Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Track 6 on the Soundtrack to Hell


Track 6 is insidious, as I found myself whistling the theme a little while later:

Update, Cretins!

I write this a little inebriated. Not much. Probably not safe enough to drive, so that 2 AM run on my road grader will have to wait until early, early, early Thursday, at the earliest. There are no words for how much I want to apologize to my friend the road grader, whom I have named Hezekiah.

My neighbor, in apology for having kept my seasons 2 & 3 of Lost for so long, brought me beer. We drank said beer, and then he left.

With my Season 4 of Lost.

You notice that I do not call him friend.

I feel slightly used.

Women, I apologize. Lost, Season 4 = Vagina.

Afterward, and during, there was a conversation, via e-mail, about gallbladders between I, Stupidus Maximus, and a friend, who shall remain nameless, in which we decided that gallbladders are pretty much God's folly, and that two hearts would be muchly preferable to two lungs. Seriously, two lungs? How about 2 hearts? What would you say to an auxiliary butthole?

Klingons had multiple hearts. Are you trying to tell me God loved Klingons more?


Probably a good thing that the whole Khitomer Massacre, wherein the Enterprice C came to the aid of the Klingons, took place. Because in all things theistic, I want to be on the side of the Klingons.

In fact, in most things, I want to be on the side of the Klingons.

Except bowling.

Klingons cannot bowl.

You realize, at this point, that it's merely energy being spent by my brain, right? There's nothing of real value, here. These are just words formed by random firings of my brain. I've had beer, and I've been awake roughly 20 hours again.

Why? Zombies.

Treat everybody as you would be treated. I just thought I'd throw that shit out there. You'd think you'd have this simple fucking idea down pat, by this point. Seriously. It's 2010, and we've been going over this shit since Hammurabi. Seriously, we even left out the parts where we cut off your hands and testicles. Can't you get this garbage straight? 2010 is the year we make contact, at least if Helen Mirren has anything to say about it.

(Titty is a funny word, and if terrorists burst into my hovel tonight screaming "Titty, Titty, Titty!" I'd have no choice but to join them. I know this is non-sequitur, but dammit, I feel that this is a point that has been largely neglected in these times of woe and want. Would you rather have universalized health care, or titty? Caveat: You can have both. One is not dependent upon the other).

I would like you to bask in my masterful use of the parenthetical statement.


In the Tournament of Muppets, take Fozzy Bear. There's a lot of pent up anger, there. I know you'll be tempted to take Gonzo, but let me ask you this:: Can Gonzo take a ball shot? That's right. The previous question was of the utmost importance, so much so that it required two colons.

Two colons. Can you imagine?

Proctologists are dicks.

I want you to think about that one.

Think hard.

And Deep.

And then realize that you're reading the online nerd diary of a guy who danced for absolute joy, as if he'd cured world hunger and AIDS on his lunch hour, when he put on a clean pair of pants this morning, and found $1 (American).


1. Gonzo
8. Sam the Eagle

4. Scooter
5. Janice

3. Fozzy Bear
6. Kermit the Frog

2. Animal
7. Waldorf

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Flannery O'Connor Top 5

Sheila noted over on ye olde Facebooke that today would have been Flannery O'Connor's birthday, and put up one of my favorite quotes:

"Whenever I'm asked why Southern writers particularly have a penchant for writing about freaks, I say it is because we are still able to recognize one."

I think I've given more copies of Flannery O'Connor's complete short stories as gifts, than any other book. I dunno. There's a humor attached to her work that strikes all the right chords for me, and I've given it to people with similar senses of humor....

Not a lot to say, except that she's a favorite, and what follows is a brief list of my favorite O'Connor stories:

1. Good Country People
2. Enoch and the Gorilla
3. Why do the Heathen Rage?
4. The Train
5. The River

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Text Conversation Digest

The highlights of the last 10 days or so of Blackberry Messenger conversations between my sister, April, and me:

Setting the scene, I have stolen my brother-in-law's phone and sent something rude and obnoxious to her from his phone. He has accused me, in a following text.

Me: Jeff Lies.
April: (sends a smiley face with a tongue out :p)
Me: Mind your own business, Preggy....
April: (thumbs down emoticon)
Me: (thumbs up emoticon)
April: (giant smiley face emoticon :D)
April: (after I don't respond) I win Emoticon Battle.
Me: Nope.
April: (another emoticon...this one with sunglasses...)
April: Oh, yeah I do.


Me: Do you still have my State DVDs?
April: Yes.
April: But they were so bad, I thought about taking them to the used book store.
Me: I'm just glad I didn't lose them myself. You may keep your ignorant opinions, by the way.
April: Well then.
An intense emoticon battle ensues
April: That face looks a little drunk.
Me: You are thinking wishfully.
April: I didn't mean your face. I meant the emoticon.
Me: What's an emoticon?
April: That little face thingy.
Me: Huh?
A string of emoticons follows
Me: (I push every key on my phone at random.)

April: I dozed off today while Duke was attempting to play with me. (Duke is their dog. He's a good boy.)
Me: Duke is a good boy.
April: He just couldn't get our game of tug going.
Me: Maybe you have the narcosleepy.
April: I don't have narcolepsy.
Me: Look at you with your bigassed words.
April: Duke is a good boy, but he has decided he should have my spot in the bed.
Me: He probably should.
April: We got a new DVD player.
Me: One that plays more than The Sandlot?
April: Yep.
April: Dog the Bounty Hunter is coming to Chattanooga.
Me: Who?
April: This conversation ends now.


Me: Are you going to see Dog the Bounty Hunter?
April: I think I am. When would I have that opportunity again?
Me: You could commit a crime and run from the law and have him chase you.
April: I would run to Mexico. Dog can't go there.
Me: I thought you wanted to meet him, though.
April: I'm sitting in the doctor's office waiting room with a woman who ahs 5 children under the age of 7.
Me: It's nice to have a hobby.

Me: Roscoe P. Coltrane was in Athens today, selling his autobiography.
April: Did you go?
Me: I found out too late. I would have, though.
April: Wanna go see Dog?
Me: No. I work.
Me: Tell Dog I said Hello.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Creepiest Guy on Television

I got rid of cable recently.

(I pause to interrupt myself. In this fun life of mine, where time flies because it's like riding the Matterhorn over and over and over and over, I often lose track of's actually been a couple of months since I got rid of cable, which I suppose is recent in terms of World War I, or the Triassic Period, but seems a lot closer to today than it actually was).

Anyway, let me start over. I got rid of cable television recently. Mainly because I wasn't at home enough to warrant paying what I was for the television I was getting. I hooked the old Television de Tommy up to one of those newfangled digital antennas and I get enough channels of crap to keep me happy for weeks.

Add to that, 99% of what I want to watch is on the old interweb, anyway, and I'm good to go. I say all that, because most of what I watch, I'm able to zoop past commercials, or not be labored with them at all.

Which is why it's particularly jarring when I'm watching something live, and there are commercials to be dealt with. Especially, when you run across something like this:

This man worries me more than any commercial character I have... on Twitpic

The commercial is for gum. Trident Layers, specifically. I learned the brand, because I do not want at all to be sucked into the zombielike state these people seem to exist in. As such, I do not want to buy the gum. More specifically, I don't want to be stuck in a world where Parcel Delivery Men are staring in people's windows, seeing what kind of gum they're chewing.


1.) Is this a normal course of action in the world? Do Parcel Delivery Men stare in people's windows as a habit? Or was he drawn by the delightfulness of the bubble gum? I need to know. I don't want to accidentally buy this gum, and then have every UPS and FedEx man in the tri-county area wandering their way to peep in my windows. Or, do I need to install some manner of anti-parcel-person-peeping deterrent at my house? I envision this to be a series of shotguns attached to light receptors at each windows, which fire when light is blocked via a shadow (a shadow made by a peeping parcel person) and buckshot is fired into the person peeping in the window at my bubblegum.

2.) We aren't moving to a system where we're being paid in gum, are we? I'm not necessarily opposed, I guess. Will my taxes be taken out in gum? Will last night's health care initiative be likewise paid for in gum?

3.) I don't chew a lot of gum. Is this gum that good? I can't imagine anything tasting so good that it causes a zombie-like devotion to it. The only possible exception is Famous Amos Chocolate Chip & Pecan cookies. Those little bastards are good. Only problem? Chocolate makes me break out, and gives me nightmares, if I eat too much.

4.) What is up with that guy's teeth? I think that's the spookiest part for me. He's all chomper. He looks like that episode of Simpsons, where Bart steals Grandpa Simpson's dentures, and uses them to ride the ceiling fan. I bet the guy in that commercial could bite through the barrel of a shotgun, if need be. Which throws into turmoil my Package Peeper Deterrent System.

5.) So, I was a little put off that I'm more worried by the Parcel Peeper than I am the fact that a man pops his head out of the chimney. I mean, the chimney sweep is now in the house. Seems like he's the bigger threat. But then I decided, in the short term, the chimney sweep is not the bigger threat, because he's still the most vulnerable. If somebody poked their head into the fireplace from above, you'd still have ample time to whomp him about the head and shoulders with that ash shovel before he could get out of the chimney to steal all your gum. Plus, the family in question probably knew that the chimney sweep was coming, and working (though one might question the wisdom of leaving him to work while the babysitter is watching the kids). You know the chimney sweep is working, but you have no idea that SuperChomp Parcel Peeper is coming. His chief weapon is surprise.

And fear.

Here's the entire commercial.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today's Funny

Go read Fishing. I gotta smile, anyway. Somebody's got my juju. Good job, Yabu....

Friday, March 19, 2010

Random Notes on the Life of Tommy Acuff

Well, I've wandered into a Friday, moderately sleep deprived, but in the way that makes things funnier to me than they would be to the rest of you. This is a rambling post that comes after I've slept an hour, and everything feels like it's covered in oily cotton.

We've wandered into probably the prettiest day in Southeast Tennessee since the late Triassic period. I've taken advantage by taking an hour's nap in a hammock out at my folks' place. My folks are good for a lot of things. Hammocks is one of them. Remember that, my multitude of Tontos: my folks have a hammock.

If I catch you in that hammock, I will hit you with every stick I can find, for the rest of your life, and mine.

There is basketball on the television. Not so that I'd know it, of course. I'd originally planned to take this week off for vacation, but switched. Been a little ill about it for the past couple of days, because as much as I dig other sports more, the energy of the first weekend of the NCAA tournament isn't matched by much for me in the sporting world. Twice in two weeks, I'd made efforts to have short days for Thursday. Last week being the SEC tournament, and this week being the start of the NCAAs. Both days were covered up with woe and disappointment.

(I come by my penchant for the dramatic dishonestly: I stole it from your mother-in-law).

Got to watch a good bit last night, though. Enough to keep me out until 1:15, owing to that Athens is a damn hour from everywhere. Got to see Tennessee stay alive for one more day. (And got to see Ohio University completely destroy a bracket or two, in pools that I am). I'll say that I picked 9/16 right on the first day, making it my worst day, maybe since I've starting picking pools. Still, it's kept me muchly in the middle of the pack, as I think it's a lot of people's worst years....

Re-learned the lesson this morning that the Radio (KZ 106, your Chattanooga home for all things Skynyrd) isn't quite enough to drag my big ass out of sleepytime with any sort of urgency.

Had to spend three or four hours at the workplace. Which is the best possible way to spend a day off, outside of hemorrhoid surgery.

Wandered out to a local used bookstore. More and more, I think of McKay's Used Books as the Southeastern Headquarters for the Socially Awkward and Maladjusted. Today's lapse into a Flannery O'Connor story was the man in a wheelchair on the mystery paperback aisle yelling for somebody named Steve to come over and help him reach stuff on the top shelf. Since I was nearby, and apparently named Steve, he asked for my help. He wanted to look at all the P.D. James books on the top shelf. I obliged. None were to his liking. He said so with a dismissive wave of his hand. Steve...the Real Steve....showed up then, and took over the P.D. James handling.

I left, but spent the rest of the half-hour at the book store being slowly chased by Steve and his wheelchair-bound friend. This was unfortunate on many levels. Neither man seemed aware of the distinction between inside & outside voices, nor did Steve seem all that aware of a need to bathe. Also, for as often as Steve violated my personal space, he might have had a crush on me.

Which will likely be the subject of a troubling dream or three down the road, now that I've allowed that particular train of thought berth at the Big Stupid Tommy's Brain Station.

Anyway, this has been a go nowhere post. Just trying to wake the hell back up, on a Friday afternoon. Hoping I can sleep tonight. In the middle of writing this post, I traded shiftsfor tomorrow, and now get to pull my ass out of bed (to something besides the soothing southern rock of KZ 1 oh Sucks [did you see what I did there? Funny, right?])

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Pairings are Up....

1. Alec Baldwin, as Jack Donaghy
16. J.P. Rockefeller, who made his fortune with Kirk/Spock Slash Fiction

8. The University of Kentucky's DeMarcus Cousins
9. The Bird is the Word

5. Leonardo DiCaprio's accent in Shutter Island
12. France

4. Nathalie Fay.
13. That show Undercover Boss is a bunch of bullshit.

3. Kid's Grilled Cheese Meal
14. A Sasquatch wearing a University of Kentucky Uniform

6. Academy Award Winner Sandra Bullock
11. Academy Award Nominee Gaborey Sidibe

7. All the Sour Grapes in Keanu Reeves' backyard
10. My life is also loosely based on the novel Push, by Sapphire

2. Chuck Norris
15. Bobby Knight and Dick Vitale

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is up with this weekend?

Just a minor curiosity...I made a comment to Gooseneck the other day, wondering what was up. I know no less than 8 people with birthdays in the three-day span running March 12-March 14. None share a year, so it makes me wonder what goes on in the middle of June that gets everybody all torn up. Goose suggested summer loving, which is as good an answer as any, I suppose.

Me? I was conceived in the neighborhood of Memorial Day weekend 1976, in Wytheville, Virginia. In a Holiday Inn, which makes me happy inasmuch as the joke works on a couple of levels.

That said, three among those I know are celebrating this weekend. Please take a second this weekend to go wish bloggers Gooseneck, Cindy and Alice all a happy birthday!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Track 5

Track 5 on Hell's Soundtrack.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Track 4

In an ongoing series of posts that will peter out as soon as my attention is drawn to whichever playpretty the interweb offers next...

This is track 4 on Tommy's Soundtrack to Hell. It comes to us fromElisson, who I can't say has done us a courtesy, but who has picked a winner nonetheless....

Leonard Nimoy sings The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins....


An odd dream....

Let me say this, first. There was a time in my life where it wasn't a thing to go in to work or school or whatthehell ever on a couple hours sleep. I'm not sure when that time ended, but I know it's not even within distance to hit with a handful of gravel at this point. Stayed up finishing George Carlin's Last Words, and found myself wishing very much his one-man Broadway show had come to fruition in his lifetime.

The problem with reading a good book before bed, however, is that I end up wanting to stay up to read.

And as such, I wander into work on 3 hours of sleep, which is difficult when you're as big and stupid as me. I'm like a sasquatch in a tie even on the best days, but on 3-hours-sleep, my patience for stupidity isn't near what it should be, given that I work in a customer service environment.

But I'm wandering off my point...

My alarm work me out of the middle of a deep sleep, and out of an odd sort of dream. The kind of dream that it takes a minute to shake off, not necessarily because of what's happened, or who's in it. More than that, it's like walking in from the cold, or the dark.

I only remember a few things from the dream. I'm going to pick up a letter from the post office. To access my mailbox, I have to stand in line. I get up to the front of the line, and my mailbox comes shooting out of a hole in the wall, just above the counter. I open it, and there is a letter. I take the letter out, and can see through my mailbox, into the back room. Keep in mind, my "mailbox" is like a shoebox that has come from the back room. It was delivered to me, much like a package, or a safety deposit box. Yet, I can see through it to the back room. Through my mailbox, one of my co-workers is looking at me.

That co-worker tells me "I've turned heel," and I hear him start to bust up the back room of the post office. I leave the post office, saying into my mailbox "I'm a heel, too."

The only other bit, the bit right as my alarm is going off: I'm riding in a cargo plane. As we're flying, the cargo bay door, the type used for John Cusack to drive into the Himalayas, pops open. I spend the rest of the dream hanging on to cargo netting, so that I don't go flying into the night. The cargo netting keeps slipping down the plane, though. I remember "thinking" that, that it didn't matter if I held on to it, I'd still go flying into the night.

That's when my alarm work me.

Odd. A little disconcerting, I guess. It was intense. It was hard to shake, and it stuck with me a little bit as I went about my day.

So, as I wandered around on 3 hours sleep, it was at the back of my mind.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night, Vacation End Edition

I can blame the sinus medicine, I think. The real junk that you have to give your drivers license and thumb print and saliva sample to buy at the CVS will mess with my sleep if I take it took much. There's an odd sureness that falls over you when you wake up at 3:45. "I'm not going back to sleep." And, I didn't. Wandered out to see who finished up well at the Oscars after I tapped out somewhere around the time not long after Best Supporting Actress. Thinking the whole time, as I checked, I could have just stayed up to watch if I'd known I was just going to pull four hours of sleep, anyway.

Was glad to see Hurt Locker get the attention that it did. It's a very cool flick. Wandered up to Knoxville (during my last vacation week, back in the fall, if I'm not mistaken) to see. Wonderfully put together movie.

Was also happy to know that Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart (though, thanks in part to some good writing from a couple of folks) I could have cheered equally as hard for Jeremy Renner, should he have won.

So, here I sit at 4:40. The vacation's over. Will have to wander back into Botardland in a couple of hours. I'm pleased with the vacation as a whole. I needed to get some writing done, as there's an opportunity at hand I want to give my all for. I think I've finished up a draft on a novel. I'm in the can't see the forest for the trees stage of things, still. We'll know soon, I suppose.

I still found time to wander out to a couple of movies over the vacation week. I went to see The Crazies, which I liked. Couple of nice, creepy moments, which is basically what you pay for.

Also found myself up in Knoxville with a couple hours to kill on Friday, and went ahead to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie. I gave it a middling thumbs up, though 48 hours has taken the emotional high off of that, even. It's a storybook of a movie, with no interesting character development. It's a movie that's utilizing the new tools of a medium. And with apologies to Mr. Ian Malcolm, it's not unlike a kid with a gun. The filmmakers are so excited that they're at the state of the art, they don't bother to throw in a decent story. Alice in Wonderland's a lot like Avatar. It's an extremely pretty movie (like Avatar), and it shows some promise early on (like Avatar), but quickly degenerates into a uninspired chosen-warrior story that we've all seen time and time again (like Avatar). And while I'd never have thought that Alice would turn into that story, that doesn't really qualify as good storytelling.

Anyway. It's now sniffing at 5 Ay Em, and I probably need to start going though the motions of getting ready for work. Wish me luck, as I wander back toward the equilibrium state of Working like a Botard....

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Track 3 on Hell's Soundtrack...

This one has an actual website here. It is now a ringtone on my phone.

My friend Joebo pointed this one out.

Sometimes I hate him.

How an Oscar Night Fight Between Me and MoNique would go...

There would be much fanfare with Mo'Nique's entrance. She's nominated for an Oscar, for God's sake, and with a little bit of a grudge, I admit she did a bang-up job in a part that should have been mine. It is during her entrance that I and my date, Leslie Easterbrook, make our way to our seats with minimal fanfare. Leslie stops to give an autograph to Steve Guttenberg, who strangely enough drove our limo, and there is a brief moment when I think the night will be a bust, as she and Kim Cattrall lock eyes. This part of our relationship is difficult, and I am unspeakably tired of running lines from Star Trek VI with Leslie. "It is the way of the world," I say, "and at least you beat out Bubba Smith for those Rob Zombie movies."

I would be dressed to the sixes, or maybe the sevens. This is because dressing me to the nines would be on par with sending men to Mars. It is something we can do in theory, but given the current state of the economy and our genius administration, the billions upon billions of dollars it would take wouldn't be deemed a priority. As it is, I am dressed only slightly better than a pile of dirty laundry. And when the men at the doors of the theater tell me that I am allowed to take neither the machete or the brass knucks in, I almost call off the thing right there. Still, I'll never get this opportunity again. I accidentally slice through my cumberbund and suspenders removing the machete from the sheath I'm hiding beneath the tails of the only key lime green tuxedo they had at Haystacks Calhoun's House of Horse Blankets and Clothes for the Colossally Big and Amazing Tall.

"Do you want to leave?" Leslie asks, as I'm frantically trying to engineer a method of holding my pants up. Having my pants fall down during the actual Academy Awards Ceremony would be the biggest social gaffe of my life, barring perhaps that minor incident when I confused Julia Roberts with Tim Conway in all those Dorf movies. It is why I no longer get to dine with Carol Burnett.

"No," I say, as I spy my momentary salvation.

"Distract them," I say to Leslie. "Action Code DD."

And Leslie pulls the front of her dress down and flashes them. This is not Action Code DD, but it works like a charm. I grab the velvet rope nearest to me, and remove it from its pedestal. I clip one end of the rope to the front of my pants, and loop the rope over my left shoulder, clipping the back of the rope to the back of my pants. I do a quick check, and realize that I am perhaps more comfortable now in this suit of clothing than I have been in any outfit in my entire life.

Until I lock eyes with Helen Mirren. We are wearing the exact same outfit, down to our Dharma Initiative t-shirts.

We are allowed to enter the theater, and I note that my machete has been placed next to a billy club and a beautifully crafted Katana. Since Judah Friedlander isn't here tonight, I'm sure that Mo'Nique has been adequately disarmed, as well.

The snack bar is closed for Oscar Night. If you learn nothing else from me today, it is that if you want Reese's Pieces to snack on during the actual ceremony, and you didn't bring any with you, you're shit out of luck. Leslie finds a can of vienna sausages, rifling through a coat she thinks is Peter Jackson's. We snack on those during the opening musical number, and through the jokes of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, none of which I find terribly funny because they're aimed at people who like Reese's Pieces and Vienna Sausages.

There are awards. I can't remember who wins what. Somewhere after the opening number, everything in my field of vision goes red. At first, I'm thinking that I've rubbed vienna sausage juice into my eyes, and the salt solution is irritating them. It is only after I borrow a handkerchief from Kathy Bates (is there any point in my life that the woman hasn't come through for me? Barring her complete and abject failure to kill James Caan? She's always been devoted, so I've let that one slide.)

We reach roughly the two hour mark of the night, and Steve Martin goes on some spiel about how, as a poor black child, he loved the movies of Richard Farnsworth, and I'm not sure how we segue into the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category, but we do. Sometimes, it is best not to ask questions.

It is at this point that Leslie gets up from her seat. Our eyes meet, recognizing that this may be the last time we see each other. There is nothing that words can say. She honks my nose. I do a minature version of the Truffle Shuffle. She nods, and the scroll of destiny begins to unroll, as she moves toward the back of the theater. She announces, "I am famished. I want a Baconator, and I have to leave."

"Save me a seat!" I say.

As I return to my seat, I catch one person's eye. Louis Gossett, Jr. looks at me from his seat, eight rows in front of me, imploring. Imploring what, though? It's not like I'm some kind of mind reader. I give Louis the bird, wishing I did indeed have some manner of telepathy, so that I could tell him to fuck off and mind his own ever-loving business. Louis seems to get the message, though. He flips me a return bird, and turns around just in time. He is sitting right behind Vera Farmiga, and the cameras have just panned to her, as she has likewise been nominated. I did not see Up in the Air, nor will I ever. My grudge against George Clooney and indeed all the cast members of The Facts of Life is as well documented as my issue with Mo'Nique.

Clancy Brown, in a decidedly odd choice to present the award, finishes naming off the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. He opens the envelope by tearing it open with his teeth. "The winner is....Mo'Nique!"

There is clapping. I see a monitor flash to Mo'Nique, who is crying.

And I leap into action.

There is no formal name for the fighting style I use. I've had very little formal training. I have watched Professional Wrestling my entire life, and I watched the movie Best of the Best late last night, in hopes that the ghost of Chris Penn is with me, as I exact Vengeful Justice on Hollywood.

Roberto Benigni was very much my inspiration for the first step in my attack. I leap up, as Mo'Nique is stepping toward the stage, and I begin running across the backs of the seats, toward the stage.

I am sitting in row 23, which given my fandom of Ryne Sandberg, I'd taken as a good omen. However, by the time I reach row 11, I start to realize that most of Hollywood is made up of bastards who won't get the hell out of the way when you're trying to attack a Best Supporting Actress. I think Reese Witherspoon grabbed my foot somewhere around Row 10, and I think I tripped on Kevin Costner's ego somewhere around row 8. It is there that I fall, and find myself in the lap of Javier Bardem.

Now, I'm a badass, but I'm no fool. Javier Bardem is just not a motherfucker to be trifled with, and falling into his lap will do nothing to endear him to me. I should mention here that it was not my fall that upset him. However, in my flailings about to correct myself, I think I spilled the grape Slush Puppy he was drinking. Luckily, none ruined any designer dresses. Unfortunately, Javier really likes his slush puppies. He punches me in the neck.

I roll into the aisle, just toward the left of the stage.

Javier screaming "Pendejo" in the middle of Mo'Nique's acceptance speech is enough to silence the room. Heads turn. I stand up.

"Oh Hell No!" Mo'Nique says from the stage.

"You know why I'm here, lady!"

"Let's do this..."

Mo'Nique turns the Oscar statuette upside down, and leaps from the stage.

Surprise was my biggest ally, and that fucking Slush Puppy was my undoing. Looking to counteract the Oscary bludgeon, I take off my right shoe. I'm glad I decided to go with the slip-on dress shoes instead of the velcro strap sandals I'd wanted to wear.

Mo'Nique lands, and takes two wild swings with her trophy.

I'm quick, for my size, and I dodge those two swings, and clock the "comedienne" across the bridge of her nose.

"You son of a bitch," she says blinking a tear from her eye. "You ruined my makeup..."

She then bashes the Oscar across the back of the seat of Morgan Freeman. The base of the statuette breaks off, leaving in her hand a sharpened tool of my demise.

I take the velvet rope I'd taken from the front of the theater off my pants, and start swinging it over my head.

"What the fuck?" she says, ridiculing my makeshift weapon."

And the brass buckle of the rope catches her in the temple as I swing at her head.

Surprise washes across her face. I've gotten two licks in, but done no real damage. In fact, even as I know this is my worst enemy, I know the damage she's capable of, and that I've succeeded only in pissing her off three times over, if you count my interrupting her speech.

She regains her senses, and turns the point of her Oscar shiv to the base of her hand. I've begun swinging the rope again. I launch it at her, hoping the heavy brass end on the rope will catch her between the eyes. She catches it deftly, and in what is frankly an amazing feat of strength, uses herself as a fulcrum. The strength and sudden nature of the attack catch my by surprise. I find myself flying through the air, over the head of the Mo'Nique and the audience.

I land on the stage steps, on my back. The wind rushes from my lungs, and I find myself staring into the smiling face of Jack Nicholson. "I loved Witches of Eastwick" I mutter, as a large form comes into focus, upside-down in my field of vision. Mo'Nique has launched herself through the air, Oscar Statuette dagger-point down, at my chest.

I don't know how I roll out of the way, accept that the fires of vengeance run strong in my family. But rolling out of the way is all the energy I have in that moment. I know that I'm mostly likely living the last moments of my life, sliding down into the aisle, gasping for breath that will not fill my lungs for all my trying.

I have silently said a prayer to Dusty Rhodes, thanking him for the opportunity, when something launches itself out of the crowd. I think it is Leslie, perhaps abandoning her plans for a Frosty, to save me. But now, it is Sean Penn!

Goaded only by the spirit of his dead brother, he jumps out of the crowd, and slams Mo'Nique's head into the steps. "Drop her like a toilet seat," he says, and wanders off, looking for a peace that he will never find until he realizes that his strongest and most true performance was Jeff Spicoli.

After a few tense moments, I finally draw a deep breath. Mo'Nique regains her senses at right about the same time. We stand up, and trade several haymaker punches. I gain the upper hand, briefly, when I block one of her punches, and poke her in the eye.

My dominance is short, as I choose to headbutt the Best Supporting Actress.

In a word, it was a mistake.

Mo'Nique always carries a frying pan.

If you learn nothing else, short of the fact that they don't sell snacks at the Academy Awards, is that Mo'Nique always carries a cast iron frying pan.

And that's how this particular encounter ends. I headbutt the frying pan, instead of of Mo'Nique. I stagger in surprise, and come enough to my senses to see Mo'Nique wind up, and clock me upside my head. I am semi-conscious as I am dragged out of the Academy Awards. Mo'Nique didn't kill me, but my efforts were for naught.

I spend the night in Los Angeles County jail. Leslie bails me out the next morning. She and Bubba Smith met up, and after his shift at Wendy's, they tore Pasadena to shreds, she tells me.

At least she had a good night....

Friday, March 05, 2010

The Best Picture

For no real reason, here are my thoughts on the 409 ten flicks nominated for Best Picture. For your consideration:


You know, looking back, Avatar wasn't a bad movie. Problem is, it wasn't a good one. If it wins Best Picture (and I'm running pretty even odds between it and Hurt Locker that it'll do it), it might be the most mediocre flick to receive said award since...well, I'll say Gladiator, but truth be told, Oscar runs half and half on rewarding mediocrity....

Avatar was extremely pretty. Don't get me wrong. I was impressed by what they did, and was glad even that I spent the extra money to see it on the IMAX screen when I did.

But here's the deal. We've all seen the story. The three that hit closest to home for me were Pocahantas & Dances with Wolves with a little bit of Iron Giant thrown in there just for kicks. It's a template story that doesn't deviate much from the general template. On top of it, the dialog was completely wooden, and no character or performance did anything to endear itself to me.

The downfall of Avatar, in my view, is that I'd have gotten the same experience if I'd put on headphones and listened to my Mp3 player while watching. (Much can be same for my experience watching Alice in Wonderland earlier today, but that's not a 2009 flick, and if it should be miracle be nominated next year, I'll have much to say on it).

The Blind Side

I haven't seen it, and I'm not really chomping at the bit to see it. Nobody in the flick really jumps out at me, this despite Sandra Bullock getting nominated for everything short of Miss Universe for the movie. I suppose I will see it one day.

District 9

I liked District 9 a lot, and was very pleased to see it nominated. It's an extremely accessible flick, and it's just grotesque enough that the Flannery O'Connor fan in me was psyched as hell to watch it. Fun, smart and doesn't beat you over the head with its message.

An Education

Didn't see it, though I gave it some thought wandering by the Bijou in Chattanooga. I'll see it eventually.

The Hurt Locker

My pick for Best Picture. Just an impressive piece. It's easy for a war flick to leave you shell-shocked, but this one left me keyed up for the entire run. I left the theater last fall wanting to go back to see it again....
Inglourious Basterds

My second favorite flick of the bunch, and probably the one I had the most fun with. Just a friggin' comic book of a movie. And even knowing it wasn't the action flick they chose to advertise it as, it still took me 20 minutes or so of movie to realize that it's just a romp. It appealed to me very much for the same reason pro wrestling's just an overblown revenge story. There's enough grotesque irony in here to keep me coming back.


Decent enough flick, I guess. It may have been the day I watched it, but it just didn't do a whole lot for me. Both Gibourey Sidibe and MoNique did great jobs, but there's something I'd like you to consider: It's likely neither was playing a role that far from how they are in real life.

Which means that should MoNique read this? I can never come within 30 yards of her, because she'll whip the shit out of me in a fight.

A Serious Man

You know, I go back and forth on A Serious Man, and today, I've lumped it in with Barton Fink. I say that, because I recognize the quality of the flick, and it's one that warrants another viewing or two, just so that I can digest a couple more of my thoughts on it.

On the whole, it was good. But the movie wasn't much fun, somehow. And life is awfully short. My nagging concerns, mainly concerning Judaism, and whether maybe there was a joke I wasn't getting, would probably better be served by answering them over beers at the pub, than sitting down with the movie again. Let me say that if that's the case, I'm completely cool with my not getting it. Trust me, there are a lot of things that go way beyond my ass.

(The alternative to Barton Fink, by the way, is Fargo. I haven't seen Barton Fink again since I first watched it 12 years ago or so. I might not need to sit down with this one, either. I was a bit the same with Fargo. I hated Fargo when I saw it, but have grown to love it over time. There are certain things in A Serious Man that make me think it may grow on me over time, as well).

Like I said, it's a well put together flick, smartly written and snappily delivered. I recognize that quality. It's what's on the pizza, sometimes, that matters.


Look, Pixar does quality work, day in, day out. I liked Up very much. It absolutely deserves a good close look in the category.

But Up wasn't even my favorite animated flick last year. Coraline beats it by a country mile, for my money.

And I don't want that to sound like I'm pooping on Up. Up is a well-done flick from a group of people who deserve all the praise in the world for making the highest quality movies for more than 15 years now. (People, I should say, who actually throw in wonderful performances, strong writing and superb dialog to go along with all their technical achievement...check out all the junk that Pixar's done since 1995, Mr. Cameron, and then we'll talk about whose cartoon is the very best in the world).

Up absolutely deserves consideration on this list, and I'd put it on my personal top 10 of 2009.

Under Coraline.

Up in the Air

I haven't seen Up in the Air, and I don't really have a lot of interest in seeing Up in the Air.

Did anybody else have the problem I did? I'd go to look at movie showtimes on Yahoo or some other site, and I'd see the title "Up in the Air" and have No Frigging Clue what the movie was, even after seeing commercials for it time and time again?

So, upon a good close look, it looks like a flick about a guy who doesn't have a home, unless it's travelling, and has taken no time whatsoever to get close to people. And this movie looks like a heartbreaking (possibly heartwarming, or both) story of what happens when he lets that happens. I get the feeling that I've seen that movie before, and it was a lot more interesting when it took the path Fight Club did.

So, to finish those, I think Hurt Locker is the strongest flick of the ten, though in the long run, it'll have to compete with Inglourious Basterds and District 9 for the title My Favorite Movie of 2009.


I liked Crazy Heart VERY much, for the music, and strong performances from Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhall (who's bugged me in past roles, because I've long felt she's reading lines as opposed to acting). I dug how that movie was put together, and it's a shame it isn't getting more attention, beyond to the (deserved) praise for Jeff Bridges' work as Bad Blake.

Coraline is a trip, though I wonder if it loses something for Academy voters who screen these things at home. Of all the movies that have utilized the 3D technology of late, I think Coraline and Up are neck and neck for flicks that did it the least annoyingly. Plus, Coraline appeals much to my fan of the gruesome. (It might be my favorite Neil Gaiman book,, or American Gods, but I suppose that's neither here nor there).

I enjoyed The Road very much. But then, I'm a sucker for flicks where everything gets destroyed, or everything has already been destroyed. I've not gone and looked for critical pieces on it, but I felt like it's a flick that deserves some attention.

And can I just throw some love out there for The Hangover? You know, comedies get shit on, but it's one of the better put together movies out there. There is a vision that Todd Phillips had, a goal that he meant to achieve, and he did so astoundingly well. You can't say that what he did is any less of an achievement than what the folks who did Precious or (dare I say it, without having seen it) The Blind Side did. The same goes for performances: You can't tell me that Zach Galifianakis screaming that there are Skittles in his bag & that his buddies are now part of his wolfpack to make you laugh (and doing it without a nod of irony at any point) is any less of an achievement than Jeff Bridges being pathetic & panicky at losing a kid, and making you the viewer tense up because of it in Crazy Heart.

Not to compare the performances. Or, isn't that what you have to do with those five guys nominated in dramas?

Yeah. It's all silly. Mostly stuff to talk about over a beer, I guess.

Anyway. There was a lot in 2009 that I didn't see, that I wanted to. The three listed above, I guess. I never got to see Where the Wild Things Are, though it just came out on DVD. The Fantastic Mr. Fox, as well (and given what's been said by people I trust, there's a good chance I'll like it better than Up, as well). Work and real life being what it is, I just didn't have time.

As for individual performances? I liked Crazy Heart a lot, and Jeff Bridges wouldn't bother me at all if he won Best Actor. Jeremy Renner (and just about everybody) in Hurt Locker is strong, too. I haven't seen any of the other three movies for which Morgan Freeman, George Clooney and Colin Firth are nominated.

I have seen only Gidourey Sidibe in Precious. I've always liked Helen Mirren, though.

Christoph Waltz absolutely makes Inglourious Basterds, and the opening scene in the Farmhouse may end up in my favorite scenes in movies, ever. My friend Rachel describes him as her favorite German actor. It was the first time I remember running across him, but I've definitely noted him for future viewing.

I've previously noted my thoughts on Maggie Gyllenhall, but MoNique is fucking scary in Precious. I'd give the Oscar to her, if only because I don't want her going crazy in that room, and potentially hurting Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.

As for Director? Kathryn Bigelow has something on her hands to be very proud of, with The Hurt Locker, and I'll be rooting for her. Quentin did a fine job with his romp in Basterds.

If Jim Cameron wins for Avatar? We riot. We have an entire set of categories for technical achievement. Making a very pretty flick on a simple template and wooden dialog does not make you the Best Director.

Anyway. Them's my thoughts.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

It is still a scary world....

Track 2 Tommy's Soundtrack to Hell

This is an occasional project. For some reason, songs that are bad, annoying or songs that just piss me off are intriguing.

This is track 2, on Tommy's Soundtrack to Hell.

It is maybe my favorite traditional type song. And this is the worst bastardization of it. The Disney characters simply make it worse.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Thoughts from the Ass End of the Night: Lousy Smarch Weather Edition

So, it snowed yesterday. And I didn't have to work. So, when the big wet flakes started falling, my ass got out and drove around in it. I wandered out toward Meigs County, and down Highway 58 until I cut over through Georgetown into Cleveland. I then came back up through Riceville, and back to my house. I'd say all told, we got a couple of inches of fun, sticky wet snow that looked pretty on the trees and covered up all the yellow for a while.

Here, I'd like to say Behold the Power of Social Media. I was taking a small break when I saw on Twitter that Hamilton County schools were closing up for the day. I took a minute to text my sister, who teaches there, "Why the hell'd they even make you get your ass out of bed?"

It wasn't until a couple minutes later that she got the word that her school was closing for the day. Behold.

Then, after writing some more, I looked outside three hours later, and damned if the snow weren't 90% melted away by that point.

Lousy Smarch Weather.

I was going to say: Is there anything worse that Vacation Insomnia, and I suppose there is. Widespread Famine is worse that Vacation Insomnia. Having a sneeze caught in your head is probably worse. War. Lady Gaga. Insomnia on a day when you have to be up to do something. In fact, there's probably not a lot that isn't worse than Vacation Insomnia.

There is comfort in knowing that, not having anyplace specifically to be until 8 PM tomorrow, I could sleep until then, if I wanted.

There was a vaguely bad dream I woke up from. I couldn't tell you what it concerned or even why I called it bad. I can remember only walking through a mostly deserted down near the coast. My brain wants to call it a city, even, like Savannah or Charleston, SC. But beyond that, I don't know. I just know it had a little bit of darkness around it that helped keep me from falling immediately asleep. Kind of like it was the Booger Man, waiting in the shadows for me to wander back into sleep.

I figure the Booger Man isn't all that different from Gary Busey. It may be Gary Busey. Slobbering, and grabby.

So, I am on vacation.

I'd intended this to be a writing vacation, as I wanted to complete one particular project to hand off to a couple people to read. In rough estimation, I figured I had maybe 15,000 words left to write. I managed 2,500 on Saturday, but only 800 on Sunday. Another 2500 on Monday, with 1200 or so yesterday. So, I guess I'm near where I want to be. In the process of finishing a booger of a story up.

So, that's alright, I guess.

So, we play this stupid little trivia game, right? Chattanooga Trivia is a loosely banded set of games at various establishments in the greater Chattanooga area. We play regularly in Cleveland, with friends and co-workers. Occasionally, I'll wander down into the bigger part of Chattanooga. My sister and brother-in-law live down that way, and we've grown to like the game at the Riverhouse Pub. Part of it is that it's not a game that we are in contention to win, generally. There are a couple Very strong teams, and the sad fact is, my brother-in-law's trivial knowledge and mine are usually overlapping in too many areas, and deficient in too many of the same. So, we like playing there for the challenge of it.

Part of it is the atmosphere of the place. It is its own place, with no corporate mandate on how to set up, and it's laid back. The two things don't go hand-in-hand too much. Too often, in this neck of the woods, you can't go someplace for a beer without there wanting to be some jackass trying to get loud and rowdy, and the only way to keep that crowd out is to build a family atmosphere. It's hard to find that happy medium, but River House is close to finding it.

River House is the kind of place I'd like to think I'd open, were I to open a bar.

(I would like to note that despite my claim to its laidbackness, there's some damage to the paneling in the men's room. It is partly missing, and looks like somebody's put a shoulder into it, between the support beams. Somebody has taken a pen and written something along the lines of "Goddamn drunks damaging shit." To which somebody else has written "In my defense, the wall was damaged for educationsl purposes." That was enough to make me smile when I took my piss.)

So, my brother-in-law and I played. We didn't play all that well, talking ourselves out of answering Jerry Rice for one football question, and for the location of the Uncle Remus Museum (it is in Georgia, folks, not Mississippi). We also blanked completely on Remulac, which is of course the home planet of Beldar Conehead and family. I would like to say here, that the fact that most of us drink while we play the game has something to do with blanking of answers. It is easier with more people. Rarely are the questions rocket science, and a lot of the answers are right on the tip of your tongue...and somebody else's. If you have a body or three there to help remember, the game goes more smoothly. Still, with just two of us, we snatched up a win with the final question. So, there's a bar tab waiting on us, the next time we should head back that way.

I would like to take a moment to remind you that often times, these Ass End of the Night posts are designed simply as a mental dump, a means to burn off any excess brainial junk going on. The idea is that I write junk so that my noggin will stop thinking and get back to the business of slumbering. For God's sake, I need all the Beauty Sleep my ass can get. Have you seen me? I'm starting to look like Ernest Borgnine if he got his ass whipped for laughing at Bea Arthur's Doc Martens. So, suffice it to say once again: Welcome to my Online Nerd Diary, and Thankee for your indulgence.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Hell's Soundtrack Track 1

Because I love you all and care for you, I bring you this: It will be the first track on Hell's Soundtrack.

The listens....

Taking a mental break. Woke my ass up at 5 on my vacation to write some junk. It's been a productive morning (2200 words, 18 of them worth anything). I started out listening to the Blind Boys of Alabama's Duets CD, which I went through a time and a half, and then moved over to my MP3 player. I listened to:

1. Barry Maguire "Eve of Destruction
2. The Corb Lund Band "Heavy and Leaving"
3. AC/DC "Who Made Who?"
4. The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band "Worn Out Shoe"
5. Murrah Head "One Night in Bangkok"
6. Johnny Cash "I've Been Everywhere"
7. Toadsuck Symphony "I Got You Babe"
8. The Black Ghosts "Repetition Kills You"
9. The Belle Starrs "Iko Iko"
10. Eric Idle "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life"
11. Simon & Garfunkel "The Boxer"
12. Jeff Bridges "Fallin' & Flyin'"
13. The Beastie Boys "Intergalactic"
14. Pasty White "Real American"
15. Shiny Toy Guns "Major Tom (Coming Home)"
16. Down By Law "(I'm Gonna Be) 500 Miles"
17. Quiet Riot "Cum on Feel the Noize"
18. Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon "It Ain't Me Babe"