Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Random Thoughts Again

  1. Any house under $200,000 in Norwalk is either on a street too narrow for my vehicle or missing important features - like a kitchen.
  2. Is $300 a month too much to pay for lawn work and a pool I'll almost never use?
  3. Sometimes you find yourself lying on the beach in December and think, "Does life get much better than this?"
  4. All the gifts but one are bought, but how, oh how, to get two princess tea sets in my luggage.
  5. My life's current small victory is when the cat makes it in the litter box.
  6. Christmas Bonus!!!
  7. I was told I have a nice voice.
  8. I was told I have a nice voice after my karoake renditions of "Hey Good Lookin" and "Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be Cowboys".
  9. I was also given a shot of Patron Silver for singing so I finished off the night with "El Paso".

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hmm - It's Getting Harder to be Random

  1. Though I've never seen anyone with their hair on fire, I did see a lady with smoking hair at lunch yesterday.
  2. Literally smoking.
  3. My cats had a memorable evening. First, they broke into a stash of catnip from the 1-800-Petmeds box. Second, they got deworming pills. Finally, they got dosed with topical anti-flea meds.
  4. I would rather do almost anything other than give a cat a pill. My tattered and torn skin would agree.
  5. Ah, a real Christmas tree.
  6. Rufus likes the dryer. Chip prefers the cupboards.
The aforementioned Chip (he also collects water bottles, possibly the reason for being in the cupboard).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Picture for the Week

And this is why I don't dance often.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. So I screwed up. I didn't realize it till it was too late and then I didn't step up and fix it. Damn it.
  2. So five years in LA, 10 years with Hormel and just shy of another birthday and I still don't know what I want. Damn it.
  3. My cat's still afraid of the litter box. Damn it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. So...yeah...fleas!
  2. The cat I consider the evil, mean one actually took her first bath like a real trooper.
  3. The little, cute cat...not so much.
  4. The fantasy football season has turned south, really south, Antarctica south.
  5. It's not so easy to get into the special screening of Tangled as you might think.
  6. Had a retro moment last weekend - with one text message I was whisked back to high school (and not in a good way).
  7. Special prize to my sister for correctly identifying Diamond Rio as the artist in my last entry.
  8. Also, congratulations to my sister and brother-in-law now expecting baby number two.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pre-Halloween Random Thoughts

  1. Preliminary evidence would suggest that for Nebraska to win I must watch the game from the Long Beach Hooters.
  2. This theory will be further tested this weekend. Details to follow.
  3. Oktoberfest had a vague resemblance to many a wedding reception I've attended. Could it be the chicken dance?
  4. Strangely apropos song lyric on a random drive home: "What a sweet addiction that I'm caught up in." Bonus points if you can name the artist.
  5. Annual performance appraisal time has arrived.
  6. I hate annual performance appraisal time.
  7. Annual performance appraisal time makes me wonder whether it's my poor management or their innate poor performance. (Not everybody...calm down!)
  8. I've also begin to wonder what makes a person a good manager, which led to wondering what make a person good and then, of course, to wonder what constitutes the makings of a good man.
  9. Turns out that item #2 on eHow's "How to be a Good Man" it reads a good man never second guesses himself.
  10. Shoot!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Random Thoughts - Road Trip Edition

  1. I haven't seen this many stars in the sky in a long, long time.
  2. I think it's been just about as long since I spent this much time in the Mountain Time zone.
  3. I failed to note last week that I've lived in Los Angeles for 5 years now.
  4. El Paso looks a lot like Los Angeles - the difference being space.
  5. Kerry Collins still plays football!!!
  6. The desert southwest isn't so much different than the Sandhills of Nebraska.
  7. Coolest place I've eaten, maybe ever - Adobe Deli somewhere near Deming, NM.
  8. Random images from Adobe Deli:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Some More Random Thoughts

  1. Irony: the Technicolor offices in Universal City are black.
  2. It's 3.4 miles from Honda of North Hollywood to Universal Studios.
  3. There's a Roger Dunn golf store, an antique luggage store and one really goofy intersection (for a pedestrian) along the 3.4 miles of Lankershim Blvd that I walked (twice).
  4. There was a man with a small red flag at the Tom Bradley International terminal at LAX. In further proof of Eddie Izzard's premise about empires and flags, the man waved the flag around, said a few things in Mandarin and - poof! - a dozen people and more than two dozen bags zipped out the door.
  5. Of all the many sunburns I've had in my red-headed life, I've never had a sunburn on just my elbows - until now.
  6. I have a bag of duck feet in my refrigerator.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Thoughts

  1. Ah, random notions on a Tuesday. It's been awhile.
  2. So...Beauty and the Beast on Blu-ray arrived in the mail today. Yeah, Beauty and the Beast! I'm man enough to admit it.
  3. Had lunch today and no one to help eat my fries...how sad.
  4. The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don't want, drink what you don't like, and do what you'd rather not. - Mark Twain
  5. One Monday it's 113, the next it's 60 and raining. What is this, Nebraska?
  6. Yesterday I read two articles: "The End of Men" by Hanna Rosin in The Atlantic and "The Decadence of Election 2010" by Peter Morici. Neither will help me get up in the morning.
  7. Of course, that's why I have an alarm clock.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Random Thoughts (Now Brought to You at Random Times)

  1. Another Saturday at Hooter's...enough to be recognized by the GM as a regular. And to be thanked for bringing along Jim and Brenda.
  2. How did I ever end up being a regular at Hooter's - in Long Beach - California? How?
  3. With the arrival of Civ V on Tuesday I have once again embraced my computer geek inner self.
  4. I was mistaken for someone's father. A little part of me wanted to scream and flee.
  5. I realized I haven't gone to see a movie in nearly a month - too much Hooters? Maybe.
  6. Has anyone else noticed that 2010 has gone by way too fast?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Delay, but Random Thoughts

1. Life is...
  • a mystery
  • a journey
  • a dance you learn as you go...sometimes you lead and sometimes you follow
2. Blue hair is never a good choice.
3. Ferrets like loose pants.
4. Hooters and Nebraska football...who knew?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Random Thoughts for the Week

1. Picture from the Nebraska State Fair looking out at the Midway.

2. Alex and Deuce.
3. A random video clip from the Nebraska State Fair Draft Hitch Show.


4. Random encounters while in Nebraska - Matt Luth at Spaghetti Works, Justin Steinhauser at Target and Brian Botsford at the fair.

5. Morgan is now married and the number of unmarried cousins dwindles ever lower. Soon the cheese may stand alone.

6. I got to drive around in my brother's new pimp wagon. "New" being used very loosely.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Random Thoughts from the DMV

In pursuit of my motorcycle license (now complete) I have spent a bit of time at the California DMV. I've been to three and while they are all eerily similar inside, the customer base is very different. And yesterday...it was the Hope St. DMV - basically downtown.

Random things seen at the DMV:
  1. A very long line stretching outside and around the building (word has it they waited for two hours, in the sun, in the 90 degree weather).
  3. A woman with the largest boobs I have ever, in my young life, seen. The same woman also had a tattoo on her arm - the only word I could read: "Chunky".
  4. Another woman with a dress that was just a tad too short, but we did all get a little bit of show when she raised her arm to point at something.
  5. A man's nipple - he was wearing a "wife-beater" and it wasn't on straight.
  6. The nipple man's gray, long back hair. It was at that moment that I seriously considered for myself and for the first time in my life, back waxing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Random Thoughts - Sparkly Unicorn Edition

  1. It's hard to be taken seriously with a pink, glittering unicorn on your face.
  2. Enough said.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Random Stuff for the Week

1. A picture from the "Brent in Funny Hats" file.

2. I found it right there in Arcadia - The Temple of Love. Now, if my sacrifices work...

3. "I'm tired of cleaning up the trail of broken hearts you leave behind." - a moment of poetic license from a slow afternoon at work.
4. I wish I had been able to take my parents to see "Young Frankenstein" instead of "Cats". Way, way better.
5. Two days without Camille and counting.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Another Week of Random Thoughts

  1. Pictured above - the Kearney High class of '95 reunion. Like herding cats.
  2. I think I've lived places for a shorter amount of time than I've spent in the Denver airport over the years.
  3. It was good to go home, good to be back home and sometimes confusing what I mean by home.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. You know you're in trouble when you buy a book entitled "How To Improve Your Memory" only to discover you already own a copy. -heard on the radio during my commute
  2. Somebody is giving me flowers...every few days I'm left a few dying violet blooms on my desk. It's still flowers, damn it.
  3. The rapid decline has begun. Joanne had to help me work the voicemail on my iPhone.
  4. The fellowship of the three has broken. One of our little group is moving to Greeley, Colorado. The novelty of being the one staying put is not lost on me.
  5. I find I enjoy going to school a lot more when the homework assignment is to buy a motorcycle.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Random Song Lyric?

Silver wings
Shining in the sunlight
Roaring engines
Headed somewhere in flight
They're taking you away
And leaving me lonely
Silver wings
Slowly fading out of sight

By: Stefano Anghileri | View Full Portfolio (79 images)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random Questions

  1. If I were offered a job with another company, would I seriously consider it?
  2. How big a fool do I really appear to be?
  3. Is a mutiny possible?
  4. Why do I like the Statler Brothers?
  5. Isn't Pure Country one of the most horrible movies ever made?
  6. Then why do I like it so much?
  7. How can I be so apathetic about the really important things and completely incapable of apathy on the things that really shouldn't matter?
  8. Why do so many women want babies?
  9. Is it Friday yet?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

July 4th and Beyond Random Thoughts

1. That's the Queen Mary in the distance as we work our way into the Long Beach harbor for fireworks.
2. This is someone that looks likes she's in trouble (or a picture for which I'm certain to get in trouble). Why would I put it here then? I'm not very bright.

3. This is the new ride. It's a 2008 Honda Shadow Aero (now with 37 miles on it) and my membership into the Farmer John motorcycle gang.

4. Why a motorcycle? Why not. Or...because I need my toys, I want desperately to be cool and/or the ladies dig men with motorcycles. You choose.

5. Slipping across the water, wrapped in a blanket against the ocean breeze I had a thought - Ah, so this is it. Bad luck on me, then.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Late June Random Thoughts

  1. Random childhood picture above.
  2. I was given a most unexpected gift over the weekend. I'm never sure whether the giver of this gift reads these posts, but if she does, thank you again. I'm still delighted.
  3. Traveling down the road I noticed a truck pulling two large tandem trailers with storage between the wheels and I thought, "That's one big truck." As I pulled up beside it I noticed it was truck full of caskets. My next thought, "Well, I guess caskets don't weigh much with all that dead space."
  4. That terrible joke was wasted without anyone near to groan and roll their eyes at me.
  5. Fifteen year class reunion is now one month away. Time to come up with a good answer why I'm still single.
  6. Possible solution to being single - new motorcycle this Thursday.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday's Random Thoughts

  1. Cultivate friends.
  2. Create memories.
  3. Live life's small adventures.
  4. Love what you will as much as you can.
  5. The fortune cookie told me, "Don't be afraid of competition." Because I'm going to win?
  6. I now have a motorcycle permit, the corrective lens restriction lifted from my driver's license and I'm good for another 5 years driving in California. This definitely points toward the early onset of a mid-life crisis.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Random Thoughts for the Week

  1. New design - I'm not sure. Change scares me.
  2. I don't know why, but I had to do it. I watched the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy again (took four days - that's a lot of movie).
  3. So...15 years. I thought only old people went to their 15 year class reunions. I must have been wrong all those years.
  4. From a note card stuck in a binder on my shelf: If you look deep enough into the night sky, you can see the beginning of time.
  5. Sometimes the hardest act of all is to let something be. (Not from a note card in a binder, but it could be. That's how they show up on note cards in the first place.)
  6. Two random Hoover Dam pictures:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. "Blankets! Cheaper than prostitutes and twice as cuddly." - words of wisdom from my brother.
  2. "I sense I'm being discriminated, but not for any of those." - Camille, with 'those' being gender, race and ethnicity.
  3. "Some fools never learn." - John Scott Sherrill lyric sung by Steve Wariner and something I should have posted on my wall.
  4. "These things are driving me crazy!" - Joanne referring to life with slightly smelly companion animals.
  5. "I'd rather stay right here and figure out what's important." - Me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not So Random Story

I took a nefarious trip to Las Vegas and as the advertisement says: what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. As such, I leave you today with a story (one of my favorites) that stands as a metaphor for my weekend.

The doors loomed. The sleek, brushed aluminum and thick glass that spoke of just the right amount of tint, doors that one could see anywhere, struck him with a subtle terror. Then again, it wasn't the doors, was it? He had walked through many doors: tall wooden ones, elegant French ones, the round and revolving sort, doors with handles and doors without, the kind that hinge from the middle and slide both out and back, doors with signs, doors with intricate designs and even those doors that stood before him.

It was the guardians of the doors that bothered him. Four little technological sentinels arranged so that to get out, to get to the doors and to the freedom on the other side one had to pass the guards. They each looked unassuming. Grey and black plastic with a white light on the top. That light, that was thing. If he wasn't very careful. If the world was not set in perfect harmony, the white light would flash, a horn would sound, resonating and echoing through hangars of clothes and boxes of hardware. It would beckon the tellers, managers, Food Avenue deep fat fryers and maybe a wide girthed department store guard (tiny gold badge included).

He held the receipt in his hand. The digits were in order. The sales items marked with a tiny downward pointing arrow. Taxes had been paid. Everything in the cart matched everything on the white strip of paper in his hand. He stood there still, in the no man's land between register and door, glaring down the unblinking pillars. He had to pass. He had to test the gateway.

One leaden foot at a time he pushed the cart forward. The front, right wheel voiced concern rhythmically, rubber against metal, tire against brace. A lady in red, with a white name tag decorated with a target stood at the service counter, smiling. Watching too it seemed. A sign above her head flashed 66. A short woman with pink, tight, polyester pants waited in line with a return, but still he was being watched. Forward he marched.

The front of the cart struck the invisible barrier. They all aligned, the sentinels' lights and the front line of the cart. No sound came. No lights flashed. He stepped again. A bead of sweat trickled with cold delight down his back. The goods were through. The cart had passed.

He stopped then. All that was left was him. His watch was dead even with the light on the right most pillar. Just two more steps and he'd be through. Just two more steps and he'd be to the doors. He'd be free again.

Quick, one step and two, he bolted out the door, cart rattling through the threshold. For a second he heard it, the horns, and saw it, the lights. His heart leapt up to his throat and swung from a tonsil. Then it dropped again. There were no alarms, just the swoosh of air from outside to inside and the distant rumble of passing traffic.

He sighed.

He loaded the groceries into the trunk of his car, tucked the receipt away in his right hand pocket and unlocked the door. After opening the door he turned back to the store and to the set of aluminum, automatic doors and smiled. He reached into his left hand pocket and removed an unopened pack of Big Red gum. He had fooled them again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. While walking across the courtyard, past the hog pens and on my way up to the training room I had the following thought: Dread sat looking over at Dreams in the opposite chair. Dread said, "We will lose. We will try but in the end we will simply, plainly and most assuredly lose." Dreams considered this for a moment and replied, "But we could win."
  2. I found this to be happily random and odd and wrote it down.
  3. Alone used to be easier.
  4. Alta Vista Country Club has a dress code.
  5. I have a new pair of shorts from the Alta Vista Country Club pro shop.
  6. I also have passes to the Huntington Library and VIP tickets to the LA Galaxy. Thank you raffle gods.
  7. I could really use the $400 Jim won at the raffle to purchase a couple fuzzy creatures in Nevada. The raffle gods have a sense of humor.
  8. It didn't seem like many steps, but by the top that was one heavy washing machine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Random Thoughts for the Week

  1. Maybe it was true - I did need a little more Neil Diamond in my morning commute.
  2. After a month long and futile search I may have finally found my golf swing.
  3. It's still a little cool for a Saturday on the beach.
  4. Strangers think I'm strange.
  5. Sgt. Benjamin Franklin Youngs has been dead for 83 years, but it was still a moving moment as the bugler played Taps for the Medal of Honor winner.
  6. Is 33 too young for a mid-life crisis? Which begs the question...
  7. Is buying a motorcycle a sign of a mid-life crisis?
  8. No leather pants.
  9. New favorite description - sweet burden.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. Walking into my local Target is like walking onto the set of Dark City. They are adding a fresh produce section and each week the store shifts slightly. Walls emerge. Shelves lay bare. This also results in happily random arrangements - movies shelved with the glasses, clearance toys on the beauty supply end caps and pillows in the tools.
  2. I have convinced myself that a new driver would improve my golf score.
  3. I do my best thinking in the shower.
  4. I found a moment of pure bliss in a Lawry's prime rib.
  5. Happy 2nd anniversary weekend girls!
  6. I can now literally sit on Joanne and Camille. You want to ask, I know you do.
  7. It's time to give a little love to my blogging friends:

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time for More Random Thoughts

  1. Sometimes I listen to the words of "The Gambler" and think it is the most profound song ever written.
  2. Also eminently singable.
  3. It seems that since I've gone to work here I've been part of many record breaking feats. Sadly, they are records in futility.
  4. My marriage proposal was denied. ;)
  5. Hirsute.
  6. Am I a compulsive shopper? Actually, compulsive buyer might be the better question.
  7. Can someone explain to me when it's a lie by omission and when its just something left unsaid?
  8. List of things that are apparently not allowed to be left unsaid about yourself prior to marrying someone: a) I was in prison, b) I 'was' gay, c) I was married before, d) I am bipolar and, my favorite, e) I had a sex change operation.
  9. Finally, happy birthday to my sister today. And happy birthday to Mom a couple days ago. And happy birthday to my niece who I forgot about and happy birthday to whoever else I know I am forgetting but whose birthday is fast approaching.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random Thoughts Renaissance Edition

I attended my first Renaissance Fair last Saturday and these are my unnumbered random thoughts.

Hooters in your hooters - hilarious.

Asking for a picture of a woman's cleavage is not in my repertoire. Thank heavens for Camille and Joanne.

At the end of the day was the Wishing Well Wenches Show featuring special guest star - Me! playing the role of Bubba.

The smoking guns pictures below did not win me the manliest man competition, but did spare me the false breasts.

It did not, however, spare me from the bra hat.

I also was not saved from:
  • making my Vin Diesel face (a crowd favorite),
  • having the top of my head licked,
  • an awkward man hug with Veronica (he with the false breasts),
  • looking down the wench's skirt in search of Veronica
  • and getting a kiss from said wench.
I was spared other humiliations such as running to the top of hill, putting on briefs and yelling, "In my man pants I can do anything!" I feel oddly fortunate for this.

And yes there is video of some of this.

And maybe I'll share it later.

Lastly, it is strangely nice to be recognized for your star turn on stage, even if its only for an hour and it's a bunch of half drunk people calling you Bubba.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day Late Random Thoughts

  1. Chicago is probably the best show I've seen at The Pantages.
  2. I wish these shows ended at 8 instead of beginning at 8.
  3. Five AM is really early.
  4. I think I'm unnaturally happy about the fall release of Civilization V.
  5. Jury duty service number 2 is in the books. Still haven't been selected.
  6. Oval tracks are better than road courses.
  7. There's a stop sign pointing out a Thai food stand near the Long Beach Convention Center that I will remember forever and each time I'll smile.
  8. It is apparently possible to take a nap while attending an Indy Car race. And here I thought that was only possible while watching on TV.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Week - New Random Thoughts

  1. Is it wrong that when I saw a Facebook post about eating burritos my first thought was, "Honey, put down the burrito." Yes, it probably is.
  2. At the intersection of Slauson and Gage, Sunday about 3;30 - turned over the first 10,000 miles.
  3. I wish the distance between needing and wanting was far enough that I couldn't see the one from the other.
  4. Have I gotten so old that bowling can make me that sore?
  5. Speaking of old - 15 year class reunion - say it ain't so!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Random Thoughts to Begin April

  1. Learning Mandarin - hard, very hard.
  2. The word for person in Mandarin sounds a great deal like the Klingon word for 'over'.
  3. Star Trek 6 - that's how I know that.
  4. I don't need your judgment so stow it.
  5. I spent the weekend pretty much alone (might be because I shared that Klingon reference at work on Friday). Most startling, I can't remember the last weekend I spent alone. How did that happen?
  6. My cats both had birthdays last weekend - Oreo turned 8 and Garfield turned 5.
  7. Still wondering how such a nice lady gave me such a mean cat.
  8. Time of death: 8:00 AM. The victim: another wayward dream. The dreamer expressed relief that the suffering of this ill and abused dream had come to an end.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Random Thoughts for the March's Last Week

  1. Is a tattoo a requirement to play men's basketball?
  2. How long before women need the same tattoos?
  3. Should someone of my (let's call it limited) golfing ability really be teaching someone else to golf?
  4. A slowly dawning thought finally emerged above the distant horizon and like the rising sun its beauty turned to a searing misery. Sadly, that thought was far more poetic than the idea.
  5. When the Tea Party revolution turns militant (not if, but when), will I need a gun? And will I be killed without a trial just for living in Los Angeles?
  6. Happy retirement, Mrs. Rose! We love you and the students to come will miss you without knowing it.
  7. What exactly is the marketing/business relationship between Chemistry.com and Match.com?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

More and More and More Random Thoughts

  1. Funny how tired you can be at the end of a vacation.
  2. Never trust the traffic in LA - it'll get you every time.
  3. Apparently the American West is so big that it had to have an equally big museum.
  4. Baby Blues BBQ is less fun without my favorite waitress.
  5. Camille and my mom should hang out more.
  6. Joanne and Dad crinkled all the way home from the game.
  7. Leo Dicaprio is hard to spot in a baseball cap and sunglasses.
  8. Bathrooms are hard to find in LA.
  9. The Paseo Colorado was this close to receiving the coveted Brent's A+ public restroom rating until the faucet was one of those that you press, then race to wash your hands before the button releases.
  10. Jesse James, you are a dumb man.
  11. Sandra Bullock - I'm here for you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

This Week's Random Thoughts

  1. San Luis Obispo is north, not south of Los Angeles.
  2. San Luis Obispo is also 3 and half hours away, not 1 and half hours away.
  3. It was my good fortune to learn a little California geography before I began my trip.
  4. I'm told earthquakes are most common in hot weather and early in the morning.
  5. "I'm really a thoughtful person when I think about it." Pearl of wisdom from Thaddeus.
  6. Be wary of the handwash sink that looks like the old style trough urinal.
  7. Never have I seen so many obsessive personalities assembled in one room (God bless them anyway).
  8. I met a man whose mother was born in the same town as me. This would be less phenomenal if Ogallala, Nebraska was the size of Los Angeles, California.
  9. The trip from LA to SLO - one of the most beautiful road trips I've taken.
  10. Civil War color guard, sun setting over the green hills, Taps echoing through the trees - nothing quite like it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This Week's Random Notions

  1. I was scanning old photos and stumbled across two senior pictures from girls in my class. I had forgotten anything was written on them and was almost touched when I read them. They had said very nice things about me. I wonder what else I'm missing.
  2. Has there ever been a single Oscar review that didn't come across as sanctimonious?
  3. Did Sandra Bullock deserve an Oscar? Maybe not. Do I care? No, I don't.
  4. It's much more fun to shop for a condo for someone else than to shop one for myself. Maybe it's that old saying that it's more fun to spend someone else's money.
  5. The funny thing about stereotypes is when they hold true. At an open house we saw a very large penis sculpture in the bathroom. Was the owner gay? The pictures of men kissing says yes. The penis sculpture? Maybe just poor taste.
  6. "You make a good couple." Well, we play one on TV (or something like that). Poor Rob.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Top 10 Movies of the Last Decade

I've been saying it all along - this is not a list of good movies. There will not be a word uttered about camera angles, acting quality or Oscar caliber anything. That's for movie critics and pretentious movie snobs. I can talk about those things and sound reasonably convincing doing it, but it's not fun. Movies should be about fun...enjoyment...happiness. Now that I've defended myself against your judgments and potential slanders against my good name I give you my top 10 movies of the last decade (the aughts or whatever we're calling it).

Maybe it was trying hard to be The Princess Bride. Maybe it was goofy. Maybe it was complete garbage, but it was my kind of garbage and I will happily wallow in it like a pig in mud, thank you very much.

The Bourne Supremecy
I'm a big fan of the Bourne movies. The explosions, the gun fights, the car chases and the tortured assassin's soul speaks to some carnal, manly part of me buried deep in my rather geeky exterior.

When I'm not delighting in Jason Bourne's exploits I'm a big, sappy romantic pining for a Hollywood romance. I'm also a sucker for milking a plot device down to its death rattle. Plug in John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale and, well, I'm done.

On the list of movie experiences, this was tops, perhaps all time. It was opening day, 10:00 AM matinee and the theater was packed with people my age dragging there children to experience what might have been a touchstone of their own childhoods. The group applauded, laughed at all the references to the cartoon series and even talked back to the screen. For two hours we were one big, happy family.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
Nerd porn. As such, there's considerable debate about which of the trilogy is the best. I'm a Two Towers guy, but only by a whisker. If these movies weren't 3 hours long I'd probably sit and watch them more than I do.

(500) Days of Summer
A chord was struck as I watched this movie. Somewhere in this very blog there's a long, detailed explanation as to which chord and why. Simply put, it was a great day, a great movie in the company of a great person.

The Bourne Identity
The original Bourne film and still the best. Amnesia, gun play, pretty girl and sinister government agents - do I need anything more from a movie. No, I do not.

Please refrain from the eye rolling. I hear your voices all muttering about my sanity. I will not listen to it. Before vampires became mainstream, teenage girl drivel, there was Kate in tight, leather pants beating up lycans and falling for her sometimes whiny hybrid vampire wolfman. And I love it. God help me, but I do. We all have our problems and this one is mine.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The last movie was ruinously long and Frodo got on my nerves and the first movie was the most freestanding story but I prefer the movie sandwiched between. I think it was the horses. Maybe it was the talking trees. Then again, it could have been the elf and the dwarf ribbing each other while killing Orcs. Probably doesn't matter - by asking why I've revealed how uncool I am - oops.

And finally, the moment we've all been waiting for (if only to make this all stop), my top movie of the aught decade...

Lars and the Real Girl
The quirky premise drew me in, but the sweet story of a small town coming together around one strange, lovable man was fantastic. The moment when I was sitting in a theater holding back tears during the funeral of a sex doll, I knew the movie had won. I loved the novelty. I loved the wacky town folk. I loved the idea that so many people would do so much for one of their own. In the end, it was the biggest surprise I've had going to the movies.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Random Notions for the Week

  1. I keep my door locked - not for security so much as for the random neighbor that confuses my door with the exit. (It's an interesting, but somewhat upsetting way to meet new people.)
  2. After more than 20 years, I let one of my bookcases go to the dump. We had a long life together. I bought it with the money I got finding a woman's bracelet at a junior high football game in Texas. It spent time in 6 states and survived a couple basement apartment floods, but finally its time had come.
  3. The cat loves my new recliner more than I do.
  4. The Oscars are this weekend and this new 10 best picture nominee thing makes it impossible to see all those movies by Sunday.
  5. I bought a shirt that is very near pink on the color wheel. I may never wear it.
  6. Provide, protect and plan - apparently these are three essentially requirements for men.
  7. Don't stop until I pass out - words overheard in response to an item in Esquire's article on the essential woman. (This may also be the unspoken fourth requirement of men.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Top 50 Movies of the Decade - The Awkward Teens

I once again I ask your indulgence and that you remember this is not an Oscar ballot. This is not about technical merit. It hardly has anything to do with any coherent rationale at all. It's just movies - movies I love to watch.

These are the movies ranked 11th to 20th on my decade's favorites list (starting with #20).

Brick - This movie made me question whether there was a lot more going on at high school than I realized and if so, how did I miss it?

The Illusionist - For most everyone else it was The Prestige, but I'm a sucker for a love story so I preferred this magician movie over the other.

Batman Begins - to get interesting again.

The Dark Knight - I was not in the "this is the greatest movie ever made" camp, but I still love to watch it.

V for Vendetta - It may have been the monologue that included every word beginning with V or it may have been the eerie sense that I could be looking at our own bleak future, but whatever it was it was good.

Dan in Real Life - Hit me right on the sappy, romantic comedy solar plexus. Not as good on second viewing, but I'll always remember the first time.

The Whole Nine Yards - Yes, I can see the eye rolling from here. My response: get off my back. I love it. I think it's funny. I laugh ever time and I feel good about it.

Star Trek - Whatever genius warped the space-time continuum, you are the man!

Definitely, Maybe - I told you Ryan Reynolds would be back and here we find him. A love mystery - priceless.

The Bourne Ultimatum - And the Bourne movies begin where they ended, but they'll be back soon enough.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Randoms Notes on Random Things

  1. Anti-Valentine's Day gathering epiphany - my "single problem" is probably a direct result of being a snob with low self esteem.
  2. Is there any job worse than the Roto-Rooter guy? Probably, but I don't want to know what it is.
  3. It fascinates me that a group of executives sat in a room, watched the newest batch of Old Spice commercials and then said, "Yes, we like those."
  4. Must. Learn. To. Keep. Quiet. I was good at that once.
  5. The Winter Olympics could use a few less time trials and individual events and more head to head action.
  6. Anyone want to help put antibiotic ointment in my cat's eye. Yeah, didn't think so.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Top 50 Movies of the Decade - The Roaring Twenties

As you read on (and on and on and on...), I ask that you remember this is not an Oscar ballot. This is not about technical merit. It hardly has anything to do with any coherent rationale at all. It's just movies - movies I love to watch.

These are the movies ranked 21st to 30th on my decade's favorites list (starting with #30).

Monster House - If nothing else it reminded me of my own childhood and my exploits with cousin Kurt.

Julie & Julia - A love story - between people yes, but also between people and food.

Hellboy - Giant, cigar smoking, demon that's a good guy - what more need be said?

Up - A sweet, little story good for all ages.

The Exorcism of Emily Rose - Scary done with intelligence and complexity.

Minority Report - I overcame my Tom Cruise aversion for the science fiction. Yes, sci-fi has that much power over me.

Spider-man - I waited for years for this movie and was not disappointed...not until the sequels.

The Proposal - Sandra Bullock returns to the list. Go Sandra! Ryan Reynolds also makes his debut. Will it be his last?

Shrek - Remember Spider-man and its sequels. Ditto.

I, Robot - More sci-fi, more happy movie watching.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Random Thoughts on the Week Gone By

  1. BEHOLD...the power of flowers!
  2. Example of why fat and lazy go together. I am too lazy to go buy a box of cereal so I stop at the McDonald's drive-thru for breakfast (two days in a row if you count the planned trip for tomorrow).
  3. Observations from Texas (There and Back Again):
  • John Wayne Airport - 5 min security line (Great!). $20/day for parking (Bad!)
  • More boob jobs at the John Wayne Airport versus LAX.
  • Fish net stockings for air travel?
  • Two hairy arms - one tiny arm rest.
  • 12 years since I've been to Texas and it snows.
  • Why does it always take a funeral...?
  • Caddo Mills - new high school, new elementary school - no fair!
  • It's hard to find one of your childhood homes when they've removed the only landmark you remember, in this case, King Saver.
  • The church across from one of our family homes is still there and so are the lights that my cousin and I blinded ourselves with so we could see the burned image in the night. My sisters response when she heard this story - Idiots (or something like that).
  • Two hairy men - one tiny bed.
  • My niece would not sleep in the same bed with me. My sister told her this was okay because I was used to women not sleeping with me.
  • Not funny, I said. Because it's true, my sister replied.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Random Stuff for the Week

  1. I've caught Garfield peeing on the floor once. Occasionally, the peeing on the floor (right next to the box even) has happened since. Though I'm pretty sure its still Garfield I do harbor some fear that Oreo is doing it just to get Garfield in trouble. Yes, she's that smart and that evil.
  2. Do the people working at Irish Spring go home smelling like Irish Spring?
  3. Life is too uncertain. Eat dessert first. - Words of wisdom that Joanne discovered while at Stan's Doughnuts.
  4. Hail - or as they call it here in LA, raining ice.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Top 50 Movies of the Decade - The 30s

As you read on (and your excitement undoubtedly grows), I ask that you remember this is not an Oscar ballot. This is not about technical merit. It hardly has anything to do with any coherent rationale at all. It's just movies - movies I love to watch.

These are the movies ranked 31st to 40th on my decade's favorites list (starting with #40).

Miss Congeniality - The first movie I saw when I moved to Wisconsin (somewhere there is someone raising her hand with a few fingers extended to denote how many times this annoyingly irrelevant piece of trivia has come up in conversation). Still love it though. Is that because of Sandra Bullock? Maybe, just maybe.

The Notebook - I'm not sure what sickness makes me enjoy a movie that makes me cry, but I have it.

Gladiator - Finally, a man's movie...except for that whole floating above the ground, heaven is a farm in Spain bit.

Legally Blonde - Saw this one in Austin, Minnesota while trying to entertain myself during a week long training of some sort. I wasn't expecting much, which probably makes it better than it was.

Love Actually - Ah, another romantic comedy and another example of my sissified movie affliction.

X-Men - The movie trilogy sadly went downhill, but the original is still a good time.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Quirky, irreverent and one of the few Jim Carrey movies that doesn't make me want to be beaten into unconsciousness. (Yes, yes...it's also a romantic comedy.)

Terminator Salvation - The second Terminator movie was by far the gold standard, but this one is a close second.

The Blind Side - Sandra Bullock again (and yes that makes any movie better) but this is also just a nice, wholesome film that makes you feel good and sometimes that hits the spot.

Underworld: Evolution - Right now you are wondering how it is possible that this movie can be rated this high. Later, you'll wonder even harder when you see where Underworld fell on my list. (Someone suggested that it had to do with Kate Beckinsale in tight, black, leather pants - possibly.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random Observation for the Week

  1. Irony of the week - Thursday at lunch we saw a hog truck rear-end a car of Orthodox Jews.
  2. All I want is 4 rolls of toilet paper. I don't need sixteen, 48, 92 and I definitely do not need to haul my toilet paper home on a pallet. What do you people do with all that toilet paper?!
  3. Two weeks and three days - the amount of time without a vehicle before the insanity started to overwhelm me.
  4. While rewatching the Back to the Future trilogy I realized part 2 takes place in just 5 years from now. Where, then, is my flying car and Mr. Fusion?
  5. Reading through the list of Grammy winners and nominees I realized I am a pop culture idiot.
  6. I was equally shocked that I was more familiar with the names on the Metal Rock category than any other (even country).
  7. Lunch discussion Friday: 5 movies we can watch over and over. The Shawshank Redemption, Goonies, The American President, The Hunt for Red October and Underworld. I can feel you passing unkind judgments - don't.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Top 50 Movies of the Decade - The Bottom 10

We watch movies for a variety of reasons. I watch them to enjoy a couple hours of storytelling - not necessarily to escape, but to visit somewhere else for awhile. This is a deciding factor in why I keep the ratio of "art films" as low as I do. I say this as a warning about the list to follow. My top movies are not based solely, perhaps not even largely, on technical merit. That will become obvious. I just like them.

I begin with the bottom 10 (41-50). These just made the cut, perhaps pushing out some equally worthy film but a line must be drawn somewhere.

Sweet Home Alabama - It was the lightning glass sculptures, that's what did it. Or was it the sappy, love story. I am a sucker for a sappy, love story.

From Hell - Darkly appealing.

Chocolat - More Johnny Depp. This worries me. I just remember it was a good movie outing with Michelle and Amy.

About Schmidt - Filmed in my home state. Kathy Bates naked. What more need be said?

The Incredibles - Incredible...almost.

Memento - Worthy for its wonderfully warped use of chronology.

Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - By far the worst of the three, but saved by the Director's cut. (Not really saved, but dampened down my original rage at all that was missing from the book and that god awful ending that would never end.)

A Knight's Tale - Rock music meets Robin Hood.

The Count of Monte Christo - There's just something about a good prison escape.

The Day After Tomorrow - Bad in so many ways that I couldn't help but love it.

Next week, the next 10. I know, I know...you can't wait.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Week's Randomness

  1. I am now officially as cool as Joanne and Carlos - well...I too have an iPhone so I am at least that cool.
  2. Sitting on the curb outside I noticed a man wearing a sweatshirt with a hand drawn map on the front. The X marked roughly the location of his belly button. If this is the location of the hidden treasure then I'll have to pass.
  3. It seems I may need an app for finding appropriate apps.
  4. In movies where God (or is it god in this case) is bent on the destruction of mankind, how come he can never pull it off? He's god, right?
  5. Seriously, how long does it take to get a fuel line?
  6. Double seriously, who designs a fuel line that is fused into the gas tank so that you have to replace the entire gas tank? WHO?
  7. Is one star a week the limit of our Modern Warfare talents at this point?
  8. The toilet is leaking. I should call the maintenance people. Where's the number? Don't know. Good thing I have towels.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another Random Thoughts and Observations

  1. "Ok, Dad. Let's do it. Let's go get the shit kicked out of us by love." - quote from Love, Actually that was posted by a Facebook friend (which is sometimes different from a real friend). Also notable for an order for said movie being placed shortly thereafter.
  2. "Your truck is on fire." - quote from the next door neighbor and now on my short list of things I'd rather not hear as the first words of my day.
  3. Breakfast at Denny's + Gaming on the Playstation with Joanne = Not a bad Sunday, not bad at all.
  4. The Jets! I'll be...
  5. Avatar as Best Picture - one of the signs of the apocalpyse - let me check Revelations.
  6. The Book of Eli - nothing about Avatar being a sign of the end times, but it does beg a more pressing question: In a world without shampoo and hardly any water, how does Mila Kunis remain so well coiffed and beautiful? Hand of God, perhaps?
  7. I'm just this close to an iPhone...just this close. (As used here, this is defined as the space between the monthly fee, my fear of gadget addiction and the desperate need to be as cool as Joanne and Carlos).

Sunday, January 17, 2010

One Day


2:30 AM - The high pitched, insanely loud apartment fire alarm system wakes me and sends the cats into a tizzy.

2:33 AM - After a couple minutes determining whether this is a real fire (which you do in apartment buildings because there's no sense getting dressed and standing outside if someone just pulled the damn alarm and ran) I smell smoke and decide to find my shoes.

2:34 AM - With one shoe in hand, the neighbor begins beating on my door furiously. When I open it I hear the first words of the day, "Your truck is on fire." The only appropriate response, "My truck!?"

2:35 AM - Standing with my neighbors outside the parking garage, it looks like my neighbor was right. Through the smoke and flames, its hard to tell which car is one fire, but if its not mine, then mine is sure to have some melty bits when this thing is over. This will be the topic of conversation for the next few minutes.

~2:40 AM - The fire department has arrived. The LA Sheriff's Department has arrived.

~3:00 AM - The fire is out and the smoke thinned enough that my neighbors are reporting my truck looks fine (how so many people knew it was my truck has started to interest me). The truck does appear fine. The apartment fire sprinklers seem to have saved my bacon.

~3:20 AM - The fire department lets me in to examine my truck and other than a layer of black soot, it appears unscathed. Now I'm getting annoyed because I just spent $20 getting a very nice car wash and this is how the fates repay me.

5:00 AM - Bathed, fed and less annoyed about being up so early I head downstairs to go to work. The truck won't start. Could it be soot in the air cleaner? Did some computer chip get overheated?

5:01 AM - I call the boss to see if he has left for work and whether he can pick me up. After hearing my story he actually returns from work to get me.

5:02 AM - I open the door of my truck and step into a large puddle of gasoline. For the next several minutes I try to determine its source. This involves the discovery that my usually reliable flashlight is losing power and that all my other flashlights are dead. It may be time to develop a better emergency response system. I also discover that the fuel line has been ripped from my gas tank. Car fire next to me...broken fuel line on my car...coincidence? I think not.

5:10 AM - I call the Sheriff's Department with my tale. There's some conversation about non-criminal events and what they should do about it. "Send someone out here, maybe," I say. Brilliant.

5:30 AM - The boss and the deputy show up at the same time (the boss drove 15 miles, the deputy 1 block...just an observation). The deputy takes some notes and I got to work.

4:00 PM - The people from AEG (owners of LA Live, the Staples Center, Nokia Theater, etc.) have invited us on a tour and to LA Kings hockey game. My company makes the official hot dogs and sausage of the Kings. The boss and I head downtown.

4:45 PM - Drinks at ESPN Zone.

5:30 PM - Meet with AEG reps and begin tour.

~5:40 PM - Standing in the front row seats of an empty Nokia Theatre.

~6:00 PM - Standing in the VIP area of Club Nokia watching the tech people rehearse the PeeWee Herman's Playhouse stage show. The set, just like from the television show, is occasionally moving.

6:30 PM - Open the door to the suite at Staples. The bartender welcomes us in. There's free hats and bobbleheads and food. We eat. I marvel at what it must be like to be rich.

7:30 PM - The hockey game begins.

7:45 PM - One of the unbelievably attractive ice girls takes away Ed.

~8:00 PM - Bailey, the Lion mascot for the Kings, stops by the suite to dish out grief, kisses, hugs and high fives in equal measure. The Kings score a goal and Bailey throws all our napkins over the ledge.

~8:15 PM - Ed appears on the Zamboni.

~8:30 PM - The dessert car arrives. My day has reached its zenith.

~8:45 PM - The full contingent of ice girls return. Eric pops up from his seat like his pants are on fire. Pictures are taken. Many married men have disappeared as the cameras start emerging.

A little after 9:00 PM - The boss is tired and wants to go. In so doing we miss meeting a hockey celebrity and having our bobblehead autographed. Fortunately, hockey is not a sport I have a vested interest in and missing Luc Robitaille will not haunt me.

10:00 PM - I go to bed. This may not have been the most interesting day of my life, but it's in the top 5.

Other notes: It turns out that someone had pulled the fuel lines on several vehicles in the parking garage. For what purpose, we do not know but it did melt one Ford Explorer Hybrid into a charred remnant. Meanwhile, I have $580 worth of fuel lines, vacuum hoses and return lines being shipped from Detroit and get to keep riding with the boss for a few more days.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

It's Tuesday - Let the Randomness Flow

  1. eHarmony Update - Gosh, that's a lot of money each month.
  2. My cousin Kurt found me on Facebook. When was the last time we even talked? When did Kurt have kids...get married...? When did I get so old?
  3. Had a few butterflies before speaking at my latest Dale Carnegie course.
  4. They're on to us - after many blissful months of 25 cent washes, they fixed the machine and I'm back to $1.25 a load. Damn!
  5. Modern Warfare 2 on PS3 - sweet! (Thanks Dan.)
  6. Joanne and I finally getting that second star on the timed shooting - even sweeter!
  7. I became Senior Vice Commander of my Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War camp.
  8. My sister thinks #7 makes me a dork. She may not be alone.
  9. I've been told Underworld cannot possibly be one of my favorite movies of the last decade. I'll reconsider...maybe. (Yes, it has something to do with tight leather pants...yes it does.)
  10. I wish my life was half as interesting as the work gossip machine believes it to be...maybe even just a third as interesting.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

More Random Musings for the Week

1. I wonder if the same people that design crossword puzzles also design assemble-at-home furniture.

2. Goatee or not to goatee, that is the question.

3. What motivates a person to spend a week gluing flowers to a float that starts to wilt before the parade is over?

4. Where are you Stephanie Edwards?

5. My cat now watches television and, coincidentally, prefers Animal Planet.

6. Everyone's getting a Droid. Should I?

7. For a couple days I was a reluctant jungle gym.

8. Disney Princesses is not my game.

9. Lunch group at Little Mexico in Kearney, Nebraska: one from New York, one from Kansas City, one from LA and one from Wahoo - when did I ever imagine that? Never, that's when.

10. eHarmony update - can't I just keeping hanging out with the weekend girls?

11. I forgot the difficulty and time expense in compiling a favorite movies of the decade list. My solution - start small.

12. My favorite romantic comedies of the last decade (in no particular order):

13. Oh yeah, I'm a sucker for romantic comedies. And no I don't care if they aren't good movies - love is blind!