Saturday, March 22, 2008

Today’s Grumblings

Good evening everyone.

Sometimes staring at this blank page makes me think that I have nothing to say, and then the words come out, filling the page with my wit and banter, some times drivel and dismay. Other times on rare occasions it will be just plain weird and un-funny. The words come out from my head and I end up typing pages on Microsoft word, ready for you, dear readers, on my electronic web updates for a rather uninteresting life.

Today is not one of those days I guess. Or it may turn out to be so, just depending on how much I feel like typing. Let’s start with a quick rundown of my day:

Noon: I finally woke, and got dressed.

Noon-fifteen-ish: ate a tuna fish sandwich that Mom made for me (thank you Mom)!

The repair man for the dryer came, and now I do not have to wear wet clothes.

Parents went shopping, and I went back to bed until approximately 3pm, then I awoke again to come here to work.

And today I think that I am going to have a little venting. Let’s see, things that pissed me off or just plain bothered me today:

1- Upon arriving at work, I knew I had a few problems to deal with. But when I am trying to deal with them, contact the appropriate people to have the problems fixed, and all I get is guff. One person I had to contact, was just plain irritated that I had called, never mind that I was trying to help him out with the situation, or save him trouble in the future, he was just plain rude and irritated that he had to do his job at work. Go figure.

2- I had a large craving for Taco Time today for lunch. So that is where I went. There are actually two things about this adventure that irritated me. Thing the first: when I am less hungry than I think, and I end up ordering way too much food. I have an entire plate of Nachos Grande that I could not give away.

3- Thing the second: this conversation between two guys in separate rock bands:

Guy1: Do you guys still play that song, the one that goes duh-duh-neewew-nah-new-neh-nah-duh-tah-denuhhh?

Guy2: Yeah, but we changed it to go da-neah-neah-neu-nanna-duh-newwwew-the-nanah-ne-dahhh

Guy1: Woah! That totally rocks! We’ve got one that goes nah-nenah-tedenah-neweewenahdah-nannah-nahen-dah-tendha.

Guy2: That’s freakin’ sweet! We are working on one that goes dah-nehnahneh-dah-neewe-han-nahten-dah-denuh-tanhah (start’s tapping his fingers on the table) dah-nenah-tedah-nennah-tewenah-DAH-NAHTEHAH-DAH-DUH!

Guy1: Woah! You guys rock hardcore!

The conversation continued in this manner for the entire duration of my standing in line waiting for my food. It was near impossible to choke back the laughter.

One day, if they try hard enough, they just might make it to the big time. And if by big time you mean: drunk at their dad’s house when they are 55, they have success written all over them.

4- Rubik’s Cubes: they are forged by Lucifer himself. Those things are irritating to no end, and yet no one can put one down until it is solved. They are meant to enslave humanity, and have driven lesser men to insanity. They need to be destroyed and sent back to the Fiery Hell from where they came!

That will do it for me tonight folks, because frankly I’m tired and can’t muster any more.

T

Friday, March 21, 2008

More From Moab

Good evening everyone.

Well, I have decided not to continue the ‘favorite movies’ thing. Honestly, I just got a little bored with it. Don’t get me wrong, I love talking about movies, but I just don’t see a point in doing a ‘grand-all-favorites’ kind of thing. There is just too much, it takes too much time and energy, plus you could just say that I wasn’t that interested in it to start with. Just a thought for a project, but quickly dissipated into something that was more of a nuisance than fun.

Now, back to the trip to Moab. The next day we awoke and went into Arches National Park. The first thing we did was Delicate Arch. The hike up as grueling, but worth it. We snapped some nice pictures and hung about for a while catching our breath and taking in the scenery. This arch I find rather interesting because unlike the others it is a stand alone arch, and has high cliffs all around. The cliffs on the sides were cool too, because they had little coves in them where water pools when it rains, and plants were growing in there, but no where else. I know it sounds boring, but they were interesting to look at. In fact, here’s one now:

And Delicate Arch:


These were there too (and cool. (about 300ish years old)):

Further up the park was the Firy Furnace. This I wanted to do, however due to time constraints, we could not. The Furnace consists of large chunks of rock that shoot straight up into the air, and you can walk around between them. To do this you either need to take a ranger guided hike or have a hiking permit. We had time for neither choice. But this is what it looks like from the outside:


Then it was off to The Devil’s Garden. This is at the very top of the park. There are numerous arches there, beautiful scenery and at the very end of this trail is the Dark Angel (more on that to come). The hike in Devil’s Garden started out easy, but then quickly went rough. There was one point where we were walking on a ‘rock fin’, with cliffs on either side. That was amazing, and the views were grand. There were sandstone rocks of deep red that came right out of the ground and seemed to stretch for miles. The pictures do not do it justice, but here are a couple:



The ‘rock fin’ we had to hike on:



This is where we had to get on the ‘rock fin’ to get to some of the arches on there (this one being Double-O Arch), and as you can see, the sign is quite hilarious because, well, the only thing we thought was: “what trail?”


Double-O Arch

I Don't Remember Arch

Wall Arch

Wooden Arch


Then it was to Dark Angel. This was the ‘end of the line’ of the park so to speak, with a mystical and magical name. That was very deceiving, because it was just I giant pillar of rock. The rock was not worth the hike, but the view and the silence was. Truly amazing (once again, the pictures do not do it justice):


Then we called it a day. I had pulled a muscle in my leg and we both had plenty of blisters and sunburns to show off, so then it was back to the hotel. After 8 hours of solid hiking, we rested well. I am also not going to bore you with the details of the drive home, unless you find I-15 fascinating. There were a couple of cool towns that I liked, and will return to for pictures, but that will be another story.

I know I have blogged about the desert before (see the New Year's Eve post), but I find myself needing to return there regularly. Once you go into the desert you can leave, but it does not leave you. It stays with you. It’s in my blood. The dry air, silence, solitude and beautiful surroundings are rivaled by few places on earth. Go there. Check it out. You will know what I mean.

T

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Return (From Vacation)

Good evening everyone.

Moab was awesome (to say the least)! It was a very relaxing and restful and adventurous two days. And I say two days because it was one full day of hiking and two half days of driving. We departed my house at about 9:30 or 10 am, and went straight down I-15 to Scipio. That was a weird little town, I guess. We were there for all of about 15 minuets or so. There was a cool old gas station there, next to an old saloon looking red building. So we took some pictures:


After that we went down US 50 to Salina, which was a little more of a disappointing town. When I say disappointing, I mean that it being an old small town and such you would think that it would be more ‘picturesque’. Alas, it was not. So here are photos from our drive on US 50:


Then we took I-70 over to 191. Here are pictures from our drive across I-70:

this is the view from a cool rest area:


Then we arrived in Moab. That town I like. It has a nice hippie relaxed vibe to the place. It seems like a place where you can go to just feel the rest of the world melt away. And that’s just what happened. We got there and checked into our hotel. It wasn’t the dump I thought it would be:


this was our view:


Then I needed a nap, so I made use of the bed. Then it was time for dinner, and wanting something ‘local’, we went to the Moab Brewery. They had amazing food (sorry, no pictures of food):


We also went to what I affectionately call ‘the hippie rock shop’. This is a vary cool little place where they have stones and fossils galore plus more inside, all in a cooky atmosphere. Here are pictures from that place (taken with permission):

Yup. Hippies.

wonder what's in here then?

Yup...Trash.


Then it was back to the hotel to rest up for the next day’s adventures of hiking.
Granted these pictures aren’t my par. The ‘nice’ ones, or the B&W’s will be up on the photo blog soon. That is going to do it for me tonight folks. Because, honestly, I’m just not in the mood to blog.

T

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Vengeance of Dionysus and Movies Galore!

Good afternoon everyone.

If you have survived yesterday’s long winded pissing and moaning, then I guess you really like me. After all, I think that every one should whine about this or that from time to time. Because when you do so, especially to some one who just listens, the situations at had seem to become all that much more possible, and it helps you to put things into perspective. Sometimes all you need is a good friend or family member who will just listen. I am blessed with many of you.

Now back to the updates in my life. I spent the better part of yesterday doing nothing finally, because I had a lot of that stacking up. Last night From Russia with Love and I went to a going away party for my friend Bubbles. She has accepted a position in our place of employment that is going to require her to move out of state, and she will be missed.

Before we went to the party, From Russia with Love had to tend to some animals that she is watching while a friend of the family is out of town. We went to her place so she could feed the dogs. And birds, and cats, and whatever miscellaneous creatures lurk inside that house and its badly papered and gaudy walls. And yes, there were cats there. So upon our departure, my eyes were itching something terrible.

When we got to the party, there were quite a few people that I did not know. In fact, other that myself and From Russia with Love, Dr. MookieLove and Bubbles, I did not know anyone there. Granted, there were a few people that I had met before, but not said more that two words to.

I spent most of the time with Dr. MookieLove and Bubbles when I could. From Russia with Love spent most of the evening socializing with the other girls that were there, and disappointing other gentlemen with the phrase: “Sorry, I have a boyfriend” (that’s just because you are too cute. I love you honey!). Between the two of us, we snapped about 100 pictures of the party. Bubbles even designated me the official ‘paparazzi’ for the evening.

Beverages and good times were had by all. And contrary to the title of this post, I am not hung over. I just thought that it would make for a good laugh. If only he was the God of being out too late as well. That would be more fitting for my situation (I’m just tired). That about sums up the party though. Nothing extremely exciting happened. Just socializing and goodbyes. Not ‘big’ goodbyes however, because I do plan on visiting as soon as my schedule and wallet permits. After all, there’s nothing like having the ‘hook-up’ in Vegas!

Also, during spring break and on, I have decided to do a multiple part project on my blog. As all of you know, I love movies (like, more than a friend). So I am going to be posting my favorite movies of all time by genre. Let me get some clarifications out of the way first before we dive into them:

Firstly; this is not an entire list of my favorite movies. That would be a list too hectic to count. These are just ones that have come to mind. However; in searching for a point to start, I thought from my childhood to present; and from that it got a little crazy. I have decided to group them into genres, and post them by genre periodically because the list became quite extensive.

Secondly; they are in no particular order. I just wanted to list some of them. There is not a limit I set on the list, i.e. ‘top 10’ and such, because that seems a little dishonest in categorizing, and they are in there for different reasons. So there is not a method to this madness. I am going to give you the ‘why’ they are on there though, so hopefully you may reconsider or reaffirm your stance on these gems of cinematic greatness.

Thirdly; let’s be more specific on ‘favorite’. There are a lot of kinds of movies, and favorites can vary greatly from genre to genre, and not only that, but why they are your favorite is important. These movies are the ones that have affected me, or moved me, or opened my mind to new things, or just plain enjoyed for dumb fun.

So, here we go the first genre. My favorite horror movies:

Alien- this movie was incredible. It’s the paradigm of ‘Art Horror’ in my opinion. You have the chief science officer that you find out it actually a traitorous robot, many classic scenes (including the thing jumping through the guy’s chest) and a scary and intimidating monster. The best part is the monster, because for the first part of the movie you do not actually see the thing, and you are scared only by your imagination. That can be a powerful tool of fear. Going back to the ‘Art Horror’ topic, the monster is a classic. It is cold, reptilian, unfeeling, brutally violent and holds no element of human decency sacred (for example: the willingness to eat women and children indiscriminately, and the scene where it is in the room with Sigourney Weaver’s character while she undressing. If that doesn’t scream vulnerability and ‘predator-prey’ relationships, I don’t know what does). That and the whole tone of the movie is just creepy. Brilliant!

Fire in the Sky- this movie scared the piss out of me when I was little. And it still does. I remember after having watched this movie, I did not sleep for days. It was the foundation for many nightmares when I was a child. And after it is all said and done, isn’t that what horror movies are supposed to do? Scare you? This one did its job and more on my little brain. In fact, I still recommend it for those who are in the mood to be freaked out. Because it is indeed; quite freaky.

Night of the Living Dead- This one also warped my little brain. I was deathly afraid of this one. Both the original and the remake. I have the poster for the remake on here, because it was the first one I saw, or the first one I remember seeing. Why do I like zombies, and why did they freak me out? Well, what I find scary is that they are marching death, and they do not stop. No matter how fast you run, kick and scream, they are still coming. And there is nothing you can do about it. They are hideous, cannibals and emotionally confusing because they are in the form of you’re friends and family. They are just cool marching death. Even in real life, you think of these fictional characters and they still stay with you. They stayed with me at least, reminding you that you can keep running, but your own mortality will catch up to you.

Ghostbusters1&2- To put things in a lighter note, these movies were great when I was a kid. I loved them because they were so amazing, funny and made me want to be a scientist (well, one of the many reasons). I did want to put them in the sci-fi list, but I ended up putting it in here. Just check them out for fun. Copious amounts of fun. Over and over again. That’s what I do! And so many funny and quotable lines!

Poltergeist- This is yet another movie that scared and enthralled me as a child. There was something that seemed a little close to reality in the presentation of the ghosts and haunting, and a lot of curiosity in the, well.. lets just call it for what it is: just plain goofy scenarios. I always wondered what it was like to be in the other world, were I could jump through a portal and communicate through the TV. And it was also a lot of fun to watch.

Pet Cemetery- This movie was a little taboo when I was a kid. To be more specific, Mom hated it and I was not allowed to watch it. So when I finally saw it, I was amazed. The character of the dead jogger, the creepy old neighbor, the cat Church (cats are just creepy animals anyway), and of course the cemetery. This leaves so much to the imagination and at the same time not. The cinematography was also cool and scary for what is was back in the day. I also read the book, which isn’t half bad. Check it out if you have the chance.

Hellraiser- The reason I love this movie is because of its originality. The movie took me by surprise, because it was not just a ‘monster! Kill! Kill!’ type, but the movie is about a guy who escapes from hell, and the deamons (lead by the infamous Pinhead) are released to bring him back, but the demons are taking everyone they can as well. Granted that may not be the most accurate plot description, but it has been a while since I have seen it. That and the cinematography I thought was cool, and just the ambiance of the movie gives me the willies.

Nightmare on Elm Street 1- This is mostly for the same reasons as the above movie. It took me a little by surprise, but the originality was lacking here. However, this movie had launched the infamous character of Freddy into the nightmares of American pop culture. Not to mention the character of Freddy is a little unorthodox and even funny at times. The noticeably low budget this movie was shot on I think forced the hands of the crew to be more creative with the special effects. That has given us one of the most infamous death scenes is all of horror (in my opinion) when Jonny Depp (yes, he was in it) gets sucked into the bed and the blood shoots up and pools on the ceiling. That is just plain eerie.

Freddy vs. Jason- this one goes in the dumb fun category. It takes itself a little too seriously for knowing the type of movie that it is, but still a treat to watch. Complete with all of the tacky clich├ęs from both horror movie franchises. If you want a movie that will simply entertain, and make you chuckle at how ridiculous it is, this is for you.


Jason X- This one is on here because of the differences in the above movie. This one seems to be taking itself too seriously for what it is at first, but as the movie progresses, the inherent flaws are made light of. That is a little harder to notice if you don’t watch these types of movies often. But worth a gander and a chuckle if you have a couple of hours to kill (no pun intended!)


The Shining- One of my favorite scary movies of all time, and probably my favorite of Stephen King’s stories. This movie has given so much to pop culture, such as famous scenes, quoteable lines, and a very classic performance by Jack Nicholson. There are points in the movie when you know what is going to happen, but you are still on the edge of your seat anyway. Even when you first watch it, there are moments when you know the formula, how it should end etc., but you still question how it will end. That just brings so much more to the story.

Evil Dead 2&3- The Evil Dead movies are classics. I don’t care what you say. Poking fun at horror movies themselves, these movies are actually comedies for those of you who are not familiar with them. Brainless action, great one liners, bad/hilarious effects, ridiculous story lines and fight scenes that are only outshined by The Tree Stooges. Many tributes to this have been made to in several other movies and cartoons. They have inspired a generation of filmmakers and showed the flexibility of their director. Excellent watching. Very well done and badly done at the same time.

Interview with the Vampire- This movie I praise because of the different light that it puts vampires in, showing the world in which they live in gruesome detail. The actors brought the characters right out of the pages of Anne Rice’s classic horror novel. This is a heavily stylized and cynical film, with an odd sense of humor and emotionally heavy in the most crucial plot points. The cinematography was superior, especially right at the climax of the film, when Brad Pitt’s character goes out for vengeance. That is one of the most memorable scenes in all of horror as well (in my opinion, yet again).

Bram Stoker's Dracula- This movie was not as spectacular as the one above, but it was almost a direct adaptation of the novel. Granted, there were a few creative liberties taken, but still excellent. The book I loved, and the character of Dracula is a very cool one, surrounded in myths, and once again, contributed much to pop culture. Last but not least, there is the fantastic performance of one of my favorite actors: Gary Oldman.

The Granny- this one made the list because it is just flat terrible. The story centers around a grieving family fighting over the inheritance left to them by “Granny”. Then she returns from the dead to have her vengeance on the greedy family, and gore ensues. The best part of the film was near the end. The Granny resurrects her dead husband, who is nothing more that a skeleton covered in rotting flesh, to join her wave of violence/hilarity. Then, she kisses the corpse. I laughed at that for hours. The rest of the film had cleches abound, but still so much fun.

That will do it for me today folks. My fingers are tired. I'm off to Moab tomorrow! Yay!!!

And one last thing, back to the above: we will miss you Bubbles!!!


T