media, movies comments edit

I watched Matchstick Men this weekend. It said “comedy” on the side of the box, but I don’t think I’d classify it as such.

Matchstick Men is the story of Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage), an obsessive-compulsive con artist. He’s been conning people for years, has a bit of a shady past, and wants to get out of the business. He’s done some big cons, he’s done small cons… and now he’s going to do one last big job and quit.

It occurs to me that being a con artist must be a lot like being a gambler. You do it often enough and you become greedy, and rather than knowing when to quit, you somehow feel the need to make one last big play before cashing in. At least, that’s how it seems from the movies.

So Roy decides to do one last con. Unfortunately, he’s run out of medication for his OCD so he needs some psychiatric help to get some more medication. He goes to see the psychiatrist and starts discovering things about himself. He feels sort of empty and needs to get in touch with what really matters in life.

Eventually he gets in contact with his teenage daughter (Alison Lohman), who he’s never met. And, somehow, life seems that much better. The compulsive ticks slowly dissipate and you finally see a man complete and happy.

I thought this was a great movie. It legitimately made you care for the characters, which is not something you see a lot of lately, and it told an interesting story. I will tell you this - there was a colossal plot twist that I never saw coming. It just makes it all the better.

If you have the chance, give this a rent. It’s well worth your time, as are most Ridley Scott films.

Cruising in to work this morning, I saw one of those WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) stickers on the bumper of a car and it got me thinking. Besides the fact that I hate bumper stickers (as long-time readers know), if you’re asking me what Jesus would do in a situation, I’d like to pose to you the following:

As of now, if Jesus were alive, He’d be over 2000 years old. Chances are He’ll have seen it all and done most of it. It’s also pretty likely that He’d be fed up that people haven’t figured things out by now and will probably have lost patience with stupidity, arrogance, and all the other traits you generally find in people right now. I mean, seriously, even Job would be like Sam Kinison by now.

So, having established a few facts and knowing what we know, let’s run through a scenario. Jesus, sitting in His 1984 Honda Civic hatchback, driving down the highway doing 70mph. He’s got places to go, people to see, He’s probably late for work. Okay, now some guy gets on the freeway and merges right in front of Jesus going 40mph. Knowing that the freeway speed limit is 55mph and the rest of traffic is doing at least 65mph, What Would Jesus Do?

Option 1: Slow down and say a small prayer for the person who just merged in front of him. “Our Father, who art in Heaven, please bless the poor soul in front of Me, who feels cautious and careful while driving. Please bless him that he may gain confidence in himself and his driving abilities, that he might someday allow himself to take full advantage of the abilities bestowed upon him. Amen.”

Option 2: Lay on the horn and yell - through the windshield, basically just to Himself - at the merging person while shaking and beating on the steering wheel. “What in the hell is wrong with this guy?!?! HEY, COCKLUNCH, FIGURE OUT HOW TO MERGE ALREADY! What is this, rocket science? People like you are the cause of road rage! A pox on both your houses! Sheeit!

Yeah, that’s what I thought. After 2000 years of ridiculous drivers - all the way from the people unable to steer their camels in the marketplace to now - you’d be pissed off, too.

Let’s try on one more, just for fun.

Jesus, still driving His ‘84 Civic, in the middle of rush hour and almost home. He makes this same trip every day. He starts driving down a busy road where there’s a peripheral street that merges into the main road. The peripheral street has a yield sign; there’s no traffic control telling the main road to slow down, stop, or anything. It’s up to the peripheral street to fit in where they can.

Instead of letting traffic flow the way it was designed, the people on the main road stop to let one, two, sometimes three cars in off that peripheral street at a time. This ends up backing the main road up something awful. After sitting on the main road and hardly getting anywhere for half an hour (while everyone on the peripheral street has it free-and-clear), He’s almost past the peripheral street when the guy immediately in front of Him stops and lets one… two… three… FOUR cars through and seems to be letting more in. What Would Jesus Do?

Option 1: Pull out His PocketPC and write new scripture until the person in front of Him decided to resume travel. No time like the present to reflect on one’s life, right?

Option 2: Get out of the car and part the main road like the Red Sea. Following the laws of God means following the law of the land, too. That’ll teach those bastards. “Learn to drive, bitches!”

Again, a pretty cut-and-dried choice if you ask me.

I’m thinking the “What Would Jesus Do” people really haven’t taken into account the true nature of the issue here. Jesus might have been the Son of God, but he was human, too. Maybe something to think about, eh? :)

(Yeah, I’m probably going to Hell for that one, I know.)

home comments edit

I got word yesterday that my home loan was officially approved. The paperwork is being wrapped up and sent to the title company for closing. One step closer!

In other news, the packing is going reasonably well. We’ve got a lot of the books and appliances and things we don’t use daily boxed up, but there’s still a long way to go. Tomorrow I’m going to have to get a couple of large boxes for framed artwork, so that’ll mean a trip to U-Haul. Once we get the art off the wall in the living room, we’ll set about repainting it (it’s cobalt blue now; it needs to be white when we leave). To that end, we’ll be picking up some primer tonight at the store.

Jenn thinks we’re working way too far ahead of the packing game as it stands. I think, though, that it’s more accurate to say we’re right on schedule. What I’m trying to avoid is the stressful mad-dash-of-packing at the last minute. What I’d rather have is one or two boxes packed each night until all that’s left that last weekend we’re in the apartment is the stuff we use on an absolutely daily basis. Especially since we’ll be busy most of next Saturday with a pyrotechnician training class.

home comments edit

As requested in comments, here’s the Official Housewarming Gift Guide. Buy me stuff! We will be having a party at some point once we’re unpacked, and the price of admission is a gift.

(Okay, I’m joking about all that, but for the people who actually do want to know what we need, here’s a list. I’ll keep this constantly updated with new and changing things, so check back before you get anything. I’ll also be updating the registries constantly.)

THE LIST

Gift Certificates

Online Registries