Saturday, February 23, 2008

how this is my annual academy award post

these aren't my predictions. they're just my opinions.

for full disclosure, i still haven't seen the highly acclaimed films "Atonement", "Gone Baby Gone", "Til the Devil Knows You're Dead", "The Savages", "Away From Her", "Charlie Wilson's War", "Persepolis", and "The Alvin and the Chipmunks Movie".


22. Waitress
21. Freedom Writers
20. Blades of Glory
19. Spiderman 3
18. Transformers
17. Eastern Promises
16. The Simpsons
15. 3:10 to Yuma
14. Sicko
13. Superbad
12. Grindhouse
11. Knocked up
10. Lars and the Real Girl
9. Zodiac
8. Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
7. There Will Be Blood - as brilliant and ballsy i thought that the writing, directing, acting and score was, i still can't get past the point that the main character never had any sort of conflict to overcome.
6. Juno - quite possibly the most original and edgy script in years brought to life with the most quirky and endearing performance in years.
5. Into the Wild - this is as personal of a journey as filmmaking will get.
4. I’m Not There - the bizarreness of the storytelling is a perfect reflection of the person it's covering.
3. Michael Clayton - the best serious script written this year. absolutely professional, smart, taut and engaging.
2. No Country for Old Men - it's another marvel of filmmaking by two of my creative idols.
1. The Lives of Others - i know this came out in 2006, but as far as films to hit american theaters this year, this was the best. just pitch perfect writing, acting, directing with as compelling of a topic you'll find on film. the more i read about it, the more i'm amazed by it.

Daniel Day Lewis (There Will Be Blood)

Ellen Page (Juno)

Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men)

Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)

Ethan and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men)

it was a great year for films, with the boundaries of storytelling being pushed to edgier, darker and more creative areas. i wish i got all the main films in, but what can you do. nike and the first lady beckons.

still, well done, hollywood. and germany.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

how i'd rethink their advice

if i were an american idol contestant, and if i watched the video for the single "dance like there's no tomorrow" on "american idol", and if i heard paula abdul warble her lyrics and randy jackson be the lead bassist with completely forgettable movements, i think it's very easy to figure out who to listen to.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

how i've always wanted to stage something like this

but then again, i think this was actually real. in which case, it's brilliant in a completely different way.

then again, if i had done this, i don't think i would have taken it this far, although i completely admire the attention to detail.

well done.

Monday, February 18, 2008

how i'm getting the full effect of president's day

today, i celebrate a random president: rutherford birchard hayes. here's what i learned about him, and here's what you need to know.

he was born in delaware, ohio in 1822. that was not a typo.

he was a member of a prominent social organization called the cincinnati literary club that became a military organization upon the outbreak of the civil war. so he traded in bookmarks for muskets.

he began his political life as a whig, but then joined the free soil party.

while fighting in the civil war, he was nominated by republicans to congress. however, he said that it would not be right to leave the field of battle to campaign for a political seat, and any man who would do so deserves to be scalped. if he were alive today, the political marketing machine would make him out to be some sort of a coward and glorify those who would have hid behind their bookmarks.

of course, against his greatest objections, he was then elected, until he resigned two years later, when he was nominated for the governorship of ohio, which he won and served for two more years.

he was famous for his honesty and his ability to not offend anyone. i did not make that up.

when he ran for the presidency of the united states, he actually did not win the popular vote, losing to samuel tilden by 250,000 (out of 8.5 million). however, boys and girls, you win the presidency through the electoral college. the candidates had to muster 185 votes: tilden was short just one, with 184 votes, hayes had 165, with 20 votes representing four states which were contested. three of these states (florida, louisiana, and south carolina) were in the south, which was still under military occupation (the fourth was oregon).

to decide the actual winner, the two houses of congress created a electoral commission made up of five members of the house, five from senate and five from the supreme court. it was a bi-partisan committee of seven democrats, seven republicans and one swing vote. and in case this sounds familiar, it should: they voted along party lines. shocker. and the swing vote was a republican at heart. so there you go. deja vu.

because of the taint of improper voting fraud, he was mocked as "rutherfraud b. hayes". oh snap.

southern democrats were given full assurances that if hayes were elected president, he would pull all the federal troops out of the south and end reconstruction.

he was the first president to take the oath of office in the white house because they wanted the ceremony to be kept secret to avoid any sort of insurrection.

when congress sent him the bills overturning civil rights enforcement, he vetoed them four times before finally signing one that satisfied his requirement for black rights.

he also was the first president in history to call in federal troops to fire on striking railroad workers. more than 70 strikers were killed. i wonder if they found him to be disagreeable.

he did not seek re-election because he believed that presidents should not run for a second term.

he died in 1893.

thank you, rutherford. i think.

why do we have today off?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

how we're truly living in the golden age

there's a lot of crap on television. hell, i just watched an episode of "lipstick mafia" and felt like i had my college degree revoked. and it's beyond the writer's strike and more along the lines of television networks programming to the lowest common denominator and going as far out of their way to stay directly inside the box.

however, the best of the lot are truly amazing pieces of pure brilliance. and these days, i have to believe that we're truly lucky to be blessed with two dramas as smart, in depth, compelling, creative and downright amazing as "lost" and "the wire".

each week, they find new ways to advance their already incredible stories. with each movement, their plots take different forms and creates something even cooler than how you left them last week. and the craftmanship of the writing, acting, directing, editing and, well, everything it takes is just mindboggling for a medium that requires a new episode churned out every seven days.

they are truly masterpieces beyond even the most grandiose explanations of that word.

some people say that watching television is a complete waste of time. sometimes, i agree. but when i'm done watching "lost" and "the wire", i feel smarter, humbled and inspired. and there's nothing wasted about that. hell, i'm writing this on a sunday night after watching the anguish mcnulty has to maneuver around so his lie can serve the common good. imagine how my mind and fingers are gonna react after jack and locke joust around yet another battle between science and faith.

still, it's all coming to an end with "the wire" just a couple of episodes away from closing its last case. hey, at least i can get comfortable with the idea that there's a "breaking bad" out there attempting to pick up that baton.

good luck.

how superman does indeed exist

if you haven't seen the 2008 nba slam dunk contest highlights, then you best be catching up. and you don't have to even like basketball to appreciate their creativity, hilarity and impossible athleticism.

it's truly fantastic sports entertainment.

and dwight howard is my hero.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

how it costs $17 to cross the street on valentine's day

bet you didn't know that. but it's true. at least, that's what a local florist told me when i tried to order a bouquet for the first lady of steveohville.

the bouquet would have to travel about thirty yards, from the storefront on one side of the street to the other, where her office resides.

hence, $17.

that's the standard fare for valentine's day, they told me.

it would go across the street, i said.

distance doesn't matter, they replied.

so i'd be paying about sixty cents per yard, or about $1.33 per step.

they had no answer. or a sale.

so, the lesson learned is to stay indoors. nothing good could come out of leaving. seriously. you'd be screwed if you did.

how through the muck it all makes sense

this is what i took out of wednesday's congressional hearings:

brian mcnamee is a poor excuse of a human being. he is a liar, a drug dealer, a cheater and untrustworthy. and yet, his account is credible, although through no credit to him.

roger clemens is the world's biggest blowhard whose defense, when stripped down, is purely "how could you not believe me? i'm roger clemens". he is a liar, a perjurer, unloyal, unaccountable, delusional, incapable of finding faults within himself and completely unworthy of his impossibly high self-opinion.

and congress, through their completely incompetent handling of this and every instance of baseball's steroid scandal, has proven once again that this low-level of importance is still too much for them to handle, that there is no issue unimportant for them to still split across party lines, and wasting their time on this is much better than them screwing up things much more critical.

everyone i listed here is completely unsufferable and utterly stupid, and not worth the three minutes it too me to type this.

and with this, i take my attention away from all of them and focus it upon where it matters most.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

how genius takes many forms

here's improv everywhere taking a completely different approach with people at grand central and in fantastic fashion at abercrombie and fitch.

i love me some really smart and innovative shit like this. i really do.

how i'm wishing an early happy valentine's day to all the lovers and haters

i'm going to the warriors-suns game on wednesday night and preparing for a presentation on thursday, so in lieu of forgetting to wish everyone a special valday, here's a little special something made by the most compelling postcard collection ever.

how i love nothing more than unintentional comedy

Sunday, February 10, 2008

how i love the first lady of steveohville, but even she would find this ridiculous

here are my shipping charges from for delivery on valentine's day:

Courier Fuel Surcharge: $1.93
Standard Express Delivery: $9.99
Guaranteed Feb. 14 Delivery: $9.99

no thanks.

i'm not being cheap. i just refuse to be mocked like that.

i'll find other ways to be taken advantage of, thank you.

how a great moment in my life was captured

here's last sunday.

i'm talking to my dad and brother on the phone. and when i go quiet, it's because i'm crying.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

how i'm going to sound like a hypocrite here

starring brad pitt, casey affleck and sam rockwell
written and directed by andrew dominik
watched on my 40" 1080i LCD HDTV

here's the good: i'm a huge fan of this movie. i just read a great biography of jesse james, and instead of taking the obvious route of train holdups and the like, they just focused on the end - which was brilliantly told and acted, and became utterly compelling. every shot was photographed in gorgeous sepia with washed-out colors that really puts you squarely inside the post civil war/western era. casey affleck finally gets a role he could thrive in that doesn't involve wisecracks or a boston accent. he deserves his nomination. the accents they adopted (late 19th century missouri anyone?) were fun to listen to. the performances were wonderful.and the movie takes its dear time, which is a revelation in these times. and, lastly but higly important to me, the silences in this film say so much. you know how much i love stuff like that. god, i love that stuff.

and here's the bad: as much as i love that stuff, the movie took too much of its dear time. with those much needed deep silences, the movie just feels like it took forever. honestly, it's two and a half hours long, which is fine, except this story's probably got sixty minutes of meat in it. so yeah, i was completely enthralled, but somewhat bored by the end.

hey look, if you're a wild west freak, totally check it out. i am. i really dug it. you won't be disappointed at all. and if you're not a wild west freak, i don't know what's wrong with you.

how even the utterly ridiculous has been regurgitated

i've had this idea for a screenplay featuring billy zabka, who played johnny in "the karate kid" and chad in "back to school". you know, the dick. i told my idea to friends recently. they laughed. one even told me that he would throw down his $10 to see that. with "addicted to her" off to the script developer, i needed something to work on.

so i went to the coffeehouse and began on "not billy zabka". it's a simple idea that i will share with you right now: a producer wants to film a sequel to "the karate kid" reprising ralph macchio as daniel lorusso, elisabeth shue as ali, the sensei from the cobra kai and billy zabka as johnny - except that zabka has fallen off the planet (pat morita's absence due to death is explained away in a touching funeral scene). so, because the producer can't find zabka, he recruits a billy zabka lookalike to play that role. the actor becomes billy zabka, billy zabka becomes johnny, the movie is a hit and suddenly his ever elusive fame has found him. he dates scarlett johannsen, for example. then, one day, the real billy zabka returns from hibernation in deepest darkest montana and confronts his double.

pretty frigging ridiculous, right?

well, it's already been done.

now how frigging ridiculous is that?

how i love airports

i spent ten minutes at PDX yesterday eavesdropping on a horizon air employee talking loudly on his cellphone about the sexual harassment claim filed against him during the drug testing incident in medford, whatever that means.

it seems that he is also countersuing for harassment.

unfortunately, he didn't want to say anything else on his phone without legal representation.

however, judging by his creepy moustache and even creepier cowboy boots underneath his uniform, he was drug tested in medford. it was there that he said some even more creepier things to his drug tester, a female, that bordered on flirting. she probably told him to stop. he probably then called her a bitch or worse. she walked out. he thought it was over. then he was served with sexual harassment papers, so he countersued on his own, although there's no weight to his claim.

i'm pretty sure that's what happened. i pieced it together just by looking at the guy, who sorta looked like napoleon dynamite's brother.

can you blame me?

how the more things change, they also stay the same sometimes

i'm almost caught up on "Friday night lights".

after watching matt saracen break down in the shower about his fear of being abandoned, and getting personally choked up about it, it's more than fair to say that very few shows explore the human condition as well as they do.

and after watching the crystal meth dealers fight with the riggins boys, it's fair to say that very few shows are as hokey when they stray from reality.

and after watching 90 minutes of the show, it's fair to say that just 3 minutes of actual football footage is entirely way too little.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

how if you're ever gonna donate to anything, do it for this

this is from my amazing friend tommy:

Hi Everyone,

We had another very successful year in 2007 with our health and happiness and our continued support for the LLS to find a cure. Christine passed her 4 year mark with flying colors and we now have November 13th to look forward to so we can finally utter those words she has shied away from until that day. There are already 15 rooms booked for the cruise and that is going to be a crazy trip in Feb of 2009! We are going to party like its 10 years earlier! (1999)

I've done a lot of different things to help support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society over he last 4 years and have had good success with the help of many of you reading this right now. While attending a meeting during the end of 2007 though, I was inspired to do something drastically different. (read on:-)

Having been a football player and baseball player my whole life, I NEVER EVER liked to run more than a sprint. Even training for those sports, at most, I'd run 2 to 3 miles and I rarely ever did that. Hey, I'm 250 pounds for goodness sake! Running was always the punishment for going offsides or being late to practice. It made me look at running distance as the perennial punishment! That's all about to change...

On April 26th, I will embark on a life changing event for myself. I've taken on the challenge of running 13.1 miles in the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, TN. (Did I mention 13.1 miles of non-stop running!) I've decided to take on this challenge to honor my wife Christine and friend Mike who have fought leukemia and are still fighting the daily battles bone marrow transplants bring. They will both be my honorary teammates for the event.

I'm running as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training and have already started my workouts. I've gone from the couch to running at least 2 times a week and I'm starting to build up some endurance. On top of the training I also have a fund-raising goal as part of the program. I promise that if you can help me reach my fund-raising goal, I will train my butt off and make it through the 13.1 miles smiling...or maybe trying to smile.

For those of you who are able to help me with a donation, I'll be sending out regular e-mails on my workout progress. I figure if you're generous enough to donate the money, I'm generous enough to share the description of my agony!

Thanks in advance for any support you can send my way. Wish me luck with the training!

Please help me reach my goal by making an on-line donation here.


and if you need a reference on how amazing this is, check out my own marathon for the same amazing inspiration and honorary teammate.


Monday, February 04, 2008

how i seem to be a magnet for all things such

if you know me, you know that i have a high measure of courtesy and respect for others, especially in public spaces. whatever's left of that in society is falling by the wayside nowadays, and it truly bothers me. rude has become the new normal.

and it irks me even more that i seem to be targeted by this movement's biggest offenders.

rewind to saturday. i'm at a funeral for the first lady of steveohville's elderly relative, someone i've never met. sitting right behind me was some older man who didn't shut up during the entire funeral mass. he wasn't talking loud, but he was talking loud enough. and he wasn't saying anything worth hearing. it was more about him and his thoughts. you know, such worthwhile gems like "i'm going to be a practicing catholic today and receive communion" and "my cousin was also born on her birthday". twice i turned around and gave him the "have some respect, you asshat" look. the third time i looked back, i caught his eye and held the stare. that seemed to work.

this morning on my bus, not only did the woman sitting next to me chat on the cellphone about the super bowl (and not really have any idea about what she was talking about), but the person standing near me (or above me) also chatted on his cellphone about a business meeting he was planning for. could these conversations have waited 10 minutes? of course. did they happen on the bus just to torment me? yep.

and then, tonight, a couple talked all the way through a documentary i watched about zinedine zidane. yes, that's right, they held conversations about soccer throughout a movie about soccer. good times.

that's how i'm rolling nowadays, silently stewing.

but you know what? it don't bother me. yeah, that's right. for this week, i am a super bowl champion.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

how no words can do justice to how i feel

so i'll just sit back and just revel in what i can't believe.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

how i can't wait for the official unveiling on february 16

it's true. a pitcher can say a thousand words, and most of them are unrelentingly joyous.

how 'bout dem apples

the first lady of steveohville alerted me to this, not only because her friend amy got a shout-out, but also because she's also afflicted with the same scenario.

or so she dreams.