Thursday, January 31, 2008

Super Bowl. Super Constipation.

As I was driving to work today, my mind reverted to the Super Bowl.

Then I began to day-dream about all the different Super Bowl parties I've attended.

One Super Bowl party, hosted by a chef, had this expansive hot-dog buffet bar where you could put anything you wanted on the top of your dogs, including peanut butter and banana peppers.

Another party was a bit like Sodom and Gomorrah complete with loose women, plenty of booze, bloodshot eyes and a bunch of 40-and 50- year old males snorting lines of blow in the upstairs master bedroom.

And yet another Super Bowl party served as a significant turning point in my life: my move to Cleveland to start a family with my beautiful wife-to-be. (Insert Awwwwwww sound here)

Oh yeah, and another Super Bowl party caused me to be constipated for seven days.

Please. Please. Let me explain.

The year was 2003. The Oakland Raiders were preparing to take on the virtually, indestructible Tamba Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII.

As it turned out, my next-door neighbors who, coincidentally were my best friends, decided to have a Super Bowl party. Being the hoity-toity folks that they were, they decided to make it a fondue party. They would take care of everything. All I had to do was show up. I was beginning to like this party already!

For all of those unaware, fondue is a hot dish which consists of dipping fried meats, bread, fruit and cheese into various hot cheeses, butters and other sauces including chocolate.

It was halftime, the Bucs were ahead 20-3, and the fondue party had begun. We dipped. We ate. We filled our tummies to the brim. Then we said "Fuck it" and ate some more.

The Super Bowl had ended. Tamba Bay creamed the Raiders 48-21. Everyone had just made some great memories that would last a lifetime.

However, my painful memory was about to begin.

When I awoke the next morning, I still felt bloated. It felt like I had swallowed a packet of cement, drank some water and hopped into a cement mixer for an hour or two. I'm not sure, but I imagine this is what it felt like to be in the early stages of pregnancy.

"No worries," I thought. "It'll all come out later today."

As it turned out. It didn't.

As it turned out, another day went by.

And then another day. And then another day.

Still, nothing came out.

I was constipated. Not a little constipated. A lot constipated.

"Damn you, fondue. Damn you!"

Oh yes, my friends, I was still eating. But, not much. Instead of stuffing my face with mashed potatoes, italian subs and pizza, I was choosing meals with high hopes of pooping on my mind. Salads, soups and apples were now at the top of my list. Heck, I even ran out to Giant Eagle and grabbed the constipation staple: RAISIN BRAN.

But, nothing worked. Sometimes I would feel something gurgling below and would take off to the restroom. But, by the time I got there. I would grunt, groan, gasp and push to no avail. My poop hopes were a distant memory.

Oh sure, I squeezed out a couple kimmie poops, small brown turds resembling tiny pebbles. But, four days without a consistent bowel movement was taking its toll on my body. My jogs weren't too fantastic. I was lethargic. At times, I felt a bit sick. My mind began play tricks on me, too. Especially at night.

As I would lie in bed, I began imagining my intestines getting bigger and bigger and backing up further and further all the way to my stomach. I thought, if I was constipated long enough, would poop begin to come out of my mouth?

I had also heard rumors that sometimes constipated people had to get operated on. Doctors would have to, literally, pull the turds out of your body due to the fact that you can't shit them out.

That particular image got me a little scared. I began to freak out that I would never poop again. Either that or have a colostomy bag put in.

I decided to call a friend.

"What's up?" he said.

"I can't poop."

"Really? How long?"

"Four days going on five."

"No shit?"

"No shit indeed."

"Hmmm."

There was a brief silence.

"Dude," he perked up. "I've got the cure."

"What?"
I asked. "Please help me."

"You need to get some coke."

"Coca-cola?"

"No, man. Cocaine."

"Really?"

"Yeah man,"
he said. "A couple lines will have you on the toilet crapping in no time."

"No shit?"

"I shit you not."

I hung up. Cocaine as a laxative? Hmmmm. Sounded like a great idea. Hell I was willing to try anything at this point in my constipation. Plus, on the bright side, I could get a buzz while I crapped on the toilet. Not a bad deal at all if you ask me.

Sadly, I didn't have any 'coke connections'. And, besides hanging out at gay bars, I wouldn't even know where to begin to find some. After much deliberation, I decided to not take this avenue to cure my constipation.

Sometimes when I enter a library or bookstore I have a distinct the urge to poop. That week, I think I visited Barnes and Noble 10 different times to 'fake browse' the store with hopes that my intestines would get a kickstart.

Nope. Nada. Didn't work.

I started to worry. I started to get scared. I wanted this freaking five-day fondue out of my intestines.

That's when I got desperate. That's when I took this poop problem into my own hands. On day five, I finally broke down. I might have even cried. I grabbed my keys and ran to the supermarket. Drastic times called for drastic measures. So I stocked up on all the constipation essentials including:

- Stool Softeners
- Enemas
- Magnesium Citrate
- Suppositories

First I tried, the stool softeners. Nothing.

Second, I tried the enema. Nothing. However, the picture of me with my legs up in the air and squirting liquid up my butt was probably priceless.

Third, I tried the suppositories. Same result as the enema, but with burning. It felt like I was sticking hot coals up my anus.

Finally, on a tip from my mom, on day seven I tried the saline laxative, magnesium citrate. It's the colored stuff in the jar (green, red or yellow) that you can purchase in the laxative aisle.

I drank the whole thing. I felt like Ponce de León guzzling water from the Fountain of Youth.

Then I waited....and waited....and waited. Four hours later, nothing happened. So I decided to go on a run.

As I started my run, all of a sudden I felt a gurgling in my tummy. Then, a pang of pain shot from my gut.

It was time. I was going to give birth to some turds.

"Should I call someone?" I thought to myself before I realized how stupid of an idea that would be.

I knew I had to find a toilet pronto or the concrete road was going to be painted brown. I hightailed it home.

I pulled down my sweatpants, double-stepped it up to the steps and ran to the toilet, hopped in the air and, in super-slo-motion, my bare ass landed upon the throne.

Accordong to Genesis, on the seventh day, having completed the heavens and the earth, God took a break and used this special day to bless and sanctify his work.

On my seventh day, I pooped like I had never pooped before.

Thanks Mom.

Thanks Magnesium Citrate.

And Fuck You Fondue!

There Will Be Blood review

EIMER NOTE: My good buddy Mac wrote the following review for There Will Be Blood, a movie which I wrote about previously and is currently winning a ton of 2007 awards. In addition, it's neck-and-neck with No Country For Old Men in Academy Award nominations with eight each. Enjoy:

I'm going to start writing reviews for the movies that I believe that Americans should watch. Paul Thomas Anderson has made one of those movies.

For two hours and thirty eight minutes, I learned about the early origins of the American Oil industry and the sickness of greed that plagued great men. And it's all played vicariously through Daniel Day Lewis, who is in a small league of actors that takes the art to a different level. He gives a frankenstein of a performance as Daniel Plainview, an oilman who starts off the movie mining for silver in the last years of the nineteenth century.

There's no dialogue in what felt like the first fifteen minutes of the movie. And yet you're transfixed by these images of this man digging underground. Plainview eventually backs into oil and the rest of the movie is Lewis pretty much showing off why he is the world's best actor.

Lord Daniel has earned every award he's recieved this year and this movie might steal this years Oscar for best picture.

If I had one critizism at all, it would be the character arc, or lack thereof, of Daniel Plainview. He's an asshole the whole way through, from start to finish and that may be the point of the movie. The whole point of greed. Once it's in your blood, you can't get it out.

All Americans should go see this movie and think about oil and the men that are involved in the oil business and then think about how oil plays a part in our world today and how it has evolved in the last hundred or so years.

This is what you call an important movie. A must see. Plus it has a fuckin' killer soundtrack from Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead. Killer.

EIMER NOTE: Thanks Mac. Great review. Keep 'em coming. This week, I do have a get out of jail free card this Saturday. But, I may blow that on seeing No Country For Old Men. That said, since Mac gets to the movie theater more than myself, I'm going to be posting more of his reviews.

So what did you think of THERE WILL BE BLOOD?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Son of Rambow Trailer

When I was growing up, I had the survival knife, the head band, the camouflage pants and the dogtags.

Oh yeah!

I also had the semi-automatic BB-gun that could shoot a shitload of BB's in under a minute. And let's not forget the bottle rockets and smoke bombs. I had them too.

Yep. I'm not afraid to admit it. In the 80's, I was a Rambo wannabe.

To some extent, I guess you could say that I still am.

If you've read this blog before, then you can understand my love for the first installment of the Rambo series. In all honestly, it's definitely one of my top 20 favorite movies of all time. If not a top 10 choice.

I kid you not.

That said, check out this trailer for Son of Rambow. It's a film about two English kids growing up in the 80's who set out to make a sequel to First Blood during their summer break.





Looks interesting and fun. However, I'm wondering if they didn't give too much away in the trailer.

Who cares though. I'm still looking forward to seeing it.

And no, I haven't seen the new Rambo movie yet. Check out this entry to find out why.

What about you guys? Have any Rambo childhood stories that you'd like share?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A Couple Links For You

I thought I'd share some web sites that I've been checking out.

  • So I'm 35 years old, what do I have to look forward to as I near my 40's? According to this story I found on the DrudgeReport: DEPRESSION!

  • A graphic designer I work with is an avid photographer. A couple days ago, he was showing me some photos from a defunct amusement park near Medina (the name escapes me right now). In any event, I was searching around and came across this site which features defunct amusements parks around the country. Cool shots. Makes me want to go find some of these.

  • I stumbled upon this dude's web site by accident, but it's pretty damn interesting. As it turns out, he visits odd places around the world and writes about them including an entry on the mysterious Mothman in Point Pleasant, Ohio. He must be loaded to afford all this travel time.

  • If you're fan of great political cartoons, go check out Jim Borgman's cartoon blog for the Cincy Enquirer. It's loaded with, pretty much, all of his political cartoons from day one. You may recognize his style. He also draws the cartoon ZITS with writer Jerry Scott.

  • I've been looking for this Cheeto's commercial forever on YOUTUBE. I can't believe I finally found it. My brother and I knew this commerical by heart and used to tape different versions and voiceovers on this old tape-recorder and play them back. And laugh. And laugh. And laugh.

  • To add to that, this Enjoli commercial also brings back a ton of childhood memories when we used to watch soap operas with my mom.


  • Wow! Wasn't that fun? Who knows. Maybe this could be a monthly post.

    Monday, January 28, 2008

    Taking a Walk In The Woods with Redford.

    When it comes to non-fiction books about hiking, hands-down my favorite book is Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods.

    The book is a non-fiction, humorous account of Bryson and his chubby, alcoholic friend tackling the 2,100 mile Appalachian Trail, which stretches from from Georgia to Maine. Bryson highlights his hardships in an amusing, yet moving, way.

    That said, today I came across a post on Slashfilm.com that announced Robert Redford will playing the role of Bill Bryson in the new movie adaptation of the book with Barry Levinson set to direct.

    As the post states, Redford and Paul Newman were looking for a project to do together before they croaked. They both mentioned this movie as a possibility. Although it would be nice to see the duo from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid back in the theater, I have my reservations and think that they should look for a younger person to play Bryson's sidekick.

    As far as Levinson is concerned, I'm a fan of his work including Diner, The Natural, Avalon, Bugsy, Wag the Dog and Bandits. He also produced the hit TV series Homicide: Life on the Streets. But, he's been known to make a couple stinkers as well including Toys and Sphere among others.

    All in all, I think he's a great dialogue guy when it comes to direction and writing for males. That's why I think he's a good choice for this particular film.

    On a personal note, a through-hike of the Appalachian Trail is considered a monumental achievement that's highly regarded in the hiking community. It's basically an investment of 3-8 months of your life, depending on how fast you can hike and how much you're carrying on your back.

    Some hikers love the book. Other's hate it. All I can say is the book definitely motivated me to hike bits and pieces of the trail, with hopes of an eventual through-hike in my 50's or 60's.

    If you haven't read A Walk in the Woods, I strongly recommend you pick it up and read it. You won't be sorry.

    Now all we need is for someone to produce and direct The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, the Appalachian Trail-inspired horror novel from Stephen King.

    Friday, January 25, 2008

    One-Sentence Movie Reviews (January 2008)

    Once again, I offer up my one-sentence movie reviews for all to consume with your eyes.

    EASTERN PROMISES Great, gory russian mafia film with an awesome naked knife fight scene.

    WE ARE MARSHALL Director McG ditches Charlies Angels for a chance to tackle real drama in the form of The Thundering Herd and somewhat succeeds.

    3:10 TO YUMA Great acting and a great screenplay make this one of the better westerns to come out in some time.

    THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED Film geeks will swoon at this movie aimed at the MPAA while everyone else will go 'meh'.

    SHOOT 'EM UP It's Sin City mixed with early John Woo movies for a somewhat-fun ride filled with a shitload of body bags.

    SUNSHINE Mix 2010 with Event Horizon and Outland and you've got this above-par science fiction movie from the director of Trainspotting and the writer of 28 Days Later.

    THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM Just like Die Hard, The Fugitive, Predator and First Blood, this is one of those action films that transcends the genre (whatever that means) to make this arguably, one of the best trilogies of all time.

    THE HEARTBREAK KID Although I hated the original, if you like the Farrelly Brothers you'll laugh at this remake, which could almost be considered a sequel to There's Something About Mary.

    THE LOOKOUT Great cinematography, great acting and a solid script make this bank robbery film one of the surprise rentals of the year (so far).

    HATCHET To quote The Simpson's Comic Book Guy, "Worst horror movie ever."

    So, did I knock it out of the park or hit a foul ball?

    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    Cloverfield and the mystery of the BLOOP.

    With the release of the movie Cloverfield, many people are asking the question "Could such a creature exist in our waters?"

    Well, basically, it's just me that's asking the question.

    Author H.P. Lovecraft wrote of a creature called a Cthulu, which is described as terror and evil incarnate (whatever that means).
    Many people, including myself, grew up watching the hokey Godzilla movies. And let's not forget the Kraken, which was highlighted in Clash of the Titans and re-visited as an octopus incarnate in the last two Pirates of the Caribbean films.

    James Cameron's documentary Aliens of the Deep eloquently focused on the idea that we're not entirely sure what's in our oceans.

    Then, of course, you've got your fictional deep-sea creature movies such as Deep Rising, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Jaws 3, Deep Blue Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, etc. etc. etc.

    Although Star Trek geeks may disagree, I'm convinced that the final frontier isn't space, but the deep seas of our very own planet.

    But what, exactly, could be lurking in our waters?

    Could it be a giant squid?
    Could it be the Loch Ness Monster incarnate (I love that word)?
    Could it be mutated whales measuring the length of a football field?
    Could it be aliens from the hit movie Cocoon?

    Enter the strange frequency known as BLOOP.

    During the summer of 1997, scientists from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration revealed a mysterious recording that was picked up several times by undersea microphones.

    Click here to listen the mysterious sound.

    Although the scientists didn't actually come out and say the sound was a giant beast, all were in agreement that it was biological in nature.

    Coincidentally, they nicknamed the unidentified sound "Bloop".

    Eleven years later, the source of the sound still remains a mystery.

    Many scientists claim that the bloop sound was much louder than a bloop produced by Earth's largest known whale, the blue whale. Others theorize that, more than likely, it's an extremely giant squid.

    Some skeptics claim that it's nothing more than a giant piece of ice drifting along the ocean floor.

    Regardless of what anyone thinks, scientists are still baffled by the sound.

    Personally, I think it's a giant squid. Yet, the little kid inside me hopes that it's something else.

    Perhaps something like the creature in Cloverfield.

    Perhaps something that's just swimming around the ocean biding it's time until it rises from the ocean to create hell on Earth.

    Perhaps Wilford Brimley incarnate.



    BLOOP LINKS:

    June 13, 2002 CNN Story

    Wikipedia entry on BLOOP.

    Bigfoot on Mars.

    No, it's not the name of a new B-movie starring Ben Affleck and Sissy Spacek as astronauts who come across a sasquatch on the red planet.

    It's a bonafide news story about the hairy beast on Fox News.

    As it turns out, NASA's Spirit Rover shot a panaramic photo in early November, which was posted on NASA's Web site on January 2, 2008.

    Conspiracy theorists (or bored copywriters perhaps) meticulously scanned the photos and came across the above blurred image which appears to be a humanoid alien walking on Mars.

    Personally, I think it's a rock. But I'm happy to see that people are still looking up in the skies. Hoping. Dreaming. Praying. That there's possibly some life on other planets.

    To read the Fox News Bigfoot on Mars story....click here.

    My next post will be a story concerning the possibility of gigantic sea creatures (aka Cloverfield Monster) that are living thousands of leagues under the sea.

    Hmmm. That sounds like a great title for a book.

    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Flying the (Not-So) Friendly Skies.

    As we exited our airplane at the Akron/Canton airport (which came from Atlanta, which came from South Carolina) I glanced back towards our plane. Then I tried to comprehend the exact time that flying became not that big of a deal. From the hostesses on the plane to the snacks they serve, to the clothes we wear and the way we approach the whole aspect of flying, I created some bulletpoints of some of my thoughts about flying the friendly (or as it turns out not-so-friendly) skies.

    • Everytime I enter a plane and sit down in my seat, three things immediately cross my mind: 9-11, Crashing and I Should Have Taken A Piss. When seated, I look to my right, front and back and think to myself "I could possibly be dying with all of these people today." Then people start hacking, coughing and farting all around me and I slowly wish they actually would die. Then, as I head to the small bathroom before take-off, if a hijacker stood up with a bomb or a boxcutter in his hand, I would fucking bum-rush him without a moment's hesitation. Not to sure, but I think a lot of people think this way nowadays.

    • Back in the day, I used to watch movies where all the hostesses have happy smiles on their faces and are beautiful. And by beautiful I mean one-night stand beautiful as so elonquently filmed in the movie Catch Me If You Can. On this past flight, however, we had what appeared to be the cast of Barfly. We flew on AirTran. If American Airlines is considered the major leagues of flying than Airtran has to be the minor leagues. And when I talk about the minor leagues, I'm talking the lowest minor league division there is. To look at it another way, it's almost as if the hostesses are college interns who are working their way up to a full-time job. Any. Way. They. Can. If you know what I'm saying.

    • On the trip to Charleston from Atlanta, there was this old-skinny gentleman with glasses who was jumping from seat-to-seat. When someone would approach their seat and tell him to get up he'd start bitching "Jesus, here we go again." I was thinking he had some sort of obsessive compulsive disorder. The plane was so packed, that - after three or four more times of this - he finally had to make his way back to his original seat. He took the aisle seat right next to mine, turned toward his right and faced this younger gentleman. "Look," he said making a big box sign with his hands. "You stay on this side of the box and I'll stay on my side. Are we understood?" The man looked over at him, didn't say a word, rolled his eyes then returned to reading his book. I think that was a great response to this nutjob. I'm not sure what I would have done in that situation. But it definitely would have started with "Hey...Fuck you, old man!"

    • Not sure if this makes me a geek or not, but I love it when a plane takes off. Sometimes I look around to see if other people are also sharing this excitement with me and that we are witnessing this engineering marvel as one. Notsomuch. In fact, on most take-offs I always see a geek reading a thick book on mathematics, a girl wearing an I-pod with her head buried in People magazine (with Britney on the front) and an old man with a mustache sawing logs. Honestly, it doesn't matter how many more times I fly in my life, I'll still be in utter disbelief that we are in a small metal tin hovering 25,000 feet in the air and rocketing over 400 miles per hour. It completely baffles my mind every single time I fly.

    • Whenever I exit a plane, I like to act like I'm rock star that just had sex with a groupie on the plane. I pretend I'm on my way to some sort of concert in a packed stadium. I also like to think that everyone around me is a fan. But they don't recognize me because I'm traveling incognito. That said, next time you're at an airport, pay close attention to the different people leaving a plane. It's funny to see how everyone thinks they're rock stars as well. You can almost compare it to the same phenomena as people leaving a bad-ass roller coaster at Cedar Point.

    • When we're in the air I start to think how people will act when the plane takes a nosedive to the Earth. Will they go bonkers? Will they try to get out of the plane? Will they simply grab their loved one's hand? Will they try to rape someone? Will they get into a fistfight with someone? On a personal level, I believe that everyone on the plane will die except for me. Then, I start to think that I'm Jeff Bridges' character in the movie Fearless. I honestly believe that if the plane crashes that, as the lone survivor, I would walk out of some cornfield, unscathed, with drops of blood and people debris all over me. Then I'd rent a hotel room and sleep there for three days before getting found by the FAA. Then I would get free air travel for the rest of my life. Then I wonder if people are thinking the exact same Jeff Bridges' thing? That's when I ask the hostess for a beer.

    • I've flown First-Class only once. I'm definitely convinced that it's definitely the way to go. Free booze. Tons of leg room. A cordial hostess. Plus, you really do feel like a rock star. I'm curious why they don't make one plane that has all first-class seats. It could be called the AirTran BONUS PLANE. Or something like that. If you buy a plane ticket, there's a 1-in- 50 chance that you may get the BONUS PLANE and have comfort for the whole trip. But, you won't know until you get on the plane. It's a little extra surprise. If I was AirTran or some other airline, I'd try to make this work somehow. Because for the life of me, I can't believe how fat people fly.

    Well there you have it. Are there any other crazy airplane Seinfeld observations that you'd like to share?

    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    The Quest for a Suit.

    This weekend (actually Thursday) we're heading to Charleston, South Carolina, to attend a wedding.

    On a personal note, I like weddings. I love the happiness and the good times. Most importantly, I like the free booze. To add to that, we're going to be staying in a beachhouse overlooking the ocean for three days. And the temperature is going to be floating around 60 degrees all week.

    Ahhhhh.

    From what I understand, it's going to be a pretty high-falutin' wedding as well. The bride will be in white. The groom black. And, since the reception will take place at a local Country Club overlooking the beach, I'm pretty sure everyone will be dressed to the nines.

    And by the nines I mean MEOW!

    After I heard this, my wife-to-be walked up to my face and sized me up and down. I wasn't sure what she was doing. I thought she might want to have some sex.

    "You need a new suit," she said matter of factly and walked away.

    I didn't say a thing. In fact, I kind of agreed with her. It's been 19 years since I've last purchased a suit. And that was for my senior high school photos way back in 1990.

    Don't know how I've managed to do it, but I've survived weddings, funerals, interviews and other dress-up events by simply wearing a nice pair of pants, a nice white shirt, some nice black shoes and a tie.

    Until now, that is.

    Sure, I've borrowed a suit from friends for various things including a number of misdemeanor court dates. I've even rented a couple tuxedos for weddings and the like.

    That's why, deep down inside, I knew it was time to stop borrowing and start buying. I needed a suit for myself. Something that was more my style. Something to call my own. Something like the characters in the Reservoir Dogs would wear. And I needed it now.

    Let it be known that I hate shopping for clothes. It basically stems back to when I was a child.

    My mom would drag my brother and I into a number of different department stores such as Hills or Big Wheel and force us to walk into the hot changing room and try on pairs after pair after pair after pair of blue jeans for back-to-school shopping. All the while it was a beautiful August day outside. Perfect weather for kickball, jumping bikes over streams or shooting b-b guns. And here we were, stuck in this stupid department store trying on clothes.

    Fuck us indeed.

    BUT ANYWAY. During our 'suit' conversation, the phone rang. I checked the caller-ID. It was my wife-to-be's stepfather so I answered. We talked for a second, but before I handed the phone over to my wife-to-be, he asked how things were going.

    I casually told him my suit predicament.

    "Hmmm," he said. "I don't think you need a suit."

    My eyes lit up. I started paying attention.

    "No. No. No. What you need is a sportcoat and a nice pair of pants."

    "Really?" I asked. Surprised.

    "Yeah. The only time you're going to wear a suit is to a funeral," he said. "A sportcoat has more flexibility. You'll be able to use it more. And since you don't like to dress up, I think it's the way for you to go."

    "Sooooo, ya got any ideas?" I asked.

    "Yes I do." he shouted. "Meet me over at the house around 2:30 p.m. and I'll drive you over to Steinmart. We'll pick somethng out for you there."

    Since I haven't shopped for a suit or sportcoat or whatever in years, let's just say I was extremely happy for his help. So, when 2 p.m. came around, I hopped in my car, drove over to his house and we headed over to Steinmart in Solon, Ohio.

    Hastily, we walked in and went directly over to the jackets. (My type of shopping.) He jostled through the many sportcoats and, like it was an apple from a tree, he plucked a dark blue jacket from the rack.

    "Here, try this on," he said.

    It didn't fit.

    "Okay," he said as he jostled the coats again."Try this one then."

    It fit. Perfectly

    We then walked over to the pants rack. He pulled out a nice pair of charcoal gray pants.

    "Here, try this on," he said. No questions were asked. I simply went directly to the fitting room, pulled off my pants and tried them on.

    "Make sure you come out so I can see what they look like," he said.

    As I opened the door to show off my pants, this cute brunette Steinmart girl came walked over to us.

    "Can I help you with anything," she asked with a smile.

    "Why no, thanks" I said as I flashed my smile, sucked in my gut and performed my best Superman impression.

    "Actually. Yes," my future-stepfather-in-law's voice rang out. "Do you have a measuring tape I can use?"

    "Um, sure do." She walked over to a small desk and pulled one out. "Would you like for me to take his measurem-"

    "That won't be necessary," he pulled the measuring tape from her hand and began to take my measurements. He took my shirt measurements. He measured my pants/crotch area. He measured my neck size. He measured me up and down. All the while this cute Steinmart employee was looking over our shoulder. Her arms were crossed and she looked somewhat offended.

    That's when this strange feeling came over me.

    I suddenly felt like I was a male hooker in New York City.

    And, to add to that, my future-father-in-law was my trick. He picked me off the steet, gave me a $100 spot and drove me to Steinmart to get me fitted for a suit. Because, before we would got down to business that night, he wanted to clean me up and take me out to a fancy restaurant a' la Pretty Woman.

    As I left Steinmart with my sportscoat, pants, shirt and tie, we then proceeded to drive to an alteration shop (to fix the pants) and then to a dry cleaner (to wash the shirt). Then we drove back to his house.

    I immediately darted for the refrigerator and pulled out a Miller Light, guzzled it down like a thirsty dog and went on my way. As I hopped in my car to head home, I stopped for a second to reflect on what just happened.

    To be totally honest, I really didn't think my first outing (date?) with my future father-in-law would consist of going shopping, buying clothes and dropping stuff off at the dry cleaner.

    Next time we go out, just to even things out a bit, I'm thinking we're going to have to go to an Ultimate Fighting Championship.

    Either that or a strip joint.

    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    Using the F-word in the Movies.

    I like the word fuck. I use it all the time. Even when I write.

    It's a great word because you can use it as a verb, adjective, noun, pronoun, etc. Basically you can use it in place of any fucking word you want. It's fucking beautiful.

    Maybe that's why I'm so desensitized when it comes to the word. Perhaps it's no longer the nasty word that we all think it is. Perhaps this is the dawning of a new age. A time when fuck is accepted and used by all.

    Only in my dreams.

    All I know is that my days of using it at home are numbered due to my 19-month-old daughter prowling around every corner and picking up new words to use with her rabbit-like sonic ears.

    That said, I was checking out Slashfilm.com and came across this entry concerning the use of the word FUCK in the movies. Below is the list of films with the most instances of the word "FUCK". (The movies highlighted in red are the films I've seen.)

    F**k (2005) - 824
    Nil by Mouth (1997) - 428
    Casino (1995) - 398
    Alpha Dog (2007) - 367
    Twin Town (1997) - 318
    Summer of Sam (1999) - 315
    Running Scared (2006) - 315
    Martin Lawrence Live: Runteldat (2002) - 311
    Menace II Society (1993) - 300
    Goodfellas (1990) - 300
    Narc (2002) - 297
    Harsh Times (2006) 296
    Another Day in Paradise (1998) - 291
    Made (2001) - 291
    Dirty (2005) - 280
    Jarhead (2005) - 278
    Bully (2001) - 274
    State Property 2 (2005) - 271
    Reservoir Dogs (1992) - 269
    Pulp Fiction (1994) - 265
    The Big Lebowski (1998) - 260
    Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) - 248
    Dead Presidents (1995) - 247
    The Boondock Saints (1999) - 239
    The Departed (2006) - 237
    Empire (2002) - 236
    True Romance (1993) - 234
    State of Grace (1990) - 230
    My Name Is Joe (1998) 230
    Gridlock’d 1997 227
    The Devil’s Rejects (2005) - 224
    Eddie Murphy Raw (1987) - 223
    Suicide Kings (1997) - 222
    Black and White (1999) - 215
    American History X (1998) - 214
    The Original Kings of Comedy (2000) 213
    Layer Cake (2005) 210
    Scarface (1983) 207
    Spun (2002) 203
    A Bronx Tale (1993) 200
    Foolish (1999) 200
    8 Mile (2002) 200
    DysFunktional Family 2003 200
    I Got the Hook Up 1998 197
    Born on the Fourth of July (1989) - 196
    Overnight (2003) - 191
    Magnolia (1999) - 190
    Monster (2003) - 187
    Hustle and Flow (2005) - 186
    Get Rich or Die Tryin’ 2005 185
    Formula 51 (2001) - 180
    Flawless (1999) - 178
    Superbad (2007) - 176

    After looking at the list, I'm surprised that Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Scarface are as low as they are not to mention Goodfellas.

    I'm really surprised that Magnolia made the list because I can't even remember it being used at all. Same goes for Jarhead, Made and Superbad.

    The first-place movie (FUCK) is basically a documentary on the F-word and how it's used in our society. I have it in my Netflix queue, but haven't seen it yet. Color me intrigued. I'm moving it to the top.

    I'm just bummed I haven't seen the first two movies yet. I thought I would have caught, at least, all of the top ten. Sigh.

    I'm curious, though. Are there any movies on the list that aren't highlighted in red that are worth renting?

    Monday, January 14, 2008

    New Movies. Where Have Ye Gone?

    Let it be known that I love movies.

    Pre-son and daughter, on average I was seeing about 20-30 movies per year at the theater.

    Post-son and daughter, I think I've seen maybe three.

    I'm a little bummed out because there are a ton of great movies currently out there that I want to see. Simply put, I just don't have the time to see them at the theater.

    I'll give you a perfect example.

    Everyone I know has seen No Country For Old Men. Every(fucking)body that I know. No matter where I go or who I bump into. They're talking about it. Everything from the acting, to how awesome the Coen Brothers are and how it should win a million Oscars. Some people are even having get-togethers to simply discuss how fucking great this movie is. Some people are saying it's the best movie ever made. Ever! Ever?

    I wouldn't know. I haven't seen it due to the fact that I have a very limited amount of free time during the nights and the weekend.

    Sure, I'll be able to rent it on DVD in six months. But by then, everyone has talked about it. Everyone is bored. Everyone is on to the next, big thing.

    ME: Hey man, I finally saw No Country. What did you think about the direction?

    JOHN: Huh? What?

    ME: No Country For Old Men. You know that movie that was released in the theaters in 2007. I finally saw it.

    JOHN: Ohhhhh, yeahh. I think I remember that film. Coen Brothers. Best Picture. Right?

    ME: Yeah. Yeah. Well, I really thought the screenplay was drafted with the main protagonist...

    JOHN: Uh, sorry man, but we're heading to Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull right now. Wanna come?

    ME: Um. Uh. Sorry. I can't.

    JOHN: Ohh. Yeah. The two babies at home thing. Well (looks around) later dude!!

    ME: (Sigh.)

    I agree. I agree. It's a sad state of affairs for little old me.

    But, it doesn't have to be.

    With all the technology going into people's home-entertainment systems not to mention theconstant competition from the cable and directTV customers, I'm really surprised that producers haven't been able to negotiate a deal which would launch new-releases onto DVD or television either the same day or a week after they've been released in the theater.

    Motels and hotels across the country have negotiated a way to do it. So, why can't it be taken down to the home-viewing level as well?

    Look, I can understand that movie theaters need to make their money. I totally agree. I don't want to take away anyone's dough and highjack the movie from the internet. Plus, I would rather pay for a high-quality movie than one that was filmed in the back of a theater through an old lady's beehive haircut.

    So, Hollywood, could you please let me pay you for these new-release movies? Hell, I may even pay more (possibly double) than a regular theater ticket price if you release it on television the same day.

    All you have to do is cater to me... Joe Sixpack drinking a six pack on a Friday night.

    Dallas Mavericks' Owner Mark Cuban and Academy-Award Winning Director Steven Soderbergh understood this phenomena as well.

    In 2005, they decided to do a test. Soderbergh made a low budget movie called Bubble and Cuban's production company 2929 Entertainment released it at the theaters, on DVD and on Pay-Per-View...all on the same exact day. From what I understand, the chain theaters (AMC, Regal, etc.) refused to release Bubble in their theaters on opening day. Thus, 2929 Entertainment wasn't truly able to guage how successul the test actually was.

    I thought the movie was entertaining enough. I saw it on DVD. But, it was the whole marketing idea that I liked even more.

    Boing Boing published an extensive article on its website (circa 2005). However, I pulled a quote from Mark Cuban talking about his venture:

    "We’re going to release our films in as many ways as possible without worrying about [the time between the movie theater and DVD/pay-per-view]. If we're wrong we're wrong, but if we're right just think! Most movies -- even the best of movies -- 90% of box office gross happens in the first weekend. Same with DVDs now, most sales happen in the first weekend of release. One night stands. If you want to sell somebody the DVD after a movie has left theaters, you have to remarket the movie all over again. "

    On a personal level, I think it's fucking brilliant. I also think the idea should be further researched because Hollywood is missing a lot of hard-core movie lovers who simply are not able to get out of the house to see new releases. And that goes for the blue hairs too!!

    From millenial kids deciding to stay at home because they want to sit around and gab during a movie to parents stuck at home with their newborn kids dying to see the latest,greatest thing to hit the theaters, I think the movie industry is missing out on a plum piece of the pie by not catering to a handful of movie lovers.

    That's why I think it's time they woke up and smelled the coffee. The green kind.

    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    Who's Your Daddy? Erp, I mean Next President.

    One the drive into work today, I was listening to NPR and...

    No. Nope. I'm Sorry. I just lied. I was listening to ESPN Radio.

    However, on this particular day, I wasn't thinking about sports, cartooning or women pillow fighting in cotton panties.

    Today, my friends, I was thinking something that I rarely think about on my morning drive to work.

    I was thinking politics. More importantly, the presidential election.

    Frankly, I haven't even had the time to sit down and research which candidate is promising what to whom, whenever they get elected into office (e.g. blowing rainbow-colored smoke up our ass).

    And although I'm not too sure who I'm picking this November (yet), I've still got my eye on some candidates including:

    Barack Obama.
    On a personal note, I think the time for an African American president is...now. I liked the idea of Colin Powell during the last election, but this Obama guy just seems like a good choice. I like the dude. He really is a likable guy. But is he too young to run the country? And what does he really stand for? I guess they said the same thing about the Kennedys (both JFK and Bobby). I mean, they turned out to be so popular that they both got whacked. To be honest, I'm curious to see who Obama picks for Vice President and the rest of his cabinet. Because, if he gets elected, you know there will be a lot of crazy, pissed-off rednecks runnin' around. I'm just sayin. This country isn't as color-blind as you may think. I mean, to this day, my grandpa still tells black jokes.

    Hillary Clinton
    Sometimes when I hear her talk to 'America' I get the feeling that deep, down inside she really doesn't like dudes. Not saying she's a lesbian or anything like that. But, I think she probably has a hard time relating to any man, especially after that Monica Blewclinsky thing. But, sometimes I like what she's saying. However, depending on what part of the country she's in, she can definitely turn on the dialect, the tears, the sadness and the charm. It's almost like a light switch. In a way, she sort of reminds me of an ex-girlfriend who could shed crocodile tears when shit wasn't going her way. That type of candor only makes me think of one word: PHONY.

    Ron Paul
    Never thought I would even consider a Republican. But, I caught this guy on Jay Leno and he seemed pretty likeable. And believable. Although I'm not really sure what he stands for (yet), all in all, he seems like an okay guy. He's the only Republican who differs from Bush on his interpretation of foreign affairs. To add to that, he says that he's a strict Constitutionalist, which I'm not too sure I understand. Maybe he follows the word of the constitution. Or maybe it means he's for interpreting the Constitution after he amends it. In any event, it sounds sort of cool, doesn't it?

    Michael Bloomberg
    Word around the campfire is that the current mayor of New York is 'considering' a run for President on an idependent ticket. He's just waiting to see who the Democratic and Republican frontrunners will be before he decides. If he's not happy at what he sees, he'll probably throw his hat in the ring around March or April. Bloomberg for President gets me excited for a number of reasons. First, he has his own money to spend (billions and billions) so he doesn't have to take cash from any special interest groups. Second, much like Perot, the man has a strong business sense. What better person to get us out of the recession gutter than a businessman who will undoubtedly surround himself with a great cabinet of smart, policy-minded decision makers? Third, I haven't heard too much bad stuff from New Yorkers on how he's handling their city. (Although I haven't talked to many) In fact, I hear somewhat positive vibes and views from a lot of people and newspapers when they talk about this guy as mayor, which is pretty amazing to say the least.

    Well there you have it. My frontrunners. I may change my list as the months roll by. But right now, that's it.

    Also keep in mind that I've never, ever voted for the winning President since I've been of voting age (Perot in 92. Perot in 96. Gore in 2000. Kerry in 2004)

    Not sure what that means besides the fact that I'm due for a winner soon.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    Indiana Jones, Crystal Skulls, the Mayans and 2012.

    Ever since George Lucas announced the title of the fourth Indiana Jones movie (i.e. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull), my interest has been piqued.

    Indy battled the Nazis for the Ark of the Covenant in Raiders of the Lost Ark? He fought evil Indians for Sankara Stones in The Temple of Doom. And, once again, he went toe-to-toe with Hitler's regime in search of the Holy Grail in The Last Crusade

    Now Indy's on the lookout for...crystal skulls? To be honest, my first impression was "Whaaaaaaat?"

    But, after reading a Vanity Fair article on the upcoming Indy movie and visiting some rather strange websites on the phenomena, I now have another passion in addition to UFOs, Bigfoot, the Mothman and the Loch Ness monster...

    CRYSTAL MOTHER-F'ING SKULLS.

    In a nutshell, it's believed that there are 13 crystal skulls of ancient origin buried around the world. Some think that a handful of the skulls are still buried beneath the ground. Others believe all 13 have already been found. Some hippies think that, as I write this, a secret society known as the Illumanati are trying to find these crystal skulls to control the world. Others think scientologists are involved.

    What is known, however, is that most of the skulls have been found near Mayan and Aztec civilization in parts of Mexico, Central America and South America.

    And here's where the creepiness comes in.

    The skulls seem to defy logic.

    In fact, everything that is known about them indicates that the skulls should have been shattered fractured, or fallen apart when carved centuries ago. It's virtually impossible to say how the skulls were constructed. To add to that, the world's most talented sculptors and engineers today are still unable to duplicate it.

    Fascinating, eh?

    One of the most famous of the Crystal Skulls is the Mitches Hedges skull named after F. A. Mitchell-Hedges who discovered it in 1927 while searching for the lost city of Atlantis in Belize. The sculpture is an anatomically correct replica of a human skull, but smaller.

    Now, here's where it gets even weirder.

    This particular skull was loaned to the Hewlett Packard Laboratories in 1970 for some extensive study. According to a number of web sites I visited, the tests yielded some crazy results including:

    - The skull was carved against the natural axis of the crystal, which would almost surely make the piece shatter.
    - Even with lasers and other high-tech cutting methods used today it would still shatter if carved this way.
    - The lab could find no microscopic scratches on the crystal which would indicate it had been carved with metal instruments or possibly diamonds.
    - It was concluded that successfully crafting a shape as complex as the Mitchell-Hedges skull is virtually impossible.

    That's why the crystal skulls are a complete mystery on par with Stonehenge, the Easter Island heads and the Pyramids. Nobody really knows where they came from or what they were used for.

    However, some people have their theories...

    - The skulls were left behind by aliens thousands of years ago.
    - When placed together, the skulls will enable humans to see deeply into the past and educate us about the future a la' the movie Highlander.
    - They were left behind by a sophisticated Inner Earth society which lives at the hollow center of our planet. The thirteen skulls contain the history of these unknown people.
    - The skulls were teleported along with visitors (perhaps ourselves from the future?) who came to teach earth mortals about their heritage and purpose for being here.
    - They are the computers of the ancients and contain important information that will help humanity to pass through its current series of challenges and take us into a Golden Age.
    - When placed together the skulls will summon our alien gods back to Earth.

    Another interesting theory is that the final skull will be found and all 13 skulls will come together on December 21, 2012. Coincidentally, the same exact time the Mayan Calendar ends, which also signifies the end of the world as we know it.

    Or, as some theorists put it, the beginning of the apocalypse.

    Whatever you believe, you can bank on one of the above theories being somehow involved in the plot for the fourth Indiana Jones adventure. There are even rumors that the little creatures from Close Encounters of the Third Kind will be making a brief appearance towards the end of the film.

    Whatever you believe, I personally think the crystal skull phenomena is intriguing to say the least.

    And damn, if it won't make a great movie as well.

    If you're still interested, I also found this seven-minute Travel channel segment on YouTube which digs deeper into the Crystal Skulls mystique.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2008

    Thoughts on last night's BCS Championship.

    Well, although I'll probably be looking for a new OSU hat sometime in the near future despite the loss. For now, the brown OSU hat stays on top of my head as a reminder of the past two BCS championship games.

    Here are a couple thoughts concerning the Bucks 38-24 Bashing in the Bayou (in glorious copywriter bullet points, of course):

    • As soon as Wells ran back the first touchdown to go up 7-0, my first response was "Uh, oh. I've got a bad feeling about this." I kid you not.

    • As soon as the score was 10-0, everyone at The Winking Lizard in Peninsula started laughing and having a good ol' time like the Buckeyes already won the championship. I remember looking around thinking "What is wrong with you people?"

    • 83 penalty yards for Ohio State including a roughing the punter penalty for a first down. Yikes.

    • What's up with the defense? Why can't they wrap up and tackle opponents?

    • 31 unanswered points? Can someone explain how that happens against the nation's No. 1 defense?

    • LSU's secondary looked awesome. LSU's defense looked awesome.

    • On offense, whenever the Tiger's were looking at third and long, I thought to myself, "They're going to get a first down." And they did. Every. Single. Time.

    • Why is it as soon as Ohio State is behind one touchdown, it seems like the entire Buckeyes game plan gets thrown out the window?

    • Where's Ricky Dudley when you need him? LSU tight-end Richard Dickson caught two TD passes. What's up with that?

    • Just like last year, I can't believe I actually watched the whole freaking game waiting, hoping, thinking the Bucks were going to turn it around. Blech.

    • I think Ohio State needs to shelve Youngstown State and Kent State and schedule at least two very big non-conference games a year to prepare for a possible conference title and championship run. If they don't win the two biggies, then at least they'll know they're not good enough to make it to the big game.

    • I wonder what the Rose Bowl against USC would've been like?

    • I wonder if West Virginia would have done the same thing to us had they beat Pittsburgh?

      To add insult to injury I came across this very unflattering Ohio State commentary by ESPN regular Pat Forde on ESPN.com today.


      All I can say is YEEEEEOUCH!

    Monday, January 7, 2008

    Remembering 41-14.

    About 11 years ago, I was walking through the now-defunct Long's Bookstore in Columbus, Ohio, looking for a black Ohio State Buckeyes hat to wear to a game.

    I walked past the bargain bin and did a double take. I just laid my eyes upon the perfect hat.

    Black. Ohio State logo. The little plastic rip-and-tear head size tag. And, let's not forget the price tag...$5.99. Like I said, perfect.

    I pulled out my credit card and bought three.

    (In hindsight, I wished I would've bought more.)

    The first hat was lost around 1998 by a solo gigantic wave during a drunken, night excursion at Hunting Island, South Carolina.

    The second one was pitched into the trash after Ohio State defeated Miami in the BCS National Championship in 2002.

    The third one is now a nasty shade of brown from the wear and tear of five continuous years of blood, sweat and tears. And although I still wear it proudly, I'll be the first to tell you that it's seen its last days.

    That's why I finally broke down and told my wife-to-be that if Ohio State wins the National Championship tonight, I'm going to finally pitch my old hat into the trash and begin my search for a new, black Ohio State hat to wear triumphantly into my 40's.

    Hell, I may even buy three and start the whole process again.

    The hat is one of many reasons that I've got that bittersweet taste in my mouth as I count down the hours to tonight's game.

    To be honest, I really haven't touched base too much on the Buckeyes making it to the National Championship game since it was announced in early December.

    For one, I thought the Bucks postseason game was going to be played out against USC in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day.

    Maybe I'm still shocked. Maybe I'm hesitant to say anything at all.

    Maybe I'm thinking about 41-14.

    Yep I think that's it.

    41-14. Ech.

    Word around the campfire was that OSU Coach Jim Tressel had the Ohio State video guys make DVD's for the Ohio State players to take home and watch. You can see a snippet of it right here.

    Word around the campfire was that the players were dead silent as they watched the DVD together the first time during a team meeting.

    "Ouch. Point taken, coach!"

    In a funny anectdotal story written by Tim May in today's Columbus Dispatch, LSU Head Coach Les Miles said his team was going to watch the movie 300 to get psyched up for the game.

    May wrote:

    As for the Buckeyes, senior right tackle and co-captain Kirk Barton was asked yesterday what movie he and his teammates might take in on the eve of the game.

    "Film," he said.

    Which film?

    "Game film," he said.


    Well played sir. Well played.

    In any event, I'll be at The Winking Lizard in Peninsula drinking beer, eating wings and rooting on the Buckeyes with my good friend (and fellow, former OSU scoreboard operator) Eric.

    Oh yeah, my brown Ohio State hat will there too.

    Hopefully, playing it's final swan song on top of my head.

    Friday, January 4, 2008

    "Let's Talk About Wanking The Crank, Son."

    Since I recently had a son, my mind is always fast-forwarding about 12 years into the future.

    Eventually, we'll have to have 'the talk'. And even though I draw dirty cartoons about sex, drugs, rock n' roll and masturbation, I know it's still going to be a bit uncomfortable.

    However, to break down the walls and hopefully remedy this rather sticky situation (heh, heh), I think I'm going to start out the conversation by plopping in the Season 2 DVD of Showtime's hit TV series Weeds and fast-forwarding to this particular scene:

    Thursday, January 3, 2008

    Playing The Game of Life.

    I recently played Milton Bradley's The Game of Life.

    I decided to take the college route and became a doctor.

    Just like that, I was making $90,000 a payday. (All the while, I can't remember working on one single patient.)

    In short, LIFE was good.

    Suddenly, I got married to this beautiful pink peg. She was tall, slender and had a beautiful pink head. She was perfect.

    We quickly got hitched at this beautiful white church. It was a wedding that I would soon forget. To be totally honest, I can't even remember the bachelor party. (Don't tell the wife. Ha Ha!)

    We consumated our relationship during our honeymoon and had a number of pink and blue pegs on our journey through LIFE. (The time just whizzes by doesn't it?)

    In addition to collecting a payday (sometimes two during a spin), I donated some of my cash to charities. Hell, I even had to pay bills and taxes along the way.

    We were a family. One crank of the wheel at a time, we were living LIFE.

    Ain't it grand?

    So here I am in my beautiful green car, with my beautiful pink wife and a carload of blue and pink pegs. Then I think to myself, "Well, how did I get here?"

    I passed one of my final paydays and collected my final paycheck. Then, I drove my family across a bridge, past the farmhouse shack and headed straight to the mansion next door.

    I pulled myself out of my car, stretched my aching bones. I then gazed at my pink wife and my pink and blue kids. (I was working and driving so much that I really didn't get a chance to know them.)

    The wind was blowing. The leaves were falling. There was a slight chill in the air. I felt it in my heart.

    It was time to retire.

    "This game called LIFE played out pretty fast," I thought to myself. "Seems like only 15 minutes ag0 that I graduated, got married and had kids."

    Then I got depressed. Then I got desperate.

    Then, with a makeshift purple plastic rifle that I fashioned from two of my kids with a burning match, I shot myself in my big, blue mind.

    Goodbye LIFE. I'm headed to that great big multi-colored cardboard box in the sky.

    Wednesday, January 2, 2008

    One-Sentence Movie Reviews

    Although I haven't been to the theater since Knocked Up was released earlier this year, I will say that I've seen my fair-share of great (and not so great) movies on DVD.

    That said, I thought I would entertain you with some one-sentence reviews of films that I rented the past three months. Enjoy.

    ONCE. It's Hustle and Flow for street musicians.

    TURISTAS. Hostel 1 & 2 in the jungle with plenty of hot bodies.

    THE WIRE: SEASON 4. The best season (so far) to one of the best television series' ever.

    RESCUE DAWN. In my opinion, one of the best films of the year that went under the radar.

    JIM GAFFIGAN: BEYOND THE PALE. Great stand-up from a Conan O'Brien regular.

    HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX. Although the final battle scene is worth the rental price, you'll need to see the other four Potter movies to understand what's going on.

    WAITRESS. Another great little gem of a movie that came out of left field.

    BEAUTIFUL GIRLS. A great movie for college grads that haven't quite found their way in the world.

    SUPERBAD. It's the next generation's Weird Science, Sixteen Candles and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    FUNNY GAMES. Very disappointing foreign thriller soon to be a shot-for-shot remake in the United States.

    LADY VENGEANCE. The final bloody, thrilling installment of Chan Wook-Park's Vengeance trilogy.

    LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD. IT-ignorant John McClane turns into Freddy Krueger with murder, mayhem and one-liners galore.

    RATATOUILLE. This tasty, little animated movie about a rat who wants to be a chef is so good it should be nominated for a 2007 Best Picture Academy Award.

    FIDO. A refreshing, new look on the dusty, old zombie genre.

    SPIDER-MAN 3. Not as good as 1 & 2, but entertaining enough to sit through.

    SICKO. Michael Moore stirs up America's anger once again as he takes on America's health care system.

    BRIAN REGEN: STANDING UP. Great stand-up from my favorite comedian.

    TRANSFORMERS. Great special effects can't pull this movie out of the scrap heap.

    HOSTEL: PART II. At 90 minutes, a surprisingly good sequel although a bit low on body parts and blood.

    So there you have it. Are there any reviews you disagree with? Why not shoot me a line to tell me that I'm wrong. Or great.