Monday, May 18, 2009

Angels and Demons, Jennifer Aniston, the Illuminati and Chuck

Well, I saw Angels and Demons over the weekend. Third movie date I've had with my wife in the past three years. Children.

We had a long debate before going about what we should see. Fortunately, we both like the same kind of movie in general. If we're going to see something on the big screen, we like to see stuff blow up and people get 2 by 4's broken over their heads or get blasted with futuristic weaponry. Unfortunately, we had both already independently seen the new Star Trek movie and my wife had already seen Wolverine. Neither one of us was that pumped about Angels and Demons, but it seemed like a better big screen choice than Management. Also, Management has Jennifer Aniston in it and she generally doesn't make good movie choices--or, if the tabloids can be believed--boyfriend choices. So, it was Angels and Demons.

Not that horrible, actually. Pretty entertaining. Except all the made up fiddle faddle about the Illuminati. That kinda bugged me. Probably bugged the actual Illuminati also--the same way the da Vinci Code bugged the guys who wrote Holy Blood, Holy Grail. If I was Dan Brown, I might be watching my back right about now. Ticked off the Church and the Illuminati? Whose next? The space aliens? The military industrial complex? Anyway, it was a good enough popcorn movie.

I also just read that Chuck has been picked up for another season. Well, 13 episodes anyway. Now there's a show I'd pay to see on the big screen. I love Chuck. Maybe Jennifer Aniston could get on an episode and break her streak of making poor movie choices. Maybe she could even marry the guy who plays Chuck and break her bad-boyfriend-choosing streak too. Assuming that Zachary Levi is a decent guy and doesn't already have a wife.

And now, a sensitive disclaimer. Please do not interpret the above text to mean that I personally believe that any of the men that Jennifer Aniston has dated/married/had relations with in the past have been "bad boyfriends". The term "bad-boyfriend-choosing streak" in the previous paragraph only refers to the idea that said boyfriends have not been "good" for Jennifer in the pursuit of a stable, long-term relationship. This interpretations presupposes that Miss Aniston is actually looking for a stable, long-term relationship. It is also solely the product of reading tabloids and has no actual connection to reality. Oh, and also, Iron Giant, Office Space and the Leprechaun were all pretty much good.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Star Trek, A Wrinkle In Our Timeline

So, we were all going to play hookie from work today and see the new Star Trek.

We had it all planned out down to the last detail. Earlier in the week we had picked the 1:10 showing--the first DLP showing of the day--and planned to meet up at the office, get a little work done and then leave about 11:45 so we could have a leisurely lunch near the theater, stroll into the movie on time to get the best seats in the house and then kick back and let it wash over us.

So, we met at the office as planned and worked out our transportation caravan. Since the theater was a bit of a drive, everyone was taking their own car so they could head right home after the show. Being environmentally conscious, we worked through all of the calculations with Spock-like precision to ensure that there would be less net environmental damage this way than if we car-pooled to the theater, then all came back to the office to get our cars and then drove home from there. Or, maybe we didn't exactly do it in a Spock-like way, but at least in a Kirk-like way.

Anyway, we were set. And then this gardener guy showed up. He was supposed to have showed up the Friday before last, which he missed, and then again last Friday, which he also missed. And now, here he was, pulling into the parking lot at 10:00 AM on Star Trek Friday! No way!

We had instructions for dealing with him. We were supposed to wait until he was finished, write him a check for his work and then lock up the gate to the office parking lot. Only problem was that he was supposed to take at least two hours to do the lot and we only had an hour and 45 minutes left! Crap!

So, at 11:50 (already five minutes late) we went down to talk to him about writing him a check in advance of his finishing the work and maybe locking up the gate himself. But it turned out that he barely spoke any English. Apparently he was an ancient Korean form of gardener. So, we regrouped back in the office and went into planning over drive. It was noon now. The leisurely lunch was slipping away. Desperate, we decided to communicate with the gardener through sophisticated hand gestures and meaningful grunting in order to get him to estimate how much time he had left so that we could figure out how much to pay him. Then we would pantomime him locking up the gate and flinging the key back through the bars in the door so that we could retrieve it on Monday.

At 12:05 we went back down and found him already finishing up. Yeah!!! So, Sara cut him a check and we gave it to him and it turned out that the person who gave us the instructions got the guy's name wrong. And he could speak enough English to let us know. We ran back upstairs and cut him a new check. Now, it was 12:10 and lunch was totally out of the question. Any later and we would be starting to endanger our good seats. We rushed back down and... he rejected the check again! Wrong name again! So, we ran back up, changed the name, shoved a new check page in the printer printed backwards. DANG! It was 12:20 now! The plan was in shambles. Desperate measures were called for. So, we raided the petty cash box, paid the gardener and then ran upstairs to get the key to lock up. And who had sneaked in through the front door while we were out back? The guy from our I.T. company. And what was he doing? Backing up the hard drives. AAAAARRRRRGGGGG!

It looked like curtains for our plan. But, being an I.T. guy, he understood that this was Star Trek we were talking about. Somehow, accessing his inner Scottie, he managed to do his twenty minutes of work in two minutes. We were out the door.

Anyway, we made it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

96 rolls and the Peril of the Internet

So, I bought 96 rolls of Bottlecaps. They arrived today via FedEx or UPS or something. Two cases of 48 rolls each. Mmmmm.

But now I'm thinking that maybe it wasn't the greatest idea. I mean, what's to stop me just eating them all today? That's 2496 Bottlecaps, at least 5 of which are likely to be the root beer flavor I love so much. Even I know that anything over two thousand would be too many Bottlecaps. It's highly likely I would drop dead on the spot from diabetes type 10 or something.

This is the Peril of the Internet. Back in the good old-fashioned old days, I would have had to drive around for weeks or months (or at least days or hours) in order to locate that many rolls of Bottle Caps. I would have had to ration them so that my pleasure would last. Now, with a few clicks of my mouse and the number from my credit card, I can possess whatever candy I desire. And the problem goes well beyond candy. I can buy nearly anything I can think of on the Internet, all without any real effort. It seems like a boon until it makes you its slave.

Oh, and I ran into my friend Clay today and told him about my Bottlecaps and he spontaneously noted that the root beer ones and the lemon lime ones are the only really good ones. Now, that's some serious validation there because everybody knows that Clay and I are virtually nothing alike. I mean, he wears glasses.

Anyway, I better get going. I have a lot of candy to eat.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Blommer, Fruit Striped Gum and the Goon

I've been eating a lot of Fruit Striped gum and reading a lot of The Goon over the past few days.

I bought The Goon #1 and #2 TPBs at the Stumptown Comic Fest and I read them that night and really like them. So then I got The Goon TPBs #3, #4, #5 and China Town (which is actually a hard back and, I understand, basically The Goon #6). And I read all of those the day after I got them. And now I'm waiting for The Goon #7 and #8 to come out. I'm digging The Goon.

And then there's the Fruit Striped gum. I love the smell of Fruit Striped gum! It smells better than virtually anything else, with the possible exception of freshly baked bread or the Blommer Chocolate Factory in Chicago. It's freaky, but I like to just hold a stick of Fruit Striped gum under my nose and huff the fake-fruit scent. That's actually better than chewing the gum--mostly because the super intense flavor of Fruit Striped gum burns bright but quick and is gone in a twinkling, while that delicious smell is there for as long as you can resist chewing the gum.

Anyway, this got me thinking that there's a connection between Fruit Striped gum and the Goon. I love them both, I consume them both way too quickly and they both have a strange, intoxicating appeal that would be difficult to explain on any kind of a rational level.

At the San Diego Comic Con last year, at which we unveiled issue #1 of the Helm, Dark Horse had a conceptual poster for a potential Goon movie. David Fincher is slated to direct, so I am likely to be there opening day, probably chewing Fruit Striped gum.