Friday, July 31, 2009



Sheila has a great piece up on Bruce Davison in Short Cuts. I dig the flick, and after watching it again in the past couple of days, I dug the scene in question very much....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009



Dammit, but I love bloopers.

The bit somewhere in the middle, where they're on the set of the Merv Griffen Show in Kramer's apartment...maybe the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

There is a Tree...

There is a tree...

Outside my kitchen, there is a tree.

Its branches tap against the window.

I am 32. I am a strong guy with a weapon or two at my disposal.

What's more, I know that my imagination is overactive, and calls to mind villains that do not or cannot exist in our universe.

Like Gremlins. Either the type that torment Phoebe Cates, or the type that scare poor John Lithgow.

Or perhaps the Wicked Witch of the West.

Or the Cryptkeeper.

Clawing at my window.

Every time.

Which makes doing the dishes a chore beyond reckoning.



Recent study has shown that the road to ruin isn't paved entirely with good intentions. Scheduling, it seems, plays some part.

I live 35 minutes from the job, which is more than some and less than others, I realize. And I work a job that calls for 10 and 11 hour days, as a rule, with an occasional day that goes longer. And I do not work a set schedule. I'll work early in the morning one day, and then work a shift until midnight the next, followed by a day starting at 8 the next morning. As such, the six-day stretch that ran Tuesday to Sunday saw me working just shy of 70 hours in that span.

In fact, if you look at it another way, from 1:30PM Tuesday, when I started working, to 6:30PM Sunday, when I went home, between the drive and the job itself, roughly 76 out of 125 hours were devoted to that one thing. Add 6 hours of sleep for the five nights between Tuesday & Saturday night, and we find that there's roughly 20 hours of free time in that span.

And you people know how much spare time my Deadliest Catch Scrapbooking takes up.

I don't say that do bitch because I know the number of people who'd trade unemployment for any job at all is ridiculously high, even in McMinn County. I'm thankful not to have to be wandering the streets looking for that gainful employment.

Well, maybe I do bitch a little. I'm from the school that says you work to live, and not live to work. Hence the undercurrent of stress that's kept me on slow boil for three years or so.

I'll just say that time management, never my strongest suit, becomes even more difficult (verging on desperate) when you have a dinosaur's size obligation eating up 60% of the time on your schedule. It gets more and more difficult to make time to do the things you love to do.

Honestly, I don't know how somebody with kids does it. I don't even have the spare time to adequately care for plants.

I go on vacation in four days. I'll put in another 45 to 50 hours over the next few days before that. Based on a couple of phone calls yesterday, I sorta think today might be an interesting day whichever way you turn it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009



Continuing the Day without Obligation


1) Second-favorite Stanley Kubrick film.

A Clockwork Orange (woulda said Full Metal Jacket, were Full Metal Jacket not two movies with one title....and this behind Dr. Strangelove, of course).

2) Most significant/important/interesting trend in movies over the past decade, for good or evil.

The pay-for-play streaming avenues we've seen pop up online, and the amount of people willing to use them.

That, or the amount of penis nudity that seems to want to show up in comedies nowadays.

3) Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood) or Buffalo Bill Cody (Paul Newman)?

Bronco Billy.

4) Best Film of 1949.

Honestly, I end up liking The Sands of Iwo Jima quite a bit, and watch it every two or three years...

5) Joseph Tura (Jack Benny) or Oscar Jaffe (John Barrymore)?

Oscar Jaffe

6) Has the hand-held shaky-cam directorial style become a visual cliché?

Yeah. Not a big fan. Needs to be used really well. I don't need the in-game POV THAT much.

7) What was the first foreign-language film you ever saw?

Most likely it was Godzilla, or one of the Godzilla movies, though it'd be a stretch for me to name you which one, exactly.

8) Charlie Chan (Warner Oland) or Mr. Moto (Peter Lorre)?

Mr. Moto.

9) Favorite World War II drama (1950-1970).

Bridge on the River Kwai

10) Favorite animal movie star.

I think I'm going to choose George "The Animal" Steele in Ed Wood....

11) Who or whatever is to blame, name an irresponsible moment in cinema.

Anytime Rob Schneider is cast as a lead in a movie.

12) Best Film of 1969.

You can't do much wrong by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

13) Name the last movie you saw theatrically, and also on DVD or Blu-ray.

I think Transformers 2 was the last thing I saw in the theaters. And I watched Raising Arizona the other morning....

14) Second-favorite Robert Altman film.


15) What is your favorite independent outlet for reading about movies, either online or in print?

I think I'll just throw links to Sheila, Pete and Steve....

16) Who wins? Angela Mao or Meiko Kaji? (Thanks, Peter!)

I'll take the physical challenge

17) Mona Lisa Vito (Marisa Tomei) or Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly)?

Mona Lisa Vito. C'mon

18) Favorite movie that features a carnival setting or sequence.

I was maybe 12, but the carnival in Something Wicked This Way Comes terrified me.

I also liked both sequences in Big

19) Best use of high-definition video on the big screen to date.

Sorry. Not enough of a gearhead to answer this one.

20) Favorite movie that is equal parts genre film and a deconstruction or consideration of that same genre.

I almost wanna say Blazing Saddles, but can't make enough of a meta-argument...but I dig the answer Unforgiven.

21) Best Film of 1979.

It's neck and neck between Alien and Life of Brian....

22) Most realistic and/or sincere depiction of small-town life in the movies.

I think I'll go with The Last Picture Show....

23) Best horror movie creature (non-giant division).

It's not the big screen, but it's my blog. Pennywise really screws my shit up.


24) Second-favorite Francis Ford Coppola film.

Let's say The Godfather, by a nose over Apocalypse Now

25) Name a one-off movie that could have produced a franchise you would have wanted to see.

I really could have gotten behind a Zero Effect series....but I think my answer's going to be a series of flicks starring Bruce Campbell as Elvis, as followups to Bubba Ho-Tep.

26) Favorite sequence from a Brian De Palma film.

There's not one. They're all tied for last.

27) Favorite moment in three-strip Technicolor.

My snob pants ain't big enough.

28) Favorite Alan Smithee film. (Thanks, Peter!)

Let's say Solar Crisis, though I was under the (apparently mistaken) impression that the second Police Academy movie was an Alan Smithee, though I think you'd have to successfully argue that there was an actual vision behind Police Academy II, before disavowing your association with it....

29) Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) or Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau)?

Wow. This one got more thought than I would have thought. I'm going to go with Buttermaker, but there is not a real strong logic behind it....

30) Best post-Crimes and Misdemeanors Woody Allen film.

I like Mighty Aphrodite, but only because I like Mira Sorvino so much.

31) Best Film of 1999.

I really, really like The Iron Giant.

32) Favorite movie tag line.

The only one that comes to mind, and this because a professor had the poster up in his office is from Bride of Frankenstein: "The Monster Demands a Mate!"

33) Favorite B-movie western.

It's not really my bag.

34) Overall, the author best served by movie adaptations of her or his work.

I'm gonna say Michael Crichton, since most everything he wrote was a screenplay without stage direction....

35) Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn) or Irene Bullock (Carole Lombard)?

Susan Vance

36) Favorite musical cameo in a non-musical movie.

It doesn't qualify, since everybody sings and plays an instrument, but I always dug Gillian Welch asking for the Soggy Bottom Boys record in O Brother Where Art Thou?

37) Bruno (the character, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the film, if you have): subversive satire or purveyor of stereotyping?

Neither, really. He's practically a cartoon. If you're a believer or an're the one with a problem. He's closer to the latter, but I'm saying neither.

38) Five film folks, living or deceased, you would love to meet. (Thanks, Rick!)

Let's say: Christopher Guest, Kevin Smith, Groucho Marx, Moe Howard and Gilda Radner...

Hat tip to Sheila for posting her answers, and to the source material, as well....

A Sunday without Obligation....

A Sunday without Obligation...

I'm an intermitent insomniac, right? Had a small bout last night starting around 4. Wandered in to watch some of The State on DVD--a fun acquisition, and one that I'd waited on for quite some time. As I wandered through the third season, there were a couple episodes I'd never seen, and even more that I hadn't seen since the show's original run in the mid 90's.

The trouble with insomnia is not so much the not sleeping, but the obligations that usually come in the morning. It's one thing to have to be up at 5:10 and waking up at three. That math ability is never sharper than when you can instantly calculate that you need to be up in one hour, forty-seven minutes.

Today, it wasn't as much a problem. Was able to lay back down a little past six, and managed to sleep till somewhere around 11. All told, I managed a healthy seven, maybe seven and a half hours sleep.

And at first, there was irritation at having slept that late. Even my days off, I don't like wasting them. There's shit to do, generally speaking.

But today, I find myself relatively caught up on my chores and life activities. My house doesn't look like it's going to end up with Dr. Phil yelling at me on syndicated television. My laundry's done. I'm not currently writing on anything (though there's an idea that's rattling around that I probably need to put to paper before I lose it).

Haven't been keeping up with the blog as much as possible. I kinda wonder the direction it's going, especially with twitter and facebook being what they are. Hard to believe that I'll be wandering up on the seventh anniversary of this little booger before we know it. That's crazier than the infield shift teams put on Adam Dunn.

Had an offer a couple weeks back to team blog. And, apologetically, I stated that I didn't want to share. Asshole? Maybe. Especially considering my busy ass is averaging two posts a week. But, at the same time, I still take the Hank Hill approach to the blog. It's just one of those things in life I'd like to be mine to do with as I please. And with all apologies to the requestor, whom I hold in high regard, whom I ask to not take the refusal as a denial of quality by any means, gonna make a better effort to put shit up here.

Writing? Well, I'm trying more fiction. I think I'm gonna put a little of it up. I'll just have to fight that part of my personality that seems to want to hide all that like a 12-year-old girl that wants to hide everything in her diary. I need to put it up, I think, for a little feedback. It feels rusty, what I write. Like I'm trying to find a groove.

Working the way I do, without a set schedule, is actually detrimental for me. I'm a creature of routine, I guess. I think the best writing came when I was working second shifts, and had the mornings to myself to write on a regular basis. I can't get that as a rule, so I'm having to make for the best with what I can get.

Days off, lately, are going toward writing. I'm looking, actually, at going away for a while when I take my vacation in August, and using three or four days uninterrupted to write something down. Just to see what I can accomplish.

Little things still going on in life?

We've taken to playing trivia games down in Chattanooga. My sister, brother-in-law and a friend of theirs have been going. We generally do well in the initial portions of the fact, we've gone wire to wire in first the past couple of games. The final question seems to kill us every time, though. Our betting strategy has been weak....we'll work on it, though....

Started talking to a nice lady at the bank my store uses. Was trying to make opportunities to talk with her. Then yesterday, she wanders into my store. Comes up to me and walks right up to me as soon as she sees me. Had the adrenaline rush of "maybe she's kinda digging me, too!" Of course, she's married. It's like I need a trombone following my big ass around...or maybe the Price is Right sound they do whenever somebody fails a pricing game.

Anyway, I've got the next couple of days off. We'll get a few things done. Take a minute to figure out just who I am again....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Crab Fishing?

Crab Fishing

We're probably a year or more into my minor obsession with Deadliest Catch. I made a note the other day that no episode of that show is particularly distinguishable from any other episode. I actually liken the show to watching a tumble dryer go through it's processes, or even watching a Scooby Doo mystery: there's a comfort in the repetition.

As for the show itself, the family dynamic is the most interesting to me. Phil Harris and his two boys are maybe my favorite family, and I like the comment I saw somewhere (and for the life of me I wish I could remember where) that called the Hilstrands the rednecks of the Bering Sea. More and more, I find myself wondering about the dynamic of the Hansen brothers, Sig and Edgar. It seems like the most professional sibling relationship ever. I don't see any particular animosity, but it's almost like the two don't have much to do with one another outside the boat. I watch those two, likely instilling values and reactions that aren't really there, to the two men. I end up wonder, too, where Josh and Jake Harris end up....

But anyway, the other thing I end up watching for is the way the work comes to an appreciable end.

There's something to be said for a ridiculous 47 hours shifts, and I don't know that I could do that part of it. I say that up front. I start getting more and more ill the less and less sleep I get. And more importantly, less and less coordinated.

The work? Yeah, maybe. It's easy to say that I could, never having done any fishing more strenuous than trout fishing. But, my blog (even if I don't write here as much as I used to). I'll say what the fuck I want.

And the cold? I wear shorts in freezing weather. So, I got that whipped.

Yeah. Tough Talk.

I think that if I were on The Deadliest Catch, I would die, a shivering, crying ice cube that gets skittered off into the sea during the mildest of seas.

Or I would fall into an open crab hold on the deck, and drown in a sea of King Crab.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

In which I will see a movie....

In which I will see a movie...

I've said it before. For all you film directors/movie advertisers: If you want me to see your movie, all you need to include in the trailer is a scene of a famous landmark destroyed, with people running away from it.

I'm thinking that, by and large, the technology surrounding the special effects for these movies hasn't improved much since, say Terminator 2, or maybe Independence Day.

So all the filmmakers can do is create grander, greater scenarios of destruction.

Doesn't matter to me.

This improved 2012 trailer pretty much sums it up for me.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009



The world's done turned itself topsy turvey. I wake up into a world where They Stole Michael Jackson's Brain, where Ryno gets his ass suspended, and where the sister, brother-in-law and I show an appalling lack of knowledge of 1970's rock hits, thus putting us from medal contention down to sixth in a trivia contest.....

Honestly, though, I think I reached Michael Jackson overload the weekend after the man died. I can't tell you when. Maybe it was the twitter comment some wise person made saying "hey, they must have solved this democracy in Iran thing...." Still, I find myself wondering about their cutting the man's brain from his head. Part of me looks back to the myriad ancient cultures, who buried you with possessions (and organs, in jars sometimes) in case you needed them in the afterlife.

I'd hate to find the brainless Michael Jackson wandering around the afterlife, mindless husk of a man....

Also, Ryne Sandberg found himself suspended. Had to laugh at the Facebook comments "Ryno was right! Is there a way for me to get video to the league office?" I laugh because I have trouble reading sarcasm online (or in person, for that matter). I laugh because I've heard similar arguments in person, though. As if the end justifies breaking one of the three GIANT ASS Rules in baseball (No gambling, Don't Touch the Umpires, and Bend the Bill of Your Cap, Bozo).

And? Trivia? Took in a trivia contest at a local pub. Did well in our debut, but was ultimately sunk by our lack of knowledge concerning 1970's rock hits...or more properly, the order in which they were released.

Blame me for being born in 1977....

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Volume 2

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Volume 2

Yay!!!! Insomnia!!!!

Went to bed kinda early. Around 9:30. Woke up around 1:30, after a weird dream about plane hopping following the Atlanta Braves around. I can't get anymore specific than that, except that there was a small passage where I was lost in the parking garage of one airport or another, and not really knowing which airport I was stuck in....

Tossed and turned for a couple of hours, and I reached a teeter point. That's the sort of continental divide where you have to decide will actually falling back to sleep bring more benefit, or will it actually work to my detriment, since I'm having to wake with the alarm at 5:15 anyway?

So, I got up. I wrote a little bit...had a passage kicking around in my had about the owner of a junk shop attacked by gremlins. It felt like there was more in there, but only got a page or so worth of stuff.

I am writing a little bit more, lately. I wish I could say it was all due to some glimmer of inspiration or some newfound bit of determination and will. And there is that, don't get me wrong. It's far too easy to sit down and watch re-runs of Deadliest Catch.

Truth be told, I ain't had a lot to do, lately. Besides work. Such is life, I guess. I'll just say that, sometimes, being single in a small town where everybody and their sister seems married, mostly to each other, and working a job that wants to squeeze every turnip for every drop of blood it can get? It ain't beneficial for a thriving social situation, sometimes.

It's not always the case. Just seems like that's how it's shaken out the past month or so, though. So, I've filled some of the free time with a story or two.

Not sure where they're going. Just good to be writing again.

If only because I don't want to work 60 hours a week at a grocery store forever.

One of you folks could help out if you have a spare 30 grand or so laying around. Help a brother take a year off to write a bit.


I could put out a lot of fart jokes if given a year to write them all down.

Likely, the grandest fart joke of this generation.

And I would dedicate it to you....