Archive for June, 2009

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Don’t take your love away from me

Don’t you leave me heart in misery.

No, no nothing quite that emotional.  I forgot to mention another shattering event at the workplace last weekend.  Friday morning, I walked to the store to pick up my paycheck and saw a sign on the door: Please use other door. I immediately thought of the wind from last winter when the door would be blown open, forcing us to lock it before it broke.  I looked up and down the glass and saw a long crack halfway down.  I asked the boss if she got really mad at someone else and put the crack in the door.  Apparently not.  The tremor inducing machinery for the repaving of OH49 was to blame.  Thursday, the building shook so much that I was not sure if it was going to remain standing.  From what I understand, a rock came flying and hit the door and left the crack.

Saturday, we apparently had some rushed customers who kept walking into the door.  Sorry, I probably would have done the same after being so accustomed to puching the “out” door.  I even set a wet floor sign in front of the door and more than one person walked into it.  I suggested hiring a door greeter to man the door (hey, if Wal-Mart can…), a bigger sign, or some yellow CSI tape.

What A Difference A Letter Can Make

This weekend, I learned two new duties at work.  One, I was strongly advised to learn the other I took upon myself to try my hand at.  I have watched others cut a whole steak before but have never tried it myself.  Last night, a customer who I know asked if we could cut two of the whole ribeye steaks for her.  Since this was nearly 8PM and the cashier was about to leave, I told her that it might be Monday before it could be done.  No problem, she was not in a hurry.  This morning, I decided to be brave and slice it myself… at least I know the guinea pig who would be the recipient of the steaks well enough.  Since it was boneless, all I had to do is take a knife and hack my way through it.  And both of them were very lean so not much fat to trim.  Hopefully, I did well enough.  I called and left a message on the customer’s machine.

The other adventure was printing next week’s ad signs on the computer.  No problem there except maybe the age of the computer… actually looks like a relic of the 80s.  Once again, went really well until I looked over my handiwork and discovered that a sign that was supposed to read:

CAMPBELL’S

PORK ‘N BEANS

3 FOR $1.00

came out reading:

CAMPBELL’S

PORN N’ BEANS

3 FOR $1.00

Thank goodness, I noticed it before no one else did and hung the sign.  I did make a new sign with the correct item and THOUGHT that I had thrown the faux pas in the garbage.  Apparently not.  When I got to work this morning, there was the offensive sign with a nice little note attached.  It was good for a laugh anyway.  But as I have always said, be careful how much you learn; you can get in all kinds of trouble 😉

More Than Met The Eye

Tonight, as promised, a friend and I took in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  I was NOT disappointed (although we both felt the need to visit the facitlities as soon as the final credits began to roll).  Nearly non-stop action, breathtaking effects, comic relief (at times) all created a perfect summer blockbuster.  The battle of the Autobots and Decepticons returned to the big screen.  I WAS a big fan of the toys and cartoon of the 80s and weel remember the battles of Optimus Prime and Megatron.  The live-action sequel again brings the alien robots together with humans led by Sam (Shia Labeouf), Mikaela (Megan Fox), and Major Lennox (Josh Duhamel).

Sam is on his way to live the ordinary life of a college student when the action kicks off.  The young man learns the truth about the origins of the Transformers and the Decepticons return to Earth to capture him and draw out Optimus Prime for a confrontation.

At times, I was not sure who the movie was aimed at.  There were a few scenes in which I thought it was playing to the more adult viewer (it is PG-13 rated for a reason) who is old enough to remember the beginnings of the franchise. A scene in a dorm room involving Sam and a young lady who is more than she appears created a chuckle from a young child in the row behind us. Then there was the playful bits geared to the kid in all of us which were really fun.

Again, the main robots all had distinct personalities of their own.  The leader, Optimus Prime, the emotional Camero transforming Bumble Bee, and the hilarious twin duo of Skids and Mudflaps.

Like all summer popcorn flicks, this is in no way geared to the intellectual demanding audience.  As with any Michael Bay production, there are huge explosions, limited conceivable plot lines, and a great deal of fun.  And, IMHO, any film starring Shia Labeouf is not going to be confused with Shakespeare.

An Angel And A King Forever

Thursday June 25, 2009.  Two iconic figures of pop culture; two tragic deaths.  One that will surely (and has already) overshadow the other.  Growing up, I did not really know Farrah Fawcett as her most famous role.  I remember her hyphenated moniker Fawcett-Majors.  I remember seeing reruns of the Six Million Dollar Man in which she co-starred with her then husband, Lee Majors.  I even believed that she was the actress who played the Bionic Woman.  I guess Charlie’s Angels was on after my bedtime.  Her bravery through suffering has been well documented and must have been heavy upon those who loved her.  She is definitely in a better place.

On the other hand, the weeks ahead will undoubtedly focus on the self-proclaimed King of Pop.  No matter what the last decade or so of Michael Jackson’s life may have brought the fact remains: the man had an extreme amount of talent musically, and performance wise.  I will not dwell on the tabloid details of his life but will say that I do remember his heyday in the early to mid 80s and was enthralled with his extreme talent.  I was with my family in Texas the summer of 1984 during the Jackson’s Victory tour and remember thinking how cool it would be to be able to get impossible tickets. I also remember the videos (when videos were actually shown on MTV) that were mini-movies.  Thriller is still a masterpiece aurally and visually.  Ironically, I just watched it via youtube earlier this week.  Nearly 15 minutes.  28 million copies of the album sold worldwide.  Experts are already speculating that the world will never again see the like.  His life may have been troublesome and strange.  I think being tossed into the spotlight at the age of 4 and continue for 4 decades would be difficult to say the least.

To say nothing of the passing of Johnny Carson’s second banana, Ed McMahon.  Not a good week for pop culture.  Peace and healing to all the families of these three icons.

Another Midnight Screening

This time, the actual viewing did not involve me.  Monday night, before I left for a theatre meeting and later to watch a movie, I was conned into sitting with my nephews and niece while my brother went to see Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  I had a feeling this was happening… why else would you need a sitter at midnight (well…)?  How nice of him to ask if I wanted to go along…. which I would have.  We could have easily taken the 13, 9, and 4 year-old, especially when the youngest wanted to see it.  We even made a suggestion that the kids go to their mother’s for the night

So, I went out about 10.30 after watching the Yankees lose AGAIN… come on… jees and watched My Bloody Valentine (no 3-D but an enjoyable movie and no kids… definitely not one for the young).  After the movie, I watched a few episodes of Michael Scott and Co. on the DVR then fell asleep.  At 3, I was awakened by the screaming of an excited 18 year old who proclaimed his pleasure with the action-packed thrill fest… excusable since the couch was really uncomfortable and knowing the 18 year old as well as I, the awakening could have been worse.  I will have to go Friday when I have another day off… two movies in one week?  Don’t know if I can handle that…. but I will try.

Andy Outside The Office

Here there be spoilers!!!

A friend and I went to see The Hangover last night.  Going in, I was not expecting much: undoubtedly an unremarkable plot hopefully with a few laughs.  Not expecting a big award winner, I did have a good time.  Three of the actors I was familiar with: Bradley Cooper (from his days on Alias… I didn’t know he was in it going in), Ed Helms (from The Office), and Heather Graham.

The movie centers around Doug (who is two days away from being married) and his  trio of buddies traveling from LA to Las Vegas for the bachelor party.  Doug is entrusted with his future father in law’s Mercedes (hmm…).  The morning after arriving, three of the four wake up and discover that they remember almost nothing that happened the night before and learn that one of the companions is nowhere to be found.  Hilarity and some groans ensue as the three go on a whirwind search for their friend and their lost evening through the streets of Sin City.

At times, some of the situations reminded me of a combination of Three Men and a Baby and License to Drive.  As with most buddy comedies of today, there are a number of gross out moments (one involving a tiger… one of those groan inducing segments).  Another memorable bit takes place at an LVPD precinct in which the three are subjected to some police brutality at the hands of a group of youngsters on a school field trip…. don’t remember seeing a teacher.

The best part was the three leads themselves.  Each of them had a distinct personality that was rarely dull.  Cooper plays Phil (rhyming with Will… his Alias character.. coincidence?) the leader of the band of partiers and must have been quite the ladies man back in the day before getting tied down.  Zach Galifianakis plays Alan, the loner of the group who is along because he is the  brother of the bride.

Helms is the highlight of the movie.  Stu is a doctor who is in a relationship with a domineering woman who thinks the little getaway is to  Napa Valley wine country.  I really enjoy seeing some of the actors from my favorite comedy on television on the big screen.  John Krasinski is in a limited release this summer called Away We Go. Wonder why the distribution was not wider.

Overall, I thought The Hangover was  fun.  It had lots of laughs even if there were moments of mindless ridiculousness.  Any movie featuring more than a cameo by Mike Tyson (even playing himself) is not going to be the greatest movie ever made.

Don’t wait. Guarantee your seat before you go and avoid a sold out show. Skip the box office lines and buy movie tickets at Fandango.com.

Before We Got LOST…

there was the original J.J. Abrams creation, Alias.  It began in 2001 and ran for a total of five thrilling seasons.  Its debut was actually delayed after the events of 9/11.  Tonight, while others watched a race (snooze), I decided to revisit the series courtesy of the DVD collections I received as Christmas presents over the last 8 years (I only have the first three seasons).

In a nutshell, the series centers on young, very attractive, very talented college student and full-time “bank employee,” Sydney Bristow (played by the very attractive, very talented Jennifer Garner… Ben Affleck is one lucky man is all I’m sayin’).  The bank employ is actually a cover for her role as a government operative.  Miss Bristow believes that she is working for a “covert division of the CIA” known as SD-6.  However as Sydney learns in the premiere episode, SD-6 is not at all what it appears to be.

As with Lost, there were many plot scenarios that if you missed one episode you became seriously confused.  I honestly cannot remember if this is the way the entire series played out, but each of the first three episodes ended with a cliffhanger.  This is reminiscent of other television shows’ practice of leaving the audience hanging  at the end of the season.  Just one of  the many series that you wish you could revisit for the first time.  But enough time has passed that it almost seems fresh.

Ms. Garner does have a tie to the area.  She performed in summer stock at the Barn Theatre in Augusta, Michigan along with such notables as the late Jonathan Larson, creator of the musical Rent.

A Father’s Day Ditching

So… the entire family (well the extended immediate… siblings, neices and nephews, parents, and I) went out for dinner this afternoon after I got off work at 2.  Because I did not relish the chance to sit in the back and be squished, I decided to ride with big brother and two of his three little ones (E-beth rode elsewhere).  The trip back was much more exciting than the trip there.

Jeff decided to take country roads (take me home) aided by his GPS (help us all… she did have a rather familiar voice).  We came across a closed road so we turned onto yet another back road.  He happened to glance ahead to see vehicles coming from the opposite direction on the closed road.  Apparently, they were in the process of repaving… HMMM… where have I seen that before.  So, he decided to turn around and go back.  The road was only SLIGHTLY more narrow than he expected; consequently, we ended up in a ditch (It wasn’t me this time).  To make matters worse, the ground was still soft following the storms we had a few days ago.  We were STUCK!

Along comes a helpful young man willing to go retrieve his tow cables.  Unfortunately, they would have done more harm than good as his small car has nothing to hook a cable to without tearing off a bumper.  Moments later, another vehicle pulls up.  This car had a connection to my intelligent brother as one of the passengers is a student at the school he is employed at.

It was decided that my 13 year old nephew would gently push on the accelerator while four stout-hearted gentlemen pushed and guided the car to relative safety.  I think someone forgot to tell Joshua what gently meant.  We got the car out of the ditch; however, the car continued to accelerate, move in a circle, and come within inches of going into the ditch on the other side of the road.  I think the young guy finally figured out how to stop the car or else decided that taking the car for a joy ride was not such a good idea after all.  I wonder if the helpful sultry, seductive voice was offering directional advice at the time.  I forgot to ask what her name is

Joshua told his father that he hopes that he is not put in that position for at least three years.  It only added 15 minutes to the drive… enough however to make everyone else curious.

Saturday In The Park

I think it was the 20th of June.

HELLO EVERY PEOPLE.  Morat is a back in country of strange people.  I a come to go to the Droobile with sister of strange person and the little people. I a would a like to go to parade but I a go to the church to hear a strange person sing. I a ride many rides that go a very fast and I a get dizzy, but they were a very fun.  Morat also a meet people from other country who a work for the people at the Droobilee.  Two little people win a blow fish when they pop a balloon.  In Liswathistan, we a have Droobilee.  Morat almost ride one ride.  You a get in car and it goes over a steep cliff.  WOOLY SHEEP!  I a no try that.

Later,  a woman yell out a to Morat.  She a say she saw Morat on tv box and say Morat and friend very funny.  She a ask if group do hiring out for a party.  Morat say he a not know so woman give Morat card and Morat say he ask around.  She say she and her husband were a planning party for little people and a like Morat very much.  Maybe Morat no ask group and find out when a dis party is and ask friend to help… if he a free (OH, SURE!)  Morat a think about this.  I a not sure how long he a be in OHHO.  I a guess some people want a more Morat, yes?  Others a not so much.

At a ten of clock, we a watch the show of LASER.  I a no see anything like a dis before.  Lots of light and a smoke, and music.  I a see map of America country, picture of a Superman, and man bopping head (he a strange laser man).  I a hear number one song of Liswathistan, Jack and Diane by Cougar man.

Strange person he a say tomorrow is day for fathers.  I a not know what this a mean.  Another strange custom in OHHO.  And it also the day of birth of brother of strange person

Papa, Can You Hear Me?

This weekend being the one in which we all honor our fathers, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at fictional dads who have been presented in television.  In the beginning, it seemed as if families were shown as perfect, squeaky-clean and conflicts could be resolved in 30 minutes or less.  Conflicts like how to get your son to eat brussel sprouts (don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to taste them).

I’m not sure when the switch from perfect family to more realistic family took place.  I’m thinking in the 70s with All in the Family.  I think ultra-conservative Archie Bunker was one of the first fathers to have more to solve than a scrape on the knee or to ease a bruised ego.

Today’s  popular, fictional fathers seem to be lovable buffoons who somehow manage to fumble and stumble through parental misadventures but somehow come to a somewhat happy ending.  Homer J. Simpson has been working at the power plant, drinking Duff beer at Moe’s, and going home to his interesting family for 20+ years.  A highly inflated picture of the blue-collar everyman… must still be working.

My own father is a combination of the three, not so much the idealised father of 50-70s television more like the Al Bundy type… HAHA.  Wouldn’t trade him for anything, although…

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