Monday, December 28, 2009

More Eimer in 2010

Anyone that has a had a kid (or kids) knows that the first two (or three) years are the toughest.

Literally, you have to give up everything to take care of these little bundles of joy. Unless, of course, you're a shitty father or mother.

In any event, the past three years (my wife and I had two kids in less than two years), I've put a lot of stuff on hold in my life including writing, cartooning, running and reading. Oh yeah, and hanging out with friends.

Don't get me wrong, I know that my life is never going to be the same. Hell, that's probably half the reason I signed up for Parenthood. I know there will be challenges, obstacles and problems ahead. There will also be fun times too!

I think having these little munchkins running around the house has revived the creative juices and passion to create. So create I will.

In 2010, I've started a number of projects and set a couple personal goals for myself. Some of the stuff I want to complete in 2010 are, as follows:

  • More cartoons (I want to get back to the drawing board so to speak)
  • Publish a short story (somewhere, anywhere with exception of this blog)
  • Complete a children's book (I have a great idea and I plan to both write and illustrate)
  • Finish a novel (I've got three, yes three, started. All good ideas. I want them to be grand
  • More posts (Believe it or not, I want to write more Eimer Debris entries. I feel this blog has helped hone my writing skills which leads me too...)
  • More 'Stories from Ghetto Kroger' (there's a lot more inside my head)
  • Read even more books (this past year, I was able to read 50 books. I feel that this has also motivated me to get my ass in gear)

Daunting task? Yep. But as I get older I have to challenge myself to not fall into the dead-end dumpster of mundane. Everday I'm seeing a little more and more free time pop up. Not much mind you. But enough to keep my creative juices flowing.

And, I should add, as we speak I'm coaching my kids on their creativity. I'm challenging them to create new things, draw more, play more, imagine more...and watch less television.

I've got the creative whip a crackin'!!!! It's good to be back.

Here's to a great 2010...........for me!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Last Starfighter Theatrical Trailer

What a great movie. I was talking with our Creative Director about this flick. It's a pity this movie didn't get embraced by more people at the time. I'm definitely going to rent this for my kids.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Memory

When I arrived in Cleveland in 2006, I was running around like a bat out of hell looking for work. I had a kid on the way. And I was jobless.

I needed money. I needed a job.

I answered a help-wanted ad in the newspaper that was looking for bartenders for private parties.

I answered the ad and, within one day, I was dressed in my penguin outfit serving drinks to guitar playing burnouts and music nerds visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Don't get me wrong. It was a fun gig (heh, heh). One of the perks was I got to drink on the job. No, nobody knew I was doing this per se. But it made the hours fly by.

Two weeks into my Rock and Roll Hall of Fame bartending tour of duty, I was fortunate enough to work an event honoring the late, great singer Roy Orbison. I served drinks to his family and witnessed a pretty cool concert tribute to the Pretty Woman warbler.


All of a sudden this monster of a man approached the bar.

"Hey there buddy," said the 6 feet 2 inches tall, 350 pound man complete with handle-bar mustache, Metallica t-shirt, dirty jeans and black motorcyle boots. "Can you toss a little of that whiskey into this here coffee cup"

This guy was a shit kicker and, by the looks of him, you could tell he had stories to tell.

As I poured him copious amounts of free alcohol (myself included). We talked about drugs, sex and rock n' roll. (In that order).As it turned out he used to be a roadie for all the big name concerts. KISS. Monsters of Rock. Pantera. The Who. Grateful Dead. He had seen every band.

Every fucking one of 'em.

"Yep. Lots of memories," he bellowed slugging a shot of Jack Daniels and touching his finger to the cup for a refill. "I've seen if fucking all. Threesomes. Foursomes. Orgies. The best fucking cocaine you ever sniffed. And the best fucking rock and roll you would ever hear."

"You should write a book," I said nonchalantly.

"Sheeeeeeeeeiiiiiiit," he said cranking back another shot. "Nobody would believe half of it. They would think it was all some made up shit."

My mind started whirring. I had so many questions to ask this guy. But the concert was winding down and he was gearing up for tear down. He started to turn and get ready to do his thing. When I reached out and tapped his shoulder. He looked around.

"Excuse me," I said. "I'm very curious..."

I had his complete, absolute attention.

"...what was the best concert you've ever seen?"

The big man let down his guard. Then it seemed like he was reliving his entire concert-going existence in the blink of an eye.

Then he stared at me. Eye-to-eye. Man-to-man. This big thug of a man. This solid piece of shit-kicking machinery. With arms bigger than my legs. He crossed his arms and said something that I never expected to come out of his mouth..

"Alicia Keys," he said. Then he turned towards the stage and walked away.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Month Away! My God Time Flies.

Oh boy. Haven't posted anything for a month. Yeesh. Well, I promise something in a couple of days.

Work, raising kids, sleeping and dreaming get in the way of life - know what I mean.

In any event, stop back today or tomorrow and I'll have something extremely profound to say.

Thanks...

Eimer

Monday, August 31, 2009

Why I Love Autumn in Northeast Ohio

Plenty of sun, cool nights and luke-warm days. Can't beat it.

In my opinion, this is the best time to be a resident in The Buckeye State.

Save your vacation days for Winter and Spring!

Hell, I didn't even bring up football starting this Saturday too!!

Check out the below 8-day forecast:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

What's in a Fantasy Football name? Everything!

So, one of my guilty pleasures for the past three years has been fantasy football.

In the past, I guffawed at all the football nerds who painstakingly reviewed stats, receptions, rushes and tackles to compose the greatest team ever assembled of that particular year.

Personally, I thought it was an effort in futility. A long, drawn-out time-waster that takes place between life and death. However, I digress. After begrudgingly joining my good buddy Matt's league, I've found myself enjoying pro football and fantasy football much, much more.

In the past, I was a dedicated college football fan with only one eye open when it comes to pro football. Now, I find myself scouring and scanning all of the pro games on Sunday night seeing if any, or all, of my players excelled in their particular positions.

So, with all of the pro players doing the work, I think the one thing that truly stands out and shouts your originality in this faux world is the name of your Fantasy Football Team.

A good fantasy football team name should evoke emotions. It should show your creative side, while attempting to scare the crap out of your Sunday opponent.

What's more scary than a disease? Nothing, I say.

That's why, in the past, I've decided to go with chronic diseases as my FF team names. Instestinal Flu, Clogged Instestines and Chronic Diabetes have been some of my favorites. However, last year, I think I topped myself by going with Tinea Cruris - the scientific name for jock itch.

Other past names include Zombie Toolshed, Creeping Death, Wheeling River Rat and FALCO, named after the popular 'Amadeus' singer/songwriter.

This year, I went the nostalgic route and chose Sweep The Leg- a head nod to one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies of all time: The Karate Kid.

If you're unaware of the scene in which I speak, watch below (if you're impatient, fast forward to the 5:28 mark):



So, there you have it. In my opinion, Sweep The Leg epitomizes what I'm trying to do to my opponent...sneak up on them and surprise them with a cheap shot that they didn't see coming. Then, like a little sissy, I run home in a full sprint and stand behind my mom who's holding a big-ass wooden rolling pin.

Yeah, it's sort of cold, and a little childish, but who fucking cares. It's Fantasy Football - Dungeons and Dragons for washed-up jocks. (except for me!)

Now, I'm curious. If you were geek enough to have a fantasy football team, what's the best name you've ever used - or seen?

Friday, August 21, 2009

My Thoughts on The Road Movie Trailer

If you read this blog, you know my fond admiration for The Road – Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel centered around a man, and his son, traveling an ashen, post-apocalyptic world.

Well, a couple months ago, my buddy Mac sent me the link to the new movie trailer for The Road. Before I give my opinion, I’ll let you watch it yourself:



The trailer in my opinion, sucks. It misrepresents McCarthy’s work and what the book, and movie, is all about. Quick action-packed edits. Images of world destruction via tornadoes, fires and floods. Followed by tense world-is-ending music with lots of symbols and percussion? What the fuck was that?

I read somewhere that Mr. Miramax Weinstein was cutting two different versions of the trailer. Well, I personally think he totally missed the boat on this one.

If you had the pleasure of reading the book, you know the pace of the story is purposefully slow, reflecting the long journey, the horrifying encounters and the cumbersome day-to-day inanity in this not-so-futuristic, desolate world.

Through this trailer, one conjures images of Armageddon, The Core, The Day After Tomorrow and Deep Impact. Not a film about a father and son trying to make ends meet in a world that's gone to shit. Not even remotely portraying the story of – as my buddy Mac said - “what it really means to be a father.”

I definitely would have taken a different approach than the bastardized trailer above:

  • Limited dialogue.
  • Slow, off-key guitar strumming an ominous folksy tune.
  • Not-so-quick edits of the wasteland.
  • Close-ups of horrified, saddened faces.
  • The trailer would end with a profound voiceover quote from Viggo Mortensan, with father and son walking away from the camera into the desolate landscape that God ate up and puked on a plate.

Personally, I would have taken a more hands-off approach and the let the trailer breathe, almost like the following trailers below…



Or this one:



Or even this one:

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stories from Ghetto Kroger #7 - Cowboy

When you sign up to work for Ghetto Kroger, there’s one thing that you have to be ready for…a lot of poor people.

Hey, you may think that's a bit racist. All I can says is, relax.

In case you haven’t heard, poor comes in a lot of different colors, not just black. Poor isn’t a state of mind. And it’s definitely where probably ¾ of the people that are poor want to be.

Hell, I was poor at one time, and it sucked.

But, at least, I had car. Which brings me to Cowboy.

For all of those that haven’t been on welfare, during the first week of the month, a windfall of government money gets sent through the U.S. Post Office to thousands upon thousands of unemployed workers.

And a handful of those checks land right smack dab around the vicinity of Ghetto Kroger.

As anyone that’s been poor knows, it’s sort of hard to buy a car - let alone pay for insurance and gas. So, most of the time, many poor people use buses, cabs, subways and bikes.

Now imagine yourself having five or six kids, getting your unemployment check and heading to the store to buy a month’s worth of groceries. Not an easy task for anyone, especially someone that didn’t have a car.

Enter Cowboy and his beat-up Lincoln Continental.

Cowboy was a tall, lanky black man in his late 50’s early 60’s who, wore a cowboy hat and boots. He reminded me of a mix between a poor-man’s Morgan Freeman and, if you’re looking for a country music angle, Charley Pride.

But, as far as I recall, he didn’t listen to country music. I think, as time went on, his cowboy hat became synonymous with the legend, sort of like Superman and his cape.

Because, you see, Cowboy was somewhat of a Superhero in and around Ghetto Kroger - almost like a Good Samaritan Robin Hood who helped out the poor, while getting paid in the process.

Cowboy had a unique business. He would hang outside the Ghetto Kroger leaning against his Lincoln Continental and wait for some of these poor, unfortunate souls (white, black, latino, asian..didn’t matter) who would wander out of the store with two carts worth of groceries (and two carts worth of kids, I may add) who would suddenly realize that they had no clue how they were going to get home.

As I mentioned previously, in order to deter shopping carts getting stolen, the entire store was lined with these cement posts that stood about waist-high and prohibited shopping carts from gliding out into the parking lot and, more importantly, into bums' or, other peoples hands. For some crazy reason the shopping carts were always getting stolen.

In any event, Cowboy would swoop in (minus the cape), remove his hat to the unsuspecting customers, introduce himself and offer to drive family and groceries to their house for the small price of $5 (or best offer).

The first time I witnessed this phenomena, I was flabbergasted. Then, as it became the norm, I started to realize the importance of Cowboy's somewhat-lucrative endeavor.

Think about it. A cab would have been $15, maybe more. But, for the low, low price of five bucks you could get your entire family and groceries shuttled to your front door. Not a bad deal if I do say so myself.

As I was fetching carts outside, I would always be bombarded with “Where's Cowboy at?” or “You see Cowboy around?” This guy was more famous than Michael Jackson.

It was almost like Cowboy was a drug dealer - but his cocaine was his Lincoln Continental.

Another funny thing was, he always talked in the third person. “Cowboy can’t take you today.” “You pay Cowboy $5 and Cowboy take you where you want to go.”

Another thing I remember was when Cowboy was getting ready to leave for the day he’d yell, “Cowboy done for the day. Last trip for Cowboy.”

Echoes of sighs and ‘Damns’ would spill from the crowd - who were forced to find another way home - save the shoe-leather express.

Like I said, the man was a celebrity. He was living the American dream and doing what our forefathers envisioned – that every resourceful, able-bodied male and female make money and prosper any way they know how.

However, with every successful business (e.g. Crocs) comes a lot of stragglers trying to get in on the money (e.g. fake Crocs). And that was the same case with Cowboy and his successful business.

I think it was around December, or possibly January, when the fat man came started popping up in the Kroger parking lot.

Cowboy was bundled up in his faux leather jacket with fur hoody, smoking a cigarette (Marlboros of course) and yelling his catch-phrase to everyone that came out of the store: “Get a $5 ride from Cowboy."

All of a sudden this beat-up, rusty Chrysler LeBaron with a loud tail-pipe belching smoke from the exhaust pulled up right behind Cowboy’s car.

With cigarette in his mouth, Cowboy cocked his head and gave his best Different Strokes “Whatchoo talking about” look to the other car. He was truly, honestly enraged at this car.

He tossed his cigarette to the ground and walked over, pointing his long index finger at a pudgy black man - who looked like Proposition Joe from The Wire - pulled himself out of the car.

“I tol’ you this is my turf,” Cowboy screamed. “These here Cowboy’s customers. You git the fuck out.”

The fat man held out his arms in peace and let out a big smile. A crowd started to form around the two characters. I imagined that this was the wild, wild west and these two guys were going to duel – minus Robert Conrad or Kool Moe Dee.

“Free country." That's all the fat man said.

Cowboy walked over and stood face-to-face with the man and gritted his teeth.

“Cowboy’s getting’ real pissed off,” he said. “Cowboy goin’ to give you a mutha fuckin’ ass whuppin'. That’s what he a gonna do.”

I’m not sure if it happens for every guy that is about to witness or partake in a fight – but the hair on the back of my hair immediately stood up, alerting myself that something was about to happen.

“Okay now,” a voice from behind me said. “There’s not going to be any fights today.”

I looked back and saw the store manager, Mr. Hannus – the only black manager in the store who we’ll talk about later – with his arms crossed and a big-ass, off-duty police officer standing behind him.

If this was high school, they would be the principal and vice principal. At least that’s what if felt like to me.

Cowboy stared at the fat man. Then stared at the manager. Then, he stared back at the fat man again and walked over to his car in disgust. I believe he kicked an imaginary pebble on his way.

Mr. Hannus walked over to Cowboy, put his arm around him and whispered a couple things into his ear. I’m sure it wasn’t sweet nothings. In any event, they both glared over at the fat man and his car.

Then he walked over to the fat man and whispered something into his ear. Then Mr. Hannus straightened his tie, made a gesture with his hand to the police officer and shuffled back into the store.

Both Cowboy and the Fat man glared at each other. But neither said a word.
Suddenly a lady with two kids and a cart full of groceries came out of the door.

“You ready Cowboy?” she called out.

“Right here, ma’am,” Cowboy yelled, opened the doors of his, popped the trunk and, like clockwork, removed his hat.

The fat man, leaning against his car, lit up a cigar and yelled out to the lady.

“How much he charge you?” he asked.

“Five dollars,” the lady said. “Why?”

“Why?” the fat, black man said. “Because I charge four George Washingtons, that’s why.”

The lady looked over at Cowboy, then she looked over to the fat man, then back over to Cowboy one more time.

“I'm sorry,” she loud-whispered over to Cowboy. “It’s a whole dollar less.”

Then she walked over to the fat man’s car and tossed in her groceries.

Fat Man smiled. Cowboy fumed.

I had just witnessed capitalism in it rawest form.

"Wow," I thought to myself. "Now who says there are no jobs in the ghetto?"

Other Stories from Ghetto Kroger:
Story #1: Intro
Story #2: Magic
Story #3: Big Head
Story #4: Goldilocks
Story #5: Jonas
Story #6: The Restroom

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Maurice Sendak & Spike Jonze.

One of the very first thing's that I did after my daughter was born in 2006, was hop in my car, high-tail it to the bookstore and buy "Where The Wild Things Are."

I wanted to be sure that it was in her room before she got home.

In my opinion, it's one of the most amazing children's books ever.

Maurice Sendak reminds me of Cormac McCarthy. Obviously two different types of writers. But, like McCarthy, he chooses his words wisely - especially in this book. The punctuation, commas and pages are all calculated to create a truly remarkable experience.

In fact, when I'm chasing my kids around the house - my monster cry is a large roar followed by "We'll Eat You Up! We Love You So!" They absolutelty love it. It terrifies them to glee.

It's only eight words. But when tossed together, they form something truly magical.

That said, here's a promo for "Where the Wild Things Are' film with tidbits from Director Spike Jonze and Author Sendak, who I didn't even know was still alive.

It's 3:00, but worth the time to watch...



If you don't have this book in your collection, buy it now. Or I'll Eat You Up!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blood Tests & Not-So-Bad News

I just had a blood test yesterday. Not by choice. Doctor’s orders.

The blood test was at 8 a.m.

After they drained my arm, I hopped into my car and went on with my daily life. You know - work, creating unique ads and copy for various cell-phone, pharmaceutical and retail companies, day-dreaming about not working, running, drinking a cocktail or two and - more importantly - contemplating my life.

You see, the night before, I had just heard from a friend that Adam Yauch (MCA from The Beastie Boys) was diagnosed with cancer. So, suffice to say, I was feeling a little weird about life, death, giving blood, and the pursuit - or the end - of happiness.

In any event, around 4 p.m. my cellphone rang. It was a number that I didn’t recognize.

Out of curiosity, I answered.

“Hello, Mr. Eimer?” The voice on the other end said.

“Yeah?” I asked thinking it might be a telemarketer.

“Uh, yeah, this is Doc Brown.”

My eyes perked up. “Oh hey! How’s it going?”

“Um, not so good. We received your package today.”

“Really?” I said. “That was fast. They said it would take a couple days for the results.”

“Mmm, yeah,” the man said on the other line. “I’m afraid we have some very bad news.”

The blood drained out of my head. My heart started to pound.

“Hold on a sec.”

I was driving, so I decided to pull into the next available driveway to brace myself for the bad news to come.

I swallowed, regained my composure and calmly put my face to the phone.

“What is it?”

“Well sir, I opened your order, here and -"

For a split second, my mind shot out all the possibilities. Was it Leukemia? Diabetes? Crohn's Disease? The big C?

"Annnnd?" I asked.

"And....well, I'm sorry to say this, but none of your pictures turned out.”

Wha? Pictures? Order? Package? Could this be some sort of cruel joke?

“What pictures, exactly, are your referring to?” I asked. "X-rays or something?"

"No, no X-rays," he said. “The black and white film roll that you dropped off last week."

My mind went blank.

“Who is this, again?” I asked.

The guy seem perturbed. “Doc Brown from McCallister Photo.”

“You’re a doctor?”

“Nope," he said. "That’s just what they always called me.”

I let out a deep sigh, thanked the man, hung up the phone and smiled.

That was the best bad news I heard all week.

Hell, I'd even wager all year.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I just wanna bang on a drum all day

It was 8 a.m. (today actually)

As I opened the door to exit my home to begin my 35-minute commute to Beachwood, I took a minute, or two, to take in the natural surroundings around me.

A warm wind was blowing in from the west.

Trees were opening their leaves happily gasping for CO2.

A rabbit hopped around the field.

The clouds were white and puffy, like little fluffy feminine napkins.

The sky as blue as Windex.

It was then that my attention turned to a man, in full Lance Armstrong biking gear, peddling up the road. He was huffing and puffing but had a intense, yet content, look on his face.

"Must be nice," I bellowed out to the man as I tossed my laptop bag into the car.

The man looked over and smiled.

"Yep," he yelled back. "It is."

(sigh)

For the first time in my life I realized that this work stuff is definitely getting in the way of my free time.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Eimer Debris Gets Props In The Plain D!

Today, as I did a Yahoo search on my blog, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Eimer Debris got mentioned in The Plain Dealer. Sweet.

Check it out right here (scroll down).

However, I should note - the way the article is written, it seems that in my post, I made a rather disparaging comment about the city. That's not the case. Far from it.

To make the record clear, I love it here in Northeast Ohio!

I came from Columbus, Ohio, which I lived for 13 years prior to my move up North. Compared to Columbus, there's a ton more stuff to do here.

From the CVNP, to the pro sports, to the Metro Parks, to the endless bike paths, lets not forget the great nightlife and restaurants, free summer concerts, the theater district, blah, blah, blah, blah and blah - there's shit load of stuff to enjoy up here throughout the four seasons.

Of course, you have to be motivated enough to go out and find it. I'm not going to help you. In fact, I'd prefer it if you stayed off the Metro Park and CVNP trails - I rather like them a bit barren.

In any event, my move up to Northeast Ohio is probably one of the best decisions I've ever made - well besides going to college, getting married and having two healthy kids.

Later.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Has Entertainment Weekly Jumped the Shark?

EIMER NOTE: A while ago, my buddy Mac, who has contributed a number of articles to this page, published this post on Eimer Debris about a year ago lambasting Entertainment Weekly.

Turns out he's completely through with the magazine. I'll let you read his thoughts below:


Entertainment Weekly now officially sucks!

I am cancelling my subscription to the so-called pop culture magazine called ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY. At one time. EW was a great resource for movies, music, and books. That was about ten years ago.

I've been reading Entertainment Weekly since 1991 when Al Pacino was on the cover sporting a pair of cool-as-hell shades. This was right around the time I really started to get into movies and great actors like Al. So I started buying evey issue after that until finally I got a subscription that I have kept for the last seventeen years...until now.

Somewhere in the past 5 to 10 years, EW has shifted away from serious movies and focuses more on crappy reality TV. Television is in the toilet right now if you ask me. There's only about a dozen shows that are good enough to be called 'must-see tv' and most of them are on HBO. But EW writes about it as if we are in the golden age of TV with shows like American Idol and Project Runway.

And the books that they praise are mostly stupid memiors from female writers who sleep around with a ton of men and then write detailed stories about what assholes we are.

The actors and actresses they cover are mostly models who get away with acting via their good looks. Two weeks ago Ryan Reynolds was on the cover wearing nothing but a couple floaties and a snorkel. The week before, Megan Fox was on the cover with her legs spread. That girl couldn't act her way out of a paper bag! They loved Adam Lambert of American Idol because they thought he might be gay. You know who might be gay? Entertainment Weekly, that's who!

What pisses me off the most is their critics of movies. Owen Gleiberman at one time was a fine movie critic. Someone I enjoyed reading and agreed with 65% of the time. But I think his co-worker is starting to rub off on him. Lisa Schwarzbaum is the other film critic of EW and could quite possibly be one of the worst critics since Ralph Novak of People Magaizine or Michael Medved, who only adores movies that are about magical fairies or princesses. Just by reading her reviews, I can tell that Lisa Schwarzbaum doesn't know shit about movies!

And in a recent video in which the two of them pan Michael Mann's new movie 'PUBLIC ENEMIES', I'm convinced that Owen Gleiberman has lost his integrity as a film critic becuase the editor at EW and the rest of his bosses are now influencing his reviews.

Because PUBLIC ENEMIES is a great fuckin' movie!

One sidenote: Dave Karger is the only writer left at that magazine that I still like a lot. I will continue to read his articles on ew.com.

EIMER NOTE: I wholeheartedly agree with Mac. However, I often visit ew.com to read Jeff Jensen's detailed plot summaries for LOST and all other LOST news. But that's about it. Maybe EW has turned into Watermelon Bubbalicious Bubble Gum - very sweet in the beginning, but a slightly nasty aftertaste after you chew it. Maybe Premiere magazine is the last vestige of great movie reporting. Maybe we're just turning into grumpy middle-aged men.

Thanks again for submitting Mac.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Funny Michael Cartoon.



When it comes to recent devastation or a celebrity death, I always turn to the political cartoonists to turn an colorful spin on an otherwise sad tragedy.

Everyone has their opinions about Michael Jackson, but I thought this cartoon, illustrated by cartoonist Peter Broelman, was a humorous pearly gates tribute to a talented, misunderstood and strange man.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Appletrees, Bonfires, Bath and Cidiots

While we were on our vacation, our backyard apple tree was knocked down in a wind/thunder/rain storm.

It’s a bummer because the apple tree itself, was a nice accoutrement to our backyard. It evened out the entire feng shui of the property. Plus, it was always the first thing that caught my eye when I looked out my kitchen window.

A neighbor and I cut down the remainder of the tree for firewood. My neighbor took his turn and cut horizontally into the base of the tree. Black ants poured out, like the scene from The Mummy when the scarab beatles attacked Indiana-Jones wannabe Brendan Fraser and made him scream like a little girl.

Since my neighbor is almost 60 years old, I had the unique pleasure of dragging the deathly remains of the apple tree to a burn pile.

Now, in Bath, Ohio, it’s illegal to have bonfires. Big roaring bonfires. However, I have only witnessed one summons from the fire department since I moved here in 2006. Some knucklehead across the street was burning leaves in his front yard on an Autumn Saturday morning, which created a blanket of smoke visible from the outer space.

So, this past Saturday night, I decided to light said pile of brush on fire. We didn’t invite anyone over. We didn’t buy stuff for s'mores. We didn’t haul a keg next to the fire and start drinking. We just lit the goddamn thing and watched what happened.

Prior to starting the bonfire, I poured about a half-gallon of gas onto the dry wood, just to ensure that we would have a successful fire.

After a big ‘POOF’, the fire took shape. And started getting higher, and hotter, and higher, and hotter. In fact, the highness and the hotness of the fire caught the attention of my neighbors who live in a cul-de-sac about a half-mile away from my house. It was a man and woman, and they both had beverages in their hand complete with red, puffy Catholic faces.

“Hey there,” the guy said. “We saw the fire and thought we’d come over and introduce ourselves.”

As I was shaking their hands, I already had my reservations about these two. Something shouted out ‘nosy neighbor worried about forest fire’ instead of ‘future friends’.

We started talking about life, liberty and the future of Bath.

“So, how do you like it here?”the dude asked.

“Pretty good, we moved in about…”

“Holy shit,” the guy interrupted. “Is that a gas can!” He pointed the red can that said “GASOLINE” on the front.

“Yeah, I thought I’d toss a little on the fire to, you know, get it started.”

The couple looked at each other.

“That’s a cidiot for ya!” the man said and they both cackled like hyenas.

I chuckled. “What’s a cidiot?”

“Oh nothing,” the woman answered. “Just our little term for city folks who move out to the country and try to do country things.”

The smile was wiped off my face.

“Well,” I said. “Technically, this isn’t the country. I mean we’re about a mile and a half from an Old Navy. And I grew up in the country (I did the fake parentheses with my hands) for 18 years of my life until I moved away for college.”

“Hey, hey, don’t get upset,” the guy said. “We was only joking. A little mineral oil, dry newspaper or motor oil will do the trick just fine.”

“Thanks for the tip,” I said almost instantly forgetting his advice. Just to spite this guy, I already knew the next fire I was going to start was going to be with my good, ol' trusty gas can.

After a couple more minutes of conversation they moseyed along their way. Pointing at trees. Taking about property and other stuff that ‘country’ people talk about.

Don’t know what my point was.
Maybe it was my new introduction to the word ‘cidiots’.

Maybe it’s, as a get older and older, I’m starting to call people out on their bullshit.

Maybe I’m just sick of people that think they know everything, but – after they open their mouth and start talking for a couple seconds – you realize they don’t really know anything at all.
Now that I think of it, it’s probably the latter.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Oldie But Goodie Toon

Not sure why I like this toon so much, but I do. And it's not because I drew it. Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A question about giving blood...

I was driving to work today thinking about the possibility of giving blood. I've never done it. Not sure why. I'm not entirely disgusted or light-headed when they red stuff has spurted out of my body in the past.

The thing I was wondering is if giving blood is healthy - for you - the person giving the blood.

Get rid of your old blood that's been surging through your body for 36+ years and have your body create new, fresh blood that revitalized. Like making Kool-aid in the summer - with insulin instead of sugar.

I'm curious if giving blood raises your life expectancy in any way too?

Hmmm, maybe that's a chapter for FREAKANOMICS BOOK 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To The Loser, Belong The Movie Spoilers.

Back in my early 20’s, I wanted to know every single thing that I could about movies.

In addition to the director, the screenwriter, the locations, the story, the plot and, ultimately, the ending, I read all of the spoilers on all of the movie geek websites. I read all of the leaked scripts and early test screening movie reviews. I wanted to be armed with all of this knowledge before I took one step in the theater to watch a movie.

Let me say that again. I wanted to know all of this information before I walked into the theater.

Why? I’m not sure. Maybe I wanted to brag about (which I didn’t too much). Maybe I was a little narcissistic thinking that I had a one-up on all of the other movie goers that night? Really, I'm not too sure what caused this crazy obsession.

However I do know one thing, in hindsight, it was dumb - and a bit of a let-down to boot.

Two years ago in September, I DVR’ed an Ohio State football game so I could participate in my son’s birth. After my healthy son was born, I called my Dad to tell me the good news and he accidentally told me the score of the game (Ohio State won). That night, I went home that night, started the Ohio State game, but wasn’t that pumped to watch it. Maybe because it was against Northwestern as well, but that’s beside the point. The excitement was gone.

That's exactly how I felt after watching a movie in my 20's...a little empty.

Which goes back to my underlying point, basically everything that you knew was going to happen in the movie, well….happened.

As I’ve stated in a previous post, when I was growing up, I remember judging a movie by the poster alone as to whether or not I wanted to see the film. It was a wonderfully innocent time, when the magic of movies surprised me at every turn.

Skip my alcohol-fueled late 20’s, and fast-forward to my current 30’s.

Maybe it’s my growing wisdom or the fact I’ve mellowed with age, but I’ve sort of turned over a new leaf when it comes to foraging for these little extra nuggets of film knowledge before I watch a film.
As a matter of fact, besides knowing the director, screenwriter, cinematographer, producers and the basic plot (e.g., A man witnesses a murder and the mafia hunts him down to silence him.), I take careful steps to avoid knowing any other information about the films I watch.

Perfect example, I was having a conversation with a fellow co-worker about Richard Bachman’s (i.e. Stephen King’s) novella The Long Walk. Good book check it out. The story reminded him of a 1969 movie called They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? about a depression-era dance contest directed by Sydney Pollack and starring Jane Fonda. Never heard of it.

He told me the basic premise and I was hooked. I tossed it into my Netflix queue, waited a couple days and watched, quite frankly, one of the best films I’ve seen in quite some time. And the cool thing was I didn’t know a god-damn thing about it. Didn't know the beginning, the ending, the actors, the actresses. Didn't know anything that was going to happen.

It was fucking awesome.

Oh, sure, I could have visited Wikipedia for a complete synopsis or visited some other spoiler websites, but - like a Biggest Loser contestant saying no to a cupcake - I shunned the temptation and decided to let the movie play out in front of my eyes with a complete blank slate in my head.

Of course, I scour critics top-ten lists and visit other movie-rating sites such as Rotten Tomatoes to get a gauge on what’s hot and what’s not. By the way, life’s too short to watch shitty movies. Most of the films I watch are chosen from critics top-ten lists, positive word-of-mouth, director, producer, screenwriter and, in a lot of cases, my intestines (that's right, the Eimer gut).

And, you know what? It’s working. I’m enjoying movies a helluva lot more than I used too. In this situation, and only in this situation, I’m going out on a limb and saying that ignorance is bliss.

That said, I came across this article in Wired magazine from J.J. Abrams, the creator of Lost and Alias, the writer/director of Mission Impossible 3, the new Star Trek and producer of Cloverfield.

It talks about the ruination of films through knowledge (i.e. internet spoilers) and the pesky vermin of geeks hell-bent upon ruining a movie with the simple goal of being the first to report on the big happening in the latest, greatest film.

It’s a good article. Hell, any article that brings up the trials and tribulations of spending useless hours trying to solve Super Mario Brothers 2 already gets kudos in my mind.

By the way, if you click the Super Mario Brothers link above, World 7-1 starts at 6:53. Read the article, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Sun, where art thou?

Today, this Bath-living resident is day dreaming.

I'm day dreaming of collecting enough money and heading South. Way South. Not Alabama or Florida. Farther. (or is it further?)

Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.

Too far. You hit Antarctica.

Head north. Go past the Equator. Just a smidge

In any event, I'm dreaming of a land. It's a warm land. Filled with adventure. Where I can wake up 365 days a year, walk outside, say hello to the snakes and have a cup of coffee with my shirt off.

Is that too crazy of a dream?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cities and Big Castles

My family (that's weird to say!) and I were driving up to Lakewood - from Bath - to visit the park and Lake Erie.

We were driving up 77 North and, there in the distance you could see the tall cement buildings of rundown Cleveland, Ohio.

"Wow," my daughter shrieked. "Big castle!!"

I imagined a weary traveller on horseback taking a swig of mead, and in the distance, noticing the tall spires of the castle.

Never really thought of it that way.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eimer's 141 All-Time Favorite Films (so far)

Trying to figure out your favorite 141 movies is a very vexing experience.

First off, you have to rationalize why? Secondly, you are almost forced to knock out contenders who deservingly belong in the top 141 – but don't belong for reasons only to you.

For instance, some people will scream in outrage that I did not include Godfather 2 in my selection process. I liked Godfather 2 a lot but it didn’t move me enough to warrant a top 141 pick. For some reason Marlon Brando with an orange peel in his mouth having a heart attack moved me more. Same thing goes for the other two Lord of the Rings flicks.

I'm going to revisit this list often. But one thing strikes me as odd, out of the top 141 flicks - nine of them were made in 1982. In fact, a number of my favorite flicks were made in the 80's (53, I believe). Not sure why. Maybe, perhaps, I was between the ages of 7 and 18. Which are, as all teachers can attest, very formative years of one's life. Wouldn't you say?

So goes the top 141 list. It’s all subjective. However, if you want to get to know me better, take a look at my selections. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Oh yeah, besides Raiders of the Lost Ark - the rest of the list is in no particular order.

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
2. Creepshow (1982)
3. The Goonies (1985)
4. Evil Dead 2 (1987)
5. The Warriors (1979)
6. Time Bandits (1981)
7. Aliens (1986)
8. First Blood (1982)
9. The Thing (1982)
10. Pulp Fiction (1994)

11. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
12. A Place In the Sun (1951)
13. Paths of Glory (1957)
14. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
15. High Noon (1952)
16. Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1971)
17. The Godfather (1972)
18. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
19. The Fisher King (1991)
20. Friday the 13th Part 4: The Final Chapter (1984)

21. On Golden Pond (1981)
22. The Graduate (1967)
23. Heathers (1988)
24. Highlander (1986)
25. The History of the World Part 1 (1981)
26. Jurassic Park (1993)
27. The Karate Kid (1984)
28. The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
29. The Natural (1984)
30. Psycho (1960)

31. Road to Perdition (2002)
32. Requiem For a Dream (2000)
33. Reservoir Dogs (1992)
34. Risky Business (1983)
35. Unbreakable (2000)
36. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
37. The Terminator (1984)
38. The Truman Show (1998)
39. Unfaithful (2002)
40. The Untouchables (1987)

41. War of the Worlds (2005)
42. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
43. Say Anything (1989)
44. Bowling For Columbine (2002)
45. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
46. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
47. The Dark Crystal (1982)
48. Dead Poets Society (1989)
49. The Deer Hunter (1978)
50. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

51. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
52. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
53. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
54. Unforgiven (1992)
55. Searching for Bobby Fisher (1993)
56. Watership Down (1978)
57. 12 Monkeys (1995)
58. Blade Runner (1982)
59. Mississippi Burning (1988)
60. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

61. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
62. The Mist (2007)
63. The Descent (2005)
64. A.I. (2001)
65. Adaptation (2002)
66. Amelie (2001)
67. American Beauty (1999)
68. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
69. Amores Perros (2000)
70. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

71. Black Hawk Down (2001)
72. Blazing Saddles (1974)
73. Braveheart (1995)
74. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
75. Citizens Kane (1941)
76. Closer (2004)
77. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
78. The Killing (1956)
79. Crumb (1994)
80. The Departed (2006)

81. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
82. Do The Right Thing (1989)
83. E.T. (1982)
84. Ed Wood (1994)
85. Election (1999)
86. The Exorcist (1973)
87. Fargo (1996)
88. Fight Club (1999)
89. Finding Nemo (2003)
90. The Fly (1986)

91. Fright Night (1985)
92. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
93. Se7en (1995)
94. Ghostbusters (1984)
95. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
96. Goodfellas (1990)
97. Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse (1991)
98. Hoosiers (1986)
99. The Hustler (1961)
100. Into the Wild (2007)

101. Jaws (1975)
102. Lethal Weapon (1987)
103. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
104. The Naked Gun (1988)
105. The Matrix (1999)
106. Pee-Wees Big Adventure (1985)
107. Platoon (1986)
108. Predator (1987)
109. The Princess Bride (1987)
110. Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

111. A River Runs Through It (1992)
112. Bottle Rocket (1996)
113. Schindler’s List (1993)

114. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
115. Sideways (2004)
116. The Shining (1980)
117. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

118. Stand By Me (1986)
119. Star Wars (1977)
120. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

121. There Will Be Blood (2007)
122. True Romance (1993)
123. Wall-E (2008)
124. What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
125. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
126. The World According to Garp (1982)
127. Apocalypse Now (1979)
128. Back to the Future (1985)
129. Blue Velvet (1986)
130. The Lady and the Tramp (1955)

131. A Few Good Men (1992)
132. Trainspotting (1996)
133. Crimes & Misdemeanors (1989)
134. Weird Science (1985)
135. The General (1926)
136. Defending Your Life (1991)
137. Funny Farm (1988)
138. Oldboy (2003)
139. Halloween (1978)
140. Boogie Nights (1997)

141. Hustle and Flow (2005)
142. TBD

So what do you think? Did I move you with my choices? Were they better than Yahoo's?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Yahoo Don't Know Shit About Movies.

I started a list for my kids. Perhaps I’ll share it with you after I’m finished. It’s the top 100 movies for my kids to see before they die. It’s a work in progress that, I’m sure, will change every year until I, myself, get horizontal for the eventual dirt nap.

Ideally - Budha, God & Satan willing - I'll be able to watch all 100 with them and discuss why I think said movies are so fucking awesome.

In any event, in an attempt to mimic myself, Yahoo just released it’s Top 10(2) Movies To See Before You Die. Not really sure how they came up with the list, but my list is going to be fucking better. Stay tuned.

While you’re waiting for the GLOAT (Greatest List of All Time)… go ahead and check out Yahoo’s list below. I’ve seen 80 of the films (if you’re counting all three Lord of the Rings movies) with 22 left to see including Singing in the Rain, Bonnie and Clyde, Breathless, The 400 Blows, among others.

In any event, I've highlighted all of the movies I've seen in blue. How many have you seen? Do you agree with this list? Any that I haven't seen that I should rent immediately?

And, all Simpsons jokes aside, what in the hell is #100: The World of Apu?

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

3. The 400 Blows (1959)
4. 8 ½ (1963)
5. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
6. The African Queen (1952)
7. Alien (1979)

8. All About Eve (1950)
9. Annie Hall (1977)
10. Apocalypse Now (1979)

11. The Battle of Algiers (1967)
12. The Bicycle Thief (1948)
13. Blade Runner (1982)
14. Blazing Saddles (1974)
15. Blow Up (1966)
16. Blue Velvet (1986)

17. Bonnie and Clyde(1967)
18. Breathless (1960)
19. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
20. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
21. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
22. Casablanca (1942)
23. Chinatown (1974)
24. Citizen Kane (1941)
25. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
26. Die Hard (1988)
27. Do the Right Thing (1989)
28. Double Indemnity (1944)

29. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
30. Duck Soup (1933)
31. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
32. Enter the Dragon (1973)
33. The Exorcist (1973)
34. Fast Times At Ridgemont High (1982)
35. The French Connection (1971)
36. The Godfather (1972)
37. The Godfather, Part II (1974)

38. Goldfinger (1964)
39. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)
40. Goodfellas (1990)
41. The Graduate (1967)

42. Grand Illusion (1938)
43. Groundhog Day (1993)
44. In the Mood For Love (2001)
45. It Happened One Night (1934)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
47. Jaws (1975)
48. King Kong (1933)

49. The Lady Eve (1941)
50. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
51. The Lord of the Rings (2001,2002,2003)

52. M (1931)
53. M*A*S*H (1970)
54. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
55. The Matrix (1999)
56. Modern Times (1936)

57. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
58. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
59. Network (1976)
60. Nosferatu (1922)
61. On the Waterfront (1954)
62. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

63. Paths of Glory (1958)
64. Princess Mononoke (1999)
65. Psycho (1960)
66. Pulp Fiction (1994)
67. Raging Bull (1980)
68. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

69. Raise the Red Lantern (1992)
70. Rashomon (1951)
71. Rear Window (1954)
72. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
73. Rocky (1976)

74. Roman Holiday (1953)
75. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
76. Schindler’s List (1993)
77. The Searchers (1956)
78. Seven Samurai (1954)
79. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
80. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

81. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
82. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
83. Some Like It Hot (1959)
84. The Sound of Music (1965)
85. Star Wars (1977)
86. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
87. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
88. The Third Man (1949)

89. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
90. Titanic (1997)
91. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

92. Toy Story (1995)
93. The Usual Suspects (1995)
94. Vertigo (1958)
95. When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
96. Wild Strawberries (1957)
97. Wings of Desire (1988)
98. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
99. Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (1988)
100. The World of Apu (1959)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Recessions, Running and Roadpops.

If you regularly read this blog, you know that I’m an avid runner.

Back in the day, I used to keep a daily log of my overall mileage and times. Now – more or less – I run for the enjoyment and exercise not to mention the positive effects it has on my asthma and my mental well being.

But one of the most interesting things is I sometimes come across some interesting shit that you wouldn't normally see barreling 70 mph in the country with your Led Zeppelin blaring.

As a road runner, I’m always looking at the gulleys on the side of the road in hopes of finding the mother lode in the form of a diamond ring, a rich-man’s wallet, CDs or even a Netflix DVD.

Since Daylight Savings Time is in full effect and the snow has started to melt, I’ve noticed a spike in the amount of debris scattered in my neighborhood compared to last year.

In particular, I've seen a lot more beer cans. Busch Light to Labatts Blue and everything in between. I even noticed an unopened Samuel Adams bottle, which is a very rare find in any neighborhood.

My theory on this noticeable uptick is simple:

  • Bath is a pretty well-to-do neighborhood. Lots of rich folk. Plenty of middle-class folk. And not too many poverty-stricken folk.

  • More people, especially rich people, are extremely stressed out about the economy and their ever-depleting 401ks and stocks.

  • More people are secretly gulping down said cans of booze and tossing them out the window before they get home so their wife or husband doesn’t find out how stressed out they are.

As I went about my run on Sunday afternoon and gazed at the endless formation of dead soldiers lining the road, I thought to myself that I would love to be a fly on the wall in one of those cars, trucks or motorcycles right before one of those cans were thrown out the window.

I wonder what was going through their buzzed-up minds?


ON A RELATED BATH NOTE: This past weekend I just noticed that someone moved into the house where Jeffrey Dahmer committed his first murder. I wonder if the real estate company mentioned this little nugget of information to the family when they sold them the place?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oscars 2009 Recap.

Well, after I wrote my Friday picks, I loaded up my drinkin’ jacket with three Milwuakee’s Best Lights and went to see Slumdog Millionaire at a local theater on Saturday night.

Let me just say I was thoroughly impressed and finally realized what all the fuss was about. It's a really good film that deserved all the accolades.

That said, having seen it and feeling the momentum and hype spiraling up to the Oscars, I would have changed my picks on a number of categories. But, I’m happy for Danny Boyle winning Best Director and Picture for Slumdog. If you’re not up-to-date on his body of work, here some other personal Boyle favorites that you should definitely check out

  • Shallow Grave

  • Trainspotting

  • 28 Days Later

  • Sunshine

  • Millions

Speaking of my Oscar picks, I was a terrible 11-13. Not even as good as last year's picks.

I should add that the reason I’ve been so lousy is that I haven’t been to the theater in quite some time. The last movie I saw in theater was Knocked Up way back in 2007, which is pitiful. However, now I remember what it’s like to see a movie in a darkened theater with other movie goers. It truly is a remarkable thing. And it's good to be back.

So, here are a couple highlights of my picks (if you care):

  • I was 5-1 in the biggie categories (actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, director, best picture). I would have been 6-0 had my blinders not been on for David Fincher and Benjamin Button. I thought this was going to be a Crash-type thing. You remember? The year that Ang Lee won best director for Brokeback, but Trash, oops I mean Crash, won best picture.

  • I was really shocked WALL-E only won one Oscar. True, it won the biggie – best animated film, but I thought this movie would have been showcased a bit more. Goes to show, you shouldn’t pick with your heart. It’s a good flick. Check it out.

  • I was also shocked that Pixar’s Presto did'nt win Best Animated Short. Instead it was won by La Maison en Petits Cubes. Check out the animation here while it’s still up. My thought is the Academy wanted to give other animators the limelight in this category instead of Pixar.

  • After Departures won best foreign language film, I opened up my laptop and tossed it into my Netflix queue. Waltz with Bashir was supposed to win, but didn't. Departures sounds and looks like a pretty interesting film, though. It's like a Japanese Six Feet Under. Count me intrigued.

That said, here are the films that I’m looking forward to seeing after viewing last night's Oscars:

  • Departures

  • Frozen River

  • The Wrestler

  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

  • Milk

  • The Reader

  • Doubt

  • Rachel Getting Married

Questions? Comments? Up Yourses? Please respond.

Friday, February 20, 2009

My 2009 Oscar Picks

Don't have a lot of time, but I thought I'd send you my list of who I think is going to win this Sunday. Thought? Concerns? Yeas? Nays? Please comment!

Best Picture: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

Best Director: Danny Boyle (SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE)

Best Actor: Sean Penn 'Milk'
I hear Sean Penn rocked in this movie. And, due to the Academy's snubbing of Brokeback Mountain, they'll reward this movie somehow. Hell, it may even win best picture.

Best Actress: Kate Winslet 'The Reader'

Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger 'The Dark Knight'

Best Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'

Best Animated Feature Film: 'Wall-E'
I'm picking Wall-E to win a number of awards. It simply is one of the best animated movies of all time.

Best Foreign Film: 'Waltz With Bashir'

Best Original Screenplay: 'Wall-E' Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Pete Docter

Best Adapted Screenplay: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' Eric Roth, Robin Swicord

Best Documentary Feature: 'Man on Wire'

Best Original Score: 'WALL-E'

Best Original Song: 'Down to Earth' 'WALL-E'

Best Film Editing: 'Slumdog Millionaire' Chris Dickens
Did I mention that I never, ever lose on best film editing?

Best Documentary - Short Subject: 'The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306'

Best Cinematography: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' Claudio Miranda

Best Costume Design: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' - Jacqueline West

Best Sound Mixing: 'WALL-E' Tom Myers, Michael Semanick, Ben Burtt

Best Sound Editing: 'WALL-E' - Ben Burtt, Matthew Wood

Best Live Action Short Film: 'Spielzeugland (Toyland)'

Best Animated Short Film: 'Presto'

Best Makeup: 'Hellboy II: The Golden Army' Mike Elizalde, Thom Flout
I thought the make-up in Hellboy was out of this world. I'm picking the upset over Dark Knight and Button.

Best Art Direction: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'

Best Visual Effects: 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button'

FINAL NOTE: Yes, I'm picking Benjamin Button to win a number of awards over Slumdog. However, I think Danny Boyle will win a Best Director oscar over Fincher. I'm just not feeling Slumdog. Of course, that means that, more than likely, Slumdog will sweep everything.

AICN Sneak Peak at The Road.

If you read this blog, you'll know my deep admiration and affinity for Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

I was perusing Aint-It-Cool-News today and came across a review from a guy who has seen the final cut of the film version - directed by John Hillcoat.

Check it out here.

Sounds intriguing. And, going back to another entry I wrote pre-Oscar announcements, I think this film has big chances for 2010 awards season. At least it sounds like it's a faithful adaptation that pulls no punches a' la Fight Club and No Country for Old Men.

Only time will tell. The film is to be released sometime this year. If it's as good as this guy is squawking, I'm thinking late summer, early fall.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Will our nation's youth ever rage against the machine?

I just finished reading an interesting piece of commentary by The Plain Dealer columnist Phillip Morris concerning the possibility of the United State's youth eventually raging against the machine.

Morris claims it's not a question of "If?" but more a question of "When?"

After reading the commentary and thinking this over for a couple minutes, I've got one word to say: Bullshit.

Look, Morris makes some good points - including the fact that even after your beautiful young children graduate Magna Cum Laude at Notre Dame University - not to mention after you shelling out close to $50,000 on college tuition - there isn't going to be a guaranteed job waiting for them.

That's got to suck big time.

But, I just can't see this generation raging against anything that doesn't have to do with video games, television or pop culture.

So what are you getting at, Eimer? Well, what I'm getting at is there is this big blob of yes that's walking around and conforming to whatever the taking heads are saying.

- Stimulus package. YES.

- Raise taxes. YES.

- More government intervention. YES.

- More rules against non-conformity. YES

There's no fucking free thinking anymore! Or none that I've seen anyway. If Morris thinks that this next generation is going have the next Che Guevara, Samuel Adams (the person not the beer), Malcom X, Lech Walesa or even Guy Fawkes - he better think again.

Of course, I'm generalizing. And I'm sure there are some nuggets of anger stewing out there. I'm sure there are some young kids that think about the future of the United States and are actually interested in the current events that are happening around them.

But I don't see it anywhere: My work. My home. My neighborhood. My city. My state. Seems apparent to me that nobody under the age of 30 even fucking cares that people are losing jobs, losing homes, losing their cars and losing their freedom.

I simply don't see the anger. I don't see the angst. I don't see that hatred. I don't see the slightest hint in the populace that's even thinking about raising a middle finger in the air in the land of hypocrisy and screaming "FUCK YOU I WON'T DO WHAT YOU TELL ME!" over and over again, untiil something violent happens.

Nope. Don't see it at all.

All I see is our citizens walking straight into the meat grinder of conformity with this bland look on their face, nodding their heads in agreement and marching forward until they end up in some god-for-saken assisted-living facility drooling in their eggs with shit running down their pants.

Hmmmm, maybe Pink Floyd was onto something?

Who knows? I may be totally wrong. Hopefully, I'm eating crow and the next generation is already writing a big Breakfast Club fuck you letter to the principal.

I'll even digress, and go back to my Fight Club and Die Hard with a Vengeance theology and say that the next uprising won't be in an open field with bayonets, spears and screaming men in kilts. It's going to take place via our laptops.

It's going to be silent. It's going to swift. And very little blood will be shed. (Well, hopefully a little.)

But, it's not going to happen anytime soon.

Thanks Mr. Morris for a very thought-provoking article with balls.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dog Poo Everywhere!

Look, you may think from reading this post and this post, that I’m constantly consumed by turds. Or am I simply consuming turds?

Regardless, truth be known that every single day of my life I try to escape poop, feces, doo doo, #2, shit or, as my daughter calls it, 'poo poo'. But I just can’t.

It's part of me. It's everywhere. From the office to the home - I'm destined to always be around turds in every facet of my life. Even when I run.

Let me tell you story.

Yesterday, the weather was above 50 degrees, so I thought I’d skip out of work a little early and go on a long run.

Warm days in Ohio during the month of February - like yesterday and today - are extremely rare.

'How rare?' You ask?

Well, remember that scene in The Perfect Storm when the crew of the Andrea Gail hung on for dear life as their boat was relentlessly twisted and catapulted by the angry saltwater of the mighty Atlantic Ocean?

Then, just like that, everything subsided. George Clooney, Mark Walhberg, John C. Reilly and the rest of the crew popped their heads up, took a glance out of the window and noticed the sunny skies and the calmness of the sea.

For a couple of seconds they looked around at each other and smiled thinking to themselves “Yeah, we beat this thing.” Oh, but reality quickly crashed down when they soon realized that they didn't escape the storm at all. They were in the eye of hurricane. Then, that huge giant CG wave kicked the ever-loving shit out of them.

In Ohio, that giant Perfect Storm wave represents winter and the Andrea Gail represents Ohioans in February. This freak weather is nothing but a cock tease designed to give us blue balls (pun intended) for two more months. Screw the groundhog. The Spring - as the rest of the world knows it - doesn't hit Northeast Ohio until early May.

But I digress...I pulled into the Bath Nature Preserve parking lot, tossed on a pair of shorts and running shoes, then took a quick whiz before staring my run.

I noticed a group of high school kids playing Frisbee football in the wet soccer field. A warm (gasp!) wind was blowing in from the west. And, for the first time in a long time, I was comfortable outside.

Yay!

I wasn't 1/4 mile into my run when I heard a familiar sound: SHLUMPF! I looked down and my right Asics running shoe was now a rotten shade of brown. I was so ecstatic about being outside that I forgot to look where I was running. I had just stepped into the biggest pile of dog shit you’ve ever seen.

And, judging from the various shades of brown and the size, I later surmised that it wasn’t simply one giant turd left by some Marmaduke dog - but an assembly of various dog turds from a variety of mutts.

Yay?

I cursed the owners of the foul beasts, scraped my foot in the melting snow and continued on my run.

About a mile in, I decided to give this particular run a title: Dog Poo Everywhere! (at least I assumed they were from a dog).

From big piles to small pebbles. From dark brown to light tan. Tons and tons of dog turds were strewn on the jogging trail as far as the eye could see - sort of like the fallen soldiers in Gone With The Wind or the injured kids who fell off the trampoline in that one episode of The Simpsons.

Again, I cursed the owners.

Did they not know that snow melts quicker than dog turds?

What were they thinking when they passed up the doggy poop bag dispenser at the beginning of the trail?

Is there some sort of dog shit amnesty that I'm not privy to, which states that you don’t have to pick up your dog’s crap when it’s snowing out?

In any event, I decided to turn this disastrous run into a game and imagined that I was NFL running back dodging doo doo defenders on my way to the end zone.

That's when I felt a slight pang in my intestines.

“Oh no!”

Oh yes. Just like the many dogs that pranced around the park and did their business, I suddenly had to take a crap.

I pulled a small bundle of toilet paper from my jacket pocket (Boy Scout Motto: Be Prepared) and pranced into the woods like a white-tail deer dodging a hunter’s bullet. I found a nice clear, piece of un-melted snow and proceeded to do my business.

After wiping my bum, I covered up yesterday’s dinner with a pile of snow and pulled up my shorts.

In my urgency to get back on the trail, I did a 180-degree turn and suddenly heard a familiar sound: SHLUMPF!

I looked down and my left Asics running shoe was now a rotten shade of brown.

I silently cursed myself.

Friday, February 6, 2009

One-Sentence Movie Reviews: Winter Edition

More One-Sentence Movie Reviews For Your White, Pasty, Non-Suntanned Skin.

Lakeview Terrace
Samuel Jackson hates bi-racial couples and this movie is what happens when one moves in next door.

The Counterfeiters
Who knew a movie about the Holocaust could be so entertaining, and so under two hours.

City of Ember
It's like The Goonies but replace One-Eyed Willy's pirate ship and treasure with the outside world.

Death Race
It's Shawshank Redemption mixed with NASCAR mixed with Grand Theft Auto mixed with a big plate of stinky, brown shit.

Factotum
Although entertaining Matt Dillon is far too good looking to play an inebriated Charles Bukowski.

Appaloosa
The boring, boring west.

River's Edge
Keanu and Crispin play weird and weirder when their best friend kills a girl.

The Wackness
Will make you want to smoke weed, cry and listen to 90's hip hop before it ends.

Man on Wire
Will make you want go out live life and pursue a career in tightrope walking.

Pineapple Express
Remember that one part when they smoked weed, fired guns and made snarky weed jokes? Me neither.

Towelhead
Alan Ball, of American Beauty and Six Feet Under fame, writes and directs a very interesting film about racism, sexism and teenage love in the suburbs.

Burn After Reading
Great cast, kooky script and great direction tosses this Coen Brother's flick into my top 10 favorites of last year.

Hancock
The first 40 minutes rocked while the rest of the movie sucked.

Ice Men
This movie was about as gay as the cast of guys trying act like outdoorsey straight men.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army
This movie cements Guillermo Del Toro as this generation's George Lucas and Steven Speilberg.

Son of Rambow
Great idea for a movie, but it could have been so much better.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe
I don't.

Encounters at the End of the World
Warner Herzog proves that there's a lot more to Antarctica than dancing penguins.

Long Way Down
Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman ride their hogs from Scotland to South Africa and make me forever jealous at their privileged lives in the process.

The Dark Knight
Another great superhero sequel where the villian is more popular than the superhero.

Kicking and Screaming
Noah Baumbach's 90's comedic swan song to college life.

Step Brothers
It's like watching Naked Gun or There's Something About Mary for the very first time.

Tropic Thunder
Ben Stiller is getting better and better as a director.

WALL-E
The second-best animated movie from Pixar next to Finding Nemo.

Drillbit Taylor
It's like every other Owen Wilson movie you've ever seen.

Transsiberian
It's like Strangers On a Train but bloodier and in Russia.

Iron Man
I like where this franchise is heading.

Charlie Wilson's War
Based on a true story, watchable film where Tom Hanks bangs some hot women and tries to stop a war in less than two hours.

The Incredible Hulk
It's good, but didn't I already see a similar version of this movie five years ago directed by the guy who won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain.

Dedication
It's like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind if you were a designer of children's books.

P.S. I Love You
Good idea and great acting, but did it have to be so goddamn long?

The Happening
M. Night Shamalayan does it again........he makes another shitty movie.

The Duellists
Entertaining movie - Ridley Scott's first - about two pissed-off soldiers that duel each other every couple of years.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall
A few guffaws, but not as funny as The Farrelly Brother's The Heartbreak Kid.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
Everyone that is in film school right now should watch this film so they can get a clue about how to direct and handle a camera.

Sex and the City: The Movie
The four sassy bitches, plus Mr. Big, sleepwalk through this clunker.

Thumbsucker
An entertaining, yet bleak, movie about teenage angst and Ritalin that's not to be confused with Chumbscrubber.

Halloween
Rob Zombie shoots....and fails with this uninteresting turd on a stick.

The Wrestler movie review

EIMER DEBRIS NOTE: Since I don't get out to the movies that much (I rent them from Netflix), my buddy Mac wrote a great review of Darren Aronofsky's The Wrestler:

If you read the latest articles on Mickey Rourke these days you’re probably thinking that his new movie The Wrestler is his comeback movie. The movie that will save his career. Yes, it’s true he’s already won a Golden Globe and scored his first ever kiss from the Oscars this year with a nomination, but don’t think that Mickey Rourke hasn’t been in anything good the last few years. I personally thought more people should’ve been talking about him back in 2005 for his performance in Sin City.

NO MATTER. Because The Wrestler is my movie of the year (yes, I’ve seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) and Rourke gives a performance with more balls and blood than anyone else came close to this year. And there have been some good performances this year, too.

I think if you take any famous Professional Wrestler from the 80’s, I don’t care if it’s Macho Man, Mr. Wonderful, or Jake the Snake, I bet my Wrestlemania Videos that their life parallels the one portrayed by Rourke. Watching the opening credits filled with Pro Wrestling headlines and sideline commentary from the 1980’s talking about the main character Randy “The Ram” Robinson, you don’t feel like you’re watching a Darren Aronofsky film.

But Mickey Rourke said it best in his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes: ‘A director as great as Darren Aronofsky only comes around once every twenty or thirty years’. That’s Goddamn right. The movie he has made has all the grit and grain and that quasi-documentary feel you see in movies from the 70’s. And a clear departure from his previous movie ‘The Fountain’. This is a harsh portrait of a man knocked down and savagely beaten by his own industry. An industry where many people don’t use their real name. This truth could be said about many lines of work. However, professional wrestling looks like it would be fun for a while, but doesn’t look like one with a quality 401k or health benefits.

Randy struggles with getting old in an industry that’s not too kind to those who age. He barely gets by in life. He wrestles in a local minor league circuit and puts in as many hours working at the market as long as is doesn’t interfere with his wrestling. He spends his money on painkillers, tanning beds and hair salons, items that would be considered job expenses for wrestlers but Randy’s days of having an expense report are left in the 1980’s. He’s still well known and liked a lot in the locker room and by die-hard fans who show up autographs. But, after one of his matches, Randy ends up in the hospital and gets open heart surgery. The doctor explains to him that people who have heart attacks and have surgery cannot continue to be a professional wrestler.

Walking that close with death leaves a lonely taste in Randy’s mouth. He feels the urge to ask out Cassady, his favorite stripper who works in a club he hangs out in. Marisa Tomei is probably the most underwritten about actress of the past few years and she’s got a shot this year at winning her second oscar for her role as Pam. I don’t know if actresses like playing a stripper on not but I can’t believe it’s easy for them to do. To be able to pull it off with the kind of moves and mannerisms that shows a real woman working in a weird and bizarre industry like stripping, is quite impressive. Hat's off to Marisa Tomei.

In the club, Cassady has a soft spot in her heart for Randy her most protective customer. She knows he works in a weird and bizarre industry too. Outside the club Randy tells her about his heart attack and his fear being alone. She urges him to try to salvage a broken relationship with his daughter and agrees to help him shop for a birthday present.

Randy’s life after wrestling has a glimmer of hope. He’s able to get his feelings across to his angry daughter and is able to get Pam to have a beer with him. But things happen and Randy’s old ways are haunting him and he can only go back to his only family he’s ever known. The family the cheers for him when he bleeds.

The film ends with a twenty year reunion wrestling match between The Ram and his arch enemy from the 80’s The Ayatollah. The final scene in the movie strikes the hell out of you when Randy rises on top ropes and at that moment you realize two things: One, a new respect for the men who work in that crazy industry and the true punishment they endure playing in a fake sport. And two: Mickey Rourke deserves the Oscar.

Milan A. Cargould

Thanks for the review Mac. Can't wait to see it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bloops, Blips and Mystery Roars.

I love space.

I also love Space.com, the website devoted to everything cosmic, and cosmos.

Another reason that I love Space.com is the site's writers are just as fascinated with what's going on 'out there' as I am. Possibly more so.

I've talked about the mysterious bloop under the sea (which, by the way has gotten a good many hits on this page).

And, although I've never personally discussed it on this blog, I've also been fascinated by the WOW! signal discovered at The Ohio State University in 1977.

Now, Space.com reported of a mysterious roar detected from the outer limits of space on January 7, 2009.

Cool.

According to the article the booming noise was measured to be 'six times brighter than the combined emission of all known radio sources in the universe.'

Like I said. Cool.

Could it be a signal from Arthur C. Clark's Rama? Could it be God burping? Could it be my grandfather trying to speak from the grave saying 'Be good grandson, there is a heaven after all.'?

Hopefully. Maybe. And highly unlikely.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby!

I was just thinking of this Tom and Jerry cartoon yesterday. My brother and I used to sing it all the time when we were young. Check out the hot female cat that Tom's singing to. Rawr!

No wonder I liked this cartoon.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Where in the World is John Hughes, Part 2

A while ago, I wrote this piece asking you, the public, where in the hell was Writer/Director/Producer John Hughes - the man, the myth, the legend who brought us Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Breakfast Club and - one of my favorite films of all time - Vacation.

Speaking of Vacation - for all of those unaware, Hughes' screenplay originated from a short story he wrote which was optioned by Hollywood to be transformed into a feature-length film. Which, in turn, still leaves hope for me.

But, instead of little old me going on and on about the experience, I'll let John Hughes tell you himself in this rather interesting forward that he wrote for Zoetrope - a quarterly magazine founded by Francis Ford Coppola devoted to short fiction and one-act plays.

And you can read Hughes' short story Vacation '58 right here.

Enjoy.