Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Eleven Best Top 10 Movies of 2009...


i said it.

the eleven best top 10 movies of 2009. because that makes just about as much sense to me as the academy award people expanding its best picture nominees from five to ten. and because i saw a lot of great films this year...

11) "fantastic mr. fox" i loved this movie. just all sorts of quirky, and hysterical.

10) "avatar" would have been much higher on the list if it had an actual plot that i didn't see coming from fourteen miles away. and other stuff that i'll probably get into in another blog. but visually, it was pretty remarkable.

9) "up in the air" such a great film. and still the worst thing jason ("juno," "thank you for smoking") reitman has ever done.

8) "precious: based on the novel push by saphire" worst title of any film of the decade. and hard to recommend, really. just brutal to watch. but uplifting as well.

7) "inglourious basterds" or, as we call it at the day care center when we're in front of the children, "inglourious b-word". classic tarantino. loved every minute of it.

6) "where the wild things are" even better than the book, which is saying quite a bit.

5) "the hangover" funniest thing i've seen in years! "cause we're the three best friends that anyone could have..."

4) "away we go" terribly overlooked movie!!! maya rudolph and john krasinski were so great!!! hands down my favorite script of the year!

3) "district 9" brilliant. completely original. i think film students are going to be watching this for decades.

2) "the hurt locker" simply said, this is the best war movie since "saving private ryan".

1) "up" instantly became my favorite animated film of alltime. the sequence in the beginning of the movie is one of the most moving things i've ever seen, from any film-- animated or not.

the five (plus 9) things i fell in love with today...

the 14 films that didn't quite make the cut, but were still pretty damn great...

12) "an education"
13) "the road"
14) "star trek"
15) "(500) days of summer"
16) "the invention of lying"
17) "adventureland"
18) "zombieland"
19) "michael jackson's this is it"
20) "public enemies"
21) "julie and julia"
22) "it might get loud"
23) "pirate radio"
24) "the september issue"
25) "a serious man"

song of the day...
"sweet disposition" by the temper trap. best soundtrack i bought this year-- "(500) days of summer"

movie of the day...
honestly? ...i really dug "2012" as well. big, dumb action flick. can't help myself.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!

tonite, i am doing absolutely nothing on new year's eve. and i couldn't be happier about it. one year ago i was co-hosting a fondue party which was attended by a half dozen or so beautiful and lovely women. i remember we laughed quite a bit, ate great food, watched dick clark and wound up throwing some illegal fireworks into a fireplace. which was dumb. and not my idea. but was, in fact, a whole lot of awesome.

this year, i'm tired and old and just wanted to stay in. and play a little madden football. or a lot of madden football. and eat good food. or microwavable lasagna. and watch dick clark. and a movie. and write a blog. or three.

sounds kind of sad, now that i read it again. but, believe me-- as much as i love my friends-- i am exactly where i want to be tonite.

2009 had its ups and downs, its mysteries and its learning experiences. i proved myself to be a dumbass more often than i'd like to admit. but i also had my moments of triumph. i have a job that i love and my football team is the defending super bowl champions. i went to canada on a cruise with a wonderful woman. i started a blog (you may have noticed). i live a half an hour away from the most exciting city the world has ever known. my apartment is tiny, but is filled with great music and movies and hundreds of photos and knick-knacks that make me smile every time i see them.

and 2010 is going to be amazing. i'm saving up for a new computer and a new (used) car. i'm going to take at least three field trips to better understand the screenplay that i'm going to (finally) finish. i'm gonna marry anne hathaway or jennifer love hewitt. or both simultaneously. i'm going to walk into the scariest place on earth with my head held high. and i'm going to try to make the world a better place... even though i'm not sure how i'm going to do that. other than smiling more often. and making people laugh. and listening more. and being more available...

oh, and i'm gonna to win the lottery. so i can buy a house. and a fondue pot. and a bunch of illegal fireworks. for the fireplace.

see ya next year!

the five things i fell in love with today...

new year's resolutions!!!!!!!

1) finishing the screenplay. the first draft is done. but... it's not good. well, no, some of it is quite good, actually. but other scenes need a LOT of help.
2) losing weight. i didn't come close to reaching my goal (which means that, yes... i will have to grow a ridiculous mustache-- dumb, dumb, DUMB idea). but i haven't given up. sometime soon i'm going to start going to the scariest place on earth... a gym.
3) if i don't buy a car in 2010, i'm just gonna have to take one.
4) reading at least six books. which is a lot for me, as i'm not a big reader. at all. but i got a head start on this one! i'm currently more than halfway through one of the best things i've ever read-- nick hornby's "about a boy".
5) visiting the most exciting city the world has ever known at least once a month. incredible the things i've never done in new york.

song of the day...
"what a year for a new year" by dan wilson

movie of the day...
"about a boy". the book's so good they actually made a movie out of it. they do that now.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


just got back from watching the movie 'nine'.


wasn't a terrible film, but it wasn't nearly as good as it wanted to be. i thought fergie was great. and kate hudson was very, very good. but overall, i didn't care for the songs. at all, really. and i also couldn't help but wonder whether certain people might have been miscast. i mean, i love daniel day lewis. he's always amazing. and he was fantastic in many of his scenes here, but it doesn't mean he can sing, does it? it was... it was kind of bad.

midway through his second song it dawned on me who he sounded like. and i defy you to listen to these men back to back and tell me i'm wrong. daniel day lewis singing "i can't make this movie" ...and jason segal as dracula from 'forgetting sarah marshall.'

"and if I see Van Helsing, I swear to the Lord I will slay him! A-ha-ha-haa!"

(i'm telling you, it's uncanny.)

but none of this bothered me half as much as the people seated around me. DAMMIT, if it were up to me, you'd have to pass a movie-going rudeness quiz in order to enter a theater.

i knew i was in trouble before the movie even began, when the cat in front of me took three minutes to sit down. as if he was taking off his coat and then suddenly turned into a six-foot-four Rain Man. "one sleeve, and now i will... freeze for no apparent reason while watching the new tyler perry trailer and thinking of my main man vern... v.e.r.n. vern." dude had the wingspan of some monster from of the old 'clash of the titans' flick, and he just stood there. like a statue. like a big, dumb statue. i mean, sheesh, fart in my phone booth while yer at it, ray.

he talked with his wife during the entire movie, of course. just a tad bit louder than the woman on the phone across from me. who was just a tad bit less annoying than all the cellphones that were lit up every ten minutes or so throughout the whole theater.

"well, i'm not on the phone, i'm just texting," they'd say. as if it didn't look like fireworks from the back row. seriously, at one point, there were so many people texting in front of me, i thought U2 was in concert somewhere and no one told me. like bono was singing "40" and everyone was lifting up their modern day lighters in tribute.

really, i mean, i don't want to be that guy, y'know? the "shushie" guy. but, these days, i find it hard not to be. it's just that, when i go to the movies, i don't want to just be entertained, i want to get completely lost in another world. and it's impossible to do that with so many distractions around me.

so, i dunno. maybe it was a better movie than i thought. i do like musicals. maybe it was just a bad experience. and maybe i could've made it a better time for everyone by replacing my shushing with song lyrics of my own. lol, maybe that's the way to shut up a rude movie-goer? freak him out. can you imagine? some guy randomly standing up in the theater and just belting something out?

"why must you ruin my movie with your moooouth???
why must you talk, tell me what is that all aboooout???
i can hear every single stupid word you sayyyy!!!
and it makes me want to punch you your simple faaaace!!!

i'm sorry for singing! but we will get through this!
at least i'm not as bad as daniel day lewis!
i'm sorry for singing! i know that it's not right!
but your cell phones were glaring at me like a spotlight!", it's a work in progress.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) bad musicals.
2) judi dench.
3) good musicals.
4) louis armstrong.
5) not getting into a fight at the movie theater.

song of the day...
"be italian" by fergie. the show stopper from 'nine'. fergie kicked some ass there.

movie of the day...
daniel day lewis double feature! "there will be blood" and "gangs of new york"

Friday, December 25, 2009

the 12 days and 16 movies of Christmas: the top eight...

merry Christmas, everyone!!! i finished the latest movie marathon just in time! here's the end of the list! my 8 favorite Christmas films ever...

8) 'miracle on 34th street' i love this movie! such a great santa claus and an even better natalie wood, as the girl who doesn't believe in st. nick. and then she does. and then she doesn't. and then she does again.

7) 'a muppet's Christmas carol' basically anything with the muppets in it is bound to be a classic, enit? "LIGHT THE LAMP! NOT THE RAT! LIGHT THE LAMP! NOT THE RAT!" lol, good times!!!

6) 'home alone' this is such a great movie!!! and it has everything you need in a great Christmas film! family, snow, slapstick, random hope davis sighting, thought-provoking scene at a church on Christmas eve. and the guy with the shovel is starting to look a lot like my dad.

5) 'die hard' now, up until a few weeks ago, i thought i was completely alone here in thinking this was a Christmas film! but, as it turns out, a bunch of other folks have put this one on their lists of favorite holiday flicks. and, if you're not one of them, i dare you to watch this and 'the sound of music' back to back and tell me which one reminds you more of the most wonderful time of the year!

seriously. bruce willis kills bad guys to protect his estranged wife on Christmas eve in los angeles, while a twinkie-inflated cop tries to overcome both his personal demons and his frustrations with The Man. and then y'got a tune from run dmc.

eat yer heart out, charles dickens.

4) 'a Christmas story' easily the most quotable of all Christmas films. "you'll shoot your eye out!" "fra-gee-lay. it must be italian." "oh fuuuuuuuudge!" LOL!

it's just brilliant writing. really, i was thinking about this as ralphie (after the fight with farkus) knew that his father was coming home because the light outside was turning purple. a lesser writer (me) would have been satisfied with something like, "it was almost five o'clock. just about time for my dad to come home..."

great stuff.

3) 'elf' will ferrell. best belch in the history of Christmas movies. even better than the one judy garland let out in 'meet me in st. louis'. out of curiousity (and in order to show off just how much free time i truly have), i timed it. a whopping thirteen seconds long. a grand acheivement. epic. and to follow that up with the line, "did you HEAR that?!?!?!" nothing short of brilliant.

2) 'love, actually' i can't tell you how much i love this movie!!! so many things going on at once, and all of them beautiful. or silly. or sad. or funny. or hard to imagine. or downright tragic. or just out of reach. or wonderful. or pure. which is all just a lot like love, actually.

1) but, if i could only watch one Christmas movie for the rest the remainder of my days...? 'it's a wonderful life'.

it's funny, when i was a kid, this was such a different film to me. i remembered bells, and clarence, and dancing in a big swimming pool, and buffalo gals, and mr. potter. but i never got how deep it was. how dark it was. jimmy stewart (best actor of alltime, by the way) gives such a great performance here. he's charming and sweet, but when he's at the end of his rope, you feel it. you're absolutely right there with him.

and i love donna reed. when she comes in and saves the day, giving up the money for their honeymoon for the greater good of the community? it gets me everytime. i mean, how could you not want to lasso the moon for a girl like that, right?

and, of course, there's the joy of a brand new start. the unapologetic bliss of-- hours before a white Christmas morning in the town you grew up in, mind you-- knowing exactly who you are. knowing that you're exactly where you want to be. and knowing that you're surrounded by the people who love you.

here's hoping and praying that if you're reading this, you're blessed enough to know exactly what that means. and, if not? if you're not surrounded by loved ones this season? well... in the words of judy garland... "pick up the phone and wish someone you love a merry Christmas, y'dumbass."

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) family.
2) good friends.
3) the muppets.
4) the thought that jon favreau may have been sitting around for a lengthy period of time with his editor, debating, "you know... i think it's funny at 18 seconds. but it might be a little bit too much. how about we back away for... let's say, 13 seconds. see how the burp plays for the next test audience..."
5) the reason for the season, my friends. Jesus.

song of the day...
"have yourself a merry little Christmas" by judy garland. honestly, one of my favorite songs of alltime. (and, for the record, i may have made up the quote above. or maybe it was someone else who said it, i dunno. joel osteen, i think).

movie of the day...
"meet me in st. louis.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

the 12 days and 16 movies of Christmas, part two...

movies 13 through 9...

13) "bad santa" i feel pretty awkward recommending this movie, but not half as bad as i feel for really, reeeeeeeeeeally liking it. a lot.

my mom would have walked out on this movie. and then she would have formed a protest committee against it. it's not for everyone. in fact, it's pretty foul. like... probably the most foul movie you'll ever see in your lifetime.

did i mention that i like "bad santa" a lot?

12) "holiday inn" ...craziest thing. i'd never seen this film before. but i was looking forward to watching it immediately after seeing "bad santa". kind of like getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist if you'd just swallowed a few dozen handfuls of dirt. so, the last thing i expected was to be more offended by this than the previous movie! but there it was...

blackface. urgh. i mean, sheesh, i realize this was filmed in 1942, but yikes!!! blackface?! i wished i'd stopped watching after bing crosby sang 'white Christmas'.

11) "scrooged" ...i hate to say it, because i love bill murray, but i remember this being much funnier back when i was a kid.

10) "national lampoon's Christmas vacation" yet ANOTHER movie i somehow missed out on. some really funny stuff here! (y'know, i really like chevy chase!) and the squirrel in the tree really brought back a lot of warm holiday memories for me.

9) "rifftrax Christmas shorts" saw this in the theater last wednesday. the rifftrax people are the fellers who brought us the classic tv show 'mystery science theater 3000.' this was unbelievably funny. to the point where i didn't want to drink my soda for fear that i might have carbonated fizzies permanently stuck inside my nostrils.

and if that doesn't say "Christmas" i don't know what else does.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) Christmas stockings.
2) the big fake Christmas tree we had in our house for decades.
3) not realizing that people actually brought real trees into their homes until i was a teenager.
4) the Christmas when i was in college when it started to (barely) flurry outside around 11:48 p.m. --driving in the car with one of my homies, both of us shouting, "THIS COUNTS!!! THIS COUNTS!!! IT'S A WHITE CHRISTMAS!!!!"
5) so damn funny! and wrong. but mostly funny.

or, maybe just wrong. what do i know? i like "bad santa".

song of the day...
"spotlight on Christmas" by rufus wainwright

movie of the day...
"the nativity story" saw this on tv the other night. i dig it.

facebook groups that make me smile...

"Being afraid to let your leg hang off your bed in case it gets eaten."

"The guy who discovered milk......what was he doing with the cow?"

"If 1,170,000 People Join, My Girlfriend Will Marry Me!"

"Saying the entire alphabet because you can't remember what letter comes next."

"When I Was Younger, I Put My Face Close to the Fan to Hear My Robot Voice."

"If 1,000,000 join, my dad, john mellencamp, will quit smoking."

"No, I Don't Care If I Die At 12AM, I Refuse To Pass On Your Chain Letter."

"i feel my phone vibrate when it doesn't."

"Wawa -- No One Truly Understands."

"63 Notifications Later and I regret Liking Your Status."

"When your team has won 6 super bowls, THEN you can make fun of the Steelers!"

"If 1,000,000 people join, my girlfriend will let me turn our house into a pirate ship."

"Team Jacob? Team Edward? How about Team Shut the fuck up???"

"it's ok pluto, i'm not a planet either."

'mentally saying "Wed-nes-day" when writing the word "Wednesday"'

"i pretend to text in awkward situations..."

"If 2 million join, Facebook will genetically engineer unicorns."

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) i do love facebook. notsomuch a few weeks ago when it kicked me off for no apparent reason. but it has been a really good thing to get back in touch with so many people!
2) i didn't join the "if 1,170,000 join my girlfriend will marry me" group. mostly because it's such an arbitrary number. but also because i suspect there's a woman behind the scenes thinking, "please, God, don't let 1,170,000 people join this group!!! please?????????"
3) wawa. for those of you who don't understand, i am truly sorry. you are missing out. wawa is a lot like 7-11, except three thousand times better. you can't walk a mile in south jersey without bumping into one, which is an incredibly great thing, as they make the BEST sandwiches EVER. and they're always filled with employees who know that the proper way to spell the word "sandwich" is "h.o.a.g.i.e."
4) john mellencamp.
5) maybe my favorite facebook group is dedicated to a guy i've never met: "The Headquarters Plaza Cinema Ticket Taker Guy." a friend of mine joined this group, and i went to see what it was all about, just out of curiosity. what was so special about a ticket taker guy, right? turns out that he is the man. and there are well over 5,000 fans who stand behind that.

really, i used to work in a movie theater, and i know what a drag it was to just stand around and rip tickets. but this guy does it so joyfully! go on the page and you'll find hundreds of posts from person after person saying that this dude is the nicest guy they'd ever met. how someone could see this and not be inspired is beyond me. i've never met him, but it's hard not to love that guy!

song of the day...
"ABC" by the jackson 5

movie of the day...
"pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

NFL power rankings, week 14...

32 rams, 1-12, -96.8
31 bucs, 1-12, -94.4
30 browns, 2-11, -76.5
29 lions, 2-11, -76.4
28 chiefs, 3-10, -61.3
27 raiders, 4-9, -42.8
26 redskins, 4-9, -32.9
25 bills, 5-8, -24.9
24 bears, 5-8, -18.6
23 seahawks, 5-8, -18.0
22 panthers, 5-8, -11.4
21 titans, 6-7, -4.3
20 texans, 6-7, 2.5
19 jags, 7-6, 6.8
18 STEELERS, 6-7, 7.2
17 falcons, 6-7, 8.6
16 49ers, 6-7, 11.0
15 dolphins, 7-6, 20.7
14 giants, 7-6, 27.3
13 ravens, 7-6, 33.2
12 jets, 7-6, 35.3
11 cards, 8-5, 42.6
10 broncos, 8-5, 45.3
9 cowboys, 8-5, 47.5
8 pats, 8-5, 55.1
7 packers, 9-4, 64.2
6 eagles, 9-4, 64.5
5 bengals, 9-4, 71.9
4 chargers, 10-3, 77.8
3 vikings, 11-2, 103.3
2 saints, 13-0, 141.0
1 colts, 13-0, 146.3

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) reggie white
2) eddie george
3) the no name defense
4) the thought that we might get a chance to see an undefeated super bowl this year.
5) that my pittsburgh steelers are probably going to get an EXCELLENT draft pick in just a few short months.

song of the day...
"it's over" by daniel johnston

movie of the day...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

of mice and alleged men...

it's not easy being a guy working in a day care center.

if there's something heavy, chances are, i'm lifting it. if there's a jar that won't budge, i'm gonna hafta open it, and if there's a big bug? i'll probably be the one to squish it.

i usually don't mind. feeds the ego, actually. and i'm sure my coworkers are aware of that. "oh, ryan, you're so much stronger than i am! could you change the water bottle???"

"welllllll, shucks... alright."


i drew the line this afternoon, though. when i walked out onto the playground, i was asked to sweep something out of our shed. "sure, no problem, what is it?"

dead mouse.

freggin' EWW, man! a DEAD MOUSE?! blech!!!! urgh! disgusting! i freaking HATE mice!!!! HATE 'em!!! disease-spreading little FREAKS! sweep it out?!?!?! i would have rather picked her nose!

(uh, my coworker's nose. not the mouse's.)

fortunately sally, another coworker of mine, stepped in and saved me. "do you want me to do it?" she asked. "uh, HELLS YES!!!!" i replied.

she actually saved me twice, come to think of it. the mouse's tail got caught up in the broom, and kind of swung around in the air for a good coupla' seconds-- looking very much like it was angrily coming back to life, just like i secretly feared it would. thinking back to it now, i'm certain i would've passed out if not for sally's ear-shattering scream of terror.

ahh, sally. my hero. my knight in shining ugg boots. thanks, homie. i owe you one!

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) knowing that-- if i have to... and ONLY if i REALLY (freaking) HAVE to... i'd be able to deal with a mouse situation. i've done it before, and i can do it again. but not without a great deal of swearing.
2) mouse traps.
3) having a damn good reason to be freaked out by mice... when i was living in a crap-hole apartment in valhalla, ny, i came home one day and saw something out of the corner of my eye seemingly shoot down from the ceiling. i looked up, then looked onto the floor. looked up again... nothing. turned on the tv and was just a few short minutes into sportscenter when i saw a mouse creep up from inside a drawer that i'd left open. little bastard came within inches of falling on top of my head and giving me rabies. and a heart attack. URGH!!!! i still can't think of it without shivering a bit!
4) hats.
5) heroic women.

song of the day...
"float on" by modest mouse

movie of the day...
"steamboat willie"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i love the movies so much that i steal from them...

this weekend was my second in a row in which i saw four movies.


that's two weekends. and eight movies.

it's like my home away from home, the movie theater. i love it more than i love some people. love it more than i love puppies. love it more than i love baseball, and i love it way more than i love money.

but, as it happens, i've learned that you do need a little bit of money to go to the movie theater as often as i tend to do.

but just a little bit.

that is to say... i sneak into the movies. all the time.

i discovered that i could do this way back in the summer of 2001, when i bought tickets for what has to be THE worst, and most awkward double feature ever: the billy crystal/julia roberts romantic comedy, "america's sweethearts" and (wait for it...) "jurassic park 3."

i... i don't know what i was thinking. maybe if they'd combined the two? julia roberts as a dinosaur chasing billy crystal through an ill-advised theme park...?

sorry, no, anyway, i saw one of them, went into the bathroom, came back out, and waited for a lot longer than i probably should have for someone to rip my other ticket, but no one was there. so i just walked right in with an un-ripped stub. and, a few days later (and it did take me a few days, because my skull doesn't exactly house a criminal mastermind, apparently), i thought... "heyyyyyy! i could get away with this again!!!"

and i have. many times. many, many times. and... honestly? yes. there is a part of me that feels guilty about it. but, i have to tell you, it's not just about my financial struggles over the past eight years. it's... it's hard to describe, but... there's just something that's absolutely thrilling about outsmarting an entire theater full of trained employees who work on something less than minimum wage, and don't really care if you're sneaking into a movie or not.

it's a lot like james bond, except... really, very different.

anyhow, there are several tricks of the trade i've picked up over the years, and i'm sure i'll get back to them some other time. but i do believe one of the main keys to sneaking in is, in fact, paying for the first film and scouting out a specific hiding area before the second show. it could be underneath a seat inside the theater. or behind a cardboard cutout of johnny depp. for me, i usually find the bathroom to be something of an ideal setting. well, for now.

y'see, last weekend, there were about thirty-five minutes to kill in between shows, and-- while sitting on a toilet for 35 minutes is quite common for some members of my family (not mentioning my aunt cathy by name)-- i really thought it was quite uncomfortable after awhile. my hind parts did not thank me for it, i'll tell you that much for free.

and the automatic-flusher was a touch annoying, too. after a certain point, it just kept going off every minute and a half or so. thinking to itself, "oh, well, he MUST be done by NOW, isn't he??? i mean... sheesh, what the--??"

and i'm confident that the future of the automatic-flushing industry will feature some sort of an alarm going off in one of the employee back rooms, alerting a manager that there's a customer who has been on the throne for an unusual amount of time. at which point said manager will walk into the bathroom and knock on the stall door and say in his best dad-of-the-year voice, "sir...? everything okay in there?"

"uhm, yes, i, uh, i'm fine. everything's fine."

"sir, our toilet has notified us that you've been sitting there for an extremely long period of time. is there anything we can do for you?"

"no, no, really, i, uh, just... uh, i just had a couple of tacos for, uhm, breakfast, and, i, uhh... uh..."

"sir? ...sir, are you planning on sneaking in to the 5:45 screening of 'america's sweethearts 2' "?

"....(sigh) yes."

like i said. not exactly a criminal mastermind.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) jimmy stewart
2) jack lemmon
3) phillip seymor hoffman
4) john c. reilly
5) paul newman

song of the day...
"our life is not a movie or maybe" by okkervil river

movie of the day...
"public enemies"

the 12 days and the 16 movies of Christmas...

Christmas movies!!!

i love 'em!!! the best Christmas films bring out the holiday spirit within us all. so much so that we watch them year after year, greeting them as if they were a dear old friend.

you may have guessed by now that i don't need much of an excuse to get a movie marathon going! but i've been looking forward to this one for a long time! i picked out 16 Christmas movies to watch over 12 days. started yesterday, actually.

the first 8 are something of a random mixture of my beloved favorites and films that i have somehow never seen. the second half of my list are my alltime favorite Christmas classics! can't wait for that!

(i ruled out the tv specials, by the way, as i figured i'd probably just watch 'a charlie brown Christmas' 16 times in a row. and that just wouldn't be fair to the rest of the movies).

16) "the polar express" great movie. great story. watching it again, however, i was a little freaked out by how creepy those kids looked. i didn't really notice it too much in the theater, but... i dunno, something about having them in my living room... y'know? yikes!

still, i love pretty much everything tom hanks has been in. and i do admire the deep appreciation this film has for one of my favorite seasonal traditions... hot chocolate.

15) "disney's a Christmas carol" watched this in 3d on the big honkin' imax screen on saturday. really enjoyed it. animation has come a long way in five years! i thought jim carey was great-- and it was really cool to have the princess bride and her farm boy in the same movie again!!!

14) "the santa clause" ...actually, i'd kind of forgotten that this movie was a bit crap. i mean, y'know, sometimes you greet a dear old friend with a warm hug and then, five minutes later, you remember why you only see them once a year.

really, i think Christmas movies have the right to be hokie. in some ways, i actually prefer that, but... y'know, give it a LITTLE bit of dignity, right? and more than one or two good actors?

and, whatever you do, don't give a seven year old a line at the end of the flick like, "i love you, santa claus". especially when santa is also the child's father. because, i'll tell ya, that only made me side with judge reinhold on the subject of the kid needing some serious therapy.

still... as a guy who can't cook, i love the scene at denny's. tim allen and a scattered few other fathers nodding at one another knowingly on Christmas eve. "you burn the turkey, too? ...ouch." LOL!

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) i've been living in westchester county, new york for about fifteen years now, and-- for the FIRST TIME!!! --i FINALLY made it over to see the tree at rockefeller center last night!!! and i have to say, it was worth the wait! it was what the norwegians of yesteryear would have called "eh hughekehn hohnkehn sprughsen ahrsen." which loosely translates to, "a... big ass tree."
2) my farmville homies!!! had dinner and dessert with them before heading off to see the tree. such great people, such a fun night. great eats (names and addresses to follow in another blog), the light show at saks, steel drummers playing Christmas carols! loved it!!!
3) there was a HUGE crowd at the tree. like seven people deep. couldn't even see the skating rink, even though we knew it was right in front of us. but it seemed like everyone there was in such a great mood y'know? how can you not be in a good mood when strangers are shaking your hand and giving you a hearty "merry Christmas"?
4) my favorite woman of the night was the lady in her fifties or so who said to me outside of one of the decorated windows at macy's, "i'm a santa letter writer too!"
5) while on 34th street, of all places, and after listening to one of my favorite carols, captain farmville and i came up with the idea of bringing back the word, "hark!" into the popular lexicon. i know it's not sweeping the nation yet, but last night it went really well.

"hark! who wants some coffee?"
"hark! my shoelace is untied!"
"hark! that tree is quite sparkly!"
"hark! where's lady farmville?"
"hark! ...did you just call her JEFF?"
"hark! starbucks is closed!"

song of the day...
"hark! the herald angels sing" by nat king cole

movie of the day...
"the princess bride"

"farm boy? fetch me that pail...?"
"as you wish."

Thursday, December 10, 2009

NFL power rankings, whatever week this is...

32) rams, 1-11, -94.5
31) bucs, 1-11, -92.9
30) browns, 1-11, -92.7
29) lions, 2-10, -73.3
28) chiefs, 3-9, -55.9
27) redskins, 3-9, -45.4
26) bills, 4-8. -36.2
25) raiders, 4-8, -35.8
24) titans, 5-7, -13.6
23) bears, 5-7, -11.3
22) seahawks, 5-7, -9.5
21) texans, 5-7, -7.7
20) panthers, 5-7, -3.3
19) 49ers, 5-7, 0.5
18) dolphins, 6-6, 12.2
17) falcons, 6-6, 17.0
16) jags, 7-5, 17.4
15) STEELERS, 6-6, 17.4
14) ravens, 6-6, 24.9
13) jets, 6-6, 27.7
12) giants, 7-5, 37.5
11) pats, 7-5, 47.9
10) cards, 8-4, 54.6
9) broncos, 8-4, 56.0
8) eagles, 8-4, 57.9
7) cowboys, 8-4, 58.3
6) packers, 8-4, 58.3
5) chargers, 9-3, 71.8
4) bengals, 9-3, 84.8
3) vikings, 10-2, 98.5
2) saints, 12-0, 141.1
1) colts, 12-0, 145.3

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) vann mcelroy
2) john riggins
3) don beebe
4) mike singletary
5) steve largent

song of the day...
"we can work it out" by the beatles

movie of the day...
"mission impossible"

the curious case of will fardigan...

odd thing this morning. i woke up to find that i couldn't log onto my facebook account. instead i found a notice saying something like, "you are trying to access a page that has recently been associated with abusive behavior. what a horrible person you must be. jackass."

kind of hurt my feelings, to tell you the truth.

mostly, though, it just pissed me off. and confused the heck outta me, too. i mean, "abusive behavior???" on facebook??? didn't make any sense! that's the type of thing i reserve for the workplace.

but, really, i still can't figure it out. what does facebook have against me? ME!!! i'm charming, dammit!

the only thing i can think of is to blame will fardigan. i don't know if facebook frowns upon this sort of thing, but it's the one truly weird act i've ever committed on that site (recently). i made up a person. and, yes, his name is will fardigan.

i had good intentions, though. i mean, y'know, it's not like i said, "hey, i'm will fardigan and i'm running for congress, gimmie money." i just wanted to create a fan page for this blog, but i didn't wanna... y'know, look like i was arrogant enough to create a fan page for my own blog. so, i thought i'd make a bit of a joke of it. come up a non-person with a ridiculous name, and then have HIM create the fan page.

good times.

and, hey, no harm, no foul, right? the fan page has been up for about a month and a half now, and we've got 210 people signed up so far! not sure why facebook would have a problem with that, but stranger things have happened...

actually... on second thought, no, i'm not sure if that's true. you tell me-- have stranger things happened?! really, why would anyone be offended enough at the name "will fardigan" to report it to fb as "abusive behavior"???

i say we protest this injustice by joining the facebook "five things i fell in love with today" fan page and saying incredibly nice things about this blog and my good looks and humility. and, let's not stop there! let's really stick it to them and send friend requests to will fardigan!

and after that, we could give him money!

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) whatever the problem was, i was able to get back onto fb within a few hours. so, no big loss, really.
2) i really did enjoy creating that profile. and answering questions about will's relationship status as "it's complicated" made me giggle a little bit.
3) the thought that maybe somewhere there really is a will fardigan. if, for no other reason, i like the idea of him getting married one day and standing in front of a pastor who would be forced to say, "repeat after me... 'i, will fardigan...' "
4) the BIG HONKING WINNER of the FIRST EVER "the five things i fell in love with today" cd-- because he was the 201st person to join said facebook fan page-- is mr. brandon hudson!!! yes, he gets a HANDMADE CD that i will get to him. eventually. because my computer is really slow. and it's the holidays. and things are a little busy. well, more than a little busy, actually, so, really, who knows when it'll ever get done. God bless him.
5) the reason i gave you brandon's full name! he's not only a really nice guy, but he's also a VERY talented artist! he said he'd like to trade a print of his work for the cd, which makes me a pretty fortunate feller. seriously, check it out--

song of the day...
"breathless" by dan wilson

movie of the day...
"ordinary people"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

yet another bad umbrella...

am thanking the Lord for some extra time to myself this morning. got to kick my feet up and watch the today show.

the day care opened two hours late due to the weather. it was pretty bad out there. snow, sleet, and, by the time i got stepped outside, a whole mess of wind and rain. they'd also posted a flash flood warning throughout the area, but said nothing about the massive puddles surrounding the mt. kisco train station. my left shoe is still damp. bastards.

actually, most of me was fairly wet throughout the day because of yet another terrible umbrella in my hands. i honestly don't know what i was thinking, buying that thing, after such a horrible experience with my last two. and then there was the fortune cookie i'd read that afternoon that said, "seriously, do NOT purchase an umbrella at walmart for under six dollars."

really should've seen this coming.

such a crap umbrella.

parts of it were actually made out of paper mache.

and it wasn't nearly as entertaining as the one i'd mentioned before. while that one was flamboyant and graceful, this one was just annoying. and a lot more vocal.

it spoke in a high-pitched nasally tone of voice. very whiny. like a toddler without a lollipop. or a 16 year old girl who didn't make the cut on american idol. or a linebacker from the dallas cowboys.

very shrill. and very much glass-half-empty, y'know what i mean? "EWWWWWWWWWWWW!" it said. "IT'S SO WINDY OUT HEREEEEEEE!!!!!!!! AND YUCKY!!!!!!! IT'S SO WET!!!!!!!!!! TAKE ME BACK INSIIIiiiiiiIIIIIIDE!!!!!!"

tomorrow i'm going to buy a real man's umbrella. and i think i know just where to find it: at an african-american lady hair weave store.

i saw chris rock's documentary 'good hair' a few months ago, and was astounded by what some women would go through, and how much money they would spend-- THOUSANDS of dollars-- on their weaves and whatnot. and i noticed the other day that the local hair weave guy also sells umbrellas. and i figured if that dude isn't selling a quality umbrella... somebody's going to put him in the hospital.

i think my rainy day troubles are behind me, friends!

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) quality rain gear.
2) my coworker was really bummed the other day about the prospect of finding a new car, but she got herself a good one at a great price today! w'hoooooo!
3) chris rock
4) al roker. good for him that he lost all that weight, but... i dunno. i think i still like fat al roker better... it that wrong?
5) "singin' in the rain" i was watching that over thanksgiving weekend and determined that it is impossible not to look at it for five consecutive minutes without smiling. i don't care who you are-- eeyore, oscar the grouch, eminem-- if you're watching "singin' in the rain" you're doing so with a big honking grin.

song of the day...
"came down" by al fatz

movie of the day...
"my left foot"

Sunday, December 6, 2009

President Obama faces more racism on facebook...


i realize that racism is alive and well in america, but does it have to be so in my face on a sunday morning?

shortly after i woke up, i saw this poll on facebook...

"Which primate does Obama look like?
- Chimp
- Gorilla
- Monkey"

i'm furious, of course, but i'm more sad about it than anything else. devastated, really. to think that 196 people voted in this poll already.

but, i don't know what's more frightening: the thought that 196 people are so full of hate? or the certainty that some of these geniuses are so stupid that they will inevitably say, "what? this is racist?!"

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) that there seemed to be many more than 196 people leaving negative comments about this poll.
2) my colorblind friends.
3) jackie robinson.
4) martin luther king.
5) rosa parks.

song of the day...
"we shall overcome" by pete seeger

movie of the day...

Thursday, December 3, 2009

tiger woods: some thoughts about his transgressions...

it's none of my damn business.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) the crunch of a good apple.
2) that picture of albert einstein, when he's sticking out his tongue.
3) peppermint hot chocolate from starbucks.
4) i'm very much looking forward to hanging out with captain farmville tomorrow night.
5) that i am not christine brennan of the usa today...

i've read a few of her columns over the years. and, while i think she's been right on the money from time to time, more often than not, i find that i can't even get through the first five paragraphs of what she has to say. i'll just roll my eyes and ask myself why i'm reading it and then move on to the box scores.

i thought her commentary today on tiger woods was a bit sickening, really. "tiger's sorry statement illuminating." it was one line after another telling the world what a horrible person he is. what an evil monster. total bastard.

and, hey, maybe she's right, i dunno. maybe tiger woods is as diabolical as she thinks he is. maybe he's the worst excuse for a human being that has ever stepped inside a buick. but, how in the hell would christine brennan know that? by reading his statement on his website?

i don't know about a lot of things, but i'm sure i wouldn't be able to judge the content of a man's character from a handful of his sentences. i'm also sure that i wouldn't want anyone to judge me on my worst thoughts and actions, and i'm damn sure i'm glad it isn't my job to gossip about such things in the pages of a newspaper.

i don't know what kind of a person tiger woods is. i don't know what's in the heart of christine brennan. i'm sure they're both just like you and me, made up of good moments and horrible mistakes. the only thing i can do is try to curb my own tremendous flaws as much as possible, while praising God for whatever is good inside me, asking for His help on a daily basis to use whatever He sees fit to help me become a better person.

what anybody else does? none of my damn business.

NFL power rankings, week 13...

32) rams, 1-10, -91.8
31) browns, 1-10, -91.5
30) bucs, 1-10, -90.2
29) lions, 2-9, -70.5
28) chiefs, 3-8, -51.0
27) raiders, 3-8, -50.0
26) redskins, 3-8, -40.9
25) bills, 4-7, -29.3
24) bears, 4-7, -21.5
23) seahawks, 4-7, -21.0
22) panthers, 4-7, -13.2
21) titans, 5-6, -6.0
20) dolphins, 5-6, 1.0
19) texans, 5-6, 1.3
18) jaguars, 6-5, 8.3
17) 49ers, 5-6, 10.7
16) jets, 5-6, 18.5
15) falcons, 6-5, 27.5
14) giants, 6-5, 28.0
13) STEELERS, 6-5, 28.8
12) ravens, 6-5, 34.2
11) cards, 7-4, 45.9
10) broncos, 7-4, 50.0
9) packers, 7-4, 50.1
8) eagles, 7-4, 50.3
7) pats, 7-4, 60.4
6) chargers, 8-3, 66.9
5) cowboys, 8-3. 71.5
4) bengals, 8-3, 80.8
3) vikings, 10-1, 114.9
2) saints, 11-0, 142.0
1) colts, 11-0, 145.0

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) kurt warner
2) jim brown
3) warren sapp
4) barry sanders
5) christian okoye

song of the day...
"bennie and the jets" by elton john

movie of the day...
"the last waltz"

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

praying for barack obama...

after watching president obama's speech last night, and i came to this conclusion about the overall effectiveness of his policy in afghanistan...

i have no flipping idea if it's going to work or not.

the only thing i can do is pray that he's right. and, when i say pray, i'm talking about praying for wisdom for our president. y'know, for the safety of our troops and our nation.

seems a bit of a shame to me to have to clarify that, but, it has come to my attention in recent days that there are some who call themselves Christians who are praying for something quite different.

you may have seen this on a bumper sticker: "Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8".

and you may or may not know that Psalm 109:8 says, "Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

now, i'm all for taking the Bible out of context-- like whenever i buy a lottery ticket, i'll quote Psalm 37:4-- "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." or, y'know, i'll quote the latter part of that.

or, if i'm at a party, and there's only one more slice of mushroom pizza in the box, i'll probably pretend that "God helps those who help themselves" is actually in the Bible.

but, i think the whole "pray for obama: psalm 109:8" thing is taking things a step too far. especially when psalm 109:9 says, "may his children be fatherless and his wife a widow." i mean, great. with all the delusional crazies we have in america, this is all we need, right?

so... what's a Christian to do if he's in some parking lot and happens upon a car with this bumper sticker? i dunno. but i can offer up a suggestion. colossians 3:12-14...

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."

or, you could just key their car. either way.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) again, our troops overseas. God bless them all.
2) west point. i don't live that far away from their campus, actually. it's really beautiful. and the cadets are among the most impressive group of people i've ever been around.
3) one of our kids picked up a marshmellow off the floor of our classroom today and, with great indignation, asked "WHO PUT THIS HERE?!?!?!" and then she ate it.
4) the thought that maybe the soda guy wont wake me up tonite. last night, however, he called someone in the middle of one of those reality tv shows he was watching ("so, you think you can bungee jump?") and was SHOUTING about, ironically enough, his "migraine."


5) the Bible. (i need to read it more often).

song of the day...
"so long, frank lloyd wright" by simon & garfunkel. just something that's been in my head for a few days.

movie of the day...
"state of the union" GREAT movie!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

on the lookout for psychos...

i was a kid when i saw the movie "psycho". i'm not sure how old i was, but i do remember it was the first time i stayed home by myself.

freaked. me. out.

the thing that got me about the famous shower scene is the thing that still creeps me out all these years later. it's not the thought that someone could sneak up and murder me with a big ass knife when i'm in the shower. it's the thought that someone could be hiding in the shower already with a big ass knife when i go into the bathroom to take care of some other business.

that's something that dawned on me as i was sitting on the throne the morning after i watched "psycho" and it has haunted me ever since. it's why i always leave my shower curtain open.

it's also why, if i've used your bathroom within the past 25 years or so, i can guarantee you that i've seen the inside of your shower. i'm serious, to this day, if i walk into a bathroom and i see that the curtain is closed, i have to peek to make sure the coast is clear. i can't pee a drop unless i do. i could be in the white house, i don't care, i have to check things out beforehand.

and you'd think this would be something that i'd get over after a certain amount of time, but if anything, it's only gotten worse through the years. i think that's because, y'know, having never caught a big ass knifed psycho hiding behind a shower curtain before, i kind of feel like i'm due.

it's... it's a little weird, i guess, isn't it?

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) alfred hitchcock movies.
2) one of the parents at the day care told me that when she informed her four year old son that he could pick out one toy at the dollar bin at target... he chose an ice scraper. lol, he was so proud of it! he told me, "i got a blue one!!!"
3) i went 14 and 2 in my nfl picks this week! w'hoooooooo!!!
4) hey, my friend tootie's coming for a visit in a few weeks!!!
5) long, hot, knife-free showers.

song of the day...
"psycho killer" by the talking heads

movie of the day...
well... "psycho".

Monday, November 30, 2009

traveling with overpriced john travolta milkshakes...

back from new jersey.

it's great to spend some time with family during thanksgiving weekend. my dad and i have something of a complicated holiday tradition. first we eat, and watch football...

...actually, now that i look at it in writing, i guess it's not that complicated after all. but it is a whole lot of fun. we're both diehard steeler fans, but, it doesn't really matter who's playing. i can't be 100% sure, but i am fairly certain that we watched an entire quarter of the Sisseton South Dakota Plaid Skirts versus the Fighting Blue Cards of James Lipton's New School.

i'll tell you what is complicated, though. getting from south jersey back to my apartment by train. from my dad's place, it's a short drive to the speedline at the pennsauken station. that takes me to trenton where i hop on a train to penn station in new york city. from there, i have the option of taking the A, C, E or the 1, 2, or 3 subway trains uptown to 42nd street. then i catch the shuttle to grand central. and from there i hop on yet another train back to white plains.

the whole trip took me about five hours. and it got a bit ugly. the sunday after thanksgiving is such a terrible day for traveling. it's like black friday without the body armor. small children were being used as battering rams. little old ladies were being shoved out of the way by littler old ladies. mild-mannered accountants in full braveheart war makeup were pummeling passersby with their briefcases while shouting to anyone who glanced at them, "ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!"

it was so crazy that i actually spent $6.25 on a milkshake without thinking anything of it. by the time i got to grand central station, i was so tired, and so focused on treating myself after such a long commute that i didn't even realize how much they charged me until i walked away. SIX DOLLARS! and A QUARTER!!! can you believe it??? that's half my paycheck.

so worth it, though. damn good shake. best i ever had. good enough, i think, to make it a new holiday tradition.

or maybe i'll just buy a car.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) long, rambling blog entries.
2) the kid on the train who befriended another kid sitting next to him. it was really cute. like, "i'm five years old. are you five years old? you ARE??? let's be friends!!!" :)
3) one of the highlights of the weekend was the surprise party we threw for my stepmom's retirement. fun night!
4) one of the strange things about the party was meeting this dude who, within about fifteen minutes of introducing himself, told me about his reverse vasectomy. nice guy, but really a little bit... y'know, too open. i'm not kidding, this is what he told me-- "yeah, i think i'm gonna drink a little bit tonite, even though i really shouldn't, 'cause i just got surgery on my nuts."
5) that feeling when you finally get to sit down on your arse in your own apartment after a long trip.

song of the night...
"milkshake" by kelis

movie of the night...
"pulp fiction"

"i'm sorry, ryan, but, did you just order a $6.25 milkshake? do you mind if i have a sip of that? i just gotta find out what a $6.25 milkshake tastes like..."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

i have way too much to be thankful for...

today i am thankful for my family. because i could do a lot worse.

i'm thankful for my friends. because they constantly make me feel like the luckiest man on God's great earth.

i'm thankful for traditions on thanksgiving morning-- like watching the first six minutes of the macy's parade and then realizing it's boring and turning it off.

i'm thankful for my 26inch hdtv. because if it were any bigger, i wouldn't be able to fit it into my tiny apartment.

i'm thankful for my tiny apartment, because it is a roof over my head. and it's mine.

and i'm thankful that it is such a tiny place, because there's not a whole lot of ground to cover whenever i have that creepy feeling that there might be a burglar around. "hello...? is there someone here??? (looks left. looks right.) nope."

i'm thankful that i have enough clutter underneath my bed that no burglar could ever think to hide under there.

i'm thankful for the absurdly loud and obnoxious people who live upstairs, for, because of them, i know that if i were ever forced to reside next to one of those 24-hour air horn testing facilities, i could get by quite nicely.

i'm thankful for my job, because i get a lot of hugs. and i feel like i'm making a difference in the lives of a bunch of kids. and every now and then they say things like, "ryan, my mommy makes BIG farts!"

i'm also thankful for my job, because every so often, i get to walk away with free cupcakes and dunkin donut munchkins.

i'm thankful that the cupcakes that i jammed inside the container of munchkins last night blended together so seamlessly, into one gigantic glob of artery-clogging bliss.

i am thankful for richard simmons.

i'm thankful for the good people at love 146, camp haluwasa, and the red cross.

i'm thankful for sports teams that break my heart, movies that make me cry, and women who leave me bewildered.

i'm thankful for the exercise i get from not having a car, for living within walking distance of a hundred different places to shop and eat, and the people i've met while riding on the train.

i'm even thankful for that dude at the mt. kisco train station who probably hates me because i can't stop staring at him. (i can't help it! he's got no teeth, and has this unrelenting habit of smacking his lips to his gums at a rate of 42 times a minute, it's hypnotic!)

i'm thankful for the clothes on my back, the computer i'm typing on, and the three pair of glasses i bought online for 80something dollars.

i'm thankful for the people who keep reading this blog! thank you!

i'm thankful for the troops overseas. i really don't know how they do it, so far from home.

most of all, i'm thankful that i know a God who knows every single thing about me, and loves me anyway. i'm thankful for His grace, and His mercy, and His love. i'm thankful that He has brought into my life a ridiculous amount of joy and a peace that passes understanding.

the five things i fell in love with today...
also very, very thankful for...

1) frizzy.
2) the smart lady.
3) my farmville homies.
4) tootie.
5) my best friend j-lo.

song of the day...
"God knows (you got to give to get)" by el perro del mar

movie of the day...
"planes, trains and automobiles"

NFL power rankings, thanksgiving edition...

32) browns, 1-9, -90.3
31) rams, 1-9, -88.7
30) bucs, 1-9, -87.7
29) lions, 2-8, -66.6
28) chiefs, 3-7, -45.3
27) raiders, 3-7, -44.4
26) bills, 3-7, -44.3
25) redskins, 3-7, -35.2
24) seahawks, 3-7, -33.6
23) titans, 4-6, -19.5
22) bears, 4-6, -13.4
21) panthers, 4-6, -2.7
20) 49ers, 4-6, -1.2
19) jets, 4-6, 7.3
18) texans, 5-5, 10.3
17) dolphins, 5-5, 13.0
16) falcons, 5-5, 18.5
15) jags, 6-4, 21.2
14) ravens, 5-5, 23.0
13) giants, 6-4, 40.8
12) STEELERS, 6-4, 41.3
11) broncos, 6-4, 41.4
10) packers, 6-4, 42.4
9) eagles, 6-4, 42.7
8) chargers, 7-3, 60.6
7) cards, 7-3, 60.9
6) cowboys, 7-3, 65.5
5) pats, 7-3, 73.6
4) bengals, 7-3, 76.3
3) vikings, 9-1, 112.1
2) saints, 10-0, 139.8
1) colts, 10-0, 144.7

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) john madden
2) pat summerall
3) al michaels
4) having something good to watch on tv on a ridiculously full stomach.
5) turducken.

song of the day...
"if i could give you more" by harry connick jr.

movie of the day...
"pieces of april"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

viggo mortensen, & the jerk...

just wanted to share a quote i just read from viggo mortensen...

"When I go to movies, I want to see something that is mysterious that I can't explain technically no matter how much I know about the process of making movies. There were movies made in the '30s or '20s, movies that have been made in the last few years, where every once in a while, there is scene, a moment, a close-up, a wide shot, a composition, a look on someone's face, the way they say a word, an interaction, that you go, 'How the hell did they do that?' And they could probably never do it again. It was just that moment where these characters, these actors, committed, and everything was lit right, and that stays in your head. It's burned into your memory. Most movies are lucky to have one moment, one shot that you look at and you always remember that moment and that scene. This movie, I think, has many moments like that. Duvall has moments like that, Charlize has moments like that, Kodi and I have several I think, Garrett Dillahunt, Michael K. Williams. I think it's a movie that has an emotional force, it kind of has some wallop to it, and leaves you at the end going 'Wow!' You are kind of spent. And you think right after, 'Oh, I can't watch this again,' but it stays with you."

i just love that.

i love hearing someone talk about something they're passionate about. and i especially love hearing someone talk about something i'm passionate about. viggo mortensen just gets it. the power of film, the beauty of it. it's why i still get goosebumps when i walk into a movie theater. that anticipation, the possibility of seeing something that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

strangest thing (and i may have talked about this already before, but... well, sorry), out of all the movies i've devoured over my 37 years, my favorite scene in any of them is in steve martin's "the jerk." it's one of the silliest and most hysterical movies ever made-- just ludicrous from beginning to end, and then-- bam! right in the middle of it is THE most romantic thing i've ever seen on film.

steve martin and bernadette peters sitting alone on a beach, singing "you belong to me". he's got a ukulele, and, eventually, she has a trumpet. it's a beautifully sweet song, but, for me, what makes it a classic scene is the way she looks at him. it's just written all over her face, "i am completely in love with this man." simple. lovely. perfect...

y'know what? ...i wanna be a filmmaker.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) thanksgiving!!!!!!! seriously, what a great idea, right?!
2) the people who have been sending me really kind and encouraging emails about this blog! means a great deal! thank you so much!
3) 'the road'. or, well, no, actually, i haven't seen it yet-- not actually in love with it, but that was the movie viggo was talking about. really looking forward to seeing it!
4) seriously. i wanna be a filmmaker. gotta look into it.
5) steve martin. i tell the kids at the day care center that he's my uncle. i even put it into song whenever i can: "now i know my abc's, next time dance with my uncle steve."

honestly, one of our parents last year told me that her toddler mentioned my uncle steve in his prayers the previous night. "God bless, mommy, God bless daddy, God bless mya, God bless uncle steve..." when i told my friend cookie about it, he said, "wow, man... way to waste God's time."


song of the day...
"deep water" by portishead. this song was inspired by the "you belong to me" scene in 'the jerk.'

movie of the day...
"a history of violence" maybe my favorite viggo mortensen film.

seriously, i just wanna grab a beer with the guy. and i don't even drink beer. he's that cool.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the weatherman...

this happens to me at least once a week, as i'm rushing out the door, running desperately late to catch my train, when all i want is to hear the weatherman tell me if i need to bring my umbrella or not...

suzie: and now, with a check on the weather, let's go to ted. ted?
ted: thank you very much, suzie. did you have a good weekend?
suzie: yes i did! we took the kids to see the new steven segal movie!
ted: oh! how was it?!
suzie: excellent! it was so dramatic!
ted: that's what i hear! it's generating a lot of oscar buzz.
suzie: it should! we loved it! so exciting!
ted: that's what i hear! SUCH a good actor!
suzie: YES!
ted: wasn't he also in "a river runs through it"?
suzie: with courtney love?
ted: yes!
suzie: that's what i hear!
ted: great movie. and great singer, that courtney love.
suzie: yes!
ted: you know what i love?
suzie: what's that, ted?
ted: i love syrup!
suzie: mmmm, yes, syrup is tasty!
ted: but i don't just pour it on my pancakes.
suzie: no?
ted: oh, no! i pour it over my scrambled eggs, my toast, my sausage links, my bacon-- i pour it over everything.
suzie: really?
ted: ab-so-lutely! BOY, is that delicious!
suzie: it certainly sounds like it!
ted: yes! and, hey, speaking of bacon, i wanted to show you this footage from what took place in beaumont, oklahoma over the weekend! during the 76th annual farm and cattle festival, they were holding their traditional contest to find the "world's oink-iest pig!"
suzie: how about that!
ted: yes! this year's winner was 234-pound betsy!
suzie: awwwwwwww!
ted: her owners say the secret to betsy's success has been a healthy diet, and plenty of exercise. betsy also likes to listen to barry manilow, and the dave clark five.
suzie: isn't that something?
ted: yes! no word yet, though, if there are any spiders named charlotte making webs around betsy's pen!!!
ted: yes! now let's see what we can tell you about the weather today!
suzie: okay!
ted: today there will probably be periods of rain and/or sun throughout the morning, night and/or mid- to late afternoon. there also may be patches of clouds or, possibly, flurries surrounding the general area of the northeastern part of the hemisphere sometime within the next few months, or more. chances of some kind of precipitation is 98% throughout that same approximate time span, and the temperature will vary from somewhere between 19 and 82 degrees. celsius and fahrenheit. to find out more specific details for today's weather, tune in for my exclusive five day forecast, in just under an hour. or two. suzie?
suzie: thanks, ted! we'll be right back...

the five tings i fell in love with today...

1) that i don't get paid for participating in meaningless banter.
2) i bumped into some long lost friends at target this afternoon, who had just bumped into each other right before i got there. small world!
3) if you don't have kids, or if you don't work in a day care center, you might as well skip to the next thing, because you just won't understand. but, the best thing that happened at work today was seeing the joy on the face of one of our toddlers as she poo'ed in the toilet for the first time at school. and what a poo it was, let me tell ya. it was the type of poo my cousin in west virginia would have taken a picture of, it was that big. she was so proud. and yet, so humble at the same time. "I MADE A POOP STICK!" she shouted. poop TREE was more like it, bless her heart. and colon.
4) i bought a new umbrella a few weeks ago. the previously mentioned umbrella-- the one who thought itself a performance artist-- flew right off the handle in a tragic, yet beutiful recreation of, i think, swan lake. i'd go into more detail about it, but i can't find my dictionary, and i don't know how to spell peer-o-ette.
5) a bit chilly this morning, but it didn't rain today! w'hoooooooo!

song of the day...
"swine" by elvis costello and the brodsky quartet

movie of the day...
"l.a. story" still one of my favorite comedies ever! "you're a weatherman, right?" "yes. i'm a meteorologist."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

alphabetical movie challenge, I through Z...

a few people have asked me, "hey, did you ever finish that alphabetical movie challenge?" but, of course i did.

some would argue that a better question might be, "why did you finish the alphabetical movie challege?" but i have an answer for that as well. it's because i'm ambitious. and, believe me, nothing says ambitious more than dedicating an entire month of your life to sitting on your ass, watching movies.

or something.

so, sorry for the delay, but here it is. a brief summary on movies I through Z...

I is for "i'm not there". actually, i didn't care for it. as much as i understand what they were going for-- that bob dylan's a complex dude and deserves a complex tale... i'd much rather watch martin scorsese's "no direction home" instead.

J is for "junebug". such a fantastic film!!! the script is unbelievably good, and amy adams is incredible.

K is for "kramer vs. kramer". dustin hoffman is absolutely great in this movie. but, my favorite robert benton film is still "nobody's fool".

L is for "lawrence of arabia". crazy that i'd never watched this before. and am still envious of my friend in los angeles for seeing it on the big screen.

M is for "my bloody valentine". i absolutely HATE horror movies, but my friend liam is in it. and i am even more envious of him for getting his head chopped off on the big screen.

N is for "nick and nora's infinite playlist". this isn't exactly a perfect film about young love, but it's pretty damn close.

O is for "october sky". one of those movies that gets better and better every single time you watch it. and makes you love chris cooper a little bit more, too...

P is for "punch drunk love". that song gets me every time... "he needs me, he needs me, he needs me, he needs me.... lah da da da da..." love it!!!

Q is for "q & a". because it's the only movie i had with a Q at the beginning of it. and also probably the only movie ever to have nick nolte, armard assante, luis guzman, charles s. dutton, dominic chianese, and fyvush finkel in it. oh, and jenny lumet.

R is for "rachel getting married". look... i wanna marry anne hathaway. there. i said it. and i love bill irwin, too, just... y'know, not in THAT way. phenomenal movie. great performances. exceptional script, written by... oh, jenny lumet.

S is for "silverado". i dunno, man, i hear people are down on this movie, but i think this is the best western kevin kline has ever starred in. by far.

T is for "tell no one". terribly underseen movie!!! and maybe it's because on the cover it says, "eight years ago, alex's wife was murdered. today she emailed him." ...urgh. no, but, really, it's a great movie!!! i promise!!!

U is for "the untouchables". top notch. i can watch this twenty times and not get bored of it.

V is for "the visitor". see? this is the reason why i know i shouldn't be a film critic. because i just don't even know how to tell you how much i love this movie. i can only say that if you do see it, you'll thank me later.

W is for "way of the gun". one of those films where you can almost hear the director whispering, "i'm gonna be the next tarantino!" to himself in between takes. but i still dug it. not for everyone, though. you'll know if it's your kinda flick within the first six minutes.

X is for "x2: x-men united". i really love this franchise. and i think this might be my favorite out of the three. or four (i still don't know what to think of the whole 'wolverine' fiasco).

Y is for "year of the dog". this is another movie i don't know what to make of. i mean, on one hand, it seems to be a celebration of the rugged individualist. which is great, but... isn't this character also... y'know, kind of psychotic???

Z is for "zoolander". everybody seems to think this is a comedy, but-- take it from someone who knows what it's like to be an extremely desired male model-- this is a truly powerful documentary.


the five things i fell in love with today...

1) ben stiller.
2) richard jenkins.
3) adam sandler.
4) kat dennings.
5) the hope that hugh jackman will someday balloon up to five hundred pounds, so it will make more sense when i call him "huge assman".

song of the day...
"lilac wine" by jeff buckley. there's a beautiful, heart-wrenching scene in "tell no one" featuring this tune.

movie of the day...
film i wished i'd watched instead of the one i did? "into the wild".

Thursday, November 19, 2009

kings, pawns and rocky balboa...

i'm not complaining, but things haven't exactly been going my way lately.

i was sick for a few days last week. my "very hungry caterpillar" diet is not working. and, of course, there was the debacle of the mystery woman who got my number and did absolutely nothing with it. and now, if all this wasn't enough, i have confirmation that i am the worst person in the world... at chess.

i love chess. i just suck at it.

i mean, i really, really suck at it.

i know this because i've been playing on facebook for the past few months with pitiful results. this particular application gives you a ranking to see how you measure up with your opponents. you start off with a score of 1200. it's kind of like the points you receive on an SAT test for spelling your name correctly.

right now, i have a ranking of 1138.


i'm pretty competitive, so... yeah, it bugs me. but, y'know, i haven't lost any sleep over it, or anything. it's just a game, after all. but, still... it bugs me. and it REALLY bugged me two days ago when a guy named reginald sent me this message while he was wiping the floor with me...

"resign. my king and pawn prevent you from attacking my rook, and my rook prevents you from getting my other pawn. i will promote to a queen, and then finish you."

i was like, whoah! kiss my bishop's ass, reginald!!! (his name isn't actually reginald, but i'm calling him that because i think all extremely good chess players should have a name like reginald. reginald's ranking, by the way, is 1467).

"and then i will finish you." who does he think he is? ivan drago? staring down rocky balboa in a sweaty boxing ring with brigitte neilson at his side? "i vill break you... vith my richter-veresov attack."

well, actually he did break me. just like he said he would. but then... i dunno, it was kind of like i heard the rocky theme song in my head. you know the one. he's running up the steps of the philadelphia museum of art. flying high now. avenging the death of his friend apollo creed. or his trainer burgess meredith. or... whatever the heck he was fighting for in rocky 5 (i never saw that one).

whatever. i was pumped! i offered reginald a rematch. and, theme song stuck in my head, i was ready to go. i was gonna stuff his commie words right back inside his skinny little face. i had a plan. i was gonna embarrass him, and i was gonna take him down. or, the reverse of that.

not part of the plan? watching him beat me in seven moves. but that's what happened. looking back at it now? a tad predictable.

i had the eye of the tiger. and the chess skills of a tree stump. still, i challenged him again. i'm sure burt young would've wanted me to throw in the towel, but i went back into the ring.

here's our last conversation...

me: reginald?'re kicking my arse! lol, good work, my friend!
reg: lol. yeah, the first one was fairly close, but last game got away from you pretty quickly
me: or... maybe i'm trying to lure you into a false sense of security... maybe.

"got away from me pretty quickly" sheesh.... lol, i reeeeeeeally want to kick his ass!!

but, hey... if i don't, i don't. at least i'm trying, right? even if i don't rise up to the challenge of my rival, i think there's something to be said about the thrill of the fight.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) givin' it your best shot.
2) that i got home safely today in the rain. when i asked the guy who takes my train ticket how he was doing, he told me, "eh, could be better. not safe going over these slippery rails." and then he walked away. i was thinking, "dude! what in the hairy freak, man?! I'M going over these slippery rails!!!! did he really just SAY that?!?!"
3) i thought the last rocky movie was actually very good.
4) i was sick last week, but it was only for two days. coulda been a lot worse.
5) the diet isn't working, but it's really not all that bad.

song of the day...
"eye of the tiger" by survivor

movie of the day...
"searching for bobby fischer"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

numbers don't lie... (NFL power rankings, week 12)

i'm not exactly sure how many people actually read these football power rankings, but i have received one or two concerns about how i came up with this system. and, for those loyal readers who cared enough to write in, i want to say thank you. but more than that, i wanted to let you know that i am praying for you. because you obviously have more free time than i do. and that is sad.

now, to answer your questions, i'll tell ya, it's a complicated process, having to do with the amount of wins a team has, the strength of their schedule, the amount of points they put up, and the number of points they allow. i think it's a well-balanced way of rewarding an organization for beating a good team. and for beating a bad team soundly. most of all, i think it's an impartial, mathematical equation to determine, without bias, and on a weekly basis, who has the best football team in america.

still, most of the questions i've heard seem to stem from a few perceived anomalies in the power rankings. for example, "why would the pittsburgh steelers be ranked below the denver broncos a week after beating them?" that type of thing. "really, ryan, how could this be? how do you come up with this stuff?"

and these are all fair questions. especially for me. a pittsburgh steeler fan. but, the numbers don't lie. the numbers don't cheat. the numbers don't lobby for votes. math can not bribe me in order to sway my opinion. it can not bring opinion into the discussion at all, because math is all about strict facts. with math, it's all black and white. and it is all about the performance of a team throughout an entire. season-- not just one game.

all this to say, i believe my power rankings go a long way to prove once and for all what football fans have suspected for quite some time...

math is stupid.

okay then. enjoy!

32) rams, 1-8, -86.4
31) bucs, 1-8, -86.1
30) browns, 1-8, -86.0
29) lions, 1-8, -85.4
28) chiefs, 2-7, -64.3
27) raiders, 2-7, -63.6
26) bills, 3-6, -36.2
25) titans, 3-6, -35.0
24) redskins, 3-6, -29.0
23) seahawks, 3-6, -25.8
22) bears, 4-5, -2.8
21) dolphins, 4-5, 0.7
20) panthers, 4-5, 10.4
19) 49ers, 4-5, 10.5
18) jags, 5-4, 11.6
17) jets, 4-5, 18.0
16) texans, 5-4, 23.8
15) giants, 5-4, 30.5
14) falcons, 5-4, 31.7
13) packers, 5-4, 32.0
12) eagles, 5-4, 32.6
11) ravens, 5-4, 33.8
10) chargers, 6-3, 51.0
9) cards, 6-3, 54.1
8) broncos, 6-3, 56.6
7) STEELERS, 6-3, 58.0
6) cowboys, 6-3, 58.1
5) patriots, 6-3, 64.7
4) bengals, 7-2, 82.2
3) vikings, 8-1, 109.0
2) saints, 9-0, 140.8
1) colts, 9-0, 143.1

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) the way the governor of california says, "go chargers go!"
2) nfl films.
3) that i'm taking the day off after the super bowl to recover from my screaming.
4) harry kalas.
5) john facenda.

song of the day...
"song no. 6" by ane brun featuring ron sexsmith

movie of the day...
"lucky number slevin"

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the muppet...

the guy upstairs woke me up in the middle of the night. again.

i call him the muppet because he's unusually tall, has big floppy hair, a tiny little squeaky voice, and is made entirely out of felt.

well, okay, no, that last thing isn't actually true. but if it were, it wouldn't be the strangest thing about him.

he's just an odd duck. the things he says are just enough to sorta/kinda slightly freak you out. but he has a pretty thick accent, which makes it kind of difficult to understand him. so, there's a bit of a delayed freak-out reaction on my part.

usually, what i do when someone has a thick accent that i can't understand is just nod and put on a huge smile, and say things like, "YEAH!" or, "SURE!" or, "HAHAHA! YOU KNOW IT!" and that seems to work on most ocassions. they tend to nod and smile back in a way that lets me know that they feel like they're being understood and respected.

...unless, of course, they're all saying things like, "i feel as though you're not understanding me because of my accent, and are just saying agreeable things because you are an idiot. is that true?"


the muppet sounds exactly like beaker. if beaker was from bangladesh. the last time i talked to him, (i think) he asked me something about how much rent i pay for my apartment. when i told him, he said, "wow! so much money for such a little amount of space."

or at least that's what i was able to decipher after a few hours. and then i thought... "whoah, wait a minute... how does he know how much space i have? he's never been inside my apartment! ...has he???"

i might be a touch paranoid here, but it wouldn't shock me at all if the muppet and i had a similar conversation about my underwear someday. "you know, the elastic in your boxer shorts is just not up to par. you should really stop purchasing such items at target."

"well, you probably bring up a good-- wait, what?!"

for now, though, i'm mostly concerned with the conversations he's having with the television late at night when i'm trying to sleep. i thought i was done with all that after the world series ended, but i was dreadfully mistaken. i don't know what sport he could have been watching at three in the morning-- or, for that matter, what decade he thought he was living in-- but, for a good four minutes in a row, all i could hear was indian beaker shouting, "WHOOMP! THERE IT IS! WHOOMP! THERE IT IS! WHOOMP! THERE IT IS!"

never a dull moment, my friends.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) speaking of horrible songs from the 90's, i was in the bathroom at the movie theater a few weeks ago when some dude came strolling in, whistling "i wanna sex u up." i thought this was both hysterical and disturbing at the same time. hysterical that people still dug color me badd. and disturbing that i recognized the tune so quickly.
2) bunson honeydew
3) frank oz.
4) meeting frank oz at the jacob burns film center. it was great! i shook his hand and told him i wanted to thank him because i'd realized earlier in the day that he had been entertaining me my entire life.
5) jim henson.

song of the day...
"antartica" by the weepies. i find this to be a good track to listen to whenever i want to get a horrible song from the 90's out of my head.

movie of the day...
"death at a funeral" that was the film frank oz was promoting at the burns. fall out of your seat funny!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


last night i went back to the scene of the crime.

the jacob burns film center. where, a week ago, i met a fantastic woman who was full of life and had great, big sparkly googly things in her eyes that made my heart go, "a-thumpa-thumpa." a woman who... well, a woman who still hasn't called or written me yet.

by the way, just to get this out in the open, for the 12 people who don't already know this about me: the reason i gave out my contact information without receiving hers in return? i'm a nerd. and it didn't even occur to me to do this until hours later. there are guys who can say things like, "hey, baby, why don't you gimmie yo number?" but, sadly-- and, clearly-- i am not one of them. so, i have no way to reach her.

and i went back to the same movie theater. the one she says she goes to all the time. but! BUT!!! i promise, i did not go there to try to find her. i went to see a movie. a movie that i've been wanting to see for months, actually. it had nothing to do with her. it was all about the movie.

the movie, says i.

of course, i did put more thought into last night's wardrobe than i did before my junior high prom. which, admittedly, is saying something. i looked pretty darn good back in the day: aqua blue miami vice t-shirt with a skinny white tie, made of something that resembled leather. had these huge tinted fat-elvis glasses, and a little pre-mullet thing happenin'... boy howdy, if she only knew me when.

anyway... she wasn't there. i didn't actively search for her, but, really, it was in the back of my mind, now and then during the night.

not seeing her... i was a bit sad about it, to tell you the truth. but, wow, what a movie.

i'm not kidding. it was one of those moments where you know you're exactly where God wants you to be. such a powerful film. and its message kicked me right in the arse. it was as if God was making a pre-emptive strike; before i could allow myself to linger in any kind of sadness about my mysterious vanishing woman of one week ago, God sat me down in front of the movie 'precious' and dared me to compare my pain to hers.

it was so honest, this movie. so brutal. so damn hard to watch. it was, at times, so unflinchingly real that i had to cover my eyes. the depths of pain this character went through is nowhere NEAR anything i've ever had to struggle with. and the performances of the cast were so riveting... i just left the theater wondering what in my life i've ever had to complain about.

it was painful to watch, but uplifting as well. to see this girl take on so much with her head held high. and to see the people in her life who were there for her. making a difference. listening, teaching, guiding, respecting her. it was a very humbling experience for me. i couldn't help but wonder what kind of difference i was making in the lives of others...

three or four mornings ago, i was walking to my train, only to find a fence where my shortcut used to be. kinda pissed me off. who'd they think they were, right? took two minutes out of my life that i'd never get back, y'know? then i read this in the paper-- a quote from terry o'quinn, from 'lost'. he said, "you can either feel grateful, or entitled."

and, y'know... hey, some days are better than others, but, yeah. i want to be grateful. and i want to act accordingly. i'm not in junior high school anymore, i don't want to find an excuse to be sad when things don't go my way. and i don't want to be so self-absorbed that i miss out on even the tiniest things that could make someone's day a bit brighter. the door i could be holding open for a stranger, or the hug i could be giving to a coworker who's having a bad day.

i'm working on it. because life is too short, and too precious a gift not to be taken more seriously. not to be giving back.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) mo'nique. really, the entire cast was incredible, but i thought mo'nique was crazily good. she portrayed an absolute monster and somehow found the humanity in her.
2) good advice from a friend.
3) i can't remember who said it, but my sister sent me a quote that always stuck in my head, and i was reminded of it, watching this movie-- "God wants art with all of its teeth."
4) i was sick for a few days this week (occupational hazard). glad it's over with.
5) great, big sparkly googly things.

song of the day...
"i will be grateful for this day, i will be grateful for each day to come" by bright eyes.

movie of the day...
shocker... "precious: based on the novel 'push' by sapphire". seriously, if this movie doesn't make you cry your eyes out... yowza.

hey, stranger...

hey, stranger... yes, you. the one who was sitting in the row directly behind me? yeah... hey, remember when we went to the same movie, and you STOPPED talking?

...yeah, me neither.


the five things i fell in love with today...

1) silence. it's true what they say about it.
2) watching three movies in less than 24 hours.
3) paying for only two of those movies.
4) crying my eyes out during the first movie.
5) sneaking in food to all three movies.

song of the day...
"enjoy the silence" by depeche mode

movie of the day...
"2012" pretty much everything a disaster flick should be: great special effects. bad acting. and big, honking gaping holes in the non-sensical plot. i loved it.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

NFL power rankings, week 10...

32) chiefs, 1-7, -85.6 bhpp
31) rams, 1-7, -84.6
30) lions, 1-7, -83.2
29) browns, 1-7, -82.2
28) bucs, 1-7, -81.7
27) raiders, 2-6, -55.1
26) titans, 2-6, -53.5
25) redskins, 2-6, -50.1
24) panthers, 3-5, -27.2
23) bills, 3-5, -25.0
22) seahawks, 3-5, -15.8
21) dolphins, 3-5, -13.2
20) 49ers, 3-5, -3.7
19) jags, 4-4, -1.8
18) bears, 4-4, 11.3
17) packers, 4-4, 17.0
16) ravens, 4-4, 21.8
15) texans, 5-4, 22.4
14) giants, 5-4, 29.1
13) jets, 4-4, 32.7
12) chargers, 5-3, 40.0
11) cards, 5-3, 44.6
10) eagles, 5-3, 47.7
9) falcons, 5-3, 49.5
8) bengals, 6-2, 73.8
7) STEELERS, 6-2, 76.1
6) cowboys, 6-2, 77.0
5) broncos, 6-2, 77.2
4) pats, 6-2, 81.1
3) vikings, 7-1, 106.2
2) colts, 8-0, 140.2
1) saints, 8-0, 142.7

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) james harrison
2) james farrior
3) santonio holmes
4) ziggy hood
5) jeff reed

Sunday, November 8, 2009

the sixth thing i fell in love with today...

in addition to the five things i fell in love with today, i am also thankful that i did not get mugged on my walk home tonite.

there's a tunnel underneath the train station in white plains that looks really spooky. in the day light. in the dark it looks like you're walking through the video for 'thriller.' dancing zombies and all.

so, of course, because i'm a genius, i chose to go in that direction after dusk. and this dude approached me looking a lot like skeet ulrich. except creepier, if you can believe that. he was wearing a hoodie draped over his head and dark sunglasses. as if he had taken a look at the 11 o'clock news for a week and saw the police sketches for every major wanted criminal throughout the five burroughs of new york city and thought to himself, "y'know... i think that would be a really good look for me."

for a second, i was just frozen. and i thought what any good Christian would think in that situation... "oh shit."

lol, like the worst prayer ever. "oh, shit."

but God heard it anyway. and the guy kept on walking. and i didn't have to unleash my inner chuck norris on him.

and for all of this, i do thank God. He is very good to me.

what would george clooney do?

this weekend i watched a little tv-- some football, mostly, and i'm onto the second season of LOST. i took advantage of the nice weather and went on a coupla' walks around white plains. i did some writing, shaved my face, tidied up the apartment, and i caught a movie this afternoon-- the new george clooney flick called 'the men who stare at goats.'

all this to say, i did not sit around by the phone waiting for the beautiful woman i met on friday to call.

which, as it turns out, is a good thing.



i don't understand what happened. y'know, i mean, i thought we really clicked. i thought there were sparks. when i asked if i could give her my number, she seemed to be saying, "YES! i was hoping you'd ask me that!" but... i dunno, maybe i totally misread her. maybe it was, "YES! but, i am so only being polite to you!"

or, maybe she's doing that thing where you don't want to appear too eager, so you wait three days before calling? women do that? i thought only men do that. and by men i mean stupid men. men who watch jason statham movies because they think he's a good actor. men who go to nascar races because they're hoping to see themselves a good wreck. men who join chuck norris fan clubs without any sense of irony.

(because they actually think that when chuck norris works out, the machine gets stronger.)

i dunno. i'm not that guy. i mean, i get it, i don't want to scare someone away, but i don't wait three days to call. and, i'm not sure if that says a lot about why i'm single, but i guess i'm just not that cool, lol. if i like someone, i want her to know about it. if i really want to get to know someone, i don't want to waste three days before i do so.

which brings me back to the question of whether she wanted to get to know me better at all. i dunno. i thought she did... maybe, it's like that billy crystal line from 'when harry met sally...' maybe she desperately wants to call me but is trapped under something heavy.

sheesh, i hope so.

anyway... what do you think george clooney would do? for some reason, i found myself thinking about that, on my long walk home from the movie. didn't help me much, as i could actually see him doing either. being polite and taking down a phone number with no intentions to call. or, being real cool and suave, and waiting three days to call. or probably three weeks. i mean... dude. it's george clooney.


welp... not the end of the world, but i have to be honest. i'm pretty disappointed. maybe prematurely disappointed. and maybe (probably) i'm giving this too much thought, no matter what the outcome... eh... she just seemed really great, y'know...?

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) two things i never noticed until this most recent review of the first two seasons of 'lost': A) someone is always beating the crap out of sawyer. and, B) if someone is running through the jungle, they pretty much have a 50/50 shot at falling down on their face.
2) "snatch" and "lock, stock & two smoking barrels"-- jason statham is actually really, really good in both of these movies.
3) "chuck norris can slam a revolving door!"
4) the 'goat' movie wasn't all that good, i'm afraid, but i'm really looking forward to clooney's next two: 'the fantastic mr. fox' and 'up in the air'.
5) that, no matter what, i think i recovered quite nicely from the spilled popcorn fiasco of friday night, thank you. and, dammital, kudos to me for having the courage to chat up such a beautiful woman.

song of the day...
"sparks" by coldplay

movie of the day...
it could only be "swingers". legendary scene that brilliantly breaks down the mindset behind the three days rule. as well as that jon favreau scene i can barely watch, when he foolishly breaks said rule.

NFL power rankings, week 9...

32) bucs, 0-7, -110.4 big honking power points
31) rams, 1-7, -84.6
30) browns, 1-7, -82.2
29) chiefs, 1-6, -80.4
28) lions, 1-6, -77.4
27) titans, 1-6, -77.4
26) raiders, 2-6, -55.1
25) redskins, 2-5, -43.0
24) seahawks, 2-5, -34.4
23) bills, 3-5, -25.8
22) jaguars, 3-4, -17.0
21) panthers, 3-4, -16.7
20) dolphins, 3-4, -1.1
19) 49ers, 3-4, 13.1
18) chargers, 4-3, 26.1
17) bears, 4-3, 28.8
16) jets, 4-4, 30.2
15) cards, 4-3, 31.7
14) packers, 4-3, 35.4
13) ravens, 4-3, 37.0
12) texans, 5-3, 37.2
11) falcons, 4-3, 38.4
10) giants, 5-3, 46.0
9) bengals, 5-2, 64.2
8) STEELERS, 5-2, 65.2
7) eagles, 5-2, 65.4
6) cowboys, 5-2, 65.8
5) patriots, 5-2, 71.2
4) broncos, 6-1, 101.1
3) vikings, 7-1, 103.3
2) colts, 7-0, 137.8
1) saints, 7-0, 143.5

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) heath miller
2) mike wallace
3) jerome bettis
4) willie parker
5) rashard mendenhall

song of the day...
"smells like teen spirit" by the bad plus

movie of the day...

Friday, November 6, 2009

the big what if's...

did you ever have one of those days when you just say, "if i didn't...?"

if i didn't make that wrong turn when i was driving to the store...?
if i didn't trust that stranger...?
if i didn't lose my nerve when i should have just asked that beautiful woman for her number...?

today was a big "if i didn't" day for me.

if i didn't love movies so much...
if i didn't push my slightly-sore throat to the back of my mind...
if i didn't forget to buy a train ticket to pleasantville...
if i didn't decide to skip watching the sixers on tv...
and, if i didn't choose to eventually ignore my coworker's fat joke that hurt my feelings to the point of making me want to just go home and sit around a big bowl of irony-flavored potato chips... i would not have been at the jacob burns film center tonite.

if i didn't LOVE movies as much as i love them... i would have only seen one film, the five o'clock showing of 'a serious man.'

if i didn't read a dozen or so articles about how amazing carey mulligan is, i might never have been interested in the second feature of the night, the 7:10 screening of 'an education.'

if i didn't have to pee in between movies...
if i didn't have to wait in line to wash my hands behind a gaggle of ridiculously slow men...
if i didn't overcome the embarrassment of talking to the same girl behind the concession stand, as i purchased my second small tub of popcorn in the same evening... i might have had the opportunity to select a seat that wasn't in the second row.

if the ladies with the thick brooklyn accents who originally sat in my row, didn't immediately see the seats behind me, and if they somehow didn't rationalize that their necks would be much better off sitting there, instead of just a few feet closer to the screen... a truly gorgeous woman might not have been able to sit one seat away from me.

if, in an attempt to give her more space, i didn't accidentally kick over half of my (second) tub of popcorn onto the floor... the truly gorgeous woman and i would not have shared a laugh, nor the engaging conversation that followed.

if another stranger didn't show up exactly when he did and ask the truly gorgeous woman if she and her friends could move over one more seat... our conversation might not have continued so smoothly.

and if this truly gorgeous woman had not been so quick with her smile, had not been so charming and witty. so delightful, and just so. damn. adorable... the spring in my step as i walked home from the train tonite would not have been so lively. and my heart wouldn't still be racing at a hundred miles an hour.

the five things i fell in love with today...

1) lol, look, i know. i JUST met this (truly gorgeous) woman a few short hours ago. i couldn't tell you twelve things about her. it's hardly love. but... wow. you know, when you meet someone and there's that spark? that instant click? that sudden indescribable something that makes you feel like you could tame a lion, and run through a building. and maybe even quit fast food forever? yep.
the ball's in her court, though. i gave her my number & email address. hope to hear from her soon!
2) the articles were right! carey mulligan is incredible. VERY, very good movie!
3) i also dug 'a serious man'. ...i think. honestly, i spent 9/10ths of this film wondering where it was going. but, man, the last few minutes just really got me.
4) they say good things happen in threes (or is it bad things? ...whatever) i got a free cup of hot chocolate at starbucks while i was waiting for my train. no reason for it whatsoever. i took out my credit card, and the dude behind the counter said, "eh, don't worry about it." i said, "what? ...what, did i win a prize or something?" he just smiled and said, "eh, maybe i'm too lazy to ring you up, i dunno."
but it does give credence to the old austrian proverb, "one man's laziness is another man's free hot chocolate."
5) the third good thing that happened...? well, lol, it's so inappropriate and wrong that i wouldn't feel right spilling the details in such an otherwise-sappy blog. but, when i got home, i exchanged a series of emails with my cousin "v-neck" that made me laugh so hard, i literally got dizzy.

song of the day...
"carry on, my wayward son" by kansas

movie of the day...
"kansas city"