Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Sadly, it didn't feature an appearance from Rerun...

So, I'm home sick again...coughing and blowing my runny nose with a frequency like David Spade saying something sarcastic. My nose is literally raw from so much contact with tissues. The good news is that I'm beginning to feel better. My throat no longer burns when I cough. Seems like a good start towards healing. Yay!

Some not-so-good news, however, is how I elected to pass some of my time while home sick.

This morning, I watched a movie. This should not be too surprising. Let me go on the record to say that I love the movies "The Sixth Sense," "Unbreakable," and "Signs." I thought that "The Village" was pretty decent as well as "Lady in the Water."

All of these films were written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan. I'm not certain that I spelled his name correctly just now, but after what I just endured, I don't feel it's necessary to look his name up for accuracy.

I just finished watching "The Happening."

For those of you who want the short version, here it is: DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!! It is terrible and it warrants 484 Spartans on my Spartan scale.

Ok, you've been warned. For those of you who want to know why, I offer the top ten reasons why this movie was so terrible. (Spoilers will be included, so if you wish to defy me and see the movie anyway, stop reading now.)

1) The Premise: The Happening is about an airborne virus that is infecting people and leading them to commit suicide in gruesome manners. It is first thought to be some sort of terrorist attack. Later, the movie reveals the big, scary threat is trees. Yes, you read that correctly...trees. More specifically, trees, bushes, and even grass. The movie isn't completely clear on what types of trees, bushes, or plants are responsible...but just makes it seem that "Mother Earth" or "Nature" is striking back.

2) An airborne virus...yet no one seals themselves inside anything, they often go on the run outside...where the evil trees and wind can roam freely.

3) SCARY WIND! Since the movie never really has a visible antagonist, we are left with menacing shots of the wind blowing through the trees. Nothing like beautiful shots of nature to inspire fear!

4) The performances are just awful. Seriously, I don't think that any actor or actress spent much time rehearsing for this movie. Nearly every line is just muttered as if it's being read off the script for the first time. The only exception might be the creepy old shut-in lady near the end of the film. She's rather "over-the-top" creepy, and gives the lone memorable performance in the film. Plus, she had a really creepy doll in her bedroom that scared the begeezus out of me.

5) Meaningless subplots..."Joey" calls on the cell phone frequently and it seems like he'll become an important player at some point. Nope, he's just a throwaway, non-important background character whose only purpose is to demonstrate that Emma and Elliot are having trouble with their relationship. I suppose this is just to have a little extra "Awwww" moment when they work things out. (Complete with adopting little Jess and a pregnancy, yay!!!)

6) The symptoms of the effected people are just weird. For some reason, they all (well, almost all) stop in their tracks before finding a way to "off" themselves. Some of them even walk backwards. Weird...I don't get it. I suppose it was just supposed to be a "look how they're not acting normally" moment so that we can recognize who'd been effected later. Whatever...I found it jarring and annoying.

7) When the protagonists (those that are still alive) determine that the virus is airborne and being spread by the trees, they flee into the forest and fields. Yes, the forest and fields.

8) When Elliot is separated from Emma and Jess, he decides that "if we're all going to die, I want to be together." So he intends to brave the outdoors to move out of his building to the building where they are waiting. Once would expect a sprint across the field to be reunited with his loved ones. It could've been a moment of (albeit contrived) tension. Instead, he slowly walks out the front door with dramatic music backing him up. Jess and Emma slowly walk out of their building, too. Now they're all in danger of being infected. Fret not, though, as the virus has simply decided to "unexpectedly stop" as nature sometimes does...how convenient.

9) The annoying side-characters. I don't even recall the two boys names who somehow ended up with the main three. Who they are or where they came from is irrelevant. They were simply brought along to be fodder to show that crazy shut-ins like to shoot people with shotguns. I think it was supposed to be shocking, but I was, instead, thankful that we didn't have to hear from those two any more.

10) The foolish extra end scene...ugh, as if the movie wasn't bad enough. At the end of the film, we're left to wonder if this "happening" was something government related or "nature" fighting back. This was potentially the most interesting moment in the movie, as people were doubting the source of the "happening." As tv scientists explain their theories as we are watching, one suggests a government conspiracy since the "happening" only occurred near some rumored CIA facilities. If there had been outbreaks in other places, it would indicate that it was "nature" fighting back. Cut to three months later. We have the aforementioned "happy ending" with the young girl going off to school, a baby on the way, and everything is sunshine and lollipops. Except that in France, the "happening" is, um, well..for lack of a better word...happening again. Looks like "nature" really is striking back.

So, in the end, the movie is a pretty big "we need to take better care of our planet or it's going to rise up and attack us" propaganda piece.

(In my best David Spade voice) "Yeah, we need that like we need another Paris Hilton reality show..."

Seriously, avoid this flick unless you want to waste time. On the plus side, it was relatively short...

Much luv,
Song of the Day: "Who Cares?" by Extreme

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

After studying hard, I've deduced that his name is Flipper...

As Juno's friend Leah once said, "Yo yo yiggidy yo." (I think that's some sort of greeting.)

So, today at work, I was thinking about the future. No, not about time travel, hover cars, or the fact that doom is seemingly impending (more so than normal) because a certain Obama is the president-elect.

No, I was thinking about the fact that I'd like to find a new job. I took an online "career finders" test and was astonished at the results. After just a few short minutes, this little test had matched the "top 20" careers suited to me.

So here they are, in the order given to me by the test, along with why none of these are the career for me:

Astronaut: What am I, six years old? Seriously, I don't even like roller coasters. There's no way I'm getting on board a space shuttle.

Electrical Engineer: Hmm...designing electrical things? Probably not my forte, and I wouldn't want to infringe on Mike's territory.

Civil Engineering Technician: Bridges and such could be fun to design...perhaps I should consider this.

Dolphin Researcher: Now, this result is puzzling. I mean, that's really, really specific. Note that it doesn't say "Marine Biologist." No, this is dolphin researcher. I figure the world only needs a few of these, and I am not to be one of them.

Computer Systems Analyst: I don't think I could handle looking at code all day.

Industrial Engineer: Again, this engineering thing might be somewhat up my alley. Maybe the test wasn't all bad.

Aviation Accident Investigator: I don't think I could handle looking at tragedies. Besides, I've seen Fight Club. I don't want to be responsible for deciding if it's "cost effective" to do a recall.

Equine Vet: A horse doctor? Me? I don't like small pets...no way I'd like big horses.

Civil Engineer: I guess this is more of the "theory" side than the technician...not necessarily a bad idea for me.

Neurosurgeon: Ick! Operating on brains? I hope my hands would be steady!

Auto Racing Mechanic: I do think that I'd like to be a mechanic. Auto racing, though? Sounds noisy.

Prosthetics Designer: Who knows...maybe I could be responsible for designing the prosthetic that the infamous one-armed-man uses to commit his crimes!

Computer Hardware Designer: Meh...not for me. I don't like computers enough for that.

Veterinarian: Pets bother me. I'm quite certain I'd have a hard time being sympathetic enough.

Acoustical Engineer: THIS is something that I should research. Seriously...the test was worth taking for this result. I love music, sound, and the technology behind it.

Cardiologist: No working on the human body. It's icky.

Arson Investigator: Burn victims? Tragedy? No thanks...although I could probably get a cool pair of shades like that CSI guy.

Industrial Chemist: Oooh! I could manage huge vats of steaming chemicals! Sounds...dangerous!

Telecommunications Manager: Is that like a phone operator? I wouldn't want to be responsible for communications systems. Nobody's ever happy when dealing with those people.

Computer Engineer: NERDS! But I'm ok with being a nerd...so maybe this isn't so bad.

Ultimately, I guess this just goes to show that I still don't know what I want to do...but I'm fairly certain that it's not dolphin research.

Much luv,
Song of the Day: "Here It Goes Again" by OK Go

Thursday, October 30, 2008

I hear it's good in a Frappuchino, too...




BOO! (Seriously, I wouldn't mind National Costume Day. I really wouldn't, but all of the "death" and "horror" associated with Halloween just gives me the heebie-geebies...and not in the good way.)



I recently discovered that caramel is the correct spelling for the word that I've been pronouncing "carmel" for ages.

According to dictionary.com:

Car-mel (noun)
1. Mount, a mountain range in NW Israel, near the Mediterranean coast. Highest point, 1818 ft. (554 m). 14 mi. (23 km) long.
2. a town in central Indiana. 18,272.
3. Also called Carmel-by-the-Sea. a town in W California, on the Pacific Ocean: artists' colony and resort.
4. a female given name: from a Hebrew word meaning “garden.”

Car-a-mel (noun)
1. a liquid made by cooking sugar until it changes color, used for coloring and flavoring food.
2. a kind of chewy candy, commonly in small blocks, made from sugar, butter, milk, etc.
3. a yellowish brown or tan color.

As a fan of both caramel and words, I thought it important to point out the significant distinction between the two:

One is a deliciously sweet morsel that sends a taster into a euphoric bliss.

The other is bunch of dirt and rocks piled on top of each other.

See the drastic difference? You wouldn't want to eat the wrong one. Blech! And you wouldn't want to climb on the other, you'd likely get stuck. May you never confuse the two again.

My name is Rob Mayer, and I approve this message. (See how I tied it back in to politics? Eh? EH??? Well, I amused myself, anyway.)

Much luv,
Song of the Day: "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yeeeeaaaaah, boyeeeee...

Ha. Hehehe...

I'm such a dork.

If you could only see me now...

So, it's been documented that I love lists. Can't resist them. Tonight, I sit here and I watch as VH1 counts down the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.

Just sittin' here...bobbin' my head as LL Cool J, Eminem, Sir Mix-A-Lot, Salt-N-Pepa, and Jay Z fill the room with phat beats and cool jams.

It all reminds me of one thing:

I am so white.

Still, as a rhythm enthusiast, hip-hop has a special place in my heart. Right next to progressive rock and miles above country music.

I mean...MILES above country music.

I think that's what I'd like to discuss tonight. What's the appeal of country music? Is it the twangy voice? The way everyone's personal life crumbles to pieces in just about every song? There's an old joke that goes a little something like this:

Q: What happens when you play a country song backwards?
A: You get back with your wife, your dog comes home, your pickup trucks starts running again, and you get out of prison.

What other music is so associated with rodeos, too? I mean, hey...let's jump on a wild animal and see how long until it throws us to the ground and tries to trample us! And square dancing??? Don't even get me started on square dancing.

Blech...country music. Makes me want to wretch.

Which, coincidentally, looks the same as me trying to get my groove on to some hip-hop.

Much luv,
Song of the Day: "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Howdy, partner...

Boy howdy...it's been a while, hasn't it? 'Bout six weeks since I wrote something, I reckon. (That sounds cowboy-ish, no?) I want to try to start writing again on a semi-regular basis...so here goes.

A whole lot has been happening for the Cloud Nine Kid (that's me, for the record). Love is in the air, I've got a first place fantasy football team (Go Bastardized Kittens!), and I was recently spotted in the front row at a Bear's game.

Life. Is. Good.

It stands to reason, then, that I should have much to say, right? I began to write a little, but then started to feel very tired. I was about to just shut the computer down and call it a night. It was then, in that moment, that Los Angeles Laker Lamar Odom said a little something that inspired me to jot something down before turning in for the night.

"Ba dum, boow. Ba dum, boow. Ba dum, boow. Ba dum, boow."

Ok, that probably doesn't make any sense, but if I add the words, "Hey, hey, hey," that might help.

Still no? Check this out:

Smiling yet? Something about that nostalgia that just cheers the soul. I am suddenly filled with some extra energy and finding words to share.

Sure, this isn't the most poignant post ever, but I'm smiling writing it, and I hope you found something to smile about while reading it.

I reckon you did.

Much luv,
Song of the Day: "Smooth" by Santana featuring Rob Thomas