Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cinema Therapy, volume 12

So, despite it being one of the biggest cash-ins on someone's personal history in recent box offices, this is probably one of the best films in theaters right now. After having seen it without the tissue that I should have brought along, I can safely say that I loved this movie.

The Blind Side is one of those feel-good flicks that you might honestly say that you could watch a few more times afterwards, and walk out of the theater with the quick step that Sandra Bullock uses to channel her real-life tough-girl muse, Leigh Anne Touhy.

The story of a young man who has managed to be left by the wayside through the neglect of a drug-addicted mother and a system that is often overworked, under-resourced, and possibly mis-managed is also the story of his triumph over the overwhelming odds against him to become educated and financially backed at a top college and becomes a top 2009 draft pick for the NFL. Sadly, Michael Oher's story could just as easily have been the same as countless others who come from the same backgrounds, if not the same geographical location. And while we celebrate his wonderful story and the family that made it possible, we also must acknowledge that there are millions of Michael Ohers out there, whose access to all the wonderful possibilities are hindered by the failings of others, as the film points out at the end.

Despite all of that, The Blind Side is as entertaining as it is inspiring. And I hope that if you haven't seen it yet, you will.

In case you haven't been exposed to it yet, check out the trailer:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Well slap my ass and... oh, you already did that?

Last night afforded me the opportunity to make an ass of myself with my co-worker and partner-in-crime, Shelly (not my uncle's wife/aunt - there's more than one, you know).

While walking out of the office, she managed to stop suddenly, and I (not looking mind you) kind of ran into her. Well, not exactly. Actually it was my hand. And it smacked her really good right in the ass. This lead to a series of renditions of "I can't believe I slapped your ass" all night, followed by laughing. To be fair, it was the side of my hand, so it was more of a smack than a slap, but I don't think the difference matters all that much. It happened. So at least it was an interesting start to the uneventful night.

I have to admit that I'm pretty lucky to work with her and Krissy (day accounting office associate extraordinaire). They made coming back to that miserable excuse for a job a lot more bearable. Or at least ended the dread. (Please excuse the comments here. My job is tedious and sometimes extremely boring, but by no means a completely horrible job. If anything, I'm lucky to have it all things considered. If only it weren't at Wal-mart...)

What is up with the people who flock to the break room during our mandatory fifteens? They are so loud. I wonder if they feel the need to stretch their vocal chords to keep from passing out. Entirely possible. However, this makes it damn near impossible to enjoy reading my book on break. What the hell?! It could be worse: I could be one of those poor schmucks who are chained to their smoking habits and have to congregate outside to get their deadly, yet calming cigarette fix. It's f-ing cold out there folks. I'd rather not.

By the way, bad news my friends. It seems I will not have access to my niece until March. So, I'm afraid I will be a little melancholy. In all honesty, the road trips to MN were taking their toll on my days off. But I miss her all the same.

I have some truly cute videos of her. On one of them, she's looking at a bug and says, "Ta-da! I peeking!" Too precious.

In other unrelated news, I am on the brink of veganism. Sadly, I will say "adios" to cheese, ice cream, omelettes, and other tasty pieces of heaven that animal products can create. The cancer and heart disease in my family was the ultimate kicker. It's a rampant problem - rampant! And weight issues aside (and they are profound by themselves), this is the overriding factor. Plus, after reading The Kind Life, I don't think I can justify what eating these things does to the Earth. If you don't think that you're casting a vote with every grocery purchase, think again. The processed foods and refined sugars will be making an exit as well. There may be occasional visits on this variety show, but they will be by no means regular cast members.

I have to dig out my treadmill too. It's become the de facto resting spot for all the Christmas wrapping paper of late. I need to knock that shit out. I never let it happen before. This last year has been really bad with the treadmill abuse. Oh well. It's in there somewhere.

Alright. So, that's the update for now. Sam out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Road to 50 Books.

I tried and tried not to come up with a New Year's Resolution. And well, I kind of blew it. I decided to do a challenge. Not a resolution per se. But still, it gives me a goal to reach for in a very real and calculable way. I like that it's a reading goal. I haven't done that since the third grade. Maybe the fourth. Not quite sure. I may have to confer with some childhood friends for a final verdict on that.

So, it's my hope that I can read 50 books in 2010. It's an ambitious goal, but originally, I thought of doing 100 books. That was too ambitious. I scaled it back and presto! we've got a decent goal.

Join the challenge and post it on your blogs or Facebook pages. It's a good way to kick off the new year - with knowledge.

So far, I'm on book #2.

I will give occasional updates of my list. Plus, I'll keep the sidebar updated. Keep checking back.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cinema Therapy, volume 11

So, I recently became acquainted with this volume's film of choice. With the overall sense that it might be a frivolous waste of time, I decided to view it, and then decided that I really liked (if not bordering on loved) it.

Stardust has the same running themes of love and the pursuit of power, beauty, and eternal youth as many other movies of the fantasy genre. But it also craftily weaves these themes in a way that is not only entertaining, but heart-warming.

Yes, it is a story of love conquering all, and a happy ending to boot, but it envisions a world where the whimsical still has equal footing with the blow-them-up flicks that tend to trample the cineplex to death.

I have to admit, the characterizations are what got me. The banter between the lead characters of Tristan and Yvaine (Charlie Cox and Claire Danes respectively) are as cute as any current rom-com in the making, and the silly, yet clever character of Captain Shakespeare (masterfully and comically played by Robert De Niro) makes me want to spend some more time in this fantasy world.

With the same qualities that hooked followers of The Princess Bride, Star Wars, and The Wizard of Oz, Stardust holds its on the screen. It may not have the critical acclaim or cult followings of the aforementioned films, but it's surely as feel-good a film as any.

Friday, January 1, 2010

I joined Facebook - I asked for it.

So, a personal friend has de-friended me on Facebook. By "personal friend", I mean someone who I work with I had considered my friend. Even after I quit the store, we did stuff together, and talked on the phone, and all the things that people do when they are actual friends.

For whatever reason, Sadie has given my ass the boot, and well, I'm not all that sad. This may have been a while coming. But there's more to this story than meets the eye.

Sadie and I have had bouts of contention in the past. This has always, always been work-related. We always got on better when we didn't work together. I know she has a work ethic, she's just not displaying it right now, and it's caused me to comment on it. To her. When I heard she'd gotten a D-Day (Decision Day, where management decides if they're going to keep you or not), I wasn't all that surprised. The reason I'd initially heard about was stupid, but that's besides the point. And it made me think that they were just coming up with a reason to get rid of her. I'm not the only one who's had issue with her before. If I'd commented on this to someone (at least someone who can't keep his/her mouth shut), I don't recall. So, whatever her deal, Sadie ended our Facebook friendship.

Here's the sad part: I wouldn't have even noticed if it weren't for the fact that I use her as an employee on Restaurant City. Lately, it's the only reason I bother to log on to FB. I know the draw of Facebook. I've even requested people to join it. But lately, I have no desire to do much on there, except gain levels on Restaurant City. Lame, I know. Maybe I've outgrown it.

If Sadie had a problem with me, she could've called. She could've talked to me at work. Nope, just easier to give the ol' FB boot.

Somehow, I'm okay with this. Whatever.

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