Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year 2009 to all of my readers!

As a former colleague once said, "May the coming year be rich in all that is good." Even though the next year was far from a good one, I always appreciated the sentiment.

It's been an interesting 2008 that we're wrapping up, to say the least. Even leaving out some of the sordid details, I did manage to get married, go on a honeymoon, essentially lose one job and find another, plus help a friend in serious need.

And that was just the second half of the year - and leaving out even more events!

As I mentioned to Marisa, we've managed to meet, go on our first date, get engaged, move in together, buy a house, sell another one, get married, go on our honeymoon and more... Next, in 2009, we can celebrate two years since our first date!

Don't let anyone tell you I'm not decisive when I know what I want.

Meanwhile, have a safe, healthy and happy 2009! And keep reading!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Colors of the wind?

I got this from Jewels...

Your rainbow is intensely shaded red, violet, and blue.


What is says about you: You are a passionate person. You appreciate friends who get along with one another. You share hobbies with friends and like trying to fit into their routines. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Friday, December 19, 2008

Civil War music (anachronistically)

Marisa recently introduced me to a band called The Decemberists and we got tickets to a concert at the newly renovated Wellmont Theatre in Montclair.

So, of course, the concert rocked, and ever since then, I've been on a Decemberists kick.

M had told me before the concert that all of their songs tell a story, such as the legend of the crane wife.

How excited was I to discover they have a Civil War song?

And if perhaps - the son of an English professor, after all - I prefer the "Romeo & Juliet"-esque stylings of "O Valencia!," I nonetheless think "Yankee Bayonet (I will be home then)" is probably my favorite just because of the story.

Have you hit "play" on the video above? Catch the lyrics, then keep reading...

So the song tells the story of a widow of the Confederacy, who true love lies "far from the hills of the sea-swept Carolinas."

It always makes me think of Dorsey Pender, whose near-daily letters to his devout wife were one of the great love stories of the war - before they abruptly ended, far indeed from his North Carolina home.

Other Decemberists songs I recommend heartily include "Shanty for the Arethusa" and "The Mariner's Revenge Song."

Eh, I can't resist. Here's "O Valencia!"

Movies: Do you have a life?

I have seen 126 out of 239 films: I have no life!

Ripped this one off from my buddy Todd over on Facebook. Sadly, consider Todd is a walking pop-culture encyclopedia, I beat him.

Supposedly, if you've seen more than 85 films, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 239 films on this list. Copy this list, go to your own Facebook account/etc., then paste this. Then, put X's next to the films you've seen, add them up, change the header adding your number, and click post at the bottom.

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest
(x) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club
() Starsky and Hutch
() Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane
Total: 8

(x) The Princess Bride
() Anchorman
(x) Napoleon Dynamite
() Labyrinth
(x) Saw
(x) Saw II
() White Noise
() White Oleander
() Anger Management
() 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
() The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Total so far: 13

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
() Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
() Scary Movie 2
() Scary Movie 3
() Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
(x) American Wedding
() American Pie Band Camp

Total so far: 19

(x) Harry Potter 1
() Harry Potter 2
() Harry Potter 3
() Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
(x) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
() Little Black Book
(x) The Village
() Lilo & Stitch

Total so far: 24

(x) Finding Nemo
() Finding Neverland
() Signs
() The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
() White Chicks
() Butterfly Effect
() 13 Going on 30
() I, Robot
(x) Robots

Total so far: 28

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
(x) Universal Soldier
() Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
() Along Came Polly
() Deep Impact
() Kingpin
(x) Never Been Kissed
() Meet The Parents
() Meet the Fockers
() Eight Crazy Nights
() Joe Dirt
() King Kong

Total so far: 31

() A Cinderella Story
(x) The Terminal
() The Lizzie McGuire Movie
() Passport to Paris
() Dumb & Dumber
() Dumber & Dumberer
() Final Destination
() Final Destination 2
() Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
(x) The Ring 2
() Surviving Christmas
() Flubber

Total so far: 35

() Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
() Practical Magic
() Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
() Secret Window
() I Am Sam
(x) The Whole Nine Yards
() The Whole Ten Yards

Total so far: 39

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child's Play
() Seed of Chucky
(x) Bride of Chucky
() Ten Things I Hate About You
() Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
(x) Remember the Titans
() Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
() The Grudge 2
() The Mask
() Son Of The Mask

Total so far: 47

(x) Bad Boys
(x) Bad Boys 2
() Joy Ride
(x) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Bourne Identity
(x) Bourne Supremacy
() Lone Star
() Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
() Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
(x) Curious George

Total so far: 59

(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
() A Bronx Tale
() Darkness Falls
() Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
() My Boss's Daughter
() Maid in Manhattan
() War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
(x) Rush Hour 2

Total so far: 65

() Best Bet
() How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
() She's All That
() Calendar Girls
() Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
() Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump
() Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3

Total so far: 72

(x) X-Men
(x) X-2
(x) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
() Spider-Man 2
() Sky High
() Jeepers Creepers
() Jeepers Creepers 2
() Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
() Freaky Friday
() Reign of Fire
() The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
() Cruel Intentions 2
() The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2

Total so far: 80

() Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th Street
() Old School
() The Notebook
() K-Pax
() Krippendorf's Tribe
() A Walk to Remember
() Ice Castles
() Boogeyman
() The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Total so far: 81

(x) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Total so far: 87

() Baseketball
(x) Hostel
() Waiting for Guffman
() House of 1000 Corpses
() Devil's Rejects
() Elf
(x) Highlander
() Mothman Prophecies
() American History X
() Three

Total so far: 89

(x) The Jacket
() Kung Fu Hustle
(x) Shaolin Soccer
(x) Night Watch
() Monsters Inc.
(x) Titanic
(x) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
(x) Shaun Of the Dead
() Willard

Total so far: 95

(x) High Tension
(x) Club Dread
() Hulk
(x) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
(x) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 Days Later
(x) Orgazmo
(x) Phantasm
() Waterworld

Total so far: 103

(x) Kill Bill Vol. 1
(x) Kill Bill Vol. 2
(x) Mortal Kombat
(x) Wolf Creek
(x) Kingdom of Heaven
(x) The Hills Have Eyes
() I Spit on Your Grave, aka The Day of the Woman
() The Last House on the Left
(x) Re-Animator
(x) Army of Darkness

Total so far: 111

(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
() Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
(x) Ewoks The Battle For Endor

Total so far: 118

(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
() Animatrix
(x) Evil Dead
(x) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
(x) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
() Hannibal

Total: 126

Now add them up and ... put "I've seen ... out of 239 films" and repost it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Monkey of the Day

A "pregnant" woman with a monkey belly!

No, it's not Marisa.

Monday, December 08, 2008

I weep for my (former) profession

On one of my media news feeds today, I saw an item about an essay contest:

Why I am the future of journalism.

I found myself thinking I'm a sure winner.

Because I have the horrible feeling I am the future of journalism:

A young, promising journalist who took the money and quit the profession for something more stable amid buyouts, threats of closing papers, fears management has no idea how to react to the struggling economy and changing times, and a general pessimism about the future of the industry.

I wish I didn't feel that way. I miss newspaper work almost every day. But one of my former employers filed for bankruptcy protection today, and that only serves as more evidence I did exactly what my former employers told me to do: What was best for my family.

Despite enjoying many of the challenges of my new job, I find myself struggling to adjust, struggling with whether I did the right thing, struggling with guilt, fear, anxiety.

Don't get me wrong. I have an interesting job, surrounded by good people, in what seems like a fairly stable place. Not to mention getting a free lunch and being home for dinner with the woman I love.

But I watch, with fear, as the industry I loved fights to stay out of a death spiral and I can't decide if I should feel the relief of a rat off a sinking ship, or the guilt of a survivor of a fatal train wreck.

It's not helping me adjust, I can say that much with confidence. And that may be the only confidence I have right now, in anything.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Awesome Army

I'm watching the Army-Navy game and something caught my eye.

USC-UCLA's uniform decisions may have gotten all the hype recently, but I have to say I love, love, love the camouflage uniforms Army is wearing.

So, the excellent UniWatch blog may have panned them, but I think they're great.

Camo helmets and pants, and the backs of the jerseys don't have player names, they say "Duty, Honor, Country," which truly sums up the expression that you don't play for the name on the back of the jersey, but the name on the front.

The uniforms also feature a service branch patch on the chest and Army slogans on the pants. The Nike "Enforcer" uniforms debuted in the game. (Navy's team is also wearing special uniforms.)

Not that the Black Knights' regular uniforms (above) are bad, with their traditional black-and-gold design.

Anyway, as you might guess, I'm rooting for Army, though they tend to be the worst of the Academy football teams. My father was in the Army Reserve during his brief military service, so I've always been partial to Army when it comes to service rivalries, though I have a soft spot for the old Air Force wishbone offense.

Plus, of course, my Civil War studies tend to focus on things like West Point graduates, so I've read a lot about their traditions.

And I have to say, no matter the outcome of the game (Army is losing as I type this), I am very impressed with the message Army is sending.

And, of course, I remain proud of all the men and women serving — or on the verge of serving — our country.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Coincidence? Dismissed as chance...

Watching "Kath & Kim" with Marisa tonight, I noticed one of the cast members is named "Day," which is the last name of the titular characters.

Which reminds me of two of the stranger character/cast coincidences in horror movies.

One of the more infamous co-stars (for her nude scene) in the "Friday the 13th" series is an actress named Debi Sue Voorhees — the same last name as the killer.

She was a victim in "Part V: A New Beginning," and has admitted one of the things that caught the filmmakers' eyes was her last name.

(Speaking of coincidences, IMDB trivia points out she went on to become a copy editor...)

But that's not the only last name match game in horror history.

One of the victims in the original "Halloween" was played by Nancy Loomis (born Nancy Kyes).

That actress, who played Annie Brackett, daughter of the sheriff, shared a name with the ostensible hero of the film, the mad Dr. Sam Loomis, Michael Myers' psychiatrist.

(She is now a sculptress — not an editor — according to the IMDB.)

Know any "Nightmare on Elm Street" coincidences for the horror hat trick?