Sunday, December 16, 2012

I learned it by watching this blog!

I think it started with Reefer Madness in the 1930s. Lazy adults lying to their kids through movies. I bought this movie because I had heard a lot about it but had never seen it before. This was before YouTube, so finding it on the Internet was difficult. I know it's kind of a cult hit now, but I think it's pretty stupid.

So, we definitely learned our lesson after this turd, right? Oh, no. Not by a long shot. Countless after school specials and public service announcements ensued. The problem is, I bet I can count the number of kids swayed against drugs from these faves on one hand. They were just too cheesy.

Before Mad About You. Before As Good As It Gets. Helen Hunt was jumping out of two story windows jacked up on PCP. I remember seeing this in junior high and thinking it was ridiculous. I never did PCP either. I guess this movie was wasted on me.

Helen Hunt in Desperate Lives

Hah!  Awesome.

Perhaps the best example is the one with this Sean Astin lookalike getting lectured by his dad, who was probably a 70s porn star. No one with a 'stache like that is just a regular dude with a regular job. And he apparently likes to get all "potted up on weed" (yes, we still have a ways to go).

I learned it by watching you!

Remember kids - don't buy drugs! (Don't know that one? Shame on you. Click here.)

Monday, November 26, 2012

Surely you can't forget that moment? I can't...and don't call me Shirley.

For some reason or another there are certain movie watching moments that stick with me forever.

The Ring!  The effing Ring!

So, if you've seen this movie, you know that some grayscale dead chick comes out of the TV and kills people after they watch a VHS tape. I know, I know. There is also lots of disturbing imagery and general creepiness. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to see this movie by myself in my apartment on a pitch black night, just like tonight.  Okay, kidding. But yes, it was night. I remember the day well, it was gray and just on the verge of raining. I had been listening to Sing The Sorrow by AFI on repeat for a few hours. After the stage was set, I put in the DVD and hit play. I thought it was a pretty good movie overall. It was also cute how I thought I was going to get some sleep after watching it. I was on high alert, seeing shapes move in my peripherals, hearing unexplained noises everywhere, picturing that lady combing her hair in the mirror.  Terrible! The worst part? I had a small TV at the foot of my bed. Perfect placement for some angry pre-teen to jump out and eat my soul.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

I got this for my sixteenth birthday on VHS. It was newly released and since this was before the existence of the Internet, I didn't know anything about it. I had seen that weird looking guy on In Living Color before, but that's about it. My family didn't go to the theater very often either. No MTV. No, we were not on the cutting edge of pop culture, but I digress. I remember crying and almost passing out after the first 10 minutes. So many memorable moments and quotable lines. My friend Heath watched it with me on the second viewing and I laughed just as hard that time too. He was probably very curious after he saw me reenacting scenes from the movie. Just picture someone laughing hysterically while having a seizure. It was pretty much like that.

The Matrix

Back in the day, the special effects from this movie were amazing. It still is pretty cool even today. I remember seeing this in the theater on opening day with some college friends. We were blown away by the story and the visuals. I bought this movie to test my new TV, DVD player and surround sound system. I think I paid about $450 for that damn player. Now it sits in my basement and collects dust. I digress again. Really, the main reason me and my friends liked the movie is that secretly, deep down, we all wanted to be Neo and learn kung fu.

Bonus Round!

So I mentioned earlier that I tie that AFI album in with watching The Ring. There are some other albums that are forever linked with moments in my life.

Blaze by Lagwagon.

I listened to this album whilst cruising the West Virginia backroads on my way to see Jesse in my Honda Civic. I took a scenic route to see the poor mining towns for some reason. Kinda sad. Oh well, moving on.

Pretty Hate Machine by Nine Inch Nails

I carted my friend Andy's ass to high school every day during senior year. He loaned me this album on cassette. I still have it today. I am pretty sure he thought that was his payment for gas money. I just let this tape loop over and over again. Every goddamn day to school and back. I don't know why I didn't put in something else. Oh yeah, my other tape was Heartbeat City by The Cars, that's why. I'm still sick of those NIN songs.

So soak it in movie fans. Take the time to notice the world around you. Peace.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sounds like someone has a case of the Hipsters.

It seems like the label "hipster" has been used quite heavily in recent years. Little did I know that I had been surrounded by hipsters since high school...which has few years.  I'll say more than ten. I even spent too much energy trying to seek their approval back in the day. If I were to associate myself with any group, it would be as a reluctant member of the "Intellectuals."  Sounds terrible just typing it. So it's clear why I had to convince everyone that I was something else.

But that's garbage.

The thing is, hipsters really haven't changed in 10 years. Hell, maybe longer. Why anyone would want to be one is beyond me. Being different just for the sake of being different, not because it's what you want to be. Letting you know that everything you like is terrible, and you should feel bad that you have never heard of some underground folk punk band from Joliet.

So when I was out the other day in my truck trying to pull onto a major road, I was selfishly blocking the sidewalk. This was much to the dismay of a hipster on a bike. Bikester?  Let's table that and move on. This hipster pulled no punches.  Beard. Old man clothes. Bicycle from the Prohibition era. So it was no surprise to me when I got the disgusted head shake as he had to drive behind me. I'm sorry that you cannot drive on the sidewalk next to this busy road at 40 miles an hour on your bike with reckless abandon.  I'm sorry that society hasn't reformed itself to yield to the mighty bicycle at all costs. I wanted to yell something about how bikes belonged on the road with the other traffic, but he was already gone. His ironic scarf flapping in the wind. Probably late for his banjo lessons. Or had some chai tea getting cold. Or maybe Red Dwarf was on.

Okay, so let's get to some sort of point here. Here are some fabulous hipster movies and tv shows.

Dr. Who

The old one too.  Not the new one, you sellout.

Red Dwarf

Anything by Wes Anderson

I think he's some sort of hipster godfather. But I don't hold that against him.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Elvish, motherf*cker, do you speak it?

Face it, it takes a lot of time and energy to weave a story together with plot, characters, drama, and twists the audience doesn't see coming.  This is definitely more difficult when the audience is your high school friends who easily get bored and distracted and are hopped up on Mountain Dew. This was the challenge on most weekends when we got together for a night of role-playing games.  

My very first RPG was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. We cheated all of the time. Most of the time we just got together and shot each other with full automatic weapons.  Pretty stupid.  I just remember tons of D6's. We finally got our shit together and started to create some interesting campaigns when I bought the Palladium RPG.  The only reason I bought this game was because they had an expansion book on ship-to-ship combat.  That's right - I liked pirates before it was cool.  

I definitely had a lot of free time in high school, so I was able to develop some detailed campaigns.  Classes were a breeze for me so weekends and most weeknights were wide open.  That sounds nerdy.  I guess that's the cold, hard truth.

I looked in the mirror and this is all I saw

Some of the other RPGs we tried were Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Earthdawn, and the old standby, D&D.   After awhile we did decide to shift our focus to something less nerdy - Magic: The Gathering.  If you've ever played Magic before, you know that it's pretty fun, but there are no characters.  No rolling for initiative.  And most importantly, no story.  No plot.

Once we got to college there was just no time to develop plots, characters, storyline twists and maps and mazes and so much more supporting characters and data.  I'm experiencing that now again as I try to dive into script writing.  It's very time consuming.  I will make a big push again in April for script frenzy.  I think my experience developing RPG campaigns will help me, but I'm confident none of my characters will speak Elvish.