Thursday, August 31, 2006

Netflix: Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Per usual, no secret is safe with me, "spoilers" abound.

If I learned one thing from Brokeback Mountain it's that 80% of cowboy hat wearers are gay.

I thought the movie was ok. I had some niggling issues with it. Like, it's probably a bad idea to make out with your boyfriend in plain view of your wife. And I assumed Jake Glyenhaal has some pretty powerful gaydar when he gets it on with Heath Ledger (because really, they don't show anything that would indicate any type of curiosity on Ledger's part prior to, not even a game of naked pattycake or anything), but then he almost gets the beat down for hitting on (very mildly) a rodeo clown. Maybe his gaydar isn't so honed. Heath Ledger's voice was quite an annoyance. He spoke as if he had a dip in, along with a dozen or so Gobstoppers. Even with the advantage of a granfather who talked much the same way, I only understood 30% of what he said.

Overall, I thought it was a lot of sizzle and not much steak. (That might not be the best way to put it.) The movie was hyped by the fact that there were two guys making out (and their respective star power). That's not to say it wasn't well done. It was. The direction, cinematography, score (in terms of music and not man-love), all of it was pretty much spot-on. But, if the movie featured a man and woman under similar circumstances, like a mixed-race couple in 1950's Alabama, you probably would have never heard of it. Is that good, bad, unimportant? Oh, I have to answer all the questions? How about you do some of the heavy lifting around here? I don't claim to know - just asking.

In the end, I found their reasons for NOT being together uncompelling. And that is the pin which hold the hold movie in place. Without it, the whole thing crumbles.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


According to Sitemeter, I'm hemorrhaging readers. I trace the beginning of my demise to the posting of cut-throat Roger. Apparently, I scared of some of my less hardy readers with such an intimidating picture.

I guess the blog sucks worse than before. Right? I thought it was pretty much the same except less frequently updated. That's what happens when you're popular in real-life, like me, you don't have as much time to publish posts. For that, you will have to blame God.

It's not like I had a million readers before (or even 25), but I did have like 20 and that number is slowly dwindling. I'm averaging 14 per day . . . couldn't you just come here a couple times from different computers so you LOOK like another person. Is that so much to ask?

At any rate, this is all very disturbing to me. So, in an effort to soften my image, I'm changing my profile pic to that of the legendary, Rick Astley.

Who could abandon Rick Astley? Ha. You're never gonna give him up.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Netflix: Tatoo: A Love Story (2002)

Imagine my surprise after I watched the whole movie and Herve Villechaize didn't show up once.

(If you don't read that second link, at least read these two so-stupidly-tasteless-they're-funny lines: "Herve, having blown through his Fantasy Island cash faster than a mouse through cheese, would find himself short of money and big on assets.")

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Netflix: Man on the Train (2002)

Per Nukie's recommendation, I Netflixed Man on the Train. And I have to say . . . . I liked it. It had a nebulous ending, but such is French cinema. Anyway, Nukie, you can recommend me a movie anytime (keeping in mind I have 446 movies in my queue right now).

forgive me wal-mart, for I have sinned

I shopped at Target.

I have always thought that Target sells the exact some products as Wal-Mart, slaps on a fancy White Stripes-esque ad campaign and jacks up all the prices 50%. For some reason I have gotten into about 15 arguments with women about this contention. The mere suggestion that Wal-Mart is on par with Target triggers some sort of estrogen-induced rage that cannot be quelled with any manner of logic or thought.

This is not to say that men are above such irrational passion. But we usually limit this type of silliness to sports. In sports, there is at some point a clear win after which one side of the debate is rendered unable to sustain their argument. With Wal-Mart vs. Target things aren’t so clear. Generally, I think there is room enough for both stores, but I will admit to taking a secret joy in starting and participating in these symbolic retail wars.

I am usually able to win the battle on price. Then the argument becomes quality of cleaning/grooming/household products (where I have noticed little difference) and that’s kind of a stalemate. Then, almost invariably will come the “Wal-Mart is too crowded/The customers are dirty.” I have no rebuttal for this other than it’s indicative of a superior product and a poor ventilation system and/or prior dirtiness on the patrons’ part. There’s no accounting for that.

Finally, the ladies protest, the clothes are crap. Here I take special exception because I am a proud wearer of many Wal-Mart products. I assure the women that Wal-Mart’s clothing (especially lately) is of quite a high quality and inexpensive. And I assure them that the sweatshops used to create the clothes are just as sweaty and soulless as the sweatshops Target uses. “No,” I’m told, “Men’s clothes are about the same, but in women’s clothes Target is far superior in both style and durability.”

After that, I’m kind of at a loss. I suspect that the perception of dirty patrons subconsciously colors my friends’ opinions on the clothing options at Wal-Mart. But I can’t be sure that’s true. There’s only one way to find out. Start wearing women’s clothes. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Blogger was being all weird and making me think someone hacked into my account and changed my password and was posting a bunch of hilarious shit that everyone was commenting on and sending to their friends and whatnot and then that person got really famous and was able to keep their wits about them and never OD or be a prick or complain about feeding their children on 5 million dollar per motion picture contracts.

After I tried to reset my password (the email of which I never received twicely on both counts), I tried to login again and it worked. I then realized that all the stuff I mentioned above had actually been written by me and I STILL never became famous and I was also never able to tell the story of the sweaty clothes bag.

Sometimes mind must conquer matter. I was crossing the street last Friday with my European carry-all type bag (giveaway from the History Book Club For Dorks - though the "Dorks" part is always implied) and in that bag was a plastic bag filled with sweaty clothes - I had just finished a set of jumping jacks or whatnot. Anyway, you can't fit a lot of history books in the book bag because it's kind of narrow and because of said narrowness, I was unable to zip the book bag containing the plastic bag. Plastic bag, peeking out of book bag and seeing its chance for escape, wormed its way out and jumped to freedom onto the asphalt below.

I didn't notice this at first, but when I did I turned around and a kid (male, perhaps 22) was already reaching down to pick up the bag. He was a kind soul because I think he did this reflexively. As he was reaching down though, he paused and I could see in his eyes the thoughts, "WTF? This bag is filled with sweaty clothes! What have I gotten myself into?" I had just applied deodorant, so he must have figured I was ok in the cooties department and he picked the bag up anyway. I thanked him and we went our separate ways.

The moral of the story is: Don't be nice to people or you may find yourself handling their sweaty clothes. Also, wear deodorant.

finally important

Buckle your seatbelts. Keep your hands inside the blog (that sounds kind of preverted). I have business cards. Blows your mind, doesn't it.

They don't hand out business cards lightly around here, I'll have you know. Do you think I should have my title as "Resident Keyboard Monkey." Might want to rethink that for the next batch.

At any rate, I have a lot of business cards right now (I think the technical term is a "crapload.") And no one to network with. So, I will do the only logical thing and give them to people I know who already know how to get a hold of me. That is the way of the unimportant business card holder guy (that is me if you got lost in all that description).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Glengarry Glen Ross

We all know it, yes?

I fear there is a crisis that I should have helped to divert much earlier in my blog's life. I was watching a re-run of Saturday Night Live, I assume it was Alec Baldwin's most recent appearance. The did a sketch, an homage, really, to Baldwin's scene in Glengarry Glen Ross. It's absolutely classic. The scene that is. The homage was even pretty good. Any scene that features dialogue like, "The real favor, follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser," or "What's your name? --Fuck you that's my name," is something we should all know and love. (Alec Baldwin's character likes to swear doing his salesrep "pep talk.")

But I noticed something. The audience wasn't laughing at the right times. They didn't laugh when it was obvious what was going on. Nor did they stand up and cheer when that revelation should have been cascading down upon them. This was all very odd to me. Surely they knew what was happening. When he turned over the chalkboard to reveal, "A - Always B - Be C - Cobbling" (Cobbling instead of Closing), there was no murmur of recognition. WTF?

This my friends, is unacceptable. See this movie. It's an actor's paradise featuring a number of brilliant performances. Jack Lemmon especially is great. Even Kevin Spacey does well. (Unfortunately for him, it looks like he's in line for the role of John Mark Karr in the JonBenet Ramsey made-for-tv movie.)

That is all.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Hey, all you dieticians out there, let's say you eat a half-dozen Mango Habanero chicken wings. While you're eating, you sweat, very profusely. Is it possible to sweat away more calories than you've consumed? Inquiring minds want to know.

Even when Will Ferrell is doing some inane business transaction he makes me laugh. God bless you Will Ferrell. (How to spell Ferrell? Easy, 2 Rs, 2 Ls and 2 Es, but not next to each other.)

Monday, August 14, 2006

the exact moment my spirit was broken

I think there are cultural events that should change the way we live our lives. To point out a very obvious and well-tread example, Hitler pretty much ruined the half-stache. There was a time in the mid-30's where all the fanboys were wearing the half-stache and all the ladies were wooing over the newly popular facial-hair option. But then, the whole Hitler thing happened and he effectively removed (forever hopefully) the half-stache from the facial-hair lexicon.

Such events occur from time-to-time and it's important that we, as a society, recognize and embrace them. For office peoples everywhere, Office Space is one of those events. Office Space is such a dead-on parody of the daily office life that society should make an effort to avoid imitating it. I've always thought this was an implicit life-lesson - instruction of the type we are genetically encoded to assimilate and practice. Certain people in my office seem to have been encoded differently.

An office "picnic" was planned. I quote the word because the "picnic" was held in a conference room. Fair enough. I work in a building downtown. While the cafeteria may have been a more choice location, they went with the conference room - fine. I had already decided I wasn't going to attend this charade of a picnic when my boss came over and made a very touching and heartfelt plea for me to attend. I informed her that I was already headed elsewhere for lunch (i.e. picnic time) and she said that was fine that I could go to the picnic after I got back from lunch. I am incapable of passing on two lunches in one day, so I agreed.

By picnic time, I had recruited a couple of office buddies to attend (using the same heartfelt pleading) and we arrived ready to picnic something fierce. We were given nametages - ok, suspicious, but ok - and a paper card. Then they got Initech on our asses. The nametag had as its background one ingredient of a salad (lettuce, cheese, dressing, tomatoes, etc.). The card contained ALL the ingredients with a line for "Name" and "Fun Fact" next to each. To be eligible for the raffle (prizes, as yet, undisclosed), you had to find one person for each "ingredient" on your card and have them fill-out the name/fun fact for their nametag ingredient. You're not confused; it is as stupid as it sounds.

A helpful person then explained the point of the exercise (encouraging your workers to act like 8-year-olds?) and honestly, I thought she was auditioning for Office Space. She very earnestly (and chipperly) extolled the team-building skills I had exercised by reading nametags and saying, "Hey, will you sign this for me?" I thought it MUST have been a joke. Despite the fact that the preceding 20 minutes of my life could have been spliced into Office Space with no one being the wiser, it was no joke. It was my real-life existence as Michael Bolton.

Despite my best efforts, I didn't win the USB keychain drive that was eventually raffled off. But since a bunch of executive were present, I did witness a virtual how-to on tossing salad. But I did learn how to make new friends. :)

(Incidentally, I was a tomato and my "fun fact" was, "I hate tomatoes." I am must be a hoot to work with.)

macro vs. micro

I just realized I had these two movies at home at the same time, through no pre-meditation of my own. Nukie recommended Man on the Train (and I promptly moved it to the top of my queue), while The Train was probably added to Netflix during the Reagan administration and has only recently attained the daunting summit that is my queue.

The question is, which do I watch first?

(Also, New York Moments recently joined the Netflix ranks. Don't worry; I will convert all of you.)

horror follows schadenfreude

Proceed with caution.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

in lieu of working . . .

  • I went to the bank to extract money from the cash vomiter. How she spits the green bile! Anyway, I saw an ex-co-worker on the street. She doesn’t work the streets, but she was out there, like me, near to her office, but not exactly in it, working. I thought that I see her kind of often out there on the street and what kind of a slacker is she supposed to be? Then I thought that every time I see her on the street (since I’m unable to see through solid non-window structures) I must also be on the streets, also not working. We were good friends when she worked here.

  • I think I’m addicted to paydays, both the nutty, nougatty candy bar and the financial event. Every morning, around 10, I start to get the hankerin’ for a PayDay. If I’m able to resist, the urge passes and I won’t want one until the next morning. Days on which I receive Pay, I have yet to resist. Those days, unfortunately, are bi-weekly, rather than daily. (I’m just now discovering that we no longer hyphenate biweekly. I am like fortnights behind the English tymes.)

  • A “distant” co-worker of mine recently suffered a stroke. A terrible fate to befall anyone, but some around here think it’s much worse because he was very near retirement. I find that bit of trivia perfectly inconsequential. It’s not as if I want to suffer my strokes now and “get them out of the way.” I will take as many stroke-free days as I can get, thank you, and if a stroke happens the day before my retirement, I’ll consider myself lucky.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

little know facts about Alien Nation

Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) plays in the movie as does Jane's Addiction's version of Pleased to Meet You.

Also, the aliens are killed by salt water. M. Night Shyamalan, I'm looking at you.

(What? It's 2 a.m. and I can't sleep. Well, I CAN, I'm just unable to.)

Friday, August 04, 2006

why it's important to enunciate when with your plastic surgeon

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I like me the recreational sports. I especially enjoy playing a variety of sports - to keep things interesting. I consider myself the poor, slow, overweight, uncoordinated, disproportionally-weak, pale and flat-footed man's Bo Jackson.

There really is no reason to keep reading this post. I played basketball and indoor soccer last night. As is the case around most parts, Cleveland has been experiencing an oppressive heat wave. And I sweated a lot last night, like really a lot. And I was thinking, there's gotta be a post in there somewhere, right? As it turns out, no. There's not really a post in there at all. Actually, there's very little to sweating through multiple shirts in one night. It just kind of happens and we're all better off not mentioning it again. But then I thought of the Bo Jackson thing and that's 24K gold and there's no way I'm keeping that off the blog. So, there you have it. That's how you ended up here, reading about my swamp ass. My apologies.