Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Worktime Randomness Version 2.0

Superpowers are an interesting topic of conversation. They can really give someone an insight into how that person truly wishes they could act. If you want to know a lot about that person, ask them if they could have any superpower what would it be.

Sure comic books geeks like myself may overanalyze and try to come up with some sort of power that has multiple uses that have been defined before in some sort of comic universe (i.e. using telekinesis can also give you the ability to fly is you focus on moving yourself) and maybe that's an indictment that the geeks of the world have to try and take as much as they can if given something.

Let's take a look at someone who would choose super strength. Now granted, like most superpowers, super strength would come in handy. Being able to move objects no mortal should be able to move is something which man has been trying to replicate for eons with simple designs like fulcrums and levers to complex thing like cranes and other construction equipment. But why would someone choose super strength? Most likely they would associate the strength with someone such as Superman...but the only difference is, who would actually use a super strength gift for doing good deeds in the world? My bet is that people who would take super strength fall into the realm of two different people. The first would be the bully you knew growing up. The guy who always believed that as long as he could beat someone up he could win any arguement put in front of him. Now the second would be the exact opposite of that, the kid who got beat up in grade school. The bullies of the world generally aren't too intelligent and believe that the strength is just a natural extension of their presumed awesomeness, but the guy that got bullied...well therein lies something darker, more dangerous than any bully. You see the bullied kids are really the ones you have to be afraid of because, when we are young a lot of how we deal with things are instilled in us during our formidable years in grammar school and even high school. If a kid who is constantly bullied all the time is the typical kid like that, they won't stand up against the bully...because of fear of getting their ass kicked again. Thus a lot of pent up hostility builds inside this person, and unless they have maybe a proper outlet for it (i.e. some sort of outdoor activity or even a real violent video game) it can cause a serious problem. Now take that child, and give him the strength of 1,000 bullies and see exactly what he does with it. I can almost guarantee that it wouldn't be pretty. In fact, make matters worse and put that kid back in high school, and see what would happen. I, for one, would make sure I was friends with the kids who were bullied...just to be on the safe side. Now I know what you are thinking, what about heroes like Superman and Spider-man, who had superhuman strength in high school? There are obvious exceptions to the rule and I'm not saying every kid that is bullied would turn into a crazed roid rage freak, but even the good kids like Peter Parker and Clark Kent had their moments where they would use only a slight hint of their strength to embarrass a Flash Thompson type bully. So not everyone is perfect.

Anyone who would choose invisibility is quite frankly a pervert. They just want to be able to sneak into places that they aren't allowed (i.e. locker rooms, dressing rooms, etc.) Anyone who says anything to the contrary is a liar.

Telepathy is also an interesting choice. I mean who wouldn't want to know what someone is thinking, especially if you were say, a lawyer, or someone who's relationship was falling apart or something akin to that. But telepathy is quite possibly one of the most dangerous abilities to have. Look at Charles Xavier, for instance. Professor X is probably one of the most powerful characters in the entire Marvel Universe simply because he can enter anyone's mind he wishes, barring a specially designed helmet (i.e. Magneto and Juggernaut) and do whatever he wishes. If Xavier simply just wanted to find out what you were holding in a game of Hold 'Em or make you think you were a pretty ballerina, he could do it without moving a muscle. Granted Xavier is an enlightened enough individual to not let these abilities of his go to his head, but someone like Matt Parkman from Heroes...well let's just say that he isn't as noble. This is one of the reason I think Heroes is such an amazing show as it really takes the flaws that normal humans have and show how they can abuse their gifts for their own well being. Matt can force someone to talk in an interrogation room. Claire can fake dying to make a drunk cheerleader rival seem crazy. Hiro can time travel to try and fix anything that has gone wrong in his life. And Peter...well he can basically do whatever the fuck he wants. You know in hindsight as I'm writing this, maybe Heroes was the reason I decided to go off on the evils that could happen if you ask someone what superpower they would have.

As for me...I've given this a lot of thought, but my superpower would be always able to find a terrific parking spot.

Sports movies are a lot of fun to watch...but not terribly realistic. For instance, I've still never been able to tell if Henry Rowengartner and Rick Vaughn were starters, middle relievers, or closers. And believe me I've seen these movies a lot. Also why does it always seem that the starters we've been picked to cheer for (i.e. Chet Stedman or Tony Danza) can always seemingly pitch complete games. I mean there's never an interesting cut scene looking for a guy to eat up two or three innings even when a loss is assured for the team, or no setup guys or closers warming in the pen. That being said, I'm going to do something that's a bit weird. I'm going to have a fantasy sports draft...not for any sport in particular, just a top ten list if you will of who I would pick for any various sports teams that I would be running.

1. Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez - Yeah Benny is my number one draft pick simply because the man can do no wrong on a Sandlot. He can play every position and can literally find any spot in the outfield he wants to hit a ball to. Plus he crushed the guts out of a have to respect the Jet Power.

2. Adam Sandler - Now I know Adam is a real person, but I'm talking just his general body of work in movies. He won big games for The Mean Machine and the Bourbon Bowl for the Mud Dogs, the man is an avid golfer with a huge drive, and a very mediocre hockey player. He can apply a really tight sleeper hold, has coached peewee basketball, plus he seems to have an extensive martial arts and boxing background, and he kills mother fuckers on a dodgeball court. If there was ever truly a new Bo Jackson, Adam Sandler would be it....and oh yeah he could also sing at halftime.

3. Air Bud - No one will tackle a dog or be bale to box him out. I rest my case.

4. Becky "The Ice Box" O'Shea - She's Lawrence Taylor with tits folks, she was able to singlehandedly stop Spike Hammersmith, a man who is able to drag opposing players while still running at full speed. Plus....she's pretty hot now.

5. Henry Rowengartner - This draft pick seems obvious simply because of the heater he can throw and his obvious skills as a cheerleader from the bench. But this comes with an asterisk, it would have to be for the American League...I don't want and "pitcher's got a big butt" chants on my team.

6. Matthew/Martha - Now I know as Americans we don't really regard soccer as an actual sport. It's merely a past time that parents subject their children to when they are younger to make sure they eat plenty of oranges and actually wake up before noon on Saturdays. But Matthew is essentially like the Kobe Bryant of soccer, he is extremely skilled and once he learns to make his teammates better especially the very underratedly hot Penny Pester, there's no one on the field that can touch him. Plus...he is a master of disguise.

7. Adam Banks - Yes he may be a cake eater, and he may not have any charisma whatsoever...nor does he get the cheesy overtone music when he does something good. But he is the skill player that doesn't draw a lot of attention you need on any good team.

8. Lola Bunny - Sure...she wasn't the MVP of the Tune Squad as that title obviously belonged to Michael Jordan. And granted she's probably not as durable considering Bugs took a dive for her, but she is a cartoon character which gives her longevity, and she is a relative unknown but obviously has an extensive athletic background. And all you have to do is encourage opponents to call her "doll."

9. Willy Mays Hayes - He plays like Mays and he runs like Hayes, plus we have a very big budget for black batting gloves. He also did a movie with "The Governing Body" Jesse Ventura (yes, I'm going to pitch that idea to him...eventually), so you have to respect that.

10. Rudy - Everyone loves an underdog baby. Plus he got to play what two or three plays maximum, I'd utilize him better than that.

Honorable Mentions: Shane Falco, Rod Tidwell, Coop Cooper, Hayley Graham, Kate Peach

As far as a coach, it's a tough call between Gordon Bombay, Lou Brown, and Herman Boone. But I'd have to take Boone as my head coach with Brown as the assistant coach. Bombay can easily be distracted by a hot blonde, and if Boone takes football nut Hayden Panitierre with him (which he will), then Bombay is no use to me. General Manager of the team would be Jimmy McGinty because he isn't afraid to take chances on guys who have failed in the he finds guys that are "wiry." And my announce team would consist of Harry Doyle and Jim Ross, the wealth of knowledge and humor they would provide would be amazing.

Well I think that's all for this blog post this time around, feel free to comment if you disagree with any of my thoughts and musings. Oh and a gold star goes to one Mr. Doc Remedy who identified last week's quote as being from "Istanbul to Constantinople" by They Might Be Giants and from a Tiny Toons music video (which is out on DVD now, buy it if you have any semblance of a childhood).

This week's quote is an easier one I'd think: "37? I'm 37?" Gold star to the first one who comments with the correct answer.

Happy blogging kids.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday 5

Here we go yet again with another edition of the Friday 5

1. When you go to the beach, lake, or pool, are you more likely to lower yourself gradually into cold water or to take a determined plunge and get it over with?

Definitely a determined plunge to go in. It's best to get it over with right away instead of standing ankle high looking like a goober.

2. How is this like (or unlike) your approach to other tasks or ordeals?

I guess with something that it looks like I'm going to have to do anyway I try and do it all in one shot and go for it as big as you can go.

3. When someone gives you flowers, are you more likely to let them turn completely brown and gross before throwing them out, or to discard them the moment they take on that sick-flower look?

I'll probably let then turn all brown most a few reasons, I'd like to get as much use out of it as i can, and even though the flowers may look horrible they still have some sweet smell about them. I also like to show the person who gave me the flowers that I appreciate it, so I keep them around until basically it makes no more sense to.

4. How is this like (or unlike) your approach to other gifts, purchases, or relationships?

Well hopefully none of my relationships or gifts have turned to the brown and gorss look, but I try to appreciate all the things and relationships that I have while I have them, for as long as I can have them.

5. Think of your favorite movie (or a movie you really like, if you can’t think of a favorite). Some people say that the reasons you love your favorite movie are related to what you value in romantic relationships. How is this true or untrue in your case? favorite movie is American Beauty or Spider-man, so either I'm a pedophile who can really become truly happy by quitting his job, watching his wife sleep with another man, driving his daughter away, and then ultimately turning down the 16 year old he had been fantasizing about only after he at least got to second base OR I'm a nerd who lusts after the girl on his dreams only to get shot down repeatedly and have my best friend steal her away, only for me to get superhuman abilities and mack it to her upside-down?

.......I'll take the latter.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Worktime Randomness Version 1.0

Okay, this is going to be the first in a series of blogs that I post from work. Basically the purpose of these blogs is going to be about the random stuff that happens to make it's way somehow into my brainwaves and I don't feel I could share with any of my coworkers for the following reasons:

a) They wouldn't know any of the references that I refer to
b) Nor would they care
c) I'd get that odd "how old are you and how much money are we paying you?" look
d) It's almost too obscure that even I'm not exactly sure of the authenticity of it

Now to prove how random all of these entries are going to.....and really should be, here's something that I've been contemplating for the past day or two ever since I saw Casper on Starz during my day off. The entire concept of Casper is bull shit. Now hear me out, this is not an indictment of the existence of ghosts or anything like that, I'm just talking the physical appearance of Casper and his three uncles Fatso, Stretch, and Stinkie. You see this occurred to me during the end of the movie when not only the movie's villain Kerrigan but Kat's father both die in the flick. When we see their spiritual forms, they are just about an exact replica of their human forms even down to Bill Pullman's glasses and awkwardness and Kerrigans massive chesticles....yet Casper and his kin look like shapeless blobs. If what we were led to believe is the true spiritual form is what happens right after you die, then Casper sure as fuck didn't look like Junior Floyd when he was 12 years old and maybe there was a reason he was locked away in that attic Rye Playland looking room of his. Now if they explained that the longer you are in ghostly form the less you start to look like you did when you were human, fine I'd buy that...but it's never explained. And based on that theory, I don't want to see shapeless ghosts damn it, I want to see a floating older brother from Everybody Loves Raymond, two more floating guys that no one knows of, and a hovering....yet still dreamy...translucent Devon Sawa. Now I told you the journey of my mind takes you to many odd and unusual places, so if that last little ditty of mine completely confused's more than likely only going to get worse from here on in.

This leads me to something popped into my head while talking about Casper. The Muppet Babies are solely responsible for making my generation unhappy. Now hear me out, because when I was a kid I loved the Muppet Babies. My mom worked at a daycare center when I was younger and I used to stay there on days off, and help watch the kids and reap the benefits of juice time and playing with wooden blocks all day...and watch numerous awesome shows and movies like Land Before Time and Sharon, Lois, and Graham's Elephant Show (skidamarinkydinkydink mother fuckers). But now the reason I say Muppet Babies is responsible for making my generation unhappy with our stations in life, lies directly in the theme song. Ahem...sing along if you wish. "When your world looks kind of weird and you wish that you weren't there. Just close your eyes and make believe and you can be anywhere!" Cute lyrics right? Bring you back to your childhood a bit? Well when I heard it then, those lyrics inspired me to believe that I was a ninja turtle stopping a guy who for some reason couldn't just use nuclear warfare to destroy four turtles, or a fat Italian plumber using mushrooms to make himself feel bigger. But now I listen to those lyrics and it's really an indictment of our entire society. The Muppet Babies are basically teaching us to avoid reality at all costs when something, no matter how minutely small, shows up that we don't enjoy. Stuck in traffic? No worries, picture yourself on a pirate ship. Going through a divorce? Eh, that's okay because there is a unicorn right outside your door just waiting to fly you to a world of porn and beer. I mean even looking at almost every single episode, it's as soon as the faceless, nameless authority figure (affectionately referred to as "Nanny" which we all know is real world talk for "Boss" or "Master") tells them to do something, they immediately go to different worlds and when "Nanny" returns more often than not, the problem that they were supposed to solve is solved for them. Not only does that present an entirely skewed view of the real world, it teaches children to skirt responsibility as much as possible until the job eventually gets done for you. Fuck you Muppet Babies, for killing society.

Patti Mayonnaise was a cock tease. Yeah, I said it. It had to be said. Now listen, I'm not trying to say that I didn't enjoy Patti or the entire Doug community for that matter, but looking at it realistically. Patti was probably the biggest cock tease in all of Bluffington. Granted our boy Douglas Yancy Funnie wasn't the smoothest cat in the land, but he also wasn't the most subtle. I mean even Roger figured out early on that Doug was jonesing for Patti ever since she jogged by the Honker Burger. Patti had to know this as well, as she was roughly more intelligent than most of the characters in the school were...despite her shortcomings in math. Yet she pretty much took advantage of all the things Doug did for her without so much as a little sugar for his troubles. Now maybe I'm a bit bitter towards Patti, because all guys growing up have a "Patti" in our lives. And once you grow a bit older (unless of course you end up with "Patti" which never generally happens because there's always a smooth talking editor of the school paper with a name like Guy, who shows up eventually to snatch her away after she finally catches on to your advances and subtle moves), you eventually come to realize that the "Patti's" of the world are just attention whores and cock teases for the most part. They obviously realize what is going on, that the "Doug's" shower them with attention because of crushes, unrequited loves, whatever terminology you want to use, but as long as they play dumb for as long as possible even though the token foreigner in the class (a.k.a. Fentruck) realizes the feelings "Doug" has for "Patti", then "Doug" will keep trying to make moves with "Patti" she'll string him along even further. This is just a message to the "Doug"s of the world....sometimes it's just best to relax, sit back, and strum your own banjo.

Now you may be asking yourself, if by yourself you mean me (Stephen Colbert lifted gimmick, yes I know) why oh why am I completely destroying the idyllic qualities of Patti Mayonnaise, especially when BeBe Bluff is a far more suitable target of ridicule and mockery? Well first of all, that's an excellent question. But it comes with an easy answer. BeBe is a bitch. BeBe is a rich bitch and she knows it, and she is probably proud of it. She makes no bones about, she doesn't try to hide it, she orders you around in Home Ec by not letting you sit for a few minutes even though the cake gets to. If you try and involve yourself in the world that revolves around BeBe Bluff, you pretty much get exactly what you pay for. You have to put up with her bitchiness, but on the bright side, you'd be able to get front rows tickets to the Beets concert, and in the future if you play your cards right, you may even get to nail her. Because BeBe Bluff looks like she would be a good anger bang, in that whole big argument leads to silent sexual tension leads to her grabbing a riding crop and forcing you down on your knees telling you to worship her foot kind of way. So sorry, Mosquito...but no one feels sorry for you. Honk! Honk!

Well I think that's all for now, and if you think that I think too much about this shit. You're probably right, but then again I think about a lot of weird stuff when I don't want to be at's what the Muppet Babies taught me.

P.S. Going to try a little quote contest for anyone who actually takes the time to read my musings, because what good is all this random dribble without a little fun to boot. First to comment on the right source material for this quote gets a gold star. "Why they changed it, I can't say. People just liked it better that waaaaay!"

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This blog deserves a better brand of post

Don't worry...I'll show ya

Yes, this is the obligatory Dark Knight blog post. I've had a day or two to really digest the movie now and I have to say, it is quite possibly not only the best superhero movie I've ever seen, but simply one of the best films I've ever seen.

I'm warning you now....this will have spoilers in it. So if you haven't seen it yet and don't want to be spoiled, stop reading now.

Seriously I will spoil the whole movie for you right now if you don't stop.


The Dark Knight was one of the most overhyped movies of this entire year. I mean it was getting so much hype from the beginning of the year as soon as posters popped up with a rather odd looking clown face and the "I Believe in Harvey Dent" posters. Then, unfortunately, Heath Ledger died and the hype increased tremendously. With this being the last film he worked on this turned into almost more than a comic book movie, this became the swansong of someone how now may be looked at as a modern day James Dean on some level. And my what a swansong it is.

I've seen a lot of Heath's movies, and I mean I thought he was a good actor but nothing really too dynamite. However, I'm not sure why it seemed like he may have been holding back in a lot of his other performances or what, but his transformation (and yes, it is a transformation) into the Joker....well it chilled me to my core. I've seen a lot of Jokers, from Nicholson to the comics to Batman Beyond....and this far surpasses any incarnation of the Joker I've ever seen. They way he seamlessly moves through madness is almost an art form, at no point did I see Heath Ledger in makeup on that screen....from the very first moment the Clown Prince of Crime is on the IMAX screen he is as ruthless and sadistic as the Joker is supposed to be. And the best part is, he balances it with humor...not the kind of slapstick, joy buzzer, fist coming out of a handgun humor.....but real sick twisted dark vile humor, and it worked flawlessly. Some of the lines he delivers just offset the serious tone of Batman while never losing the credibility of him being basically a terrorist with no limits and no regard for anything else. Alfred says that some men just like to see the world burn....and boy does this Joker ever embody that.

Okay, enough about Joker, even though I'll probably kiss his purple suited ass more soon....let's move on to the rest of the film. Christian Bale is a really good Batman, and perhaps an even better Bruce Wayne. While I don't necessary appreciate the "angry voice" he uses for the Caped Crusader, Bale as Bruce Wayne is flawless. The interaction between him and Harvey Dent (more on him later) while fighting over Rachel Dawes added a bit of light humor to an otherwise very dark film. And this Batman is now past the origin and moving into the territory where he is truly a vigilante, being hated by citizens and villains alike. The running theme of the story with Batman not necessarily being the hero Gotham wants, but the hero Gotham needs is a really good way of running the plot and making it move. Especially when it comes to regarding Batman and Harvey Dent as two heroes who follow very different paths. And the mental chess game between Batman, Commissioner Gordon, Dent and the Joker is really reminiscent of a comic book pace with many twists and turns that all made the two hours plus fly by.

Now when I first read the very brief summaries about Dark Knight before the movie came out and I saw Harvey Dent was in it, I was led to believe that Joker and probably Batman would somehow cause the formation of Two-Face and lead into the third movie with Two-Face as the lead villain. Boy was I ever wrong. Maybe it's a law that Nolan has that he wants two of Batman's most notorious rogues in each of his movies...but boy did we ever see Two-Face come to fruition. Before I get to that though, Harvey Dent needs to be discussed because it takes a special kind of movie to build up a character like Dent so much for the first 3/4 of a movie only to have him "heel turn" so much and have it work so well that me ignoring it would be a travesty. Now upon first glance Harvey Dent seems almost like too much of a do-gooder especially when he somehow foils an attempted assassination of himself when a gun is pulled on the bench. But then we get to the meat of Dent, a man who supports Batman. They went an interesting route with Dent and Batman almost working concurrently to take down the mob in Gotham. Harvey Dent is to Gotham what Superman is to Metropolis, a man that seems almost untouchable in the public's eyes and even acts that way in his private life. Harvey Dent is a good man, even admittedly far better than Bruce Wayne, Batman, and Commissioner Gordon. By the middle of this movie, you do believe in Harvey Dent. Enter the Joker. You see Joker's plot involves not only causing as much havoc as humanly possible, but at it's core he wants to prove that everyone is Gotham is deep down as twisted as he is. Although one of Joker's little ploys involving ferries of criminals and civilians fails, he eventually succeeds in turning clean cut Harvey Dent into a burnt up pissed off killer named Two-Face. This turn doesn't come from some simple acid on the face, Harvey is forced to hear Rachel die as Batman comes to save him instead of going after her. In the process of Rachel and Harvey's simultaneous exploding predicaments Harvey actually causes the acid burns himself. Harvey experiences extreme emotional and physical trauma at exactly the same you can imagine that makes a man quite angry, and it burns half of his favorite coin in the process. While in a hospital set to explode thanks to the Joker, Joker visits Harvey's hospital bed dressed in full-on nurse's gear (which looks hilarious for the record) and convinces Joker to embrace what Batman and Gordon have turned him into. The internal struggle between Harvey is etched on his face....literally. The rational good side of Dent can be shown in his lips moving while the side Joker wants him to embrace is shown through the teeth moving on his burned half. Dent then pulls out a gun and tells Joker the his odds are 50-50, just like everyone else's. After that the hospital explodes and we don't see what happens until Harvey kills crooked cops in Gordon's precinct and then goes after Gordon's family. The turn is drastic but very very well done, and props to the makeup department because it looks absolutely amazing.

I'm not going to get into Bale's Batman because he is really more of the same as in the first movie and is upstaged by the performance of Ledger here and rightfully so. But the supporting cast of characters in the acting trilogy of perfection that is Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Gary Oldman is purely phenomenal. All of them chew the darkened scenery that is Gotham city. I honestly cannot still even express how well all three of these men give so much life to the characters that aren't as focused on as much but when they are on camera you can't take their eyes off them. They seem like the normal people in this city full of clown faced killers souped up offroaders and half burnt maniacs and they weave seamlessly in and out of the world while being able to bring some grounded level as to what we are all experiencing. One scene in particular stands out when a higher up in Waynetech figures out that Wayne Industries may have manufactured the Batmobile, he threatens Lucius Fox with blackmail. Lucius simply responds with something along the lines of, "So you think you're multi billionaire employer in a vigilante who goes out at night and beats the hell out of criminals with his bare hands simply because he can, and you want to blackmail him? Good luck." The idiot stands there and gulps. As we sit and mock him. That one scene right there summarizes how well the "normals" make this scene complete.

The bottom line is if you haven't seen Dark Knight....go. If you have seen it...go again.

As a comic book fan and as a movie fan in general, I don't think we will ever seen another movie like this. And that is the truth. Joker said that Gotham deserved a better brand of criminal, and he gave it to spades.

Friday, July 18, 2008

First post featuring the Friday 5

Actual musings will come later but I figured I'd kick this bitch off right with the Friday 5

1. If you could change one life-changing event in the life of someone important to you, would you?

Well it really depends, if they knew about it and approved of the change then I might especially if it helped them out a lot. But otherwise, I don't think I'd like to have control over someone else's destiny. Besides a life-changing event is usually life-changing for a reason and there is always something to be learned and gained from things like that.

2. Which do you think is easier to do, being friends for many years, or being life partners for many years?

You know my dad used to say to me that you will have many friends in life, many come and go as freely as the wind, but you have to hold on to the special select group of people that will be your friends for life. And I'd say that is pretty damned difficult to do.

3. Have you ever walked away from someone you considered a friend?

I would never walk away from someone I considered a friend no matter the circumstances, if one of my friends need me I will be there in any capacity I can be or have to be.

4. If you had to choose between telling the truth and hurting a friend or lying and making them happy, which would you choose?

Probably in the long run I think the truth is always best, but softening the blow and comforting them afterwards I think would have to be necessary.

5. Which would you rather hear--the truth which will hurt, or the comforting lie?

Lie to me baby.

Seriously, I think I'd also rather eventually hear the truth, if I'm honest with my friends I'd want them to be honest with me, and the pain will eventually go away.