A Christmas Mulligan

A Christmas Mulligan

We all get one, right? I’m using mine this year. I shanked this Christmas so far out of bounds, I couldn’t even find it with those specialized glasses designed to block out everything except Christmas. Shit, I’m just getting around to sending this out now and it’s already New Years Eve.

See, you know that moment when you first realize that Christmas is coming? Well, mine didn’t happen until my Christmas Eve family party. I shot the gauntlet through two holiday parties without really getting into the spirit. I did the minimum required to not piss anybody off this year, which is a crappy thing to have to admit, but I did. I didn’t, however, get to do anything fun like I did the last couple years with the demotivational desktoppers or the wooden signs. And nothing has gotten mailed out yet. Sorry, old friends and Nana.

But that’s why we all get a mulligan. Maybe next year I won’t be planning a wedding, teaching a class, taking a class, rehearsing for a major show, house shopping and preparing for a trial. Or else I’m gonna need to find a new list of excuses. Thankfully there’s always football season. In the meantime, I hope you all had a Merry Christmas (sacred or secular) without me and I’ll get you back next year with another golf metaphor.

Life or Something Like It

Life or Something Like It

HEY! Anybody out there hear that new life was just discovered by NASA last week? No, I’m not kidding. I know the prince just got married or engaged or laid or something and I can understand how that was more important than disproving the existence of a God in our Perez Hilton-run culture. But hear me out real quick:

Evolution is a proven theory, regardless of what the radical right says. Mutations (the creature adaptation kind, not the Toxic Avenger kind) and cell division are easy enough to see and understand. Every new scientific discovery was able to be explained away by the rapidly-adapting creationist theory almost laughably, like an only child trying to explain how the cat got spray-painted in the face of all the evidence against him. The problem for science was always explaining how the first cell formed. They used Chaos Theory as a base and said on a long enough timeline that life just randomly happened in the cooking primordial ooze. This weak concept was religion’s chance to laugh back.

Until Friday.

This discovery doesn’t necessarily explain away God. He certainly could be the creator of both of these paths of life. But it does prove that life can be – and in fact was (pending more investigation, I assume) – born on its own in primordial ooze. I know this wasn’t from outer space and doesn’t talk, but I don’t think the greater public appreciates this discovery as much as they should. And in a world where the marriage of a prince to some random chick is that much more important than the discovery of an arsenic-based life form in California, I understand why some people don’t believe in evolution.

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Review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

Review of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”

OK Harry Potter freaks, buckle your chin straps. This might sting a bit. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m not obsessed with or even very familiar with the series. I haven’t read a single word of any of the books and I have only passively viewed the previous 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 movies. I knew very little about characters or story going into this movie. What I did know was that they decided to split up the last book into two movies and this would only be part one of two (of seven). This shows not only a deserved arrogance, but is also an obvious indication that they’re in it for the money now. “The book was so dense, it couldn’t fit into one movie” is what they’re hiding behind. Really? Because it felt like half of it was the three main characters sitting in a tent whining. So how do I grade this movie? As part one of two? As a sequel in the series? Or as a movie? I have no idea. I guess we’ll find out together.

As someone who doesn’t appreciate the Harry Potter franchise, I needed to find something to grab onto independent of the series to enjoy this film. The special effects were spectacular, but they’re spectacular in every movie now. There needs to be more to keep my attention. And so I turned my attention to the question that is paramount on everyone’s mind. Is the chick old enough to be attracted to yet? And more to the point, is she old enough to admit attraction to? (Ed note: The answer is yes and has been for two movies now. Whew.)

I remember the humble beginnings when it was just a cheesy feel-good flick about three humble kids in magic school where the only thing I really remember was the over-the-top cheesy music and even cheesier grins at the end when there were some bullshit points awarded to the Cheesy Cheesertons team for some bullshit reason when I thought we were going to be in for an honest lesson in Good Guys Don’t Always Finish First. Nope. And I can appreciate the transition to dark, scary Helena Bonham Carter-magic as that fluffy Lite Brite cheese-magic isn’t as cute when you’re 6-foot-tall and covered in acne cream. For that alone, I’ll add a few bugs to the movie’s rating.

But my problem is with the overall lack of rules that govern this Harry Potter world. My magic beats your magic that beats their magic sometimes which beats my magic depending on the vital plot point that needs to be developed in this scene. They can just use terms like “basilisk blood” or theories like “I’m an elf so I can take you through circles of protection” whenever the writers need to create an escape. It’s not a movie for thinking adults in this respect. There are rules in Back to the Future and Frequency, however far-fetched as they might seem, allowing the viewer to reasonably predict an outcome, or at least appreciate it. I remember being proud of myself for finding a scientific inconsistency in Back to the Future II, which I didn’t even hold against the film. Harry Potter solves this problem by not having any rules, enabling them to cause conflict whenever they want and resolve it however they want. No wonder J.K. can write these things so fast.

It’s also hard to get into a movie when you know the end already. The heroes are going to face some sort of challenge and the three of them will win in the end and get praised and all smile ridiculously to cheesy uplifting music. I’ll bet my elder staff on it.

Despite everything I mentioned, I still rather enjoyed the movie. I didn’t fall asleep in the theater, which is a step up from at least one of the previous films. I couldn’t follow most of it and had to constantly ask Jenn what the characters or terms were. Who is the guy without a face? What’s a mogul? Is that redhead chick 18 yet? Because I’m curious, that’s why. I couldn’t really get behind some of the scenes – like when some witch turned into a snake and stole some wand, but I rather enjoyed the scene where the three of them took the form of three adults to break into some magic house. That was fun. Not to mention the animated 5 minute-story of the Three Brothers (Ed note: His two favorite parts were the only two parts of the movie without the actual three main actors in them). I also enjoyed parts of the aforementioned hour and a half of the movie where the three characters were in a tent bitching to each other. The dynamic between the three of them was much better as the movie moved along and I reasonably enjoyed seeing the hot chick get annoyed at the jealous redhead mogul (human).

So what is my final verdict? Well, as a complete stand-alone movie, which is pretty much the only option I had to watch it as, I’ll give it a passing 6 bugs. It probably has the best chance at a positive rating in this entire series because it doesn’t have the benefit of an over-the-top cheesy ending like the other 7 will, since it’s only part one of two. There was some resolution, but not Cheez Whiz-type resolution. Also, I have the fact that Jenn is a big Harry Potter fan working against my desire to lower the score. But since we’re not married yet, I’m not rocking the Hippogryphe. 6 bugs.

Back to Work

Back to Work

My own detest for the lack of updates is now outweighing the deal I made with Sleep, who seems to back out of his end of the bargain often enough anyway. Besides, my class is about done and I don’t have to be at work until 10pm three nights a week. So be on the lookout for some updates starting tomorrow with my renewed passion for the Mediocre Film Major Film Critic (It’s a working title) brought on by the latest Harry Potter flick. I’ll warn you. You may want to break out your helmets for this.

Dry Humor

Dry Humor

In December of 2007, I embarked on my journey as a stand-up comedian by entering a contest for $25. I told only a select group of people and brought only Kelly, because I needed at least one person to work the video camera. It so happened that I won that contest, which earned me $100 and a weekend worth of emcee gigs at the Funny Bone in the Kentucky part of Cincinnati (people who live there know what I mean). I could have cared less about the money, as I was well on the road to becoming a world-famous stand-up comic and that amount of money would be pocket change to me by October of 2010. In fact, I kept that money, with the intention to one day put it in a frame next to my double platinum comedy albums “The Last Refuge of the Incompetent” and “If Pigs Could Cry.”

It is now October of 2010 and all I can say now is that I know better. I have now quit my comedy career twice and certainly don’t expect to be world-famous ever. I have grown sour of the business while a steady job and fiancée have taken my focus away from busting my ass for that 0.01% chance of getting noticed (a story for a different day). Earlier today, I still had that $100 stowed away with the grade sheets from that first contest. It was in the form of five $20 bills. Well, the washer and dryer in our apartment complex only takes cash and I didn’t feel like going all the way across the street to the ATM only to pay an additional $4.50 for the transaction. So I decided, with mixed emotions, to finally delve into my victory stash. I vow to always keep one of those $20 bills just in case, but right now, one of those bills is responsible for the drying cycle of the clothes I will wear until my next laundry day.

So if you see me out in the next two weeks, I’d like you to do me a favor. Please compliment me on how dry my clothes are, as I’ve used my dreams to dry them. That may ease the hurt and make all the bullshit seem worthwhile. Thank you.