Monday, December 17, 2007

Bullshit

While at the gym tonight I watched the CBS Evening News. That newscast is still trying to fix the changes they made when Katie Couric took over as anchor, and, judging by tonight's episode, they still have a way to go. I was baffled by what I was watching.

Tonight they spent ten minutes asking each Presidential candidate about anger. Specifically, how they react when they're upset and when they were last angry. As you could probably guess, the answers were either political ("I was angry when George Bush sent us to war!"), silly ("I was made at the dog when she woke me up in the middle of the night.") or non-committal ("Angry? Oh, gee, I never get angry. It's been years, I tell you years!"). In other words, every single answer was a lie.

I think it was Mike Huckabee who almost trapped himself by nearly admitting that he flips people off when driving, but he pulled back on that answer at the last minute. Read between the lines of his interview and it doesn't take a genius to figure out that Mr. Huckabee's middle finger gets a workout every time he's behind the wheel.

I wish they had been honest. It would have been great if Hilary Clinton had said, "The last time I was angry when I discovered Bill was cheating on me again." Or if someone else had said, "I got pissed at some lady at Starbucks for not putting enough foam in my latte." Or if Huckabee had admitted that he likes to tell people to fuck off when he's driving. Instead it was a double dose of crap. The first dose was their answers, and the second was the fact that a major network newscast was spending a third of their broadcast time on it. And politicans wonder why we hate both them and the media.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Day

I woke up to 4-6 inches of snow covering the outside world, so I pretty much did nothing today. Watched some TV, took a nap and basically vegged. Oh, sure, the roads were fine by mid-afternoon, but that didn't mean I was going anywhere. It was like an old-school snow day. All that was missing was the early morning discovery of school being cancelled.

Since I have nothing new to report, please allow me to sing the praises of Bagel Bites. Oh, Bagel Bites, how I love you so. In a match to the death between you and Pizza Rolls, you would win hands down. Plus, you're only like 400 calories for an entire box, which is cool for the old diet. Don't ever change, Bagel Bites. You're fine just the way you are.

Can you tell what I had for dinner?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Five: Genesis Videos

I recently bought the box set Genesis: 1983-1998, a set which contained remastered versions of the albums Genesis, Invisible Touch, We Can't Dance and Calling All Stations. The great part about this set is that each album comes with a retrospecitve DVD, one that highlights videos, concerts, interviews and documentaries from each disc. It's a great set and sheds a lot of light on both their music-making process as well as provides interesting glimpses into the Genesis vaults.

At this time, I need to mention how wonderful Genesis videos are. Being English with extremely dry senses of humor, the band had a bit of fun with a lot of these tracks. Need proof? Here are the five greatest Genesis videos of all-time.

Have you ever wanted to see the band posing as a group of illegal Mexican immigrants? Well, look no further than the clip from 1983's "Illegal Alien."



"Land of Confusion" is their best video, but it's also their oddest. It's all puppets, celebrity caricature puppets from a popular British television show called Spitting Image. Some of these "celebrities" have since faded into obscurity, so every once in awhile you see a puppet and you have no idea who it is. The Phil Collins puppet is easily the best.



"I Can't Dance" is famous for the Genesis walk. But I love it for the ending, where Phil goes all Michael Jackson, dancing like a madman, only to be carried away in disgust by the other two guys. The rest of the video's not bad, either.



Here are Phil, Tony and Mike as really bad televangelists in the clip for "Jesus He Knows Me." Phil is a little too annoying here, but, really, when has Phil Collins not been annoying?



This isn't really an official video, but it's a clip I found on Youtube of one of my favorite Genesis songs ever, "Who Dunnit?" from 1981's Abacab album. I know of only two other people in the world who like this song, so don't say you haven't been warned.



The person who created Youtube deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. Or a medal of some kind.

Friday, December 14, 2007

R.I.P. Clearwater

A new theatre opened in town today, the AMC Castleton Square 14. It sounds like your typical modern-day movie palace, all stadium seating and digital projection and such. It's close, but there's nothing playing there right now that I want to see. Plus it's at Castleton Square Mall, which I'm avoiding until at least December 26.

Sadly, the opening of this theatre killed another: AMC Clearwater Crossing. Clearwater was one of my four main theatres, and even though I didn't visit it often, I'm sad to see it go. Going there was like taking a step back in time to 1993, before each new cinema felt the same. The place had a personality, something that can't be said for the giant warehouses that show movies these days. Yes, there was no stadium seating and the theatres weren't very large, but the place had style. I was hoping it would stay around as a discount theatre, but it's not to be.

Some film memories from Clearwater:

1993 - Seeing Schindler's List there on a Saturday night soon after the place opened. Leaving the theatre drained of all emotion.

1994 - Escaping a hot July afternoon, my friend Colleen and I saw Forrest Gump there on a whim. While it's not my favorite film, it at least tried something epic. Plus it had some killer comedic throw-away bits. ("Always wear clean socks!")

1996 - Driving through a freak snowstorm to see The People Vs. Larry Flynt. Thinking that the place would be deserted, we were shocked to find it packed. Nothing will stop the people of Indianapolis from getting to Clearwater! Well, in 1996, anyway.

1997 - One of my favorite movie moments ever: Seeing Boogie Nights opening night and being totally enthralled by the film. I loved every single frame of that movie. Still do.

1998 - Entering a theatre with friends, all of us excited to see The Avengers because it had a kick-ass trailer. Two hours later, leaving the theatre severly disappointed. But at least we learned a valuable lesson about not trusting movie trailers.

1998 - Bumping into a former Charles Schwab co-worker in the ticket line, only to turn around after I had bought my ticket to discover this person had vanished. I haven't seen him since. Spooky.

2003 - Catching a look at the poster of Open Water as I entered the theatre, a poster that had been modified to appear as if it had been bitten by a shark. "Wow," I thought, "this movie is going to be exciting!" I thought wrong.

2004 - Seeing The Incredibles after work and loving every minute of it.

2006 - Watching as a 12 person audience decreases to two during a showing of Borat. Ah, Indiana. How I love your easily offended citizens.

2007 - Catching a late showing of The Simpsons Movie after an On Golden Pond rehearsal. At the time I had no idea this would be the last film I would see there. If I had known that, I might have taken a longer look around instead of just rushing into the theatre.

Hopefully they have some plans for the building, because I'd hate to see it rotting like the former video-arcade-for-adults Block Party building across the street. Maybe I should buy it and open up that discount theatre. God knows this side of town needs one...

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

White

There was 4 inches of snow on the ground when I woke up this morning. I know it doesn't beat the total my sister had recently in Buffalo - where it's all snow, all the time - but it still pissed me off. For the record, I love the look of snow. Everything's all pretty and white and peaceful after a snowfall. Even something ugly, like my backyard garden, attains a pure beauty after a snowfall. The entire world becomes worthy of a Kodak moment.

Except for the roads. In Hamilton County no one believes in plowing. Oh, sure, the trucks are out but they're not really doing anything. I don't know if this is a budgetary problem or what, like they can afford the plow blades but can't use them because they don't have the money to repair them if they break, but it's awfully annoying to be stuck in rush hour traffic sitting next to a big truck that isn't helping at all. Yeah, I'll cut them some slack because it's rush hour, but still. When I woke up this morning at 5:45 to go to the gym, the snow was already on the ground. Do it before rush hour, people!

Yes, I'm getting up early to work out now. I've found that my body responds to that better than going after work. Because the last thing I want to do is walk on a treadmill to nowhere after working all day. But doing that first thing in the morning is fine with my body. Of course, I have to get up when it's still dark out, but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make.

No, I didn't work out this morning. I knew the roads would be a disaster, so I went back to bed.

Tonight I watched an old R.E.M. concert video, Road Movie, filmed during the 1995 Monster tour. Many people hate Monster. I, however, love it. Some of that is nostalgia - that album was the soundtrack for the latter part of my collegiate career - and some of that is because the album kicks ass. "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" "Crush with Eyeliner". "I Took Your Name". "Bang and Blame". "Star 69". Those are just a few of the stellar songs from that album.

Of course, Monster is nowhere near as good as their next effort, 1996's New Adventures in Hi-Fi. That album has the distinction of being the soundtrack to the first six months of working my first "real" job after college. In other words, listening to that album makes me depressed. (Even though it kicks ass. Seriously, you can't go wrong with "Binky the Doormat.")