Tuesday, April 26, 2016

On the passage of time...

I wrote this 13 years ago:  http://bigstupidtommy.blogspot.com/2003/04/i-skipped-work-today-to-go-run-in.html

I started this blogamathing in November of 2002.  I think this was the first thing that I wrote that a goodly number of people linked to.  And by goodly number, I mean, like, 3 people.

Every now and then I'll run across something I've written on here and think "that's pretty good."

This is not one of those times.  The idea is funny, and I like it on that basis.

This blog will turn 14 this year.

At work, we've passed a number of milestones, with regards to the age of the co-workers.   I realized that I have a couple of e-mail addresses older than some of the folks I work with.

If I stay with my company that long, I'll have a weblog older than a co-worker.

It shouldn't take me aback.  We all age.

Still.  It made me raise an eyebrow.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Superman, and whatnot

First real day off in ten days or so.  Of course the brain wakes itself wide the hell awake at 5:30.

Read this article, which has made me mark Superman: American Alien down on my list of things to check out, at some point.

The thing that turns me away from it is this, though:  too many Superman stories are focusing on the fact that he's not human.

Take it as read.  We all know.  We don't need to rehash it.  One of the charms of Superman is that he's cool with it.  At least for me.  The inner turmoil and loneliness?  Turns sulky real quick, especially in Zack Snyder's Superman flicks.

Oddly, this all makes me think of Tarzan and the Lost City, which is a helluva fine Tarzan flick, easily the best of the past forty years, which just jumps into the story without wasting time telling you who Tarzan is, and how he came to be.

It might well be part of why Superman is boring to some:  we just see the same story over and over again....

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Random Thoughts


Ain't wandered around the blogamathing in a little while.  What's new?  That's a good looking haircut!  Have you gained weight?  Here's a bullet point list of the things that have been going through my head lately:

  • Working like a botard.  I feel like I've spent the last month covering for somebody.  I feel that way because I have been.  Between people being sick and vacations.
  • A situation at work arose that might have benefited me a promotion, potentially.  It didn't pan out, we found out today.  That's a bummer.  I've worked myself stupid, the past six months especially.  There are days (like today) that I don't feel like I'm getting what I should be. 
  • I wandered out to see Batman vs. Superman Monday.  Hoping against hope that it would be better than the reviews I'd seen.  I was disappointed.  It's a mess.  Neither Batman nor Superman is true to his roots.  It felt like an 80's action movie.  There was no heart there.  No humor.  I felt like going back in time and apologizing to sixth grade me.
  • My odd problem?  Gotham City and Metropolis are across a bay from each other.  OK.  Well enough.  But in the 18 months since Superman came to Metropolis, he couldn't be arsed to fly half a mile across the bay to meet Batman?  And vice-versa?  Especially when Clark seems so ever-loving concerned about crime in Gotham?  It's no problem to fly around the planet to save Lois from African Warlords, but flying across the bay is verboten?
  • Reading Matt Ruff's Lovecraft Country right now, and I'm really impressed.  Episodic, short storyish collection of stories about the magical underworld, surrounding an African American family in the 1950's.  Tremendous stuff.
  • Baseball season has started.  And I'm pleased.  That's all I'll say, for fear of jinx.



Monday, April 04, 2016

Cubs

The Cubs start the 2016 up tonight, over in Anaheim.  It's a late start, but I'm closing the store, so I'll get the watch the last few innings after I get home tonight.

Excited is not the right word.

I'm optimistic.

I've said it before:  somehow, I'm not comfortable with the winning.  I don't know how to act.  The losing?  I'm used to.

The team is stacked.

The most you'll get out of me, though, is that it's going to be an interesting year.

For sure.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Personal Top 50

For no reason, except that it's something Shyam and I discussed during our ride up to Bristol the other night.  It's been a while since I've made an actual list, which is odd considering how much I love making lists.  Here's a list of my Top 50 Go-To flicks, at present.  Call it my favorites, I guess.   Listed alphabetically, it's just movies that work for me on any number of levels:

12 Angry Men    (1957)
13th Warrior  (1999)
Animal House    (1978)
Apollo 13   (1995)
Arsenic and Old Lace    (1944)
the Big Lebowski   (1998)
Blazing Saddles   (1974)
Captain America: Winter Soldier   (2014)
Cedar Rapids    (2011)
Chinatown    (1974)
a Christmas Story    (1983)
Clerks    (1994)
Cloud Atlas    (2012)
Dark Knight   (2008)
the Day the Earth Stood Still   (1951)
the Departed   (2006)
the Devil's Backbone   (2001)
Dr. Strangelove    (1964)
the Empire Strikes Back    (1980)
Field of Dreams    (1989)
Ghostbusters    (1984)
the Godfather, part II    (1974)
Harvey    (1950)
the Incredibles    (2004)
the Iron Giant    (1999)
Iron Man    (2008)
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World   (1963)
Jurassic Park   (1993)
Kill Bill, volume 1    (2003)
a League of Their Own    (1992)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring   (2001)
Mad Max:  Fury Road   (2015)
the Man who Shot Liberty Valance     (1962)
the Meaning of Life    (1983)
No Country for Old Men    (2007)
O Brother Where Art Thou?   (2000)
Princess Bride   (1987)
Raiders of the Lost Ark    (1981)
Rashomon    (1950)
Robin Hood   (1973)
the Shawshank Redemption   (1994)
Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan    (1982)
Star Wars   (1977)
This is Spinal Tap     (1984)
Time Bandits     (1981)
To Kill a Mockingbird    (1962)
UHF    (1989)
the Usual Suspects    (1995)
Yojimbo   (1961)
Young Frankenstein   (1975)

Completely subjective to the morning of March 25, 2016.  I've left something out, of course.  I'm sure I'll look at my list this afternoon, and say "what the hell was I thinking with that Disney Robin Hood flick?"  This is the list I came up with just looking up and down my movie shelves....


Saturday, March 19, 2016

New Computer

Had to buy a new computer today.  Just trying it out.  Taking it out for a test toast, as it were.

This is the fourth computer I've written this blog with.  I guess that averages about 4.1 years per computer, in blog years.

I ordered this one from Amazon...an upgrade of the Lenovo I bought about five years ago.  It came from the Charleston, TN, warehouse, some 11 miles down the road from Casa de Big Stupid Tommy.  Got it in a day, though there was part of me that wanted to go and beat on the door of the Amazon warehouse.

It's a good one.  Its fan works.  Its mousepad works.  It's screen is bright and clear!

So.  New computer.  Yay!

Monday, March 14, 2016

California

Only sat down to look at the NCAA brackets a few minutes ago.  Was happy to see California with a 4-seed.

Cuonzo Martin got a bum deal in Tennessee.  He started slow, but was just starting to build some success when Bruce Pearl's reinstatement of eligibility was about to come up.  A few of Tennessee's dipshit fans decide to circulate a petition to rehire Pearl.  It came as little surprise when, days after taking Tennessee to the Sweet 16, Martin signed a contract with California.

Tennessee ended another bullshit season against LSU this past weekend at the SEC tournament.

Being a Tennessee basketball fan is tough.  Its program is overshadowed by football.  They play in a league that rarely shows life outside of Kentucky.  It's a program that seems to trip on its own feet the minute it finds some success.  I root for them as an underdog.

I can see myself rooting for Cal, through this thing.  Martin is a class act, and he got run out of Tennessee for having the temerity to not be Bruce Pearl.  He deserves success, and I have a feeling he'll find some, at Cal.

Friday, March 11, 2016

10 Cloverfield Lane

I took Dad to see 10 Cloverfield Lane today.  Not a bad flick, though not real original.  It does what it does well, and has a pretty decent ending.  I just had to wonder if they threw the Cloverfield thing in there to get a few extra ticket sales.  Seems extraneous.

I mean, I'd have seen it eventually just because I like John Goodman.  I might not have rushed to the theater.

Not a bad flick.  I gave it a thumbs up, though not a strong one.  Liked, not loved.

One thing I noticed:  Howard's (Howard is John Goodman's character) survival bunker is stocked with at least 1 case of JJ's Fried Pies, as part of its provisions.  We sell those, from time to time, and when we get them, they usually have about a month's worth of shelf time.  Sometimes six weeks, if we get them really fresh.  They're not going to last long after the apocalypse.

But by all means, enjoy them in that first month or two.

I identified very much with Howard in that moment.  They are tasty.  They are cheaper than Krispy Kreme's fried pies, and in my opinion, they taste better.

I did not identify with Howard in his needing to kidnap people and hide them in his bunker.

Not much, anyway.

Well, some.

I don't have a bunker, though.  Stocked with fried pies.

Not yet.

But tomorrow is another day.

Friday, March 04, 2016

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, volume IX, chapter 1843

Haven't done an insomnia post in a while.

Haven't had a bout this bad in a while.

I keep it fairly cool in my apartment at night.  60 degrees.

I woke up burning up about an hour ago.  Kicked off the quilt, and eventually the blanket.  Still hot, sleeping under a sheet.  I don't feel feverish or bad, but those just don't seem like good signs.

I have to get up in about an hour and a half.  Maybe if I type some bullshit into the blogamathing, I can grab a few more minutes of shuteye.

Weird dream right before I woke up.  Don't remember of it, except that there had been an earthquake, and it was so intense that people's words were jumbled up.

A few things going on over in this neck of the woods:

Wandered out to lunch with Eric the other day.  He's studying.  I'm working.  We both are frightened of the state of this election, looking at the option of voting for Hillary or Trump in the November election.  It's notable because he and I aren't normally on the same page in terms of politics.  The number of people that feel this way is notable.  Notable because it feels inevitable, even 8 months out.

You want a viable third party candidate.  This year, more than any other.  The last couple of elections, I've voted third party.  It's nothing new to me, feeling like I'm part of a demographic ignored by the major parties (because political parties just love to ignore white males age 18-45, of course).  Maybe I just get off feeling disenfranchised.

This year, man, it just feels wrong doing that.  Especially if you've got a demagogue like Trump gunning for the Presidency.

Eight months is still a ways off.

----

I'm up to the S's in my alphabetical romp through my movie shelf.  I just finished Strange Brew, which holds up magnificently.  Did not realize until wandering through Mental Floss's listicle about Strange Brew that Angus MacInnes, who plays Jean LaRose, he of the hockey fame, also played Gold Leader in Star Wars.  Of course, after they'd pointed out, I can't NOT see it.  I thought that was neat.

Finished Stranger than Fiction right after that.  I'd forgotten how much I dig that movie.  Will Ferrell has a Robin Williams sadness about himself, when he's not mugging for the camera.  I rarely push for a comedic actor to try drama a little more, but I think the right role would suit Ferrell.  I forgot how good Emma Thompson is.  I also forgot that it hits right at the heartstrings there at the end.

----

Well, I've yawned four times in the past couple of minutes.  Let's see if I can grab 75 minutes of sleep, yeah?

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Stop being weird, Tennessee

There's good weird, and then there's just bad, uncomfortable, averting your eyes weird, Tennessee.

Cartoon porn?  You go looking for porno, and you want to see cartoons?  Damn, guys.  That's embarrassing.

On a related note, it was asked today:  Which Presidential Candidate from the two major parties has the largest amount of weirdo porn on their hard drive?  Not illegal, necessarily, but definitely enough to give you pause at both the subject matter and the sheer volume of it held within?

I think Cruz is the easy answer, and I don't think that's wrong.  That's my first instinct, too.  It could go the complete other way with Cruz, though, and he could be the self-flagellating type, pressing red hot coals into his palms just for looking at some sideboob pictures from the Oscars this past weekend.

My thought leans more toward Rubio.  His hair concerns me.  He has a very high forehead, perhaps.  Seems to me that he's hiding baldness, though.  I'd like this question answered before I lay my money down.  I mean, if he's got a killer combover, or he's wearing a rug?  I think it cinches it.  He's got a hard drive full of really embarrassing shit.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Batman v. Superman thoughts, while my coffee brews

So, this morning, the internet geek community's bubbling about a possible R-Rated home video edition of Batman vs. Superman, when it comes to it.

Of course, at 6:40 on February 24, that's unconfirmed and the whole community's gotten into a dither over nothing.

If it's true?  I'm of two minds.

First, let's loo at this whole Batman vs. Superman thing, which grew out of Man of Steel.  Man of Steel sucked.  Unnecessarily dark (literally...youtube the comparison videos where somebody's gone in and saturated the colors).  Philosophically disappointing.  And almost no fun whatsoever.

And Batman vs. Superman looks like an extension of that.

I'm still willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.  But, hell, Warner Brothers never had to worry about taking my money.  If you put the words Superman and Batman into a movie title, I'm going to be there, even if the movie is Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory talking about Batman and Superman over dinner.

That's a bad example.  I would love that movie.

But you get my point.  I'm not the customer Warner Brothers needs to worry about.

I kinda think the customer they need to worry about, to some degree, is my Dad.  Who knows who the characters are, but doesn't follow them like the fanboy his son is.  My Dad, who might go see a movie a couple of times, if it's good enough.

Or my sister, who's got a kid who's five, verging on six.

I'm not making many points here, and I blame the lack of coffee.

I'm not going to damn a flick without seeing it.  But the first thought out of my head when I read the blurb about an R-rated version of Batman vs. Superman was "why?"  Why do we need it?  Who are we satisfying?  That post says Batman fans have been asking for this.

Really?

I don't mean that as a skeptical question, or even a rhetorical device.  I'm not that keen on the subculture anymore.  Are fans really asking for that?

At the end of the day, I guess the hand-wringing is for naught.  If it's for the DVD release, I gotta think it's kinda like the Lord of the Rings or Hobbit video releases, which are a little more violent in spots.  I also think there's something of a kneejerk reaction to the success of Deadpool.

I don't know.  Like I said:  Tommy needs coffee.

He doesn't need an R-rated version of Superman and Batman.  But he's not up in arms about it, either.

Monday, February 22, 2016

A Drunken 11:50 PM post about something

So.  Dogfish Head 61.  That's where it's at.

There were a lot of pro wrestling posts.

Other than that?  Beer.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Something to read about depression....

A friend of mine lost her son this week.

Here's something Rob Delaney wrote about depression.

I wish I knew something else to say.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Coens: The BST Response

A kneejerk response ranking to this ranking of the Coen Brothers' flicks.

Based on very little thought, and the criteria being "which flicks I like best," my list does not include Hail, Caesar, which I will be seeing very, very soon.

(My list goes the opposite direction of Business Insider's list...in case you didn't figure that one out...)

1.  The Big Lebowski might just be making its way to the top of my favorites list.  I refrained from watching for about two years (a personal record, since the movie's release on DVD), and watched it again on Christmas night this past year.  It just hits all the right notes for me.  I'm not sure there's a better on screen duo, for my money, than The Dude and Walter.  Like much of the Coens' work, I just like the way the story fits together.

2.  O Brother Where Art Thou? is my most viewed Coen flick, owing to its constant ( and welcome) play on TV.  Legendary soundtrack.  For me, the most quotable Coen flick, and the one that appeals most strongly to the Flannery O'Connor fan in me.

3.  No Country for Old Men just gets better every time I see it.  Anton Chigurh might be my favorite movie villain of all time.  The lucky quarter scene ranks up there among my favorite scenes ever filmed.

4.  Raising Arizona ranks just behind O Brother for quotability.  And if Jonathan Winters had never torn down a gas station in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, then the mobile home fight here might be the funniest brawl ever put to film hands down.

5.  True Grit is just a beautiful flick--as pretty as anything the Coens have put to film, all while being as grotesque and weird.  And as much as I enjoy Jeff Bridges, Barry Pepper and Matt Damon...Hailee Steinfeld is amazing, and a pitch perfect rendering from Portis's book.

6.  The Man Who Wasn't There is the one that's made the biggest jump, for me.  I liked it, initially, but it wasn't until I got to see it on a bigger screen that I came to appreciate how boxed in and weird this movie really is.

7.  Fargo is one that I came to appreciate after really feeling down on it after my initial viewing.  Probably the one I have to point to myself most, when I don't feel like giving a flick a second chance.  My initial viewing, way back when, left me feeling like the Coens were a little too impressed with themselves, and had gotten a little too cute.  I went three or four years before giving Fargo another chance, and viewing when I didn't have my head up my ass.  Strong flick.

8.  Hudsucker Proxy, like the Business Insider list notes, is one that's gotten better with repeated viewings.  I wish Tim Robbins had done a few more Coen flicks.  He just seems to fit.

9.  Inside Llewyn Davis is a strong flick, one that might eventually move higher on the list.  One I've been meaning to sit down to watch again, after watching The Force Awakens.  Cary Mulligan is another one I wish would do more Coen flicks.

10.  The Ladykillers is just funny.  It's a cartoon.  And it's a chance to watch Tom Hanks, perhaps the greatest big screen physical comedian of his generation, do what he does best.  Not that I think he doesn't have an admirable body of work, but Hanks is a tremendously gifted comedian. And he's at his ghoulish best here.

11.  Miller's Crossing is a fine flick, but one that trips on itself just a little, but I end up enjoying immensely, when I watch again.

12.  Blood Simple is one I need to sit to watch again.  I like the way it fits together.

13.  Barton Fink is ranked lower than some others because it's the only one where the lead actor just doesn't do much for me.  Which is a shame, because I like John Turturro, and generally enjoy his stuff.

14.  A Serious Man just doesn't seem to have the same watchability as many of the Coens' flicks.  I took a particularly disastrous date to this one.  That perhaps colors my memories.....

15.  Intolerable Cruelty works on a weird level, but it's also the one I've attempted to revisit least.  I like the line from the Business Insider list...it feels like an imitation of a Coen Brothers movie.

16.  Burn After Reading is the only Coen flick which really clunks.  I still kinda like it for a couple of the performances, but on the whole, it just doesn't feel like it came together.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

An Offer

Alright.  Here's the deal.

I go back to work tomorrow, after being on vacation this week.

I work for 3 weeks, and then I go on vacation again.

Here's what I want.

How about one of you go in my place for the next three weeks?

I'll take those weeks off, and finish up some writing I'm trying to do.

Then, after those three weeks...and really, it's not even 3 weeks, it's like 18 days...that's like 2.5 weeks....I'm scheduled for that vacation, and after that vacation, I'll return to work, refreshed, renewed and reinvigorated after a five-week break?

You can have my salary.

That's the deal.

You can have my salary, for each of those days you work for me*.

You won't need a disguise.  Get this:  for years and years I scoffed at the whole idea that Clark Kent could hide behind a pair of glasses to disguise himself from the general public.  Me?  If I get a haircut, I'll have customers who've seen me at that store twice a week for the past four years come up and say to me "you must be new here."

They won't notice.  Maybe shave yourself a baldspot.  Other than that?  You'll be good to go.

There are roughly 108 little things you have to do for my job, but to be really convincing, you just need to look vaguely frustrated, but not yell at customers.  Remember:  Do Not Yell at Customers!

I'm not going to feed you any stuff about the customer being right all the time.  We could debate that mess until the cows come home and regale of us stories of their time away at Cow College (otherwise called The University of Tennessee).  The customer isn't right.  The customer is simply the customer.  Treat them with respect.  And if they are wrong?  Tell them, politely.

Do not take your pants off!  That's a rule, too.  No matter how aggravated a customer gets you, do not take your pants off in front of them.  For any reason.  I know it's tempting.  Just don't.

Anyway.  You get my salary.  I make some headway into this writing project.  You get valuable experience working like a botard.  I get to sleep when my body's biological rhythms tell me to sleep.  Nobody takes their pants off in front of customers.  I cannot stress how important this part is.  Just don't do it.

It's win-win.

Any takers?

*In the interest of Full Disclosure:  I make $1 per day, plus all the water I can drink.