Thursday, September 25, 2008

About 400 pages to go ...

Well I found out who Yossarian is. That was at about page uh 1 or so. I am really enjoying this book, but ...

Much like "M*A*S*H", "Catch-22" could stand to put the hash pipe down, man.

I've read the first chapter of the book. I finished "the Longest book I'll ever read" last night. To get that taste out of my mouth, I grabbed the copy of Catch-22 that Brady stole from Starbuck's and loaned me. Deep in the middle of the book, was placed a little note from Brady. Some threat about returning the book. Oh, I'll return it, but first I have to decide how I want Irving Washington to censor it.

More later as things develop. So far (11 pages), the book is much better than the Movie.

I may as well summarize so far:

The texan killed the soldier in white.
Everybody was so sick of the texan they got well and left the hospital
Except the Agent put there to see if people were faking it. He caught a cold from a Pilot with Malaria or something.
Good stuff.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to face paint farm animals

All (both) of those who read this blog, accurately consider my [writing] beyond reproach. I have worked very hard to gain your [trust], providing only [the utmost] in journalistic integrity. It is not by accident that the quality of every post on this blog is rivaled only by the great literary masterpieces. In fact, even some of those would not be able to keep pace for long with the archives of March 2007, let alone the sum of the great work that defines these hallowed electronic pages.

Like [anything worth doing], my decision to uphold a certain standard has made my task all the more difficult. The cost to me and my family has been more than I could have ever imagined. Maintaining [professional, honest commentary], complete with inexplicable brackets thrown in occasionally is [a challenge] that few will ever accept. Well I have accepted it and I have done so with great eagerness and humility. I have held close my values as my family has stood by me. Through the various attempts to bribe, blackmail, coerce or otherwise corrupt me, I have stood tall. I have never boasted about my greatness, I have just quietly achieved it with the sort of grace typically reserved for The Mother Goose fairy tales (more on that later).

Anytime one ascends to my level, there is the unavoidable perception amongst the masses that a hero exists in the midst. As soon as one’s greatness is apparent, the citizenry will understandably cling to this person for a moment's respite from an otherwise meaningless existence. Let me just say up front, I’m no hero (which I’m sure you realize are the words only a true hero could utter). It is because of the love and support of my family that I’m able to face and survive these daily trials. Without my wife and 2.5 kids, I’m nothing. I’m a hollow tin man that one might attach to a holiday conifer of some sort. Where the hell is my thesaurus?

Do I deserve their unquestioning loyalty? Yesterday I would have said “Hell[s] yes.”

Today? “No, [not] really.”

Allow me to explain …

It is with great pain that I give you the following post. I don’t take this decision lightly. I’ve been faithfully posting my heart out on this blog for upwards of (I have no idea how long) years, and have stuck to my guns with unwavering resolve. When others were fleeing for the hills, I turned to face the heavens and fearlessly cried “Bring it!” And as many (both) of you know, it was indeed “brought’n” on many occasions. Did I cower in submission to the seemingly imminent defeat? Did I ever once take the easy way? I don’t think so. Through all the rough patches, I have refused to lower my standard to go for the “cheap laugh.” I’d sooner poop my pants in a thunderstorm. Oops. Anyway …

I find the current temptation too great for even one as strong as me to resist. Unfortunately, my star rose in an age where heroes are routinely exposed as cheats, murderers, pit-bull owners, smokers, etc.

With each new revelation of another fallen hero comes a further hardening of the community heart, until all we’re left with is a four-chambered hunk of stone, mechanically pumping ice-cold liquid death through our apathetic veins (Oh, there’s my thesaurus) hoping to find someone we can believe again.

Then came this simple blog. Unassuming at first. A place where a working man could find refreshment after a long day at the salt mines or wherever the hell he’s been all day. A celebration of all that is good in the world. A symbol of that which cannot be owned by the big corporations or shaped by the whims of the insolent masses.

These days, a blog is about commercialization. It’s the stuff of cold calculative bean counters, number crunchers. Don’t give me your opinion, Cube! I want the bottom line! Artistic expression and personal opinion are old-fashioned. This is the age of surveys and polls. Tell us what you’d like to hear and that’s what we’ll say. It makes me sick.

This is what makes this so much harder for me. But I’m tired. Perhaps I’ve fought too long. Maybe the road was tougher than I imagined. Maybe it was foolhardy to think a small town kid like me, head full of clichés, could stand where so many others have faltered. Lance Armstrong is selling performance enhancing drugs on CNN’s web site for God’s sake! How am I, a naïve kid from Nebraska to come through unscathed? I’ll tell you. I’m not. Well, it has been quite a ride, n’est pas?

Hopefully, you can forgive this transgression. I can no longer resist the temptation to pander. The people have spoken. I can no longer ignore my readers’ demands. At the risk of losing the faithful, I now write to the googlers:

Hey Googlers ! Howzit goin! I know, right!? Sorry about all that Blah blah blah above. It’s for a contest I’m in. Don’t worry about it.
Now let’s get this party started! Whoop Whoop!

I just want to give a shout out to my people in the great city of Toronto! Yaay! Canada effin’ rocks!!

If I hadn’t checked my blogger statistics, I would not have seen that you were on google searching for “How to face paint farm animals” which naturally brought you to my site.

Well let me tell you, friend … You came to the right place.

As you can well imagine, I know all about farm life being a Nebraskan. Nebraska is right next to a state called Iowa, where there are lots and lots of farms. I’m sure most big-city types would wonder why in the world anyone would want to put lipstick on a pig. Oh shit – sorry everyone in the world that I’m such a sexist. I meant to say – why anyone would want to face paint a farm animal. But if Canada is anything like Iowa (and I’m sure it is) you’re always looking for fresh new ways to make your farm animals look, uh, prettier. The first three things you have to know are foundation, foundation, foundation. Next, you’ll want to find a good … Ahh! A vampire! Help, shim, please.

and scene ...

Now that's what I call a good vampire movie.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What’s the opposite of “Jumping the Shark”?

I’m sure everyone knows where the phrase “Jumping the Shark” comes from. If not, you at least know the meaning. Basically, we’ve done everything we can. From this point on, we have no idea how to continue. We had a good run and we should quit. However we will not quit. We will do anything to survive for a little longer, including having the Fonz, wearing a leather Jacket, water ski over a shark pit.

To me the opposite of Jumping the shark is “Becoming a Vampire Movie”. It’s a much nobler form of the same idea. You have a fairly decent story going, but don’t really know where you’re taking it. All is not lost. There are plenty of ways to finish the story, but the easiest, best way is to completely change the subject and make it a vampire movie. I know it was an action/crime movie. I don’t care. It’s now a vampire movie. I have seen many movies since From Dusk ‘til Dawn that could have greatly benefitted from this approach.

Where “Jumping the shark” is a desperate last ditch attempt to salvage something that should just say goodbye. Becoming a vampire movie says, hey yeah, we know. We’ve got something here. We’re just getting started, but we may not handle the rest of it well. It’s almost impossible to screw up a vampire movie. Especially if you can sign Selma Hayek up for it.

The biggest difference between Jumping the shark and Becoming a Vampire movie is that to become a vampire movie you have to literally become a vampire movie. Jumping the shark is just some metaphor or homophone or onomatopoeia or some shit.

To me, one (three actually) of the great cinematic travesties is what George Lucas did to Star Wars. Just think though, if while Jar Jar Binks was slinking around annoying everyone, his throat was suddenly gashed open by some unseen force and there was a big huge vampire drawing his life as he hopelessly gurgled and rasped for salvation. The rest of the movie writes itself as all the remaining characters fight a horde of bloodsucking beasts, with young Anakin delivering the final death blow to whoever the galactic vampire leader is.

I’m willing to bet this would have been received much better.

One point, though. This will not make a bad movie good. It only makes a movie that starts out good into an excellent movie. Bad movies are bad Movies. Period. That’s why it didn’t work in From Dusk til Dawn 2 through 8 or however many they made.

Most Steve Martin, Kevin Costner, and Mel Gibson movies fit into this category.

Roxanne? Please. Good for a while, then it’s like wait … Darryl Hannah plays a smart person? Who cast this piece of shit? More Vampires, now.

My Blue Heaven. If you can get past the horrible accent, it’s good until Ric Moranis starts dancing.

Shop Girl? Just kidding. That sucked all the way through. No help there. Same with Spanish Prisoner.

Mystic River. Ooh, it was powerful! Nope. Vampires – before I have to watch Sean Penn bully Susan Sarandon’s husband for one more second.
Sean: Did you do it?
Tim: No.
Sean: Did you do it?
Tim: No.
Sean: I know it was you. Did you do it?
Tim: No. Holy Crap! A vampire!

Unbreakable (and most movies that start with ‘un’, by the way – and ALL M Night Shyamalan movies.):
Bruno: Hey son, put that paint can on this barbell - let’s see if I can’t lift it.
Son: Wow, you have superhuman strength. And something I never noticed before. Fangs!

JFK: hard hitting drama. Long, boring, heavily fictionalized. Make Joe Pesci and Donald Sutherland creatures of the night and now you got a gem.
Donald Sutherland: I’m sorry we had to meet at night, Mr. Ness, but the
clever hints I have for you are … Hey what’s that! ARGH!!
-- And yes it was too Elliot Ness in JFK.

Moulin Rouge. Yeah, it was kind of cool for a while. Hey look, they’re using modern songs.
You know what? All Nicole Kidman movies too.

Forrest Gump. After the third or fourth time he says ‘Lieutenant Dan’

Anyway, you get the idea. I’ll be thinking of more, but I’d be interested in what you think. What movie? Where should it turn?

Brady Mentioned Field of Dreams. That’s easy – “Is this heaven?” No, not quite, Throatless Joe!!! A hahahaha!

Also note:

It shouldn’t be limited to movies. Television could be greatly improved
Everybody Loves Raymond. Nobody would see that coming.
Ray: Ma, the reason my wife (can’t think of her name) can’t cook is because we exist only on human blood!

American Idol. Hell Yeah!

Simon: Absolutely dreadful. If you ever had any talent, it was not singing. But I don’t think you’ll ever be good at anyth … aaahhh. Please Paula!! Help, grghh this is horrib …snap, crunch, drain.

Randy: Holy shit, dog (fredcube: I just had to put “dog” in there. I know, I know …). It’s a frikkin’ vampire. And it’s shredding Simon’s throat. Nooooooo!!

Some commercials (like the new Bill Gates/ Jerry Seinfeld ones) need some help too. At first you’re like “Ok, Gates and Seinfeld. This should be good. Hey turn it up. Ok, they’re bending shoes. Something funny will happen soon. Still bending shoes, still bending …

Man, this post is getting long … Wait there’s a knock at my seventh story window. Be right back, shim.

Monday, September 15, 2008

About 400 pages to go ...

Well I found out who John Galt is. That was at about page uh 600 or so. I am really enjoying this book, but ...

Much like "Dances with Wolves", "Atlas Shrugged" could stand to go on a bit of a diet. A lot of times there are these, what I like to call "Beating Barbaro" segments. Page after page about how astonished Dangy was that she saw no sign of any emotion from Hank's face which, Hank in return, could sense that she saw and realized now that she was fully aware of the torture he was going through, and admired him even more for not showing it. Hank understood the utter lack of any sign of emotion on Dangy's beautiful, but professional face did not mean she had just slipped into a coma, as others might think, but that Dagny, Operating Vice President of Taggart Transcontinental was totally gaga over Hank. They both internally leapt for joy at how cool they were and how not cool everybody else was. They accomplished this through complete motionlessness without showing any blah blah blah. Get on with the train crashes and bankruptcies and shit, Ayn! Jeez.

Much of the book is commentary about the evils of socialism and how the only true good in the world are those Tall, thin, handsome, hard-working, smart forward thinkers who build big-huge monopolies, and are constantly harrassed by greedy lazy fat ugly slobs trying to get something for nothing.

If someone is fat in this book, they are evil. True story.

There's one part where a trainload of people gets crushed under a tunnel that collapses, killing everyone. Whew, everyone on board was a fat socialist! I'm not kidding. Before killing them, the author gives each person's name, how fat they are, and what great sin against capitalism they advocate.

That's pretty much the only gripe I have with an otherwise amazing story. After about page 200 or so, I was unable to put it down (except to wash for dinner and things).

I realize if you've got 1200 pages you need to put words on, you can't just say "Communists are bad, mmkay?"

You could maybe put some pictures of trains or some pop-up skyscrapers. Now that's what I call literature. Something that really jumps off the page at you!

So if I was to sum it up, I'd say "more pictures". Currently, there are none. I hope my suggestion does not fall on deaf ears whenever they get to the final draft of this thing.

Friday, September 12, 2008

In case you haven't heard ...

Note: This post was written on 9/12/2008. I never published it. I don't know why. I actually have a new post about the proudest moment of my life that I will publish in a couple of hours or so. But I've decided to post "The lost Blog posts" from time to time. There are a lot of them.

And now, the very first "Lost Blog Post", In case you haven't heard:

There's this one guy who's white (John McCain) and running for the office of the president of the United States. He's a racist, though. I know this because he publicly says bad things about a black man (Barry Obama) every day (except on 9/11 day). It sounds worse than it is though, because the black man that he says things about is a sexist again. He stopped being a sexist for a few days. He decided to be the bigger man and bury the hatchet, so to speak. He actually worked very hard to make amends to all of those he'd hurt with his disparaging comments toward a certain woman (Mrs. Bill Clinton, who was also a racist, by the way). And let's face it, his target was a human being worthy of great respect and honor. A great American. A woman who weathered an unbelievable battle against incredible odds, and who demonstrated the sort of grace and humility in defeat rarely witnessed in the political arena.

Well It seems like no sooner does Obama patch it up with Slick Willy's old ball and chain, than he starts picking on another woman (also white - and also a racist). But it's worse this time, because many people seem to think this new woman he's picking on is "hot". The great american from earlier (Hillary) gets no such accolades. In fact, when her husband (The Right Honorable William Jefferson Clinton, Esq.) was running around on her publicly, most people weren't saying "Oh that poor woman ". It was more like, "He's cheating with that heavy girl? He can do better."

Now maybe your method of foot massage differs from mine, but hot and Sarah Palin is not the same thing. [skip ahead] Ain't no ball park neither. Sorry for the brief S. Jackson moment.

Anyway, because you can't read, I'll list the reason that I will no longer look at the news until after November:
I know what the Republican Vice Presidential candidate's daughter's name and age (17) is.
I Know that the daughter is pregnant.
I know what the guy who got the daughter pregnant's name is.
I know that he is a hockey player.
I know that Lindsay Lohan had advise for Sarah Palin's daughter of some kind.
I know that the 17 year old is now engaged to the Hockey player.
I know that Sarah Palin has a child with Down Syndrome and that it was rumored for a while that that kid was actually the daughter's.
I know that if you put lipstick on a pig it is still a pig.

Funny thing about me knowing all of this is that I have not read even one article about any of these things. Just the headlines. So yeah, there's no reason to read the news. I might be tempted to read if the headlines started out with the word "Umm".
Not the word "Umm" like I'm trying to remember something. But the one that always preceded the words "I'm going to tell" when I was a little kid. It's like the news writer people are a bunch of tattle-tales. As readers, we should spank them for it and send them back outside to figure out a way to play nice with everyone. But we don't. We read the story and then we say "Umm, Hillary's aid called Obama a terrorist. Umm."

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We're a movin' on up ...

Well, it's official. Jill (weezy) and I are moving. We're taking the kids with us too. I thought I'd never move again because this is a great neighborhood. But with the 2.5 kids, we just don't have enough room.

We're moving 2 houses north and across the street to the west. Here is a video of our new driveway.

I wish shim were here.

I saw Johnny Rodgers limping around work today.

I was not limping, he was. Limping Jet? I'm not sure what he was doing here. I think he's planning on making a comeback. He's shorter than I thought he would be.

Wouldn't it be weird if you were a really good college football player and you returned a kickoff (I think it was a kickoff - which means the other team scored - rats) all the way to the end zone and you won the Heisman Trophy and you went to Canada instead of going to the NFL and then you did not brutally kill your ex-wife and her boyfriend's Dad's son and you lived for 40 more years or so and you walked around Omaha and people everywhere still recognized you? I think it would be weird.

Ok, so I'm back in school again. [obligatory comment] But this time, it's personal. The class, I'm only taking 1 class, is called "Advanced Operating Systems" which means that it is an advanced class on operating systems, not a class on advanced operating systems. Boy was my face red when I found that out. Now that I'm taking Master's level classes, I have a really really really big ego about it. I'm like, "Who put all these underclasspersons in this building?"
And they're like, "We did."
And I'm like, "Bastards."

Surely you've all heard the news: Lance Armstrong figured out a new way to get by the testers. Yeah! He's coming back! I was so sad when he quit last time. I understood it. The testing was getting too good and he could not risk getting caught. Did his old teammates learn? No - they all got busted. Except for Hincapie who hides the drugs in that gross vein.

Anyway, it will be cool. He should be able to last for a week or so before he fakes a tour ending accident.

Jeez, it kind of sounds like I don't like the guy. It's not true. He's easily my favorite cyclist and I hope he actually does compete in the tour. Then people will know about cancer - because whatever Lance says he's going to do, he does. Except stay with his wife forever.

Jeez, there I go again. Seriously, I like Lance. He's just full of shit. Nothing wrong with that.

He is not doing the tour again for his own personal glory. It is to raise cancer awareness. After the 2009 TDF, people will be like, "Oh, cancer. Man I can't believe my new awareness level. Sweet."

He's doing this so people will know that a cancer survivor can win the tour 8 times. Right now, they think a cancer survivor can only win it 7 times. Silly people. I might have to get me one of these, now:

Good Luck Lance.

See I put that there so that when Lance Armstrong google's "Lance Armstrong" later today and sees the count has gone up again and reads this post, he will realize that I'm just having a little fun at absolutely no expense to him and hopefully drop the lawsuit because not only is Lance Armstrong completely innocent of all doping offenses past and future, he also likes to sue anyone who says otherwise just to, you know, further prove his innocence.

Uh ... Will Landis be eligible by next year?

Mike (hugenerd, not Munson) has a comment for me that is visual in nature, so since I'm on blogger and not "MyTeenSpace", I have to post the photo for him. This is apparently regarding my Lance Armstrong take: