Archive for July, 2011


Two weeks left of summer.

Normally I would say that summer has gone by so fast it’s just been a blur, various trips and parties to pass the time. but this summer has been more of a blank space than a blur. Equally fast, if not more so, but filled with nothing.  I’m not even sure how it happened, I have accomplished and done so astoundingly little.  It’s not the satisfying kind of “little” either.  Sometimes doing nothing can be relaxing, but mine is the stressful kind of “little.”  Stressing about doing nothing whilst trying and failing to come up with something to do.  All I’ve done is work.  I feel like I should go buy some Pokemon cards or build a tree house or something to compensate in my last two weeks.

Last summer I was happy, but scared shitless at the impending school year and the consequent ending of my childhood.  Last school year came and went, the cliff I seemed to be careening towards turned out to be more of a time warp, and there I was again, gas pedal stuck to the floor on my summer, eyes glued to the rearview mirror.  As time goes on, the image in that mirror fades, and finally, now that summer is almost gone, I am able to look ahead. What used to seem like a cliff at the end of my summer however, that terrifying feeling of unknown, has been replaced with a looming brick wall.  I know what to expect now, I just hope I can find a door before I dash myself against the side of that big brick building called potential.  If I can find that door, break through that barrier, then has the potential to be a damn good year.

Well huh, that wasn’t exactly the blog post I intended, I uh, apologize for that.

I guess that’s all I have for today, so now for some unsolicited opinion, in the form of some charts and graphs.

::OPINION ALERT::

Read these graphs, or never talk to me ever.

How did this get in here?

Another one? My bad.

I heart charts. But seriously, this one makes me sick.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”

-Matthew 19:24

I just quoted the Bible,

-Andrew

Advertisements

Movie Review: Captain America

Another comic book movie. The fourth one this summer alone, the 3rd Marvel movie of the summer. Is anyone else getting sick of it? Surely there can’t be that many die-hard comic book fans out there just dying to see every tights-clad paragon of virtue ever conceived on paper on the big screen.  I’ve got nothing against superhero movies, some of them are my favorites, but it’s starting to get ridiculous.   People who call themselves die-hard comic book fans are just the hipsters of the nerd kingdom anyway.

But I digress.

Not being familiar with Captain America and his origin story, and being the skeptic I am, I was going to be director Joe Johnston’s toughest sell.   Like all comic book movies, Captain America has to both pay lip service to its die hard fans who know all the details already, and give newcomers to the story a satisfying movie experience with characters they give a damn about without knowing who they are beforehand. That in mind, I went into the theater expecting more of the same.

Captain America, astoundingly, doesn’t exactly fit the mold of the rest of the summer comic book movies.  It’s still a comic movie through and through, but it seems to be aware of that fact, and consequently it comes across as much less self-righteous and melodramatic. In fact, Captain America almost seems to parody its summer movie predecessors;  It’s campy, over the top, superhero fun.

:Note to bad guys: When designing your secret base to protect against a motorcycle-riding hero, make sure your gates aren’t conspicuously ramp-shaped.  Just saying.

Oh... you mean that WASN'T a convenient ramp-gate? My bad....

The square-jawed, morally incorruptible hero Steve Rogers, A.K.A. Captain America, is played by an exceedingly muscular Chris Evans. For the first part of the movie however, his is face affixed, convincingly via computer animation, to the body of a scrawny boy with a healthy sense of honor, until he gets injected with super steroids and becomes the ass-kicking patriot we all know.  He’s basically the ultimate frat guy; good looking and cocky, disk-golfing against the evil forces of HYDRA with his indestructible circular shield of justice.  He assembles a team of ethnically diverse rescued prisoners (one with an astoundingly well groomed moustache and bowler hat, even though he’s been in a Nazi prison camp for who knows how long) to help him, and they provide some welcome comic relief to the somewhat stodgy Captain.

In fact, the cast around the Captain was all pretty top notch, providing a nice contrast to our somewhat depthless hero.  The love interest to Evan’s Steve Rogers is a buxom and beautiful Hayley Altwell (why have I not seen her before??), as the sexily British, yet modernly independent and ass-kicking Agent Peggy Carter.  Tommy Lee Jones is Tommy Lee Jones playing an army guy, and I would expect nothing less from him.  The villain of the story is a gleefully evil Hugo Weaving, as the inexplicably noseless Red Skull, who wields the Nordic Ice Cube of Power (that’s what I think it was anyway, it’s not really explained…), and plans to destroy the world with an army of laser-toting, black clad, faceless stormtrooper ripoffs and a huge stealth bomber thing.

Wait a minute... When did we get to Endor?

The whole thing is gloriously over the top, and I found myself laughing at some of the action scenes due to their sheer ridiculousness.  I’m not sure if that was intended, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.  The movie was funny, I found myself laughing frequently,and unlike the heavy-handed ramblings of Thor and the Green Lantern, Captain America seemed almost refreshing.

Much of that was due in part to its writing.  It was a satisfying moment when, at the movie’s climax, as Captain America faces off against the diabolical Red Skull, the villain asks our red, white and blue-clad hero “Do you ever give up?” and the Captain’s response is simply, “Nope.” That simple “nope” in the stead of the genre’s usual lengthy speeches on virtue and black-and-white moral platitudes, a tribute to the surprisingly sharp script of writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely.

The most memorable part of the movie to me was after discovering his remarkable powers, Steve Rogers immediately gets whisked off on a War Bonds tour, performing to catchy jingles, making speeches, and punching Hitler in the face every night.  This instead of the typical training montage was a welcome and realistic change.  After an ill-received show for G.I.’s in Italy however, Rogers finds his true calling; superherodom.

So overall I enjoyed the movie much more than I expected to.  It’s campy summer fun, and it doesn’t take itself as seriously a the trailers led me to believe.  It did however, seem to be sort of a giant teaser for next Summer’s Avenger’s movie.  Which would have been disappointing if I wasn’t so excited for the movie (mainly because of Robert Downey Jr.’s return as Iron Man).   Another strange aspect of the movie was the fact that I couldn’t figure out, on numerous occasions, if it was paying homage to other well-known movies or just ripping them off. One scene in which Captain America speeds through a forest on his motorcycle is so reminiscent of Star Wars, it borders on plagiarism.

That aside, I can highly recommend Captain America as an entertaining two hour respite from the summer heat.

Feedback please,
-Andrew

Why would you want to unleash your inner douche you ask? An excellent question, wise reader, but sadly one that I don’t have the answer to.  No one knows why douche-bags exist, but we do know how.  The following is a guide towards douche-dom, written in the persona of a doucher who is writing a guide on how to be a winner, and is an attempt to explore the very nature of their existence.

If any of the following offend you, you might be a douche.

::Please don’t try this at home::

(In no particular order)

10.) Fart Loudly and Intentionally Around Other People

Because it’s effing hilarious.

9.) Don’t Signal When You Turn or Change Lanes

You’re a good enough driver you don’t have to signal, the other tards on the road should just get out of your way.  Your morning drive to work is just like The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, you beast.

8.) Bathe in Axe© Brand Body Spray

It totally makes you smell manlier than real cologne, because a lady who smells you will know you have at least 6 bucks to spend on extra deodorant.  Don’t bother cleaning yourself either, because it’ll cover up whatever bad smells you have on you.

7.) Dress for Success

Your shirts should all have at least one skull, rose, or naked woman on it, and if possible it should have something written in large silver letters n the back.  Oh and buy it two sizes too small, your rippling abs won’t be visible otherwise.

You can always just go shirtless all the time too; showcase your raw power with a little baby oil.

6.) Listen to Nickelback

Because he doesn’t sound like a sissy.

5.) Be a Sooner fan

Oh come on, you had to have seen this one coming. ;)

4.) Talk Loudly On Your Cell Phone in Public Places

You’ve got important business to do, people’s stupid conversations and movies can wait.

3.) Jackass 1, 2, 0r 3

Is your favorite movie.

2.) Grammar Shmammar

dont follow the rules, grammar is for nerds, nothing is as intimidating as a threatening run-on sentence with  ARbiTrarY cApitaLIZation and lots of comas, .

tlk in txt spk 2, u got no time 4 ppls crap or thr vowels.

ur not dum u jst dnt test well.

1.) Your Vehicle = Your Manhood

It’s a fact that the size/loudness of your car directly corresponds to the size of your man parts.

No offense,

-Andrew

Did I mention spray tanning and copious amounts of hair gel?

P.S. This shouldn’t by any means be considered an exhaustive list of qualities required for douchiness.  In fact, it has opened sort of a can of worms and I could write about this for days.  As a result, most likely coming soon: A (very incomplete) List of Things That Annoy The Hell Out of Me.

I had endeavored to post more than once a week this summer, but the utter lack of activity in my life has made that incredibly difficult.  There’s not much to write about a weekend filled with boredom, self-pity, and copious amounts of aimless internet browsing, which has been every weekend of the summer so far.

But, do not despair my intrepid reader, for this summer is to the movie of my life not the depression montage, that already happened, but instead the determination montage, where I work out in dimly lit rooms and leave myself inspirational notes on the mirror.  In this montage I lean dramatically over the sink, splash water on my face, and stare steely-eyed and determined at my unshaven reflection, followed by an unknown, but undoubtedly epic number of incredibly sweaty situps.  We’ll just edit out the hours and hours spent in dark rooms staring at TV and computer screens, a lifeless pallor about my person, and just the barest hint of sentience in the vacant expression worn constantly upon my face.  Oh yeah, after a determination montage like this I am going to kick some ass when school starts next month.

Anyway,

I know making fun of old ladies makes me a terrible person, but when they have sideburns and a moustache, it’s incredibly hard not to chuckle in mild fascination.  Though, I have to

admire them for not giving a flip about the way they look.

Do you ever sit there and debate how much punctuation you should put at the end of a sentence?!?

Nobody likes being super busy at work, but it’s almost better than the endless minesweeper and rubber band-ballery of a slow day.

And now for some unsolicited philosophical advice:

Don’t ever get so caught up in where you’re going that you forget where you’re from, because for better or for worse, it will always be a part of you.  No matter how much you want to get away from it, as soon as you forget where you’re from, you become just another face in the crowd, somewhere in the middle of a story with no beginning.  I’m not saying your past should define you, but a glance in the rearview mirror every once in a while is a good way to avoid an accident.  Besides, if you don’t remember where you started, how can you know how far you’ve come?

Our goals in life are mostly the same,  it’s our beginnings that make us unique.

Reflectively yours,

-Andrew

Movie Review: Horrible Bosses

I’ve got to start off by saying Horrible Bosses is a terrible movie title.  Out of all the crap that’s been churned out of the Summer Movie Machine, it’s got the worst, most awkward, and least creative movie title.  It’s like nobody could agree on a title, so everybody in the studio put their title ideas into a hat, and the one they drew was the one written in purple Crayon by the studio exec’s 5-year-old niece.

Title aside, Horrible Bosses actually wasn’t all that horrible.

The premise of the movie is a bit strange to me, I mean would three normal guys really be driven to murder by their bosses? No matter how “horrible”?  But the whole movie is ridiculous and over the top in a good way, so I was able to put that strangeness aside.

Far and away the funniest performance was by Charlie Day (of It’s Always Sunny in Philidelphia fame), who played his usual blustering, bumbling, and lovably naive character in the form of Dale, a dentists assistant tired of the constant sexual harrassment by his perpetually libidinous boss, Dr. Julia Harris, D.D.S. played by a surprisingly sexy Jennifer Aniston.  This boss/disgruntled employee pairing was my favorite out of the three, Day’s hilariously distraught recollections of his workplace woes only provoke chiding from his buddies, who don’t see the advances of a beautiful woman to be a problem.  Aniston played a role much more sultry than usual, and she clearly relished her role as temptress, which was fun to watch.

The other pairings in the movie weren’t quite as strong however.  For instance the relationship between Jason Bateman‘s character Nick and his boss Dave Harkin, played by a seething Kevin Spacey, was a bit over the top for me.  Spacey clearly had fun being bad, but I didn’t quite buy his character.  Though still entertaining, the Aniston/Day conflict was just much more humorous, and less er, painful to watch.  The dynamic between Jason Sudeikis as Kurt, and his coke-head boss Bobby Pellit, played by a heavily make-upped and balding Colin Farrell could have been funny, but of the three it wasn’t developed nearly as much.  He also seemed like a cheap knockoff of Tom Cruise’s very similar, balding and heavily make-upped character, Les Grossman, in the movie Tropic Thunder.

Another problem I have with the movie however, is a problem I have with most comedies that are released these days, and that problem is with its marketing.  These days you can’t even turn on the TV or open the internet without having movie trailers shoved down your throat.  Don’t get me wrong, I love movie trailers, I spend hours on the internet watching movie trailers, and sometimes I even like movie trailers more than movies, but when you go to see a comedy and you know exactly what’s going to happen, and every joke from the movie., that’s a problem.  There’s got to be a balance there.  Trailers are great, but when I watch a movie and most the funniest parts aren’t funny at all because I’ve already seen them a hundred times, it really takes a lot of the fun out of it. Horrible Bosses is definitely that way, and if you’ve seen the trailers, you’ve pretty much seen the movie.  Even with that being the case, I still found myself laughing out loud a lot in this movie.

Making the best out of a strange premise, the lead actors have a good chemistry, with Bateman doing his usual straight man amongst crazies bit (see: Arrested Development),contrasting nicely with the bumbling antics of funny guy Day, and ladies man (huh?) Sudeikis. This hilarious chemistry is what saves the movie for me. At times their stupidity and naivité is almost painful to watch, and the circumstances they find themselves in are always over the top, but their ability to work off each other and turn what could be stale one-liners into extended moments of awkward comedy gold, and is what makes Horrible Bosses worth the price of admission.

From Left: Bateman, Day, and Sudeikis

So overall, I think Horrible Bosses succeeds amongst a sea of summer movie mediocrity thanks to the comedic talents of it’s main actors despite a godawful title, and a less than believable premise.

-Andrew


So last night I got to see my musical hero Ben Folds in concert for the first time at the bouncy Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, and I have to say, holy balls. It was amazing. He has so much energy, from when he slammed out Levi Johnston’s Blues to when he threw the piano bench at the piano at the end of the concert, he was nonstop. It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time, and definitely worth the wait from when the concert was originally scheduled for February.  In case you weren’t aware, it was postponed for the biggest snowstorm in the history of snow that just happened to fall on the exact day Ben was scheduled to play in Tulsa.  Moshing to Effington on the bouncy floor of Cain’s with like 500 other sweaty Folds-ophiles like me who knew every word pretty much made my life.

Anyway, I’m done gushing, but that was definitely the highlight of my summer, and I’m buying my ticket to see him in OKC in November tonight.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen an edger before, but they’re these power tools that are designed to cut the grass next to sidewalks.  They feature a circular metal blade, a small lawn-mower-type engine, and the ability to drive me absolutely insane.  Something about the sound of that weed-eater engine combined with the high pitched shriek of metal scraping concrete has a direct line to my insanity bone. It drives me crazy, and for some inexplicable reason, Oklahoma State University seems to think that every single square inch where grass grows next to concrete must be edged AT LEAST three times a week.

I don’t get it.  It’s like they follow me around and make sure any sidewalk I walk on is free of grass, to make sure I don’t trip on the millimeter of grass that’s touching the sidewalk.  Because it ALWAYS happens to the sidewalk right outside my window, no matter what building I’m in, or what time of day it is.  It’s never consistent either, the sound constantly fades in and out, like some kind of crazy aural Chinese Water Torture.

zzzzzZZZZZZZZZrrrrrrt…….ZZZZzzZZzzzzzzzzzrttt….zzrt……..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzZzZZZZZZZZZZZZZrrrrt…..zzzzzZZZrrt…. (That’s what it sounds like, except more metallic and horrible)

I didn’t need an alarm clock in the dorms, because the friendly neighborhood edgerman was always outside my window at 8 in the morning protecting my ankles from the evils of immaculately manicured grass.  And I lived on the 4th floor.

They edge way more than they mow, which makes no sense to me.  Why does that happen?  Edge when you mow! Why does unmown grass need edging? It’s like icing an unbaked cake.

Maybe I just don’t understand the importance of edging, but JESUS, I promise I’ll be okay if my sidewalks are unedged for like three days.

I just wrote half a page about edgers. Wow, why are you still reading this?

Don’t get mad, get RIPPED! Don’t just to sit-ups, do RAGE SIT-UPS!!! When you work out angry, you feel the burn in your abs AND your heart!

I don’t know if you know anyone like this, but I know a guy, an adult mind you, that signs the bottom of every e-mail he sends with a quote from the movie Gladiator.  A grown man.  And for the name underneath the quote, where the author of the quote usually is, all it says is “-Gladiator,” so everyone knows it’s from the movie.  At least he could have put the script writer’s name, to preserve a bit of his dignity, but no, Gladiator it is.  HE’S COOL.

Man, with both the NFL and NBA possibly in lockout next season, I have no idea what pro sport I’m going to watch.  One thing’s for sure though, I would watch professional knitting before I watched professional baseball.

My desk at work is right next to the two copiers, so any time they need to be repaired (which is all the time), the copier guy makes small talk with me.  For whatever reason he was in an especially talkative mood today, because he talked to me for half an hour about the stuff he’s learned over the years while repairing copiers on military bases… Also about the UFO he saw last Halloween, but that’s a different story.  Actually it’s just a different part of the same story, because he never stopped talking.

Like he said, even high security military facilities have copiers and printers that need repairing.  Who’d have thought a copier repairman would so change my view of the world.

Rantily yours,

-Andrew

P.S. Oh and this:

Obscure internet humor + Harry Potter = I'm writing a blog post at 8:30 on a Friday night.

That's just cruel.

Man, today was the Fourth of July, and all I wanted to do was grill something, swim, and explode stuff in my front lawn just like our founding fathers did when they were declaring independence from King George III.  But alas, we haven’t had rain in weeks here, so a burn ban was put in affect for our entire county, making the detonation of fireworks illegal.  Talk about a wet blanket on my patriotism.

Anyway,

It’s been hot here lately.  So hot you can taste it when you get in your car, kind of metallic on your tongue.  So hot that you wish you had bathed in deodorant because you sweat from places you’ve never sweat from before.  So hot the milk you drank for breakfast curdles in your stomach as you walk from your car into the store.  I must be an Okie, because I actually kind of like it.

It's all part of their plan...

Call me insecure, but I prefer pencils to pens any day.

Thank God it says “do not eat” on that silica gel packet, it just looks so tasty in there amongst that beef jerky.

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is delicious.  I crave that blue-boxed goodness in the summer more than anything else.  It has a dark side however…

Have you ever had it left over?? The second you put it in the fridge it turns from a delicious, cheesy pasta entree, to a pale yellow, cardboard tasting  sludge.  I don’t understand how something so amazing can turn into something so horrible with the mere application if cold.  The moral of the story is: eat the whole box, you pansy.

I think it’s my Viking heritage, but I do not tan well.  I’m kind of like a reptile; if I get in the sun for an extended period of time I burn, then my skin peels off, and I am just as white as I was before.

Better than a pickup line.

I was walking along the sidewalk this morning, when out of the bushes and onto the sidewalk in front of me hops an adorable bunny.  I proceeded slowly towards him as he eyed me warily.  And still I proceeded. And still he remained.  When I was about two feet away from him I couldn’t decide what to do, I wasn’t sure if it was a really friendly rabbit, or if it was a really rabid rabbit, waiting cutely to infect me with Rabies.  I just sort of sidestepped him uneasily and went on my way.  Weird.

I will never understand why people take pictures of fireworks.  We’ve all seen pictures of fireworks before, and they always turn out horrible.  And you end up watching the whole fireworks show through a tiny screen instead of right in front of your face.  Besides, who is just like “Sweet! I would love to look at all 150 of your blurryass pictures of colored blobs in the sky!”

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done it too, I did it this year even, it just makes no sense.

Happy 4th,

-Andrew

%d bloggers like this: