Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Grumpy Old Fargo Territory Minus Bloody Snow

It started out simply. A suggestion was made. An agreement was reached. Four former college-mates would each view and initiate discussion on last year's well-endowed, well-received, highly lauded film, No Country for Old Men.

A DVD was rented. A plane flew overhead. Another terrorist plot was foiled. Popcorn was popped, refreshing beverages were poured. Lights dimmed. Actually, there was no popcorn. Perhaps, this was where everything went wrong.

Trailers such as one for National Treasure 2 seemed eerily anachronistic proceeding such a film as soon would air. We were taken from black like curtains drawn to a dusty desert landscape. Sunlight cracked through, just a soft shy hint would do. The first voice, nearly the first sound, was that of Tommy Lee Jones. All in attendance were calmed.

We were comforted because Tommy had never led us astray(with the forgivable exception of Man of the House). His voice uttered from those expanding sunlight craters like the very voice of God speaking from burning bush. We were intrigued to hear the story of his father and possibly his father before him, all having served nobly as agents of wrath, Texas' law men.

But nearly as soon as this lullaby hung lushly, there was another voice. This voice was not that voice. This one did not console us, it would render us helpless. It beckoned us to fear. We found this irresistible, this desire to learn what would happen to us. We had to look and as we looked things only became uglier and more wretched.

We hid and watched in secret like some kind of BTK-voyeurs. One man looked on just as we did, but his curiosity swallowed his survival instinct. As he interacted out-of-sight with this flesh-covered monster, an unsavory deal was brokered. The man would give his life for the flash-pan delusion of power and the vulgar intoxication of adventure.

Many others would fall prey, perhaps some were wholly victim, many others, ourselves included, had invited the terror by stalking the evil perversely. Then we awake from what we hope had only been a dream. I fear it was not.

Seriously, I enjoyed this though admittedly I got a little drowsy while watching it. I disagree with the academy on this one having seen most of the best picture nominees. I stand by my previous statement that Atonement was more deserving of the little golden man/fallic symbol.

I did appreciate seeing a new Coen brothers movie in the same ballpark as Fargo. I miss the bloody snow, all the "yah's" and head-nodding and William H. Macy in his underpants and chowtime with the knocked-up,on-duty,crime-solving Frances McDormand but most-of-all I miss the wood chipper.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Top Summer Movies to Look Forward To

I am in a listing mood today, so I am going to post my usual list of most anticipated films of 2008. Please note I am not including the fall yet, since I haven't seen many trailers of fall movies yet. So this list covers now through August, in order of release.

The Ruins (April 4) - The novel scared the hell outta me. A very fresh tale of the horror genre, and quite possibly one of the most disturbing premises ever. If the film is anything like the novel, it's gonna be creepy as hell.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (April18) - Yet another comedy by the Apatow group. No reason why it won't be really really funny.

Iron Man (May 2) - I love Jon Favreau as a director. Never was a fan of the comic, but the movie looks promising, and I like seeing Robert Downey Jr in pretty much anything.

Prince Caspian (May 16) - Not sure how much of the Narnia series is going to translate into film. I consider some of the books unfilmable, but I will stick it out until they fuck it up. This one looks like it will be good though, assuming they don't keep trying to make it the next "Lord of the Rings".

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (May 22) - Can this day come fast enough? Obviously my most anticipated film of 2008, and my god did the trailer make me feel like I was a kid again! The iconic shot of Indy picking up his hat off the ground...holy shit! I was grinning like a kid again. Harrison Ford is the man, and we all know it!

The Happening (June 13) - The latest M. Night Shyamalan movie. The trailer and the premise of the movie is really interesting. I think it could be his best film yet.

Wall-E (June 27) - Is it even possible for Pixar to make a bad film? This one looks like alot of fun, and I am just amazed by the realism of their animation.

Hellboy 2: The Golden Army (July 11) - Benn waiting for this one for awhile. I love the casting, the story, and the director. Should be a kick ass year for comic book films.

The Dark Knight (July 18) - Damn this movie is gonna rock my socks off! Heath Ledger as the Joker screams perfect casting, and I have said that from the beginning. It's just going to be a bittersweet movie to watch since it's his almost-final (and quite possibly his greatest) performance.

Choke (August 1) - Finally a new movie based off a Chuck Palahnuik novel! Is has Sam Rockwell in the lead role. So here is hoping it's as good as Fight Club.

Lincoln, Roosevelt and Obama?

When it comes to historic political speeches, they are few and far between. We read about the Gettysburg Address and the "Day of Infamy" speech, and feel inspired by their words. I always hoped that one day I would hear a speech that left that same feeling in my gut. Two days ago I got my wish. Barack Obama's "race" speech that he delivered recently is one of the most inspiring, honest speeches I have heard from a contemporary politician.

He certianly has my vote for the next President. Any doubt I ever had about his ablity to lead this nation has been dissolved. Watch the video if you haven't seen it yet, I would love to hear what you guys thought of it.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sleeping Pill

My day off last week did not go unpunished. I will be struggling this week to regain lost ground. With work, I am trying to find that cozy middle ground between getting so into the job that I burn out and being totally apathetic about it. I can't swear off off days. If anything, I faultered for not taking a mental health day sooner.

Friday we drove to Jackson where I finished reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower and began reading Girlfriend in a Coma. That night and then again on Saturday I spent a lot of time staring blankly into a computer screen intending to write, making little headway. This warranted frustration as did feeling like I can never determine which idea to pursue.

One plus. In between those two books I picked up Wide Open Spaces by Jim Palmer which I was already halfway through. It's a great book and I think much of the author, but I realized in going back to this that there is a certain kind of non-fiction that I do not wish to write. I've been reading fiction lately and comparatively I was bored. It seemed like clarity until I tried to explain it, then I was not as sure.

I awoke this morning at about 5:30 a.m. after a few hours sleep and ended up sitting in the bath for 3 hours reading Girlfriend in a Coma. I'm a 112 pages in now, it's great. I am aware now that fiction is sometimes the truest thing we have.

I was going to go back to sleep, at first, but then I had stayed up too long and we had planned to meet the dead-beat in law for lunch. On the way back to Nashville this afternoon, I myself was nearly comatose. I expected to conk out for the evening as soon as I could get our bags in. I did not. I have not. We watched Dexter, which is the best new show on free t.v. after which is when I arrived here in this seat to write this short story.

I don't think seven hours will be enough tonight. I can already hear the alarm.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Where My Money Goes

If you ever hear me complain about why I am broke, just take a look at my dvd shelves and you will see why. Yesterday I made a trip to one of the local used bookstores and to Best Buy. Or as I like to call them: My crack dealers.

Now the reason for going to the bookstore was to try and find the rest of the Preacher graphic novels. I have been trying to find them used, and so far I have gotten the first five volumes from this one store for around $7 each. Sadly, there were none to be found. But fear not! I did manage to make a few purchases anyways. So here is a list of what I bought, in case you guys care about material things.

Blasphemy, by Douglas Preston- a book by one of my favorite novelists. I am only 5 chapters in so I can't tell you too much about it.

No Country for Old Men - My favorite film of 2007. It was on sale this week at Best Buy so I had to pick it up. I plan to revisit it in the next few weeks.

Into the Wild- More than likely my second favorite film of 2007. If you have not seen this film, seriously stop what you are doing and go rent it. This is not an option. Everything about this film is perfect. The fact that it was pretty much ignored at the Oscars ( i.e No Best Picture, Actor, or Director), was a travesty.

Midnight Express - I have actually never seen this film before, but I have always heard it was incredible. Oliver Stone wrote the screenplay about this true story of a man imprisoned for smuggling hash, and the brutality and harshness of his incarceration.

Black Snake Moan - Nothing wrong with a half naked Christina Ricci chained up, and Sam Jackson playing the blues.

The Mosquito Coast- I am on a Harrison Ford kick lately. I am trying to watch alot of his early films, which tend to be better than most of his current work. But I guess we all need paychecks, even if it means starring in Firewall.

Murder in the First - Gary Oldman? Check. Kevin Bacon? Check. A film about the trial that shut down Alcatraz.

Friday, March 14, 2008

A Picture is Worth Five Dollars

In case any of you guys didn't know, Evelyn has been heavy into photography for a while, and a lot of it has rubbed off on me over the years. Back when I lived in Jacksonville, I started developing an idea for a book of which I brought up again and revised the idea with Evelyn last night.

The original idea was to go out and pay random homeless people $5 to let me take their picture and to tell me an interesting story, and eventually I would collect enough decent ones to put into a book for publishing. It didn't take long to realize that I was never going to actually perform on this one, whether the culprit was laziness or just a general fear of homeless people, I'll never be sure.

Our ideas last night were, I believe, on the verge of something greater. This is how it will work:

Step 1 - Find a random name and address from somewhere in this great United States. Mail that person $5 and a letter with an explanation and request for their picture, along with a story if they so choose. There will always be the option of them just throwing away the letter and keeping the money, but I'm still paying them pretty well for their time and energy.

Step 2 - There will be a website,, which will be a hub for people to visit who have either received my $5 request or are interested in helping with the project themselves. To become an official "member" of the site, you need only to mail me a five dollar bill, which will in turn have its serial number recorded, and sent right back out to a random address with the picture request.

Step 3 - Every single submission we receive back will be posted for viewing on the site as a potential entry into the book and is available for voting upon only by paid members. If the entry that was sent back was a result of their personal money, their name will be printed at the bottom of that entry's page in the actual book. All submissions will be saved digitally on the website, and every submission we receive that was obtained through a member's personal money will have its original documents mailed to that said member. So in theory, it is possible to have the submission you "paid for" get printed in the book, you have the book on your coffee table one day, and you can say look, "I did this; here's the original. See my name there?"

I've still got a few kinks to work out of the plan, but I think it will work. Just wanted to get some feedback from some of the harshest critics I know: my bitches.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Time Saving Tip

Do not go see 10,000 BC! It was awful in every way. The only thing that would have made it worthwhile is if when walking out of the theater I would have seen Doc Brown with the Delorean and somehow able to travel back in time. Or maybe Sam Beckett can "leap" into me two hours beforehand and buy a ticket to "Semi-pro" instead.

Apparently, Indenting is for the Gays

Part of my daily routine at work is checking frames that people bring in to ensure they are in a condition to be remade with new lenses. Lots of people like to do this to save money, and they can get pretty testy when they're told that their frames aren't up to snuff.

One of my coworkers, Marcel, who happens to be gay, was working with me last Sunday. He brought back a pair of glasses that were in pretty bad shape, and needless to say, I turned him down. Marcel is a great guy, and also very fashionable. He has several ear piercings and dresses very snappy. I have conversations about penises (penisi?) with him all the time. It is not hard for anyone to see that he is gay.

When he informed Mr. No Good Glasses, the ignorant white trash looked at him and fumed for a few seconds, and said the only thing a logical person could say:

"Well, that's okay, I don't like people with jewelry in their ears anyway."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

McPasty's Big Day

So, big news. I quit my job. Yup, this morning I left the old quitting message on the supervisor's phone. Old trick comes in handy.

No, actually I've just taken the day off. It's the first day I've called out at this job and at six months that's a new world record. I've been thinking to take a day since Monday a week ago but have kept making myself go on in. I've been feeling pretty run down and haven't been very productive. I've consistently been performing far ahead of the curve and have not wanted to miss because I am competitive and didn't want to lose this. When I awoke today I knew it was just not happening. I made the call and slept until 11.

I've been stirring around, taking my time since then. We're having lunch soon and then are going to the bookstore and the park.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Tissue Issue

I would totally subscribe to Playboy if the paper they used in the magazine wasn't so crappy.

I just pre-ordered this book from Books-A-Million; I read about it in Wired and the excerpt sounded pretty interesting. Even so, I haven't decided if I will buy it or not when it arrives.

I also want to do a headcount of who has or has not seen No Country for Old Men. I know it just came out on video today and I was thinking we could post our thoughts on it this weekend. I'm going to rent it and probably watch it Thursday night.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"I Miss Those Summers Where Nothing Mattered More Than You"

Well look at these morose looking mofo's right here. I could have used profanity there, but decided not to because it sounded too harsh. Plus this is a reunion of sorts and we should be on our best behavior. I am fine with profanity, just so you know. Shit, ass, dick, hell, twat...oh, there's the line.

Hi guys.

I must admit, when Jed first presented the idea to me about a new blog I wasn't all that accepting. I had reservations. The crux of the problem would be in the lack of time I have to spare for things not work and school related. Yet, after having read all of your introductory posts catching up on life, how can I not blog now? These feels like old times. Just in case you are curious, To Whom It May Concern is still running. Running may be somewhat of a wishful term.

Okay, so to catch up on my life:

I will graduate with a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Seminary in December of this year. I then will do something for work for six months or so. At the moment (as things often change), I plan on attending Rice University to pursue a Ph.D. in Humanities as a Religious Studies major with a concentration in Modern Christianity in Thought and Popular Culture. I think my purpose in vocational work is to teach. I feel like for now it's high school, but after a doctorate, I may just want to teach at a university. Who knows, I could finish and decide to start a band.

I still attempt to write poetry and songs, but not as often as I once did.

A friend of mine gave me an XBOX for free a year ago. I play it on a regular basis at work. I take care of handicapped people for a job. It's cool. I get paid to sleep (albeit, it's barely minimum wage). I go to school full time too. I have no life.

I still read a bunch, but it's mostly for school. I have been reading "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens for a couple of years now. It is dreadfully boring. Other than that, I have been reading "Race Matters" by Cornel West recently. It's good, but a little depressing, too. I don't really enjoy feeling like crap because of my ignorant ancestry. But really, who does?

I am dating a girl who I am crazy about, but she is nothing like me. She's black, essentially a spiritualist who is not a Christian, and very much set in her ways (okay, so maybe we share certain qualities). But she is fun and she gets me. I don't know if I've ever experienced that before. She's also a distraction, and that has been a problem lately.

An indie flick I watched a couple weeks ago called Rocket Science was amazing and I highly recommend it to you all. I also just watched American Gangster and was a little disappointed.

I still drive the tan 1994 Nissan Altima. It has 221,000 miles on it. I feel like it's going to die any day now.

This is far too long.

I miss you guys and think fondly of our days in that very small town.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Assuming you still haven't seen it, Jeff, this is for you.

Testicular Torsion!!

I thank God I don't have that problem. I must add though TT is the single greatest thing you'll ever put your ears to, give this hot new speed metal act a listen.

No, not really.

We were watching ye Romeo and Juliet when agast I could not focus due to overwhelming diversion into the metaphysical and subsequent feelings of depression. I needed to distract my mind which is why I sat down here at the computer.

I too can be easily summarized into a list of 9 or 10. So,

1. I believe myself to have been a needy guy when you all last knew me. I believe I'm not now. Funny story, once a year into college I ran into a guy I knew from high school. I wanted him to know that I had changed. I was trying to explain this to him but I think he thought I was telling him I was gay.

2. My brother, 15, will be coming to stay with us this summer. I think that my mom is trying to see if it would work for him to live with us. This is something we are excited at the prospect of, because his life there with my dad sucks.

3. Presently am listening to and enjoying Johnny Cougar's "I Need a Lover".

4. The truth is probably that I need an anti-depressant. Does anyone understand what it means to be pleased with your life but feel like there's a foot in your brain holding your mood under?

5. I hope you don't, but I resent anyone who assumes the problem is beyond chemical.

6. I no longer fear checking the mail or answering the phone because we are now out of credit card debt. Though a ringing phone is still the single most nerve-wracking noise.

7. After 7 moves in 2 years, we've been appreciating stability this past year. That stability is afforded to us by my first decent job. I still do not know what I want to be when I get grown, but right now not worrying about food or bills feels like a high calling.

8. Got job-quitting stories? I do. Ask me sometime when you'd like a laugh.

9. We are into recycling and tend to other eco-concerns. Donna's mom calls us "green" like that's a bad thing.

10. Still no pets or kids (that I know of).

11. I couldn't stand to be boxed in to a 10 item list or to name only one movie so...I liked Atonement, Juno, and U2 3D. Also, I read 75 books last year but so far this year only 3. A goal I have this year is to read more contemporary fiction. I'll post a list later of books in progress and books intended, as well as others considered.

I miss you guys, my friends. I've made other friends out of co-workers and such but all seem lame substitutes. Thanks for setting the bar so high. Really. Anyway, this new endeavor here is pretty exciting for those kind of reasons.

The Rundown Lowdown

In case I didn't tell you on the phone, I'm so into conforming right now. That being said, let me do what Justin did...

1. The last few years have consisted mainly of working at Lenscrafters and putting up with Evelyn as she finishes school.... Of course I'm joking, but it has been a trying time and I am very thankful that she is graduating this May. We are still very much in love, celebrating our fifth year together, and preparing for our wedding next spring, which I hope you all will attend.

2. I've been playing lots of video games lately, some of my favorites being Call of Duty 4 and World of Warcraft. I was very excited for a time about BioShock, a game I have since bought and sold, yet I will always stand behind it as the greatest game of all time. It was truly a work of art if a video game can be called such.

3. My reading has fluctuated with my school attendance, revolving almost entirely around comics and R.A. Salvatore's Legend of Drizzt saga. Salvatore has created some amazing characters so far in this series, and in 20 books so far, I'm on #16 and going strong. I've read all the comics Justin mentioned, with Y: The Last Man being my favorite. Y's writer, Brian K. Vaughn has recently started writing for my favorite tv show ever, Lost. And here's one you can appreciate Justin: I own every single issue of Walking Dead from one to current, and #2 is signed by Tony Moore!

4. My drink of choice is 108 proof Wild Turkey bourbon and my pipe of choice is filled with ice water. My current codeword for marijuana is "Teddy Ruxpin." I'm not sure if that means I really am in love with Jeff or not.

5. The last five albums I've loved, and in no particular order, are as follows: Autumn of the Seraphs / Pinback, The City the Forest / Julius Airwave, Carmina Burana / Carl Orff, Cease to Begin / Band of Horses, and Dead Ringer / RjD2.

6. Since Justin set the stage to only recommend one movie, I'm going to have to stick with my guns and go with Beowulf 3D. I know, I know it sounds lame, but if you had a chance to see this in the theater in 3D, you know what I'm talking about. It was a fine piece of movie and even made me forget I was watching CG every once in a while. And who doesn't love a partially nude Angelina Jolie?

7. We've had a cat for three years now named Pops. His name was officially Thepope, but then the real Pope died and we changed it. He's also very fat. Not as in also I am fat, but as in also his name was Thepope.

8. I own at Guitar Hero.

9. My hair has gone from down to my nose, to the Brad Pittish trim and everywhere in between. It currently resides almost entirely in the vicinity of what you see on my profile page.

10. My future plans involve moving back to Jax this summer and attempting to open a video games/comics hybrid store with my friend Clinton. I am very excited and very nervous, and hopefully I will one day post a picture of our Grand Opening on this very blog.

If you skipped to the end of this post instead of reading everything, at least go back and read #8, and then cower before me.

Whats new with me.

Whats up guys? Personally I think this idea is pretty damn brillant, since we are all scattered in different parts of the country. So here is a little list of whats been going on in my world, everything from movies to career.

1. I am now involved with two film production companies trying to get films off the ground and make money in the process. We have a short horror film called "The Letter" that we are basically making as a resume of sorts. The general idea is to make this short with no budget and then have our contact guy get it in the right hands,
which could mean a picture deal with Lionsgate.

2. Since living in Orlando I am driving my third car. I drove a 98 Grand Am, then a 99 Corolla and now I am driving a white 98 Firebird 5 speed. Best car I have ever owned, looks pretty badass too.

3. My dvd collection is close to 1000 strong.

4. Since getting involved in filmmaking, I have filmed live perfomances of David Bazan, Lucero,
BB King and Gasoline Heart. I still mantain contact with everyone except for BB King.

5. Speaking of music, over the past year I have discovered some great new bands. Lucero,
Gasoline Heart, Reckless Kelly, and The Frames. I find my musical tastes has gotten much more
mellow and southern as of late.

6. Also 2007 marked the first year in awhile that I was not able to go see the Dave Matthews Band
live. I hope this isnt the same for 2008.

7. On to good movies.....if you have not seen "No Country for Old Men", do so next week when it
comes out on dvd. I can't get enough of that movie.

8. I have also gotten into reading comics (mostly graphic novels). "Preacher" is highly recommended, and in my opinion one of the best stories ever printed to page. I am also a big fan
of "The Walking Dead", which is by far the best stories involved zombies EVER! Others I read are
"The Boys", anything written by Alan Moore, and I am about to start reading " Y: The Last Man".

9. I am also reading novels by S.M Stirling, George R. R. Martin and various books about films or
filmmaking. The Martin book series is mind blowing.

10. My most anticipated movie of 2008 is "Indiana Jones and the really long title", or just Indy 4.

There are a few things to get you guys caught up on whats new and interesting in my life. I miss all of you
and I hope all is well.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

If you guys don't already use this site, start now. You'll thank me.

Just do what it says.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hey guys, this is pretty much it for now; I'm going to create a new template soon, but I wanted to get us started quickly so deal with it.

It's good to be back in business. Love you guys.