Friday, May 30, 2008

Choke on this Fight Club Snuff.

Speaking of Fincher, way back in 1990-something when I found out Fincher was directing a big-screen version of the book Fight Club. I had to pick it up and see what it was all about.

Lets just say that I've been a big fan of Chuck Palahniuk's work ever since. I even drew a Christmas cartoon about it.

Pahlnuik's new novel, Snuff, was released last week. It's about the filming of one of the world's largest porno movies ever made from the vantage point of three men, among 600 men, waiting in the green room (or should it be the white room?). Over the course of the first act you learn that the lead porno actress, who will be taking the 600 men, plans to die during the production.

Click here for a review of Snuff that I found on Aint-it-cool-news.com. Don't know about you, but this book sounds right up my alley. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at a book club review of this book. Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this book will never be made into a movie.

Although I haven't read all of Pahlnuik's stuff (yet), I've also enjoyed Invisible Monsters, Survivor and Diary: A Love Story.

I also enjoyed Choke which, coincidentally, was made into a movie starring Sam Rockwell.

The story centers around a sex-addicted con man who, in order to pay for his mother's medical bills, forces himself to choke on food at a restaurant in hopes that a good samaritan will rush in and give him the Heimlich and, eventually, money. Oh yeah, he also works in a Colonial Village (a' la the Ohio Historical Society), which is also filled with some rather unusual people.

The film is helmed by first-time director/long-time actor/two-first namer Clark Gregg who also penned the screenplay for Zemeckis' What Lies Beneath.

Check out the trailer below...




Looks entertaining enough to me. I'm interested in seeing how far Gregg delved into the intricate character that is Victor Mancini (Rockwell's character in the film). But, judging from the trailer and some of the reviews from Sundance Film Festival, it looks like it's going to be a lot of fun. In a sexual deviant sort of way.

So, what do you think?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is there video of a real-life alien?

An article in Denver's Rocky Mountain News states that a Denver man is having a press conference tomorrow to show the news media an infrared videotape of a 4-foot alien trying to get into a house.

According to the story, Jeff Peckman says the video 'shows an extraterrestrial's head popping up outside of a window at night, looking in the window, that's visible through an infrared camera.'

Peckman also states that an instructor at the Colorado Film School in Denver scrutinized the video very carefully and determined it was authentic.

I don't know why, but I'm such a sucker for UFO/Alien videos such as the Alien Autopsy video or the Alien Interrogation video.

Add to the fact that this little nugget of news made the DrudgeReport, and it sets my anticipation bar just a little bit higher.

Maybe it's another blurry Bigfoot/alien shot. Maybe it's another hoax.

Maybe I'm like Mulder and simply want to believe.

Whatever the case may be, the rest of us will have to wait to see this 'purported' video in its full glory when it's released on a documentary made by Stan Romanek, who has a rather interesting web site to say the least.

For added entertainment, click on the comments section and glean the reader's comments concerning this story.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Filming The Road.

Speaking of great literature being adapted into film, another movie that may give Fincher's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button a run for its money this year is The Road directed by John Hillcoat, who made the gritty Australian western The Proposition.

I came across this New York Times story about the final days of shooting the film version of The Road starring Viggo Mortensan (of naked knife-fight fame in Eastern Promises and naked stair-humping fame in The History of Violence) and 11-year old Australian actor Kodi Smit-McPhee.

In the article Hillcoat states:

“What’s moving and shocking about McCarthy’s book is that it’s so believable. So what we wanted is a kind of heightened realism, as opposed to the ‘Mad Max’ thing, which is all about high concept and spectacle. We’re trying to avoid the clich├ęs of apocalypse and make this more like a natural disaster.”
The article also states that screenwriter Joe Penhal (who also adapted the psychological thriller Enduring Love starring Daniel Craig in 2004) stayed close to the elements in Cormac McCarthy's novel.

Being a tremendous fan of the book, that's a relief to hear. Let's hope Hillcoat also stayed away from product placements with Spam or Del-Monte canned peaches. I'm hoping Penhal and Hillcoat also chose to keep the gruesome cannibalistic basement scene in the film as well.

It was also interesting to read that most of the filming took place in Pennsylvania - most notably Pittsburgh and Erie - because 'it offered such a pleasing array of post-apocalyptic scenery.'

Nice.

It's also nice to read that Omar (Michael Kenneth Williams) from the hit HBO series The Wire is getting some much-deserved acting work too.

That said, I'm curious to see what the end product will look like in a dark theater, or my basement.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button

One of the required readings in my college literature class at Ohio State was F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

It's a strange story. Very creepy and somewhat sad. Benjamin is born old and is experiencing life backwards. While everyone around him is aging and getting old, he's getting younger and more vibrant.

And, since it's a short story, you can tell Fitzgerald chooses his words very carefully, like a chef preparing a great meal. I've read a lot of short stories, but this particular short story may be one of my favorites. I encourage you to read it as well.

In fact, click here to read the story at your leisure courtesy of Wikisource.

So imagine my surprise when it was announced that, post-Zodiac, David Fincher was going into production on a film version of the classic story with Brad Pitt playing the role of Button and Cate Blanchett as his love interest.

Cool.

Since production has wrapped, I've been reading a number of web sites and interviews (mainly from Slashfilm.com) pertaining to the film and it sounds like Fincher has hit another home run. In fact, everyone that's seen a rough cut said it's one of the most romantic, touching films that they've seen in a long time.

Check out the international trailer for Benjamin Button below:


Simply beautiful and a bit on the creepy side! Just the way I like it.

Don't know about you , but I'm excited to see this flick. And, with a December release planned, it looks like Fincher may finally get a well-deserved Oscar nomination this time around.

I also found this Benjamin Button film blog from blogspot.com. By the looks of it, I'm sure this person will have a lot more updates about this film than myself.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Attack of the Sleepless Zombies.

A couple days ago, I was talking to my buddy from Columbus about being a parent.

'It's great, Blah, blah, blah.' 'It's awesome blah, blah, blah.' All that stuff.

Then we got on the subject of sleep.

"Man," he said. "Those first two years are something else, aren't they?"

"Yeah," I said. "You get no sleep at all.

"It's like you're walking in a fog," he said.

"It's like your a zombie," I added.

"Sometimes I felt like I was a robot, too" he said.

"Me too," I said. "Like Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still?"

"Exactly like Gort from The Day the Earth Stood Still," he said.

The we started to talk about porn.

Looking over DrudgeReport today, I came across an article from This is London talking about sleep deprivation. (See full article below)

I totally agree with the article. I've wrote about it before and normally I don't bitch about this type of stuff. But, these past four days, I've been a walking zombie due to our eight-month old waking up at night and screaming for a bottle.

My wife-to-be and I have worked out a plan, of sorts, where I feed him when he wakes up the firt half of the night. Then she takes over around 5:30 a.m. or 6 a.m. Then, I can sleep until 7:30 a.m.

Trust me, neither option is great.

But, what's exciting is the fact that he's only waking up once (or twice) a night now. (Our two-year old daughter, by the way, sleeps like a rock.)

A couple more months and, hopefully, he'll be sleeping through the night.

But that doesn't help me right now. Now does it?

The study suggests that 'being deprived of sleep even for one night makes the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdowns akin to a power failure - brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness.'

The findings also state 'that people who are sleep-deprived alternate between periods of near-normal brain function and dramatic lapses in attention and visual processing.'

This is totally me. I work as a copywriter and when I come into work after one of those sleep-deprivated nights, I have a hard time finding the right words for the simplest things.

TRUE STORY: We were at the park the other day and our daughter ran up to an object and pointed to it.

I couldn't think of the word for the life of me.

I looked over to my wife-to-be and said, "What is that?"

She looked at me strange.

"That...," she said pointing to the bench like I was a little bit special. "...is a bench."

Just like in the Tom and Jerry cartoons, my face turned into a big jackass face.

Which begs the question, maybe it's not sleep deprivation at all? Maybe it's early onset Alzheimer's?

Great. Yet another sleepless night worrying about that.

FULL This is London ARTICLE:
Losing just one night sleep can cause the brain to experience 'power failures' according to research

Being deprived of sleep even for one night makes the brain unstable and prone to sudden shutdowns akin to a power failure - brief lapses that hover between sleep and wakefulness, according to researchers.

"It's as though it is both asleep and awake and they are switching between each other very rapidly," said David Dinges of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, whose study appears in the Journal of Neuroscience.

"Imagine you are sitting in a room watching a movie with the lights on. In a stable brain, the lights stay on all the time. In a sleepy brain, the lights suddenly go off," Dinges said.

The findings suggest that people who are sleep-deprived alternate between periods of near-normal brain function and dramatic lapses in attention and visual processing.

"This involves more structures changing than we've ever seen before, but changing just during these lapses," Dinges said.

He and colleagues did brain imaging studies on 24 adults who performed simple tasks involving visual attention when they were well rested and when they had missed a night's sleep.

The researchers used a type of brain imaging known as functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, which measures blood flow in the brain.

They found significant, momentary lapses in several areas of the brain, which seemed to frequently falter when the people were deprived of sleep, but not when these same people were well rested.

"These people are not lying in bed. They are sitting up doing a task they learned and they are working very hard at doing their best," Dinges said.

He said the lapses seem to suggest that loss of sleep renders the brain incapable of fully fending off the involuntary drive to sleep.

He said the study makes it clear how dangerous sleep deprivation can be while driving on the highway, when even a four-second lapse could lead to a major accident.

"These are not just academic interests," he said.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

My macabre Richie Rich cartoon (circa 1980)

Eight-years old must have been a very violent time for me. Either that or I forgot to take my lithium during the Summer of 80. In any event, I found this little cartoon tucked away with my Murder Hill plans.


I guess it's my macabre homage to Richie Rich, my favorite cartoon character at the time.

My personal critique...I like where I'm going with the character. You can totally tell that I traced Richie's (or should I say Retchie's?) head. And check out Cadbury's legs. Either he has short quads and long ankles or Retchie ordered one of his cronies (more than likely Irona, the robot maid) to completely break his hips so Retch can easily swoop in to deliver the eventual death blow of a blade to the perfect butler's gullet.

Which begs to wonder, what were my parent's thinking during this obvious destructive, murderous period of my life?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roswell, Hangar 18, Wright Patterson and My Dad.

A while back, I joked about my Dad seeing aliens at Wright Patterson Air Force base when he was stationed there in the late 60's.

After checking out this little article about Hangar 18 on a cool Bigfoot conspiracy website called Cryptomundo, I was hanging out with my dad this past weekend and thought I'd really ask him about the supposed location of the UFO that crashed in Roswell complete with alien grays.

"Yeah, I used to drive my Lieutenant there almost every day," he said. "The place was heavily guarded."

"Did you ever get inside?" I asked.

"Almost," he said. "I followed the lieutenant in, but the guards stopped me because I wasn't ranked high enough to enter."

"Well, there had to be a ton of other hangars around there, right?" I asked.

"Yeah."

"Well, did any of those hangars have gaurds?"

"Nope."

"None?"

"None."

"So, did you ever hear anything about what was in Hangar 18," I asked.

"Everyone on the base talked about it," he said. "We thought it was weird that they had so many gaurds around that particular hangar. But everyone knew."

"Knew what?" I asked.

"That there was probably a UFO or aliens in that hangar."

I don't know about you, but I thought that was pretty cool...

Dead Aliens in Ohio! (Hmmm? Sounds like a good name for a punk rock band)

On a related note, back in 1996, I picked up a painting job at this old guy's house in Bexley, Ohio, for some extra bucks. For some crazy reason, I found out that he was a retired staff sergeant stationed at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in the early 60's.

After we sort of got to know one another, I couldn't resist. I had to know. I just had to ask.

"So, did you ever see any aliens or UFOs at Wright Pat?"

Suddenly, and this is the truth, he became quiet, then his face got red. Then you could tell he was pretty pissed.

"There aint' no fucking aliens at the place," he screamed. "I didn't see a fucking thing!"

And with that, he fumed away in a stink and slammed the door to his house. I never saw him for the rest of the day.

Suffice to say, when I saw him the next day, I never brought up the subject again. To this day,I always wonder why he got so flustered about that particular question.

Other links about Hangar 18:
Click here for a map of Hangar 18 I found at Stanleysound.com

Click here for a documentary on Hangar 18 found at Alienmania.com

Here's an article by Robert M. Collins discussing the supposed underground vaults below Hangar 18.

Click here to view MegaDeath's 'Hangar 18' video found at Youtube.com

Although this doesn't have anything to do with Hangar 18, there's an interesting story about Jackie Gleason being picked up by President Nixon and being taken to another odd, yet similar heavily-fortified, hangar at Homestead Air Force Base near Miami, Florida.

Click here and here to read a couple stories about the incident, which was broke by The National Enquirer and now, thanks to conspiracy websites everywhere, circulates throughout the internet.

So, what do you think?

Monday, May 19, 2008

And the most viewed Eimer Debris page goes to...

A month ago, I subscribed to Feedburner (recently acquired by Google) to get an idea of who was coming to my page, where they were from and how the hell did they get there?

I won't go over all of the statistics. (If you want, I can join you over a beer and we can discuss), but the most viewed page of Eimer Debris this past month is....

Indiana Jones, Crystal Skulls, the Mayans and 2012

To be honest, I'm really not that surprised. There's a lot of hype about the new Indy flick and a lot of people have been curious what the fuck the crystal skulls are all about. So, it's a no-brainer.

I wrote the piece back in January because, frankly, I wasn't aware of the crystal skull phenomena. It remained in Blog limbo for quite some time. It wasn't until about three weeks ago when It started recording hits.

Today, the Indiana Jones page recorded an unprecedented 80 views (wow!) to bring the total number of views to 166 in the past month. That's even more than my main page views (of 120).

All I can say is I'm glad Google directed people to my site to share in my crystal skull, conspiracy theory passion. And I'm happy guys (and girls) can visit this site in order to get quality information and trivia to use in their neverending quest of hooking up. (More than likely getting rejected.)

In case you're curious, second place goes to HOW FAST CAN YOU RUN THE 100-METER DASH with 31 views followed by CLOVERFIELD AND THE MYSTERY OF THE BLOOP with a paltry 13 views.

With the exception of Carrie Kosicki's DISCONNECT , Kameron Kiggin's website and a couple close buddies, I'm surprised my MURDER HILL REVISITED hasn't gotten much play. Just goes to show you never know what people are going to find interesting.

Although I don't really do this for credit or kudos, It's always nice to get noticed now and again with a nice, little comment or even 126 views on a page you wrote. Thanks!

That said, back to the writing board.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stories from Ghetto Kroger #5 - Jonas

During my tour of duty as a bagger at Ghetto Kroger, the store went through its fair share of baggers/cartgetters. Which, I could totally understand.

The hours were crummy. It really wasn’t that pretty to look at (the people and the store). And the pay wasn’t fantastic either.

But, it didn't bothered me. I was a happy, proud employee of Ghetto Kroger.

The hours were fine. I got a paycheck once a week, which was awesome.

Plus I was beginning to make some friends. Cute college-aged female cashier friends. Who, in turn, had parties where they would invite other cute college-aged female non-cashier friends. Which, to me and my friends, was even more important than making money.

And when the baggers would quit, they just wouldn't call in and say "I quit." More often than not, baggers would tell a manager to 'Fuck Off', then rant and rave, throw some sort of food product down the aisle. And then, finally, quit.

This one time, I was bagging groceries and this one bagger next to me, said "Fuck this shit", ripped off his Kroger smock, threw it to the ground and simply walked out of the store, mid-bag.

"Oh well," I thought. "More hours for me."

I was about four months into my bagging duties, when the store manager introduced me to a new bagger. His name was Jonas.

When I first met Jonas, my first impression was shock. (I’ll get to that in a minute.)

It wasn’t his size (He was fairly Hobbit-like.)

It wasn’t his facial hair. (He had a beard.)

It wasn’t even the big mole sticking out of the side of his cheek. (Big and hairy.)

No, none of those things particularly bothered me about Jonas. In fact, upon meeting him, I thought he was a very warm, very personable type of fellow.

But, the biggest thing that shocked me about Jonas was his age. He was 50.

Upon his hiring, Jonas set the median age of baggers forward about 10 years. Maybe more.

Now I can understand retirees and older people looking for jobs at a stores such as Wal-Mart, Target and the like. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. Hey, it passes the time, it gets your joints rolling and it also puts some prescription money in your wallet.

There's not even a lot wrong with an older person working at Kroger. Nothing at all. Especially if you worked in a great part of town.

But, as I stood there shaking Jonas’ hand, I couldn’t help but wonder, "What the fuck happened?"

How does a 50-year old man, in the prime moneymaking years of his life, become a bagger? At Ghetto Kroger? In Columbus, Ohio?

My curiosiy was piqued. As the weeks passed, I began to glean some information from my co-workers about the man we came to know as Jonas.

As it turns out he had a couple jobs. One was a Kroger bagger. Another was a landlord of this crappy one-bedroom tenement house on High Street (near the Wendy’s on South Campus). And third, he was a night janitor of some sort.

In any event, a couple more weeks passed. It was Thanksgiving weekend. There was a hustle and bustle that I had not seen in some time at the store save the first of the month.

The Salvation Army guy was jingling his bells. Silent Night was blaring on the Muzak. Even the bums had a little kick in their step during the holiday season. Which begs the question, "Was there an egg nog-flavored Mad Dog 20/20 for the holidays?"

In fact, on this particular day, it was so busy that the store needed two cartgetters to work outside. Unimaginable at the time.

As luck would have it, Jonas and I were working the same shift outside. The perfect opportunity to strike up a discussion with the man who I was determined to never become.

After business finally died down, Jonas and I were hanging out on the poles…

Did I ever mention that the Ghetto Kroger had these immense concrete poles surrounding the entrance?

Oh yeah, in order to prevent cart thefts from bums and other hooligans, the Kroger management decided to put in these concrete poles, two feet apart, which prohibited carts from ever making it out to the parking lot.

When people would bring their loaded carts out of the store, it was our job to stay with the cart while the person pulled their car around and we loaded it up. Making it another plus of working at Ghetto Kroger. We never, ever had to run around and grab carts out of the parking lot. Plus, we made an occasional tip.


Anyhow, back to Jonas.

He lit up a cigarette. We were chilling out and enjoying our view of the parking light on Saturday night.

"So," I asked. "How was your Thanksgiving."

"Oh, it was nice," he said. "This year's helicopter ride was great."

I gave Jonas a queer stare. I couldn't resist.

"Oh, you were in a helicopter?"

"Oh yeah," he said as he took a drag from his cigarette. "Picked me and my wife up right here in the parking lot."

"Really?" I said. "That’s pretty interesting. I've never been in a helicopter."

"Oh, you'd love it," he said. "You can see everything for miles and miles."

After a moment of silence.

"So, where where'd you go?"

"Oh, we went to my father-in-law’s property," he said non-chalantly. "Yeah, he’s got a 300-acre spread up there in Powell."

Then he told me a fantastical story.

After being picked up by a helicopter in the Ghetto Kroger parking lot on Thanksgiving day, he and his wife were whisked away to Powell, Ohio, where they landed in a grassy field next to a choo-choo train. (Yes, he used the word choo-choo train).

They hopped on the train, they we're taken on a ride through this scenic land filled with elephants, lions and zebras.

Finally, they arrived at his father-in-law’s mansion, which Jonas said was "about 50 rooms, 35 baths, with two indoor pools and a basketball court."

That's when I thought of the popular kid's comic book Richie Rich. I pictured the young poor little rich boy, the robot maid Irona, the perfect butler Cadbury and Professor Keenbean welcoming Jonas, the Hobbit-like bagger, at the doorsteps of Rich mansion.

"After we ate dinner, those guys would go and watch football on the big-screen TV," Jonas continued. "But you know what I like to do when I go out there?"

I shook my head.

"I like to go to the tiger den and roll around with the bengal tigers."

(I don't think I'll ever hear that sentence uttered again in my entire life.)

"Bengal tigers?" I asked.

"White bengal tigers," he added.

"White bengal tigers?" I asked.

"Oh sure, he's got a pen of three white bengal tigers."

"Like Siegfried and Roy?"

"Yeah," he said. "Matter of fact, I think they used to be Siggerd and Rays."

Just a brief footnote. The thing that surprised me about this lie was that Jonas was so intense and so colorful in his story that I began to think that he actually believed all of this happened in his mind.

Because, and just for the record, I knew exactly were Jonas was on Thanksgiving Day. He was working an eight-hour shift at the Ghetto Kroger. How did I know? I checked the schedule before I left and there it was, marked in red:

Jonas 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

To be certain, I also asked the manager if any helicopters landed in the parking lot on Thanksgiving Day. His answer: "Not that I know of".

But, I didn’t call him out on his lie. What was the point? To me, it was more fun and interesting listening the lying ramblings of a 50-year old crazy bagger then freezing my ass off alone in a half-empty parking lot on Saturday night.

But, I couldn't just let Jonas off the hook.

"So, what are you doing here?"

He took another drag then exhaled. Then he pulled off his ball cap, scratched his head then looked my way and squinted.

"What do you mean?" he asked.

"Well," I said. "I’m curious what you’re doing here? At Kroger. When your father-in-law could probably get you a great job doing something for him."

After a couple seconds passed. He flicked his cigarette to the ground, stepped on the butt and looked me straight in the eye.

"Pride," he said.

He must have noticed my unenthused look.

"Listen, when you quit or get another job somewhere, I’ll be head bagger," he said. "Then, I’ll move up to cashier. And, in a couple years, I’ll be store manager. The skies the limit after that."

Ironically, right at that moment, the store manager came out. "Jonas, we're getting backed up in here," he yelled. "We need you to bag some groceries. Eimer you stay out here."

"Sure thing boss," Jonas yelled as he pulled off his yellow, cartgetting smock and headed back into the store. But, before entering, he turned around to face me.

"See there," he said pointing toward the store manager. "That’s why I’m not asking my father-in-law for a job. Pride."

As Jonas sauntered back into the Kroger store and began bagging groceries, the only thing that crossed my mind was:

"Wow! I’m head bagger!"

JONAS UPDATE:
Jonas' stories were legendary to some people around the store. He would lie to anyone about anything on any given day. I wish I had some more examples. Alas, the beer and drugs have erased some of my memory.

Perhaps someone reading this post can give us another Jonas story to enjoy.

However, a couple years after I left Ghetto Kroger, one of my buddies told me that Jonas was bagging groceries during a busy Saturday morning, when this pretty sorority girl walked into his bagging lane.

As she was organizing her purse and getting ready to leave, Jonas suddenly blurted out, "I can’t help it. I just gotta give you a kiss."

He proceeded to grab her and plant a big, wet sloppy kiss on her lips. I heard he even stuck out his tongue.

(Hey, if you're going out on a limb, why not jump?)

Sadly, it was the kiss of death for old Jonas. He was immediately fired from his two-year job as head bagger.

Which leads me to wonder who's the head bagger of Ghetto Kroger right now?

Other Stories from Ghetto Kroger:
Story #1: Intro
Story #2: Magic
Story #3: Big Head
Story #4: Goldilocks

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Crabapple Stew

Yesterday morning, I was hanging out with my kids in the living/playroom.

The sun started peeking over the treetops. The big, ball of fire in the sky started to blind the two little guys. They covered their eyes to hide the glare. I'm not sure, but I think one of them whined.

Like Superman (or possibly Iron Man), I leapt to the window and pulled the window blinds. Hooray for me.

Now that I had their attention, I remembered that kids' brains are sponges and they yearn to learn new things.

That's when I decided to go all Confucius on them.

"Kids, that was the sun."

They were staring at me in awe.

"Respect the sun and, in turn, the sun will respect you."

I felt like Aristotle.

My son started to cry. My daughter's attention was abruptly swayed toward Little Einsteins. (I think she has a thing for Leo.)

Yes! My first successful lesson for my kids. With more to come, I'm sure.

Yesterday's score:
Fatherhood: 1
Children: 0

As the Little Einsteins say "Mission Completion".

Oh yeah, when my son was crying I picked him up and called him 'Crabapple Stew'. (Actually I called him son of a bitch, but that's not too cute now is it?)

Then I thought, what a kick-ass name for a rock band.

"Good afternoon Cleveland, we're Crabapple Stew. Are you ready to fucking rock?"

Friday, May 9, 2008

A Mother's Day for the Dogs.

The year was 1990. It was the Saturday before Mother's Day. I was a 17-year old college-bound goofball with a Terminator haircut and no job.

Four of my friends and I crammed into my dad's Gremlin and, with NWA's Gangsta Gangsta blaring from the speakers, we decided to head over to the Wheeling Downs dog track on Wheeling Island and, hopefully, find someone to buy us a beer.

On the way over, my buddy in the front seat gutted me in the rib with his elbow.

"Owww!" I yelled.

"So, what are you going to get your mom for Mother's Day?" he asked.

I searched my pocket. Out popped a five-doller bill.

"Damn!" I said looking at the wrinked up piece of green paper. "Doesn't look like much."

So, we got to the dog track and ran into another friend of ours, Rod. He was a 16-year old junior at our high school. But he had a bushy mustache that made him look like he was at least 19. Maybe 20.

And man, could this guy bet on the hounds. During this particular day, he had just won his third trifecta [he picked the first, second and third place dogs in the race] and had a handful of $100 bills that he stuffed in his pocket.

Anyhow, while my buddies went walking around to see if they could find someone to get them a beer, I decided to hang back with the gambling dude.

Deep in thought, Rod was looking up at the odds screen and scribbling down little notes about the next dog race onto his program.

I looked around for my friends. They were no where in sight. That's when I decided to make my move.

"Sooo," I asked him nonchalantly. "Got any lucky dogs for the next race?"

Instantly he stopped scribbling, looked down from the screen and then to the floor. Then he let out this deep sigh, glanced towards me, rolled his eyes and shook his head no.

Then he went back to scribbling his notes.

"Dude," I pleaded. "I really need your help. I've only got five bucks and I have to forgot to get my mom a mother's day gift? Can you help a brutha out?"

No response. That's when I decided to pull out my trump card.

"Hey, remember when I drove you down to Bellaire that one day?" I said.

He glanced up to the screen, took a couple more notes, then - without saying a word - ripped off a corner of his program and handed it to me.

"Don't tell those guys," he said as he disappeared into the crowd to presumably watch the next race.

I glanced at the paper and it read "Perfecta 3-8"

Dubious, I went to the window, put five dollars down on the 3-8 perfecta, grabbed my ticket and went searching for the guys.

With ticket in hand, I walked outside and saw my friends who were all holding 23 oz. plastic cups of beers. One of my friends handed me a brew.

"Whatchoo got there," a friend asked pointing to the piece of paper in my hand.

"Ticket," I said. "This year, I'm going to let destiny decide if my mom gets a Mother's Day gift."
The crowd went silent. The bell rang. And the dogs charged out of the gate. The race had begun.

The dogs rounded the track and, wouldn't you know it, #3 and #8 were neck and neck for the lead.

The two dogs passed the finish line at, pretty much, the same time. Photo finish.

Gripping my ticket like Charlie at the gates of the chocolate factory, I waited anxiously for the scoreboard to announce the winners.

A couple minutes passed. Then a couple more minutes. Finally, the numbers lit up on the scoreboard.

Number 3 won. Number 8 showed.

"I won," I whispered as I looked at the ticket and then looked at the screen a couple more times.

"I won," I screamed as I ran to the ticket booth to collect my winnings: $150!

I managed to get my mom a nice bouquet of flowers for Mother's Day and had at least two weeks spending money left over for myself.

However, before we exited the dog track, I ran around the entire Wheeling Downs betting floor [it wasn't that big] searching for the leprechaun who led me to my pot of mother's day gold at the end of the rainbow ... Rod!

Although I've heard he's now racing greyhounds of his own, I haven't seen him since graduation from Martins Ferry in 1990. Thanks buddy!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Summer Movies & Being a Kid.

When I was younger, I loved going to the movies.

I loved staring in awe as baby Superman hoisted up a car. I loved the idea that the finale of Close Encounters of the Third Kind might be real. The loved the excitement of not really knowing what was going to happen after Darth Vader yelled "I am your father".

That's why I'm convinced that nothing. Absolutely nothing compares to going to the movies when you're a kid.

A perfect example of this feeling was in June of 1981.

I was 9-years old. It was the first couple weeks of summer vacation. Schools out. Schools out. Teachers let the bulls out. No more teachers. No more bells. You know the rest.

Life was pretty good....and easy.

The air was warm. The valley was alive with the sound of locusts and toads. Plus, I could ditch my dark blue school jeans and wear shorts every single day.

Even more exciting was, every Friday afternoon during the summer, my mom, my brother and I would hop into the car and cruise out to The Ohio Valley Mall to see a movie.

On this particular Friday, I skipped up to the theater entrance, slammed my nose against the glass window and surveyed, salivated, and quietly contemplated, the four "NOW SHOWING" movie posters dangling in front of my eyeballs.

Out of the four choices, one particular movie poster caught my eye:



"Let's see that one," I declared as I smeared my hand on the window no doubt leaving a dirty slobbery streak behind.

It was a landslide vote. We all wanted to see Clash of the Titans. My mom paid the admission, we took our seats in the modestly empty theater and proceeded to munch on popcorn like rabid raccoons until the movie ended.

After filling my head with images of Medusa, the little metallic owl, the three-headed dog, the blind witches and the evil half-horse, half-ogre thing, I came out of theater pumped up and ready to kick some Greek ass. I couldn't wait to get home, make an imaginary stick sword and, in the guise of Harry Hamlin's Perseus, head to a nearby stream in hopes of vanquishing an evil Kraken. Or a crawdad. Whichever came first.

As my brother and I exited the theater, we were discussing the finer points of the flick including whether or not you could actually turn to stone if you looked at a severed head of Medusa or would it most certainly have to be attached to her head for it to really work.

Suddenly, we noticed that someone was missing from our three-person posse.

"Where's Mom?" my brother asked as we looked around for our only connection to the adult world.

Standing about 20 yards behind us near the theater entrance was mom digging in her purse. She pulled out some more money and pointed towards another movie poster hanging on the wall:



"You guys want to see this, too?"

Our mouths dropped.

"No way," we exclaimed as we high-tailed it back into the theater and became some of the very first people in the Ohio Valley to view the adventures of Indiana Jones.

The action, adventure and awesomeness that was Raiders of the Lost Ark completely trumped anything that Clash of the Titans could offer even Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion creatures and Ursula Andress' portrayel of Aphrodite. Nothing could hold a candle to the images of melting faces, gigantic rolling balls and a pit of snakes. A PIT OF FUCKING SNAKES!

The introductory sequence where Jones braves the Peruvian jungle (not to mention several booby traps) to retrieve the golden idol only to find his rival archaeologist Belloq waiting in the wings is, undeniably, one of the most memorable cinematic scenes of my childhood youth.

Even today, I consider Raiders of the Lost Ark to the be the most complete movie of its time. In my opinion, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it at all. And I think my opinion is based on the fact that I knew absolutely nothing at all about the film before I headed into the theater. I didn't care that Speilberg directed it. I could give two shits if the man behind Star Wars produced it. Although I knew Han Solo was starring in it, I really didn't care about the actors either. But they all came together to make a fantastic flick.

Looking back, there were a number of GREAT, BADASS, FUN films released in 1981 including: Time Bandits, Stripes, Taps, The Evil Dead, Mad Max 2, Escape from New York, Excaliber, For Your Eyes Only, An American Werewolf in London, History of the World Part 1, Outland, The Howling, Dragonslayer, Southern Comfort, Night Hawks, On Golden Pond, Ghost Story, Death Hunt and let's not forget Disney's Condorman.

Whew! That's a lot of great flicks!

But, as you grow older, the illusion of film fades and you slowly begin to realize that a crane lifted the car that Superman lifted, special effects had to do with the glittery Close Encounters spectacle and Lucas would go on to make three crappy prequels to what was, quite possibly, the best five seconds in the history of cinema.

Don't get me wrong, I like to see a good movie as much as anyone else. But, I'm convinced, that the sense of wonder, excitement, innocence and awe that you experienced at the theaters when you were a kid can never be reproduced when you're older. To be honeest, I probably know too much about a movie before I head into the theater to see it. When I was a kid, the only thing that separated me from wanting to see a movie or staying away in disgust was a kick-ass movie poster. That and great word-of-mouth around the school cafeteria.

That said, hoping to rekindle that lightning in a bottle that was 1981, I was looking over the upcoming summer movies and thought I'd share my top-ten anticipated summer flicks of 2008 (in not particular order):

  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (No explanation necessary)

  • Hancock (I like director Peter Berg, Will Smith and the whole idea.)

  • The Happening (Let's see if M. Knight can break his crap streak)

  • Wall-E (Pixar. Robots.Written and Directed by the guy who did Finding Nemo)

  • The Dark Knight (Nolan. Bale. Ledger. Eckhart. Caine. Need I say more?)

  • American Teen (Documentary about being a high-school teenager in America in the 00's)

  • X-Files 2 (Being a conspiracy nut, I can't miss this one)

  • Midnight Meat Train (One of my favorite Clive Barker stories)

  • The Pineapple Express (Judd Apatow produced. Seth Rogen wrote. David Gordon Green directed)

  • Tropic Thunder (This Ben Stiller-directed comedy looks like a lot of fun)

I'm sure you can find a million web sites talking about each film on this list. So I want bore you with the details. However, after the summer's over (more than likely late autumn), I'll update you on my thoughts about each pic.

How about you guys? What movies are you looking forward to this summer? If any?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

This post is SALTACIOUS.

When I was a student at Martins Ferry High School waaaaaay back in the late 80's, there was this one dude in my class, a hippy cross country runner, who made up an interesting word.

At least I think he made it up.

The word was SALTACIOUS (pronounced SAL-TAY-SHUS)

Much like I use the word Fuck, during our senior year he and his buddy, another hippy cross country runner, would use the word in almost every sentence.

If a guy made a joke, he'd say, "Dude that was saltacious."

If a guy ripped on another guy, he'd say, "Man, that's pretty saltacious."

If someone did something bad and he was offended he'd say, "Saltacious, man. Totally saltacious."

So what does saltacious mean?

I'm not really sure. To be honest, I don't think he knew either.

Could he have meant salacious (–adjective. lustful or lecherous) and just added a 't' to be a goofy motherfucker?

Could he have been creatively using the word salty (-adjective. piquant; sharp; witty. racy or coarse)?

Unless he's reading Eimer Debris on this very day (which, judging by my daily site hits, I doubt) the world may never know.

To completely cover my bases, I looked the word up on Urban Dictionary.com - the end all, be all of slang definitions in the United States.

Oh sure, there's saltash, saltationist and saltastic.

But no saltacious.

Yet.

Having already been published on UrbanDictionary once, with the word Kool Moe Dee (see entry #3), I think I'm going to go for two and try to define my high school chum's word.

I'll keep you updated on the results.

But, you've got to admit, it's a pretty cool word nonetheless. Hell, I even used it last night:

WIFE-TO-BE: Hi, honey how was work today?

ME: Saltacious. Very, very saltacious indeed.

WIFE-TO-BE: ???????

I encourage you to use the word saltacious today.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Happy Seis De Mayo!

I'm not too certain, but I don't think on May 6, 1862, the day after Mexico gained their independence from the French in The Battle of Puebla, that the soldiers thought "Wow, Amigo! In 200 years, people in America will celebrate our great holiday by taking tequila body shots off of some hoochie bartender's breast!"

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Yesterday, we took our kids down to a local Mexican restaurant in Fairlawn - Tres Potrillos -to celebrate Cinco De Mayo the way all Americans celebrate it - by drinking flavored margaritas and eating tacos.

Although we've been going to the family restaurant for quite some time and know the most of the staff, I still felt a little weird ringing in a holiday that I have no deep feelings for either way.

"But Eimer (that's what she calls me), Cinco De Mayo is recognized by United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride," my wife-to-be enlightened me.

"Well, now that you put it that way, I guess it makes sense," I told her. She's always right.

In hindsight, I guess you can kind of compare it to people in England celebrating th Fourth of July. I wonder if they have specials on Pabst Blue Ribbon and corndogs at the local pubs on that particular day?

So, I guess I'm sort of cool with celebrating Cinco De Mayo.

However, if you want a really cool Mexican/Spanish holiday to celebrate, why not pick Dia De Los Muertes .

Now that's a BADASS holiday!

In the years to come, look for Halloween to be extended two extra days at the Eimer household to make room for The Day of the Dead!

Oh, and by the way, although I personally enjoy the above Zorro cartoon. I've been told by a couple people that they don't understand it. What do you think?

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Garden Gladiators.

So there I was, putting the final touches on my riding lawn mower (did I ever mention that I have a riding lawn mower?) and getting ready for Deere Season. [Insert laugh track here]

My daughter was running around the lawn playing Oceanic Flight 817 making motor airplane blubbering noises followed by fake crashing sounds.

My 7-month old son was sitting in one of those circular play arenas hopping up and down. Up and down. Chomping on a chew toy. And drooling. Happy as a clam in saltwater.

My dog was spread out on the driveway worshipping Apollo, the sun god.

The sun was beating down. There was a warm wind coming in from the west. I surveyed my surroundings and inhaled the scent of the fresh Spring season.

"Ahhhhhhh. Smells like victory," I said to no one in particular.

After changing the oil, I hit the ignition on my riding lawn mower. Like an old 57 Chevy shaking off the cobwebs, she sputtered and spitted and failed to start. I hit the choke and she quickly coughed up a black cloud of oil before she finally roared to life.

The purring of the motor was music to my ears. I had reached the spirtual, rhythymic level of lawn-mower kharma.

I grabbed my daughter and took her for a spin around the front yard. That's when I noticed something peculiar out of the corner of my eye.

Old ladies in plaid shorts armed with hoes and rakes ripping menacing weeds out of their flower gardens and shrieking like Monica Seles returning a serve during the US Open.

Middle-aged men lumbering around the yard pushing and pulling their wheelbarrows from tree to tree and vanquishing branches with their over-size garden snips as if they were battling a three-headed dragon.

Little kids running around and shrieking like the Cloverfield monster ripping dandelions from the ground and popping off their little yellow heads.

They were the Titans of the Trees.

They were the Lords of the Lawn.

They were the Garden Gladiators, preparing to battle nature's forces with prunes, rakes and mounds and mounds of mulch.

As I sat there admiring the battle from afar.

I craned my neck around to survey my very own kingdom.

My jaw dropped in horror. A major coup d'etat was taking place before my very eyes.

Anarchist weeds. Protesting crabgrass. Defiant dandelions. Infiltrating my domain and attempting to overthrow my garden government.

The time for action was now.

I gassed up my push mower brandished my machete and, in my best Maximus impersonation, shouted at the insurgent weeds.

"Are you not entertained," I screamed at the top of my lungs. "Are you not entertained? Is this not why you are here?

I glanced over to my kids. I could see the pride in their eyes. They were anxiously awaiting my next orders.

My dog stood beside me, fangs bare with a crazed look in his eyes. He was whining, whimpering, growling and drooling like a hungry wolf ready to pounce on prey.

I looked at all three, held my sword high in the air and bellowed to the Gods.

"At my signal, unleash Hell."

With a swing of my blade, the lawn battle of 2008 had begun.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Is THE STRANGERS basically THEM with masks?

Just came across this trailer for the upcoming film, The Strangers, starring Liv Tyler about a young suburban couple who are enjoying the peace and quiet of their secluded family vacation home until masked home invaders rattle their complacent cage.

Check out the trailer right here:



Not sure about you, but this flick (minus the masks) reminds me of the foreign film Them, a thriller made in 2006 concerning a couple who encounter strange events, prank calls and odd noises at their remote country home.

Check out the trailer right here:



Having seen Them a couple weeks ago, courtesy of Netflix, I think Ignorance Is Bliss when watching this movie. Had I known all the details, I wouldn't have dug it so much. That said, I thought the cinematography and direction were phenomenal. The tension created throughout the film had me looking behind me back wondering if the 'hoodies' were in my home.

Like I said, you should check THEM out with a blank slate in your head. And don't read any spoilers. You'll be pleasantly suprised. Plus, the shocking ending is reminiscient of recent films THE DESCENT and THE MIST, which I highly recommend.

So what do you think? Do both movies look the same or am I totally missing the mark? Or are both films blatantly ripping off Sam Peckinpah's home invasion thriller Straw Dogs starring Dustin Hoffman?