Saturday, February 28, 2004

As promised, here are my Oscar picks. A * denotes that I haven't seen the film.

BEST ACTOR

Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Kingsley, House of Sand and Fog
Jude Law, Cold Mountain*
Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
Sean Penn, Mystic River

Will Win: Sean Penn. He's amassed a wonderful body of work and has never won. He'll get the award more for that than for his performance in Mystic River. That is, unless the voters get scared of his speech, which will surely be political. In that case, the Oscar will go to...

Possible Upset: ...Bill Murray. He's a well-loved actor who's made a tremendous leap from silly movies like Caddyshack to introspective comedic dramas like Lost in Translation. And there are many who feel he was wrongly left off the ballot - and deserved to win - in 1998 for Rushmore.

Should Win: Sean Penn. It's a gut-wrenching performance, one that still moves me nearly six months after I first saw it.


BEST ACTRESS

Keisha Castle-Hughes, Whale Rider*
Diane Keaton, Something's Gotta Give
Samantha Morton, In America
Charlize Theron, Monster
Naomi Watts, 21 Grams

Will Win: Charlize Theron, even though she doesn't deserve it. She'll win more for gaining weight and making herself look ugly than for any other reason. I thought her performance was terrible. She invented these broad tics and mannerisms that hid the fact she didn't know how to portray a character who lived without money, makeup or chauffeurs.

Possible Upset: Diane Keaton, although I seriously think hers is one of the worst performances ever nominated for an Oscar. There's a crying scene late in the film that was so jaw-droppingly awful I had no idea how it even made it into the final cut of the movie. If she wins it will be a disgrace.

Should Win: Samantha Morton. Her role was a difficult one, but she pulled it off by playing it real. No melodramatic acting from her, even though the plot at times veered toward that territory.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Alec Baldin, The Cooler
Benicio Del Toro, 21 Grams
Djimon Hounsou, In America
Tim Robbins, Mystic River
Ken Watanabe, The Last Samurai*

Will Win: Tim Robbins. He's due, and the Academy really didn't give themselves too many other options. The only thing that will kill him will be his acceptance speech, but, unlike Penn, I don't think it'll keep him from winning the award.

Possible Upset: Alec Baldwin. His role in The Cooler has a lot of fans, but I don't know why. Baldwin always seems so aware that he's acting in a movie. I haven't seen him relaxed and in character on screen since the early 90's.

Should Win: Robbins.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Shohreh Aghdashloo, House of Sand and Fog
Patricia Clarkson, Pieces of April*
Marcia Gay Harden, Mystic River
Holly Hunter, Thirteen
Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain*

Will Win: Renee Zelleweger. She's been nominated twice in the past two years and has yet to take the trophy. Which means the Academy really, really likes her and wants to give her something. Too bad it'll be for Cold Mountain, where she looks like she's doing a bad impression of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies throughout the entire film.

Possible Upset: Shohreh Aghdashloo. People were really taken with her performance, although she did nothing for me. She plays an Iranian woman with very little command of the English language and spends the majority of the film with a blank look on her face. She didn't register at all with me until the nominations came out, and even then I don't know why she's nominated. But, oddly, she has a lot of momentum to win the statue.

Should Win: Holly Hunter. I thought the movie played like a really bad After School Special, but she was phenomenal. In fact, I was so taken with her character that I wished the story would concentrate on her instead of her cliche-ridden daughter.


BEST DIRECTOR

Sofia Coppola, Lost in Translation
Clint Eastwood, Mystic River
Peter Jackson, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Fernando Meirelles, City of God*
Peter Weir, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Will Win: Peter Jackson. It will be an award not just for Return of the King, but for helming all three films and doing so successfully and without losing his mind.

Possible Upset: Sofia Coppola, although I seriously doubt that will happen. Not because she's a woman, but because it's Jackson's year.

Should Win: Clint Eastwood. Sure, King is a great movie, but it's a little clunky at times and all those fake endings were just annoying. Mystic River is a beautiful film, but I doubt he'll get any honors for it. He already has a directing Oscar for 1992's Unforgiven and I doubt the Academy will bestow that honor upon him again.


BEST PICTURE

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Lost in Translation
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Mystic River
Seabiscuit

Will Win: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Again, more for the whole trilogy than this specific film.

Possible Upset: Lost in Translation. It has its fans, although I doubt enough of them to make a difference.

Should Win: Mystic River, my #1 movie of the year. And it doesn't stand a chance.


BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

American Splendor
City of God*
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Mystic River
Seabiscuit

Will Win: Mystic River. The voters will recognize it beacuse the book was nearly unadaptable, but screenwriter Brian Helgeland - who also wrote L.A. Confidential, which was another complicated book to adapt - trimmed it down and made it filmable. Plus Helgeland lost the Oscar for Confidential, which is a many took as a slight then.

Possible Upset: Return of the King. I don't think it will take it, though. The dialogue in that film was horribly flat, and the battle scenes were assembled more on the set than in the screenwriting process.

Should Win: Mystic River.


BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Barbarian Invasions*
Dirty Pretty Things*
Finding Nemo
In America
Lost in Translation

Will Win: Lost in Translation. The Academy will want to give Sofia Coppola something, and the writing prize will be her reward for a job well done.

Possible Upset: In America. A very personal script about a poor Irish family that moved to America written by a once poor Irish family that once moved to America. Voters love that kind of stuff.

Should Win: In America, slightly. I'm picking it over Lost in Translation because, when all is said and done, LIT is nothing more than a fish-out-of-water story. A good fish-out-of-water story, but one nonetheless.


BEST ANIMATED FILM

Brother Bear*
Finding Nemo
The Triplets of Belleville

Will Win: Duh, Finding Nemo. I'm surprised any other films were even nominated.

Possible Upset: The Triplets of Belleville could win if the Academy thinks Pixar's getting too big for their britches.

Should Win: Finding Nemo. I wasn't the biggest fan, but it's leaps and bounds better than Triplets, a mean-spirited and horribly annoying film.


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Balseros*
Capturing the Friedmans
The Fog of War*
My Architect*
The Weather Underground*

Will Win: Capturing the Friedmans. This film had the story most dramatic pictures wish they had. Add into that the inventive use of old video footage shot by the family while they were breaking apart, and you have one film that deserves as many little gold guys as you can give it.

Possible Upset: The Fog of War. It's made by Errol Morris, a well-respected documentarian who's never even been nominated before. Plus, from what I've heard, it's every bit as moving as Capturing the Friedmans. (I will know soon enough. I'm planning on seeing tomorrow afternoon.)

Should Win: Captruing the Friedmans.


My other quick picks:

ART DIRECTION - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

CINEMATOGRAPHY - Seabiscuit

COSTUME DESIGN - Girl with a Pearl Earring

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT - Chernobyl Heart

FILM EDITING - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM - The Barbarian Invasions

MAKEUP - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

MUSIC (SCORE) - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

MUSIC (SONG) - "Into the West", The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED) - Gone Nutty

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION) - Most. (It's co-directed by the evil teen in The Karate Kid! Strike fast, strike hard, no mercy sir!)

SOUND EDITING - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

SOUND MIXING - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. I'm getting very tired of typing that title.

VISUAL EFFECTS - The Lord of the blah blah blah

There you go, my picks. Tune in tomorrow to see how I did...

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Have I really not updated this thing since Saturday? My apologies to the three people that read this. But you three people know you'll be entertained each time you visit!

What's sad is that nothing much has happened since Saturday night. Here's a rundown of the highlights:

SUNDAY - Saw Cheaper by the Dozen, which took place in some kind of fantasy land where children could fall three stories, land on their heads and not get hurt. It was nothing but a bunch of unfunny slapstick moments and forced attempts to tug at the heartstrings. The movie probably would have worked had the writers thought about truthful comedic situations a family with 12 children could have, but instead they settled for the old let's-fall-in-someone-else's-vomit gag. I saw it because Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt, two hilarious actors, were in it. What's happened to Steve Martin's movie career? It's gone downhill ever since those Father of the Bride movies.

MONDAY - Found out a Coldstone Creamery is opening less than 1/2 mile from my house. For those of you not in the know, Coldstone's is the place with the best ice cream ever. It works like this: You select one of their homemade flavors and a topping, and they mash them together right before your eyes. Remember when you were a kid and you used to stir an Oreo cookie or a brownie into your ice cream? It's kind of like that, only without the hard work. Coldstone's used to be a California-only establishment and was always tops on the list to visit whenever I would go see Val. But now the tables have turned and she gets to look forward to a little Coldstone's whenever she comes to see me.

TUESDAY - I listened to the worst CD ever in the car on Tuesday: Kid Rock's "Cocky". I know, Kid Rock isn't exactly my kind of music, but I do like that "Bawitdaba" song and, when I saw his latest sitting on the shelf at work, thought I'd give it a listen to see what it was like. Awful. Every song was about Kid Rock, how rich he is, how many albums he's sold, how he has a lot of sex, how he comes from Detroit. Every. Freaking. Song. For 70 minutes. It's hard to listen to that much arrogance without wanting to smash your CD player. Believe me, I know. You're probably wondering, "If it was so bad, why didn't you put something else on?" Well, I wanted to see if he would ever conquer something different lyrically. Nope. I'm serious, I think it was the worst CD I've ever heard. And I've heard a lot.

WEDNESDAY - I couldn't resist this movie sitting on the shelf in AV, so I picked it up and brought it home: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Somehow I had managed to never see it, even throughout my childhood. I wouldn't say it was bad, but it was definitely a trip. The only song that fit in the film was the title one. The rest had no purpose at all, exisitng solely to make the film a musical. (In 1968 it was common knowledge that a children's movie must have music in it, especially after the mega-success of Mary Poppins.) Dick Van Dyke was a lot of fun, as he always is, but the rest of the cast seemed lost. And what a cast it was! Gerdt "Goldfinger" Frobe as the lead villain! Benny Hill as a toymaker! Some guy wearing a fake nose who caught children like dogs! Two kids who couldn't sing a note and only had the ability to look happy! A woman who hates Dick Van Dyke and then immediately falls in love with him after one date! A sheepdog! The movie itself was pretty disjointed, with the majority of it taking place as a story within the story. But technically it was pretty cool. I can say that I've seen it now, so check another one off the list.

THURSDAY - Had to work late today because one of my lovely coworkers decided to call Karen at 4:59:40 about a problem that could have easily waited until tomorrow. But she insisted we look at it now. So Karen and I stayed. Of course, while we were there, others noticed we were working late and started to pelt us with patron problems. Something about clipart in Powerpoint, which we easily figured out. (Which my coworker could have figured out on her own. Let's see how eager she is to help a patron well past her quitting time.)

And now you're up to date! Hopefully I won't go as long between posts next time.

Until then...

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Went to dinner with Dawn and Jeremy tonight. Originally we wanted to eat at Greek Islands in Carmel, but, when we met there, we discovered it was closed. Too bad, because it was one of the better Greek restaurants in town. Since we were still in the mood for some of that cuisine, we headed to Hella's, another local Greek place. Of course, I had gyros. Whenever I get a chance to have a gyro, I take it. Gyros are mmm mmm good.

There was a bellydancer there who took the opportunity to shatter everyone's eardrums. She was dancing to pre-recorded music that was cranked to 11, all the while keeping time by clanging the world's loudest finger cymbals. Most concerts I go to aren't as deafening as the performance I saw this evening. My ears were ringing when we left.

She was an odd bellydancer. For one thing, she wasn't very, um, fit. She had a bit of a gut on her. I don't know, maybe this is typical, but she would never had been the image I would have thought of when someone mentioned a bellydancer. She also took tips from children, which she shoved into her bra, their little eyes going wide when she did. It was like witnessing our precious youths being introduced to the practice of paying a woman to dance for them. My God, it was beautiful.

Jeremy and Dawn have set a date for their wedding - May 15. From their description, it sounds very similar to Val and Kristoff's wedding - small ceremony, reception immediately afterward. A handful of library employees are on the guest list, and, yes, I've made the cut. They've decided to forego a lot of the traditional wedding practices, which means I've been relieved of having to participate in the godawful garter belt toss. Or, as I like to refer to it, "Hey, let's gather all the single people together and mock them! Yeah!" (It's referred to the same thing for you ladies who find yourselves participating in the bouquet toss.)

One thing we talked about tonight was West Lafayette. They both went to Purdue - although didn't know each other until later - and had no idea that I was born there. Our shared experiences were vastly different, but that's to be expected since I only lived there until I was four. I did introduce them to one place they didn't know existed - the Pizza King with the train that brings your drinks. Dawn had never heard of it and at first thought I was making it all up. ("Are you sure you're not confusing it with Arni's? Are you sure?") Jeremy had heard of it but thought it was a joke that a friend of his made up. I insisted that it existed and that if they wanted proof, we'd have to make a quick trip to Lafayette to see it, which they want to do someday. Too bad few other restaurants employ the "Train Drink Waiter 2000", as I like to call it.

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

I'm listening to Seals and Crofts as I type this. Remember them? If not, they're an easy listening group from the seventies, similar to America. Need another hint? Their biggest song was "Summer Breeze". During my recent going-out-of-business shopping spree at Wherehouse Music I picked up a used copy of their Greatest Hits for $3. Ten tracks are on the disc, and I like about eight of them, so I feel it was a good deal. My favorite song of theirs is "Hummingbird", which begins with this beautifully sung intro. I was surprised to find that the song is all about God, not hummingbirds. There has yet to be a succesful pop song written about hummingbirds, a damn shame if you ask me. The world needs more songs - or a single song - about a bird that weighs very little, moves its wings so fast you can't even see them, and is addicted to sugar water. (I know this because my father has one of those plastic hummingbird feeders hanging on his back porch. When I housesat for them last summer I neglected to refill it for an entire week, which made Dad worry that his beloved hummingbirds wouldn't come back. He didn't realize that they were sugar junkies. They came back in spades, but I do believe they were shaking from withdrawal. Mom and Dad better watch it, or else their house is going to become a "sugar house". Before you know it, their property value will be in the toilet because of all the undesirable birds hanging around out back, waiting for a score.)

So, Seals and Crofts. Some trivia, from the coolest music site on the Internet, www.allmusic.com:

- They were members of the band The Champs, best known for the surf rock song (and Pee Wee's Big Adventure hit) "Tequila". Huh. Who knew?

- They had three top ten singles, all of them charting at #6. Never went to #1, and it's not looking like they ever will. Always a mandolin playing bridesmaid, never a bride.

- They were dropped from Warner Brothers in 1980 after one of their albums didn't sell well. Thanks, WB. Seals and Crofts make you all that money and you drop them like a moldy piece of bread. Where's the love for Seals and Crofts?

- It's not "Seals and Croft". Crofts. Dash Crofts. Dash Crofts?!?!? Sounds like an adventure hero, not a peaceful easy feeling kind of guy. Who would name their kid Dash? It's a verb! That name is so bad, I was sure he was the child of a famous Hollywood celebrity. Nope, he's from Cisco, Texas. (Seals's first name is Jim, by the way.)

- They converted to the Baha'i religion in 1969 and never looked back. They occasionally reunite for concerts at Baha'i religious gatherings. I wonder if members of the congregation thrust their lighters in the air when they hear the opening strums of "Diamond Girl".

- Where are they now: Crofts, Dash Crofts has lived in several different countries. Translation: He took the money and ran. Good for him, living off the profits of "Summer Breeze". Seals moved to a Costa Rica coffee farm. I'm serious, that's what the bio says. It doesn't say that he manufactures coffee, just that he lives at a farm. I'm guessing his farm grows more than coffee, if you know what I mean.

- Seals's brother Dan was a member of England Dan and John Ford Coley, a band with only one hit single, "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight." Until a few years ago, I always thought the lead line in the chorus to that song was, "I'm not talking 'bout the linen." Never made sense to me, until Mom finally pointed out that he was saying, "I'm not talkin' 'bout movin' in." But England Dan (or John Ford Coley, I'm not sure) runs it all together, making it hard to understand. I still think the guy's singing about bed sheets.

Well, my Seals and Crofts CD is over, so I guess I better go. See y'all later...

Monday, February 16, 2004

I spent my afternoon cleaning the department. We're in the middle of surplusing many of our old computers and monitors, and I've been assigned the task of organizing, inventorying and cataloging everything. Normally this wouldn't be a big deal, but for the past year we've crammed equipment wherever it would fit. I mainly spent my time this afternoon moving 17" monitors from one corner of the room to another. But I'm stacking them neatly in the process! Our plan is to delete 75 PC's and 75 monitors from the library's inventory. And, no, I cannot sell them to anyone. Much as I would like to, our director refuses us to do that. She doesn't want anyone but a surplus vendor to have them, even though if we sold them to a patron we'd make about 300% more.

The weather is supposed to be in the 40's later this week. Thank freaking God. I'm so sick of this cold weather. I need some warm temperatures and I need them now.

Of course, what movie did I watch to warm me up tonight? Fargo, which holds the distinction of being the coldest movie I've ever seen. It takes place in Minnesota in the dead of winter, and you can feel the cold air and frigid temperatures while watching it. It's a wonderful film, but I should have watched something a bit warmer, like, say, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now there's a hot movie. Any film that takes place in a desert could never be described as anything but "hot". You ever heard of a cool desert? Nah, me neither.

This just in: Janet Jackson bared her breast during the Superbowl halftime show. Seriously, is there nothing else happening in the world? Is that why we're being subjected to 2+ weeks of this story?

Gotta run...

Sunday, February 15, 2004

What the hell has happened to Sting? I listened to his latest CD in the car today - it wasn't mine, I checked it out from work - and was assaulted with the most easy listening piece of garbage I've ever heard. (Well, that I've heard in my new car, anyway.) Remember when Sting had balls? Where did they go?

The last good Sting album was Ten Summoner's Tales, and that came out 10+ years ago. I remember when I bought that disc. I went home to my college apartment and played it, much to the protest of my Sting-hating roommate. When it was over, I played it again. And then again. Nearly every song on that album is a winner, although some tread into the whimpy territory he's trapped in now. (Specifically "Shape of My Heart", a song I skipped that night, and a song I skip now.)

So what doesn't work on the new disc? Well, the techno beats come to mind. I'm not dissing techno, although I have little interest in it as a musical genre. Sting is very fond of intricate arrangements and different time structures, and that type of thing doesn't work very well in a techno environment. The constant Indian phrases and instruments clash, too, coming across as a blatant attempt to recapture the success of "Desert Rose". Oh, and the duet with Mary J. Blige is bad. They seem to have been recorded on different continents, as there is no chemistry between them at all. I don't even know who this disc is for. I can't imagine the baby boomers will enjoy the heavy bass beats and dance-club atmosphere, and the kiddies won't dig the new age lyrics and sounds. Mainly it seems to have been made for depressed Sting fans, those hoping to hear some of the old magic only to be disappointed that they shelled out $15 for something they'll never listen to again.

I had to come home tonight and play some Police, just to wash the bad Sting out of my system. And I'm not talking Every-Breath-You-Take Police, a song that, while good, is basically Sting solo. I'm talking their second album, the one with "Message in a Bottle" on it. Ahhhh, I feel much better now. The new Sting disc goes back to work tomorrow, where it belongs.

Saw 21 Grams tonight. Great movie, although very depressing. It was put together like a jigsaw puzzle, where we were given individual pieces that we had to construct to make it whole. Normally that would annoy the hell out of me but it worked with this film. Two of the three main actors are nominated for Oscars (Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro) and both are deserving. Sean Penn is good as well, but I felt his work in Mystic River was better.

Laundry's done, gotta go...

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Please, those of you reading this, keep your cubicles clean at work. I installed a new machine this morning for a woman in another department and almost got sick from the amount of filth at her desk. The worst of it was the dried-up Coke residue that was coating all the cables leading to her machine. She claims her daughter spilled a drink several years ago and never cleaned it up. I don't care who did it. All I know is I was the one who had to unscrew the monitor cable while trying not to get my hands stuck to the cord.

Her old computer was kept on the floor, and I found all sorts of little treasures underneath her desk, including:

Dirty socks
Empty plastic containers
Overdue notices from several years ago
Tin soldiers. (Yes, tin soldiers. No, I have no idea why.)
The previously mentioned Coke residue
Jelly beans
1 sneaker

The actual top of her desk was buried underneath mounds of used coffee cups, yellowed papers that should have been filed or trashed long ago, random pictures of her family, half-filled glasses of Mountain Dew, CDs from the AV department, small toys you get at fast food chains, tons of pens, and a wide variety of stuffed animals. Usually when I install a new computer I try to do as little disrupting as I can, since I know how much of a pain it would be if someone came to my area and started moving my stuff around. But this time I couldn't help but dishevel things. Her keyboard was buried. The mouse was resting between - BETWEEN - layers of paper. And don't even get me started on the cables. I may as well have been at a major excavation site, what with all the digging I was doing to find them. Everyone's allowed to have messy desks at work; it does, after all, prove that you're doing something. But this was beyond ridiculous. When I was done I vigorously washed my hands to get rid of all the crap that had accumulated on them. I have no idea how anyone can function in a work environment like that.

Till tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

My phone rang at 6:00 a.m., which caused me to tense up, which caused my leg to cramp, which caused me to scream in massive pain. No matter what I did - curled my leg in or stretched it out - it still hurt like a son of a bitch. And it continued to hurt the rest of the day. Going up and down the stairs at work proved to be a bit of a challenge. I believe a fax machine called me at that hour. In between my yelps of pain I could hear the beeps being piped through my answering machine, although oddly I didn't have a message when I hobbled out for some breakfast.

"Forum" update: Yes, I still intend to audition, but I've changed my song. I was going to sing "Kids" from Bye Bye Birdie until I actually listened to it. While it's a fine tune, I don't think it would have worked for me. For one thing, it's more talk-singing than actual singing. And for another, the majority of it is nothing but spoken jokes. So last night I thought about what I could sing that I know well and enjoy. I've decided on "Grow For Me" from Little Shop of Horrors. It's fairly easy to learn, it's comedic, and it showcases my range pretty accurately. We have a winner! Now I just need to find the sheet music and rehearse it. I think it's a good choice. And if it isn't and I blow the audition, I can always try out for the next play that comes along. At least then I'll know what an audition is actually like.

Till tomorrow...

Monday, February 09, 2004

Had sushi tonight for the first time in my life. I can't say that I hated it, but I can't say that I'll be eating it again anytime soon. It was like chomping on flavored steak gristle - really chewy, really pointless. I chose the salmon rolls, mainly because every other type sounded totally disgusting. A fish fan I am not. (Salmon rolls = raw salmon surrounded by rice, wrapped in a seaweed-like shell.) Thankfully the restaurant (Sansui in Carmel) has many other entrees that don't include sushi, so if I do find myself there again, I know I can at least find something cooked on the menu.

Oh, and I am not the master of the chopstick. Thank God you're supposed to eat sushi with your hands or else I'd still be there, trying to balance some rice between two small wooden sticks.

Today was an eating out day, because I had lunch at a restaurant, too: Andie - in town for her nephew's birthday - and I met at India Garden in Broad Ripple to sample their fine buffet. Indian food is wonderful. It may not look too pleasing to the eye, but it's damn good. It's also damn filling, which is why I didn't eat too much sushi later on. (Well, that and it was raw fish, which just seemed...wrong.)

After lunch, we went to Indy CD and Vinyl, a local record store also in Broad Ripple. I am impressed. Too many of the other independent stores in town do nothing but stock the popular stuff at higher prices, which only makes me want to shop at Best Buy even more. But this store had a varied and impressive selection, costing about what everything does at the big chain stores. They also had a huge selection of used vinyl, all for 97 cents per title. I didn't buy anything, but man was I tempted. I would be lying if I didn't admit how hard it was to put down a mint condition of Men at Work's Cargo, one of the coolest and most underappreciated albums from the 80's.

Till tomorrow...

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I spoke to Val on the phone this afternoon and she wanted to know why I hadn't updated my blog since Tuesday. Well, um... OK, I don't really have a good excuse. But I promise it won't happen again. No, really.

The weather was pretty crappy again today, so I mainly stayed inside and vegged. I watched all the audio commentaries included on my Looney Tunes DVD set I bought a few weeks ago, which pretty much killed the afternoon. That set is highly recommended, for those of you who might be interested. Lots of great Warner Brothers shorts (including my favorite, "Bully for Bugs", where Bugs Bunny becomes a bullfighter) and cool and interesting features. There are some notable cartoons missing from the set, but that's what Volume 2 is for, right?

I did manage to go to the gym and run to the grocery store this afternoon after the commentaries. Both were pretty deserted, but that's to be expected when the roads aren't 100% normal. (They were at about 75%.) Surprisingly, there was plenty of milk at the grocery store. I didn't need bread, so I didn't see if the shelves in that section were empty. When I worked at Kroger, I never understood a person's need to buy bread when the weather turned bad. Milk, I understood. You can make a lot of things with milk. But bread? What, did people think they were going to go crazy if they were stuck in their house without the ability to make a sandwich?

Oh, and what the hell happened to Boboli? I couldn't find it at all tonight, which ticked me off because I had coupons for it, pizza sauce, and pepperoni. They still make it, right? If they do, Kroger doesn't seem to stock it anymore.

Till tomorrow (I swear to God)...

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Finally, a major concert announcement: David Bowie is coming to the Murat in May. I've never seen him live, and the Murat is one of the best venues in town, so it should be a good show. Good thing I have his new CD checked out from work. Looks like I need to do some learning.

I posted some of my digital pictures on Webshots here. So far all I've uploaded are images from the Waye Christmas, but I promise more are coming. It takes a while because I have to do it from my home computer; I didn't really think work was the best place for this kind of thing. Anyway, take a look and let me know what you think.

It's times like these that I'm glad I never went into news broadcasting. Seriously, Janet Jackson's 10 millisecond breast exposure does not warrant all this coverage. All of the major networks used it as their second or third story of the day, even though they all reported it yesterday. And, really, what else is there to say? Meanwhile, CNN was devoting an entire half hour to it, interviewing various people about how that simple shot was going to be the final nail on the coffin of our society. It was all a bit much for something so minor.

(For those of you who are wondering, no, I'm not a TV junkie. I was at the gym tonight at news time and could see all the networks from the twelve different TVs they have.)

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not supporting what Jackson and Justin Timberlake did. Actually, I thought the whole halftime show was crap, up to and including the breast. Superbowl halftime shows have always been shite. Even when U2 appeared they bungled their performance by overdoing the pro-America stuff. (This from the band that wrote "Bullet the Blue Sky".) I remember when I was a kid, the halftime show was about 180 degrees different in content, but it still sucked ass. My memories from then involve people dressing up like Disney characters and dancing and waving to the crowd while "It's a Small World" played over the loud speakers. I think maybe it's time to just let the announcers talk about the game during halftime, like they do during the regular NFL season. Or maybe they could do that thing they do at BSU ballgames where they select two audience memebers, get them on the field, spin them around until they're really dizzy and then see who can kick a field goal first. That would be much more entertaining than P. Diddy rapping over another 80's hit and calling it his own.

Till tomorrow...

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Just got back from Dawn and Jeremy's Superbowl party. A lot of fun, and a pretty exciting game this year. Not that I spent much time watching it - football, as many of you know, is not my thing - but what I did see was entertaining, especially the last twenty minutes. Sadly, I didn't see many of the commercials.

I finally went to the grocery store today. I didn't do it last weekend because I wasn't home (I was at Mom and Dad's babysitting Lizzie) and, thanks to the snow and other committments, never really got a chance to get there during the week. My refrigerator was pretty much empty, save for a half-full tub of butter, a tube of Pillsbury rolls, and some condiments. But I've now restocked everything so that I can eat normally again. Which is good, because I was getting a little tired of peanut butter toast for breakfast.

Till tomorrow...