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.”

tv, music, medical comments edit

[Days Until Vegas: 13]

I’m never the first to jump on a bandwagon. For some reason, I always find out about cool stuff after everyone else has already thought it was cool. Sometimes I find out about it after everyone thinks it’s cool and then wears it out until it’s not cool anymore.

The latest bandwagon I’m late to jump on is MTV’s The Osbournes.

For those who, like me, are late to jump on the bandwagon, this is a [sort of] reality TV show that’s basically a camera running around Ozzy Osbourne’s house and filming the daily life of the Osbourne family.

Normally, I’m not into the whole “reality TV” thing. I’ve watched my share of The Real World (which should actually fall under the “drama” category and be called The World No Person With A Normal Income Can Afford) and Road Rules. I currently watch Survivor and The Amazing Race. But, for the most part, I’m not a huge fan.

This Osbournes show, though, is probably the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. You get to see how Ozzy lives, and you realize that, regardless of the whole “Prince of Darkness” show that gets put on, he’s just a guy trying to get by. You see how his family bickers (maybe a little more than most) and the dysfunctional stuff they do to each other. And the only word you can really, truly understand Ozzy saying is “fuck.” Seriously. When they get the guy on camera, you hear (in an English accent) something like “mumble mumble fuck mumble fucking mumble mumble.” It’s crazy.

Last night I watched an episode where the Osbournes were having Christmas dinner. Ozzy carved the turkey and cooked some gravy that he seemed pretty proud of. Too much. Then Ozzy got a James Brown puppet thing that sings and dances to “I Feel Good” when you press a button on it. Ozzy wouldn’t stop pushing the button. Reminds me of something my dad would do.

The thing about this show is that I don’t think it’d be funny if it wasn’t Ozzy. I mean, okay, if you stuck, like, Angus from AC/DC in a show like this, it would probably be just as funny. Or maybe Alice Cooper. But, like, watching Eric Clapton’s everyday life? Or Billy Joel? Interesting, maybe, but not nearly as entertaining. The dichotomy of “Prince of Darkness Rock Star” and “Everyday Guy Trying to Get By” is what makes the show what it is.

Next week is apparently the last episode in the season. I don’t know if they’re going to do another season, but I hope so. In the meantime, I’m going to have to catch the episodes I haven’t seen yet when they rerun them.

I also went and bought one of Ozzy’s CDs since watching the show got the music into my head. Figures, eh?

On a whole other note, my allergist appointment is today. The Allegra I got at the general practitioner isn’t working as well as I’d like - it’s kept me less congested than normal, but now my nose runs a lot of the time - so maybe I can get a different medication. Jenn is liking her Claritin… maybe that will work for me, too. Either way, they can’t test me for new allergies today even if they want to because I got the notice yesterday that tells me I’m not supposed to take prescription antihistamines (Allegra) for 72 hours before an appointment. As if they didn’t have all last week to tell me that, or even tell me that when I made the appointment. Oh, well. If I can come out of there with something to un-stuff my nose and keep it drip-free, I’ll be a happy camper.

And, last (but definitely not least), SuperDiamond, probably my favorite concert band, will be playing at The Crystal Ballroom on Saturday, May 11. I’m thinking Jenn and I may just have to go.