Saturday, October 31, 2009

hooray for hollywood...

did you ever see something in the newspaper that was so dumb, you felt like you had to stop and read it again? because, you thought, "wait, no one could be that dumb. i must have misread that last part." but, then you looked it over a second time, and it actually managed to get even more dumb? like, derek zoolander dumb? that happened to me yesterday.

a few months ago, it was announced that the academy awards were going to present 10 best picture nominees, instead of five. the hope was to get wider recognition for films that have not been traditional best picture candidates. like little-seen independent films such as 'in bruges'. or well-made animated features, like 'wall-e.' or classics, featuring vin diesel, like, 'xxx' or 'the chronicles of riddick.'

but, mostly this has all been about one thing: tv ratings.

the thought is, if you expand the field to 10 nominees, it's more likely that a blockbuster like 'the dark knight' will get in. and, if that happens, you'll bring in a bigger television audience, which means more money for abc, and more potato chips sold for frito lay.

and, hey, i loved 'the dark knight'. it was hands down my favorite movie of 2008, and i thought it should have been in the running for best picture of the year. and i also have nothing whatsoever against potato chips, but i hate this new format.

i hate everything about it. i mean, i really liked 'jackass: the movie.' but, it ain't no 'casablanca'. still, if 'jackass 3: the lost fart tapes' comes out next year and grosses over $475 million dollars, are we going to have to expand the field to fifteen to make sure it gets in?

look, i admit it, i'm an academy award snob. i have all my dvds in alphabetical order, except for the ones which won an oscar for best film-- they're on a separate shelf in chronological order. i take the day off every year after the academy awards, because i want to watch every single minute of it, without worrying about my lack of sleep. and-- unless someone has a swan draped over their shoulder-- i don't even notice what anyone is wearing. so, the thought of cheapening the luster of an oscar nomination-- especially for such a trivial reason as money-- bugs me. a lot.

but, it's hard to argue the point tom sherak made in the newspaper yesterday. sherak is the new president of the academy of motion pictures arts and sciences, and was quoted in the usa today --and this is a genuine quote. i know, because i read it twice-- as saying this... (ahem)...

"all the critics' 10-best lists have 10 films."

...he said that.

now, i wasn't in the room when he said it, but i have to imagine his next sentence was something quick and random-- in an attempt to distract the interviewer from the stupidity of his previous sentence. something like, "so, uh, wow, that swine flu is somethin' else, enit?" or, "i like grilled cheese sandwiches! do you like grilled cheese sandwiches?!?!?!" or, "WHOAH!!! LOOK OUT FOR THAT PTERODACTIL!!! whew! that was a close one! you probably didn't see it, 'cause it flew away very, very fast, and, uhm..."

either that, or it was something along the lines of steve martin's "cup'o pizza" speech in 'the jerk'... "all the critics' 10-best lists have 10 films. well, i mean, some of them have eight films in their 10-best lists, but those aren't the top critics. all the top critics have 10-best films... first, back in the olden days, they had 12 in their 10-best lists. but that got to be too much because of the ink shortage in the great depression. so then they narrowed it down to 11. and it was a top 11 best-10 list for awhile, there. but then somebody said, 'hey! i know! how about nine?' but 'nine' sounded a little too much like the german word for 'no'. and, seeing this was in the middle of the war, they decided to go with 10 instead..."

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

1) bjork. seriously, i dig bjork.
2) hey!!! i did it!!! i completed my alphabetical movie marathon tonite!!!
3) have you noticed all the rain during the world series in philadelphia and new york? i think it's because both those teams have made God cry.
4) yes, vin diesel, i was making fun of you. and, yes, it's because you're bald.
5) eh, screw it. if it meant more money in my pocket, i'd expand my blog from the five to the ten things i fell in love with today...

song of the day...
"hooray for hollywood" by don swan and his orchestra

movie of the day...
"l.a. story"

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the worst umbrella ever stolen...

so, they were passing out free umbrellas on the train two nights ago!

well, no. i mean, somebody left their umbrella on the train two nights ago, but i went home with it for free.

i was pretty happy about that, actually, because i'd previously been walking around with the second worst umbrella in america. it was so small that it just barely kept me dry. my friends were always making fun of it, but i'm pretty sure they were only envious of how little i paid for it.

"ryan, you look ridiculous carrying that thing around!"
"uh, again, three bucks! jealous?"
"uh, again, no. and it was three bucks because it's a child's umbrella!"
"you're crazy."
"ryan... it has dora the explorer on it."

i had high hopes for the new umbrella, but it turned out to be the third worst in the nation. i'm telling you, THE tiniest, little hint of a whisper of wind was enough to turn it three different directions of inside out.

picture a 98 year old smoker struggling to blow out the candles of his stale, store-bought birthday cake, and you'll get an idea of how faint the wind was yesterday. leaves? feathers? tumbleweeds? motionless. and, still my new umbrella went ape shit.

it was as if my umbrella saw itself as a some sort of performance artist. FA-LOOF! "now i am an endangered eagle." FA-LOOF!!! "and now i am a twig." FLOOF-AH, FLOOF!!! "and now i am healthcare reform." FLOOF, FLOOF, FLOOF!!! "and now i am a killer squirrel."

urgh, bad day. i mean, i don't know what it is about inside out umbrellas, but for some reason, it's pretty high on the list of public embarrassments. right up there with falling on your ass, and walking into a parked car... or, maybe that's just me.

either way, i think i'll "accidentally" leave something on the train tomorrow morning.

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

1) it didn't rain.
2) i saw the michael jackson movie this afternoon! LOVED it!
3) i gave up on 'flash forward' a few weeks ago, but i'm still really digging 'community' and 'modern family.'
4) hey, turns out handbell IS a really good friend of mine. and she sent me the rush limbaugh transcripts, so, i'll have an update on that whole bit sometime next week.
5) in case you were wondering, the WORST umbrella in america belonged to my dad. he bought it several years ago, when the push-a-button-to-open-your-umbrella technology was in its infancy. we walked out of some restaurant and when the button was pushed, the thing just kept going. we watched it for hours. kind of a nice moment, actually. we just stood there like a couple of awe-struck tourists at cape canaveral. he put his hand on my shoulder. and then we walked home in a downpour. underneath a stick.

nasa still calls him from time to time with updates. last he heard, it was somewhere over cleveland.

song of the day...
"soon it's gonna rain" by mandy patikin and kristen chenoweth

movie of the day...
"reign over me"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the world series...

as many of you know, my worst fears have come true. my two most bitter enemies are in the world series. the philadelphia phillies and the new york yankees. it's an absolute nightmare for a new york mets fan.

who do you root for? i mean, honestly. it's like watching a wrestling match between snidley whiplash and montgomery burns. nothing to cheer about at all, really.

i grew up in south jersey, so all my friends back home are die hard philly fans. and i've been living in westchester county, new york, for the better part of 15 years, which is plagued by yankee fans. so, no matter who wins, i'm going to have to deal with a whole mess of people screaming in my ear for the entire offseason.

"world champions!!! world champions!!! world champions!!!"


people have been asking me all week what i'm going to do. as if i'm could stomach watching even an inning of this travesty. "ryan! who y'rootin' for? the yankees or the phils?"

i'll tell you the truth-- i'm rooting for injuries.

not life-threatening injuries, mind you. just a whole bunch of broken legs. to pretty much all of the starters, in both dugouts. jeter, a-rod, teixeira, cano, damon, posada, sabathia, burnett, rivera. howard, utley, rollins, ibanez, victorino, lee, lidge.

i'm rooting for injuries for all of 'em. wrap 'em up in a cast for the next seven games, and put 'em in a rehab facility for three quarters of the next season. that's pretty much what happened to my mets this year, after all. it's the sad, flukey truth.

but, of course, whenever i bring that up, i'm told to shove it. in my right ear, it's yankee fans. and in my left, it's the phillies-- neither group with the capacity to spell "mets", even if you spotted them the M, S and T.

baseball season is over, my friends.

let's go sixers.

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

1) david wright.
2) carlos beltran.
3) carlos delgado.
4) jose reyes.
5) johan santana. (all five mets players on the disabled list this year-- and i could name about 20 more! ...we'll get 'em next year, boys!!!)

song of the day...
"basketball" by kurtis blow

movie of the day...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

rush limbaugh... was i wrong about rush limbaugh???

so, pretty early yesterday morning, i read an article on aol about rush limbaugh, and wrote down a few thoughts on it. for those of you who haven't read it, here's the gist... rush heard that president obama had written a college thesis in which he criticized our founding fathers and the constitution. rush naturally seized the opportunity to rally his troops and call our president out for the opinions he had twenty-something years ago.

except, president obama never had those opinions. it was a hoax. the college thesis was just something somebody made up. satire.

and so...

well, the thing that got to me... yes, when rush realized he made a mistake, he announced it on his show. "i shout it from the mountaintops! it was satire!" he said. but, he didn't apologize. in addition to this, he then went on to tell his listeners that good comedy always contains an element of truth, and therefore this satire could not have worked if it wasn't based in truth.

unless, of course, what the satirist was being truthful about was not the mindset of our president, but the utter foolishness of his enemies to believe any and everything negative about him: "he's a muslim." "he's not an american citizen." "his health care reform is going to kill my grandmother."

instead of an apology, rush told his listeners, "we know he thinks it."

or, in other words... "just because we were wrong, doesn't mean we were wrong. so, we're not going to say we were wrong, because we're sure that we are ultimately not wrong. you see, sometimes, when we are proven to be 'wrong' TODAY, we will be proven to be right TOMORROW. so we don't want to have to admit two days from today that we were wrong about saying that we were wrong today. because, again, we know that tomorrow will prove us to be right."

(just for the sake of clarity, that last paragraph was satire. and not at all the words spoken by rush limbaugh or anyone who works for him.) ...(probably.)

ANYway... all this to say, i got an interesting comment on my blog yesterday from my dear friend handbell. and i wanted to share it with you...

"Hey, Ryan...did you happen to listen to the Limbaugh clip? I listened to the whole segment(s) yesterday, and I would argue that AOL News did misrepresent what actually happened. Limbaugh did say that the article was not true, and he did make the quotes listed on AOL, but the AOL news reporter took them out of context. Just a thought that it would be worth hearing the whole thing..."

and, i have to admit it, i didn't listen to the clips in their entirety. or, y'know, at all. and i think it's an important admission, for no other reason than this: i don't want to be the person i suspect rush limbaugh is.

i believe him to be the type of person who leaps for joy when something-- anything-- negative is said about the president. i mean, i was embarrassed for rush limbaugh when i saw his blissful cackle, after chicago lost its olympic bid. he sounded, to me, like a masked villain in a 1940's lone ranger serial: "hahahahaha! we got him now!!!!!"

i don't want to be that guy. but, i have to tell you, when i read that article on aol, i thought, "see that?! what a dick!" because, the shoe seemed to fit. and i went with it.

so, i want to listen to the clip. the whole clip. but, here's the problem... where do i find it? i'm not the most computer literate person in my family, so i'm asking for your help here-- is it on youtube?

i'm serious, i think handbell's right. i think it's important for me to hear his words in context. i don't know if it'll change my opinion, or only strengthen my view, but i think the right thing to do is to have an open mind, and give it a listen.

and i think the worst thing i could do is criticize a man for not being able to admit that he was wrong, and then do the same exact thing 24 hours later.

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

1) i have to be honest with you, lol, i'm not even sure who handbell is! handbell, if you're reading this, have we met??? either way, i want to thank you for keeping me on my toes, and keeping me in check! those are always the best friends to have!
2) CUTE kid in the white plains city center yesterday!!! near the escalator coming up from target, there's a ceramic pooch which is an advertisement for (i think?) a company that trains seeing-eye dogs. it's only been there a few weeks or so, but i've already seen dozens of kids petting and hugging it. (i petted it too the other day when no one was looking). but this little boy was the cutest thing!!! bent down to give it a hug, dressed up in a fluffy lion costume. i wish i had a video camera-- could have melted anyone's heart.
3) CUTER STILL, the kids at my day care center! i got the chance to help out in the infant room last week, and i'm telling you, that was THE most gorgeous group of toothless women i have ever spent time with.
4) my friends met paul mccartney yesterday!!! how freggin' cool is THAT!?
5) also got a curious comment from "eharmony jack" the other day. still not sure what to make of it, but ...mostly it made me chuckle and smile a little bit.

song of the day...
"am i wrong" by keb mo

movie of the day...
"true lies"

Monday, October 26, 2009

rush limbaugh: why apologize when you're wrong?

hey, why apologize when you're wrong?

that's what we want to teach our kids, right? when you're wrong, don't apologize. just keep believing what you desperately hope is true, and keep telling everyone-- even when you KNOW it's false-- that it's probably still true anyway. THAT'S why rush limbaugh is not an asshole. i get it now.

the following is from aol news...

"(Oct. 25) - A fictitious article that claimed President Barack Obama slammed the Constitution in his college thesis had some people fooled into thinking it was the real thing -- including Rush Limbaugh.
The conservative radio show host reported the story as fact on his show Friday after an obscure blogger, Michael Leeden, picked it up from a satire Web site last week, the New York Daily News reported Sunday. But after Limbaugh found out the piece was a fake, he didn't apologize for his mistake.
Limbaugh sounded off on the false report about a college thesis written by Obama, titled "Aristocracy Reborn." In it, the report claimed, the president criticized the nation's Founding Fathers, the Constitution and the distribution of wealth.
"While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned," read the fake report on Obama's Columbia University thesis, referring to the Constitution. "While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy."
Limbaugh went off on his show.
"So here is who we have as our president of the United States: an anti-constitutionalist man who finds it an obstacle and is finding ways around it on purpose, unconstitutionally," Limbaugh said.
"Much of what he's doing is unconstitutional, and I'm waiting for the lawsuits to be filed by some of these people at some point," he added. "How is that hope and change working out for ya, folks?"
Later in the program, Limbaugh learned the report was a fake and alerted his listeners. But he insisted the fabricated thesis was still in line with what the president thinks, the New York Daily news reported.
"So I shout from the mountaintops: 'It was satire!'" Limbaugh said on the program. "But we know he (Obama) thinks it. Good comedy, to be comedy, must contain an element of truth, and we know how he feels about distribution of wealth."
Leeden has since apologized for making the mistake."

wait! leeden apologized for his mistake?!?!?!?! ...what was he thinking?!

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

1) poppyseed bagels.
2) bacon.
3) waffles with syrup, and way too much butter.
4) the willpower to avoid such things.
5) big. honking. win by my steelers yesterday!

song of the day...
"crazy, he calls me" by anita o'day

movie of the day...
"the jerk"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

thanks again, eharmony...

i received a few comments and emails about my post on the day i wrote about getting matched up on eharmony with a woman named hossy. "awww! ryan! don't judge her on her name! she could be a really sweet girl!" i know. a rose by any other name.

and, while i agree with the sentiment, i just can't get past it.


y'know, it's the whole "other room" theory. there are several different variations of the other room theory, but basically, it's this: when you've lost your keys, and you want to ask your lady if she knows where you might be able to find them, will the words make you cringe as they come out of your mouth?

"hossy??? have you seen my keys??? ...hoss???"

just can't do it. sounds like i'm talking to livestock.

but, it could be worse. like today. and yesterday. within the past 48 hours, i've been matched up on eharmony with women named aloha, blackqueen and Q. ...really?

"blackqueen? do you know where i put my slippers???"
"pleasure to meet you, mr. senator. this is my fiancee. her name is aloha."
"Q...? could you put a laser beam and a grappling hook into my ball point pen? thanks."

feels like eharmony is making fun of me.

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

1) bond. james bond.
2) my steelers took a three point halftime lead with a touchdown in the final minute of the second quarter! sweeeeeeeet!
3) julia goolia.
4) the weird thing about it was blackqueen is an asian woman.
5) desmond llewelyn

song of the day...
"on her majesty's secret service" by propellerheads

movie of the day...

NFL power rankins, week 7

1) saints, 5- 0, 142.6 big honking power points
2) colts, 5- 0, 135.2 bhpp
3) broncos, 6- 0, 130.0 bhpp
4) vikings, 6- 0, 128.8 bhpp
5) giants, 5- 1, 93.6 bhpp
6) falcons, 4- 1, 90.6 bhpp
7) patriots, 4- 2, 54.6 bhpp
8) bengals, 4- 2, 48.0 bhpp
9) STEELERS, 4- 2, 48.0 bhpp
10) bears, 3- 2, 39.2 bhpp
11) packers, 3- 2, 38.6 bhpp
12) 49ers, 3- 2, 38.0 bhpp
13) cards, 3- 2, 37.4 bhpp
14) cowboys, 3- 2, 36.6 bhpp
15) eagles, 3- 2, 33.8 bhpp
16) ravens, 3- 3, 14.0 bhpp
17) jets, 3- 3, 11.5 bhpp
18) texans, 3-3, 6.8 bhpp
19) jaguars, 3- 3, 1.8 bhpp
20) dolphins, 2- 3, -9.2 bhpp
21) chargers, 2- 3, -10.2 bhpp
22) panthers, 2- 3, -23.0 bhpp
23) seahawks, 2- 4, -24.8 bhpp
24) raiders, 2- 4, -34.1 bhpp
25) bills, 2- 4, -36.0 bhpp
26) redskins, 2- 4, -36.1 bhpp
27) lions, 1- 5, -68.3 bhpp
28) browns, 1- 5, -71.6 bhpp
29) chiefs, 1- 5, -73.6 bhpp
30) titans, 0- 6, -109.1 bhpp
31) bucs, 0- 6, -111.0 bhpp
32) rams, 0- 6, -113.5 bhpp

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

1) chuck noll
2) bill cowher
3) mike tomlin
4) troy polomalu
5) donnie shell

song of the day...
"move around" by bump j

movie of the day...

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the day care conference, part one: the good.

new york state requires all day care teachers to complete a certain amount of training throughout the year. which means we have to attend a few conferences a year. which means giving up half a saturday every now and again. which is a drag.

but, it's okay, because the state also requires all day care teachers to have a weekly salary the size of a shot glass (almost). seriously, the other day, i was watching a movie in which the two main characters' salaries were both more than my own. which is no big deal, accept...


but, even that's alright. because i still got my mojo.

mojo was the main theme of our keynote speaker today. again, not kidding.

she was great, though. her name was gretchen kinnel-- a fantastic and funny speaker, and noted author on the topics of potty training and biting. and how to keep from biting yourself while your toddler is potty training. or maybe just those first two things.

gretchen invited a rather large room to talk about things amongst ourselves a few times during her speech. and to regain everyone's attention, she yodeled. which made me love her to bits and several pieces.

she also taught me a new word today. "downgehangt." which was a term (...german? dutch? sweedish? probably not japanese, i'm guessing) meant to describe people who always complained about everything and everyone around them.

like the ladies who cut in front of me at the bagel line. "urgh, this is ridiculous!" they said. "why should we have to wait in this line behind all these people in front of the coffee, when all we want is a bagel???" so, they just cut in front of everyone-- a posse of around eight of them.

i just wanted a bagel. i hate coffee. i wasn't doing backflips of joy to be waiting in line for it, but kind of thought it was the right thing to do. so, when they didn't wait-- these pack of downgehangt women-- i punched them. right in the face, each and every one of them. WHAMMO!

alright, well, no. i didn't do that at all (probably). didn't even want to (for the most part). but i did shoot them some dirty looks while rolling my eyes in their general direction. that oughta learn 'em.

in their defense, though, maybe there should have been two lines, i dunno. i mean, it was a big honking group of underpaid day care employees, they had there. i actually came up with a plan to disperse the crowd, but it sadly only affected the people in back of me. didn't really think that one through, completely.

but anyway, i think this was a good example of what gretchen was talking about. creating your own mojo. not being a victim of your own circumstances. "don't cope with your environment! rise above it!"

they didn't do that. instead, they took the low road. they weren't rising above their environment, they were choosing not to accept it. and they pissed a bunch of people off in the process. "we're better than these people waiting in line," they thought. wow, thanks, ladies. how very westchester of you.

rising above your situation? well, that was the woman in front of me. while we were waiting in line together, she took the time to tell me a story that made us both chuckle. i don't even remember what she said, to tell you the truth. it was just two strangers sharing a moment of laughter. we'll most likely never see each other again, but, there it was, y'know? a brief moment of fun where once there was only boredom.

gonna try to be that person more often. chat with a stranger. make someone chuckle just because it's fun. wait for my bagel. get my mojo workin'.

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

1) gretchen. and the hopes that she'll read this blog some day and will send me some of her world famous cookies.
2) the bagel was worth the wait. poppyseed. with too much butter.
3) i own a pittsburgh steeler shot glass even though i don't really drink alcohol.
4) i'm more than halfway done my movie challenge! it's been pretty darn cool!
5) the question gretchen left us with: "what might be within you that could blossom and be very self-fulfilling, but hasn't yet?"

song of the day...
"mojo pin" by jeff buckley

movie of the day...
"the doors"

Friday, October 23, 2009

thanks, eharmony!

this morning i got matched up with a woman named hossy.

thanks, eharmony.

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

1) the angels won last night!
2) yesterday was beautiful, weather wise. 70something degrees!
3) acqua di gio.
4) that cruinchie sound y'get out of a perfect apple.
5) maybe hossy's middle name sounds prettier. like dave or butch or gruntmucker.

song of the day...
"sign your name" by terence trent d'arby

movie of the day...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

dances with wolves? nice to meet you. i'm drums with spooky things.

so, yes, i had a staff meeting last night. something about drums, that's all i knew. but, now i know so much more. and i'm even more confused.

as the evening began, a few announcements were made, and while i was kind of half-paying attention, i glanced down at a sheet of paper that was handed to us, and read this sentence... "drumming can propel one into a spirit realm."

i rolled my eyes and looked at my watch. "long-ass night," i thought.

we were then introduced to a man named auggie. he had a friendly smile and long hair down his back that was tied in such a way that it made me wonder if he was a native american. or just a big kevin costner/'dances with wolves' fan.

he gathered the bunch of us-- around forty people or so-- in a big circle, and had us partnered up with the person sitting next to us. i sat next to the smart lady. one of us was supposed to grab either a jimbaye, which is a traditional african drum, or a shakey shakey thingie, which... is not at all the technical term for any percussion instrument, but is probably what i'll call it, if we do wind up using this stuff in our classrooms.

the shakey shakey thingie chosen by the smart lady looked like what used to be a gourd at some point. big round ball with beads around it, and a long, thick handle that the smart lady immediately found phallic. it made her giggle for a good six minutes.

she giggled a lot, actually. auggie kept saying things like, "when you bang on your instrument, you can feel this great vibration..." i think, under the circumstances she showed remarkable constraint.

anyway, i have to tell you, man, we drummed. or... drammed. we were, y'know, people who drammed, or had drummered. and we could have drem, er, drammed all night. one with the drums, we were. and, even though i don't know much about drumming (really), i very much enjoyed it.

no, i wasn't propelled into a spirit realm (that i'm aware of), but i had a lot of fun. seriously, it turns out i do indeed got rhythm. and, i can't speak for everyone there, but i thought, "y'know, this is great. i can see myself doing this." nothing mystical, nothing earth shattering. just a big jam session and a mighty fine stress reliever.

so, when auggie told us he regularly leads drum circles on weekends, and asked if we wanted to add our names to his mailing list, i hopped on board. not something i'm planning on doing more than every now and again, but, eh, maybe every so often? pretty sweet.

and then i read more of the paper that was handed to us earlier.

it was an article for written by a nadia lerner, in which auggie described an enlightening time of drumming he had, while in an english cave. nadia wrote, "something impelled him... to want to drum in that cave."


no. no, i'm afraid not. from nadia's article...

'Alone and perched on a ledge in the cave, he proceeded to drum, little expecting what would occur next. Suddenly, out of nowhere, he saw a fierce-looking small black creature with pointy ears gazing at him. "I decided whatever my drumming was doing, it evoked a connection with spirits - I didn't know if it was good or bad." Continuing to drum, he felt the creature was a positive manifestation. "I kept drumming; he kept watching. It seemed to affect the little guy, and it looked like he was smiling."

He looked away for a second, and the creature was gone. But next, the drummer saw a beautiful woman in a white tunic with a black cloak over her shoulders. He kept on drumming. She said nothing, but continued looking towards him, over his shoulder. She stayed for a good five minutes, he recalls.

Later, he found out from spiritual friends that the black creature is called a hobgoblin. And the woman, he learned from a book on goddesses, is called the Goddess of Sovereign or the Triple Goddess. She takes on three different forms, a maiden, a middle-aged woman/mother, and an old woman. The vision (auggie) had seen was the mother image, "the most gorgeous woman," he says, "I had ever seen in my life." '

really. no judgement here, but-- yowza. i mean, y'know?! my man saw a mother-freaking hobgoblin! ...and he has my email address!!!

and yet... call me crazy, but i think i might still check out the drum circle. again, not going there for the mysticism, or the enlightenment, or the highly-probable large stacks of weed. just good fun, and good music.

or, i dunno, maybe i'll just stay home and string some beads around a gourd of my own.

(y'know... i really didn't have any innuendo in mind when i wrote that last sentence, but having re-read it just now, i'm pretty sure i can hear the smart lady giggling from a few miles away).

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

1) really, i get pretty skeptical when it comes to things like this-- reaching a higher power through drumming and whatnot, but i do believe we have a lot of kids in our center who could benefit from hanging out and beating the ever-loving tar out of a jimbaye every so often. as a stress reliever. or, getting them to focus on a particular beat. and, developing a love for music.
2) speaking of good music, i love hearing chris farley sing, "fat guy in a little coat..."
3) oh, the other day? turns out it wasn't a lottery ticket epiphany after all. my bad.
4) the angels are currently beating the yankees. bottom of the eighth. fingers crossed.
5) kevin costner. i freggin' love kevin costner.

song of the day...
"and the beat goes on" by sonny and cher

movie of the day...
"dances with wolves"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

child care. not day care.

oof. long day.

i work the 7:30 to 4 shift, which usually suits me just fine. but not tonite. we have a staff meeting every month or so that lasts from 6 to 8. so now i have two hours to kill. and, if i can catch my train, i wont get home until 9:30.

long ass day.

the staff meetings we have are usually ...well, they're necessary. so they tell me. sometimes they give you valuable information, sometimes it's stuff you've heard a thousand times before. "how to change a diaper." "why it's not a good idea to plop your kid in front of the tv for 26 hours in a row." "don't dropkick your baby. on wednesdays." that type of thing.

tonite, we're learning about drums.

i don't know why. but, i'm serious, we are learning about drums. "how to incorporate drumming into the classroom setting"? "how to keep a beat"? "ringo starr and graham crackers: how to get your toddler into harvard."

i dunno.

but, it's not the goofiest thing i've heard around here, believe me. still, overall, this is an amazing place to be. goofy meeting or not, they're always scheduled with the best intentions, to better ourselves so we can better serve these children. honestly, i know ours is one of the best centers in the entire country. we freaking rock.

actually, i lobbied to make that our official catchphrase. "come to our day care center! we freaking rock!" that was frowned upon. instead, they went with, "come to our day care center! we kick ass!"

well, no. that might not be true.

in fact, we're not even a day care center. some pr company came in a few months ago and convinced the head honchos that we should label ourselves as a "child care center." because, "we don't take care of DAYS. we take care of CHILDREN."

as if this was a big problem that we were having. losing potential customers because they weren't sure we looked after kids. "this is, like, a time management facility, right? because, uhm, my kid is at our house now with a stranger we met in front of this bar? and i were wondering if you might know of a place that takes care of children. and not days."

i mean, it's a day care center. and i think people know what that means. it's not at the CENTER of town, but people seem to know how to find it.

anyway... don't mind me. i'm cranky. it's been a long day.

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

1) maybe i'll catch an earlier train and get home in time for 'modern family'? maybe.
2) post-it notes. genius.
3) determination! i realized this afternoon that i have about ten days to finish watching SIXTEEN (alphabetical) movies!!!!! YIKES!!! i think i can, i think i can...
4) there's a kid in the infant program who usually gets freaked out by men, so, we were a bit worried that he would shy away from me. or, y'know, flip. but we were hanging out this morning and he seemed to think i was the cat's meow. made my day.
5) i got rythym.

song of the day...
"sing sing sing" by benny goodman

movie of the day...
"easter parade" my favorite fred astaire scene of alltime(!!!) is the one in the beginning of the film, when he's schooling that kid in the toy store. LOVE it!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

the alphabet movie challenge, E through H...

E is for "enter the dragon". one of the best martial arts movies ever made, and absolutely the best flick bruce lee was ever in. it's funny, a week after i saw this again, a friend on facebook randomly wrote something about how he was watching it. and then a friend of his wrote, "hey! i was just watching this, too!" it is a classic.

still, i have to say what struck me most was how dated parts of it were. it's a lesson i'll put in the back of my mind, when it's time for me to think about creating a timeless character on screen: in "the good, the bad, and the ugly", clint eastwood never called anyone a jive turkey.

F is for "friday night lights." it's hard to put into words the passion of a football fan. harder still to explain an entire town of people obsessed with a team of high school athletes. i don't fully understand it myself.

but, i also know that, after a prime time game a few years ago-- after something like 2 winning seasons in well over 100 years of football at rutgers university-- when the scarlet knights beat down a nationally ranked louisville cardinal team to finally gain respect, this jersey boy stood up and cheered, with a tear in his eye.

"friday night lights" is the movie for anyone who has ever taken a loss personally, or has shouted, "WE DID IT!" even though he was nowhere near the field of play. and i like to think it's also for those people who think we're crazy.

G is for "ghost wold". i own three movies with the word "ghost" in the title, and the worst of the bunch is "ghostbusters." how weird is THAT?!

thora birch and scarlet johansson star as two high school graduates who don't quite fit into a world they'd... rather not fit into. and steve buscemi has never been better. which is saying a lot.

H is for "high noon." another movie i'd somehow never seen before. i think every kid should see this before he walks into high school. it's a brilliant morality play, asking, "do you still do what you know is right even when the world is trying to convince you to turn away?" i think it's impossible to watch this without putting yourself into gary cooper's shoes. and i'm pretty sure i would've run away sometime before high 10:30.

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

1) billy bob thorton.
2) philly cheesesteaks. from PHILLY. (i kind of want to sue subway tonite for false advertisement).
3) i made an a-team joke that fell very flat this morning, but i still think it's funny. our classroom, i explained to a guest, "is called toddler A, because we're Awesome."
"i see," she said, "so, you're the A-team."
"yes," said i, "which is ironic, because last year, we had a kid in our group who had a mohawk and a whole bunch of jewelry around his neck."
to which she said, "huh???"
and then a whole bunch of crickets started chirping.
it was kinda awkward, actually...

4) hey, it turns out adam bradley pretty much rocks!!! i was telling people i work with about my blogs this morning, and i kept hearing great things. turns out, he's a big supporter of early childhood education, and has even donated a big honkin' chunk of money to the day care center i work in! small world, eh?
5) grace kelly.

song of the day...
"devil got my woman" by skip james

movie of the day...
actually, the best "ghost" movie i have in my collection (with one of the worst titles in the history of cinema) "ghost dog: way of the samurai".

i know, i know, but trust me. this movie kicks serious, serious ass.

adam for mayor...

from the files of "you're not going to believe this..."

guess who was at the train station this morning, shaking hands with the people?


THE adam????

yes. THE adam.

shook his hand as he told me, "adam bradley, next mayor of white plains."

and i said, "white plains? not new hampshire???"

actually, no, i didn't. i really wish i had, but i didn't say that. nor did i think to ask him if he would buy me a car after the election. and i just flat out didn't have the courage to ask him what he thought about hockley's "can't buy an election" campaign.

again, just a blogger. not a journalist.

gotta make up for that by interviewing the dental and foot care place sometime soon.

the five things i fell in love with today...
it's pretty early in the morning, so this is a bit of a challenge, but here goes...

1) adam. firm handshake.
2) my usual cab driver wasn't here this morning, but when i told him i was short on cash yesterday, he asked me if i needed to borrow $20. i didn't, but what a nice guy, huh?
3) the woman i did share a cab with today was singing a song with her earphones on and sounded a touch like a cat being suffocated. but i made it through without laughing at her.
4) left my hat on the train, but it only cost me a few bucks.
5) hey, maybe i'll meet hockley tomorrow?

song of the day...
"oh what a beautiful morning" by ray charles

movie of the day...

Monday, October 19, 2009


down the corner from the street i live on, there's a big sign on a front lawn that says, "elect councilman hockley for mayor". then, underneath this, there's something that i thought was an unusual campaign slogan: "you can't buy an election, adam".

now, a journalist would probably do a little bit of research at this point, in order to accurately report to you who these people are, and what they stand for, and what they're up to, and... stuff. but, that's the great thing about being a blogger. we can just guess. for example...

this guy hockley. i'm fairly certain he's a councilman who currently wants to be the mayor, someplace. let's say, new hampshire. adam? ...well, i'm not sure what adam's story is. my immediate suspicion is to think that adam is running against hockley in the new hampshire mayoral-thing, but that seems a bit too easy.

and it does strike me as a dumb slogan. or, y'know, naive. i mean, maybe hockley hasn't heard about this, but people buy elections all the time. they've been doing it for years now.

but, seriously, what does this slogan tell me-- the uninformed voter-- about hockley? not much at all, really. i mean, what's he trying to say? "vote for me, because the other guy has a lot of money"? well, shoot. i need more wealthy people in my life. maybe after this "adam" guy buys the election, he'll run on over to the lexus dealership down the road and buy me a new car.

unless, of course, i misread the sign. maybe adam is as poor as i am, and hockley's just kind of picking on him. "haha, adam! YOU can't buy an election!!! but, I sure can!!! hahahahahahaha!!! look how freakin' HUGE this sign is!!! could you afford that?! nope. didn't think so!!! hahahahaHAha!"

either way, i don't think i'd want to vote for hockley. kind of comes across as a bit of a jerk, wouldn't you say?

stupid hockley.

so, there you go, dear readers. if you happen to be up in new hampshire on election day (which, i think, is this thursday, october 16th), please do yourself a favor and vote for adam.

because he's rich and will buy you a car.

or, maybe, he's not rich and won't buy you anything, but he's just like one of us. which makes him cool. or, at least cooler than hockley. that bastard.

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

1) the thought that maybe i could become a political consultant someday. think i'd be pretty good at it.
2) the ANGELS won today!!! w'hoooooooooo!!! beat them yankees!!!
3) had a bit of an epiphany about lottery tickets this afternoon. well, it might have been an epiphany, i'm not sure yet. stay tuned.
4) my brand new rhyming dictionary!
5) new hampshire. such a small state.

song of the day...
"ballad of a thin man" by bob dylan

movie of the day...
"lost in translation"

Sunday, October 18, 2009

drew barrymore...

when i was around 19, a bunch of my friends and i were in some random south jersey diner in the middle of the night, when someone said, "hey, there's drew barrymore." and when i looked up, i saw this beautiful woman sitting with a bunch of her friends, staring right at me.

now, whether it was drew barrymore or not will forever be a mystery to me. because i was a wuss. a very, very large wuss. the look she gave me, whoever it was, was certainly of a "hubba, hubba" nature. and it freaked me out. so, for the remainder of my meal, painfully shy, i looked down at my plate, too terrified to give her a second glance.


and tragic on a few levels. number one-- you should have SEEN me at age 19! i was flippin' gorgeous!!! i mean, y'know, not THE best looking man in the world, but certainly not the worst. i had long hair, and was skinny as a rail. i look at pictures of me back then and i wonder what i could have been thinking, with all those insecurities. why the hell didn't anyone TELL me i was so damn good looking?!?!?!

truth be told, i think of that whole time in my life as proof of the theory, "God won't give you anything you can't handle." as well as the phrase, "youth is wasted on the wrong people." but mostly that first thing. i was a bulldog trapped inside the mindset of a frightened poodle. and i think of it as God's way of protecting me from my own ego.

but, anyway, back to drew. i just saw her on 60 minutes tonite. and just saw 'whip it' this weekend, her directorial debut. wasn't exactly 'casablanca' but i really liked it. it was fun. and it seemed like everyone had a great time making it, which seems to suit her.

and that's tragedy number two, really. drew barrymore just seems so damn cool.

i dunno, probably wasn't her in that diner. and, honestly, it's not the worst thing that's ever happened to me. not a real tragedy, i know.

and, maybe it makes for a more dramatic story, at the end of the day: the mystery of who that beautiful woman truly was. the romance of never finding out her identity... as opposed to me walking over to introduce myself only to find out that she was staring at some overweight, bald guy, who was sitting at a booth behind me the entire time.

"excuse me, but could you get out of the way, please? you're blocking my view of that enchanting man with the potbelly... he reminds me of e.t."

yeah. that would have been worse.

but, still.



okay, that's it. here's a promise i'm making to you tonite, in honor of the lovely drew barrymore: the next time i'm at a random diner in the middle of the night and i see a beautiful young hollywood starlet giving me the hubba hubba eyes? i'm goin' over there and saying hello.


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

1) living life without regrets!!!
2) fiber one bars.
3) bob dylan.
4) ellen page.
5) yes, she is lovely. drew barrymore.

song of the day...
"mysterious ways" by U2

movie of the day...
"the wedding singer" --could i have chosen any other film??? this is one of the best romantic comedies of alltime, and i'll fight anyone who says different.

NFL power rankings, week six!!!!!!!

1) saints, 4- 0, 138.00 big honkin' power points
2) broncos, 5- 0, 128.40 bhpp
3) colts, 5- 0, 128.20 bhpp
4) giants, 5- 0, 127.80 bhpp
5) vikings, 5- 0, 126.20 bhpp
6) bengals, 4- 1, 80.80 bhpp
7) falcons, 3- 1, 75.00 bhpp
8) bears, 3- 1, 72.50 bhpp
9) eagles, 3- 1, 69.00 bhpp
10) patriots, 3- 2, 38.60 bhpp
11) jets, 3- 2, 36.40 bhpp
12) 49ers, 3- 2, 35.60 bhpp
13) ravens, 3- 2, 34.40 bhpp
14) cowboys, 3- 2, 33.00 bhpp
15) STEELERS, 3- 2, 32.60 bhpp
16) packers, 2- 2, 15.50 bhpp
17) cardinalds, 2- 2, 13.50 bhpp
18) chargers, 2- 2, 9.75 bhpp
19) seahawks, 2- 3, -9.40 bhpp
20) dolphins, 2- 3, -10.40 bhpp
21) jaguars, 2- 3, -18.40 bhpp
22) texans, 2- 3, -18.80 bhpp
23) redskins, 2- 3, -20.40 bhpp
24) panthers, 1- 3, -54.75 bhpp
25) lions, 1- 4, -58.80 bhpp
26) browns, 1- 4, -63.00 bhpp
27) raiders, 1- 4, -65.80 bhpp
28) bills, 1- 4, -67.80 bhpp
29) bucs, 0- 5, -108.40 bhpp
30) titans, 0- 5, -109.00 bhpp
31) chiefs, 0- 5 -110.40 bhpp
32) rams, 0- 5, -112.00 bhpp

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

1) jack ham
2) john stallworth
3) hines ward
4) ben roethlisberger
5) that i know how to spell "roethlisberger"

song of the day...
"sabotage" by the beastie boys

movie of the day...
"i am legend"

Friday, October 16, 2009

where the wild things remain...

wanted to piggyback on the blog i finished a few hours ago about the brilliant "where the wild things are." and the natural correlation between the film and rush limbaugh.

been thinking a lot about rush lately. unfortunately.

as i said earlier in the week (only half jokingly), because i saw his interview on the today show monday morning, i could barely convince my breakfast to remain inside my stomach. but more on that in a minute.

rush was in the news yesterday, after he was dropped from a team of potential owners for the national football league's st. louis rams. his response to this?

"this is not about the nfl. it's not about the st. louis rams. it's not about me. this is about the ongoing effort by the left in this country, wherever you find them, in the media, the democrat party, or wherever, to destroy conservatism, to prevent the mainstreaming of anyone who is prominent as a conservative. this is about the future of the united states of america and what kind of country we're going to have."

so... to sum up...

it's NOT about the 2003 embarrassment on espn, when rush said that the liberal news media were not critical of philadelphia eagles' quaterback donovan mcnabb, because they wanted to see an african american do well?

it's NOT about his constant stream of racism on his radio talk show? it's NOT about him degrading women for decades? it's NOT about him going out of his way, after our president won the nobel peace prize, to say that he was in total agreement on the topic... with the taliban?

and it's NOT about him going on the today show and saying, "i predicted (obama's presidency) was going to exacerbate racial problems, and it has" --while remaining suspiciously ignorant to the thought that maybe (just maybe), unapologetically singing a song like, "barack the magic negro" across the national airwaves does not exactly bring people closer together?


so, what does this have to do with "where the wild things are"?

well, as i was walking home tonite, i was thinking that, as much as this is a film about what it's like to be a kid in such a strange world, it's also about how kids choose to deal with the problems they face. it asks about the rewards, and more importantly, the consequences of their decisions. and it furthermore hints at the person they are going to become in the future: how is this adult shaped by his childhood?

there's a turning point in "where the wild things are" wherein max decides whether he wants to return home or stay on the island with the wild things. i've wondered a time or two if there was any symbolism in that. kind of a "wendy saying goodbye to peter pan and deciding to grow up" sort of thing? returning home a great deal wiser, after an incredible journey...

i think rush limbaugh is still roaming around on that island with the wild things.

"it's not about me," he says. it's not my fault. it's the left. it's the media. it's the democrats. it's about the people who hate conservatives. they're out to get me. it's them. it's not me. it's them.

now, maybe i'm wrong. but, think about this, if i am wrong, it can only mean that rush is an incredibly self-aware, lying sack of shit, saying whatever he needs to, for the sole and spineless purpose of higher ratings. and a bigger pile of money.

unless, of course, i'm wrong because he really does believe what he's saying. which means he's probably been stranded for awhile on a whole 'nother island that no one has even discovered yet. most likely staying out in the sun for a touch too long.

but i don't think i'm wrong...

i think rush limbaugh needs to grow up.

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

1) look, i don't think president obama deserved the nobel peace prize. i love our president, and i have high hopes that he will someday be worthy of such an honor, but, for now? at best, i think we could say it was premature.

but! i am sure glad to be living in a world that recognizes our commander in chief as a man who is trying to make things better. and it feels really good to have the world rooting for us again.
2) the thought that maybe the snow i saw on pumpkins yesterday was an optical illusion.
3) the thought that, when the smart lady read the words "optical illusion" just now, she automatically put up quotation marks with her fingers.
4) having an inside joke (the optical illusion finger quotes thing) that only one or two people in the world will find hilarious.
5) the thought that i-- college dropout that i am-- would have given rush limbaugh a much tougher interview than nbc's jamie gangel.

song of the day...
"a rush and a push and this land is ours" by the smiths

movie of the day...

where the wild things are...

just came back from seeing one of the best movies of the year-- "where the wild things are."

to me, the book it's based on is like a song you hear and fall in love with as a child. and then you hear it again as an adult and can appreciate it from an entirely different angle, because you can understand what the lyrics mean.

i don't remember who first gave me the book to read, but i'm sure they did so without my mother's permission. i was a very timid kid, and she was always looking to protect me from things that might give me nightmares. which led me to become more timid. which led her to look harder for nightmarish things, and so on. vicious cycle.

but, reading it again tonite, i don't think i was as frightened as much as i was perplexed. back then, i didn't really get it. i read it about three or four times, but i didn't really get it. "and his supper was still hot... okay. so what?"

now, of course, you'll have a hard time convincing me that this isn't the best ending to any book, ever. now i know this is a story about just how scary, and confusing, and wonderful life can be as a child. now i know maurice sendak is a genius.

then, i just thought max's wolf pj's were pretty rad.

what the book gets right is all there in the film. except that the film allows itself to go deeper. it uses the wild things as a representative of everything that's bottled up inside max-- the fear, the doubt, the joy, the contradiction, the adventure. the fun, the uncertainty, the sweetness, the anger, and the wide-eyed wonder. it's max, the explorer, finding himself.

when he's talking about his family, max tells one of the wild things, "they treat me like i'm a bad person." she asks him, "are you?" and he replies, "i don't know."

urgh, that just sunk my heart. i mean, really, who hasn't been there? can't be just me, can it? having that, "why did i say that???" or "what was i thinking?!" conversation in my head...?

anyway, i'll spare you any further self-pyscho-analysis, and just end with what you've probably gathered already... i think 'where the wild things are' is a must see. check it out.

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

1) my mom.
2) i told the smart lady about the dental and foot care place i came across the other day, and she immediately made sense of it. "oh, it's probably for people who don't think before they speak," she said. "people who always put their foot in their mouth." told you she was a smart lady.
3) i got a ride home from work today, saving $4.50 by not taking the train!!! w'hoooooooooo!!!
4) some kid i passed tonite saw my pittsburgh steelers scarf and shouted, "YEAH!!! STEELERS!!!" good times.
5) maurice sendak.

song of the day...
"don't tell mother" by the sundays

movie of the day...
another spike jonze classic, "adaptation"

Monday, October 12, 2009

columbus day with angels and dancing washing machines...

wasn't exactly an eventful day. but i wanted to tell you all about it, anyhow. keeping you in the loop, y'understand.

i had the day off today, in celebration of the great american, christopher columbus-- discoverer of countries that had already been discovered, and founder of a town in ohio. or something. whatever, i was just happy for the opportunity to sleep in.

of course, the woman upstairs was even happier for the chance to do her laundry at 5:07 this morning. which was a drag, as the washing machine is right next to my bed. or, at least it sounds like it, at 5:07 in the morning.

it's a rusty old thing, that washing machine. makes a sound like, "SHISH-AKA-SHISH, SHISH-AKA, SHISH-AKA!!!" which, in the evening, makes you feel like you're in some trendy latin night club, in miami, circa 1954. but, at 5:07 in the morning, it's a sound that makes you wonder if indiana jones and short round will come in time to rescue you from that temple of doom bald guy before he rips the heart right out of your chest.

and that's not a pleasant way for anyone to wake up.

but i got over it. grabbed a bowl or two of oatmeal, sat in front of sportscenter, and 'mike and mike in the morning.' cleaned up the apartment for a little bit while the today show was on. and somehow managed to keep my oatmeal down while they interviewed rush limbaugh.

later on in the day, after air-guitaring my way through, "hot for teacher", i had the thought of buying an angels baseball cap. so i went over to the galleria to look for one at a store called lids. i actually found what i was looking for right away, but decided to form a quick list of pro's and con's before spending my hard-earned and quickly diminishing paycheck.

pro: the angels are playing the yankees, and we hate the yankees.
con: it's too much money that i don't really have.
pro: the angels are playing the yankees, and we hate the yankees.
con: the bill of the cap is so wide and flat, it looks like you could serve tea on it. it'll take me weeks to curl it down to my face.
pro: dude... the yankees.
con: they're called the los angeles angels of anaheim. seriously, how dumb is that?
pro: ...actually, that is pretty dumb, but, still! the yankees!!!

but then came the final straw. the kid behind the counter, bless his heart, says to me, "hi there, can i help you, sir?"


i mean, look, i know he was just doing his job. and, at 37, i am slowly getting used to the thought of people calling me "sir". but it still makes me cringe. and, the thing is, it kept happening to me today! that was the only store i went into, but five different people called me sir. they have all these vendors there, and people were passing out free samples of stuff, each one of them with a "sir"-- "hello, sir, would you like me to take your picture?" "sir? free cinnamon bread?" "would you like to register to win this sock puppet, sir?"

again, just a bunch of people getting paid to do that sort of thing, but, really, after awhile, they might as well have been saying, "say, old timer, would you like to buy this coffin?"

i was literally at the point where i was ready to buy something-- ANYthing at all-- from the next person who didn't call me "sir." seriously, my mind was made up.

"hey, buddy, y'wanna buy a car?" why, yes, i do!
"psst. i got a box of stolen watches. interested, numbnuts?" you bet i am!
"excuse me, friend, but would you happen to have the time?" yes, i would. it's 2:03, and here's a dollar.
"yo, fat ass, come buy this toaster!" SOLD!
"in the market for a beta-max, shit-for-brains?" i am now!


didn't happen.

so, i went home without a cap. watched a coupla' movies, played a little madden football... and that was pretty much it. a day in the life.

not exactly how david lee roth would spend an afternoon back in 1984, but... then again, he probably doesn't remember 1984. and people have probably been calling him "sir" for years now. and his washing machine probably doesn't even know how to do the mambo.

poor bastard.

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

1) van freaking halen, man!
2) saw 'zombieland' the other day. good times.
3) words of wisdom from my friend hawkeye: "i figure if i'm gonna be hard to get along with, i might as well vacuum the rug."
4) really, i never got the whole flat baseball cap thing. i think it makes people look a bit like donald duck.
5) in the galleria, i noticed a store that said, "dental and foot care." and, y'know, my feet and teeth are fine, but... i really kinda wanted to check it out. like... i mean, it's not just me, is it? that's odd, right??? dental and foot care? is it... i mean, do they take care of both at the same time, or how does that work? i dunno, i really have to get back there.

song of the day...
"i'll wait" by van halen

movie of the day...
"raiders of the lost ark" (i really hate "temple of doom")

Sunday, October 11, 2009

NFL power rankings!!!!!!!

yes, i came up with my very own power rankings!

yes, i'm THAT passionate about the nfl!

yes, i'm THAT awesome!

yes... i have a lot of free time on my hands...

week 5...

1) new orleans saints, 4- 0, 129.50 big honking power points
2) indianapolis colts, 4- 0, 126.50 bhpp
3) minnesota vikings, 4- 0, 125.00 bhpp
4) new york giants, 4- 0, 124.00 bhpp
5) denver broncos, 4- 0, 124.00 bhpp
6) new york jets, 3- 1, 72.75 bhpp
7) new england patriots 3- 1, 71.25 bhpp
8) sanfrancisco 49ers, 3- 1, 68.75 bhpp
9) cincinnati bengals, 3- 1, 67.00 bhpp
10)chicago bears, 3- 1, 67.00 bhpp
11)baltimore ravens, 3- 1, 64.00 bhpp
12)philadelphia eagles, 2- 1, 49.66 bhpp
13)atlanta falcolns, 2- 1, 48.66 bhpp
14)green bay packers, 2- 2, 12.25 bhpp
15)dallas cowboys, 2- 2, 11.00 bhpp
16)PITTSBURGH STEELERS, 2- 2, 9.75 bhpp
17)jacksonville jaguars 2- 2, 8.00 bhpp
18)san diego chargers, 2- 2, 7.00 bhpp
19)houston texans, 2- 2, 4.75 bhpp
20)washington redskins, 2- 2, 3.25 bhpp
21)arizona cardinalds, 1- 2, -22.00 bhpp
22)detroit lions, 1- 3, -45.00 bhpp
23)miami dolphins, 1- 3, -47.00 bhpp
24)seattle seahawks, 1- 3, -47.00 bhpp
25)buffalo bills, 1- 3, -53.75 bhpp
26)oakland raiders, 1- 3, -56.25 bhpp
27)cleveland browns, 0- 4,-105.75 bhpp
28)tampa bay bucs, 0- 4,-107.50 bhpp
29)kansas city chiefs, 0- 4,-109.25 bhpp
30)carolina panthers, 0- 3,-110.66 bhpp
31)tennessee titans, 0- 4,-110.75 bhpp
32)st. louis rams, 0- 4,-114.25 bhpp

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

1) lynn swann
2) franco harris
3) rocky blier
4) jack lambert
5) terry bradshaw

song of the day...
"the clincher" by chevelle

movie of the day...
"friday night lights"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the top 10...

the top 10 words and phrases the smart lady can not say without giggling...

10) juicy.
9) cockatoo.
8) tools.
7) "turn the hose on."
6) box.
5) hot dog.
4) sausage.
3) "the great, big humpback whale."
2) nozzle.
1) "strummin' on the ol' banjo."

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

1) maturity.
2) i had such a fantastic time with my belgradian friend tonite. she's such a blast!
3) laughing so hard over dinner with said amiga, that the couple across from us couldn't help but stare at us throughout the entire meal.
4) my cousin sent me an email the other day with the headline, "traffic control in west texas". in it there was a picture of a big homemade sign on the side of some dusty, little farmhouse with the words, "SLOW DOWN YOU SONS A BITCHES"


5) i was back at work today. very fun to see the kids! and getting an unexpected hug around your knees from a toddler who missed you is something that never gets old.

song of the day...
"walking the cow" by daniel johnston. i've been on something of a daniel johnston kick lately. his music isn't for everyone, i guess, but before you dismiss him entirely, you should really check out the...

movie of the day...
"the devil and daniel johnston." brilliant.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

the alphabet movie challenge, A through D...

A is for "away we go," directed by sam mendes. hands down, one of the best films of the year! john krasinski and maya rudolph play burt and verona, a couple in search of a place to call their own. i saw mendes interviewed on charlie rose a few months ago, and he said the thing that attracted him to the script was the fact that this was a couple who were in it together. that, while so many movies portray couples who are falling apart, these were two people who knew how good they had it. they were at a crossroads, and didn't have anything else in their lives figured out except that they were in love. and were both determined not to take it for granted.

and, in that way, i thought it was so much more powerful a film than most romantic comedies you could mention. this wasn't boy meets girl. it was boy met girl a long time ago, and is still crazy about her. and she digs him a whole lot, too.

B is for "bottle rocket". this is one of those movies that i've owned for about a year now and, embarrassingly, have just never made time for. i'd never seen it before last night. which is weird, because it was the directorial debut of one of my favorites, wes anderson. i don't think he's made a bad movie yet. and this one is pretty much impossible not to love.

C is for one of the best movies ever made-- 'citizen kane.' i could see this over and over and still be in love with it. actually, i have seen it over and over and am still in love with it. i first saw it when i was in high school. it was on in the middle of the night, and i'd planned to record it (wow, remember vcr's????) and go back to bed. but when it came on, i thought, "well, i'll just watch the first five minutes..." and that turned out to be the quickest two hours of my life. so amazing to think this was made in 1941! i hope i'm that alive when i turn 68!

D is for "the dark knight". kind of impossible to talk about it without focusing on heath ledger, i s'pose. and for good reason. really, i think the film as a whole is excellent, but ledger was just mesmerizing. every skip in his step, every sadistic laugh-- his every syllable was simultaneously over the top and completely believable. he was both positively terrifying and ...genuinely funny. he was everything that character needed to be. and everytime he was on the screen, i was on the edge of my seat.

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

1) great acting!!!
2) i didn't win the lottery (again!), BUT!!!! i did find TWO BUCKS in the washing machine!!!!!! w'hoooooooooooooooooo!!!
3) the catwoman sent me these cards in the mail awhile ago, and i kind of forgot about them until tonite. they're very fun, though-- filled with these great conversation starters like, "what is the speed of darkness?" and, "if man evolved from monkeys and apes, why are there still monkeys and apes?" good times!
4) my friend sent me a TON of fantastic blog advice today! it's all great stuff, although... i have to be honest, the chances are pretty slim of me putting capital letters at the beginning of my sentences.
5) the hope that all of my younger friends will be nice enough not to ask me, "hey, what's a vcr?"

song of the day...
"the union forever" by the white stripes

movie of the day...
the A through D movie i most wanted to watch other than the one i wound up with?
"about a boy"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the ridiculously ongoing celebration of me continues...


i had another day off.

it's funny, my friend broke her leg the other day-- well, no, that's not funny at all, is it? i mean, i guess it could have been, depending on how she broke it. like, if she fell in a humorous manner, with her arms flailing all about. or if she let out a goofy little high-pitched cartoon yelp as she was crashing onto some pavement. that sort of thing.

ooh! or, if it was an ironic leg-breaking! like if she was trapped in a room filled with hundreds and thousands of banana peels, and she escaped without slipping on any of them, but then tripped down a bunch of stairs on her shoelace as she closed the door? yeah, that would be funny. really, tell people that story tomorrow, as if it actually happened to a friend of yours and you know what they would say? ..."that's funny!" but, i wasn't there when my friend broke her leg, so i'm not sure what happened to her.

the funny thing was seeing her say (something like) this on her facebook page the other day: "urgh! i've been trapped inside my place for a week now and all i've been able to do is watch movies!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!"

honestly? when i read that, my first reaction was, "really??? nothing to do but watch movies... for a WEEK??? sign me up, homie!" seriously, there were about four seconds in a row where i was earnestly thinking, "hmmm... maybe i could sprain an ankle somehow...?" but, no. i couldn't go through with that.

instead, i decided to give myself a challenge. a movie challenge...

not long ago, i got an email from some dvd website advertising their "fifth annual horror movie challenge: 100 movies in 31 days!" and i thought, "sweet! what a great idea! i can do that!!!"

except i hate horror movies. so, i knew that wasn't going to happen. i don't care how charming and inviting their slogan was ("it's a shit-ton of fun!"), horror movies freak me out.

and then i did the math, and realized 100 movies in 31 days is more than 3 movies a day. and that's just plain silly. because i DO have a job that i will have to return to. eventually.

i s'pose.

so, THEN! i came up with this idea: the first annual alphabetical movie challenge! 26 movies in 31 days! from A to Z-- "away we go" to "zoolander"!

it's perfect! it's just the right amount of film to give my dvd collection a healthy once-over, and still have the free time in my life to, y'know, not call in "sick" at the day care center for half the month.

and it's not 3 movies a day-- it's slightly under one movie a day, which is... well, it's still probably a sad cry for help in a lot of ways, but at least it's not, like, a big honking shrieking cry for panicky help that could be heard across several neighboring counties.


eh. whatever. i'm doing it! and you, dear reader of this-here blog, will be a much better movie-goer for it! stay with me throughout this journey, and by the end of the month, you will be well-versed in the grand classics of cinema. or you'll be bored out of your mind. either way, i'm gonna have a blast! wish me luck! or, as they say in the theater...

...actually, no, don't tell me to break a leg-- because my friend who i mentioned earlier has a bit of a temper, and won't need much of an excuse to hobble on over here and take a crack at it. let's not give her any ideas, huh? and let's hope she heals quickly. before she gets around to seeing the movie 'misery'.

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

1) i saw the 'toy story' double feature this afternoon. had this huge theater all to myself, except for one little kid and his mom all the way down front. what a great time. thanks, mr. pixar.
2) knowing that even video games realize this truth: that the new england patriots are a bunch of punks. this is true-- i was playing madden football tonite, and they beat me in the playoffs, on a fake-spike touchdown screen pass from the three yard line, with no time left on the clock. squeaked ahead, 37 to 36...

and then they went for the two point conversion.



3) 'zoolander'??? a grand classic of cinema??? ...sure, why not?
4) they didn't get the two point conversion. i stuffed 'em. ...pats. freakin' bastards.
5) oh, speaking about broken legs! lol, y'gotta go onto youtube and look up "model falls, news anchors laugh their asses off". honestly, if the internet was ONLY made to show this video, i think i'd still want to thank al gore for inventing it.

song of the day...
"movies of myself" by rufus wainwright

movie of the day...
"the producers"

Monday, October 5, 2009

f.a.b.q. (frequently asked birthday questions)...

really, i wasn't sure how to say thank you for all my birthday wishes, and answer all the questions that went with them-- and then i saw my one friend's comment. she not only wished for me a happy day, but also for "many more readers of the blog!"

and i thought, "well, shoot! why should this day be all about me??? why not not make HER wishes come true!" ...and/or, why not combine all of the most commonly asked birthday questions into one place. for the benefit of the group. and because i'm lazy.

and so, here we go...


yes. it's my birthday.

and, yes, absolutely. it's been a great day! thanks for asking!

nope. no taco bell, and no cake, but plenty of pasta, and (breakfast of champions) ice cream.

yes i am old. thank you for recognizing that so publicly.

everything's great, man! no complaints!

what's a viejo?

aww, i miss you too!

it was the name of charles foster kane's sled.

that was YOU on the tappen zee???

ahh, yes! tkc!

yes, i do remember birthday cupcakes!

dude, you spelled methuselah wrong.

si, my cumpleanos has been feliz. mucho mucho.

yikes!!! maybe you should have a doctor take a look at that.

yeah, brother, we really do need to chill!


ps3? movies? good friends? a lot of love? check, check, check, and check.

yes, i am sexy.

i think friday's still good.

nom, nom, nom.

yes. yes, you are my favorite.


muah-- right back atcha, babycakes!'s not the artic ocean anymore??? wha--?!

kate winslet? really???

what the hell is spiral math?!

more readers of the blog! w'hoooooo! i'm all for it! spread the word!


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

1) i'm kicking fantasy football arse these days!
2) brett favre.
3) i'm gonna go see toy story 1 & 2 in 3D tomorrow afternoon!!!
4) am hoping to see some good amigas over the next few days, too!
5) yeah, seriously... bacon.

thank you, yes, it was a great birthday!

a few years ago, someone asked me, "what are you doing, working on your birthday??? why didn't you take the day off???" i thought about it for a minute, and really couldn't come up with a good answer. so, because of that, ever since, october fifth has been an automatic vacation day. or two.

or, this year, three. which, of course, means that i am currently in the middle of a five day weekend. poor me, right? :)

and, listen, not to rub it in further, but it's been a great day-- very low key, very normal. probably very boring to you, and the great majority of people who are reading this, but i've loved every bit of it!

got to sleep in until 6:20 this morning. got out of bed and did some exercising. or, rather, thought about how often other people must exercise. all this while watching my pittsburgh steeler highlights on sportscenter. and eating mint chocolate ice cream.

played a little online chess, and scored 36 points on a scrabble-esque game, on a word i'm pretty sure i made up (nixy). wasted time on farmville, and got matched up on eharmony with a woman named eunice.

started an angry letter to eunice's parents about how cruel it was for them to have named her eunice, but thought better of it before sending.

caught up on a couple of emails in between a game or two of madden football, and then it was (where else?) off to the MOVIES!!! it was a double feature day-- two movies for two dollars!!! ...well, i mean, no, that wasn't exactly the theater's offer-- they screen an old and dusty film every monday afternoon for two bucks, and then i... well, yeah, then i just snuck into see the other flick. good times.

today's old and dusty movie was from 1932-- 'a farewell to arms' starring gary cooper and helen hayes. it was a bit melodramatic, and fairly dated, and the print was awful, but was it worth two bucks? you bet. i s'pose if i was disappointed in anything, it was in the misleading title of the film. gary cooper's character was injured in the picture, but came away with nothing more than a bump on the head and some achy feet. i thought for sure he was going to wind up an amputee.


the movie i snuck in to see was excellent, though. ricky gervais' 'the invention of lying'. i laughed out loud quite a bit, and found myself unexpectedly sobbing during one scene that hit a bit too close to home. i thought the movie was great. just brilliant. not a bad birthday gift at all, that film.

but what's really made my day so special is all the love i've received on my facebook page! i am absolutely overwhelmed by all the well-wishers. and what they've said has just been so moving, so heart-warming and humbling... like, bernice, for example...

"ryan, you have touched my heart in more ways than can be explained in mere words. you are my light. you are my compass. you are my one and only reason for..."

okay, no, actually, that's not true. she just said 'happy birthday.' but, i believe you have to sometimes read in between the lines to catch what's really there... y'know, underneath all the, uhm, y'know... stuff-- like, for instance, arlene. when she wrote, "ryan, i hope you have a good birthday" i think it's fair to assume that what she TRULY wanted to say was, "ryan-- normally i don't wish people a happy birthday, but i'm making an exception for you because of how SEXY you are! hubba! hubba! grrrrRRRrrowwl!" and...

...well, no, see, again, that's-- sorry-- that's also not entirely accurate. as i don't even know anyone named arlene. or bernice, for that matter, but i HAVE been besieged with a TON of fantastic people in my life. really. and i'm incredibly grateful for each and every one of them. even the ones who couldn't wish me a happy birthday without using the words "old" or "ancient" or "methuselah".

speaking of such things, if i had the chance, would i trade 37 for 27? ...maybe. but i loved being 36. and i don't long for days gone by. i can remember the past with a great deal of fondness without a hint of wanting to go back to do things differently. i can look back and recall what it was like to be a kid and smile at pleasant memories, without being touched by the ghosts of embarrassing events that used to haunt me.

it's why i'm looking forward to being 37. i can easily relax and realize that the person i was at 27, and 17, and 7 has made me the man i am today-- the guy whose biggest problem in the world at the moment is having so many friends that he doesn't even know how to thank them all for their kind wishes and cheerful thoughts.

today, i am george bailey, screaming "merry christmas" to mr. potter, while running down the snow-covered roads of bedford falls. today i am the richest man in the world. completely blessed. overjoyed. today, i'm thanking God because it really is a wonderful life.

lol, finally-- a movie title that got it right.

the five things i fell in love with today...
actually, the five things that make this old man feel like a kid again...

1) walking through a revolving door.
2) magic shell chocolate fudge ice cream topping.
3) smelling the leather of my old baseball glove, as i hold it close to my face.
4) singing hymns in an old and tiny church.
5) the anticipation i get when i'm in a movie theater, and the lights start to dim! i love that!

song of the day...
"younger men grow older" by richie havens

movie of the day...
"it's a wonderful life"

Thursday, October 1, 2009

what do we want?! "NO WHITE PLAINS!" when do we want it?! "NOW!" hall of fame blog, part four...

a bunch of my coworkers were talking about the hall of fame last night, which fed a truly funny "what's the stupidest thing you've ever heard?" conversation. among my favorites was the woman who, upon reading the "slow down, get ticket" sign in a parking lot, said to her husband, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! DON'T SLOW DOWN! YOU'LL GET A TICKET!"

but the story that really got me was the one about my coworker whose daughter got lost when she first started driving. she needed to get onto route 287 in order to wind up in white plains, passing through north white plains in the process. she was on the right road, but suddenly got turned around after reading a sign that she couldn't figure out. after many miles in a bunch of different directions, she called her mom and said, "i don't understand it! i'm supposed to get onto 287, but when i want to take that exit, it says, 'no white plains'!"

her mom paused, and, as only a mother could, quietly responded, "honey...? NORTH white plains. the 'N' and the 'O' is their way of abbreviating the word... 'north'. NORTH white plains, sweetheart. that's what they're telling you. it's... (sigh) it's not a protest sign, dear, would you please drive home safely?"

no white plains! lol, that killed me! as if they were saying, "well, look, we'll be honest with ya. we don't know where the heck white plains is. but we know it's definitely NOT down that way. so... don't go there if you're looking for white plains. no, you'll be lost in a hurry. but... y'know, you can pretty much get to anywhere else you want to go, if you take that exit. just not white plains. if you want to go to, say, hawthorne? or bedford? or chappaqua? or france? oh yeah, you can take that way, sure. but, white plains? mm, our best answer would have to be no... no white plains."

and now to the hall of fame, part four...

"and on this farm he had a kitty. e-i-e-i-o. with a moo! moo! here, and a moo! moo! there..."

"it's just a consultation prize."

"a wireless mouse is a mouse without a wire."

"this is pumpkin... from a pumpkin."

"i try to put myself in his feet."

"we need to find a cure for world peace."

(while speaking of a former coworker who was in the habit of being rude on a semi-regular basis)...
smart lady: "she is literally getting away with murder!"
me: "well... no, not literally."
smart lady: "yeah, well......... no, not literally."

"...but that's not going to happen for another 10,000,000 years. which isn't in our lifetime."

"no, it's only an obstacle illusion."

"are there 500 days of summer?"

"today is september, twenty the second."

person A: "did you ever see 'the goonies'?"
person B: "yeah, is that the one with all the gremlins?"
person A: "no... that's 'gremlins'.

"how many states are there? 52...? 51...? ...53...?"

"washington d.c. --that's not a state, is it?"

"is seattle a state?"

"sometimes we trip when we fall down."

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

1) that i don't live in a state with street signs that say, "exit 42: this is NOT the way to belgium".
2) hockey season JUST started! go flyers!!!!!!!!!!!!
3) that i work with toddlers, and not preschoolers. stopped into a preschool room for a minute this afternoon, and had this conversation with a 5 year old...

she: "i like your glasses!"
me: "thank you, sweetheart!"
she: "why do you wear glasses?"
me: "so i can see stuff better!"
she: "you have a biiiiiiiiiig, big belly!"

...and then i kicked her in the shin.

no, no, no, i'm kidding, i didn't kick her in the shin! (probably)

4) m. ward
5) zooey deschanel

song of the day...
"you really got a hold on me" by she and him

movie of the day...