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".