Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fall 2009 Movie Preview

I'm not going to lie - I'm not that excited about the crop of movies that Hollywood is releasing this fall.

I've taken 24 of the most "anticipated" films that will be released from September to December and have divided them into six categories: "Can't Wait to See", "Definitely Will Check Out" (either in the theaters or thru home rental), "Might Check Out" (if there's nothing better to do), "For Oscar's Consideration" (the movies that are already generating award show buzz), "No Interest In" (I just could care less about) and "Absolutely No Interest In" (I'm offended that these travesties were even produced).

As you will quickly see, there is only ONE movie this fall that I Can't Wait to See and there are WAY TOO MANY that either Not Interested In or Absolutely Not Interested In. This fall line of films basically sums up the entire 2009 year in movies. The few good ones have been have great ("Hangover", "The Soloist") and the rest were just pretty bad all the way around.

I pulled the quick synopsis for each movie from and if you want more info or want to watch trailers, just click on the film title and it will take you to that movie's particular page from the website.

We can only hope that there will be a couple of hidden gems along the way, so happy hunting until we can find them!


- SHERLOCK HOLMES Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, Rachel McAdams (Dec 25) In a dynamic new portrayal of Arthur Conan Doyle's most famous characters, "Sherlock Holmes" sends Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson on their latest challenge (One of my favorite stories starring one of my favorite actors and like I said, it’s the ONLY movie of the fall that I legitimately can’t not wait to see).


- EXTRACT Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Ben Affleck, Mila Kunis (Sept 4) In "Extract," writer/director Mike Judge ("Office Space," "King of the Hill") returns to the fertile territory of the American workplace, rotating his perspective away from the white collar cubicle warriors of "Office Space" and towards a blue collar boss – a small business owner – who employs an odd cast of losers, loners and misfits in his flavor extract factory.

- THE INFORMANT! Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale (Sept 18) A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Whitacre suddenly turns whistleblower (I had NO interest in this one because I thought it was going to be all dark and Michael Clayton-ish, but then I saw the trailer and it actually looks hilarious. I need to just learn to trust director Steven Soderbergh).

- THE INVENTION OF LYING Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey (Oct 2) Takes place in an alternate reality where lying--even the concept of a lie--does not exist. But when a down-on-his-luck loser named Mark suddenly develops the ability to lie, he finds that dishonesty has its rewards (If this was done by anyone else, I would be terrified of this premise, but Gervais has the most self awareness in the business and gave us the original “Office”, so I will definitely be there an opening night).

- COUPLES RETREAT Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristin Davis, Kristen Bell (Oct 9) This comedy follows four Midwestern couples who embark on a journey to a tropical island resort. While one of the couples is there to work on their marriage, the other three set out to jet ski, spa and enjoy some fun in the sun. They soon discover that participation in the resort’s couples therapy is not optional (Vaugh, Bateman, and Favreau have quietly established a decent, reoccurring comedy group and the trailers have looked pretty entertaining).

- PIRATE RADIO Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh (Nov 13) Inspired by the British pirate radio revolution in the '60s, the majority of the film's shoot will take place in a large rusty metal fishing trawler moored off the coast of England in the very waters that kept the rock of the '60s booming into the U.K.

- THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG voices of Anika Noni Rose, Terrence Howard, John Goodman (Dec 11) Walt Disney Animation Studios presents the musical "The Princess and the Frog," an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans (FINALLY, an old school that animated movie that isn’t computer generated! I will see it for that reason alone).


- NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU starring most of Hollywood (limited Oct 16) In "New York, I Love You," 12 segments will be connected together via transitional linking sequences. New York City is the main unifying character and the Film will show the city as a living, breathing and loving whole. In the end, the audience will not only understand each individual story, but they will also see the integrated whole of chance encounters through these unique transitions.

- A CHRISTMAS CAROL Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth (Nov 6) A multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, captures the fantastical essence of the classic Dickens tale in a groundbreaking 3-D motion picture event.

- FANTASTIC MR. FOX voices of George Clooney, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Meryl Streep (Nov 25) The stop-motion film, marking Wes Anderson's first foray into animation, is an adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's story, centering on a clever fox who must outwit three mean, dimwitted farmers who try their hardest to hurt Mr. Fox and his family.

- UP IN THE AIR George Clooney (Dec 4)
A comedy called about a corporate hatchet man who loves his life on the road but is forced to fight for his job when his company downsizes its travel budget. He is required to spend more time at home just as he is on the cusp of a goal he's worked toward for years: reaching five million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveler woman of his dreams.

- IT’S COMPLICATED Meryl Streep, Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski (Dec 25) Writer/director Nancy Meyers ("What Women Want," "Something's Gotta Give," "The Holiday") directs Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin in "It's Complicated," a comedy about love, divorce and everything in between (I’ve already been told by my Wife that we are seeing this one).


- AMELIA Hilary Swank, Richard Gere, Ewan McGregor (Oct 23) An extraordinary life of adventure, celebrity and continuing mystery comes to light in "Amelia," a vast, thrilling account of legendary aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

- PRECIOUS Gabourey "Gabby" Sidibe, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd, Lenny Kravitz (Limited Nov 6) Lee Daniels's "Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire" is a vibrant, honest and resoundingly hopeful film about the human capacity to grow and overcome (And yes, Mariah Carey is in a film that has early Oscar buzz. Unbelievable).

- NINE Daniel Day-Lewis, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Stacy Ferguson, Sophia Loren (Nov 25) A vibrant and provocative musical that follows the life of world famous film director Guido Contini (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he reaches a creative and personal crisis of epic proportion, while balancing the numerous women in his life (Directing “Chicago” to Oscar glory worked for Rob Marshall. Why not try it again?).

- INVICTUS Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon (Dec 11) The film tells the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa's rugby team to help unite their country (Morgan Freeman playing Nelson Mandela in a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Do we even need to hold the Oscar’s this year? I mean, clean sweep, right?).


- LOVE HAPPENS Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston (Sep 18) A woman falls in love with a widower living in Seattle. Basically a homeless man’s remake of “Sleepless in Seattle” with a generic title.

- THE BOX Cameron Diaz, James Marsden (Nov 6) What if someone gave you a box containing a button that, if pushed, would bring you a million dollars...but simultaneously take the life of someone you don't know? Would you do it? And what would be the consequences? (What if they made a movie that no one cared about or saw? Would it even matter?)

- THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS George Clooney, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey (Nov 6) Involves a down-on-his-luck reporter (McGregor) who gets more than he bargains for when he meets a special forces agent (Clooney) who reveals the existence of a secret, psychic military unit whose goal is to use paranormal powers to end war as we know it.


- 2012 John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet (Nov 13) How many times can we destroy the White House and pretend like it still carries some impact. Been there, done that too many times before.

- OLD DOGS John Travolta, Robin Williams (Nov 25) Two best friends have their lives turned upside down when they're unexpectedly charged with the care of six-year-old twins while on the verge of the biggest business deal of their lives. Really? I swear producers are now just making bets with each other about what they can actually get away with and still make a profit on.

- AVATAR Sam Worthington (Dec 18) This was supposed to be the next great American movie from “Titanic” and “Aquaman” director James Cameron. Whoops! As Hitler puts it, Cameron “should have left the remake of ‘Ferngully: The Last Rainforest’ to Lucas”. Not Good.

- DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE MORGANS? Hugh Grant, Sarah Jessica Parker (Dec 18) Grant and Parker get put in the Witness Protection program in Wyoming. Why? Dear God, why?

- ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE SQUEAKQUEL You know what? I’m just going to pretend this isn’t really happening.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Date Set for "Seinfeld" Reunion on "Curb"

This is probably old news to a lot of you (especially the die-hard "Seinfeld" fans) but I've noticed a lot of people still don't know about it, so I thought I would shine a little light to those still in the dark.

If you haven't heard, the cast of "Seinfeld" will be reuniting together for the first time on television in 11 years on Larry David's current show, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" on Sunday, October 4.

From, here is a quick set up to how it's going to go down:

The story line, which starts in episode 3, is sprinkled over five of the season’s 10 episodes as Larry recruits the cast, then plans and tapes the big Seinfeld reunion (viewers will see a few scenes of the Seinfeld reunion episode on Curb). David is cagey on plot details, and will only hint that “Larry attempts to get [his estranged wife] Cheryl back, and the Seinfeld reunion figures prominently in that.” Adds Louis-Dreyfus, “It’s the anti-reunion reunion, and I’d like to copyright that.”

I think this is brilliant.

I hate those reunion shows where the cast gets back together and instead of a sitcom everything is really dramatic and boring. And I've ALWAYS been a fan of the show-within-a-show thing and "Curb" provides the perfect venue to get everyone back without it being awkward or forced.

At the end of that EW article, Jerry Seinfeld even notes, “As far as I’m concerned, we did do it, and in a better way than I ever imagined. This exceeded my expectations."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

"The Wedding Party" - Thursday Nights This Fall, Only on ABC

Are you seriously going to tell me that this pic of us and our wedding party doesn't look like a cast picture from a new ABC drama to air right after "Grey's Anatomy" this fall? (you can click on the picture to make it larger)


It's just one of the few wedding pictures that our photographer, Scott Hayne, has posted on his blog (click here to go view) to tease us until he let's us see the rest in a few weeks.

Umm... so far, so GOOD.

I'm not a big picture guy, and I'm definitely not a big wedding picture guy, but I loved Scott's style; and even as we were shooting, I knew the pics were going to turn out great.

Didn't anticipate this great, so that was just a bonus surprise.

Now I just want him to photograph everything I do. Waking up in the morning, driving to work, eating lunch, passing out in my recliner.


I like the way my life looks through his lens. Makes me feel like I'm cooler than I actually am.

Well until I can afford that, I just thought I would post the link to his blog as an appetizer until we get the main course.

Great stuff.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More Problems for the Peacock

Fresh on the heels of getting slammed by some of the most prestigious writers in television, NBC now another new problem on their hands.

You know how you watch NBC shows on a local network affiliate? Well, what would happen if the local affiliates went under? If they had to close their doors, where would you watch NBC programming?

It's an extreme scenario for sure, but one that the NBC affiliates - and more importantly, their competition - are now aware of as potential reality if certain things don't break right for the Peacock.

I read this article yesterday and haven't been able to stop laughing at NBC's own demise ever since.

Basically here's what's going on (with a little back story):

- A couple of years ago, Leno announced he was "retiring" (or whatever he called it)

- Other networks got interested in Conan, so NBC promised him "The Tonight Show"

- Leno freaked because he realized he was so replaceable and announced he wanted to come back to late night

- NBC freaked because they had already filled their late night dance card but didn't want to lose Leno to a rival network

- In an unprecedented move, NBC LOST THEIR MINDS and wiped all original programming from the 10pm hour every night during the week to give to Leno

- As mentioned above, TV writers in the biz are now angry with (and some say secretly boycotting working for) NBC because the writers for those 10pm shows no longer have jobs

- NOW, affiliates are gravely concerned because they depend on good shows in the 10pm hour serving as lead-ins for the ONE THING THEY DO, their 11pm local news.

And anyone who's ever seen a television set before knows that NO ONE watches a late night comedy show after the first half hour.

Let me put it this way:

CBS airs their 17 versions of "CSI" mostly at 10pm. ABC airs shows like "Lost" at 10pm. Those network affiliates depend on good programming to lead-in to their local news so that they can sell advertising air time to local sponsors so that they can stay in business so that they can air network programming like "CSI" and "Lost".

What is NBC going to have on at 10:30pm as a lead-in for their local affiliates? Jay Freakin' Leno interviewing Turtle from "Entourage".

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Viewers are lazy. Some people have their favorite late local news station and will turn the channel to it regardless. But for the most part viewers are lazy. Even if you do find Leno's schtick in the first half hour amusing, you're telling me you're going to stick around for the interviews?


NBC has made an announcement that Leno will save some of his "funny stuff" for the last 15 minutes, but we've already established viewers are lazy!

Basically the Peacock is hoping that people will tune in at 10pm and COME BACK after the interviews.

Wow. I wish I had that kind of faith in anything.

So what's the fall out?

Worst case? Even if Leno puts up decent ratings nationally, NBC affiliates could start to struggle locally which would impact the overall NBC network system greatly.

Could it get to the point in this economy where some affiliates actually have to fold?

I have no idea.

Like I said, that's probably an extreme scenario. But people that are smarter than me are talking about it and I have to think it's for a reason.

I've just never seen a situation in which a network has tried to do more to help itself only to keep hurting itself the more it tries.

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. Only a few more weeks 'til we know...

Hey Now, You're a Rock Star

You can't ask for it, you can't plan for it, you can't even hope for it. You just have to sit back and enjoy it when it comes.

There is nothing better in the sports world than an August baseball game that has an October baseball feel. You can't get the October baseball game any earlier than August because everything is still shaking out. But by August, you know who is alive, you know who is dead, and the alive teams are already starting to jockey for position and begin their late season push for the playoffs.

The Rockies-Giants series this past weekend was pretty good in general (I was there on Saturday night to see the Rock Stars come back from down 6-1 to win 14-11 - wild!), but was capped off in epic fashion last night.

I watched every pitch in glorious HD, but started running out of gas as the game went into extra innings. I almost started rooting AGAINST the Rox after the stranded runners on third (with less than two outs) in back-to-back innings.

When the Giants took a 4-1 lead in the top of the 14th, I was almost relieved and happily went to bed.

I'm actually going to take credit for the Rockies coming back to win, because I firmly believe that my going to bed served as a reverse mojo and freed the Rocktober Spirits to work their magic.

Here's what makes that game, and that win for the Rockies so surreal: if they had just tied the game in the 14th and the game had kept going, there could have been a scenario where they would have had a pitcher (Adam Eaton) playing right field, a limping Dex Fowler playing center, CarGo playing left with stitches in his throwing hand, Spils playing somewhere in the infield, and a catcher (Torrealba) playing first.

That's what the game had come to. They HAD to win it or lose it right then and there.

Gotta give Spilborghs credit - he's had an awful season and I've personally given him a lot of crap for it. Hung in there mentally (especially after misplaying Renteria's triple in the top of the inning) and drove a pitch oppo for the game winning GRAND SLAM (the first grand slam game winner in Colorado's history). I've posted the replay below for anyone that hasn't seen it yet - love how Spils is SPRINTS around the bases and am also amused how the little score box graphic in the upper left hand corner has to let us know that the ROCKIES WIN! while we're watching the players celebrate. Thanks Sherlock.

We still have a few weeks, but you can already start to sense October baseball in the air.

My favorite time of year.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The League Sounds Like a Winner

*This is one of those moments I experience about three times every year where I think I should have stayed in Los Angeles and really tried to tough it out as a TV writer. I KNOW I could have come up with this idea or at least have been a scribe on the project. Alas, the show seems promising (especially considering my own age and current state in life) and I can't wait to check it out.


FX has quietly begun production on
"The League," a half-hour comedy pilot starring "Humpday's" Mark Duplass.

The semi-improvised buddy comedy revolves around a group of thirtysomething guys in a fantasy football league. Set in the suburbs of Chicago, "League" follows the group as they deal with issues of friendship, relationships and parenthood.

Duplass stars along with
Nick Kroll ("I Love You Man"), Paul Sheer ("Human Giant"), Steve Rannazzisi ("Paul Blart: Mall Cop") and Jon Lajoie.

Also in the cast are
Leslie Bibb ("Iron Man"), Katie Aselton ("The Office") and Nadine Velazquez ("My Name Is Earl").

In the pilot, Duplass plays Pete, a married man pondering whether to have a baby. "God bless fantasy football," Pete says in the script. "There are many things a man can do with his time. This is better than those things."

"Curb Your Enthusiasm" helmer Jeff Schaffer will direct "The League," which he penned with Jackie Marcus Schaffer. Both are exec producing.

FX Prods. is producing. "The League" could be ready to run on the cabler as soon as this fall.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

If Carmen San Diego and Where's Waldo Ever Got Together

Five days into marriage and for the life of me, I can't remember why I was so afraid of it for so long. My lunches are packed for me, delicious dinners have been served every night, and one of our wedding presents was a big screen, HD television set (it is truly beautiful).

I don't know how long it's all going to last, but I'm enjoying it all to the fullest while it's here.

I think it was that wedding that had me all nervous and anxious. It turned out to be a beautiful ceremony and an awesome party at the reception but there was just something mental about the actual act of making such a statement in such a spotlighted setting.

All the worries disappeared as soon as I saw her though. I just remembered it was her and me and from then on it was just like a party with our friends and we were just playing some sort of extravagant dress-up game.

And I guess I'll officially take this opportunity to promote her from "Fiance" to "Wife" for all future references on this site.

We're still getting used to the whole thing, but having fun so far and loving our place out here in Colorado (she's actually developed my little apartment into some respectable living quarters).

I'm still on a mini-mental vacation but just HAD to post the following that I received as an e-mail forward from my buddy Frank at work. Just some hilarious social observations and had to have been written by someone right around my age.

Enjoy and if I can get my act together this weekend, I might actually have a new column for Monday.

We'll see.

Have a great weekend, regardless

- More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.

- Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

- Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

- I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

- The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

- Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

-There is a great need for sarcasm font.

- Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what was going on when I first saw it.

- I think everyone has a movie that they love so much; it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

- How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

- I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

- The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.

- Was learning cursive really necessary?

- Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

- Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

- How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

- I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!

- While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

- MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

- I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

- Bad decisions make good stories.

- Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

- If Carmen San Diego and Where's Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

- Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from; this shouldn't be a problem.

- You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

- There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.

- I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

- "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this ever.

- I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren’t watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

- While watching the Olympics, I find myself cheering equally for China and USA. No, I am not of Chinese descent, but I am fairly certain that when Chinese athletes don’t win, they are executed.

- I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Darnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away? I

- I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

- When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

- I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

- As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

- Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

- I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

- Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

- My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How do I respond to that?

- I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

- I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

- The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimate d that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There’s nothing like being made to feel fat before dinner.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Just Being Josh Record!

Just wanted to a quick thanks to everyone who stopped by this site yesterday as it was a record day for views since I started posting regularly on June 1.

Not too shabby.

(Of course the shameless e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter updates can't hurt the numbers either)

Regardless, it's a good feeling to know that the site might be growing a bit. I really like it now and enjoy the discussions we are having and the content I am exploring.

That said, forgive me if I take a little break over the next couple of weeks after the wedding (yay!). I'm not setting a specific timeframe for myself and I will of course keep posting little nuggets here and there as different items spark my interest.

I'm thinking it will probably be the first of September before I write an original Monday column (sounds about right) but I don't want to wait too long because I feel like I've gotten in a little groove as of late and have really enjoyed writing those pieces.

It is a bizarre experience to write something, post it on this little site, and have anyone come here to check it out - let alone a record number.

Thanks for you time and I hope to keep making it worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alien Invasion


Call the police! Call the government! Call Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith for all I care; just call someone! And do it quick.

I don't have much time.

I've been put under some bewitching trance by the most gorgeous of alien beings and I have a feeling this enchanting life form has hatched a hostile take over plan to seize control of my perfect little bachelor-pad apartment in the not too distant future.

This is distressing for me because you don't understand how much I love my apartment. I can't believe it took me 29 years to find it.

Through out my day at work, I will literally drift off and fantasize about going home and crashing into the recliner or couch. The recliner is in the perfect place too. It's got a great angle to the television set and it's right next to the window sill - which just happens to be the perfect height and width to serve as a spot to put a drink down without moving at all.

The recliner and couch have gone untouched as of yet, but throughout the course of this year, I've had a few brief encounters with this alien creature and I've started to notice some drastic changes in other areas of my apartment.

Like in the bedroom, for starters. For as long as I can remember, I've always just slept on top of a bed sheet with a blanket over top of me. But suddenly there is a bed sheet on the mattress, a pull-over sheet on top of that, and a comforter on top of that.

It takes me a half hour to get under the covers now.

And the pillows.

Sweet mother, the pillows! There are two large decorative pillows, two regular pillows with brown pillowcases, two regular pillows with these red pillowcases that are so silky my head slides off, and a countless number of little decorative pillows that I'm never sure what to do with.

Do you sleep on them? Or next to them? Or under them? I wouldn't bet against an impending obituary detailing how I was buried alive under an avalanche of bed pillows.

The pillows inevitably wind up on the floor through the night, but being the obsessive-compulsive that I am, I usually wind up getting out of bed to straighten them. Sometimes I even catch myself in the sad realization that my life has been reduced to straightening decorative bed pillows ON THE FLOOR in the middle of the night.

Moving on to the bathroom. A lot of storage containers and shelves have been added to the bathroom and I'm not quite sure what that means either. The shelves and containers are empty now but I'm beginning to think that they wouldn't be there if they weren't going to be needed at some point. I know I don't need them, so I'm a little confused.

You know what, never mind. The less I know about this, the better.

The biggest changes have come to the kitchen. Recently, there has been an astronomical influx of plates and glasses and pots and pans and cookbooks and toasters and coffee makers and utensils that I wouldn't know what to do with if I took a class.

I'm mostly terrified by the flower magnets that now reside on my refrigerator and the recipe box hanging out on one of the counters. Every time I pull one of my delicious microwave dinners out of the freezer, I can almost hear a mocking chuckle coming from that recipe box.

I'm pretty sure I even heard a sarcastic "Enjoy it while it lasts, big boy" the other evening.

I've known other men who have experienced this kind of galactic assault and believe me, I'm trying to resist. I'm trying to fight back. And I'm pretty good about standing my ground and making proclamations when it's just me in the house. But whenever the alluring alien creature beams down for a visit, I don't stand a chance.

This is the most beguiling being I've ever been around. Between its beauty and charms, I often find myself losing focus and falling under its command. I'm always able to snap out of it though when the creature threatens to take down my Killers poster that's hanging in the living room.

That's not happening.

And this must just be a more sophisticated, more intelligent species than we mere, mortal men are used to, because I'm still not sure how it all went down. I found this apartment, I moved everything in, I've paid the rent on it for the last seven months and here I am just handing it over.

Very Impressive.

On the plus side, over the course of our prolonged negotiations this summer, we've agreed that if we ever have a place with a basement, I can have that to do with what I wish; she will just have the rest of the house - so that works out well for me.


Like I said at the top, I'm under the distinct impression that my time as King of the Castle is running out before an all-out invasion. Next Monday, August 17, has been circled on my calendar for some time now and I believe this might just be the alien's planned day of attack.

Should be interesting.

Wish us luck!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Say It 'Aint So "Joe"

I told Aarron I would do it, and I am a man of my word.

I have finally found a movie worse than "Transformers".

There. You happy Bull?

My gosh. I posted my reservations about the new "G.I. Joe" movie on Friday, but the film somehow EXCEEDED my worst fears. The BEST way I can describe the experience is that I felt like I was locked in a Port-A-Potty for two hours that just kept getting flipped over and over and was lit on a fire.

And that's being kind.

The Ol' Bull and I were talking about it after the film and while "Transformers" let me down, I still was able to buy into the established reality of it all. Yes, it is insane to think about alien robots that are able to transform into cars and other vehicles and are staging an intergalactic war here on earth - but they sold it well and you can just let yourself escape into that universe's reality if you want.

"G.I. Joe" made Michael Bay look like Shakespeare. Hell, it made George Lucas look like Shakespeare.

It was all over the place and there was no concept of any kind of boundaries of reality or laws of physics or time or space. And it wasn't like it was a kids movie, either. It felt like they were really aiming to make some kind of credible, action-driven, adventure film.


That's what made "Batman Begins" and "Dark Night" so great - they grounded the story and the characters into reality so well, you were actually terrified that these kind of people could actually exist and live among us.

Well, "G.I. Joe" decided to take the opposite route.

It would genuinely make me feel better if I found out the producers, and writers, and director all got together and just had a brainstorming session thinking of the most unrealistic, incoherent nonsense they could think of.

That would at least serve as a plausible explanation.

And they didn't even TRY to capture the essence of the old toys, comic books, cartoons, etc. Everything was slick and modern; there were no tanks or jeeps or anything that resembled G.I. Joe. It was like they wrote a generic movie and then just used Joe names for the characters.

I'll let those of you who have seen the movie vote for which was the worst part:

- G.I. Joe base set under the desert in Egypt

- Cobra base set under the WATER

- The accelerator suits

- The complete lack of any kind of gravity or physics

- Heavy Duty having a British accent

- Breaker being French-Moroccan

- Ripcord being black

- Ripcord being able to fly from Moscow to Washington D.C. in under 10 seconds

- Ripcord trying to be funny

- Ripcord played by Marlon Wayans

- RIPCORD MAKING OUT WITH SCARLETT (I legitimately almost left the theater at that point and would have if I hadn't been completely paralyzed)

- Channing Tatum getting cast as Duke

- Channing Tatum sucking as Duke

- Duke being a pansy the entire movie

- Duke and the Baroness having a love story

- Duke not talking to his fiance (before she was the Baroness) after her brother "died" in war

- Her brother turning into Cobra Commander


- Cobra Commander coming off as a cheap, Darth Vader knock-off

- The lack of any reasoning or motivation behind Cobra Commander's rise to power

- "Boom Boom Pow" used on the closing credits


Ok, I need to stop now, I'm getting light-headed. It's so hard to choose just one thing from that list - they all just unite together to form a two hour travesty. Of course, they set up a sequel but you can go ahead and count me out for that one.

Between this movie, the Best Buy fiasco, and the Colorado bachelor party weekend that never got off the ground, it just was a bad week all the way around.

Putting it all behind me and looking forward to this week though.

I'm ready for those festivities to begin.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I Know that the New "G.I. Joe" Movie is Going to Suck But Then Again, Knowing is Half the Battle

Am I really going to do this to myself... again?

Am I really going to lay down hard earned money to let Hollywood tarnish yet another memory of my youth?

The two "Transformers" movies were terrible (sorry Aarron), they've already started filming the "Karate Kid" remake with Jackie Chan and Will Smith's kid, and there are plans to bring popular video and board games to the big screen in "Asteroids" and "Monopoly" (how is Monopoly going to work as a movie by the way? All I know is it will probably be at least five hours long).

If that all wasn't bad enough, my most sacred and favorite childhood pastime will be flogged and violated as "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" opens in theaters today.

And I'm going to see it tonight.

There's no way for anyone to understand what G.I. Joe means to me. Not my closest friends, not my Fiance, not even my parents. I spent most of my time growing up as an only child. When I'd get together with my friends, we would play baseball outside if it was nice and Legos inside if it was raining.

But that was only once, maybe twice a week.

The rest of the time from 1985-1991, I would ONLY play with my G.I. Joe action figures. Let's do the math on that one for a minute: let's say I played with my G.I. Joe toys for four hours a day (that's on the low end) for four days a week (again on the low end). That's 16 hours per week. Times that by 52 weeks and that is 832 hours a year. Times that by six years and the grand total is 4,992 hours.

I spent nearly 5,000 hours of my life playing with my G.I. Joes and again, I have to believe that's on the low end.

So this was not some passing hobby or fad I got into for a while.

I was obsessed.

I had a nice little system worked out too. Whenever I saved up enough allowance money, I would go buy a new action figure. I would also add guys to my collection by getting a good report card or as a present from a relative. My parents would always get me a tank, or a headquarters, or a jeep, or some big weapon for my birthday or Christmas so that's how I kept up with the accessories.

And I wasn't one of those kids that just beat up their Joes by dropping them out of windows or shooting them with BB guns or tying them to firecrackers or rockets.

I was very meticulous.

I would literally spend hours setting everyone up and had a specific mission for each individual guy or team. I had a specific person for each job inside the headquarters. One guy guarded the jail every day. One guy watched the radar every day. One guy manned the big machine gun every day. I had one group of guys that did recon work in the jeep and the same guy always drove.


While we did that comedy show back in college, my dad once said that my directing reminded him of me orchestrating my Joes. I knew exactly what he was talking about.

I got that from playing with my G.I. Joes.

I wouldn't tolerate many girl Joes, but I did have Scarlett. I had the biggest crush on her as a kid, especially in the cartoon series. Where do you think I developed my fascination with red heads and decided to MARRY one next Saturday?

I got that from G.I. Joe.

Hopefully ALL OF THAT hammers home the point that this was a special universe to me. With the release of the movie this summer, Joes have even made a mini-comeback in the stores. Every now and then I find myself wondering down the toy aisle of Target or Wal-Mart just flashing back, remembering all of the figures I had (now that I think of it, I must look like some pervert to everyone else in those aisles).

I even used to dream about a live-action G.I. Joe movie. I'm pretty sure I even wrote one too (it was probably 15-20 pages long and involved one to two set-ups and fight sequences). So I should be stoked about this movie. I should be looking forward to a reminiscent trip down Memory Lane, but I'm not.

I'm actually terrified.

It looks terrible. It looks like it is just another run of the mill-too many special effects-get your pop corn ready-big budget-summer blockbuster (so basically, it looks like "Transformers").

Here are my biggest concerns:

- Marlon Wayans, an African American actor, is playing Ripcord, a white guy from the toys and cartoon. Really? We really needed to invent a cliche funny black guy character? Really?

- Joseph Gordon Levitt is playing Cobra Commander. Really? He is also starring in the new release "500 Days of Summer" and I will ALWAYS think of him as the kid from "3rd Rock From the Sun".

- Destro doesn't look like Destro at all. As you can see from the picture (to the left), the Destro on the left is the one I grew up with. It's like they're not even trying to capture that with Christopher Eccleston's take on the character on the right. I know it's "The Rise of Cobra" so maybe this concern takes care of itself in the movie.

- My BIGGEST frustration is the costumes. I get it that the bright, comic bookie colors wouldn't have worked with the "X-Men" movies, but the costumes are what made G.I. Joe for me. The outfits added to the character's personalities and now they all look the same as some special forces unit. The old Joe had a rough, rugged, almost Wild West throwback feel to it; but this is coming off as modern and futuristic.

I do like that it seems as though they are tapping into the martial arts-meets-militaristic warfare angle that was always prominent in G.I. Joe, but that's about it so far.

I've heard rumors that we might catch a glimpse of Bazooka's "14" jersey somewhere in the film and there will be other little nuggets in there for the die-hards like me. Maybe more characters will be introduced if there are any sequels (I would be surprised if there weren't).

I just can't help but feel like it means something that this particular movie is opening the last weekend before I get married. This might just be a good way to acknowledge the person I was and have been one last time before I entire a radically new and exciting era of my life.

If I can get that out of it, it will be worth it.

Regardless, I'm keeping my expectations very low and hopefully will be able to separate my memories from this new, potentially tragic, reality. Maybe it will introduce the Joes to a new generations of fans, maybe it won't be as bad as it look, or maybe my head will just finally explode and I'll be out of my misery for good.

We'll know one way or another for sure after tonight, and like the Joes always said, knowing is half the battle.

Shortest Boycott Ever

Well... my feud with Best Buy lasted all of two days.

I was buckled down for an epic, lifetime war against the mega store that would go down in the history books. I had even started mentally mapping out where I was going to go for my DVDs, CDs, and other electronics.

I'm a little disappointed actually.

I was thoroughly enjoy my new grudge on Wednesday morning when I saw the following comment on my
previous post from my Fiance's father:

"I will get to the bottom of your problem. I have a person who is in the PR department and I think he needs to read your BLOG"

I thought it was a nice sentiment, but really didn't think too much of it because my experience has taught me that things like this typically don't turn around in your favor. So I literally almost dropped my phone when I got a voice mail message from the Best Buy manager that afternoon saying that he had heard about my problem and wanted to see what he could do to fix it.

I got in touch with him after work and I told him I wasn't just trying to be a whiny customer (I told him I work in customer support - I know the feeling), but this whole ordeal had just past the point of ridiculous.

He was way cool and way understanding and offered to fix the laptop with no service charge and no parts charge.

I think I can handle that.

So I dropped it off that night and am patiently waiting to pick it up so I don't have to come up here to the library to post any more.


If the laptop comes back and I can turn it on and it won't shut off on its own and it will play DVDs and I can get online, I will be happy to lift the ban on Best Buy.

I'm cautiously optimistic until then however.

I don't know if we'll ever know exactly what happened. Maybe the guy helping me the other had to log notes about me being unhappy and the manager finally read the report.

Or maybe my Fiance's father promised Armageddon if the situation didn't get resolved. Regardless, I think a safe moral to the story is just don't mess with the Navy either way.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A New Enemy Emerges

I had my final showdown with Best Buy last night about my laptop (that after $120 and six weeks, is STILL not working at all).

Needless to say, it did not go well.

I literally stewed like a cartoon villain for the entire evening, had angry dreams all night long, and was prepared to let the entire ordeal ruin today as well but then it finally hit me this morning:

Ever since I left the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, I have not had the pleasure of having a proper archenemy in my life.

For the past seven months I’ve had something fun and interesting to do whenever I want, the weather is perfect all of the time, and there is no Good Ol’ Boy, short-sighted local media anywhere to be found. My life has been getting a little good for comfort and I’ve forgotten how much I thrive on having a nemesis.

Thank you Best Buy!

Basically here is how the exchange between me and the kid behind the counter went last night:

KID: So you need another hard drive and we can do that for you for another $80-$200 dollars.

ME: Why am I going to pay you any more money when I still don’t know what service I received for my original $120?

KID: Well we did fix the original problem, but apparently the hard drive passed our initial testing so this is a new problem.

ME: How did you fix the original problem when the machine still doesn’t turn on and now you’ve deleted my documents and pictures and shuts off whenever it wants to and no longer plays DVDs?

KID: That’s because the hard drive is now failing. I’m willing to waive the service charge for this new repair but you will still have to pay for the actual hard drive.

ME: It took you six weeks and $120 for you to not only not fix my original problem but add four new ones. I hope that you can understand that my faith in your ability to diagnosis and correctly fix the problem is an all-time low.

We went round and round for a few more minutes before I realized that it just wasn’t worth it anymore. I finally realized that I would rather have a broken laptop than give them another nickel to try and repair it. The kid was somewhat shocked when I finally just asked for my laptop and turned on my heel and walked out of Best Buy for the last time (My poor FiancĂ© – we’re not even married yet, and there’s ALREADY a store she’s not allowed to patronize. She’s only got a week left to come to her senses).

As I was stewing last night, I was so frustrated that I actually came up with a few other things that I would rather do than ever shop at another Best Buy store (my Twitter followers were able to enjoy this misery last night).

Going to go back to my comedy roots, let's do this list “Late Show” Top 10 style. So without further ado, here are my TOP 10 THINGS I WOULD RATHER DO THAN EVER SPEND ANOTHER DIME AT A BEST BUY:

10. I would rather watch Kobe and the Lakers 10-peat before I give any more money to Best Buy.

9. I would pursue a career in journalism before I ever step foot in another Best Buy (thanks to Michelle for that one!)

8. I would follow Custer back up to Little Big Horn before I make a purchase at Best Buy.

7. You will find me sitting through a "Two and a Half Men" marathon before you find me in a Best Buy

6. I would buy two tickets for a trip on the Titanic before I shop at Best Buy ever again.

5. I would trust my life with Judas Iscariot before I trust another Best Buy.

4. I would rather get a physical from Dr. Jack Kevorkian than get something fixed at Best Buy.

3. I would rather be Abe Lincoln picking up tickets at the Ford Theater than pay for another repair at Best Buy (thank you "Frasier"!).

2. I would work at Dish Network again before - Whoa, whoa! I can't even commit to that one.

And the number one thing I would rather do than EVER spend another dime at a Best Buy:

1. I would live in VIRGINIA again.

Thank you! Thank you!

I would say "I'm here all week", but then again, I don't have a laptop anymore. Who knows when I will be able to post again.

Thank you Best Buy, indeed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No Laptop = No Column


So there won't be a new column today (again) due to more laptop troubles. I finally had to take it back to the store because after I posted about it last week, it completely stopped turning on (AGAIN).

I received a voicemail last night from the store that it is indeed a hard drive issue and that they will go ahead and fix it if I authorize the charge to fix it.

Um... No.

I still don't know what service I received for my original payment. My laptop has the SAME problem now that it did six weeks ago when I first dropped it off - plus additional issues (turns off on its own, deleted documents, won't play DVDs, etc.).

So unless they are willing to fix it at no charge, I'm probably going to just collect my broken laptop, demand a refund on the original payment (since nothing has been fixed), and just wait it out until my Fiance (soon-to-be Wife) brings hers out here in a few weeks.

And if they don't want to refund my money?

Well, I would suggest staying in for the evening because it won't be pretty. Oh, and if you see on the news that a Best Buy store in Parker, CO has been bruned to the ground, don't bother wondering.

It was me.