Tuesday, January 31, 2006

If you wanted originality, you certainly wouldn’t be reading the RT.

What the Hell? “He’s calling from inside the house”????? THIS is what passes for new movies now? No! Bad dog! You do NOT use a gimmick so over-exposed it was actually once used as a joke in a BEER COMMERCIAL.

To the producers of When a Stranger Calls: congratulations on your new movie. Though I haven’t seen it yet, I am impressed by your decision not to waste time coming up with something that isn’t just an old idea, but is actually a cliché of an old idea. Let’s face it. These stories have stuck around for a reason! And anyway, you can much better use the money that would go to writers on new boobs for your female lead and of course marketing interns to help you convince a skeptical public that indeed your masterpiece does have some redeeming qualities.

I also look forward to your next feature. To get you started here are a few ideas that are just as fresh as that used in When a Stranger Calls:

Hook-hand on the car door!
Guy wakes up in bathtub of ice – liver missing!
A magical monkey’s hand that grants wishes!
A man dresses up as a woman!
An animal who finds his way home!
Rob Schneider in, well, anything!
Romeo and Juliet!
Something symbolizing Christ!

If you need further guidance along the same lines as your current movie, just open up any forwarded email that’s been sent to you more than once in the last five years. And don’t be afraid of words like “hackneyed” or “unoriginal” or “when I saw the preview to your movie, I thought it was a commercial for a cell phone or something”. Despite our fussing, we the public certainly can’t be bothered with processing anything different from the tried-and-true. You’ve gotten it right, my friends. You and radio stations in Buffalo, NY.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Buffalo rocks the Internets.

Anyone want to join me at this?

Lisa saw it in the paper version of the Artvoice and I stole the image from Paul over at e:strip. You'd think an event like this would have more of an internet presence, but I couldn't find anything in the two seconds I spent on google, so there you are. Anyway, I figure our little community of bloggers here in Buffalo is as important as any other, so maybe we should represent. I know I have a few questions regarding local web development, and hey... "free food".

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My niece, the rock star

bar talk rendering moot my copy of the Idiot’s Guide to Being a New Dad

Yesterday was the ex-roommate’s birthday, and even though it was a school night, I was happy to escape out to the country for a few cold ones with him and his older brothers. Bunch of guys, sittin’ around, drinking beers. We spoke a bit of the Sabres (Kasparaitis can smoke my balls). We joked a little about mutual friends. We shot the shit about politics, the weather, chicken fingers, and the other obligatory odds and ends people talk about while drinking on a Wednesday night. Then the conversation turned to fathering.

Oh the baby talk. I got boatloads of advice. Here’s my favorite, paraphrased:

“Once a week, just make Lisa leave you and the kid alone for a few hours. She’ll appreciate the time off anyway. Then you aren’t worried about the ‘right’ way to do things, always asking if you’re doing it correctly – instinct just kicks in. And, honestly, in my experience, instinct kicks in for the kid too, so don’t be too scared. It’s like the hiker who gets lost outside in the winter. His body shuts down all non-essential functions so there’s enough blood for the heart and brain. As soon as Lisa leaves, the baby goes into survival mode, curls up into the fetal position and waits for mom to come to the rescue. It’s a beautiful thing.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

What does Mike need?

Mom sent me this today and since it seems like the perfect afternoon for a meme (I got nothin’). Just google "[your name] needs" and copy a few that catch your eye into a post. Here’s what the internet thinks I need:

Mike needs to update the bulletin board on the second floor.
Mike needs to forward the proposal report to the rest of the group.
You just provided what Mike needs, which is fish, not fact.
Mike needs your help in identifying a movie.
Mike needs merchandise.
Mike needs a nice general wash in the middle 2/3 of the stage.
Mike needs to be around some people—who don’t work for him—discussing music.
Mike needs Dave's Help.
Mike needs to be famous… and fast.
Mike needs to learn about language even more than he needs to learn about evolution.
Mike needs to learn how to listen with his ears not his mouth.
Mike needs to get them fired up.
Mike needs to step up and run smash mouth football.
Mike needs John to reply to his cheeky PM.
Mike needs that heart or he’ll die.
Mike needs a winner.
Mike needs to get a girl from the hospital.
Mike needs to butt out and let Carrie and Austin be together.
Mike needs to be convinced that he is losing me forever, and that requires realflowers, real music, real dress," insists Katie. "Real money," adds Henry.
Mike needs to relenquish his permit to carry a handgun.
Mike needs the sweet side and so does my inner child.
Mike needs a hug.
Mike needs to purchase a rototiller.
Mike needs to give you yours first.
Mike needs to have an extravagant garage sale that is what he needs to do.


(Update: Holy shit. Turns out I'm the last blogger in the world to post this one.

Monday, January 23, 2006

I spent the weekend skiing and now I smell like BBQ potato chips.

So it turns out I rule at skiing. And by that, I, of course, mean that I hate my knees and seek only to destroy them. And my wrists, and my ankles. Oh, and judging by the foods I ate, I also hate any part of my body that isn’t high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Lisa, in a fit of the oh-my-God-I-need-to-get-out-of-this-house flu, put together a weekend in Ellicottville with friends who know how to correctly spend a weekend in Ellicottville. Booze, food marinated in booze, poker with booze, skiing (then booze), cigars dipped in booze, and even a little dog named, oddly enough, “Molson”. When we got there, the mighty Megomez and her husband-to-be had a roaring fire waiting for us. I contented myself on guacamole and really good chili while the group’s combined bravery built up to the point where skiing seemed like an excellent idea. The aforementioned booze helped.

Despite our injuries, we skied again on Sunday, and though I never fell or hit any trees or anything, the damage had definitely been done. I used to ski quite a bit back in my middle/high school days. But at some point between then and this past weekend I a) forgot that you really had to beat up your knees in order for that whole pizza, french fry, pizza, french fry rhythm to work and b) somehow replaced my good knees with shitty old man knees.

Grabes had this list of things to bring for the trip. Here’s what I took away:
A list of excellent baby names compiled in spite of (due too?) the haze of drunkenness.
A few leftover Power-bars.
A new appreciation of Sigur Ros (still need that Radiohead-ucation...)
$15 won in a poker game.
And of course, the lingering smell of BBQ potato chips in my jacket, courtesy of the roaring fire.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

faith squared

I had a nightmare about death the other night. I dreamed I was older, a grandfather surrounded by family, and on my last legs. As I started to go, to blink out, doubt hit me. What if there’s no Heaven? No afterlife? No soul?

I’m a card-carrying believer in the Great Hereafter. And the soul and God and Old Scratch and all that. Ask me why and I’ll piss you off by presenting my one-word argument. I just do. I just know it. I don’t believe I’ll go to Hell by eating meat on Fridays in Lent or missing mass on Ascension or by ogling boobies here or there, but I have faith that something exists beyond what can be proven.

But I’ve been wrong before, haven’t I? (I mean, look at the way I’m dressed.)

Tangent: A few things brought this on, I think. Not the least of which is the fact that my relationship with Mortality has recently gone way past handholding, now that I have a young’n on the way. Might have been a recent conversation over beers (the drink, not the ex-room mate) about souls.

Also not the least of which (grammar!) is the whole Limbo thing. WTF, mate? (For those of you who haven’t heard, the church did away with the idea of Limbo recently. Turns out they weren’t getting enough converts in 3rd world nations where the infant death rate is high. We certainly can’t have a marketing tool that says the afterlife isn’t just peachy for everyone, baptized or no.)

So here we have a man-made organization somehow re-shuffling the ethereal Final Reward, bar-talk ending with “even still, how do you KNOW???”, and me procreating. Add to that school and whathaveyou and I guess nightmares aren’t exactly unexpected. End of Tangent.

Questioning faith doesn’t hurt it, I don’t think, so I’m not really worried. I know what I believe. Just because my subconscious wants to play the “what if?” game, that doesn’t necessarily make me agnostic. (Or does it? I just looked up agnosticism and damn, it might. Let’s call it “agnosticism lite”.)

Follow my logic:
Given: I know Heaven exists because of my faith.
Given: I, a mortal, am fallible. According to theologians, I was born so.
Therefore: My faith cannot be infallible. No matter how much I believe in my heart of hearts that I am wearing a green sweater right now, I know I have the ability to be wrong and therefore must accept the possibility that I might not be wearing a green sweater right now.

Bottom line, though – this doesn’t change much. I’m still not going to kill anyone and I’m still going to ogle the occasional booby. Beyond that, just hope for the best and remember that if I die a grandfather, surrounded by family, I’ve done okay.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Award this.

Lisa and I watched the Golden Globes last night. Well… Lisa watched the Golden Globes while I suppressed the urge to chuckle every time they said the word “globes”.

a. Soooooo… was the gay western really that good? I mean, I hadn’t seen any of the movies that were up there, but I just assumed movies like the Edward R Murrow one or Capote were shoe-ins.
b. I’m not much of an awards show aficionado, but I have to say I liked the whole no-host thing. Made it all much quicker, more efficient. Like taking the cut scenes out of a video game.
d. New Target commercials? I’m a big fan.
c. Routh, the new Superman, presented an award and didn’t totally disgust me. He’s still too young to be the big blue boy scout, and just because I’ve seen him banter with Teri Hatcher doesn’t mean I’ve seen him act (much less, act well). But chances are I would have said the exact same thing about a young, inexperienced actor named Christopher Reeve back in 1978. Dammit. I can feel my hopes getting up. Must… not… look forward… to… inevitably shitty movie…

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blogger's block

Blogging has become a bit of a chore for me, so my apologies to any disappointed visitors. When I first started the RT, the ideas and the ability to flesh them into full posts fell like rain, but today it almost feels like I have to be a parody of a blogger (“Here’s my essay on why the new pop tart commercials are not funny. Please enjoy my random and only mildly appropriate reference to The Snorks.”).

The odd thing is that I hear a bunch of things that would have passed for viable post themes back in the day – it’s the “fleshing” part that I’m having trouble with. At my best, I could take a seminar on teeth and make it somewhat interesting. Now I’m not even sure I could make anyone laugh by telling a story about ten monkeys with eye patches. (Man, that would be hilarious.)

So, until I find my ability to snow through a good topic again, here is a list of the themes I’ve stumbled across in the last few days that deserve mention:

Greg told me during the second period of last Thursday’s hockey game that his beer tasted like grass clippings, then mold, then mint, then old, musty comic books. That’s what you get for ordering a bud light, I say.

Lisa bitch slapped me last night with her ring hang. Now I have a 10 carat gash on my cheek. Okay, actually, she went to hug me and cheekbone met thumbnail a little too lovingly and now I have a four millimeter scratch that you’d probably mistake for a bogey if you actually saw it.

It’s official. I got hooked on Lost. If you were trapped on a desert island, which hobbit would you want with you?

Attention boyfriends and husbands and anyone else who wants to learn about women. Lisa just asked if I like her new hairdo and I answered that I did because it looked as though she’d been playing hockey. This is not a funny joke. Don’t ever say this.

Any pastry or baked item that tastes good, in my opinion, tastes infinitely better before cooked. Cookie dough, pancake batter, pie crust, even frozen waffles. Bring ‘em on.

Lisa’s Tyne Daly is my Judd Hirsch.

I envy my brother, Louis, for his ability to lightening round through a million funny one-liners. Last night, he told a story of seeing a doctor who looked at his mole and offered to “whack it off” for him. In the time it took me to think up a “happy ending” joke, he had rattled through a dozen quips that had everyone rolling.

I heard my baby’s heartbeat yesterday. My baby has a heart. It takes after Lisa in that respect.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Something new

Monday, January 09, 2006

egg-xacting justice

Karma, you’re an assclown.  But then again, just by nature, I guess I deserved it. 

Picture it: a summer night in 1990.  Three country boys, high on oreos, mountain dew, and the prospective mischief afforded those forward thinking bastards who were sneaky enough to buy a package of water balloons earlier that day.  MWA-HA-HA, indeed.  I don't know if you knew this about me, but my friends and I were the first ever to think up "throwing water balloons at cars".  Seriously!  We were so totally original. 

Our plan was simple enough.  The three of us knew the backwoods behind Danny's house better than anyone, so in the rare event that we pegged a car and that guy jumped out and came at us quijibo-style, we could disappear like ninjas.  Ninjas, however, are usually smart enough not to toss their ninja weapons from the brush in front of one of their member's parents' house.  Turns out drivers usually don't stop and chase after the vandals, but rather, they’ll stop and tell on them to the adults in charge.  

So, yeah, I figured I paid my dues back then, what with Danny’s parents making us go to bed before we could watch whichever bond movie we’d decided on for that night, but Karma (assclown) decided otherwise.  The other night, I was getting off the 198 and onto Delaware Ave and Karma magically re-routed one of the water balloons I’d thrown back in 1990 into the future, turned it into an egg, and aimed it smack onto the side of my Lumina.  Yes, someone hit my car with an egg.  

That’s payback with interest.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

so many years of poots and pocket change

Stressed? May I suggest breaking a big couch into pieces? There really is nothing quite like it for letting off a little pent-up steam.

Hoffman and I finally broke free from our old apartment on Inwood today. We’d both moved out, but an oven and a fridge remained, as well as our old couch. The sofa (is there a difference?) was great for our bachelor bodega, but too old and busted for anything else. When we moved in a thousand years ago, it was too big to come in through the front or side doors, so John turned into the hulk and curled it up onto the porch. Seriously. Well, not the hulk part, but he really did lift it onto the porch so we could get it into the upper apartment. Unfortunately, since then, our landlady replaced the sturdy railing with a flimsy all-too-breakable balustrade*, so getting the behemoth out that way was no-so-much.

And thus my version of a rock garden. De-couching a couch. Un-sofaing a sofa. Making a rather well put together grouping of leather, padding, springs, wood and nails into a rather unkempt pile of leather, padding, springs, wood and nails. Oh, it’s good for what ails ya.

and curbed.
*thank you, shift F7.