tv, toys comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 6]

Or, more accurately, can MTV save your mortal soul? I think not.

I was getting ready to watch The Osbournes last night and flipped on MTV a little early while waiting for it to come on and I was greeted with potentially the most hideous thing I’ve ever witnessed. Ever.

For there, glaring at me through my television screen, were the most pathetically shallow individuals ever conceived, putting on a show of emotion for the September 11 attacks.

The show was MTV’s The Real World, which, as most folks who know me know, I think is one of the lamest shows ever. Yeah, I’ve watched my share of it in late night “nothing’s on TV” times, but watching The Real World any more is like watching an extended Jerry Springer episode - you never think it can get any more convoluted or lame, but then, somehow, it does. The lesbian lover shows up; the Nazi boyfriend lights someone on fire; etc., etc.

Anyway, back to the point: For half an hour I watched a group of people presumably my age cry their hearts out, kiss each other, pray, and sing in mourning for the Sept. 11 incident. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. But the manner in which this mourning occurred felt, to me, to be the most inauthentic display of feeling witnessed on national television.

The amount of legitimate feeling there equated to a person you’ve never met coming up to you and kissing you on both cheeks. Yeah, you just got kissed, but did it mean anything? Nope. The way these people so… deliberately… feel their emotions… it’s almost frustrating. It was like watching someone tell them “Something terrible just happened. The country is in disarray. You should now feel bad,” and they then feel what they’re told.

What I’m even more worried about is that this might be actually how people are now. Maybe I’m an exception to the norm (which wouldn’t be the first time). Maybe I’m just inarticulate and my feelings overpower me. But when I feel grief, I can’t just sit there and say, “Well, I’m feeling grief right now, as evidenced by the tears you see rolling down my face.” It’s not a scientific, and rarely an easily communicatable, thing. The display I witnessed was… so robotic.

Is that how people are anymore? If so, that’d explain a lot about the world and why things that happen in the world get the reaction they do. I really hope folks aren’t as shallow as all that.

Or maybe it was just the way the show was cut together. Here’s hoping.

On another note…

The Osbournes was a great episode. “Dinner With Ozzy.” They interviewed him and showed highlights from the season. It was too funny, and it sort of put all the antics into perspective. As Ozzy says, “[he] doesn’t think the way [they] live is abnormal… that’s how [he’s] always lived.”

Went to lunch today and saw at the local KB Toy outlet that they had giant ReBoot figures for $5 each. Had to get the two they had left. More crap to cram into the apartment.

food, comics comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 7]

LimoneOnly a week until Jenn & I hit the streets of Vegas, and I’m stoked. The only problem is, the closer I get to vacation, the longer the time seems to go. I’m afraid this week is going to last forever and next week will only be a heartbeat. Such is the way of the vacation.

It’s been a while since I’ve had one, but I have to say, Tré Limone is one of the greatest beverages ever. (Their web site takes forever to get past the intro, though, so you’ll want to jump right to the product section.) It’s difficult to find in the Portland area, but I found that the Haggen by my work stocks it, so yay, me! I bought one to nurse in today’s staff meeting at work. It’s the little things. (Flying Elephant’s Delicatessen in downtown Portland also has it, in case you wondered.)

I realized last night that I forgot to wear my Spider-Man “No. 1 Amazing Fantasy” watch when I went to the movie. I don’t wear it much because I don’t want it to get all dinged up (I’m pretty hard on my watch; it’s a good thing my regular watch is pretty durable). It’s really cool, though. My parents got it for my birthday a few years back.

Speaking of cool watches, I like the Dumbledore’s Pocket Watch that Fossil has out. (Hint, hint…)

Well, time for staff meeting. And donut eating.

movies, tv, medical comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 8]

After talking to the rest of the guys in my department, of the folks who have seen Spider-Man, everyone agrees it was awesome. It looks like, according to IMDb, they’re making a sequel. That’d be cool. I hope it’s as good as this one.

I’m also hoping that the new Star Wars movie holds its own. When they released Episode I, I was stoked, but to be honest, except for the Natalie Portman action in there, it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. Maybe it’s the whole “can’t-live-up-to-the-hype” phenomenon I described in my Spider-Man review. Maybe it’s the fact that the Jar-Jar Binks character sucks huge donkey. Anyway, I hope this latest installment justifies the hype.

Alias last night was the bomb. You never think it could possibly get more intriguing or convoluted and then it does. It reminds me a bit of the first few seasons of The X-Files or La Femme Nikita. I hope they can maintain this breakneck pace. I’m loving it. I can’t wait until they bring it out on DVD. Besides… Jennifer Garner. ‘Nuff said on that issue.

Allergies: They suck. But I have medication now. Lots of it. I have Nasacort for daily dosage, I have Allegra to catch the stuff the Nasacort doesn’t, and for those “heavy days” I have Astelin. Oh, and I got an albuterol inhaler for when I can’t breathe, because, as it turns out, I guess I’m mildly asthmatic. It just keeps getting better.

I’m in the process right now of installing Visual Studio .NET. I’ve gotta figure out how to write a Windows service, and it looks like .NET does a lot of that for you. Here’s hoping. Point being, I’ve been installing this thing for the last hour and it’s showing no signs of slowing. What a pain.

movies, comics comments edit

Spider-Man has to be the best superhero/comic-based movie since the original Superman.

I went in on Saturday with high expectations. The previews for this thing hype it up to the point where I’m scared to even venture into the theater. I’ve been so severely let down by movies like Jurassic Park after seeing the commercialism surrounding them that movies with too much promotion are movies I usually won’t see. In 99% of cases, there’s no way a movie can live up to the expectations the promotion builds.

Spider-Man lives up to every last bit of the hype.

Spider-Man is (duh) the story of Spider-Man. If you don’t know who Spider-Man is, climb out from under the rock you call home and join us in the now. Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) and does a great job of giving us the “mild-mannered” treatment. You get to see his struggles through high school and understand what his state in life is. Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane Watson, the girl Peter desperately wants to date. Willem Dafoe plays Norman Osborn, aka The Green Goblin, the bad guy in the film.

Peter is a nerdy photographer in high-school who likes Mary Jane. He’s lived next door to her for years, but she somehow doesn’t know who he is. Mary Jane dates the popular kids, which is not what Peter is. On a field trip, Peter gets bitten by a genetically enhanced spider (which is slightly different than the radioactive spider that was seen in the comic) and gets spider powers. He climbs walls, he shoots webs, etc., etc. But the cool part of this is that you actually get to see him figure out how to use his powers. He just doesn’t instantly understand them - he plays around a bit with them and messes up a few times getting the hang of them.

Peter has a friend, Harry Osborn, whose dad, Norman is some sort of scientist developing products for the Army. Norman’s about to lose his funding, so he tries out one of the products on himself and *whammo* turns into a crazed lunatic with super strength.

Norman (as The Green Goblin) tries to kill the people who are taking away his funding; Spider-Man comes in to save the day. Sounds simple enough, right?

It is. Just that simple. And that’s the brilliance of it. The story is pretty basic, but you actually care about the characters. There was no point while watching this that I said, “What the hell is that guy thinking? This is stupid!” I left thinking “I want to be Peter Parker.” Sort of the same way I left The Matrix thinking “I want to be Neo.” You start to see what Peter sees in Mary Jane. You understand Peter’s struggles. And you almost wish you could help.

I went in wearing my brand-new Spider-Man baseball jersey, eating my Spider-Man sour gummy spiders, having just purchased a Spider-Man dual-action web blaster, and I loved every single minute of the movie. I want to go back and see it again, and I’ll definitely be picking it up on DVD.

And, hey, you get some Kirsten Dunst nip while you’re there. Could it get any better? I think not.

Go out and see Spider-Man. It’s well worth it.

movies, home, tv comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 11]

Well, as everyone knows, Spider-Man is out today. And, yeah, I wanna see it. I wasn’t so hot on it the very first time I saw the preview, but as I saw more about it, it grew on me. Then when I saw that, true to style, Sam Raimi stuck his car in there, I was sucked in. (I should have figured the car would be there, it’s always there, but seeing it made me happy.)

As such, I’m wearing my Spider-Man shirt today, even though I wore it on Monday (yes, it’s clean), and I’m really tempted to head down to Toys R Us and get some of the web-shooting gloves so I can combine them into one, cooler-than-cool Spider-Toy. I really shouldn’t spend the money on it, but it’s so cool. Besides, I’m starting to get that “it’s only money” feeling anymore.

Then again, I really do need to save up so I have a reasonable down payment for a house. I’d like to get out of apartment living ASAP since I’m tired of my neighbors downstairs cooking some sort of stew that smells like sour tomato sauce. The stench filters upstairs into our bedroom and makes it difficult to sleep. I’m also tired of the four-year-old next door yelling at his mom at 2:00am about how he can’t find his underpants.

I just heard on CNN that The Osbournes may be renewing for another season. Apparently, this season they only got $200,000 for making the show; next season they may get upwards of $20,000,000. One-hundred times as much. Somehow, while I’m not the guy paying the money, that makes me a little irritated. How come I don’t get $20mil to have someone run around filming my daily life? (Probably because the fortieth day of me sitting on my ass at work would get a little old.) I guess it goes to prove that some folks just have too much money.

For those who are bored: The “Poke Alex In The Eye” game has been updated. And for those who’ve never been there, you’ll also want to check out “Brad The Game.”