Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Movies of 2009

Okay, it seems pretty pretentious to do my own top ten list. Most people barely give two farts what so-called professional critics love. And since I haven't blogged in a month and a half, and on top of that, haven't seen all the Oscar bait they release in New York and L.A. at the end of the year, I can't make a completely informed decision. Hollywood seems to think that movies can't be both artistically superior and accessible to the masses, so unless someone works their butt off for seven years on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, blockbusters are out the window in favor of self-important claptrap like The English Patient. We lesser mortals don't get all of the year's movies until late into January (half of which is usually pretty good). In fact, this is what Hollywood pretty much thinks of Middle America:

And we all know that only the people who went to Transformers 2 live in trailers like that. Anyway, whether you care or not, here is my Top Ten of 2009...

10. Duplicity - That's right. I kinda liked it, even if no one else did. It's a corporate espionage comedy with Julia Roberts and Clive Owen. But the real reason to see it is for Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson as competing CEOs. Anything with Giamatti, even in a supporting role, is a winner in my book.

9. Taken - Liam Neeson's daughter is kidnapped and he starts handing out compound fractures like a Chinese lady handing out free Szechuan Chicken samples at a mall food court. The plot is nothing you haven't seen before, and his ex-wife is much bitchier than necessary, but you will get sucked in if you have a pulse, especially when he starts crossing lines that are usually off-limits in this type of flick.

8. Up - Okay, you've all seen this. It's Pixar, and it's really good, and it's amazing that it was such a blockbuster when you consider it was about a grumpy old fart.

7. Sherlock Holmes - I had a great time with this movie. Robert Downey, Jr. continues to move back up the Hollywood A-list. The re-creation of 1860s London was superb. And Jude Law is pretty terrific as Watson too.

6. District 9 - Far from a standard alien movie, this one has some real grit to it that made it one of the most popular of the year, and it helps that its message is handled with some subtlety.

5. Fantastic Mr. Fox - From the numbers on this one, a lot of people stayed away. Director Wes Anderson always does some quirky stuff, some of which I like and others I don't, but I thought this one was hilarious, and had the best replacement cuss words ever.

4. Adventureland - This was another one that kind of flopped, and it's too bad, because while it's not laugh-out-loud funny, it's a really sweet coming-of-age flick with an amusement park background.

3. The Blind Side - Another inspirational sports movie, but this one really stands out, and makes you wonder what life would be like if we all reached out to people who need someone to care.

2. Inglourious Basterds/Zombieland - This is cheating, but these two kind of belong together, at least for me, because they're both superviolent dark comedies with really twisted humor, and both made me walk out with a big smile stuck to my face. If that kind of thing is your cup of tea, you've probably already seen both, and if not, then you can just ignore this slot and move on up.

1. Sunshine Cleaning - I didn't expect to make this my #1, but something about it really got to me. Amy Adams is a single mother who cleans houses for a living and stumbles into the business of crime scene cleanup with her slacker sister, played by Emily Blunt. In the same way Lars and the Real Girl did a year or two ago, it takes what sounds like a really sick idea and turns it into something sweet and inspirational.

... And now, one to stay away from. I can't really make a full "Worst Of" list, because I try to stay away from stuff that looks stupid, boring, or whatever. But Year One was by far the worst movie I saw this year. Michael Cera and Jack Black playing cavemen? Sounds (to me) like gold. But it was straight-up retarded. It was a big loser at theatres, but I think I lost some much-needed I.Q. points by sitting through the whole thing.

Anyway, that's it. Thanks for humoring me. What were your faves/least faves of 2009? I'll be back in a few days with another post. (No, really).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sometimes I feel like my head is about to explode!

I'm back. And today I feel like focusing on the negative. The sickos among my followers may recognize the exploding head image above from the 80's movie Scanners. I decided to spare you the full video for the sake of the squeamish, but I want to pose the question, what makes you feel like that? I'm not talking about mild to moderate irritation. What makes you just plain berserk? Here are a couple of mine to get you thinking.

I think I tolerate people's politics pretty well. But this woman has me about ready to give up on the country. I can't believe she has such a following, and that her name is even mentioned for the Presidential election in 2012. I was suckered in early on in last year's election. All I knew about Palin was that she had an insanely high approval rating in Alaska and it seemed like a great move to get people talking about someone besides Barack Obama. But piece by piece, she has proven that she is not only a freaking loon, but deceptively ambitious and kind of mean. The combination of stupid and egotistical I just can't abide. I don't know how to reconcile myself to the fact that there is a large number in the conservative base who takes her seriously. I want to punch her in the throat every time I see her. And I hate Obama's economic policies. I love John McCain (the real one, not the one from last year). But this caption says it all. Having Palin as V.P. would have been harmless as long as she was in the most useless big-name capacity in the country. But if McCain's wrinkly old heart had given out, God help us. The GOP is having major issues, and unless they want to experience several decades of losing, they'd better get serious about who the face is. I haven't been Republican since 2006, but I don't want the Democrats to run amok with no legitimate alternatives. Don't go away mad, girl. Just go away.

It's gonna be hard to top that, but I also find this kid the most annoying film character in history. A few days ago, Seth watched The Polar Express over at my in-laws' house. When I first saw it, I thought "Meh," but the movie has actually grown on me a lot over the past few years. But this kid almost ruins it every time. I'd prefer Jar Jar Binks. And me's a-hate Jar Jar. No one is that annoying. I think that's all the negative energy I want to expend. I'll be back to my sunshiney self next time. But for now, discuss.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Girl

Seriously, how cute is she? Amy turns 28 tomorrow, so I'm taking this opportunity to appreciate her. I feel like I have an unusually easy marriage, or at least I did before we added our two bozos to the mix, but even now, I can't find much to legitimately complain about. We've been through a lot together, and Amy somehow is supportive and steady through almost everything that could be thrown at her. Starting a business, a lawsuit that stemmed from starting a business, illness that was brought on from the stress of a lawsuit, lean times over most of the past five years, and throw in a significant disability of one of our children, and it's a recipe for disaster with most women. But not with mine. She still likes me. And I love her. I love it when she laughs uncontrollably at a mildly amusing joke. I love her appreciation of childlike pleasures like crunching leaves in the fall. And I really love getting peppered with kisses on the mouth. She deserves to be spoiled, and I want to give her all the niceties of life. It is hard to really know people and predict what they are capable of. But I trust Amy that she'll stay the same even if we're multigazillionaires. Hopefully that complete lack of ego will rub off on others around her, most of all me. Anyway, my life is much richer with her in it, and I vow to do my best to make it a great day and weekend for her.

Also, happy birthday to Eskimo Bob, Sting (the singer, not the wrestler), and Don McLean of American Pie fame (the song, not the movie). In other news...

If I have any readers left, I am finally ready to get back to blogging. A lot of September was devoted to the digging of two giant holes in front of my house, which I finally paid a professional excavator to turn into one gigantic hole so that we could get a plumbing problem fixed (which was only a problem inasmuch as it caused the temporary cancellation of our home insurance policy). We've filled most of said hole back up, and now I am back on the stick and can get back to sharing my exciting life with you and not feel like such a

Anyway, good weekend to all y'all. Cheers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Historical 50th post/Cast Your Vote for Most Underappreciated Actor

Well, folks, only three blogs in August. That's a record low, even including my first month when I was just getting into this. But today is the groundbreaking fiftieth post. Thanks to my sister for reading it even when none of you other knobs did. Hopefully this one will get some participation, because it's time for another survey!

This month I want to get your thoughts on who you feel the most underrated actors and actresses are. Having just seen Inglourious Basterds, I have to start with Brad Pitt. This guy gets all sorts of press for his looks and being shacked up with Angelina Jolie, but he creates some of the most memorable characters I've ever seen, and has great comedic instincts. Watching him play Aldo Raine a few days ago, I was kind of blown away that someone can be so omnipresent in the tabloids and still so good at inhabiting different characters.

Number two on my list: Bruce Willis. He often plays John McClane or a variation thereof, but when he actually gets a chance to act, he can handle both comedy and weighty drama deftly. To see the former, and if you ever wonder what the world would be like if Bruce Willis were a total wuss, check out Death Becomes Her. Another favorite of mine, 16 Blocks, features him playing a cop as usual, but in a broken-down, depressed way that really takes you off guard. And I have to mention The Whole Nine Yards, where once again he plays a tough guy (a hitman, actually), but with a lighthearted philosophical side that could only be done by Bruce.

Honorable mentions go to Steve Zahn, Billy Bob Thornton, and Amanda Peet. Zahn is such a lovable goofball that his talent gets overlooked. See Rescue Dawn if you want to see him in a new light. And of course, anyone who can create a character like Karl Childers, a.k.a. Sling Blade, gets an A-plus in my book. As for Amanda Peet, in addition to being a really great-looking gal, I totally appreciate her talent. She can play sweet (Martian Child) or a total bee-yotch (Saving Silverman), and do them both effectively. Anywho, I now give the time to you to express yourselves. And as always, anyone is invited to participate. Okay, go.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Magical Me!

Well, as of 0716 hours (the exact time of this post), I guess I'm 30. I'm not quite sure how to feel about that. It seems like 30 is the new midlife crisis, especially for Mormon males who already have two kids and a house in the 'burbs. I'm definitely not rushing out to buy a Porsche. Mostly I'm feeling old. Now I can't even pretend to be cool. 30 used to be ancient. I've been planning this post for a while now, and I intended it to be a lighthearted romp through three decades of pratfalls while smirking smugly at my own clever jokes, but I feel weirder about this than I ever thought I would. So, today I'm neither profound nor funny. Sorry. But I will take your happy birthday wishes all the same. And cash. Anyway, I'll be back in a few days with another survey. I promise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Am I going mad? Or did the word "think" escape your lips?

I've already mentioned how much I'm looking forward to football season. But it seems like there is an excess of sideshows this season, and I'm finding myself taking the opposite stance of a lot of people on these issues that have come up.

Case one: Michael Vick. Even non-fans know Vick's name for his role in the operation of Bad Newz Kennels, a dogfighting ring which led to his spending two years in prison and the loss of millions of dollars. Recently he was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles, and there has been a huge controversy. I am a dog-lover, and having heard the details of the inhumane way that injured dogs were executed, and the dogfighting itself, I was glad that the law came down hard on him. But I'm of the opinion that he has served his sentence, and if someone wants to pay him millions of dollars, I wish him well. Not that I'm rooting for him to win five Super Bowls and go back to his life the way it was before, but I hope he makes a good thing of his life and doesn't end up back in prison, same as I'd wish for any felon returning to the streets. I can't get behind the idea of banning him from the NFL just because he's high profile. He's already paid for his crimes, and he has the right to make a living if someone wants him.

Which leads me to Plaxico Burress, the former wide receiver for the New York Giants, soon to be playing for the State Penitentiary. Last November he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a New York nightclub. He had an expired concealed weapons permit in Florida, and nothing in New York. Yesterday he got sentenced to two years in prison. I'm wondering if the world has gone completely mad. Isn't shooting yourself in the leg its own punishment? Not to mention the mockery that follows. A good friend of mine shot himself in the foot at the start of the USU school year in the fall of 2002. That same friend has gone on to earn a degree in dentistry from a top-notch school. But I don't care if he's Surgeon General, or even ends up as a Senator. I guarantee you, when that circle of friends gets together in our eighties, he's gonna hear about it when there's an opening available. Anyway, what I find really sick is that both these guys have gotten similar or harsher punishments than some child molesters. And for even more perspective, Cleveland Browns receiver Donte Stallworth received no jail time and a one-year suspension from the NFL for a DUI in which a pedestrian was killed. I don't get it. Even Vick's sentence, which I thought was completely appropriate, seems silly in comparison.

And now on to Brett Favre. I don't want to write about him, because he's been speculated and written about for six months solid now, but I am really wondering what is with this dude. I think we sometimes are quick to jump on athletes who retire and unretire. It would be a strange thing to be in a profession where you peak in your 30s, usually retire by 40, and then have to figure out what to do with the rest of your life, especially given that pro athletes' lives are their sports from at least high school on. But this thing with Favre has been going on for an eternity, and now he's signed with a divisional rival of the team he spent almost his entire career with, two weeks after saying he was done for good. He's missed training camp, which by all accounts is hated by almost everyone, but now he's put the team in a really weird position as he comes in as someone expected to lead. I generally am pretty live-and-let-live about comebacks, but this seems like it could really end badly. Favre is really going to have to prove himself that he is a part of the team, no matter how good his pedigree is. Anyway, this is all. What a circus the NFL is this year. And for those of you who really don't like sports, sorry. I still welcome your comments, since there are a lot bigger questions at play. I plan to release another survey on Saturday, so keep your eyes open for that. Until then, I must bid you "toodles"...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Farewell to the King of Teen Angst (and much more)

Well, I've been back for several days now. We had a great time in New York. Now I'm back home, scrambling to make money after just getting my bills paid by the skin of my teeth. For some reason, we forgot to turn off the bills when we left, and there was a stack of them waiting when we got back to Utah. Anyway, we ate some good food, saw the sights, slept in a lot, and hung out with Amy's sister and her husband. I remembered how much I love baseball when we went to a Mets game at the new Citi Field, and found New Yorkers to be not only not rude, but very pleasant and many of them downright friendly. A subway worker, for instance, seeing my Minnesota Twins hat, came up to me and asked me what famous Twins player he shared the same birth day and year with. (Answer: Kirby Puckett). I found a lot of the sights and history very moving, and the next time I go I want to do it in style. Those of you looking for more details, Amy will be blogging about it soon.

As many of you heard, John Hughes died last Thursday during a visit to New York City, just two days after we had left. Four days is an eternity in the blogging world, but I have found myself wanting to blog about that loss more than the trip (but my blog is usually not of the travelogue variety anyway, unless I'm in a rare mood). Hughes was never nominated for an Oscar as far as I know, but he wrote and directed some legitimate classics, the kind that people watch over and over. If you're channel surfing and The Breakfast Club is on, you'll stop flipping. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Home Alone. Pretty in Pink. Uncle Buck. And my personal favorite, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. I believe that the reason his work is so well-loved is that he really understood people. His characters have a depth and believability that are uncommon, especially for the class of films he specialized in. He disappeared shortly after making enough money to buy a private island with the success of the Home Alone franchise, and moved to... Wisconsin, and became very reclusive, rarely giving interviews in the past 15 years. As late a couple of months ago, I searched his name on the Internet Movie Database, hoping for some news. I always hoped he would come back. But I'm grateful for what we got. I feel that I actually got a few nuggets of wisdom from him. Rest in peace.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Keeping the Romance Alive

It's just about time to get outta Dodge.  In a little over 24 hours, we'll be heading out to Gotham for our weeklong vacash.  Thursday is our seventh anniversary.  Not a nice round number, but if the theory of the seven-year itch holds true, we should be getting sick of each other.  Generally, that's almost never true on my end.  We certainly are in the part of marriage where it can feel more like a business partnership, and takes a lot of effort for the two of us to connect. Amy has certainly earned a getaway over the past five years of raising our kids, and it's been that long since she had a break longer than a weekend from the demands of motherhood. My main hope is that over the coming week, she can rejuvenate and relax, forget the tedious but constant pressures, and we can rekindle some of the romance that inevitably gets forgotten from time to time once you have two little numbskull boys.  I can only dream of being as manly as this guy, but I'll do my best to give her plenty of male ruggedness.  Travels With Gilly will be back in all its glory sometime soon after August 4.  Until then...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My boy is a graduate, and he's not even in kindergarten yet!

Jackson's graduation from NUAP (Northern Utah Autism Program) was today. We've been looking forward to being free of some of the inconveniences sending him to Ogden has brought with it, and having him attend kindergarten across the street. But Amy and I were both surprised at how verklempt we got at the end of this chapter of Jackson's life. And even more so at the quality of the ceremony. Having a graduation ceremony for autistic children is kind of like herding cats, so we thought it would be short and sweet, but they had some really nice touches while not making it painfully long like, well... every other graduation I've been to. Anyway, the people that run NUAP are wonderful. They love the kids as if they were their own, and it's a great support group, almost like an extended family. Moving on to kindergarten, even a special needs one, will be an adjustment. We feel very lucky to have had Jackson in there for a year and a half. He's made progress, but we still have work to do to help him reach his potential. But hats off to Anita Ure, Terri Drca, Jamie Tuveson, and the others who have watched over our boy.

Jackson staring into the Great Beyond and mulling his future plans of Goldfish crackers and a smoothie.

Jackson with his teacher, Jamie. He's not looking at the camera, which is completely appropriate for him, because he never looks into the camera except by accident approximately 5 percent of the time. Anyway, we're looking forward to more of these... okay, not really, but we're looking forward to seeing what other future accomplishments he's able to pull off, and other tricks he might have up his sleeve.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can We Just Get to Football Season?

I used to love summer. And while there are still parts of it I appreciate (mostly movies and barbecues), the wistful summers of my childhood, high school, and even college years are history. Mostly it's just hot. And nowhere do I feel it more than in sports. I like baseball, and in fact that was my favorite sport growing up, but I think I am more in love with the history and its Americanness than anything going on right now. It's not something I sit around for every day. Football I could watch for hours. It's really the only game that you get a chance to miss (and usually I start missing it shortly after the Super Bowl). The NBA Finals go into mid to late June, for heaven's sake. Every game in football counts. College, NFL... I don't care. I don't want to wish away the next few weeks, because we have a fantastic (and rare) anniversary trip to New York City coming up. The season is almost here, but it's Sunday afternoon, and I've just got the itch. But soon, my precious. 350-pound men in skintight jerseys, the crunching of helmets and bones, receivers having the ball sail over their heads and getting knocked into next week... oh yes, precious, fall is almost upon us.

P.S. I will be taking a hiatus from my Lighten Up Your Monday column due to low interest and having some other things I want to write about. If you miss it, let me know, and I'll give it another whirl and see if I can drum up a little more interest.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ricky Gervais at his finest

I am phoning it in a little on this week's "Lighten Up Your Monday," but hopefully you will still laugh, because it's Ricky Gervais, a certified comedy genius. His newest movie, The Invention of Lying, features the novel concept of a world where nobody lies, and his character tells the world's first lie, coming to wield its power for personal gain. I laughed my butt off at the trailer, and hope you do too. It opens September 25. Have a great start to the workweek!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

July Survey: What Makes You Most Skeered?

Okay, I'm not up to three times a week like I was gonna, but I'm getting there. We have less than three weeks until our big anniversary trip to NYC, and blah blah blah... you don't care. I'm still planning on thrice a week, but until we're back, it may just be twice. Not that I have many followers any more. But hopefully that will change with what has usually been a popular feature: the monthly survey. This month's topic would have been really well suited to Halloween, but I didn't want to wait that long. What scares the living daylights out of you (and what did as a kid)?

Is it clowns? A lot of people get freaked out by clowns. I personally am okay with them, although Pennywise from It is pretty freaky. Better yet, is it a children's marketing ploy gone terribly wrong?

Is it Pierce Brosnan singing? For those of you who haven't seen Mamma Mia!, the look on poor Pierce's face as he croons is even more scary and uncomfortable than the coyote-in-a-trash-compactor sounds of his warbling. He looks like he's passing a kidneystone.

The only thing I can think of that is a really irrational fear for me is power saws. I really hate getting cut, and although I've never fallen prey to one, I don't wanna. They're just moving so fast, and they don't even cut cleanly... I really prefer to stay away from them altogether. I feared loss of limb from Jason Voorhees as a young man walking home from my friend Brandon's house after a Friday the 13th marathon.

As I approach 30, I kind of fear old age, or worse, becoming bedridden and getting super fat. While I could lose a few, I'm not orca fat, and not in danger of becoming that way, but I am a little freaked out and a little prejudiced towards ginormous people. So I guess going to county and state fairs, or anywhere else that white trash gathers, I get a little creeped out. Anyway, that's enough from me. I've now alienated my obese demographic (and let's face it, that's everyone reading this... just kidding!) What about you? The time is yours.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lighten Up Your Monday with Christopher Walken and the Three Little Pigs!

Happy Monday! Hopefully you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend. I know I did. We visited my fam up in Brigham City, ate some truly excellent bacon burgers, played fetch with Ike, and played some H-O-R-S-E at the church. And Sunday was a perfect sit-around day. Now with only a few weeks to go until the New York trip, it's truly back to the grindstone, since we are in need of play money.

Christopher Walken is seriously one of my favorite entertainers. The truth is, I love any acclaimed actor who can succeed in comedy, which is not only more difficult but shows a willingness to lose the ego and not take oneself too seriously (yes, I'm talking to you, Sean Penn and Russell Crowe). Walken has been almost exclusively in comedies for the last decade or so, and his deadpan affect, sudden off-beat pauses, the strange, almost Shatneresque speech rhythm are somehow perfect for dumb comedies like Balls of Fury and SNL hosting gigs. It's easy to forget he's an Oscar-winning actor. This clip seemed perfect for my weekly "Lighten Up the Mondays" segment. No other actor could read The Three Little Pigs quite like this:

Friday, July 3, 2009

Celebrate the independence of our country by blowing up a small piece of it!

That was said by a truly great American, Apu Nahasapeemapetilon. Just a quick acknowledgment of stuff that has already been said much better and I'm not really worthy of anyway.  I'm kind of a cynical, grumpy man on most subjects, with one major exception. America has the most amazing history and greatest form of government ever known to man, and I don't suffer fools or abide a foul tongue from liberal pussies who go out of their way to look for the scourges so they can deny the obvious.  I'm eager to get celebrating this weekend, and once I've collected some money and made a few calls, I'm going to check out.  I hope everyone has a great (and safe) weekend, and that amidst all the barbecuing, you feel some love for what you've got, and say a prayer for the people on this earth who didn't get some of your breaks.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Morning With Biff and MJ

This is Thomas F. Wilson, best known as Biff Tannen on Back to the Future. He has transitioned into a career as a comedian and musician. I first heard his routine a couple of months ago when he was a guest on a conservative talk show (that's right, he's a Hollywood Republican, which is not as uncommon as you might think). I think he's pretty funny, and a perfect way to lighten up Monday morning, and hopefully you will too.

On a side note, sorry for being lazy about my June blogging (for those who noticed). I haven't felt like I had much to say. Five out of six June entries were the Monday morning happy hour. I am feeling more in the mood now, and I will be blogging three times per week (including the Monday thing, a midweek post and another near the weekend, which will probably most often be Friday). The surveys will now be only a monthly feature, in an effort to maximize interest, and I have lots of other tricks up my sleeve as well. As a final thought today, much has already been said about Michael Jackson, and I will say only that I am surprised at how much I felt the loss. He is one of those rare celebrities that you can specifically remember moments of your life that he was involved in. This is probably on the same level as Elvis, John Lennon, or even Princess Di. We won't see another like him again (and I'm not just talking about the freak show that his life became in the last 15 years or so). Eight out of the top ten music videos of all time are Jackson's, and no less an authority than Fred Astaire called him the best dancer he had ever seen. I hope he finds peace, and that he's remembered for the right reasons.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Morning Gutbuster with Jack Black and Will Ferrell

Welcome back from Father's Day weekend. I hope you all (all two of you) had a great time. My weekend was extraordinary. I took my woman to the early showing of The Proposal with Sandra Bullock on Saturday, then to partake of some Thai food. And Sunday was awesome, as I got spoiled almost all day, starting with breakfast in bed, then going on with a long nap in the afternoon and steak for dinner. And last night we did something we never do. We watched a late movie (Twister) and ate leftovers, getting to bed just before 1 AM. So I am pretty well ready to take on the week, although I know not all of you feel that way, and this is for you. It's from the 2004 Oscars. I love Sean Connery's face in the audience as he loses his composure and laughs his butt off. Enjoy!

P.S. You may need to click the link on this one to get it started.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Dave Chappelle as a Black White Supremacist

I am a little late to save everyone from Monday morning.  Sorry.  I went on an early-morning mountain bike ride and got back later than anticipated.  But hopefully you enjoy this clip from Chappelle's Show about the blind, black white supremacist Clayton Bigsby, which first aired in 2003.  The idea of a black KKK leader was genius, so some of you have probably seen it.  Either way, it's good for a laugh.

Clayton Bigsby - Watch a funny movie here

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Warning to Eskimo Bob: Stop Making Fun of the Disabled!

I've been under the weather recently with a nasty cough, and as such have been somewhat disinterested in posting anything but the weekly Monday Morning Gutbuster, but due to some really good prescribed meds, I'm feeling much better and realized today that I was in the mood for a little writing. I mentioned in my last post that my good friend Eskimo Bob recorded a fake interview last week with Chris Burke, the actor who played Corky, the Down Syndrome student on Life Goes On. At first I was impressed and excited. I thought, how nice. Bob has moved up to interviewing former C-list celebrities... he seems like a nice kid... I guess it's conceivable that he could be from Anchorage, or visiting. Then I realized that this was Bob... he and his race know no boundaries of decency... wait a minute, let's check Wikipedia... Corky is from New York! And now he makes a living as a motivational speaker! I was horrified. I laughed vigorously at the political incorrectness of it all, and the sheer balls it takes for someone to hire somebody to impersonate the voice of a person with significant disabilities and pretend he didn't know the difference between his real sister and his TV sister, and sing a song. I still laugh. It was brilliant in the same way as Borat.

However, I've been doing some research, and discovered than in movie folklore, people with severe mental impairments often gain superhuman strength and/or killing ability. Lawnmower Man, anybody? Sling Blade? The Toxic Avenger was a mere nerd, but same principle. And above them all, one Mr. Jason Voorhees. In the space of less than two movies (and the same number of years), Jason went from this...

to this. And Chris Burke has the potential to be the ultimate slasher film bad-ass. He might not even conform to normal horror movie conventions. He may not even distinguish between illicit teenage promiscuity and normal, upright relations between man and wife. So, Eskimo Bob, tread carefully.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Monday 'Roid Rage

Monday morning already? That means I've gone an entire week without blogging. The reason for that is mostly that I've had a really bad cough and cold and just plain didn't feel like it. We did have a great weekend, though, with no kids and very few responsibilities. So thanks to my parents for taking our little varmints. With better health it would have been the perfect weekend. But still, it's not every weekend that the Mrs. and I are able to sleep in with impunity and go where we want when we want (which happened to be nowhere most of the time, and since relaxation was our real objective, there's nothing to complain about).

On to our Monday morning business. I hope, as always, that these clips brighten your day. And it comes with a moral: don't mess with Governor Schwarzenegger when he's clearly under the influence of steroids. If you do, you'll get the worst case of Adult Onset Shaken Baby Syndrome ever. The second video is a documentary about South Park's Jimmy, who found out the hard way how pathetic cheaters are. As usual, the ending monologue is brilliant (and includes an tongue-lashing for Cartman, who feigns retardedness to get into the Special Olympics, which somehow seems appropriate, given Eskimo Bob's recent impersonation of Corky from Life Goes On... you can't get more shameful than that). I think what's really sad is that we don't even blink when Roger Clemens or Manny goes down in flames. We expect baseball players to be doping. Honestly, when I found out about A-Roid a few months ago, I didn't even blink. Kind of a shame that baseball can't seem to go a decade without a scandal that threatens its very existence. But I digress. Have a great Monday, everyone!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monday Morning Humor (And Welcome to June!)

I'm going old school for this week's post. I don't know exactly when they did it, but it struck me as pretty funny, and even better, the guy playing the drunk was a teetotaler in real life. Anyway, enjoy, and have a great workweek.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Survey #7: Most Delicious Foods on the Planet

It's time for another wonderful weekend, and I am happier than Madonna on Flag Day (that's a dirty joke, for all my innocent peeps out there). I'm also really hungry, and hoping the little woman has something for me to shove down my pie hole.

Speaking of pie (you see my masterful segue there?), it's time for another survey. What sets you to slobbering more than anything else? What could you eat almost every day and not tire of? Here are some of my faves, in no particular order. First, pie. It matters not what kind, although key lime, chocolate satin, pumpkin, and blueberry lemon cream are near the top. Also, Indian food. Again, it almost doesn't matter what the dish is. I could live in India and be vegetarian. Vegetables got no business being that delicious. And New York steak, as served at Texas Roadhouse, with mashed potatoes, rolls topped with cinnamon butter, a flavored iced lemonade, and of course the peanuts you get to crack open and throw on the floor when you walk in.

Here is the one and only rule: I ask only that you be specific. Don't tell me you like pizza. Hell, who doesn't? I want details of when and where and why it's so good. Oh, and also, because she is incapable of appreciating great cuisine, Gina isn't allowed to play. If she answers, just ignore her. My last couple of surveys haven't gotten much of a response, so I hope for better participation on this one. Invite your friends. And a good weekend to you all.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Start of the Workweek Tribute to Buffalo Bill

Since Tuesday is Monday this week, here is this week's kickoff to the workweek. This song and video was created by indie rock band The Greenskeepers in 2004, but I wasn't aware of it at all until a few months ago (once again thanks to my friend J). It pays homage to the truly memorable Buffalo Bill, the serial killer from Silence of the Lambs. I am just sick enough to find it amusing, and I hope you do too. Have a great week of work!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Special Memorial Day Blog

I really wanted to include a small appreciation for the thousands of forgotten and unknown soldiers who have willingly sacrificed all for freedom.  Some of you may know this song by 3 Doors Down and seen the video, which played in movie theaters a while ago.  It is a pretty impressive piece of work, directed by Antoine Fuqua of Training Day.  There's not much I can really add, other than to lament the fact that Memorial Day seems to have lost much of its intended purpose (as opposed to Labor Day, which really is supposed to be all about sitting around loafing).  I myself will be grilling and celebrating in normal American fashion, but I hope that we will all take a few minutes to remember the fallen, and offer our silent thanks. Have a great holiday.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Cause For Lip Balm

Tomorrow is the birthday of my one and only see-stor, Gina (pronounced Hee-na), so I thought we'd go through some of her favorite things. First off, decrepit old bony rock stars with ginormous lips and skintight pants. Who wouldn't want a piece of that action? And with her addiction to Chapstick, Gina can more than hold her own with the Mick, Steven Tyler, or anyone else who wants to suck face (although it will probably hasten her usage of the balm to every two minutes instead of her usual five). Anyone who wants to see Gina look like a total junkie, hide her chapstick. You might as well be waterboarding her.

Next, the luminous Barbra Streisand. Gina's idol. Before she goes to bed every night, she prays to a graven image of Babs, and always asks herself "What would Barbra do?" I don't know why she loves her so much, but she started the Utah/Idaho chapter of Cawfee Tawk. And she has developed some of her stubbornness too. From the time she was a tweener, no matter how badly she gets beaten, she always has to throw the last punch. Actually, sometimes it's more of a limp-wristed slap that just lands on the wrong part of the shoulder or neck that stings enough to force you to go back to give a few more Charlie Horses, Indian Burns, or Texas Chili Bowls.

A couple of banana slugs, who appear to be mating or something. They're kinda gross, slimy little critters, but from Gina's reaction to bananas (the fruit), you would think that they were slugs, or maggots, or worse.

Come to think of it, Gina acts like that with a lot of foods. The above picture (weedrats, as featured on Shrek, I presume) represents Gina's default reaction to anything she thinks she doesn't like. Sometimes, she changes her mind, like with grilled pineapple, then she struts around like she invented the stuff. But mostly, she is too weak-minded to accept the deliciousness of donuts, coconut, shrimp, coconut shrimp, any kind of seafood (even halibut, which may very well be what God eats), and dozens of other delicacies. And then she goes and tries stuff like haggis. I know it's possible to consciously change your palate, because I acquired a taste for a number of previously unliked food during my mission, and just last year, decided I really wanted to like pickles, and was able to accomplish that with some superior mindpower.

Anyway, teasing aside, Gina is a really really great little sister. She loves and spoils my boys, her little nephews, and she's taking us out to Texas Roadhouse the next time we're in Idaho Falls, with no regard of the bill. Here's hoping that this is the year that she finds the man of her dreams, someone masculine enough to tame her wild side, and virile enough to sire a dozen stubborn, picky, Chapstick-wearing, Streisand-worshiping babies.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Brutal Violence Guaranteed to Brighten Your Monday

Okay, it's back to sick and twisted for me. I am adding a new weekly feature to my blog that I hope will get everybody's week off to a good start by providing some good laughs. I was inspired by Eskimo Bob's Rock and Roll Friday, truly one of the great blog features anywhere on the Web. Now all I need is a good name for it, like the Monday Yuks, only not retarded. Please leave suggestions in your comments and win a prize.

This week is a compilation of some truly awesome movie deaths. Respectively, they are taken from Shark Attack 3, Enter the Ninja, Undefeatable, Big Trouble in Little China, Silent Night, Deadly Night 2, and the immortal Troll 2, (filmed in Morgan, Utah). Troll 2 is regarded as one of the great horrible films of all time, even inspiring a recently released feature-length documentary a full 20 years after the movie was made, called Best Worst Movie. Anytime you have a movie set in a town called Nilbog (goblin spelled backwards), involving vegetarian goblins who turn people into plants before eating them, you've got a winner. I've never seen it, but aim to change that soon. It's now in my Netflix queue. I think I know what we're doing for our next date night, Amybug.

On a side note, my personal favorite is the clip from Enter the Ninja. As Cracked magazine describes it, the ninja assault "not only kills the man, but appears to make him lose faith in even trying to survive. After a moment's shock at the realization he's been stabbed in the heart with a ninja star, he just stares wistfully, shrugs, and then kicks it". Classic. Anyhoo, I hope you enjoy.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Survey #6: Dumbest Inventions Ever

I am going to be brief today. (Shut up, Eskimo Bob). By now, everyone has probably seen the Snuggie infomercials, and it's been roundly mocked by everyone right on up to Jay Leno and Jon Stewart. Probably the best parody I've seen is this one. But I wouldn't be surprised if the geniuses behind the Snuggie get the last laugh, all the way to the bank. We Americans are an enterprising bunch, and there is no shortage of heavily retarded products that have succeeded spectacularly. The Pet Rock made Gary Dahl a millionaire in a period of about six months in 1975 (which just seems to fit in perfectly with the overall stupidity of the decade). But let's not lie to ourselves that our generation is superior. I'll take Ron Burgundy's rugged manhood and perfectly groomed moustache over Adam Lambert's sexually ambiguous poo-face any day. And more importantly, people are throwing their money away at a record pace. And I want in on some of that action. At some point, I may just interrupt my business that is designed to help people, and give the masses the useless crap they want. What are your nominations for the dumbest inventions ever? Go.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


The little woman and I went to Lagoon Saturday, and towards the end of our day, I started feeling a sore throat and cold coming on. The past few days I have lost much of my voice and been feeling frustrated about being kept from working to my full capability, so I am about to do something unusual: I am gonna get cute and cuddly on yer ass! For those of you who have a certain image of me as a brilliant, ruggedly handsome man with a sometimes cynical, prickly personality, read no further. The picture above is my new favoritest picture ever. It is a baby hedgehog. It might be about the cutest damn thing I've ever seen.

It got me thinking a bit. Many of you know that I really love little kids, and usually they tend to like me. I especially love my own two numbskulls, but I've always had this dream of making a difference for kids who are poor, or don't have a daddy, and inviting them into our home, taking them to games and other activities with my boys, and helping to mold them into happy, contributing, successful, and reasonably likable people. Which is a real challenge, because once they grow out of the cute phase and develop a mean streak, much of society just kind of writes them off and gives up on them. Ultimately, we all make our own choices, but part of loving our neighbor is to remember that inside everyone you meet, there's a kid who needs love and understanding. So here's to catching them young, and remembering how we all start out, and what we can become. Enjoy.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A boy's best friend is his mother...

...and on this Mother's Day weekend, I want to send love and happiness to all mothers everywhere. Growing up I always felt comfortable talking to my mom about anything, which I think says a lot for her. I knew I could bug her any time, even if she was asleep. And it's largely through her influence that I didn't turn out to be a total heathen, and reached adulthood without any Norman Bates-sized issues (well, I'll let you people be the judges of that...). Even better, she is the ideal grandma, and loves to spoil not only the kids, but us as well, by letting us off the leash for date nights and occasional weekends. And of course I can't forget to give loves to the mother of my children. We have a couple of rascally, extremely active boys, including a child with disabilities that at times only a mother could love, and Amy seems so natural at being a mom that I think there is hope for Jackson, Seth, and any future offspring to overcome the asinine nature of their father (whoever he is). Anyhoo, I love both of you and hope you have a happy Mother's Day, and I promise to make you nachos not only Sunday, but any time you want them. And same to all mothers of naughty boys and emotional girls everywhere.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I don't mean to say I told you so, but...

Actually, that's a lie. I am going to say I told you so, and I'm going to be completely smug about it. I started hearing reports yesterday that the Swine Apocalypse of '09 is pretty much history. But then today, I heard a report of another case in Utah. A 71-year-old man returned home to Utah from a trip in Mexico with a quote-unquote, "mild" case. That makes, like, two in the state. I am just on pins and needles waiting for the third. I'm wondering how long new cases will be reported. It's like they're a little sad to see their non-story go, and hesitant to admit what a bunch of lemmings they are. If we get another case in June or July that causes some mild to moderate discomfort, I am comforted that they'll be right on it. PROMISE ME, FOX! PROMISE ME, MSNBC! It is just such a letdown that after all the buildup, there is no looting and pestilence. Can't we even get a little fire and brimstone? The moon turning to blood? Dogs and cats living together? Mass hysteria?

At any rate, don't let your guard down. Within a matter of months, maybe weeks, there is sure to be the next worst thing. Hell, it could be tomorrow. I am thinking sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. Or at least some ill-tempered mutated sea bass.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Survey #5: Hidden Movie Gems

The weekend has come and gone, and as expected, X-Men Origins: Wolverine hauled in a buttload of money. And not without merit; I thought it was a pretty solid movie. But with the summer movie season now upon us, I thought I would turn our attention to some of the underappreciated films out there. Ones that got away. Diamonds in the rough. The somewhat more low-key movies that come in under the radar unseen by mass audiences. They don't necessarily have to be indies; they could be older movies that have been forgotten, or really great documentaries. Whatever. I don't really care. I just ask that you think before you throw it out there: I don't need you to tell me that Lord of the Rings is really good. I know it's good, and so does the rest of the world. Here are a few of my favorites...

My list has to start with Murderball, quite possibly the most inspiring movie I've ever seen. It is a documentary released in 2005 about quadriplegics who play wheelchair rugby. These guys are not just in it for a friendly game, and it shows these guys as real athletes and real people who don't want your pity, nor special treatment. Disclaimer: don't pick it up for Family Home Evening if you are sensitive to tough language or detailed descriptions given by one competitor when asked about a quadriplegic's sex life. Four stars.

Lars and the Real Girl is a great little movie with a pervy-sounding premise, but miraculously very little raunchy material. It is about a painfully shy guy named Lars in a small Canadian town who develops a relationship with a blow-up doll he orders online, and the lengths the townspeople go to help him with what he's going through. It is one of the most unlikely sweet and touching movies you'll see, which is an accomplishment since it could easily have been a sex farce in the vein of American Pie. Four stars.

Without a Clue takes the interesting proposition that Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character created by Dr. Watson to mask the fact that Watson (played by Ben Kingsley) is the real genius. He hires an actor to "play" Holmes (Michael Caine), who is a bumbling moron. Watching the two Oscar winners engage in slapstick, and especially watching Caine portray such an alcoholic buffoon, is a ton of fun. Three stars.

An Unfinished Life stars Morgan Freeman and Robert Redford and has no business being on this list, but was released with such a lack of fanfare when Miramax Studios changed ownership in 2005 that it was virtually buried. Which is a real shame, because even Jennifer Lopez turns in a solid performance. It centers on a Wyoming rancher (Redford) whose estranged daughter-in-law and granddaughter arrive unexpectedly and ask to stay with him and his friend and neighbor (Freeman) who has become disabled after being mauled by a bear. The story is somewhat familiar, but the scenery is breathtaking, and it makes you feel like a million bucks.

The 'Burbs is a horror-comedy featuring Tom Hanks in typical good-guy mode in a white-bread neighborhood who reluctantly attempts to solve a mystery of a missing neighbor when a mysterious family, the Klopeks, move in next door. This one has developed quite a cult following on home theater and may be better known than the others, but was a flop when it was released in 1988. Funny stuff, especially if you're a little twisted, like me.

There are many others I could mention, but I will leave it there for now, and ask for some recommendations from you, my devoted followers. For now, sweet dreams...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Randumb Thoughts

They're after us. Maybe it's me, but it seems like the news has been pretty lame lately, and with no real interesting stories out there, things that would ordinarily be only of passing interest turn into this:

In case you've been hiding out in a monastery, swine flu has completely dominated the news this week. Earlier in the week, there were a reported 149 deaths in Mexico, which Jon Stewart wants you to know puts it "last on the list of things that can kill you in Mexico," with the drug-war-caused "bullet flu" taking the top spot.

Ordinarily I would just shrug my shoulders about the oversaturation and exaggeration and say, "Meh, what else is new," but also in the news for the last two weeks has been the obsessively reported "Obama's First 100 Days." I mean, really? I don't mind noting the occasion, when it happens, but if you do the math, the 100th full day was just today. It seems like the 100th day of coverage of Obama's first 100 days, from every news outlet in the country. But I digress. Also also, reported just today, John Edwards's wife, Elizabeth, was sick upon learning of his affair (which was first reported in October 2007 and he finally admitted to last AUGUST). So, thanks for clearing that up. Until now I had assumed she was thrilled to find out her husband was a scum-sucking pig. And, also also also... oh boy, I've saved the best for last. Are you ready? This week we got the earth-shattering news that star Kelly McGillis is a lesbian. "Who?," you're probably asking. Oh, the hot chick from Top Gun. That movie from 1986. That lady who hasn't been seen since she played the wife in the crappy Babe Ruth movie. Okay, if this were 1986, or even 1995, it might be interesting for some. How long is the shelf life for has-been celebrities? She's in her 50s now. It seems like as homosexuality gets more and more mainstreamed, we're also becoming more obsessed with it. I guarantee you, if I had some minor claim that got me 15 minutes of fame a decade or more ago, I could come out of the closet and make millions. Take John Amaechi (please, take him). His book is considered groundbreaking because he's the first outed former NBA player. But you sucked, John. Horribly. Larry Miller should have fired you for stealing after you came over to the Jazz and parked your big ass on the bench. Doesn't matter. He's a hero. God bless America... it's no wonder so many people don't give a crap about current events with crap-ola like this dominating the news. Speaking of which, it's Thursday night and I'm hungry. I guess I'll go home and watch The Office and 30 Rock.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The solution to all your economic woes!

I am going to phone this one in, but only slightly. Some of you may have seen this clip on SNL a few years ago or on another blog. It seems to be making the rounds recently in the blogosphere, but hopefully it is starting to sink in a little. I love me some cool stuff just like anyone else, but I've never been a huge consumer of toys and other worthless crap, and I'm generally pretty disciplined in my buying habits, so for us, it's just the mortgage and a payment on a minivan that became a necessity a few months ago (although I do have some business debt). I had a dream the other night that an elementary school friend who is on my Facebook but I haven't actually talked to in years sent me a check for $500, saying he had put something like 15 or 25 cents in a savings account for everyone in our third-grade class in 1987 and the money had now compounded to just over $500 for everyone. I haven't worked out the math, and I doubt it is accurate, but I have found myself really bummed in the last couple of years as I've realized how few Americans are truly debt-free, and what a mess we're in with our national debt. I really wish our public schools would emphasize a curriculum that includes finances and the magic of compound interest that can be either your best friend or your most ruthless enemy, starting in about first grade. I am starting to fall in love with numbers and budgeting, because I want financial freedom and the ability to help people and worthy organizations (and just be a lazy turd) when I'm 50. Anyway, I hope you enjoy, and then follow the advice. Peace out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Life at 1000 frames per second

I-Movix SprintCam v3 NAB 2009 showreel from David Coiffier on Vimeo.

My friend J. Looney shared this video with his followers, and I was completely mesmerized. Apparently this is what things look like when shot with a camera at 1000 fps. You get a clear view of the most minute details. I could watch it all day, especially the gelatinous green toy, and the Jello at the end, which hangs there for way longer than you would expect. I wonder if this is how my boy Jackson sees the world. And I wonder if that music is playing for him. It sure would explain a lot. If my eyes were privy to every law of physics in slo-mo, I would be autistic and hyperfocused on mundane objects too. The original post is from a guy named David Coiffier, and can be seen in HD and full-screen on Vimeo. I hope you enjoy.

On a side note that is not at all whiny (okay, it is), it appears that my survey on dreams didn't draw much interest, or at least many comments. That's the last time I let Becca boss me around. I guess I'll have to stick to the old standbys of food and movies. I do have some ideas for future surveys, but if you have any topics that sound interesting, please let me know.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Survey #4: Weird Dreams

I really hadn't planned on doing another survey for a week or two, but my cousin Becca has been begging for one all week, and I don't have anything else to say that couldn't wait for another day, so here we are. Today I want to hear about your weird dreams. I already mentioned one really sick and twisted one on my blog back on February 16 about going back to Africa as a missionary and belting out "The Greatest Love of All," High School Musical style. I find the dreams that I remember fascinating, sometimes much more so than reality, and often can't begin to put together how the hell some of it came into my mind. And what does Karl Malone have to do with weird dreams, you might ask? Well, during my mission in Portugal, I dreamed I was at a Jazz game, and Karl decided at halftime that it was time to retire, effective immediately. He got into his street clothes, leaving all the fans at the Delta Center stunned. I walked out with him onto the streets of Salt Lake City (in broad daylight) and never having seen him so close before, I was impressed by his physique. He was wearing a sleeveless shirt, and I said, "Wow, Karl, you have really big arms". He was extremely offended, and stopped in his tracks, narrowed his eyes and said defensively, "So?" I was a little bummed that my first and only personal encounter with the Mailman had gone so badly, and the dream ended.

Anyhoo, I want to hear about your dreams, be they traumatizing, humorous, twisted, or just plain stupid. I still remember one traumatizing one from my childhood in Logan. We lived by a brook (on a street called Brookside), and I couldn't have been older than 4. I was wading my feet in the brook, and crabs started pinching my feet, and instead of helping, my parents tried to push me in further. I don't know how or if this affected my relationship with them in later years, but it is the earliest dream I can remember. So, now I turn the time over to you, and invite one and all to comment. Take it away...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Jackson Appreciation Day

For those of you who don't know, this is Jackson. It's his birthday, so instead of goofy, you get heartfelt today. I am kind of blown away that I've been a daddy for five years. We have gone through a lot in that time. I always felt I'd have a really hard time if I ever had a child with disabilities, and sometimes I did (and still do). But I have the cutest kids ever. I love them so much it sometimes makes me want to cry. If you are unaware, Jackson has autism and doesn't speak. But I feel so lucky that he is a happy kid, and that he comes into our world and shows affection more and more. I have seen other autistic children that keep their parents up all night, or cry a lot, and I think in most ways, we are pretty lucky. Jackson has the single cutest laugh ever, and we have really high hopes for him. Since starting school at NUAP, he's made a lot of progress and it's forced us to become really engaged in generating ideas about how best to help him. I don't know what is in the cards for Jackson, but I'm committed that he have a happy upbringing and that he becomes the best he can. I want him to experience friendship with an accepting circle of his peers, and have a girlfriend, and find something he can excel at, and I believe there is a great big world of possibility for him. Anyway, I'll leave it at that. I'm getting all verklempt. Happy birthday, little fella.

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'm surrounded by a-holes...

When I first started this blog, I expected that I'd have a lot to say about current events. However, since the election, other than Inauguration Day I have been feeling pretty apolitical, partially out of winter blues/general grumpiness, but also because I'm waiting for the honeymoon phase with President Obama to wear off and have something interesting to talk about besides the recession.  This week, with the attack of the Somali pirates on the U.S.-operated Maersk Alabama and North Korea's repeated attempts to matter by launching a satellite into orbit (which failed), I've felt the first stirrings of political interest in the past 3-4 months.  North Korea always seems so desperate for attention, and I have to laugh at their tenacity.  There is a long history of brutality and oppression in North Korea, but given the pervasive presence of asshole dictators in the world, it seems that the West simply has bigger fish to fry right now, and absent any real show of power, Kim Jong Il and his boys just aren't going to hold our attention.

Which brings me to what I really want to say.  My friend Eskimo Bob recently blogged about a religious movement of Ultimate Fighters who want to accentuate the edgier side of Jesus, and his butt-kicking capabilities.  I'm not on board with that, but I do think sometimes people forget that Jesus wasn't all sugarplums and molasses and baskets of butterflies.  He said things that sometimes were interpreted as harsh, and was definitely not the pantywaist hippie that some people seem to prefer to see him as.  Which brings me back to the pirates.  I haven't kept up on the story continuously, but I was really annoyed by our Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who was laughing about the situation in a press conference, as if to say, "Those darn pirates!  Boys will be boys!"  I am rooting for the Obama Presidency to succeed spectacularly, but I am kind of wondering why this isn't being treated with the seriousness it deserves.  The pirates are completely defying the U.S. government, and it seems any time we should be putting the fear of God into them. Negotiation and diplomacy have their place, but not with terrorists, and that is all pirates are, even if Captain Jack Sparrow is a fun dude.  I had the most productive week I've had in a long time this week, so I'm in a fighting kind of mood, but for the love, can we just get this handled already?  That's all I have to say.  Discuss.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Survey #3: Best hamburger ever!

Well, the weekend is coming to a close, and I am all edified from General Conference, and I stayed up until after 1:00 AM last night after getting a sudden flash of ideas and jotting them down, so I don't feel like being too long-winded or writing anything meaningful, so let's just do another survey. As I've mentioned before, I love a good burger. Sometimes even a mediocre burger. Despite the picture I've posted, I'm not really belligerent against vegetarians, and only eat koala occasionally. But I am pretty much against any organization as smug and self-important as PETA. Anyway, what is the best burger you've ever eaten and where did you get it? The little wife and I like to go to Red Robin for a good burger, but I'm looking for great here. Something that just blew your socks off. It's usually the little dives. For me, I'd have to say the bowling alley in Rexburg. It never disappointed, but it's been several years since I've been there, and I'm kind of afraid with the growth of BYU-Idaho, the city and some of its local businesses could lose their unique appeal. Hopefully the bowling alley has prospered just enough to keep it ghetto and not gone all corporate. Bowling alleys are meant to be seedy.

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Runners-up for me include Big Jud's, which in all truth might not actually reach true greatness, but due to my memories, which probably grow with time, and the experience of the place, it gets a spot notwithstanding. If anyone doesn't know, Jud's is a rural joint that serves one-pound burgers (one of which I took down as a freshman at Ricks). A couple of friends actually were able to pound doubles, which is just plain ungodly. I still remember my Japanese friend Koji, normally very proper, complaining of his heartburn the day after eating the double. Good times. Another burger dive with a special place in my heart is the A&W in Logan. My friend Kyle and I swear the burgers are better here than at other A&W locations. I don't know if it's the fact that it is such a unique orange building (that you can see clearly from some parts of campus), or that it feels so local and has been around forever, but there was truly no better place to go after a disappointing Statistics exam or just to chow down for no particular reason at all on some delicious hot cow, washed down with a frosty mug of root beer.

Anyway, I've already gone on longer than I planned to. Discuss.