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27th May 2008

6:25pm: Pork and Beans

4th March 2008

10:33pm: Star Wars vs. Saul Bass

Hat tip: Veer.com

29th September 2007

12:24am: But Doctor Who...
I blame Battlestar Galactica for regenerating my secret passion for good science fiction.

Ever since I started watching the miniseries on Netflix a mere three months ago, I have been voraciously devouring every nugget of high-minded artful sci fi that I can get my eyes on.

If you're not watching Doctor Who series three on SciFi, shame on you. It's very very good. I think the brilliant partnership of the BBC and CBC is doing wonders for the development of the show as a whole.

My friend at work things that David Tenant is the best doctor ever, including Tom Baker. I will withhold judgment on that because my sister would have me killed for disparaging the great doctor.

Still, it's really really really good. Tonight was part 2 of the 3 part series 3 finale in which the master becomes prime minister and unleashes an unearthly horde of murderous sputnik-esque drones to kill humanity and takeover earth.

Hardcore WhoNuts are probably upset that they resurrected the Master, but personally, I have no concept of the whole Doctor Who canon, I just gush over the new series because the acting, effects, and writing are unbelievably good. It makes Attack of the Clones (my previous effects fave for the Yoda lightsaber battle) look like Star Trek TOS.

So anyway, I probably should get to work on my two news stories or my philosophy class essay. Heaven help me when Battlestar comes back in November. Thank goodness Doctor Who will be done by then so I can tear myself away from the TiVo for a little while longer.

23rd September 2007

10:13pm: Bud Light Call off the dogs
12:27pm: Movie Review: Talk to Me

Ever since I saw Traffic, Don Cheadle has been one of my favorite actors. Hotel Rwanda was amazing, and now Talk to Me completes the perfect Cheadle box set.

Still, the film could have been MUCH better. I went to see it with a friend who summed it up perfectly: "They started with a biopic about a marginalized, anti-establishment character and made it into the most formulaic, establishment film you could imagine."

"Wake Up Goddammit!" the first and last lines of the film would have made a better title for the film, and it would have taken it in a much edgier, more provocative, and authentic direction.

The movie is the story from the point of view of Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), first of all, and not Petey Green (Cheadle). Of course, that's the thing about biopics. Like history, it is written by the survivors, not the ones who died. We learn at the end titles that Hughes went on to become a Hollywood mogul and Greene died at age 53.

Director Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou) did a great job with the actors and the overall structure of the film, but there were biopic conventions that, in my opinion, should have been avoided.

1) The slow clap... After an emotional radio show, Greene walks out of the booth and Sunny Jim (Vondie Curtis Hall) starts the slow clap, which turns into a round of thunderous applause. This gimmick is so overly used in dramatic movies, especially biopics like this, that it automatically turns most viewers off.

2) The grainy shots of actors in 16mm camera. I know, I know, it's meant to evoke the spirit of the time period, but in 2007, it's so out of place that it actually detracts from the story. We know we are watching a period piece, you don't have to beat it over our heads.

And that's pretty much all the reservation I have about this movie. Ejiofor (Serenity, Kinky Boots), like Cheadle can do almost no wrong. Cheadle and he both made me really stand up and pay attention to the story. Their acting was spot on. And in an extremely coincidental moment, Greene calls Hughes a "Syndey Poitier M....r F....er." I don't know if this actually was part of the character or if it was a really elaborate in-joke, but I had to chuckle. Both of the men as actors could beat Poitier on his best day.

What made the movie, however, was Greene's longsuffering girlfriend, Vernell, played with amazing talent by Taraji P Henson. I first saw Henson in "Smokin' Aces" as a deranged hired killer, who happens to be in love with her partner, Alicia Keyes. Vernell, the coquettish
Here's a picture from the official image gallery.

22nd September 2007

1:26am: You mean the marketplace isn't all-powerful?
Talk about invisible hands...

Blackwater the notorious war contractor may have smuggled arms into Iraq.

Iraq wants them out now. No duh.

The background of this company on Wikipedia makes me conclude that the actual reasons for going into Iraq were much more about making money off the war than actually liberating it.

The idea of a volunteer army that is so desperate for troops that it hires mercenaries of questionable integrity is an insane concept that probably has Milton Friedman spinning in his grave.

The tragic reality of the Post-Vietnam era is that if the draft were still in place, A- cooler heads in government would be less prone to use it. And B- the war powers of the president would probably be dramatically less far-reaching. There would probably be no grenada, no panama, and no gulf war 2. We probably would've still had the first gulf war and the Afghanistan theater, but Iraq probably would not have made it through if the government needed to draft people.

19th September 2007

10:27pm: The Fast Food Philosopher
[author's note: digressions ahead, use caution]

"I like it both ways. I want fries AND a side salad."

This was just part of my conversation tonight with the congenial man behind the counter at the fast food restaurant. Between my full time job, my internship and my other class, I've become accustomed to value menu dining.

I walked in the door around eight o'clock after leaving the newspaper a little early to help preserve my sanity. I have decided that although home has a lot of distractions, like iTunes, TiVo and Freecell, it's still home and it's a lot more comfortable to work in a slightly less impersonal space, like the sparsely staffed newsroom at night.

I walked to the counter and three of the workers were in the midst of a discussion that typically happens in the ebbs of fast food foot traffic. Acknowledging my presence, they started delegating tasks to each other...

"You go do that and I'll take the order--" the young woman said. I think that she was a crew leader, but I am not sure.

"No I'll take the order," the man said. He was much older than she, maybe he was in his late thirties or early forties. He seemed to be the one who was stationed at the register anyway, so he was only doing his job.

"Listen Pablo..." the woman started. She seemed to be joking, but I wasn't quite sure.

"My name's not Pablo!" the man feigned outrage. He was grinning, so it made me think that they actually were kidding. "She's racist. She doesn't even know our names."

I smiled, acknowledging that it was funny, but I was embarrased for the young woman's gaffe. It seemed like she probably was racist and she was called out on it. It was one of those moments where I both felt sorry for the victim and the perpetrator in equal measure. The young woman didn't seem to really know what she was saying, and the man seemed to take it in stride, although in an ideal world, he shouldn't have had to.

Not Pablo took my order, which totaled $4.25 with tax. "Damn those freaking large fries," I thought to myself. I handed over a ten and received a $5 bill and the automatic coin machine returned me a quarter, four dimes, and two nickles. "They need more quarters," I thought. I guess I never really gave up being a teller and cashier supervisor. Inane tasks seem to
stick with me for some reason.

They quickly got to work arranging my order in the various wrappers and bags and I went to the condiment station to get some ketchup packets since I knew we were out at home. The younger worker said that there wasn't a good Caesar salad ready and that she had to go make one.

"Could I have some ketchup packets please?" the man nodded in reply.

"Would you like the croutons?" he inquired.

"No thanks," I replied. "I don't really need them." I pictured the box of croutons in the kitchen I saw this morning. If I really wanted them, I could just use mine up before they went stale.

"Seems like everyone wants salad now," the man said. "Would you like the Caesar dressing with that?" he asked me.


"I like it both ways. I want fries AND a side salad." I normally don't feel like conversing when I get fast food, but something about this man's attitude put me in a good mood.

"Hey at least it's something," he said.

"Yeah, but it's kind of like people who order a frosty and a Diet Coke," I said.

"Diet Coke is just as bad for you," he said. He was older than I, so I took this as kind of an authoritative statement. I had my own reservations about Diet Coke and I felt compelled to share.

"I have a friend who's a health nut and she says that they put formaldehyde in Diet Coke," I was wearing a dress shirt and suit pants, so I was doing my best to make my hearsay health facts carry the same sense of authority they man's statement had.

"I tell people that it doesn't matter because you have to burn off what you take in," he said. It was the simplest piece of logic, but it was elegant in its simplicity and accuracy.

As I headed toward my car, high-calorie foods in hand, I thought about the man's statements and how there really are no miracle diets, no shortcuts to wait loss, and that no mass-market cans of chemicals are going to dramatically whisk away our calories.

I thought some more about how I haven't taken time out to take care of myself. It's been ages since I exercised. Running up and down stairs at the office and sprinting around getting approval on projects aside, I really haven't done anything to keep my health in check. Tomorrow I may get up early and take a bike ride to the park. If I take small steps, maybe I can ween myself off the high calorie diet.

I can't damn the large fries without damning my own unwise food choices. I think I should order the small fries next time.

For Further Reading

Columbia University article on health risks of aspartame

Diet Coke

InShape Indiana

Fort Wayne Parks

18th September 2007

11:06pm: Barenaked Ladies
I fell in love all over again when I read Katie Casey's blog entry on MySpace.

"When I Fall" is easily my favorite song on this album. Pathos from a window washer. Simply gorgeous. There is so much texture in this song it's breathtaking. I had to dig out the CD and figure out how to play it on the new version of iTunes. I miss my Magnavox CD player.
10:29pm: Dear Howard Dean
Please stop sending me your creepy messages begging me for money. I am quite well aware of what republicans are doing and I don't want you scaring me into thinking that the world will end if I don't donate money.

12th September 2007

11:51pm: So the world DIDN'T end last friday
Obviously, we are still here together, my faithful reader(s).

7th September 2007

7:36am: Something's up
I glanced out the window and saw the morning sun reflected off of the west side of my next door neighbor's house. I couldn't have slept 18 hours. I didn't. I checked my trusty cellphone and it said 728 a.m. The sun totally appears to be coming up in the west. Why why why? Did the poles shift? What's going on?

Maybe it's just the three and a half hours sleep. Curse you Vicadin.

6th September 2007

10:21pm: For Katie Casey
Dear Katie,

I am updating my blog, just for you. Seriously, you are the only one who reads it. Am I wrong? Prove me wrong. Other people who read this, send me comments. I am starved for reading material, which is bad because I'm taking a class along with my job and internship.

Anyway, to update Katie, and any of my other mythical readers, I am still working at a credit union full time. I am also doing an internship as a features reporter at the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel. I have to stipulate the FORT WAYNE News-Sentinel because there is also a News-Sentinel in Knoxville, Tennessee.

As much as I love the Wigshpere, I live in the flat Midwest, so I am nowhere near the Volunteer state.

Back to news on the internship: Today, I landed the cover story of the paper's entertainment section. I am really stoked about this.

17th August 2007

11:06am: This is one smart car.

15th August 2007

9:57am: Gossip - Careless Whisper (Radio 1's Live lounge)

Amazing cover of Careless Whisper. It's audio only with a pic slideshow. It was for a radio show.
9:55am: Amy Winehouse - Rehab: Video

Universal finally posted this video on YouTube. It's one of my favorite songs of the past couple of years.

4th August 2007

12:04am: I'm a published freelance writer now.
I wrote this back in December for a young-adult oriented credit union trade magazine. I guess it just goes to show that patience is a virtue.

My article has just been published at brassmagazine.com. You can check it out online at: http://www.brassmagazine.com/articles/stry_temp.asp?aid=216

3rd August 2007

12:00am: More Shameless Self-Promoting ClapTrap
Here's a deskshot of my new, completely overhauled website. I know it's a bit (just slightly) garish, but I wanted something that would burn me into the memories of prospective clients, etc.

Click the image to link to it.

Peace out y'all.


8th July 2007

7:27pm: Photo Journalism
I'm trying something new. Instead of writing about topics, I've decided to post some recent photos. Let me know what you think.

Recent Photos:

This is a city view of Fort Wayne, my home town, as seen from Barr and Wayne Streets looking west/northwest toward the courthouse. It is a partial view, omitting the One Summit Square building, which lay out of frame to the south and left. The buildings in frame are (L-R) The Lincoln Bank Tower, the Fort Wayne National Bank/National City Bank building, the Allen County Courthouse, the Anthony Wayne Bank building, and the Barrett-McNagny law offices. The foreground wall is part of Renaissance Square, which houses the Lincoln Museum and was temporarily home to the Allen County Public Library.

This is a picture of the Allen County History Center, formerly known as the Old City Hall Historical Museum. In the foreground are shoppers in the Barr Street Market, a downtown event organized by Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana.

This one feels a little generic, but I really liked the shape of the flag in the wind.

20th June 2007

11:30pm: Best Movie Marketing Ever
Okay, so there's still some macho left in me. This is totally fun.

21st May 2007

11:40pm: Nina Lives!

I was watching Brothers and Sisters last night. To be honest, the show really annoys me at times, but the campy ending to the season finale showcased a beautiful version of "Ooh Child" by Nina Simone.

For those of you who don't know who Nina Simone is, go here to view the Wiki. PS, shame on you.

I got into Nina through movies, but I did become enthralled by her music. It was extremely sad for me when she died. The best thing about the Brothers and Sisters show is that it may spark a renewed interest in this woman's unique talents. Click here or click the image above to get to the iTunes downloads.

Note to Internet cynics: I am not a viral marketer for Nina Simone, ABC, or the record companies. I am truly captivated by this music and I want to share it.

7th May 2007

12:34am: Beeman's Gum and Levon Helm
I watched "The Last Waltz" yesterday on Netflix.

As far as music documentaries go, it's very well done. Academy Award Winner Martin Scorsese directed it, and it's chock full of his work.

I couldn't get into a lot of the music in the film because The Band is just a little beyond me. The song that struck me most was "The Weight." I never knew what the hell this song was about, but I've always liked its ballad-bluesy feel and melody. "Take a Load off Fanny" is what I always thought it was called. It's a beautiful song.

So like any other obsession I fired up the Wikipedia once the movie was over and started researching the song and various members of the band. That's when I found out the song is called "The Weight" and not "Take a Load Off Fanny." Anyway, according to Wikipedia, The Band was actually more famous than I ever knew. They also had a great section about "The Weight" and the rift between Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson.

But then I couldn't figure out where I knew Levon Helm from. His voice I thought was in some movie, and then as I read more about him specifically, I learned that he was in "The Right Stuff" as the guy who didn't have any gum for Chuck Yeager and he also narrated the film.

So after figuring out "Who the Hell is Levon Helm," I started looking for "The Weight" on iTunes. Plese remember that although I liked the song, I never knew who sang it and I never knew the title, so I couldn't ever find it. Sure I could have asked my sister, but that would be cheating. So I went to iTunes and I bought "The Weight" but sung by the Staples Singers. I'm sorry Levon Helm, but their version is better, and it's not in so many damn commercials.
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