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Saturday, September 16, 2006

Big Bad Voodoo

So Gary Glitter is out, and Go Daddy O is in. That's what this says.
Teresa Shear, director of the Broncos cheerleaders, decided upon a reworked version of "Go Daddy O" by the swing band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The song, with its orchestra instrumentals, was popularized as part of the soundtrack to the movie, "Swingers."
Funny thing that.

I just watched Swingers the other day and I'm going to the Bronco game tomorrow. Coincidence, synchronicity, or further proof that everything in the universe is connected? You tell me.

This is kind of funny too:
It will debut as the Broncos' official touchdown song Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs, assuming the home team scores.
And this from the Denver Post. What are they trying to do, jinx us into a shutout?

The Black Dahlia

Spoilers abound, so watch out...

So you want the short version, or the long version? The short version is that Brian DePalma's Black Dahlia isn't very good. The long version is that it could have been much better, considering the source material, considering the talent he had to work with. Josh Hartnett, in my eyes, pulling off the downbeat detective, although he is a bit young for the part. Hillary Swank, looking and sounding like she came from the Golden Age of Hollywood, Scarlett Johansen, all big breasts and billowy pantsuits.

And then there's Aaron Eckhart, overacting in almost every frame. Although early on his bits are bearable, especially in the boxing scenes, the intensity starts to wear thin. It's implied that his character is addicted to Benzedrine inhalers (as he was in the novel) but you never see him use them. Instead you just see this wired, secretly obsessed maniac, and when his character meets his inevitable end, the audience isn't nearly as affected as the characters on screen.

Part of the problem is that the story, relatively preserved whole in this adaptation, is much too thick to get a proper treatment, even if the movie were an hour longer. Too many characters and angles are only hinted at, or left undeveloped completely. As a fan of the book, it's hard not to feel short-changed, and if you've never read the book, it wouldn't be your fault if you had no idea what was going on.

It could have been, should have been, better. About the best thing about it was the previews, where I saw snippets of two upcoming movies, Babel starring a surprisingly aged Brad Pitt, and Clive Owen's new movie about a world where women can no longer conceive.

And thankfully neither are directed by Brian DePalma.

Friday Random Ten - Saturday Morning Edition

Alright, here it is, a day late and a dollar short.

1) Parabol - Tool
2) Bullet the Blue Sky - Sepultura (Yep, the U2 song)
3) Green Buckets - Clutch
4) Namaste - Beastie Boys
5) I Gotta Get Drunk - Willie Nelson
6) Back to Life - Soul II Soul
7) Summertime - Charlie Parker (and the living's easy...)
8) I Got No One But My Baby - John Lee Hooker
9) Heaven's a Lie - Lacuna Coil
10) Pure Morning - Placebo

I haven't heard that Placebo song in forever.
A friend in needs a friend indeed,
A friend with weed is better,
A friend with breasts and all the rest,
A friend who's dressed in leather

Friday, September 15, 2006

Random Friday Post

Who knew the Old Spaghetti Factory was a chain? Not I, said the James. I always thought it was one of those unique Denver dining experiences, but lo and behold, a similiar dining experience could be had all over the country. (If you live on the West Coast, you're particularly set.)

It was still a good meal, and a better time. Excellent company, too.

And yes, I know the reviews for the Black Dahlia have been citing the fact that it might just be mediocre, but I'm still going to see it tonight. James Elroy's book was one of the best noir 50s LA detective stories I've ever read, and I've read a lot of them.

(That reminds me, Chel. The Mosley book I recommend is Devil in a Blue Dress. If you've seen the movie, it's hard not to picture Denzel as Easy Rawlins, but then again, that's not such a bad thing.)

You've heard them say, don't drink the water. Well, don't eat the spinach. Best just to stick to processed foods like Big Macs and taco supremes.

Two unsurprising news items: Reggie Bush took money in college and Bob Ney pleads guilty to conspiracy charges.

And that's all I got this morning. Enjoy your Friday.

Coming later: The Friday Random Ten. Take it away, Cat.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Next Chunk

So I was going to make a liar of myself once again, but I finally snapped together a decent Chapter 7 for my in-progress, and recently delayed, novel Poets Row. It’s not Hemingway, but it does steer the story into “Act II.”

July 7th, that’s when I started it. So hopefully you don’t go, “Two whole months and this is what he gives me?” If you do, I wanna know, alright?

Traffic Light Blues

I am going to petition the Colorado Department of Transportation to install along every road in the state a "kiddie lane" for the mass of drivers out there who have no clue when they're behind the wheel.

I understand that the operation of a gas pedal is complicated. I understand that the red-yellow-green thing is confusing. But what I don't understand is why they give drivers licenses to people who can't drive.

And so I say, give them their own lane. Compromise. Give them a safe place where they can putter along and get confused by lights. Keep the rest of the lanes open for the people who have somewhere to go. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Driving is dangerous, but it would be more dangerous if I had a monster truck, I'll tell you that.

Blog Wednesday

Last night was the first time I heard a Gnarls Barkley song. I think I’m the last dude on the planet who has never heard Gnarls Barkley. I’ve heard a lot about them, including that they are overrated, but never actually heard them: until now.

Let’s just say this. What’s the big deal again?

I was talking football yesterday with a co-worker who obviously pays more attention to it than me, and for some reason I woke up with the name Cade McNown floating in my brain.

Whatever happened to Cade McNown, the man Wikipedia calls “one of the biggest busts in NFL history?” Bigger than Ryan Leaf?

I met these two Australian dudes last night and they didn’t really seem to like me until I mentioned Chopper, a little seen movie starring Eric Bana as Australian folk hero Chopper Read. They were surprised that a little ole American like me would have heard of such a movie.

Obviously they had no idea what kind of bloke they were talking to.

The funny thing is that when I was talking to them, I slipped into a little bit of an Australian accent. Did they notice? Not at all.

So last week I played this boxing video game, you know the one where you pick up the weighted gloves and stand in front of the screen. You duck, you throw punches, you kick ass. I’ve played it before and thought it was fun, but this time I was playing for keeps.

I bobbed and weaved, jabbed and countered. When you do really well, you get this thing called a rush, where your opponent stands there stunned while you wail on him. In the first round, you can throw ten free punches to knock him down.

In the fourth round, the rushes require 40 punches. And yes, I made it to the 4th round. 300 plus burned calories later (yes, there is a calorie counter on the game) I was exhausted, sweaty, and tired. And for days afterward my arms were sore, like I had just gotten a really good work out. I felt used, but rejuvenated. And now, nearly a week later, I feel like Superman.

The whole point of this is that I’m starting to think of taking up boxing, not to get myself a title shot, but to get myself in shape.

Coming Soon: Chapter 7 of Poets Row!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Job

I'm not really liking my jobs these days. I haven't done anything rash, but I have decided to look for another job. They pay me well, and the work isn't bad. The company seems like it's going places, but I feel I would enjoy it a whole lot more if I was in accounting or marketing or the mail room.

My complaint are mostly about the working conditions, which aren't quite as bad as third world factory work, but sometimes feel like it to me. I've already spoke about the temperature thing (which even with thermals and layers is really starting to bug me), as well as the fact that we work in a Houston-style control room. That's all fine and dandy, but some days you don't want to work in a fishbowl.

The biggest thing, though, is the schedule. Last week I worked 50 hours because we had someone on vacation. Next week my schedule is changing to 2PM-10PM Sunday through Thursday. I'll get Friday and Saturday off, which is nice, but forget about football Sunday. I'll be working. Oh, we might have the game up on the video wall, but I'll be working, not enjoying it with friends.

And let's face it, 2PM to 10PM is not a very good schedule for me. I'm not the type to go right to bed after work, so I can see myself hanging out by myself till 2 in the morning, sleeping till noon, losing touch. This schedule could have a negative impact on my life, and my life is more important than my job.

Another thing I miss is lunch hours. Yeah, I don't get a lunch hour anymore, and it's not so bad really. I don't starve, of course, because we usually order in, but I miss that little break in the day where I can wander off on my own for an hour. I can go eat, go to the store, go to the post office, take a nap, read a book, get away from the office for at least a little while to clear my head and get centered again.

I miss that.

So I've been applying other places, seeing what else I could get. I may have to take a pay cut, but if I could get a normal schedule, Monday through Friday during business hours with holidays off, and a lunch hour, I'd be much happier.

Life is too short to be miserable because you're too busy paying the bills.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Catch Up

Today when I was mowing the lawn, I saw a baby squirrel, well alright, more like a toddler squirrel, creeping along some flowers at the edge of the yard. This little guy wanted to take me out! He kept charging the big noisy lawn mower as I mowed circles around him. Apparently he hadn't yet developed an aversion to humans and their death machines.

Finally as I got to the last patch of lawn, I knelt down and gently plucked this young dumb squirrel out of the uncut grass and moved him to safety. I wanted to take a picture of him, but after I stowed the lawn mower and returned with my camera, the little guy was gone.

Yesterday I went to the zoo with my new friend Jill. I met her a couple weeks ago through a mutual friend. Recently a resident of Surinam, Jill just moved to Denver a few days ago after two years in the Peace Corps. She's a really cool girl, very laid back, absolutely gorgeous with these deep blue eyes, and I like her a lot. She lives her life with a fearlessness that I both admire and find immensely attractive. She's been around the world and there's a lot I could learn from her.

And she can throw a perfect spiral from what I hear. You know what that is? That's points.

And yes, I know the Broncos lost this week, but I have hope for next week's game against Kansas City. Trent Green is still in the hospital after getting hit by Robert Geathers, so even if the Broncos suck, which is certainly possible, they still might have a chance. I'll be in the nosebleeds to see what happens, so hopefully it will be a good game.

There's a few interesting movies coming out soon. Two of them I want to see, and one of them I have no interest in. The two I want to see, The Black Dahlia, good book, hopefully a good movie, and Flyboys. The one I don't want to see, though, is The Guardian, starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher. Um, no thanks.