I Must Have Been A Good Boy This Year…

I must be psychic.

“Sam Raimi Dives 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea”.

(Okay, so it may not be completely faithful, but new Nemo is better than no Nemo in my book.)

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Published in: on December 28, 2006 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

The Chaos Theory At Work At The Dessert Table

A great man (I think it was Buckaroo Banzai) once said: “The only reason time exists is so everything doesn’t happen at once.” After the Christmas day gathering we had, I can fully appreciate that sentiment.

My wife and I had never hosted any family gatherings, and this was our trial by fire. We were to host my mom and dad, her mom and dad, her brother and his wife and baby, and a couple of complete strangers. Seriously, they’re friends of my mother in law: an old lady and her mentally challenged son. They had no family to visit on Christmas day, and my mother-in-law asked if they could come over, too. Of course we said “yes”; who wants to be alone on Christmas?

Because this would be my parents last Christmas before they move to Canada, because there would be some social awkwardness between the families, because there was a pair of strangers in the mix, we decided to stagger the arrivals. First, my folks were to show up, giving us “one-on-one” time. Then, her brother and his brood, so we could do the presents thing with them, then her mom and dad would show, then the strangers would show. Then, we’d get down on the Xmas feast. We planned it out like Eisenhower planning D-Day.

Then, a freak storm hit, delaying everybody until the last minute. So everyone arrived at once, plunging us into a red and green maelstrom of wrapping paper and gifts, peanut-butter chocolate balls and cocktail sausages. And the cheese. My God, the cheese…

Anyway, the smoke cleared and the dust settled. In the confusion, we were unsure just who had given us what. Everything worked out surprisingly well, even though we were flying by the seat of our pants. Everyone got along, everyone was happy. My family finally got tired of me talking about “The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril” and not buying it for myself, so they bought it for me, along with a buttload of other books and DVD’s, and my wife got her make-up stuff and some other doo-hickeys she wanted. And our Christmas isn’t over: when our year-end bonuses come through in mid-January, we are buying each other our gifts in what my wife calls our “Re-Christmas”, but I like to call it “Xmas Reloaded”.

Good times, had by all.

And yes, we watched “A Christmas Story” all damn day, with no complaints from anybody.

Published in: on December 27, 2006 at 11:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Everybody’s Workin’ For The (Holiday) Weekend

Well, it’s here. The last day of the busiest, workiest week of the year. My four-day weekend begins at 12:00 midnight, EST, and right about now, I feel like, well, this guy.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Published in: on December 22, 2006 at 6:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Hollywood Loves / Hates Me

There has been a yo-yo effect between Hollywood and me, lately.

-First, the remake of “Revenge of the Nerds” is scrapped… Woo-hoo!

-Then, someone decides to remake John Carpenter’s “The Thing” (outrage!)

-Then, the pulp Gods smile upon us as Sam Raimi announces a new Shadow movie! (Nerdgasms ensue)

-Now, AMC is remaking “The Prisoner” in a contemporary setting. (Why remake it at all? Why repaint the Mona Lisa?)

What’s next? A new, more faithful “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” (that would be sweet)? A remake of “Duel” starring Ashton Kutcher (ugh)?

Published in: on December 22, 2006 at 2:13 am  Comments (3)  

BOREDBOREDBOREDBORED…

Boredom eats at me
Lovecraft would say it’s ghastly
These eldritch doldrums.

Not much of a haiku, but there it is.

Speaking of H.P. Lovecraft:

Here’s what I want for Christmas.

Here’s a picture. Enjoy.

Ah-nold loves Japanese beer!

Published in: on December 20, 2006 at 4:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Quality Time Spent With The DVD Player

This weekend, after battling the crowds while Christmas shopping, the wife and I decided to rent some movies and unwind. She picked two, and so did I.

She rented “Capturing The Friedmans” and “Talladega Nights”. The former is a documentary (the wife loves these) about a family falling apart when the father and youngest son are tried for child molestation and child porn. It’s a good movie, very heavy and serious, not my usual fare of pistols and fart jokes. I recommend it for docu-philes.

The latter is about as far from “Friedmans” as you can get. It was surprisingly funny (especially to me as the son of two NASCAR fans), and much better than the previews led me to believe. Who knew Will Ferrell was still funny? “Shake ‘N’ Bake!”

My picks were “Superman Returns” and “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai”. “Superman Returns” was very good. Felt good to see Big Blue on the screen again. Brandon Routh did a good job, eerily channelling Christopher Reeve at times while still injecting his own version of the character into the Man of Steel. My only complaint was that the movie felt a bit overlong. But not in that “Return of the King” 25-different-endings way.

“Ghost Dog” was a peculiar little movie. I still don’t know what to make of it. I like movies about hitmen with a conscience, and this movie was no different. But it had such a weird vibe to it, this urban mafia-samurai hip-hop mixture that referenced “Rashomon” and “Felix the Cat”. It was good, darkly funny in areas, and who-knew that Forrest Whittaker could be a bad-ass? But the movie felt weird, like a puzzle piece that wasn’t cut as smoothly on some sides as it was on others. I dunno if that makes sense (and I’m a terrible movie reviewer), but that’s how I feel.

To sum up, with the exception of “Capturing The Friedmans” (’cause, y’know, who buys documentaries, anyway?), I would own all three of this weekend’s rentals.

Now, if only they had “Miami Vice” (the series) for rent…

Published in: on December 19, 2006 at 10:08 pm  Comments (2)  

Weird Dream Number 1

(04/05/07 Note- due to a higher than usual interest in Edgar Allan Poe, I feel I must state this: this is a REALLY dumb blog post that really has nothing to do with Edgar A. Poe. Sorry, no research reference material here.)

Okay, I’m going to try to keep a record of weird dreams. Again. Tried once years ago to keep a dream-diary, but failed miserably. Here goes…

Last night, I had a dream that the US treasury was changing the face on the $1 bill from George Washington to Edgar Allan Poe. There was some huge controversy over this decision, and I was watching a story about it on TV.

Wha…?

Poe for the dollar bill, ya'll!

Published in: on December 16, 2006 at 2:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Where have all the dragons gone?

Inspired by The Retropolitan’s post earlier today, I began thinking about my favorite ethnic food: Chinese food.

Or, at least it used to be my favorite. I remember once upon a time, Chinese restaurants were cool, mysterious places to go, full of lanterns, dragons, and softly bubbling aquariums. In my home town, my favorite place to eat when I was a kid was The Fortune Cookie restaurant. There were dragon sculptures and plants everywhere. Each table had this cool lantern with a revolving scene printed on the silk screen, and this would revolve, painting the table with wonderful blue and pink pictures of Chinese folklore. The food was made to order. The sweet-and-sour sauce wasn’t that radioactive shade of orangey-red that it always seems to be these days, and the fortune cookies simply had real, wisdom-filled fortunes… not a single lotto number in sight.

What happened to those kinds of places?

Now, granted, I live in a small town now. But all I see, no matter where I go, is little take-out or delivery-only places in strip-malls. Places with names like “China 1”, “China First”, “China Wall”, “China Lee”, and my favorite, “Wok & Roll”. These places serve this… I dunno… McChinese food. It’s assembly-line Chinese, not tasteless, but kinda funny-tasting, and definitely not made to order. And if it’s not take-out or delivery, it’s buffet-style places, with vats of the same McChinese that’s offered at the take-out places. I guess it’s just another symptom of accelerated progress and manufactured society and all that stuff.

I just miss that old Chinese restaurant-feeling.

Dragon

Published in: on December 15, 2006 at 3:10 am  Comments (3)  

A Note of Explanation

I just wanna let the hapless readers of my blog know that I usually do this at work, so I’m usually doing this between calls. And this is the busy holiday season. Hell, it took 20 minutes just to write this far. Now 25 minutes.

My point is this: my weekends and nights after work are filled up typically with things to do, and my wife usually uses our computer then, so I have to do my blogging “on the fly”. I’m learning as I go, so if there are discrepancies or a blank feature here that I haven’t filled in, just give me time and I’ll work it out. Thank you.

(Total time writing this post: 1 hour and 50 minutes. Happy Holidays.)

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Death Of Sanity In The Workplace

Call center

I work in a call center. It is a soul-crushing experience sometimes. When there’s a certified moron on the other end of the phone, threatening you with violence, legal action, and/or the termination of your job, it gets a bit wearying, especially at this time of year, when people want something for a gift to arrive by yesterday. I talk, literally, all day. Somedays, when quitting time comes, I go home and don’t say a word for, like, 2 hours, I have carpal tunnel, and my eyes (always 20/20 in the past) go blurry on me sometimes now. Why don’t I get another job? Because I likes it so murch…

But anyway, in the past, I was able to escape in some small way. For the longest time, I sat at the same seat. It wasn’t assigned, but it was mine because I got there before most of the other people on my shift. And, like others in my position, I decorated my desk to my liking. A montage of Shadow trading cards rests next to a big picture of Christopher Guest from “This Is Spinal Tap”, a small shrine exists to “King Kong” (’33 and ’05) next to a picture of The Velvet Underground with William Shatner and David Hasselhoff faces pasted over the band members. When some a-hole began to lay into me for something that is totally his fault, I would stare into my universe of pop-culture faces and sweetly zone out. It was my sanctuary, a mental place I could go to to escape.

Now, that seat is no more. With the influx of holiday hires, I’m lucky to find a seat when I get to work. My chair is taken up by some cold-ridden new hire who has begun to put his stuff up over mine, and, realisticly, my sanctuary is no more.

So, I have to take down those pictures that brought me solace, that took me away from the other end of the phone. And instead of my wonderful mosaic of soothing (to me) images, from now on all I’ll be seeing is this beyond my computer:

Grey

Incidently, a “morale survey” is coming up soon for us to take.

Mwa-ha-ha-hahaha!

Published in: on December 14, 2006 at 2:09 am  Leave a Comment