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

Thursday

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!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Minor Inconvenience of the Week

The Garage Door

There are two ways to get to my car:

1) I walk down the hall in the opposite direction of my parked car, take the stairs and double back through the garage, or
2) I walk down the stairs next to my apartment, unlock the door into the garage and take a few steps over to the car.

I often take the long walk. Somehow this is easier than digging out my keys, finding the correct key and unlocking the garage door.