Friday, December 29, 2006

Auld Lang Syne

As '06 gives way to '07, I thought I'd give a summary of what events occurred in my life over these past 12 months. When the year started, I was working at Charter Communications (they're rubbish). I may elaborate on this in a future entry. But now I'm happier than a pig in slop working in the accounts payable department of a company that works with the developmentally disabled. When the year started, we had snow on the ground. As of today, we've had but one snowstorm this season (climate change). My dad had a stent put in a few months ago, but is recovering well. I now have a web journal that goes back several months. I went to a great concert (Vince) and had sex in my backyard for the first time (jk). I got a new winter jacket for the first time since 1992. I still have dial-up at home (and there's nothing you can do about it) and all 3 of my brothers still have big dongs.

Wishing you and yours all the best for '07.

I feel your pain...

A movie columnist whose website ( I regularly frequent got quite sick earlier this year. He had to spend a day or two in the hospital. The news happened to be on in his hospital room. Here was his priceless reaction when the President appeared:

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I went to 26 different movies in 2006. Since there were a couple movies that I saw multiple times, I had a total of 36 moviegoing experiences. In the early part of '06, I went to "Brokeback Mountain" with Shanon. He was a bit uncomfortable with the material (I'll elaborate on this in a future entry). I found the movie to be quite profound. We also went to (Hello, I'm Johnny Cash) "Walk the Line". Very good film. In the late winter, we saw "Final Destination 3", "Date Movie", and "V for Vendetta".

Spring came, as it is prone to do. Shanon and I went to "ATL" and "The Benchwarmers" (better than I expected). My 2nd favorite movie of the year was a sequel that I went to 5 times (including once with Shanon and once with my mom). The title: "Scary Movie 4".

These movies are totally my kind of humor, so it was no suprise that I was consistently laughing throughout the film. In the spring, I went to, "United 93". Very gripping and harrowing, undeniably powerful filmmaking (many critics' groups have named it the best movie of the year).

During the summer, I went to quite a few flicks. I elaborated on them in a prior entry, but just for the record, here are the ones that I saw: "The DaVinci Code", "X-Men: The Last Stand", "Over the Hedge", "Click" (Dori cried at the end of this one), "Superman Returns", "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (rubbish), "Monster House", "Little Miss Sunshine" (very enjoyable, great cast), and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby" (not as funny as I was hoping).

As the leaves fell, my moviegoing continued with Mark Wahlberg in "Invincible". I also saw "Jackass: Number Two" (OK), "The Illusionist" (fantastic, more details in a prior entry), "The Prestige" (nice! I took off work early to see this one), "Sweet Land" (a beautifully photographed movie that takes place in 1920's Minnesota), followed by two franchise movies with Shanon, "Casino Royale" (excellent) and "Rocky Balboa" (very good).

My favorite movie of the year will be no surprise to regular readers of this weblog. In September, I was invited to a special MySpace screening of a new movie based on one of Sacha Baron Cohen's characters from HBO's "Da Ali G Show" (I wrote quite extensively on this viewing experience in a prior entry). It opened nationally on November 3rd, but didn't come to Rochester, so I went to the Cities to see it that weekend. When it did open in Rochester on November 10th (my birthday), I went to it twice that weekend (once with Shanon). The following week, I went to it again. When I went out of town for Thanksgiving, I saw it with a couple friends. I went to it one more time (my 7th) just before it left town a couple weeks ago. I saw it in 5 different theatres. I am talking, of course, about

It's the funniest movie I (and many others) have seen in years. The reviews were almost universally positive.

Here is a transcript of one of my favorite scenes:

Borat: [while driving] Look, there is a woman in a car! Can we follow her and maybe make a sexy time with her?
Driving Instructor: No, no, no, no, no, no!
Borat: A-why not?
Driving Instructor: Because a woman has the right to choose who she has sex with.
Borat: [stunned] WHAT...? You joke?
Driving Instructor: It must be consensual. How 'bout that?
Borat: [turns to Instructor, pauses] Ahahahahaha!

Driving Instructor: That's good, huh?
Borat: [pause] Is not good for me.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Oh my God. Christmas '06 just ended, but whadda you know. Here's the poster for a Vince Vaughn vehicle scheduled to open next November:

Who Doesn't Love Polar Bears?

"The Bush administration has decided to propose listing the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, putting the U.S. government on record as saying that global warming could drive one of the world's most recognizable animals out of existence."

The Day After Christmas

Yesterday I was able to catch up with my soul brother, Shanon. He came to town at around 3pm. We met at Best Buy. He had bought me 4 comedy CD's (Bill Cosby, 2 by Rodney Carrington, including this one,

and Harland Williams) for Christmas, but I wasn't really too interested in keeping any of them. So he brought the receipt along and said I could return one or two of them. While I waited in line to make the return, he went looking around in his favorite section of the store, DVD movies. After waiting 5-10 minutes, I got to the front of the line. The guy asked if I wanted to have the amount put on a gift card. I said I wanted, "cash money". I returned all 4 discs and got more than $50 cash back. Thanks, Shanon D. He assumed I just returned one or two. Oh well. I don't want to hurt his feelings by saying I returned everything. He was thinking of buying a few movies, but passed by the newest CD releases on his way to the checkout and found 3 discs he was interested in (the newest recording by Ludacris, by Chingy, and by a new guy called Akon).

Later, we went to eat at Famous Dave's. They were still playing some Christmas music as we ordered. Shanon said that hearing Xmas music is fine until the 1st of the year. Me, I'm Chrismased out. Shanon ordered the Devil's Spit burger (1/2 pound): Slathered with Devil's Spit BBQ sauce and topped with pepper-Jack cheese, jalapeƱo bacon and Hell-Fire Pickle Chips. Yummy...if you've got the stomach for it.

We then headed for the movie show. There was quite a line of people waiting to get tickets at Cinemagic. The movie I was most interested in seeing was

I went up to the cashier and said, "Yo, I wanna see Rocky" in my best Philly accent. I remember seeing Rocky IV during the Christmas season of 1985 (I was only 15 at the time, just a little shit). I missed Rock V, but heard it wasn't that great. I'm not a big fan of boxing, but I had read that this newest movie deals more with his life and the passing of his wife.

There is some fighting, but only near the end of the movie. It was quite a good film, definitely a fitting end to the saga.

Here is one of my favorite lines from the movie. In this scene, he is speaking to his son:

Rocky Balboa: Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take, and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done. Now, if you know what you're worth, then go out and get what you're worth. But you gotta be willing to take the hit, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you are because of him, or her, or anybody. Cowards do that and that ain't you. You're better than that!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Garth Part VII

I saw Garth in concert for the last (5th) time in October of 1998. I had seen him 4 times over the previous 8 days. Now my fantastic voyage was coming to an end. But I wouldn't be alone. My younger brother, Matt (4th from left)

had agreed to come along. He arrived in Rochester in the late afternoon. His mode of transport: a SHO.

After exchanging some pleasantries, we headed to the Twin Cities. Matt had been a fan of Enya in the early 90's, so he had a chuckle when we passed the town of Oronoco (one of Enya's most popular songs is called, "Orinoco Flow"). We caught up on things. He wasn't able to attend my wedding 2 months prior due to some issues he was experiencing. He was doing quite well now, though.

As we got closer to the Cities, I realized that I would need to stop for gas. So, I turned off at a truck stop and filled 'er up. I then went into the bathroom (Matt was buying a couple snacks). After the head, I went to my car and we headed out. I drove a few miles and looked at my fuel gauge, happy that I now had a full tank. I was about to tell Matt that it's good we stopped for gas when I realized that I hadn't paid for it. I had forgotten to pay at the checkout after getting out of the bathroom. Oops. I looked in my rearview mirror to be sure there were no police following us. There wasn't any time to return to the truck stop and make payment (showtime was getting closer).

We arrived in Minneapolis and parked the car. We found our seats (in the lower balcony) and the place began to fill up. Matt said that seeing a sellout crowd all fired up was worth coming for in and of itself. Trisha came out, GB performed. Garth's show (and his 9-night stand in the Cities) came to an end.

Garth posters had been put up all over the bathrooms. I decided I wanted to take one. No luck. They had all already been taken down by other Garth fanatics. On a related note, I should also mention that a couple times when I was in the men's bathroom over the 5 shows I attended, women came into the men's bathroom to "eliminate" (the lines to get into the women's bathrooms did get quite long). Suprisingly, none of the guys seemed to mind the women being there. Neither did I, though I did cover up my "equipment" pretty good when I saw that one (or more) of them were around.

Matt and I left Target Center and returned to southeastern Minnesota. He said he had a great time. About 6 months later, he was married and now has 2 sons. And with that, my Garth adventure was over. Perhaps one day he'll perform again, but if not, those 5 nights in October '98 will be a treasured memory of mine for many decades to come.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Today's the day!

Hey everybody. Make sure you spill your seed sometime today.

Even if you don't have a significant other. That's no excuse...

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Vince Strikes Back!

"My 4th Vince Gill concert was my favorite of his yet and if he came back with the exact same show next year, I would buy tickets in a heartbeat."

The above quote is from a post I made last month after seeing Vince in concert in Saint Paul at the end of October.

I was listening to my new George Strait Christmas CD on the way into work yesterday and thought I'd read Strait's Wikipedia entry when I had some spare time. Shortly thereafter, I perused it and saw that he would be touring in '07. Curious, I went to Ticketmaster to see if he would be in our area. No luck. Oh well. Then I remembered that Vince was adding dates for his "These Days" tour.

So I went to his Ticketmaster page and saw that he would be playing at the LaCrosse Center in February. Wheels started turning. I remembered my comment from above. Holy crap. There were still seats on the main floor (I was in the balcony when I saw him in October). Tickets had just gone on sale on Monday. I ran it by Art. He wasn't too interested (he's trying to scrape together some money to get his car fixed). I called Mother Schofield. She said she'd think about it. I called her back a few hours later. She said she still wasn't sure. I said I'd like to know since if she didn't want to go, I'd ask Shanon. She said that was fine. So I called Banana boy who was very excited to go. He had seen Dierks Bentley (I'm not too familiar with his stuff) in LaCrosse a few weeks ago. I printed out the tickets through Ticketmasta. We're on the main floor in row number 9. Wicked! We'll probably eat at my favorite, Happy Joe's Pizza, before the show.

Happy Times!

Time magazine recently named Vince's new album the year's 9th best (of any genre).

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Check this. Time magazine has named "Borat" the number 2 best movie of the year.,9171,1570838,00.html



I hate to come off as I know-it-all, but I was against this fiasco from the start. It just seemed so unprovoked and unnecessary. All those deaths, all that destruction, wasted lives.

For months afterward, most "Americans" still supported it, while the more enlightened (such as the Dixie Chicks) spoke up. Now, more than 3 and a half years after it all began, public sentiment has finally moved over to my side. My question is, "What the fuck took you so long?!"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Tummy Trouble

I got in my car this morning and immediately got that "not so fresh" feeling, you know, when you feel like you have to, how you say, make a shit. Now do I go back in the house and hang around in the bathroom for a good 20 minutes or chance driving the 10 minutes to work hoping I can make it without "following through"? "Screw it, I'm going to work", I thought. If I can make it to work without going, then I can be on the clock while I'm in the can.

I realized what it is that made me feel like I had to go at that moment. It was the swig of water I took before leaving the house. I would just need to make the best of it on my ride into town. Having the heat on too high in my car would exacerbate it (I know that from past experience). About halfway to work, my tummy started to hurt a bit, but I kept going. At the stoplights, I was like, "Come on...come on". Thankfully, I was able to make it to work without incident. High-five!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Fresh Cut Christmas

On Saturday, I went shopping with my friend, Shanon. While in the car, we listened to one of my favorite Christmas discs, "Have Yourself a Tractors Christmas" (I did a writeup on it a few weeks ago). We first mailed some bills at the post office, then proceeded to Hunt Drug to get some Christmas cards. I had to be sure to buy 3 Hallmark cards so that, for $7.95, I could get this new Christmas recording from one of my favorite country artists:

The CD is called, "Fresh Cut Christmas" and has 10 songs that he recorded especially for this holiday season (I have his two prior Christmas recordings).

After that, we headed to Shanon's big brother, Art-fart's, house to see the home that he and his girlfriend had recently moved into. When we pulled around to their street, we saw two people pushing a car in front of their house. It was them. I rolled down my window and yelled (to try to scare them), "What the fuck are you doin?!" They turned around and, seeing that it was us, smiled. Art's car has something wrong with the timing belt, so he's lookin' at being out about 500 bucks before this old year ends. They recently signed a contract with DirecTV. Not my bag, but to each his own.

Next we mosied to Shanon's favorite store, Best Buy. It was there that I bought a couple things for my mom and a couple for Banana (me and Shanon split up so we wouldn't see what we were buying for each other).

Our last stop before going out to eat was WalFart. I bought some chocolates for my colleagues here at the office. WalMart wasn't as busy as I thought it might be. Me and Shanon then headed out to Friday's and requested a booth. We ordered and chatted for a bit.

We enjoyed our meals, Shanon especially, since he got his entree' for no charge. Why? Well, the waiter either misunderstood what he ordered or (more likely) Shanon didn't say it properly.

Shanon wanted to go to a movie, but I just wasn't up for it. I had went on my own to see "Borat" for a 7th time (I'm not kidding) the night before. So we headed to the mighty Apache Mall for some more last-minute shopping. I didn't find anything, but Banana found a super-heavy-duty 5 in 1 winter jacket (normally 140 bucks, he got it for 56). I tried it on myself and, holy crap, I thought my old jacket was warm. His new one puts mine to shame. And thus ended the penultimate Saturday of 2006.

Let's Talk About...You-Know-What

Colette was blogging recently about wanting to "shake things up a bit" sexually with her man. Here is what I suggested she do:

Have you ever put a glazed donut around his knob when it is flaccid and then watched as it collapses when the size of his member enlarged?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's a beautful mornin'...

What was a typical morning like for me in grade school? Well, let me give you a taste. Dad would leave for work before we even woke up. Mom would wake the school-age children up first. If we didn't get up at the sound of her voice, she would shake us gently at the shoulder. I usually didn't have too much problem getting up since I would almost always go to bed at a decent time the night before. Mom would lay clothes out for us to wear. About 15 minutes later, our breakfast would be ready. The radio in the kitchen would be playing the soft rock sounds of KAGE-95 FM (stuff like Duran Duran's "New Moon on Monday"). Their motto was "Today's Hits and Yesterday's Favorites". I remember our kitchen being colored orange and white. Mom usually made pancakes, french toast, oatmeal (love that brown sugar!), or scrambled eggs (since I was lactose intolerant, I could only eat the scrambled eggs if they were smothered in ketchup). Of course, there was always cereal, too, but since I was lactose, I always drank it without milk. Two of the cereals I remembered us having in those days were

as well as Kaboom. I typically drank orange juice for breakfast since I couldn't handle milk. After eating, it was time to walk to school (I lived about 3 blocks from the elementary school).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas is comin'...

Tomorrow will be the day that I do the bulk of my Christmas shopping. My mom wants a Josh Groban CD as well as Alan Jackson's new one, "Like Red on a Rose". The girls want money and Shanon banana wants DVD's and/or CD's. I may go shoppin' with banana tomorrow. We'll see. I plan to go to the Island City tomorrow morning for a massage. I should be quite relaxed by the time I hit the stores in the afternoon.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Ring

Where did the idea of a wedding ring come from? Why do people wear it on the left hand as opposed to the right? Why the third finger? The answers to these questions can be found here.

It is interesting to note that although the Bible makes no mention of wedding rings, they are used in virtually every Christian wedding ceremony.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nine Reasons I Have to Be Happy Right Now

1. Zoe Lyn, my Pomeranian
2. Mayo Lyn, my tabby cat
3. My job
4. My dong
5. My place
6. My extensive CD collection
7. "The Office" TV show
8. That I'm at a fairly healthy weight
9. That I get to live forever

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Sometime in the late 90's, I got a gift certificate for City Looks which could be used for a cut or for any of their spa services. Once I found out that they offered massages, I knew what I was gonna do. So I set up an appointment.

I had received my first massage in '93 in Winona. The lady who did it was pretty much the only one offering services of that kind in the island city. I found massages to be quite "choice". Not only was it relaxing during the massage, but my muscles continued to be relaxed for several days afterward. Needless to say, my stress levels went down, too. I was eager to continue the tradition in Rochester.

I headed out to the mall one evening and waited to be seen. I was introduced to my masseuse. She was just about the same age as me and was also from Winona. Our session went great. She was quite good. High-five!!! Every few months, I saw her and enjoyed every minute.

Some time later, I found out that she was no longer working at City Looks. She had moved back to Winona. I saw her replacement one evening, but she was nowhere near as good.

At least a year later, while browsing the paper, I saw an ad for a new spa that was opening in Rochester. The picture showed all of their employees and what do you know, she was in the pic. I made an appointment to get in as soon as possible and proceeded to see her several times at the new location. One embarassing time, I had forgotten to turn the headlights off on my car. By the time the appointment was over, the car was dead. She was able to help me jump it, though. Nice!!

But all good things never last. A little over a year ago, she decided to return to Winona. But, thankfully, she opted to continue working with her magical fingers on the side. I've been to Winona to see her there at least 3 times. I look forward to returning sometime in the next few weeks. Through talking with her, I've found out that she actually lived in Rollingstone once, too (just as my family did all those years ago).

Though I haven't been seen at City Looks in years, while at the mall last night walking past that store, I could smell that same familiar aroma that I remembered from all those years ago when we were both in our 20's and happiness was only a massage away.

The movies of the summer of '06

With many of last summer's biggest movies now being released on DVD, I thought it would be a good time to give you my thoughts on many of them:

Things kicked off in early May with Cruise in "MI: III". I didn't get to it, but heard it had some pretty bitchin' action scenes. I also missed the disaster movie "Poseidon". May 19th gave us da "Da Vinci Code".

It was decent, but, man, did it drag and it would be hard for me to imagine ever seeing it again. The computer animated "Over the Hedge" also came out on 5-19. It was fairly pleasing. I liked Steve Carell as the screwy squirrel best. The following week saw the release of "X-Men: The Last Stand". It was a pretty worthy conclusion to the X-trilogy.

In early June, Vince Vaughn's somewhat downbeat "The Break Up" came out. I couldn't muster the strength to go to it. Sorry. June 9th brought the computer animated "Cars". After not being super impressed with Pixar's last movie "The Incredibles", I just couldn't get motivated enough to go see this one. Then there was Sandler's "Click". Pretty good, fairly funny. I got my money's worth. Then we had "Superman Returns". It was solid. No complaints. Looking forward to a sequel to it.

July saw the arrival of "Pirates 2". Nothing great, but it held my interest. I liked "Sups" better, though. July 21st saw the release of "Monster House" (great computer animated movie), "Clerks 2" (it didn't stay long enough for me to see it), "The Lady in the Water" (meh), and "My Super-Ex Girlfriend" (After "X3" and "Sups", I was already superheroed out).

The big one in August was "Talledega Nights" (good, but not as funny as I had hoped).

In sum, I'd have to say that this past summer's movies were quite unremarkable. Hopefully next year will be better. We're gonna get "Spidey 3", "Shrek 3", "Pirates 3", "Rush Hour 3", Oceans' 13 (Part 3), and "The Bourne Ultimatum" (Bourne 3). Actually, I'm only gonna go to movies next year that are part 3's. For more info on these upcoming titles, go to

Monday, December 11, 2006

Garth Part VI

3 Garth concerts down, 2 to go. My 4th show was just gonna be me. In some ways, I wasn't super jazzed about going. The whole point in going to several shows over a week and a half was to see him perform different songs over different shows, but his setlist had stayed mostly the same throughout. Nonetheless, I headed up to Minneapolis yet again.

Once I arrived at Target Center, I took a walk around outside the facility (as my brother, Mike, had once called it). I noticed a guy who looked familiar getting buzzed into the building. I realized that he was with the band (he was the keyboardist who played the grand piano while Garth came out of it at the beginning of each show). He had taken a bike ride and was now back at the Center getting ready for showtime.

I went through the turnstiles and thought about purchasing a GB jacket for over $100. Nah, I wouldn't wear it enough to justify the expense. I did buy two of his tour t-shirts, however (one which I've since worn out,

the other, I haven't ever worn).

Seats were pretty good. In the early going, something really cool happened. The lead guitarist came off the stage and went into the crowd. That was fit wicked. In the second half of the show, I started to smell smoke. Fire! No, there was this prick in back of me that had the itch. The mom and little girl next to him and his wife didn't have the nerve to tell him to put it out. He knew he wasn't supposed to smoke in the sacred arena. Well, I didn't give a shit. I was gonna report this sumbitch (it wasn't like I was gonna miss a song I hadn't seen GB perform earlier in the week). So I got an usher to come out. We made the fucka wipe his ass with the 'rette. he he

Next thing I wanted was to get some good pics of the king of country. I recalled that during the song, "Callin' Baton Rouge", Garth and his whole band faced the people behind the stage. So shortly before I knew the song was gonna start, I headed over there and prepared to get some shots. Click. Click. Click. I got quite a few good ones.

During "Friends in Low Places", paper (probably toilet) that said "g" on it was launched into the audience (they ate it all up). The show concluded with "Ain't Goin' Down" and "The Dance" blah blah blah... I headed home that night realizing that there was now just one more show to see. One more dance.


Shady employees like the ones who "bugged" Diana should be deported and forced to work in India for IBM's help desk and have to speak in an Indian accent on all their "monitored" calls. They aren't real Americans, anyway.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


I was driving with a friend on Friday night when JT's new song, "My Love" came on the radio. I told her that the song was by Justin Timberlake. She then said in all seriousness, "Is he black?"

Friday, December 08, 2006


Check out the poster for this Jim Carrey movie coming out early next year:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Say what?

I don't like being aurally assaulted. That is why I always carry a pair of earplugs with me. If there's a group at Friday's who are getting out of hand, I put 'em on. Whenever I go to Cinemagic Theatres, I make sure they're in my pocket. You see, they have commercials that run for the half hour before the movie starts and they play them over and over again. With the earplugs, I can still hear the shit, but it's not as invasive (a tickle compared to a finger up the ass). Quite often when the trailers are on, I continue to wear the plugs, not only because most previews are shit, but also because they reveal too much. When I'm in for a really long wait (like the first midnight showing of the last "LOTR" movie in '3), I bring my headphones along and kick it while I'm waiting. Such is the life of a movie fan with sensitive ears.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

November 17, 1999 - Journal entry

My 29th birthday went very well. My mom picked me up at work at 4pm. She took me home to take the dogs out and then we went to Fridays. She said someone was waiting for me. It turned out to be my dad. We had a very good dinner. I got an Adam Sandler CD, a Tori Amos videotape, a cake, a ski mask,

the Friendship with God book as well as a framed picture of me and my parents when I was a toddler. My father, Steve, paid for the meal and gave me $100 cash. I spent 5 of those dollars on "A Country Christmas 1999" at Target. It is the 4th consecutive year that I have purchased Target's country Christmas collection. The CD's consist of mostly new Christmas songs performed by some of my favorite artists. I first bought it in 1996, a few weeks after I moved to Rochester. Then in 1997, shortly after I moved to my current residence at 1231 1st St SW, Apt. 5A and again in 1998.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I've eaten burgers for years, decades. It is one of my two favorite foods (pizza being the other). As of late, however, I am wondering if I wish to continue down this path. A movie opened in the bigger cities a few weeks ago called, "Fast Food Nation". It is loosely based on the book of the same name by Eric Schlosser. I haven't read the book, but below is a summary of its subject matter (click on the link and then click on the Salon article):

I just don't like the idea of cows dying for me. I'm wondering if it's really the meat that keeps me going back to Wendy's and Friday's. I despise steak, pork chops, and all that other stuff. All I'll eat is a hamburger, but it's not just the patty. I'm also eating the bread (bun), pickles, onions, mustard, and tons of ketchup. If meat is so good, why do I have to put ketchup on it before each bite I take?

I'm gonna try to eat a burger just once a week if I can swing it. Tonight I'll have pizza. Later this week, fish and chicken.

Wish me luck.

Christmas Music Part V

My favorite Christmas record is an all-instrumental one. I first found it on cassette at a pawn shop in LaCrosse in the late 90's. It was only a couple bucks, so I bought it and enjoyed it immensely. The 15 tracks really brought out the celebratory nature of Christmas, even more than most of the other Christmas music I had been exposed to. No surprise, then, that I sought to find it on CD. They did have it at Wal-Mart, but only as an abbreviated version (9 or 10 of the songs were on it). I would only accept the complete version, so went to Sam Goody at the mall and special-ordered it. A few days later, it arrived and I was happier than a pig in slop. Feast your eyes on it.

My friend, Art, liked the double meaning of the album's title.

If you wanna taste, go to and enter the disc's title (they have samples of each track).


1997 was a fantastic year for movie fans. The year really kicked off with the 20th anniversary rerelease of the original "Star Wars" on January 31st.

This "special edition" of the movie had a few "improvements" that were made to it by George Lucas, including "enhanced" special effects and an extra scene. I drove to the Barclay Square 6 to see it one wintry Saturday afternoon. My car at the time (a white Ford Escort) wasn't super reliable, but it was fine for driving around town. I got there kinda late, the biggest screen had been reserved for the movie. The place was packed, incredible for a movie that was 20 years old and there were tons of kids seeing the movie for the first time on the big screen. I had to sit off to the side. I was quickly into it and felt much as I did as a child viewing it for the first time 16 years prior. It was a great experience returning to that galaxy. The "Star Wars" reissue was actually the number 8 top-grossing movie of the year earning well over $100 million. The movie industry was shocked at how many showed up to see a movie that could be viewed at home. 3 weeks later, I returned to Barclay to view the movie that introduced me to the Star Wars saga, "The Empire Strikes Back". I went to see it in the evening (at the time, I had just started working for Premiere Video). And 3 weeks after that, it was "Return of the Jedi". Dori accompanied me to that one. She wasn't too impressed, though (she generally doesn't like scifi movies, anyway).

Other movies I went to in the spring of 1997 included Kurt Russell in a fabulous thriller called "Breakdown", Chris Farley in "Beverly Hills Ninja", Eddie Murphy in "Metro", Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy", Chevy Chase's "Vegas Vacation", Jamie Foxx in "Booty Call" (shut up!), Howard Stern's "Private Parts" (heh heh), "Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" (I paid to see it this time), Robin Williams in the crappy "Fathers' Day", the original "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery", Val Kilmer as "The Saint", Bruce Willis in "The Fifth Element", and Jim Carrey in "Liar Liar".

The summer was even more rockin'. I saw Harrison Ford in "Air Force One", Will Smith in "Men in Black", Mel and Julia in "Conspiracy Theory", Julia in "My Best Friend's Wedding", Jodie in "Contact" (the opening sequence in it is awesome), Lemmon and Matthau in "Out to Sea", Tim Robbins in "Nothing to Lose", the Disney movie "Hercules", a remake of "Leave it to Beaver", Chris Tucker's breakthrough in "Money Talks", Nicolas in "ConAir", "Batman & Robin" (Dori actually enjoyed this one, in no small part because Clooney played the Dark Knight), and "The Lost World: Jurassic Park". What would most likely be my favorite movie of the year also came out in the summer. To this day, it is one of the best action movies I have ever seen. I was left breathless by it and went to it three times that summer (including once with my friend from high school, Brian, and at the cheap theatre with my cousin, Andy Dick (no relation to the notorious comedian). Starring Travolta and Cage, I'm talking about

John and Nicolas just give fantastic performances in a movie in which they actually trade "faces".

In the fall of '97, I went to Michael Douglas's "The Game" (another solid thriller), the first movie from Matt Damon, "The Rainmaker" (he played a lawyer in it), the scifi flick "Starship Troopers" (before the movie started, I actually heard a geek say to another guy that he only watches scifi movies), Gere and Willis in the blah "The Jackal", Travolta in the not-very-good "She's So Lovely", Penn in "U-Turn", "Fire Down Below" (the only Seagal movie I've ever seen), Hopkins in "The Edge", Clooney & Kidman in "The Peacemaker", Pacino and Keanu in "Devil's Advocate", Pitt in "Seven Years in Tibet", another Tibet movie called "Kundun", "Boogie Nights", DeNiro and Hoffman in "Wag the Dog", Duvall as "The Apostle", "FairyTale: A True Story" (I don't wanna talk about it), Ethan & Uma in the futuristic "Gattaca", Kevin Kline in "In & Out", "I Know What You Did Last Summer", "Scream 2", "Good Will Hunting", and Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets".

It was now Christmas time and two new movies had just opened, both 3-hour epics: Kevin Costner in "The Postman" and a James Cameron movie (he had directed my favorite of '91, "T2") called "Titanic". I know I'm gonna get a lot of crap, but I wasn't too big on seeing "Titanic". I was like, yeah, we all know what happens at the end, blah, blah, blah. So I went to "The Postman" one weekend afternoon and enjoyed it, actually. The movie takes place in a near-future post apocalyptic world.

I didn't think too much about "Titanic" after that. I remember it getting a very positive review (A-) from EW. At this time, I was working at Barnes & Noble as a holiday season bookseller (I wasn't getting enough hours at the video store). I recall one of the female employees, Ann, coming into the bookstore at around 10pm. She was crying a bit and we were asking her what was wrong. She said she had just seen "Titanic" and that it had really gotten to her. I was starting to get the idea that this movie might be more special than I had originally thought. The buzz was speading. So, one wintry evening, I headed out to the Galleria theaters downtown to see it. It was playing on 2 screens there (and did so for several months). There were a lot of people there, especially women, so I had to sit off to the side again. The lights dimmed and we witnessed "Titanic".

I was captivated. It really took one back to that time. The music in the movie was very Enya-esque (I was a fan of hers at the time). And I found myself really getting caught up in the romance between Jack and Rose, so much so that when the iceberg approached, I was like, "Oh yeah, the ship is gonna sink, innit..." The last hour had just fantastic special effects while still allowing the characters' to take center stage. As the credits rolled, I felt something that I'd never really felt before in a movie. Just a huge sigh and bliss and joy at having seen something so incredible (I felt it again in '99 for my fave movie of that year, but haven't since).

It goes without saying that that night my favorite movie of 1997 went from being "Face/Off" to "Titanic" (the top grossing movie of that year and the top-grossing movie of all time, both in the U.S. and worldwide). About a week later, I went to it again. I can remember hearing a lot of sniffling over the last half hour of the movie. It really got people in the gut.

Little did I know that my 2 half sisters, Erin and Sarah, were about to begin their own love affair with the movie. They were only 9 years old, but they fell really hard for Leonardo. They went to the movie at least 10(!) times with my mother and plastered their walls with clippings of Mr. DiCaprio.

Sometime in 1998, I was at the Winona cemetary with the girls and my mom. I walked a ways away and said, in all seriousness, that I was looking at a grave that said J. Dawson (a reference to Leo's character in the movie). They both looked at me and one of them said, "Are you serious?". I said it was a joke.

Inevitably, a Leonardo backlash started. In 1998, when I was working as a caregiver for 3 developmentally disabled guys, I picked up the guys' mail. One of them had a subscription to Cracked magazine and on the cover was a picture of Leo with his head about to be taken off on a tree stump and titled: Leonardo Decapitated. I have to say I did get a chuckle out of it.

In 2003, the Chateau theatres in Rochester had a special Valentine's Day presentation of "Titanic". They showed it several times that day. I went to it in the afternoon (I hadn't seen the movie since its original release 5 years prior). There weren't too many people there, but that didn't matter. The movie played just about as strong as I remember. Incidentally, it was very cold in that theatre, so cold in fact, that I complained to an employee about it and was able to get a couple free tickets.

My mom bought me the special deluxe DVD edition of "Titanic" last year. It has deleted scenes, commentaries, and lots of other goodies. I'm looking forward to viewing all these extras in the near future as the 10-year anniversary of the release of "Titanic" approaches.

What's also interesting is that the movie that kickstarted 1997 for me, "Star Wars", is the number 2 movie of all-time in the U.S. while the movie that ended the year, "Titanic", is number 1.

I told you it was a great year for movies...

Friday, December 01, 2006


Beverly Hills Cop 4: The Revenge

The first R-rated movie I ever went to was 1984's "Best Defense" starring Eddie Murphy and Dudley Moore. My mom took me to it along with her brother, Rick, who lived just across the street from the movie theatre. The movie started out with a pretty steamy sex scene. I was like, "Damn". The movie wasn't the greatest, though. For one thing, Eddie Murphy only had a very limited supporting role. But I did enjoy the cursing and nudity.

My mom took me to a much better R-rated movie at the end of '84. It was the top-grossing movie of the year, "Beverly Hills Cop".

I loved every minute of it. Here are some of my favorite lines from the movie:

Sergeant Taggart: We're more likely to believe an important local businessman than a foul-mouthed jerk from out of town.
Axel Foley: Foul-mouthed? Fuck you, man.

(To two hotel employees)
Axel Foley: Don't you think I realize what's going on here, miss? Who do you think I am, huh? Don't you think I know that if I was some hotshot from out of town that pulled inside here and you guys made a reservation mistake, I'd be the first one to get a room and I'd be upstairs relaxing right now. But I'm not some hotshot from out of town, I'm a small reporter from "RollingStone" magazine that's in town to do an exclusive interview with Michael Jackson that's gonna be picked up by every major magazine in the country. I was gonna call the article "Michael Jackson Is Sitting On Top of the World," but now I think I might as well just call it "Michael Jackson Can Sit On Top of the World Just As Long As He Doesn't Sit in the Beverly Palm Hotel 'Cause There's No Niggers Allowed in There!"

Christmas Music Part IV

No Christmas collection is complete without 1999's

Here are the lyrics to the first song:

We all know of Rudolph and his shining nose
We all know Frosty who's made out of snow
But all of those stories seem kind of... gay
Cause we all know who brightens up our holiday

Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
Small and brown he comes from you
Sit on the toilet here he comes
Squeeze him 'tween your festive buns

A present from down below
Spreading joy with a "Howdy-Ho!"
He's seen the love inside of you
Cause he's a piece of poo

Sometimes he's nutty
Sometimes he's corny
He can be brown or greenish brown (Mmmhmm!)
But if you eat fiber on Christmas eve
He might come to your town!

Cartman: Well Kyle where is he?
Kyle: Ehh .. He's coming!
Stan: Come on dude, push!
Kyle: Ehhhh... I'm Trying!
Cartman: Wait, wait I can see his head!
Kyle: Here he comes! [POP!]
Mr. Hankey: Howdy Ho!
I'm Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
Seasons Greetings to all of you!
Let's sing songs and dance and play
Now before I melt away.
Here's a game I like to play
Stick me in your mouth and try to say
Howdy ho ho yum yum yum
Christmas Time has come!

Singers: Sometimes He's runny
Sometimes he's firm
Sometimes he practically water
Sometimes he hangs off the end of your ass
And won't fall in the toilet
Cause he's just clinging to your sphincter
And he wont drop off...and so you shake your ass around
And try to get it to drop in the toilet and finally it does.

Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
When Christmas leaves he must leave too
Flush him down but he's never gone
His smell and his spirit linger on.

Howdy Ho!

August 16, 2006 - Journal entry

Last night, I woke up at about 3am and had a bite to eat. As I sat eating, my arse started to itch. I took a look in the bathroom mirror and saw about 10 red bite marks on it. They didn't look at all like mosquito bites. Then I remembered that there had been an article in the prior day's newspaper regarding bedbugs. I dug through the trash and found it. Yep, it appeared that I'd had a visit from them.

It goes without saying that I took the sheet I was sleeping on earlier in the night and put a new one on the bed. The next step will be to physically inspect the bedroom for the little buggers and also to put all beddings in the dryer on super high heat.