ever since. Look Burnout and Grand Theft were fun for the PSP but they still felt like ports from the PS2. Lumines is the maybe the only game that felt like it belonged on the PSP. Maybe Exit, but that's not a perfectly executed game. Loco Roco is a PSP game. It's very much in the line of the Katamari games in its simplicity.

In Loco Roco you are a blob. Using just the top shoulder buttons to tilt the screen you guide and hop your blob through different worlds. Along the way you collect little flowers that contain other loco roco's. You can unite into one blob or break down into single blobs to work your way through the worlds. It's part puzzle game part platformer. The music is fantastic. The design is great. With more things to collect, times to beat, and a house to build the game provides a lot of replay. For those who were disappointed by the frustrating controls on the PSP's Katamari, this game is for you.

Buying an import version also helps in the decision process, because on its U.S. release date Ultimate Ghosts & Goblins comes out on the PSP. Then it will be time to get knocked to my skivies in this old school reworking.

Hot Night with the Lips. Too Hot.

Last night was a couple firsts for me. In my six years of living in LA, it was my first concert at the Hollywood Bowl as well as my first Flaming Lips concert. I know many of you consider that a travesty on both counts. What can I say? I'm a small venue kind of guy. Though it was the combination of the spectacle of a Flaming Lips concert tucked into the Hollywood Hills that made me willing to deal with park and ride, and the 17 thousand in attendance. On the whole, I'd say the night was hit and miss.

The biggest problem was that LA is in an unprecedented heatwave. It was ridiculously hot last night. When you are willing to pay for water what you would for a beer, you know it's hot. Big ups to Tamara who brought the samaches and enough water to last till the sun went down.

The Theivery Corporation was the opening act. They brought their bohemian dirty hippie vibe to the concert. There's nothing as frightening or as enthralling as dancing dirty hippie girls.

But the real reason the people were at the sold out Bowl was for The Flaming Lips. I personally was expecting a giant spectacle. The first good news was that they were shooting this concert for a DVD. That meant they would go all out with the spectacle. At least I originally thought it was a good sign. My second thought was why would they shoot a concert at the Hollywood Bowl? It visually is a stunning venue, but you have no idea what kind of audience you are going to get. Did they really expect the people who paid thousands of dollars for the box seats to be that involved while eating their olives and brie? You also have the snobby LA fan factor. There are many LA concert goers that refuse to get involved in a concert. It's very much a be there to be seen kind of mind set. Third, (again) it was hotter than most Los Angeleans are used to. All that lead to an audience that wasn't going to go all out even if they were going to be in a concert film.

[I'm pretty sure if you are ever going to shoot a concert film you have to shoot it overseas. They go apeshit over there simply because when a US band perform over there it's a once in a lifetime thing. How can you not go crazy?]

Anyway, all this led to Wayne Coyne wasting time before and after every song with requests that eventually became begging pleads for the audience to stand up and get involved. In LA? At the Bowl? In this heat? Not going to happen.

Still as a spectacle it was highly entertaining. You had your dancing santas and aliens. You had Wayne in the bubble. There were the mermaids/aliens? in body paint wandering the venue. There were numerous giant white balloons released during the first song, "Race for the Prize." They passed out glowing necklaces that Wayne then asked the audience to throw at him during "Yoshima Battles the Pink Robots Pt. 2." You also had numerous cannon shots of confetti covering the crowd. All this to say that while it was all visually fantastic (There's nothing like seeing thousands of glowing necklaces flying through the air) it was all maybe too much. When the giant balloons were released, more people where enthralled by knocking them around than the band performing on stage. It had me wondering: Where's that line in which the spectacle overshadow the music? I realize that The Flaming Lips have become this merger of visual set pieces and their music, but were more people there to see Coyne walk across the crowd in a bubble or hear the song that accompanies that visual? As a self admitted music snob, I would have gladly sacrificed some visuals if it meant more than a 10 song set. The kid in me did appreciate the eye candy at moments. Particularly, once the sun set and the crowd got involved which was right around the encore.

In fact, it was that encore of "War Pigs" that saved the show for me, and had me feeling happy and entertained as I was herded along with the mass exodus. Driving home, though after the glow wore off, I was wondering if "War Pigs" was simply an indication of how good the show could have been. It seems that last night I simply got a taste of how fantastic a Flaming Lips concert could be.

Friday, July 21, 2006


Please wait till the end of this paragraph to pass judgement.

The World Cup had left a longing in me for more soccer. I can't follow the US soccer teams because they suck. That leaves following soccer overseas. I decided on the English Premiership over the Spanish football league simply because I could understand the cheers and announcers. I also had more knowledge about the Premierships teams than the Spanish. After deciding on a league I needed to choose a team. I narrowed it down to two teams Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. I talked to my brother Sam who lives in London, and asked for any added insight into the teams. He is actually a Liverpool supporter. One of my main concerns is that I didn't want to jump onto a badnwagon. That's one of the reasons Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea were elminated. Liverpool while an underdog for awhile, actually one the cup last year. Supporting them would then be like someone coming and picking the Red Sox. This had me leaning more and more toward Tottenham Hotspur. Here are some other reasons I was leaning toward Tottenham.
1. Great name
2. I look good in navy blue and white (the team colors)
3. Their logo is called the cock and ball. Yes it's juvenile but it's also a cool logo.
4. They are a young team with promise.

The final nail in the coffin though came from Sam. "If you like to support the underdog (as I recall you support the Cubs), you may prefer to back the Hotspurs." That pretty much sealed the deal. So I have no become a Spur supporter.

Now I know what you readers are thinking...copycat. Yes, I realized yesterday that Bill Simmons went through the same process and even narrowed it down to the same two teams. In fact he actually picked the Hotspurs as well. After reading that, I became conflicted about my pick. I seriously considered changing to Liverpool. Eventually, I came to my senses and realized I don't care. No matter what team I picked I would percieved as a bandwagoner. That's why it's difficult to pick a team this late in life. So I'm sticking with Hotspur. Besides, I can't pull off wearing the red which is Liverpool's color. Actually, I'll probably get more flack for deciding to follow soccer.

I once burnt my nose while ironing a shirt.

I'm still leading my fantasy baseball team by double digits, but the pitching that got me there is begining to fall apart.

The Cubs still suck.

This Sunday is The Flaming Lips at the Hollywood Bowl. This will be my first trip to the Hollywood Bowl in the five plus years I've lived out here. Some things just take awhile getting to.

Remember when summer time used to be a great time for movies?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Day My Music Died or How Bob Jones Ruined My Chances to Become a Famous Bass Player

I mentioned this event briefly, and Jamie mentioned it when blogging about her hesitation in visiting South Carolina, so I thought I would flesh out the whole event.

Like most kids the first musical instrument I ever played was the piano. It's the gateway drug of musical instruments. My first piano teacher was a chain smoking old lady. She'd sit there and listen to me play. She'd take a drag from her cigarette and say in her smoke stained voice, "Not bad, kid, not bad."
In fifth grade I was able to actually pick the instrument I wanted to play. For some reason I was drawn to the double bass. Maybe it was that low end sound, or the whole manliness of playing such a big instrument (mark it), but I think I chose it because it seemed easy to play.

The one main drawback of the bass was that it was huge. It became quite a chore carrying the thing from one end of campus to the other. I imagined I looked very much like an ant carrying something five times it's size. Actually, I probably looked more like a stick bug, but you get the point. Four years I hauled that monstrosity around.

For the most part I stunk. Every year I was "last chair." In eighth grade I made the jump to "first chair," but that was because I was the only chair. Since this was Bob Jones, the only music we played was orchestra music. Every now and then we got the chance to play a movie's theme. You might ask, how is it we weren't allowed to go see movies, but we could play their music? My only explanation is, "It's Bob Jones."

While enjoying my reign as the only person who had the balls to play bass, our teacher through us for loop by including the spiritual "Down by the Riverside." I was thrilled for a few reasons. First of all I got to pluck through the whole song. I hated using that damn bow. Also, there was a part that I loved to play. I called it the "Buh dup bump" part. "I'm gonna lay down my sword and shield" Buh dup bump "Down by the riverside!" Buh dup bump. "Down by the riverside!" It was like having a solo after every line. For the first time in my life I really had fun playing an instrument. I actually looked forward to practice.

Every few months our school would throw a concert where the orchestra would put on a concert so parents could gush and little siblings could complain that they had to sit still and listen to music that was nothing like Patch the Pirate. This was going to be my time to shine. I scooted up on my stool and sleep walked through the boring songs. Tonight was all about "Down by the Riverside." Finally the time came. I was in the zone during the whole song. I plucked the hell out of that bass. After it was over I had that rush of publicly performing a fun song. I loved it. Apparently, I loved it too much.

After the concert, I was approached by a few students and parents, and a teacher. They had a big problem with my performance...I danced. How could someone sitting on a stool during the whole song be accused of dancing. Again, "It's Bob Jones." You see I was in fact bobbing my head and moving my torso to the "Buh dup bump." This was deemed dancing in many people's eyes and I was rebuked for it. I was punished for having fun.

All the wind was taken out of my sails that night. Of course the one song that I really enjoyed playing was wrong because it caused me to "dance." I was stuck playing songs that I had no fun playing. So, the second I got a chance I bailed. If I hadn't had been brainwashed into thinking rock n' roll, jazz, or other "secular" music was wrong I might have stuck with it. I might have become a mediocre bass player with a small drug habit. I wouldn't have to rely on my good looks to get sleazy groupies. Oh the life I missed out on.

For a short time I dabbled in playing the trombone simply because I wanted to play the Star Wars theme. That's right. At one point I could actually play three musical instruments. The trombone didn't take. This is probably a good thing. If I had stuck with it, I'd probably have wasted my years in a ska band. Shudder. Anyway, thank you Bob Jones for ruining my musical career.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I Was So Ready to Get My Football On

Today NCAA Football '07 is released. Today I have been waiting till work would end and I can pick it up on the way home. You see I prefer NCAA over Madden. I know that seems like heresy to say. Maybe it's because I like the college game over the NFL. The only reason I bought Madden last year was because NCAA made it so you could take the player you created and continue his career in the pros. Which really is brilliant on EA's part. Anyway, I was excited about the new game being released today. I could hear my 360 calling me. I was looking forward to creating a new player and get him into the school's Hall of Fame. I like the personal game elements in sports game. I loved how in The Show you could create a player and play simply as him till he got called to the big leagues. I wanted to create a graphical representation of myself doing things I can only dream about. This morning I started reading a few of the reviews. There were more for the PS2 and the Xbox than the 360 and that kind of worried me. Maybe it didn't come out today? I checked and sure enough it was coming out today. Then I found out something that through the monkey wrench into my child like excitement. The 360 version is actually missing features from the Xbox and PS2 version. One of those features is the Legend mode. I won't have the ability to create my own character. That's not the only feature it's missing too. There are no Spring Drills to determine your depth chart. The hot routes for both defense and offense are limited in their accessibility. The ESPN integration is lacking in comparison as well. My question is why does a game for a next gen system make me want to purchase the old gen version. Microsoft has completely buried the old Xbox, so why should the Xbox system have the better more comprehensive game? I realize this is really EA Sports doing, not Microsoft, but still. Next gen system games should never pale to the previous system's version. Madden for the 360 had the same problem, but I thought it was because the game was rushed to meet the launch date. Is this going to be a problem with all Xbox 360 sports games? Can they simply not fit everything with the graphical enhancements onto one disc? Since the PS3 is using bluray which has over twice as much storage capacity as the disc the Xbox uses, is the PS3 going to win in the features department. Is the 360 going to be limited because of the storage device it's games are on. Either way, I guess I'm buying an old gen game when I should be buying a next gen game.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Those Emmy People Kind of Got It Right

I realize it's been awhile since the Emmy nominations were announced, but I figure I can still give those Emmy voters a pat on the back when do something right. To my surprise, Denis Leary was actually nominated for best actor in a drama for Rescue Me. Which is great because the show deserves some recognition. But why no nominations for best drama? Can I also say I'm sick and tired of this blind love for the Sopranos. I agree seasons 1 & 2 were great television. After that, it's been a slow decline into mediocrity and boredom. Still, I'll let that slide. What I won't let slide is that John Scurti doesn't get a nomination for playing Lt. Kenny Lou Shea. That is a travesty! He is just fantastic on the show. Calie Thorne as Sheila really deserves a nod as well. She plays the desperate lonely crazy single mother so well. It's two parts funny, two parts sad.

For those that haven't been Netflixing Rescue Me after I wrote about it last year, what's wrong with you?

One other question: How in the hell does The Shield not get anything for the stellar season. Forest Whitaker doesn't get a guest actor nod? Really? Is it only the Academy members that are watching Boston Legal?

You Can Be a Doctor, a Lawyer, or an Indian Chief, but you can't be the American Dream!

Thank you Bob for reminding me when wrasslin' ruled.

Ye Ask The Sound and the Fury and ye shall receive.

Thursday, July 13, 2006


First off, Happy Birthday to my family's own Irish lady, Julie. Our family is so lucky Ben K. married you. With you, some might say our family is actually civil. Thank you for being so patient with us, particularly during the holidays.

The fear of creeping out my neighbor has come to an end. Yesterday as her and her friend left her apartment building she introduced me as the one "cool" neighbor she has. That was nice. I do wonder how I beat out the Dave Baldwin look-a-like. I assume he probably hit on her when he was drunk off his ass, which seems to be every night. She then proceeded to invite me later that night to come over and "smoke a bowl" with her friends. I politely passed. I don't need to sit in a small room with strangers smoking weed.

The greatest album title of the year belongs to the Isley Brothers. They just released an album called..."Baby Makin' Music." Genius.

Earlier this week my Tivo recorded a show on ESPN Classic called Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Steve Bartman for the Cubs Losing the 2003 NLCS. I've always held that Bartman got the short end of the stick on this matter. There were so many other factors attributing to the Cubs loss that I wish the media would leave this guy alone. It seems every week there's a Bartman reference on Sportscenter. I guess that moment is our Buckner moment, when in actuality the Buckner moment is their Leon Durham moment. Here's the real problem. I thought I could handle watching it. I thought nearly three years was enough time for me to objectively watch the Cubs fall apart. I was so wrong. Five minutes in I was completely depressed. I started fastforwarding the highlights of the game because I couldn't take it. My anger rose every time some Marlin player started talking. What a loser. How long do I have to wait till I can handle this? Will the pain always be there till the Cubs actually win a World Series? Why did I ever become a Cubs fan?

Who do we blame for the come back of the polo shirt with the collars up? Kanye West?

Sportscenter's Make a Wish series + me alone in my apartment = Brad's Bawlfest. Really it's ridiculous. It's like they know exactly what shot is going to spring the waterworks.

Why didn't the boys at 3CT form a team for VH1's World Series of Pop Culture? It would be pure domination if we had a team.

Look we all know Superman would dominate if he played football. I wonder though if he could dominate in baseball. Sure he could probably be a solid power pitcher, but could he hit his spots when he pitches? His bat speed would be phenomenal, but I don't know if he could hit a curve ball or slider. Yes, I'm questioning Superman's hand-eye coordination. I think he could be a solid power hitter in an Adam Dunn kind of way, but I wouldn't guarantee he'd be a lock for the Hall of Fame.

I've been trying to keep this a secret for some time, but I have to let it out. Over a month ago, I caved and bought the Nintendo DS Lite. Sometimes that need to play Mario Kart simply becomes too strong. I'm so weak.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

This Old Duplex

I've reached that point in the blogging where it's a bit of struggle to come up with stuff to write. Racking my brain for stories to tell, I've often reminded myself of the right side of this duplex on Wyandotte Ave. in Columbus, Ohio. This is the first home of my youth. I have a few faint memories of an apartment, and a house before this one, but nothing concrete. I've seen the pictures of the first two years of my existence in Georgia, but no memories. I don't even remember moving in to this duplex. I just remember being there.

It was nice cool old building with hardwood floors. It didn't have much of a yard, but it did have a sandbox and a cherry tree that I could reach from the back porch. My room was the attic at the top. I had the whole attic to myself. It was my domain. The only entrance was up the winding steps from the bathroom. It had one small window that you could see the city skyline from or launch Evel Knievel and his stunt cycle to thier death. It was the greatest bedroom any little boy could have.

Anyway, here are some of the remaining memories surrounding that duplex in my forgetful mind.

Our neighbor was an elderly lady named Margorie, I think. She often had some old guy visiting, I want to say his name was George. Every time we saw him he always made the same offer. "Would you like a rubber duck? What color would you like?" You might think "every time" would be an exageration, but he did ask every time. And every time he never had any rubber ducks. Never. In this day and age it would seem really creepy, but back then it was simply annoying. Why would he ask us for something he would never have? Why did he recieve joy out of this? Why did we consistently humor him?

One afternoon I went digging in our side yard with the dream of finding a fossil. To my suprise I actually found a human tooth. At first I thought perhaps I found a cavaman's tooth. I eventually came to my senses and realized that perhaps someone was murdered and once buried there. I kept digging and digging hoping to be able to find more teeth or maybe even a skull! I didn't find anything except my mother's anger for digging up her yard.

You know kids in the 70's you could trade in glass soda pop bottles for candy or baseball cards. There was many a weekend or summer day spent collecting bottles, taking them down to one of the stores and trading them for gobstoppers or baseball cards or Star Wars trading cards. Sure you can turn cans and bottles into recycling center and get cash these days. Back then there was no middle man. Those were good days when glass bottles could be used as currency. I found out much later that my Dad used to follow me each time to make sure I wasn't mugged.

There was time I learned that buttermilk was not the same as regular milk. Eating my cereal that morning I thought for sure I had poisoned myself on spoiled milk.

Making a shadow puppet of a dog on the wall, while singing "Hound Dog."

There were a couple kids that I played with on the block. The one constant kid lived next door in a hige white house. He was kind of an ass, and my parents didn't really like him. Heck, I didn't really like him. The thing was that his parents were one of the early adopters of HBO, so I made that sacrifice to see that old HBO opening with the cowboy hat and red shoe.

Only once did we ever have enough of a fear of a tornado that we actually holed up in the basement. Perhaps I should've been a little more frightened, but come on. We were camping in the basement. How cool is that?

I can't remember who gave it to us, but for a short time we had a stalk of sugar cane near the doorway to the kitchen. My parents would carve off a piece for our instant sugar rush. I was such a mild mannered kid, I guess they pumped sugar in me to see if I could ever become the crazy loud kid.

For a reason I can't remember I wanted to run away. I stuck a goodbye note in a metal tin on the dinner table. I walked about five blocks, came back, took the note out of the tin, and went upstairs to play with my Death Star.

Those are just a handful of a few. There's still the holidays celebrated there. The numerous dinners. The winter days helping Dad shovel snow. So on and so on. I think this house even beats the woods.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Weekend That Was

I had one of those nice movie weekends in which I saw three movies in three days. Unfortunately each movie was worse than the one before.

Friday, one time blogger, long time co-worker, Krystal, organized a group of us to go see "The Puffy Chair." It's a very enjoyable independent movie about Josh who takes (actually it's more like he's forced) his girlfriend (Emily) and his brother (Rhett) to pick-up a chair he bought as a birthday gift for his father. From New York to Atlanta, Josh and Emily take stock in where their relationship is headed. Often funny and hits those relationship points that we have either experienced ourselves or have seen in others. The movie feels very true. The brothers who wrote, directed, and produced the movie were on hand after the movie for a little Q&A. One of the brothers also plays the lead. Kathryn Aselton, who plays Emily, was also there. I will admit she is also my new minor celebrity crush. She is also very very good in the movie. I highly suggest you see this if it comes to a theater near you.

Saturday night I went to see the Pirates A couple nice action set pieces but not much of a script and again too long. The real problem was that I went to the late showing at the middling movie theater. Usually, the theater is never packed...ever. I never have to wait in line, or show up an hour early to make sure I got a seat. Of course there was a line around the building for the late show. For Pirates of the Caribbean? Really? The public was clamoring for this over Superman or even Da Vinci Code? I'm clearly out of touch with the public.

Sunday, the movie weekend was interrupted by the World Cup. Thank goodness I watched it or I would've missed one of the greatest "brain snaps" by one of the biggest players in the biggest game in the world. Completely out of nowhere and a definite tivo rewind moment. It was a near Mike Tyson moment.

After the game, I joined bobby and Brian D. for Through a Scanner Darkly. bobby and Brian struggled to stay awake. I stayed awake the whole time, so I guess I liked it. Maybe bobby is right and I didn't want to feel I wasted the 45 minute drive from Long Beach on a movie I didn't like.

One thing of note did happen. While ordering my hotdog and drink, the cashier asked if I was from Chicago because of my hat. I honestly said "no." The cashier then asked if I was in fact wearing a Cubs hat. I said "yes" and left it at that. bobby then said I should have just said I was from Chicago. I actually disagree. He clearly lived in Chicago at some time or he wouldn't have asked. If I had said "yes," there would've been a whole conversation involving question like: What part of Chicago did I live in? Where did I go to school? Did I know such and such? Did I ever go to this place or that place? On and on and on and on the conversation would've gone with someone who I only wanted was a hotdog and drink.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Fourth of July makes me thankful for many things:

I still have all my fingers, both eyes, and most of my hearing.

I didn't burn down the woods or our house.

That I didn't blow off my brother's fingers, eyes, or deafen him.

So I've been getting my fill of the World Cup. It's been fantastic. My problem has been who to cheer for since the US is always out of it. I could cheer for Brazil since my grandparents and aunt and uncle were/are missionaries in Brazil. I still miss the old Brazil T-shirt I had as a kid. But Brazil is also like the Yankees of the World Cup. I can't cheer for the Yankees of the World Cup. Germany was an underdog, so I was slightly intrigued to root for them. But then it's Germany. Which brings up another question: Are there so curses in soccer? Doesn't the Holocaust beat out something like selling Babe Ruth or kicking a goat out of the stadium in things likely to curse a team? Maybe since it's not sports related it doesn't count. But these teams all represent their country. It is Germany against Italy. Maybe each country has had it's own share of atrocities that they all somehow cancel each other out. Anyway, I had a difficult time cheering for Germany. Then there's the whole France thing. There's no way I'm cheering for a France team. No way. I could've gone the Switzerland route since I'm part Swiss. But then they lost to Ukraine. This basically left me with cheering on a game by game basis. I was behind Ghana and Australia as underdogs. They both lost. I wanted Italy, the lesser of former Axis powers, and they won. If Portugal beats France then I'm kind of stuck. I don't know who I'll cheer for in the final match. I guess I'll lean toward the smaller country in terms of square kilometers. That means Portugal! For those non soccer fans, I apologize for this. At least the World Cup only comes around every four years.

Could you imagine if spiders also had wings? They would be unstoppable.

Hmm. The Cubs still suck. They perhaps suck even more than last month. Apparently, nobody on the team can hit left handers. That makes me wonder why teams don't just call up any lefthanders they have to pitch the Cubs all series. They also can't hit the cut off man, smartly run the bases in an aggressive manner, or really do anything well. It seems that Baker is on his way out. There have been some names floating around for who will replace Baker like Lou Piniella, Tom Kelly, Jimy Williams, Gene Lamont and Fredi Gonzalez. I will quit if it ends up being Jimy Williams. Jimy Williams! Are you kidding me? My vote is for Fredi Gonzalez of the Atlanta Braves. Yes, part of the reason is that we would have a manager named Fredi. At least my NL only fantasy team is kicking ass. I probably just cursed them by saying that.

I'm pretty sure that "Ghost Rider" is going to be the movie that kills comic book adaptations. At least it should be the movie that kills comic book adaptations.

Did the Wayans have to buy the story rights to the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Baby Buggy Bunny" to do their movie "Little Man?"

Can they make a First Person Shooter video game that can't be beat in a weekend? I had Call of Duty 2 sitting on my shelf while I was immersed in Oblivion. I cracked it open on Sunday and finished it last night. It's still a solid game with some great moments, but can't they make such a game last a little longer? I don't mean this as bragging. There are plenty of twelve year olds that kick my ass on Xbox live. I'm mediocre at best.

I almost wore shorts the other day, but wisely came to my senses.

To follow up on my fear of creeping out the neighbor, I offer this story. Last week, I was up late last writing till about 3am. I went out to have a cigarette before bed. Sure enough her door opens and she's standing in her underwear letting her boyfriend out. There was that awkward eye contact, and then I quickly scurried away. I can't win.

Sunday, July 02, 2006