Monday, February 23, 2009

My Bologna Has A First Name...

I wasn't impressed with Hugh Jackman's hosting job. Will Smith was said it best when he implied the guy must be napping. The musical mash-up sucked. It had no place at the Oscars. That's a Tony thing and even less people watch that awards show so do the math! Letterman's "Oprah/Uma" turd back in the day was more interesting.

The Academy voters seemed particularly lazy this year. Slumdog Millionaire and Benjamin Button were nominated for and pretty much won everything. I haven't seen either movie but come on! Oddly, neither got any nods for acting. Heath Ledgwer's win though deserved was only because he was dead. As Will Smith also pointed out, action movies have the fans get the shaft when it comes to the accolades. Sure many deservedly win Razzies but there have been some awesomely acted superhero flicks in the last few years and yet they're relegated to the dumb technical awards that are blown through in ten minutes.

Finally, what the hell happened to the Best Song category? First they shortened it to three nominees when I could have sworn it was five. I can't tell you every song that was written for the past year's films especially since we're usually talking about the song playing during the closing credits when people walk out of the theater but I'm pretty sure there were more than three to choose from. "The Wrestler" by Bruce Springsteen comes to mind...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wrestling With Life and Other Issues

In the last week or so, I've watched two completely different movies for two completely different audiences. First, The Spiderwick Chronicles. This movie was clearly trying to cash in on Harry Potter and perhaps even the Narnia movies. This was also based on a book series but instead of just one book per movie so they could legitimately milk it, this movie had plot and storyline from books 1-3 and 5. I really don't understand their reasoning here but, not having actually read the books, I can't complain too much.

As for the movie itself, it pales in comparison to the other series mentioned above. Again, I haven't read the books here where I certainly have in the other two cases so maybe I'm ignorantly bias. While I honestly didn't even notice both of the brothers were played by Freddie Highmore, this role wasn't as good as Charlie never mind the kid, who's name escapes me, in "Finding Neverland." This wasn't mother Mary-Louise Parker's best role either but I suppose you can't have a woman dying of AIDS in a kid's movie...

Seth Rogen was the shit as the hobgoblin Hogsqueal but it's probably good his role wasn't bigger...

On Tuesday, I had some free time so I went down to the the movie theater. The Wrestler was the movie about to start so I went to that. I had very low expectations as it has Academy Award nominations which many times means "boring." I don't even like wrestling and still don't. It amazes me just how much shit these men go through to make the fake look real. It makes you wonder way they don't just fight for real. Twenty years after he was the famous "Randy the Ram", Randy (played convincingly by Mickey Rourke) has a heart attack and is force to face his own mortality and retire. He finds the real world sucks and no one really cares about him as a person. Meanwhile, the woman he wants to settle down with, played awesomely by Academy Award winning actress Marissa Tomei, a stripper which is a profession you also can't do forever but she's in denial. She eventually comes around but is it too little, too late? I don't even know if she's nominated but given that she won for My Cousin Vinnie, she is a serious contender this year...

I feel compelled to end in a completely different direction. When I was in Boston, same sex marriage was a big issue, when I was in Connecticut, it was there. I shared my feelings both times so, now that the issue as come up here to Maine, I want to discuss it again given I have friends on both sides of the issue. Opponents' arguments point to the male and female pronouns found in the bible. The printed form of the bible was first put together when not even gay people were in favor of gay people even existing so this argument really doesn't hold water for me. I honestly do not believe that "the good book" is the actual definitive Word of God as writer bias always will appear. "Liberal media" anybody?

Interestingly, I hear more opponents of this issue actually state they'd be OK with civil unions than I did in the other two state discussions. I find this both fascinating and hopeful.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Classic

Last night, friends from the seminary, along with three friends of one of the students, met downtown for drinks and to hear a musician known by my boss. Yes, I was the token male in a group of 6 women. (Like immortals, apparently, there can be only one. But there must be one.) The music, food and entertainment was great. I mean who wouldn't like a block of Tom Petty on a Friday night? Of course, it wasn't his three best tunes but what can you do?

I close with a classic Valentine's article I wrote for a college website I maintained my senior year:

"Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. The special semi-formal is scheduled for tonight and, mingled with coldness, love is in the air. Or is it? How do single people celebrate the day? It’s not like they have that special someone to shower with chocolate and jewelry. (Being a small college community, just how much of that can a lowly student afford anyway?)

"The only option I see is the event mentioned above. School dances offer fun for students no matter if they have a significant other or not. For me frankly this is not enough to keep my mind off the fact I’m single on one of, if not the most romantic, days of the year.

"When we were younger, Valentine’s wasn’t the “couples only” holidays it is for us today. We’d tape our special mailbox to the side of our school desk and by the end of the day it would be crammed full of those little cardboard cut-out Valentines most often with pictures of the cool cartoons of the day such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or Strawberry Shortcake (As you can see, I’m obviously older than dirt) and no one was left out despite that episode of The Simpsons where Lisa gives little Ralph a Valentine because his box was empty. That didn’t happen until Middle School.

"In my family anyway, we exchanged Valentines amongst ourselves and still do today but, as you can imagine, it’s not quite the same even when they put money in it. One of my fondest Valentine’s memories happened probably almost twenty years ago around a confusing time. My mother was in the hospital for a lengthy period of time and while she was there she made me a card that had a couple of Cupids dancing around. If you looked closely, you could see that one of them had a bruise on his hip. An arrow was pointing to it and my mother had written in small letters “fell down ice skating!” It was a great card. I think I still have it somewhere in my closet at home.

"So while you spend your holiday with the one you love I will most likely be sitting alone reminiscing about Valentines gone by after all, if the day is so special why don’t we get it off from school?"

Thursday, February 12, 2009

News and a Review

This is a time of change at the seminary where I volunteer. By the end of the month we'll have new professors in Old and New Testament. This week, we were treated to a lecture and Q & A over pizza with finalists for the position vacated by our retiring OT professor. Without getting into too much detail, both are women aged mid-30's to mid-40's and "of color." I choose to believe this is a coincidence but it sadly may not be. (The age thing in particular.) Both got the question of winters in Maine and both lived in New England for 3 or so years. Both are also ordained in some form of the Baptist church.

The first one, a native of Cuba, had her PhD but no practical teaching experience and a very thick accent but very dynamic. Her topic compared her upbringing to the OT, particularly a couple of the women. It was impressive. This wasn't well attended by either students or faculty.

Today, the second one, a "military brat" from the south, who is still working on her dissertation but currently teaches undergrad religion courses. Her presentation dealt with how King Saul gets "a bad rap" mainly because the OT passages were written by David's descendants. She treated her lectures like she was teaching a class and did a better job of engaging her audience. This was better attended by faculty and students. (It should be noted both were apparently well-attended on the Bangor campus...)

Recently, I finished Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn. I still haven't read the book in between the book of his I last reviewed and this one so my hypothesis that you can read them separately was put to the test. I was correct. You can but I ws also correct in saying you get more out of it if you read them all. I had several questions. Here, Rapp has a sidekick of sorts now. Was he introduced in the last book? Also, apparently Director Kennedy was kidnapped in he last book and this apparently has influenced her decisions in this book... This is the first book I've read where the president never appears and the focus is on the backstabbing and infighting of Congress. I'm not sure I like the change. Also, even 24 doesn't use Muslim terrorists every season. Knock it off! I will end on a high note. The climax of this book, particularly the climax of the climax, totally kicked ass!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Why Didn't I Post Up North?

1. Yeah, so no eventful bus rides. It was kind of close making the bus home and for some reason the Metro bus driver didn't give me my free ride from the station. Maybe they dumped that arrangement due to the economy or maybe there's limits...

2. Wrote 10 pages. Actually, I wrote 16 but thanks to the cat, six were lost. She also managed to turn the display on my mother's laptop completely upside-down. Totally weird... I'm at about 75 pages now and have ideas on how to finish. I'm not sure how long it'll end up but will probably be comparable to the last one...

3. Watched many a TV movie but I will discuss 13 Going On 30 with Jennifer Garner. I think she is a much better actress than people give her credit. She acted like a 13 year old to me; at least one from the more innocent '80's... (Comparatively!) I loved her imitation of the "Thriller" dance as well as the dance she did to "Love is a Battlefield."

4. Susie was fine with it just being me until probably Thursday when she wanted my parents home. Ideally, I'm sure she wants all three of us on a more permanent basis...

5. So there was yet another job I was turned down for. I am so bad at marketing myself. I don't know how to counteract my lack of direct library experience verbally. (I have years of general customer service experience but that never matters...) When people see my work they're very impressed but...
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