Monday, February 28, 2005

Quotes of a Single. . .

Here are some quotes that you may hear uttered out of someone who has been single for a long while.

'Do I date? As in the calendar or the fruit?'

'Hmmm, she has to be available for a chat tonight. Do you need to wash your hair 7 days in a row???'

'This invitation tells me to bring a date. I wonder if Scott is free that night.'

'This is the tenth time I've watched Star Wars this week!!!! My life rules!'

'She turned me down! Even after I showed her my fungi collection! Picky!'

'Once I become a level 9 magic user, the babes will be flocking my way!'

'Showering just takes up time.'

'Argh! That be my gold you be a looking at! Argh!'

'Napoleon Dynamite ROCKS!'

Oh wait, that last one isn't what a single person would say. The last one would be the words of a person with a really awful taste in cinema. Sorry about the mix up there.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Spreading Like The Plague. . .

Actually, I don't think the plague is a wide sweeping problem in these parts. If it is, then people seem to be handling it fairly well. Wasn't the plague carried by rats? Trusty camp cat Mouser is definitely taking care of any pest problem or at least, her brand new physique would make me believe she is handling it. Believe it or not, I'm not writing to you today to address any non-existent plague. I'm here to mention the massive popping up of blogs lately. How everyone and their mother seems to have one. How every person seems to start their blog with, 'I never planned on starting one of these but. . . ' Usuaully, they don't ever post again. Nice try though but I guess, I now know why you weren't ever to start one.

BUT. . . there are a lot of really great blogs out there. I have many friends who have postings that I often find myself looking forward to. I enjoy blogging. I really enjoy reading others blogs. Especially since many of my friends are cursed with the ever 'not good e-mailing' disease. It is my way of keeping up to date with them. I like that.

Despite what you may have thought, my full intent of this post if to find out about possible blogs I am unaware of. Are there any? What I mean is, blogs by people that I happen to know. I am sure that Aunt Ruthie in New Jersey has a blog that I am not aware of but I really don't need to read about her new Cow Curds Pie recipe. There you go, if I know you and I have never posted on your blog then it is probably because I'm unaware of it. Make me aware. You'll have yourself another reader.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Labeling: A Dangerous Habit. . .

Bernie works at the National Grocers in Podunk, Somewhere. He's been working there for 45 years. He is a professional labeler. A jar of pickles comes down the conveyor belt and he slaps on a sticker. It's his job to make sure you know what is inside the contents of each product. It is rather important too. Without those handy stickers then you might be bringing home Argentinian Fried Beets when you really wanted Angolan Raw Beets. It is just a horror to imagine such things. Bernie is good at what he does. Let Bernie do his job and don't even think about trying to do it yourself.

Labeling. I'm guilty of it. I'm pretty sure there are many people reading this that are just as guilty. We meet someone and we decide to put them in a neatly defined category. 5 minute conversation and we decide we know the person entirely. We know how they act in all situations and we know every single of their thoughts. We know this because we put them in this really nice category. We inserted them right into a box. A box that they aren't allowed to leave. We've plotted out the road for their life and they can't deviate from the path. We've decided to be Bernie but not with bottled beets but with people. People aren't beets and they don't need to be labeled.

I don't know what it is about human nature; but somehow, we feel life is a whole lot easier if we give people defined roles. The guy across the room is the slacker loser that will never accomplish anything; while that pretty girl in the corner is self involved and selfish; don't forget that man sitting down who is a workaholic probably destroying his family. People are seen as caricatures. They are one dimensional. They only have a certain set of traits and can never ever change. Somebody change? For the better? Impossible. Two sides to a person? Can't happen.

Why do we have this need to label? Why do we count people out? The scariest thing is, they are usually self fulfilling prophecies. We push someone until they end up doing what we believed they would do all along. We ignore any time they may do something outside of their designated box.

You can only tell someone they are a loser so many time until they believe it. A person can be called a 'bitch' only for so long until they will act like one. If your convinced someone is a certain way then it will be pretty hard for them to ever change that in your mind. They are labeled now and your not ready to take off the sticker.

I'm not accusing anyone of these things. I'm guilty. I admit it. I feel it is one of the worse habits that is amongst society. I think it is responsible for so many self esteem issues. It's also responsible for friction between people when it doesn't have to be there.

I have been called sickenly optimistic in the past. But I really believe that the majority of people have some form of good in them. A lot of people do want to do the right thing. Maybe those problems you see in people, they are desperately trying to fix them. We need to give people that chance. The chance to change. The chance to rip off that unwanted label.

Leave the stickers for Bernie and his many bottles of beets.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Confessions of a Geek. . .

I enjoy fan fiction. There, I did it. I revealed a dark secret of mine. I confessed something that will once and for all, show me for the true geek that I am. Of course, the biggest hit to my ego will be when all of you stare blankly at the screen, scratch your heads and guffaw, "What is fan fiction?" Here I am, almost ready to send myself into Fan Fiction Anonymous Help Groups and none of you even have the slightest idea what it could be. You can all feel safe in knowing that you aren't even the slightest bit of geek. I applaud you. As for the two other people who have a clue what it is, now you know that I share your burden.

Fan fiction is basically the writings by a fan of a particular television show, video game, book series or comic book. Basically, a fan of a series writes events and stories involving already established characters. It's tales about already trademark and copyrighted characters thus it can never be formally published. It's a fans way of progressing stories that they love and maybe turning the tale in a way they would have preferred. The stories can be found all over the internet. You name the series and I will bet my pinky there is some fan fiction out there about it.

Most of it is absolutely horrendous. The grammar is bad and the stories are unorignal. It's funny I'd harp on unoriginality when it is writings based off someone else's idea. Yet there is some really good stuff out there. Obviously, you need to enjoy the series they are writing about or you'll probably be drawn into a coma. Believe it or not, some of it can be incredibly creative and orignal. They take known characters and put them into totally unusual situations. I even know some now published authors that where once guilty of being fan fiction writers.

I don't spend my entire days reading the stuff. Like I said, I do find most of the writings a waste of time and I quit reading after a paragraph (probably, just like the majority of you did with this post). I still find myself hunting out the occasional piece of fan fiction. It's fun reading about the stories of characters that you no longer see because the film is over, the television series is cancelled or the book series is completed. You get to see those characters for one more time.

I think the thing I enjoy most is the 'What If'. I've always been a big fan of 'What If' something elese happend instead of what really went down. Probably one of the reasons I also like historical fiction. I like to play out scenerios that didn't happen in the world we live. Oh man, I'm really confessing to some major geekhood here.

The final question you may ask is have I ever written such stories. Have I ever been guilty of fan fiction. I have to admit that if I was dragged off to trial then I would be found guilty. Maybe not given a life sentence but no jury would find me innocent. It may be the final nail in my geek coffin. Though, all traces of said fan fiction will be buried under 600 pounds of dirt and locked into a unbreakable, sealed vault if anyone ever comes hunting for it.

That is my confession for the day. Hopefully, you can all still look at me with a straight face. Or maybe you will all open up your Microsoft Word and type up a story about 'What If Chris Spicer wasn't such a geek!'

Or maybe my geeky side makes me that much more adorable? No? Well, you can't fault me for trying.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Cellular: Generic Action Movie Fun. . .

Cars gets smashed up good. Check

Female lead is unintentionally very annoying. Check

The hero is a rough around the edges pretty boy who proves in the end he has a heart of gold. Check.

Bad guy is cooler then said hero. Check.

Shooting and kicking and punching and hurting. Check.

Thin and unrealistic plot. Check.

The film Cellular seems to have fit all the needed categories of generic and mindless thriller-action movie. Let me add, a very fun, generic thriller-action movie. It's got it's twists but none of them are very surprising. There are a few story elements that leave my head scratching. Why did the crooked cops do a robbery/killing in the middle of the day in the suburbs??? In the end, it's a fun way to waste about 2 hours. Probably one of those movies I'll forget I even saw in about a week.

On a total sidenote, I ate spaghetti & meatballs for dinner with peanut butter chocolate ice cream for dessert. Possibly the greatest meal known to man. The lovely McMahons are responsible for such a nice meal. They saved me for one night from the camp of spooky. A camp that hopefully gets a little less spooky in about 2 days. Speaking of spooky, I'm going to hide in my apartment and lock my door now before the goblins kidnap me.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Don't Mess With The Booker. . .

This is the exciting follow up to the saga of me trying to book the church with the annoying lady for the last weekend of August. On Tuesday, Ms. Annoying called to cancel the scheduled tour of the camp on Wednesday. This is after I changed my whole schedule around in order to accommodate her. Sure, it took me a whole 3 seconds to do that but why let that get in that way of trying to make you feel sorry for me? She then asked if I can send her the new deal that I was going to offer her. I informed her that I had already offered her a new deal which was the same deal she called a few weeks ago to complain about. She told me that she couldn't afford that. She would be leaving if I didn't offer a lower price to help her out. I told her that would be fine and I hope she can find a new camp. She didn't like that response and actually seemed quite shocked about it. She tried to play hardball and it didn't work out for her. She asked if I was really willing to let a group of her size (120 +) go due to the amount of money she could offer us. I told her 'yes'. I had about 4 other groups with interest and would have little problem to fill it. She hung up upset and I hung up relieved that I would never have to talk to her again.

I then had a problem. She was a big group. Our camp definitely wants a big group for that week. We did have 4 other interested groups but I had to turn them down because I felt we had this group (which at one time, I was pretty sure we did). I assured my Supervisor that we would be okay and I would have no problem filling that week. Even if I didn't quite believe myself. On a plus side, my supervisor agreed that it would be a much easier retreat now that we didn't have to deal with her anymore.

This is where I attach the happy ending. Today, the day after I turned away the group of 120+. The day I planned on frantically trying to beg back the other groups. I got a phone a call. A lady wanted to book a group of 100+ for the last week of August. The whole week. We don't often get whole week bookings. I was pretty sure I would be lucky to fill half of the now empty week. This lady wanted it all. She was willing to pay the full price -- what a novel concept. The best part, I didn't have a headache after talking to her for a few minutes. Only one day later, August is full again as if nothing ever happened. I'll give all the credit to God for that one.

Here is my proof that some tiring tales actually have a silver lining in the end. I truly hope that the poor lady (Ms. Annoying) can find another site that is willing to have her for the price she expects. I also secretly hope she calls back to try to book that week again (after finding no available places)but I have to tell her it's already full. Hm, maybe I'm the bad guy?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Outlaws of this Age. . .

In the World Wrestling Entertainment, there used to be a wrestler by the name of Billy Gunn. He was part of a fairly popular (which is actually an understatement) tag team called the New Age Outlaws. I think, it would be safe to say that this tag team was one of the most popular wrestling tag teams ever. As with most things, time passed them by and they eventually lost most of there popularity. Wrestling fans got bored with them and they got labelled as washed up. WWE eventually split the two up and both wrestlers floundered since.

WWE likes to trademark names. Almost every WWE wrestler's name or likeness is a trademark of WWE. It's part of the reason why they come up with nicknames, so that it is the property of the WWE. This means that most of these wrestler cannot take this gimmick or name to another wrestling promotion. It is a pretty smart business strategy. If a wrestler has this amazing character that connects with fans then the WWE doesn't have to worry about that character being a succes elsewhere if the wrestler happens to leave. Pretty much is all kinds of awful for the wrestler who played this amazing character because he's now forced to come up with a new gimmick.

Anyway, Billy Gunn's wrestling partner was the Road Dogg. A wrestler that liked to yap his mouth a lot but never chewed on bones or barked at postal workers to my knowledge. He was fired by the WWE a few years ago and seeked employment in rival wreslting promotion, TNA. He couldn't use the Road Dogg name due to trademarks. He then became BG Jammes. Yeah, I know the name is awful but then again, what ever is a road dog????

Billy Gunn was recenlty released by the WWE. Random sidenote, notice the misspelling in Dogg and Gunn??? That is because it's easiers to trademark misspelled words. Anyway, back to the story that you probably didn't care about in the first place. The problem is, Billy Gunn can now not use the name that he has had for over 10 years now (he's been a long time WWE wrestler). TNA picks him up because they are desperate for known wrestlers and Billy Gunn happens to be one. Even if Billy Gunn hasn't been a good one for 5 years now but why let the truth get in the way of spending money.

The problem is, Billy Gunn's real name isn't that intimidating. Actually, it would be an awful wreslting name. Kip Sopf. Does that sound like your next world champion? Didn't think so. TNA needed to come up with another name because the name Billy Gunn would result in a lawsuit. The name Kip Sopf is just not going to cut it. What does the artist formerly known as Billy Gunn get billed as?

The New Age Outlaw.

Hmmm. . . Soemthing doesn't fit here. The New Age Outlaws would be trademarked by the WWE. I know, they haven't used the name since the team split up in 2000 but WWE isn't known for dropping trademarks. I also know that they would have 'New Age Outlaws' copyrighted but would the plural really change things? Plus there is the fact, they are using the name with a wrestlers that used to be a part of that tag team. They aren't even trying to hide the fact that they are ripping an idea from the WWE. I've got a feeling that WWE lawyers will be swooping down on this one soon. Would TNA have any case when it comes to trademark infringment?

I don't know much about the legal ramifications of trademarks. This one seems like a no brainer to me. TNA broke a trademark deal. Thus TNA would be the real outlaws. Meanwhile, poor Kip needs a new wrestling name.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Population: Lonely. . .

The LDP are on a trip to the Adirondaks. Scott is off on an adventure of snow, boards and bruises. I'm still at Medeba. Boy, is Medeba ever a big place when you're the only one on property. Being someone with a hyperactive imagination, it can be quite the spooky place too. I'll be locking the door before I sneak into bed tonight. I'm pretty sure I've heard the wind call my name at least 2 times now. On the third, I will start to board up the windows. Anyone who knows me will understand that I'm not the biggest fan of being completely on my own. There is the goblins and orcs that I need to fend off but that isn't even the main concern. I get lonely. There isn't much lonelier then an empty camp. On the plus side, I can get some long overdue introvert time in. I'll read books. Scrub that bathtub that seems to be forming a colony. Get back into the groove of writing again. Maybe watch the commentary of Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure because you know it will be chock full of useful knowlegde. Or maybe I'll just crawl into a ball and cry until everyone comes home next weekend.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Purpose of Blogging: A blog about blogs. . .

Sounds riveting doesn't it? After a long weekend and a late Sunday evening that is quickly becoming an early Monday morning, I'm not ready to shake the very foundations of this Earth with a blog that will reveal all the meanings of life. Instead, I'll be really self focused and be reflective about this little blog of mine. I started this blog last May. I only had discovered the art of blogging a few weeks before that. It instantly sounded like a really great idea. I enjoy ranting. I enjoy writing. I enjoy being the centre of attention. What was the downside again? I quickly jumped on the blogging bandwagon with dreams of being the most read website in the entire unvierse. I've got about 14 daily hits which has to get me in the running, right? I'll admit since May I have been quite the sporadic blogger. I didn't post a single thing in the months of July or August. Since that time, I'll easily go about 2 weeks without anything new to read. Despite all that, I have enjoyed it. I hope you all have enjoyed this just as much, too.

I was thinking today, why do I blog? Do I blog for my entertainment and enjoyment? Do I blog for the entertainment of others and to gain a large readership? I'd like a large readership. Once again, that is due to the fact I tend to like being the focus of others. Do I blog with the intent of gaining a mass horde of mindless zombies who hold their breath until my next post? Uh, that was a sort of spooky image thus I'll not delve too much into that topic of choice. The question remains, do I blog for me or do I blog for others?

I was thinking about this question because it ends up pertaining to what topics I choose to blog about. There are several things that I enjoy that I know my regular readers couldn't give a single hoot towards. Though I don't know why the reader was hooting to begin with unless I have a readership following consisting of owls. I do know that I could blog about things that would alienate half the readership if not even more. Many of my hobbies don't interest the majority of you. I could regurally blog on professional wrestling, adventure games, Star Wars, and moldy cheese. All things that I know much about and am very interested in. Well except maybe the moldy cheese which I'll leave for Scott when he gets back from vacation. The point is the same, do I write about things that maybe no one will care about because I enjoy them very muchly? Do I only approach topics that I know will strike a chord with my audience? Or is my audience such that will read almost anything because it just happens to be from me?

In the end, this is MY blog. I've decided that is who I will cater to. As selfish and self centre as that may sound. It's not like I'm offering a paid service here. I'm not writing a specialty magazine. I'm just ranting and raving on my little piece of the world wide web. I enjoy it. I hope you all enjoy it too.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Explaining Yesterday. . .

Do you like the creative title? I blame it on being up since 4 in the morning. The joys of groups waking you up when the pretty flame in their stove goes away. The bigger joy is not being able to fall back to sleep after my 10 second solve of the problem. It seems when you need the sleep the most is when you will have the hardest time getting to la-la ville.

Okay, a few of my readers of yesterday's post are wondering why I don't just kick this lady to the curb. She won't agree to a set price and thus, she should be shown the door to 'finding another retreat site.' I agree. It isn't quite a situation like that. First off, she is coming for a whole week which isn't a typical package we offer. It's out of the arena of a set price. Secondly, she isn't running a typical retreat but rather, hosting a church summer camp. Final dillema, I officially booked her in January and have told all other groups that week is gone. The problem is, she keeps changing her mind on a daily basis. I've given her the spot but she doesn't want to sign but she wants to score a deal. Either way, I think this little drama will be solved next week. Either we have her lovely church for a week of camp or I start trying to woo back my former pursuers.

I don't even know if this scenerio seems any different then the one presented yesterday. You still may be all for me dumping her on the spot. I just might have to do that when she comes up for a visit.

Now, I'm wondering what was the point of this whole ramble and rave. Maybe it didn't have any other then I'm too tired to come up with something fresh and witty. I can say, this whole chapter of my Medeba career is proof positive why moving on in October is a dandy of a decision. Notice how I snuck that nugget in there?

I'm off to try to see if I can get through the night without any 4am stove inspections. As for you all -- who you going to call? GHOSTBUSTERS!

Friday, February 18, 2005

Let's Make A Deal. . .

Cheap people are a bigger pain then inserting 7 rusty nails into your eye. Cheap people who don't realize the value of a product are more agonizing then putting a drill into your ear. Painful imagery? Good. Maybe it gets my point across. I've decided that I'm not a big fan or supporter of the cheapster who tries to wheel and deal himself a better price. I'd say I despise that little tactic.

Do I sound bitter? I probably have a slight pinch of it at the moment. I've had this customer. This person I've been dealing with since the day I took this job. They want to come here for an entire week. A very expensive ordeal. It could possibly allow Medeba make some nice cash. This cash might not be worth the headaches this person seems to be intent on causing. They won't go away. They won't stop trying to make the price cheaper and cheaper. They don't seem to accept that we offer a package deal. A very reasonable package deal. It isn't really supposed to be negotiated for 5 months.

The most frustrating part is they seem to overestimate their worth. They threatened me they would back out if I don't lower my price. Yet the week they want to be here is a very popular week. A week that I have at least 4 groups that want to slip into that spot. I won't have any problem trying to fill it. Right now, I'd really like to fill it with another one of these groups. Though I hear doing something out of spite isn't a very mature thing. Ever since 24 years old, I've been on this whole trying to be mature kick. Zany, I know.

I never knew this was a pet peeve of mine. After this job, I'm definitely not a part of the 'try to get a cheaper price from a much more valued product' fan club. If anything, I would love to dissolve the membership. Wipe them right out. Then make them join a new club. A club where I would make them pay through the nose in membership fees.

Do you think this group hit a hot button?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

No Laughing Matter. . .

In Grade 1, I was really slow in getting changed for gym. I was almost always the last person ready. I got distracted easily. I was always talking rather then changing. It was getting to the point I was starting to sense the fury of my Grade 1 teacher. For the record, I was scared of my Grade 1 teacher. A lot. She was frightening. I wanted to get back on her good side. I remember there was one day that I was the last person in the change room and I was quickly trying to get finished. I rushed to the classroom in an attempt to appease my ruthless teacher. Instead, I was greeted by laughter by my peers. Why? Well, it appears I did do a good job of putting on my gym t-shirt but not so good at remembering to put on my shorts. In the rush, I was now in the classroom bearing my underwear to all. In retrospect, it is a little funny. At the time, I thought I'd be forever scarred.

That is an emberassing moment. Yet probably a moment that gives you all a slight chuckle. The fact we find that so funny actually makes me wonder for a moment. Why is it that people's misfortunes are such a humorous thing? Why are most comedies based on circumstances where someone suffers indignity? I can't think of any recent comedies where a focus of the jokes aren't on someone who has misfortunes or are in awkward situations. Why do we find these things so funny?

It doesn't really remain in media either. Most jokes seems to usually be targeted at friends. You give a friend a nickname that is based off an emberassing situation. We seem to delight in belittling people even in a playful manner. I'm guilty of this. I admit this. It's just so odd that almost all humour seems to be based on misfortune.

How many jokes can you think of where something bad doesn't happen to someone? Name a comedy where a character doesn't suffer any indignity? Name the last time you cracked a joke at a friend that was based off something uplifting? Why is humour based off such negative connotations?

Is it because we need the humour to get through hard times? Jokes are invented in order to see the lighter side of a bad situation? Maybe I should have named this blog - 'I ask a lot of questions and make sure to not answer any.' This is something I've been pondering a lot. Wondering why most humour is the way it is. Most of all, is it possible to go the other route? Can humour be focused on the positive. Can you crack a joke without targeting a friend? Can you throw nicknames at someone that is funny and encouraging? Is it possible? Do positive nicknames exist????

That is my challenge of the day. Try to keep your humour completely positive. Of course, I still think we are allowed to bash Napoleon Dynamite endlessly. Right?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

See Ya Next Year, Stanley. . .

A loyal reader had asked that this blog be about the economic benefit of oatmeal hats. Since I'm all about pleasing the reader, I will address this very issue. There is no economic benefit to wearing oatmeal hats and it is probably the stupidest thing I've ever heard. I'd still probably rather wear oatmeal hats than watch Napoleon Dynamite again, but there can't be too many other things. Though, I hear oatmeal is great to soothe poison ivy, but I don't think that would be done in hat form.

Now, onto the real purpose for this blog. It is now official; there will be no Stanley Cup in the year 2005. I have to say, that is the most unsurprising news of the year. I had given up hope on NHL hockey back in November. Despite the obviousness, it's still rather disheartening and frustrating. The Major League Baseball strike of '95 killed the sport for me, and I can't see myself getting too pumped for hockey any time soon.

Greed is no fun. Watching professionals act like spoiled 3 year olds is pretty embarrassing. I want to see these guys do what they are gifted at. I want to see men get smashed into boards. I want to see heart stopping plays. I don't want to see men whine and moan for more money. It's sickening. I'm slowly getting pretty tired of pro sports.

On a plus side, March Madness is almost upon us, and that won't be interrupted by any strike garbage. The drama will be saved for the courts. Exactly where it always should be.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Skipping Christmas: Alas, Ye 'nother Book Review. . .

Yeah, I've been AWOL for about 5 days. My only excuse is that when I wasn't looking after the mob of 120 then I was trying to get my much needed beauty sleep. It was work and sleep for a bit. If you're a really alert reader, you will notice I didn't have any blogging on that agenda. I now hope we are back to our regular scheduled programming for now.

I just finished up another John Grisham book today. This one didn't read as fast as 'King of Torts'. I'll openly admit that I didn't enjoy it as much as 'King of Torts' either. It's not even close to your typical John Grisham novel. This has nothing at all to do with law or criminal cases. Not even in the same ball park. It is an attempt by John Grisham to write a story that isn't under his typical niche. I have to say, that I apreciated the effort.

'Skipping Christmas' was made into a motion picture this year. It would be better known as 'Christmas with the Kranks'. I haven't seen the film and thus I can't say how true it stays to the book. I'll also say that I don't have any desire to see the movie but that has nothing to do with the book. More has to do with not really liking Tim Allen and thinking the preview made the film look awful. Besides, we all know that 'Christmas Story' is the ultimate of all Christmas movies (well, except Leigh who claims to hate the film).

The basic premise is that Luther and Nora Krank will be spending their first Christmas without their lovely daughter, Blair. Blair left for the year on a trip to Peru to help the needy. Luther decides he is tired of Christmas and all the grief that it brings. He wants to skip Christmas and everything that goes along with the holiday. With all the money that will be saved, it will be used for a 10 day Caribbean cruise. Thus that is the main plot of the story. The Krank desperately try to get through the holidays without doing anything that is Christmasy. As luck would have, they seem to live in a town that is very Christmas focused. They live in a street that is a very tight group and they all really love Christmas. It ends up being quite the challenge.

Like I said before, this is very much unlike any other book Grisham has written. It isn't his usual style of story. You can tell it is Grisham. It is his writing style. In my opinion, he is still the master story teller. The premise seems to be something that would be better suited for a short story. Somehow, Grisham is able to stretch it out to an entire novel. It works. At no point, did the story ever drag. The novel ends up being quite the heartwarming and uplifting tale. Despite it's title, it ends up being a book that makes you appreicate Christmas, family, friends and unity.

I didn't love book. It deifnitely wasn't a 'can't put it down' tale. It was good for what it was. It was a light and enjoyable tale. A fairly strong attempt at a story that isn't typical Grisham. At the same time, I prefer most of his other books. If you're in the mood for a nice Christmas story then be sure to pick it up. In a dreary month like February, why not read about a happy time like Christmas. Unless you're a Krank and you really rather skip that holiday.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Plugging Time!

Currently playing host to over 120 people on property. I'm a little on the side of completely worn and tired. I concede defeat and openly admit I don't have a good blog entry in me today. Instead, I'll refer you, my wonderful readers, over to a website to waste your precious minutes.

If you are even a little bit of a DVD collector then this is a great site for you. This site announces, reviews and previews all kinds of DVDs. It ranges from major blockbuster films, to complete B-Movies, to live concert perfomances, to celebrity collaboration bios, to wrestling event/compilations, to television series box sets -- you name the type of DVD and it's probably on this site somewhere. It has a lot of fun contests to win box sets and posters. I enjoy the site and it's at least worth a 20 second looksy especially if you want to find out if Season 4 of Lemon Kids Twist Box Set is out yet. Which I'm pretty sure is due for a 'not even real' release date.

The site is appropriately named DVD Fanatic. Go ahead, you know you want to.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Curiosity. . .

I have an ego. It weighs close to 230lbs. It has a huge appetite. I try to make sure that I feed it at least twice a day. Otherwise, it will get furious and try to overtake me. It outweighs me by a good 60 pounds. I don't want to wrestle with my ego. It has become a monster and gained it's very own personality. So today, I had decided that this blog post will be attempt to feed this raging ego of mine.

I've heard on the rumour mill, which happens to be set up right beside the West Guilford Shopping Centre, that there are a few people that I don't know that read this blog semi-regurally. I have to admit that the thought that I have 'strangers' as regural readers gets me really super pumped. Pumped enough that I would put on war paint, strip down to my shorts and practice war cries in the woods. That's super pumped!

So, my ego is really hungry. It's begging for it's next big meal. I'm asking all my anonymous readers let themselves be known. Just drop me a quick comments and show me the love. My ego demands it. I don't know how long I can hold this creep off. Uh oh, his stomach is growling.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Tired vs. Commitment: The Battle of the Millenium. . .

Battle of the millenium? A little overhyped, maybe? Can't be any more overhyped then that little game of football that was played on Sunday. Superbowl. Anything that decides to throw the word 'super' at the beginning must be convinced it's all kinds of special. What makes it so super? Why the heck is a game of football being called a bowl? They don't even get a bowl for winning the game. They get some wierd crystal shaped thing. In the last 2 decades, how many actual super games has this event produced? An even more important question, what does this little rant have to do with my title.

Answer is nothing. I just got off topic. If your a regular reader, you should know that is sort of my thing -- maybe even my gimmick. Some people smash watermelons and other people throw out money - my gimmick is I tend to get wildly off topic or really drone on about useless things. At least, with my gimmick there is no risk of seeds or coins flying into your eye. Though with those gimmicks, you may have to start wearing an eye patch due to the damage. An eye patch gets you one step closer to looking like a pirate. Pirates are always the life of the party. How can you not love a pirate? The parrots, buried treasure, and the forced plank walking always leads to a rousing time. Though looking like a pirate doesn't really make you a pirate. It looks like I've gone horribly off topic again. Can you blame me? I was thinking about pirates.

So, what was the point of this blog? I was making another excuse as to why I slacked for two days without gracing you all with another post. Posts that I'm sure would have been void of all usefulness and meaning; but my tracker claims you guys check this thing out everyday so thus I must have some fans. I apologize for the lack of meaningless and pointless posts that you all crave and desire.

Oh yeah, I was promising you guys an excuse. Before I get to that, speaking of tracker, that reminds me of this really bad movie starring Jesse Venture. Yes, that Jesse Venture. It is called Abraxus and I may have already given it more attention then it is allowed. I'm pretty sure Jesse won't be happily bragging about that little smear in his past. All I've got to say is, a shirtless Jesse in bed telling a little boy a story. YIKES!

Oh wait, I never explained what tracker has to do with Abraxus; other then, make sure not to track this film down. Jesse is Abraxus and he is from the future. In the future, we have these things called tracker. And I really don't know why I'm talking about this steaming pile of awful that lies to you and claims that is a piece of cinema. I'd rather watch Napolean Dynamite then keep on thinking about this movie. Yes, that last line was just an attempt to rile up Molly -- sorry.

Okay, this is the paragraph where I tie in the title of this post and offer you all an excuse for lack of blogging. Sadly, it really wasn't worth the wait. As the story goes, super host, Chris Spicer, was looking after a youth group of about 55 people. A rather demanding Youth group whose goal was to keep Chris really busy. They even wanted to make sure that every single inner tube was properly pumped up with air because the entire group was going to do night tubing. So Chris, spent a good portion of prime napping time on pumping up every single inner tube. The group to show their appreciation, decided they'd rather not go tubing at night. This is just me complaining, so let's skip all the gory details and just pretend you all understand I was beat and tuckered. Saturday night arrived and I knew I had to do some blogging. Because I try to leave some usless morsel for you to all devour everyday. I also knew my body was full of tired. It was a battled of wanting to only sleep against my desire to pull through for my readers. Tired v. Commitment. See? I told you I'd tie it all together in the end. Anyway, this battle was so ferocious that I needed to lay down. I got up at 6:55am the next day. Tired won that war.

'What about Sunday?' I hear you all scream. Well, tired seemed to want to do one more big battle. Tired had it's evil friend, distraction. The combination of both made sure that no blog would be seen here on Sunday. Which is all fine because I only planned on talking about how I couldn't be any less pumped for the Super Bowl but out of duty, I would give it a looksy. I then ended up not even watching it because I went to the lovely Pyl's for dinner (the camp cook's family). So, the post would have only made me into a liar. Of all the things I want to be when I grow up, a liar is pretty low on the list. Right down there with ballet dancer and the test audience for Napolean Dynamite 2.

The story has a happy ending, I won today's battle and blogged to you all. Though maybe I should leave it all to you if that is actually a good thing.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Freshmaker. . .

Let me get this straight. I could break into a guy's house. Then use his pots, stove and utensils to make myself some Kraft Dinner. Kraft Dinner that is owned by the guy whose house I've broken into. I could then use the man's ketchup to pour all over the just cooked Kraft Dinner. Next, I could take the Kraft Dinner and start to rub it all over the guys leather couch. I'd really make sure to leave an awful mess. I would then pop some corn and watch one of the movies he owns. I would wait until this stranger came home. He would then find me and be really upset. He should be upset. I broke into his home and I ruined his new leather couch. He's about to call the cops but then I flash a package of Mentos mints at him. I give him an award winning smile. He laughs. Everything I just did was fine because I was eating a Mentos.

Man! Mentos commercials are stupid. What ever in the world does mints have to do with sneaking into a concert or stealing someone's cab??? Freshmaker??? Whatever makes these events so fresh???? Yes, I know these commercials are several years old. Doesn't mean they don't bother me any less. Yeah, I have trouble letting go of things.

Though maybe I should look into this flashing Mentos thing. I could get away with a lot of stuff if this actually works. Overbook the camp -- just flash the irate customers a Mentos. Didn't bother cleaning the bathrooms -- flash the disgusted patron a Mentos. Oh boy, I'm on easy street now. Mentos -- The Freshmaker!

Nah, it's still dumb.

Speaking of dumb, I did watch Napolean Dynamite with friends. I didn't watch it alone. I still think it is a dumb movie. I admit I laughed in parts. The scene where Kip runs over the Tupperware thus shattering it, I laughed out loud for a minute. Genius! Didn't stop it from being the dumbest movie I've ever seen and that is even counting Pauly Shore films. Ew, Pauly Shore. Mentioning his name has just made this blog sink in quality. Now, that's an actor that even Mentos can't save.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

DY-NO-MITE!!!

'You've got to see Napolean Dynamite'

'Napolean Dynamite is completely your kind of movie.'

'You will absolutely love Napolean Dynamite.'

'Napolean Dynamite is one of the funniest movies ever!!!'

These are actual statements that I've received from several friends. These are friends that I trusted. Some of these friends, I may even be willing to put my life in their hands. These are also friends that sucessfully made sure that I wasted 2 hours of my life.

I would normally give a brief break down of the plot of the film I'm reviewing. The truth is, Napolean Dynamite doesn't have a plot. It doesn't even seem to try to have anything that would resemble a plot. Instead, they decided to throw out a bunch of silly one liners and see if it can make a film. I guess, by a loose definition it is a film. It had actors. It had writers (or at least, some monkeys that randomly typed a script). It had camera men. It can be found on DVD or VHS. It was released through a distribution company. Yes, Napolean Dynamite is a film because it fits all the requirements. You notice I never decided to put in the word 'good'.

Napolean Dynamite is a movie that seems a lot funnier when you aren't watching it. It contains a lot of lines that seem very fun when you're spouting them off to a friend. Just for the record, the lines are a lot less funny after the 67th time you hear them. This is what my dear friend Scott calls a 'quote movie'. It's funny to quote but not as funny to watch. I actually think watching the film over and over might be a new form of torture to convicts. I sure felt tortured at times.

I'm sure I'm breaking a many hearts when I say that I didn't love Napolean Dynamite. I didn't even really like Napolean Dynamite. I felt it dragged. I'm pretty sure I'm 45% stupider for having endured it. But I also admit that I find myself sneaking in quotes of that movie throughout the day. Must be the case of being 45% dumber?

Napolean Dynamite gets a big, 'Gosh, why did I even bother. Stupid!' from me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The King of Torts: Another Book Review. . .

I really enjoy John Grisham. I know, that there are several critics out there that will claim he is highly overrated. There is a belief, that a John Grisham novel tends to be rather predictable and formulaic. I admit that Grisham novels aren't known for their shocking swerve or twist ending. I'll also go on record to say that shocking swerves and twist endings are highly overrated. Most stories tend to be sacreficed in the name of a twist or shock. I like to be surprised but I would rather be able to be entertained for a duration. The formula of shock often leads to head scratching as you realize this twist contradicts almost everything you had originally read or saw. In the sake of a twist, the author decided to ignore the story that had been set up for the last 250 pages. I'm sure many of you know excatly what I'm talking about. The mystery where the murderer ends up being the best friend that couldn't logically have done it. Sure it was a twist and a shock but it also didn't have a lick of logic behind it. The point of this rant, you may ask? I admit John Grisham doesn't throw in lots of shock and surprises; but I also think he is one of the most solid modern storytellers. He is one of the easiest reads you can find today. He goes the conventional route but in this case, I think it is the better idea.

'King of Torts' is no exception to this Grisham novel rule. It's not packed with a lot of surprises. I had a solid idea of where the story was heading about halfway through. I had a great time getting there. I spent most of my free time this last week devouring the words of this book. If it wasn't for some very pleasant visits from some very pleasant friends then I'm sure this book would have been finished much sooner. I think that is the best endorsement I can give this book -- I really couldn't pry myself away from it for a long time.

'King of Torts' is the story of Clay Carter,a D.C. Public Defender. Clay was on the fast track of being a big time defense lawyer. He would have been a major part of his father's massive firm. Unfortunately, circumstance prevailed and his father had to leave the country before Clay graduated from Yale. His father's firm was no more by the time Clay was a true lawyer. Carter had been in the Office of Public Defenders for 5 years now and didn't see any signs of upward progression. Until he stumbled upon the case of a lifetime. A young, black man, named Tequila Watson, had shot another man in the head which instantly killed the man. Watson had no history of violence but he was a former crack addict. Clay started to meet with Watson and saw no signs of violence in the kid. Clay started to do research into what would have caused Watson to suddenly want to kill. It was then that Clay was tracked down by a man named Max Pace. Carter learned about a drug that was used to break the addiction to cocaine and opium. It was the miracle drug because itself was not addictive yet it totally unhooked addicts. There was one side effect. 8% of users would suddenly get the urge to kill. Not really the most desirable thing from a drug. Pace arranged a deal where Clay would find the 7 victims families and have them settle for 5 millions each. The deal was that they would never mention about the drug. This deal all of sudden made Clay a rich man. Pace gave Clay the lead on another faulty drug which would turn Carter into the new King of Torts.

It's a fascinating story of Clay wrestling with greed, guilt and fame. Clay starts off as a very grounded person. He has strong beliefs. There are things that Clay promises that he will never do. Once Clay's fame begins to rise and his succes grows then he slowly forgets all those promises and beliefs. The story becomes a tragedy as you start to watch Clay become a new person and you begin to fear for when the fall must happen. It's a telling tale of the dangers of money and fame. It's a tale written by a true master.

The story is full of many interesting characters. Grisham does a great job of fleshing out each person in the novel. Everyone has their own distinct personality and they all seem so real. The best part, everyone is truly flawed to some extent. No one in this book is perfect and no one is a true hero. Just like the reality of life. But there are moments that people shine and you can see the true good in them. This is what makes the characters so endearing and engaging. Despite being flawed, you get to see the true good most of them have. The moment these characters do step up and do the right thing it seems so much more powerful after you see what they had overcame.

If you enjoy Grisham, then I highly recommend this book. There is a lot of legal talk and a lot of stock jargon. Grisham is such an accomplished writer that these moments never seem dull. I was amazed that such boring matter could keep me so gripped. From a true Grisham fan, I recommend all others to give this one a read.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The streak is broken. . .

All great streaks most come to an end. A sports team can't stay undefeated forever. A Director can't keep on churning out Oscar winners. A pitcher can't strike them all out. A singer can't get a # 1 hit every single song. A television show can't always be the network bread winner. A Pirate can't always find that long lost loot. And a. . . you get the point yet? Is there a point? What do you mean by 'do you ever have a point?' Come on, some of my blogs have been outright stimulating. Right? Hey, I never said what they stimulated. Anyway, my almost month long blogging streak had come to an end. Friday night, the internet server was down and I was unable to blog. Close to 20 days of straight blogging came to a crashing halt. I'm sure none of you noticed or cared. Yes, I'm egotistical enough to do an entire blog about how I stopped blogging for 3 days. They can't all be winners. What do you mean they never are? Huh. Tough crowd.

Tomorrow, I promise to post a much better blog unless it ends up being way too late thus forcing me to be way too tired. Right now, I will start the shilling because that's what I do best. In the next few days I promise the much anticipated reviews of John Grisham's 'King of Torts' (read in almost a week) and the film everyone recommended me to see, Napolean Dynamite. I'll say this, one of them I really enjoyed and the other may have killed some of my brain cells. I can just smell the anticipation and excitement. Or maybe that's my new deodorant. At least it works.