Almost seven years ago, this song reintroduced Voulez-vous coucher avec moi (ce soir)? back into pop culture. Sure, it’s probably gone again, ‘cuz y’know, all these kids, with their short attention spans and stuff…
How have the fair Ladies of Marmalade, um, fared since? I’ve devised this nice pictograph to illustrate. Hopefully you’ve brushed up on your French!
From time to time, I like playing “What Superpower Would You Like to Have?” with my friends. It’s usually the guys who participate, but the ladies have as well. To play, you usually have to rule out the standards of the comics industry, like your Superman’s, your Spider-Man’s, and any of the X-Men. Only straight-up special abilities are allowed. For instance, last night’s trio of options:
Indestructibility was chosen by most (myself included, at first… I’m so wishy-washy). It was decided that this allowed you an extent of fearlessness that would bolster you upon whatever life path you wanted. Whether it be in business, in sports, or on the battlefield, you could be all you could be.
Invisibility was looked at as a shady route, which it most likely would be. You’re given the ability to be sneaky and spy, to be a pervert, or to be a master thief. No one selected this option… out loud.
Flight was a moot point, until my friend Devin interjected that it would be the most freeing. He suggested that life would be a little less stressful if you could get up and go when the world was getting you down. This got me thinking that I wanted Flight powers as well, because it too would provide you with an extra boost of confidence to accomplish more in this world.
Plus, how cool would it be to show up at the Red Carpet of the Academy Awards show, flying around, screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!” You’d take all the attention away from the glory hounds of Hollywood (but you’d probably also get shot down to be taken and examined, so… maybe not).
Here I come!
Devin also wondered if Indestructibility also provided some level of Immortality, because as he saw it, if the world blew up, you’d be stuck floating in space for forever. I responded by stating you probably wouldn’t be the only one in the entire planet that had this ability, which then brought the whole discussion crashing down. I guess the game of “What Superpower Would You Like to Have?” isn’t as Indestructible as I thought.
There are things you’re taught, and there are things you learn. There are things you know, and things you choose not to remember. Sometimes these things come up at the bar.
Here are examples are each:
1) Things you’re taught. I was unaware of the existence of cornmeal bombs, and then one day I was taught not only their purpose, but how they work. Thanks CSI!
2) Things you learn. One of my buddies (Derek) works as a scientist (he says he’s not but by all intents and purposes, I say he is – just like how I refer to my engineering friends as inventors). What his job entails is creating bugs that will get rid of these guys:
How much wood can a woodborer bore if a... wait, it can. So all of it.
What I think is cool (which is highly subject, considering I think it’s cool to be considered a scientist), is that I had no idea he did this now. The last I heard he was categorizing lake muck, no he’s scientist-ing with insects! Also, I had seen signs all around Michigan for years saying not to transplant wood because of the Emerald Ash Borer pictured above, but I had no idea that it looked… like… that. Not to sound stereotypical, but it comes from Asia, and it looks like something that would come from Asia (is that stereotypical sounding?), in that I mean it looks foreign, and regal, and traditional (nice recovery). Anywood, since it’s winter, Derek cuts down trees to put them in heat chambers that fool the little dormant buggers into thinking it’s spring, then he unleashes his (team’s) creations on them! Awesome!
3) Things you know. I haven’t played basketball in over a year, and I know I don’t have the right shoes for it, so I know that I’m going to get a blister or two from speedingrunning jogging up and down the court.
4) Things you choose not to remember. I haven’t played basketball in over a year, and the chance came up to play last night. I had a soccer game that started late, so I knew I could squeeze in a couple hours of hoops. Then I’d have no problem playing soccer right after…
[INSERT GENERIC IMAGE OF BLISTER ON FOOT, PROVIDED BY YOUR IMAGINATION BECAUSE I’M SUCH A NICE GUY THAT’S NOT GOING TO PUT UP ANY PICTURES LIKE THIS]
The beautiful Meital Dohan has entered my world seemingly out of nowhere. I have recently been catching up on Season 2 of Showtime’s Weeds and that’s where I found her. At least that’s where I thought I found her.
For my job, we use a little online service called LogMeIn, and this is the smiling face that greets me every time:
Could it My Sweet Meital? It sure looks like her to me. My friend, Aaron, doesn’t think so, but I told him how this girl I worked with at The Dive restaurant in L.A. was also on the cover of a mathematics software box at Best Buy. He started to see the similarities after that. Further examination:
I know I’ve mentioned my yearly battles with the Detroit postal service before (read here). But considering the last time I’ve shovelled my snow was over a month ago, I expected the battle to heat up – and it did.
For those that didn’t believe me about the “notes” I get from the postpeople:
Mail... I don't need no stickin' mail!
Now, I understand why they would want it cleared, but I’m hardly home, and by the time I could get to any cleaning, a path is already trampled which only makes the scooping more difficult. Plus, if I can’t get to the pavement, what remains is waaaaay more slippery than chunking through the drift.
There was a time when I enjoyed getting junk mail. It made me feel like I was a part of something bigger, like I existed that day. These days I do mostly everything online, so mail gets me excited not-so-much. About all I need the USPS for is package delivery, which I’m promptly switching to my address at work. Take a peek why:
Gosling’s is a bit Fuck Yeah!-ing-ier than Hathaway’s, but you may think differently. The basic premise is this – take LOLcats, get rid of the cats, add the respective “Hey girl/dude” tagline followed by normal English, and eliminate the stupid LOLspeak. Voila! Some samples:
I feel the creators of these sites are missing out on some other celebrities (although I do love Orson Welles’ quotes on each home page). For example, what about a Fuck Yeah! William Shatner!
Okay, I know I’ve already hinted at my growing disdain toward The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in this post, but in this entry, I’m going to dig a little deeper.
Let me preface this rant by stating in no way or form am I holding this increasingly steaming pile of doo against David Fincher, Brad Pitt, or Cate Blanchett. I hold no ill will toward any of the supporting players, the producers, or the studios. This one is 100% against Eric Roth – the writer – and the scam he perpetuated on this production.
To begin – I liked Forrest Gump. A lot. I saw it in an advance screening way before all the hype, and it surprised and moved me. My sister, Becky, makes this silent crying face that’s reminiscent of the Predator when she watches emotional films (like Steel Magnolias, ‘natch), and I’ll never forget the middle-aged man sitting next to me making love to his tonic and gin who was sobbing uncontrollably by the film’s end and making the same face.
Stop crying, Becky... it's not that sad.
And I’ll even go as far to say that Roth deserved the Oscar for that adaptation (I’ll add that his Munich script was really intense). I read the original novel by Winston Groom, and the streamlining of themes and the adventures through modern history and pop culture were welcome additions/changes.
But then we come to Button. WTF. When I first watched the film, I kept thinking that it reminded me of Gump, but at the time, I didn’t know it was the same screenwriter. Besides noticing that, the modern day intercutting distracted from the flow of Button’s tale, and brought little more to the story than what could have been accomplished in three scenes:
“I didn’t know he said that.”
“I didn’t know he thought that.”
“Oh yeah – he’s your daddy.”
I also kept wondering if Pitt felt bad for Julia Ormond, the Once-Upon-A-Time-It-Girl who costarred with him in Legends of the Fall, so he had her scenes expanded to the point of pointlessness, but that’s besides the, um, point.
The greatest issue I have with Button is that the script borrows so liberally from Gump’s tropes. (Check out the video in this post for further illustration.) And whereas the Gump script was at least based on the novel, the Button script is based on the Gump script. Just replace simple with backwards aging.
My other issues:
The original short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald does not take place in New Orleans, but in Baltimore. Was this a Roth call, or Pitt call (since he’s done so much charity work after Hurricane Katrina)? Who knows…
In the original, Benjamin is born a full-grown, shrivelled-up old man who can speak and walk (the logistics of his birth are never brought up). His father does not abandon him; in fact, he works rather diligently at treating him like he is a baby, buying him toys, feeding him only milk. Benjamin instead takes up smoking Havana cigars and reading encyclopedias. An excerpt:
The cool perspiration redoubled on Mr. Button’s forehead. He closed his eyes, and then, opening them, looked again. There was no mistake–he was gazing at a man of threescore and ten–a baby of threescore and ten, a baby whose feet hung over the sides of the crib in which it was reposing.
The old man looked placidly from one to the other for a moment, and then suddenly spoke in a cracked and ancient voice. “Are you my father?” he demanded.
As Benjamin goes through his life in the story, he regresses and shrinks in size. This is okay because he starts out large. In the film, he’s an elderly baby that grows. Shouldn’t he die a large size baby? (Thanks to Brandon for catching that one!)
The love story isn’t the primary focus of the original, which is a fine addition to the film. But there still might be a problem (via io9):
In fact, the Button movie has one crucial similarity to Andrew Sean Greer’s 2004 novel, The Confessions Of Max Tivoli: they’re both structured as a love story. In both works, a man who’s born old and ages backwards falls in love as a child. And he loves the same woman for his entire lifetime. And in both the Greer novel and the new movie, the man and the woman connect at three different stages of their lives, as he grows younger and she grows older.
The original almost seems more tragic (and mines more humor) from his familial relations. They are always around him. When he’s an old toddler – he befriends his grandfather. When he’s in his 20’s – he passes for his father’s brother (and falls in love with a 20 year old that likes older men). As his wife ages, he grows disinterested by her appearance. He can’t get into college because he looks too old, and he can’t return to war because he looks too young. His own grown son forces him to call him uncle. There’s enough fresh material there to not even have to snatch a snippet from the script of Gump.
I want to know how even though the adaptation of Die Hard followed its source more closely than Button does its own, screenwriter Steven E. de Souza never even get an Oscar wink, let alone a nod… come on, he deserved one (via Wikipedia):
Die Hard follows its source material — Roderick Thorp’s novel Nothing Lasts Forever— closely, much of the film’s memorable scenes, characters, and dialogue taken directly from the novel… changes included the older hero of the novel becoming younger, the hero’s daughter becoming his wife, and the American Klaxon Oil Corporation becoming the Japanese Nakatomi Corporation.
Good thing Eric Roth didn’t adapt that novel, or Forrest Gump might have been tracking down terrorists alongside Benjamin Button, like in Munich. Wait, that might have actually been kind of cool…
My sister, Tammie, had a good chortleguffaw chuckle when she heard me ask this one time:
Hey Chris, what does it mean when my Wii’s glowing blue?
She lost it, and upon thinking how ridiculous it sounded out of context, others joined her giggles, myself included. As it turns out, she may slowly be turning into my foil.
Let me further explain.
Last night, one of my friends stopped by with his two sons. They’re cute enough, nice enough kids, but where my friend made the mistake was to inform his children that I had toys.
What I have are not toys. They’re collectibles. Two totally different things.
Upon arriving, and not expecting them to stay long as I had mentioned plans to head to trivia, the boys whipped off their scarves and knit caps and bundled coats and proclaimed, “Where’s the toys?”
I begrudgingly lead the trio back to my DVD room (yes, they have their own room… they kinda require a room when they reach 1200+). In there, I have Indiana Jones figures, Lego playsets, Transformers, and Matt Trakker of M.A.S.K. re-released as a G.I. Joe, all in their packages. Of course, the first thing to reached for is Trakker.
“I know how to put this together,” the oldest proclaimed.
“So do I,” was my response as I put it back.
On one of the cabinets, I have some open figures on display which include mini Ninja Turtles, mini Transformers, a mini Grimlock cartoon figure that does not move, and both versions of Bumblebee from the Michael Bay movie.
They moved onto these collectibles, and within minutes, Grimlock was in pieces (I don’t think he’s supposed to come that much apart, if even at all), the rubberbands holding the weapons in the Turtles’ hands were snapped, and the ’77 Camaro Bumblebee was being stabbed by his own laser sword.
I have learned patience through all the years of working with computers, but when it comes to children—
My friend kept talking to me and I kept thinking, doesn’t he see what they’re doing? The youngest had to go #2 and took Raphael with him. Raphael! RAPHAEL?!
When they were finally getting packed up to ship out, I told my friend he could visit with them again in about 10 years.
Now back to Tammie. As I recounted the situation to her, she just laughed at me again. The definition of a foil according to Answers.com:
One that by contrast underscores or enhances the distinctive characteristics of another: “I am resolved my husband shall not be a rival, but a foil to me” (Charlotte Brontë).
She said, “You do realize you’re complaining about children playing with your toys.”
The weekend was a jam-packed one, and it didn’t leave me much time for any kind of self-reflection and intellectual introspection that I usually reserve for this blog. (Yeah, right.) Let me rewind the events of the weekend to get to Friday, a random night where not much happened other than random things…
vvrp verp Car dealership, free car battery under warranty during oil change vrip vrap Work day spent finishing weekend work vrrp vvip Trivia comeback to no win during NHL All-Star game where there were no Red Wings plus Pistons barely lose to Rockets vvvp Ate out at Chili’s vvvp Visited Grams vvvp Met up old friends Saturday night vvvp After working vvvp After nursing hangover… click clack… CLUNK
Okay, rewinding was about as exciting as the Twitter experiment (again, yeah right)… Basically, on Friday, my brother was working in a speakeasy, so to speak. It was an interactive play that took place during the 20’s, that acted as a fundraiser for a local theatre troop. I passed the goons guarding the door using the password that not many guessed.
Goon: “What’s the password?”
Goon: “You may enter.”
My other family members worked the open bar so in my double-fisting of rum and cokes, the ratio of everything went like this:
PLASTIC < COKE < ICE < HANDS < RUM
In turn, this lead to me achieving a sufficient level of what I call “Wedding Drunk” (it’s a different form of “Superhero Drunk” and fodder for a future post). As the festivities wound down, the group I was with headed to a local hole-in-the-wall bar, where I proceded to karaoke a Weezer song after my cousin Steve ignited the party with his rendition of “Sweet Caroline” (also fodder for another post).
My brother was absent from this collection of the acting troupe, and our rides were kicked out for being trashed (well, at least Richie was the one deemed smashed out of the Venessa and Jess Trifecta). Steve and I were left behind with the Actors! and someone else offered to drive us to an afterparty once the bar started closing.
(SIDE STORY: Steve had spotted one woman earlier in the night that made him proclaim – “She will be flashing her breasts at some point tonight.” He was right. The things you learn while away at college.)
To be honest, I have never seen such a magnificent driver as Kate, a.k.a. She who drove Steve and I elsewhere. While searching for Toto’s Africa and Asia’s Heat of the Moment on her Zune, her path never waivered – not one bit. We were going to drive to her house to pick up her dog, but we kept driving around through a subdivision and eventually ended up at the final destination. We wondered why we didn’t stop and get the dog. Kate’s answer:
My boyfriend was there.
Around 3am, the repo man showed up and took our gracious host’s truck. Major buzzkill. We called for a taxi. (They hung up on us repeatedly while we were trying to figure out where we were.) We parted ways with the Actors! around 4am. I b.s.’d with the bald driver of the Chrysler 300 about life, politics, the universe, and religion, and ate macaroni and cheese once back at the Trifecta’s homebase.
In closing… Viva la Wedding Drunk! Boo-Hiss Repo Men!