Month: June 2004
Not complete free reign
Even Justice Scalia couldn’t help his buddies in the White House this time.
Int he last 4 years, it had seemed everything was simply going to be allowed and handed to the Bush administration – Congressional approval of whatever they want, Supreme Court rulings in their favor (from secret documents to the very ruling that put Bush into office), blind public support because of fear….
Yesterday’s Supreme Court Ruling gave me hope again that America isn’t so lost as it had seemed the last few years.
The right to due process has been given back to the people – be they scumbags or falsely accused citizens (or falsely accused citizens who are scumbags for that matter) – which means that no one can be held for undetermined lengths of time without legal counsel. One might assume this is a bad move because prospective terrorists might be able to get free again through the court system… But then again, how many innocent people have been held indefinitely, while falsely charged with a crime? Not only that, but it’s part of the justice departments job to build a case against people… Certainly there is compelling evidence against a suspect for him to be arrested in the first place right? There should also be enough evidence to try and convict the accused if the case is strong enough against them. The system and due process shouldn’t need to be circumvented in order to stop accused prisoners…
Or is John Ashcroft and the Bush administration that incompetent to need to just arrest people because they don’t know how to connect the dots and show a grand jury why someone is guilty?
When Good Movie Concepts go bad. Terminator 3
What really bothers me, what explicitly, forcibly bothers me, is seeing some of Terminator 3 lately on HBO and learning the plot of the movie (along with the outcome)… In plot and scope – it’s a good sequel and could have been outstanding as a movie. In dialog? In direction? Horrendous, absolutely horrendous.
I don’t know if they were trying specifically to separate this Terminator machine film from the previous two models that visited the present-day (past to them) in the first movies but you could see Arnold Schwarzenegger was too stiff for his role (even though going stiff was part of the role). His deliveries are too quick and certain catch phrases from the series aren’t inserted when they actually need to be inserted (“Come with me if you want to live,” dense computer-like talk, and of course the killer –“I’ll be back.”). I think they’re as much a part of the franchise, as Arnold as a Terminator.
Ridiculousness kills this movie as well. What is the T-X? A woman liquid-metal model that can make complex machines as weapons? That’s lame.. . Why do I say that? Because Robert Patrick scared the shit out of me as the T-1000 that could run incredible speeds, overcome being shot by most weapons, and stab the shit out of whoever the intended target is. This Termistress just doesn’t do it for me. It’s an attempt to one-up the T-1000, sure, but it seems like a forced-and-limited-planned instance. Gender isn’t to be blamed, it’s the underlying aspects of the machine that just seem poorly planned.
Skynet not being a central computer but every computer connected to the Internet — that was a stroke of genius which gave a good premise for the film.. But it utterly fails with corniness and just sheer corruption from the other two movies. James Cameron is the master of the Terminator universe and this is sadly no James Cameron film.
Drove my Yeti to the Levy…
Matt over at Defective Yeti has yet another hilarious anecdote to share with the world as he talks about X2: E-Men United and he art of cinematic bladder control.
If I wasn’t fondly aware of moments like this at movie houses, I probably would just scoff and move on to something else on the web. However that wasn’t the case. Many people should know about this ridiculously-trying-to-outdo-your-bladder type events in cinema.
The last time I had a situation like the one Matt talks about on his site, I was watching Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. Now, that film pales in comparison to X2 so more moments of escape happen during the film… But not knowing the time and knowing about an “incredible fight” between Count Dooku and Yoda… I tried to hold things as long as I could…
Oldsmar Florida gives Michael Moore a Standing Ovation
Fahrenheit 9-11 was a sold out this evening and my older brother attended the showing at AMC Woodlands Square this afternoon…
Now, this isn’t a first hand report, I’m relaying this story because I didn’t attend, but the movie had people in tears and roaring with laughter at other times… It also received a five minute standing ovation upon conclusion of the film.
AMC Woodlands Square 20 caters to a very large range of movie viewers due to it being one of the only movie theaters in North Pinellas County… I can’t say anything about who was in attendance, it it was a college crowd, minority crowd, a general mix of people of all age groups (which I would hope for) or a predominantly retiree crowd (which I would be shocked with — but North Pinellas County does have a large population of retirees here)… But it’s nice to know that liberal or not, people could appreciate the mixed emotions provoked by the movie.
Just when you thought you could escape the voting sites
Well, the Bolts won the cup — Hurray!
The Calgary Flames have their Flames Girls instead of the Cup and all can enjoy them — Hurray!
Now? How about Hockey perverts showing off on the web and being able to rate them?!
Dr. Jack Ryan or Senator Jack Ryan?
Is this the Jack Ryan we all know? Is this the Jack Ryan we want to have represent our country?
Or is this guy more like it? Oh sure, Ben Affleck and Alec Baldwin both played him in the movies (along with Harrison Ford) but that doesn’t make him a bad guy… does it?
Jack Ryan or Jack Ryan — you, Illinois residents, must decide…
(inspired by a post at Defective Yeti. Of course, this had been my thoughts when I hear “Jack Ryan” the last few days but I haven’t blogged it)
What a perfect name for a race horse
I wonder if there’s ever been “Elmer’s Glue Incorporated” in the sport of Horse Racing.
What a great name!
Ah the wonderful world of Johnny. Details, details, details of Keith’s visit to suburban hell… er, Tampa Bay.
So I was f’n stoked on a Saturday Night when the Lightning tied the Stanley Cup finals. Keith, of course, is in disbelief. He had expected to be attending one of the upteenth city parites that would be going on if–no, WHEN the Flames had won.
But it didn’t happen that way.
So what happens when Keith gets home from Saddledome? He’s got to book hsi flight to Tampa. He had tickets lined up since the Flames / Lightning NHL Finals had been set. Game 7 tickets in fact. The series hadn’t been as good as we both had hoped but – gods – this was a game seven! You can’t scalp tickets for an event like this for less than 500 bucks… We got them through Ticketmaster before the game was even scheduled – so we’re in luck.
Sunday night, Keith was due to start flying to Tampa — going to Vegas first and then getting a connector flight / red eye to Tampa. Only problem was his flight was 2 hours late to begin with, which thus made him miss his connecting red-eye flight to Tampa.
Back in the Bay area I am going nuts Sunday night trying to figure out WTF has happened to Keith. He’s stranded, or is he moving? Flyte Comm basically confirmed where Keith was — just leaving Alberta – about the time I was ready to call it a night.
I decided to indeed call it a night, wondering what the hell was going to happen and how Keith woudl be when he finally got here – if he got here…?
I wake up bright and early Monday morning and have a sense of urgency running over me. Not just urgency but anxiousness. Within a couple of hours the Lightning would be playing for a world title and I would be in attendance.
My first thought is – where Keith? His connector fflight took off on time (fuck America West) and that meant he indeed missed his connector flight. I fought on the phone for a good hour trying to find out what happened to him and I find out (through America West customer service) that he’s “Taken another route and going to another city. He’s all right.”
Well, whoop-de-shit. He’s OK. Now where is he? “Sorry, can’t say… but he’s all right.” :rolleyes
I call his cell phone (which I am still told is a wrong number by parties that call back later — but it’s the same number that America West has in their system and same number I have from Keith directly) but I still tell him on his message service to give me a ring to let me knwo what happened and where he is…
I find out a little while later it’s Orlando, and he’s still on his way here.
Can someone tell me what the rule is when it comes to going to a restaurant and acting like a total asshole? Or totally snobbish?
It seems the last two times I went to a finer restaurant — not a fine restaurant where there is a proper dress code, but nicer, finer restaurant where sandals and tank tops still find there way into the building — I’ve been told to act like a pompous prick and seen family do just that when things go weird. My mom especailly…
Maybe a year ago I went to a restaurant in downtown Dunedin with family. Nice place, nice atmosphere, forgot the name of it though so you’ll have to forgive me. While dining I dropped my fork and family insisted that I not pick up the fork…. Well, not much family, just my mom. When other things happened, I was told that the waitress will handle it. It drove me insane to be waited on over mundane things. This wasn’t like “Let the waiter put a napkin on your lap” type stuff. This was just normal “I’m not a lazy slob” type stuff.
Skipping over that event and finer details of the event — we jump to last night and my dining experience at Sam Seltzers Steakhouse in Clearwater. Not fine dining but it was a hell of a nice place to go to and a hell of a long wait to have. We must have waited an hour and a half for seats (which I’ve always told my parents “Get reservations to that place if you insist on trying to eat there sometime”) and in some ways it was worth it because it was just a nice place to go to…
But then my mother’s pomposity came into it.
Maybe she’s getting eccentric in her age or maybe I’m just too damned sensitive to others. A waiter was trying to handle some dishes — i didn’t pay attention to the fact if they were dirty or clean plates he was handling. What happened was, he tried putting them on an assistance tray/table next to one booth and slipped — he had the plates come crashing down. And my mom clapped and applauded him.
She applauded him with the attitude of a pure-spirited “I don’t give a fuck” woman who was stuffing her face and trying to have a good time at others expense.
Rage bubbled up from within me in embarrassment. I wanted to get up and actually help the guy with the mess but the gimp known as Me can’t quite handle that. I fumed and started telling my mom exactly what I felt. “I can’t believe you did that! Lift your nose up a little higher, mom, lift it up a little higher for everyone to see you’re the most pompous person in the building.”
Yes, that was disrespectful… And who knows, maybe I was over-reacting…. But then again? I’ve been the guy who has to face a crowd after an embarrassing episode and I do NOT want other people to experience the humility of it all — especially when one prick goes off and tries to make me feel worse than I already do. Maybe the waiter didn’t care? Maybe he’d been through this a thousand times already? In any case, wrong is wrong and acting like a asshole in a restaurant is a no-no. You’re supposed to do unto others a you want done unto you right? So why do you start exploiting a persons goof / mistake in embarrassing circumstances instead of trying to help the situation?
If I was at my friends house and that happened — where my friend is the one dealing with dishes and what not, or someone who knows who I am and what I stand for is handling the dishes — I’d possibly do what my mom did and start exploiting it because it’s in jest, it’s good fun and people around me know I don’t mean any harm by it. I’d tell the person (if it wasn’t a person totally familiar with me) that I was just kidding around and teasing and try to help them out after… That’s the type of person I am after all.
I’m not going to act like a dick, however, in the company of strangers and make one person feel like complete shit…. That’s just plain wrong.
So, Iâ€™ve taken to taking advantage of the sophistication of my new neighborhood by driving around it (my neighborhood) at a very low rate of speed until my laptop picks up a wireless network. Then, in true loser form, I sit outside somebodyâ€™s house in my car for long periods of time.
Note to self – secure WiFi Network in home — STAT.
The "Lot" Beckons
The casting alone makes em want to catch the remake of Stephen King’s 2nd novel-come-movie, ‘Salems Lot
Rob Lowe playing Ben Meares — I can live with that. Donald Sutherland as Richard Straker? Exact casting that I imagined reading the book. Rutger Hauer as Barlow? Another dead-on casting! James Cromwell as Father Donald Callahan?! Another dead on casting! It’s incredible…
Of course, casting alone won’t make this a great movie – if Mikael Saloman can’t work with the images and provoke fear inside the viewer much like King can do with words and images — this will turn into another King-book-come-movie dud to follow dozens of King books that were turned into movies and fell flat.
Come again? Cam again
Added the Web Cam feature once again to Der Stonegauge. I can’t do direct connections so I haven’t used Camarades in a while and can’t unless I get a special webcam which I don’t plan on…
Still images refresh every thirty seconds when I have this thing running, but nothing interesting should be happening with the picture.
A Never Ending Story
I’ve been writing a story for over a year now and it is starting to piss me off more than actually entertain me with regards to finishing it.
If I can’t focus on the story, I choke and can’t write anything. I’ve already had to quit Long Ridge because I can’t think or focus or what not… Part of me wants to call an end to Peter’s adventure and another part of me won’t be satisfied until I punch in the last few sentences and a period and then deem the manuscript finished — the first draft that is. There is still a load of editing to do…
But first things first — trying to close off the story is proving to be a bitch.
I’ve got 77 manuscript pages done as of right now — 21 thousand words… Not too shabby but it’s not that big a tome. It’s not even that high quality I would think. Sure, some people have re-assured me the story is worth reading and the characters make you interested — but there are flaws that I can see and that others can see… That’s part one of what bothers me.
Part two is that I am not writing squarely about what I know. That’s something you are supposed to do but alas — the story is too big to do that. It’s to interesting with the characters and the dialog to do that… Yet the details in some of the places where the story takes place – they escape me. They force me to wonder if I am just a hack because I am winging it or if I am making a worthwhile effort through a bit of ignorance.
Stephen King helped me out — not personally but I was reading Song of Susannah and he made the point that when you have no further use for a character – you could kill them off to end that part of the story. It’s probably much truer in horror and thrillers than this story but I think I might take a lesson from Steve and do some killing in order to advance the story to it’s ending…
Because I personally don’t know how to get there from here as it stands.
I had been close to just cutting out details and jumping to a conclusion instead of giving the full ending and I thought it was a cop out on my part. What happened to the characters after such and such a point? What happened between certain characters that caused them to fight? What happened to so and so, and what will happen when these people reach what’sitcalled? (nice job avoiding plot details, eh? :smile ) I hated the idea of cheating people on the story but without having the complete story (what happens in the end?!) in my mind, it just pisses me off that the story seems to be going on and on without a set point where things will conclude.
Where is “The End” when I need it?
I don’t know if I am a prude or in the minority with things but it seems to be a dying art for people — guys or girls — to go through life without a tattoo somewhere along their bodies…. be it on the shoulder, above the ankle or somewhere on their person – ink is in and it turns me off.
Maybe I’ve talked about thsi before because I sure feel like I have ranted on this topic… I feel like I am the only person who believes natural skin is sexy anymore.
Look, I realize the concept of a woman with a tattoo on the small of her back is sexy — and I have seen plenty of videos that will further the concept along because of these videos content :tongue . That beign said, does every woman have to try to play the role of the college nympho and get one of these tattoos, or a tattoo on the ankle, or somewhere else on their person for that matter?
I run into people who are really excited about getting new tattoos and I when I look at them, I think about them in ten years with kids running around the house and such. I try to think how long their bodies will look ok with the tattoo until age sets in. It’s like smokers — it stops being attractive at a certain point. Of course, the human body in general stops being attractive at a certain point too…
But from my standpoint — I’d rather carees someone who hasn’t had faux-designs put on their skin in order to make a statement. If you’re not totally comfortable with yoruself and you think a tattoo is the answer — you’re wrong. If “Their cool” or “I want one because” is your reasoning to get a tattoo — well, I have a bridge everyone is jumping off of, you might as well get in line for that thrill ride :tongue
Of course, there are those who do this for art sake — I apologize for going off totally anti-tattoo with this post… It’s just hwo accepted in society this is nwo, and those who don’t understand what the art is and only do it for the quick thrill.
Man at Work
Trying to give the page a facelift… Consider the site under construction for the time being
As much as I Love movies and I love Netflix service, i had to cancel my account with them.
Why? Well, the fact of the matter is there are a lot of movies in there I am not interested in seeing — in my rental queue I mean. There are classics that I want to see (All the Presidents Men, for example) but there are also things that I just didn’t really care for (Whale Rider and some movies I have seen in the past). It just wasn’t worth 22 bucks a month any more because of how rarely I was renting flix. The last movie I held onto and enjoyed form them was Return of the King.
Don’t get me wrong – I believe Netflix has a ton to offer to anyone who loves movies…. I wouldn’t have seen Equilibrium and a lot of other great movies if it wasn’t for them…. However, at the same time — there might just be such a thing as too much of a good thing (can you believe that? :tongue)
She says, I think…
When you have to get in the spirit of blogging ain… Rely on Unconcious Mutteringsout…
- Colorblind:: Vinny Testaverde
- Shallow:: Internet
- Erotica:: Sexuality
- Figment:: Fictional
- Eviction:: Prospect Heights
- Composed:: Written
- Chill:: Cool your boots
- Girl:: Interupted
- California:: Home away from Home
- Bond:: James Bond
"Song of" The Gunslinger…
Song of Susannah kicked ass.
In my review of the sixth part of the great sage and imminent wordslinger’s (Stephen King) magnum opus – The Dark Tower — I have to say that for the most part Song of Susannah made up for any and all problems that I had with his last entry to the series (Wolves of the Calla) and was probably the most constant and tension filled book in the series for me — probably a bit more than The Drawing of the Three and The Waste Lands . Compared to Wolves which I fought at times to finish up, or Wizard and Glass which lost my interest because of how far off course the story ventured, this was an absolute pleasure to read.
“Dude, stop with the praise and give me an idea what happens already!”
OK, I don’t want to play the spoiler but of course in all reviews of anything (movies, books, TV shows) you get an idea of what is going to happen in a review…. In Song, the first gasp of the novel establishes the need for the ka-tet to be repaired… Beamquake. It gives a new idea of the sense of urgency of the mission to the Dark Tower (but of course gives no idea on what they need to do there). Eddie is in shambles because Susannah has gone through the Unfounded door, Father Callahan is going insane because he’s found out he is a character in a book, Jake Chambers is still pissed off at losing his best friend because of “Frank…..Fucking….Tarvery” and of course Roland is…. Roland. A bit rational even when there is pressure afoot.
Only taking place for a short time in the borderlands between Mid-World and Thunderclap, the story spends a good deal of time in New York City of 1999 and Maine of 1977. It puts some explanation of story flaws in past Dark Tower novels and it doesn’t exactly sink with the Stephen King side plot. That was my biggest beef with Wolves of the Calla — King writing himself into the books… But you know what? It works now. You see how it works. King had written in the past about what would happen if he met Roland in person and basically you get to see that for real in this story.
Something really bit at me though and it was something I don’t know if it’s real or not. It’s excerpts from King’s “Diary” between 1977 and 1999… I don’t know how much is fake and how much is real — but if there is reality to his wife telling him not to walk a certain route and the fact he predicted 6/19/1999 (O, Discordia!)… It’s just chilling to the bone. There’s no other way to put it.
Susannah gets a lot of pages in this book — and to some degree things did get boring with her dealings with Mia (the other inhabiting her body) and that might be the weakest part of the story… That or a rehash of the ending of The Waste Lands (and no, it ain’t Blaine the Mono) might piss some people off. But it’s not going to be years until we see the conclusion of the Dark Tower saga. Episode 7 — The Dark Tower — is due out later this year.
Long Days and Pleasant Nights to ya, I beg. Life for your crop and thankee-sai… Song of Susannah is a pleasure to read.
From the man who brought….
From the man who brought idiocy into style
…and I ain’t talkin’ about Mike Moore :wink
The last month has been one of change for me. Physical change, emotional (?) change, personal change and some changes around me. They’ve been more accomplishments than setback and my mood hasn’t always been the best but there is progress in my life and that makes me feel better than I’ve felt in a long, long time.
Last year around this time I was falling into an abyss as I was losing ability with my legs. Go back for yourselves and take a look at June and July 2003 and you can find my personal writings that talk about my legs giving out from under me. Now? Now I’m again at a point where there is a great deal of light in front of me but I am not entirely ready to emerge from the tunnel of darkness.
Jack Ryan needed a year to regain the ability to walk, that was what was said in The Hunt For Red October and I won’t be surprised if it lingers that long for me.
Anyway, I’ve traded my walker (which I only use rarely) for a red cane and am mixed using that and trying to walk on my own. Comes and goes with how well I can do that but it’s close enough for government work.
I started not posting onto this journal last month because I’ve had my room torn up and lost in discordia (we’ll get to the discordia reference in a minute kiddies :wink ) as I’ve finally had my ugly mica furniture removed as well as had a real floor put in… It’s a big change from what I have had. Brighter. More positive for that matter. Good for the soul, say thank ya.
And of course things really got better the last week with me getting out and seeing I could do again – that’s with help, however. I have to still put up a post about what went on with my friend Keith but that’s for another post. Maybe tomorrow.
As for now, I go back to Stephen King’s latest – Song of Susannah which I’m enjoying as I near the finish of the book. Big step up from his last Dark Tower novel. I will give you a better review of the book when I am done…
Positives are around… Quite a change of pace for the Artful Dodger, but positives are around again — thank God.
Designated Hitter and USA Today
Heads up, sports fan… I might be mentioned in USA Today in an upcoming article about the Designated Hitter. I was talking to writer Mike Dodd about the DH last week and… well, it appears that later this summer (after the Olympics in Greece) there will be an article featuring m’self talking about the Designated Hitter.
Something strange is afoot here…
Just when did i get on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season Ticket waiting list???
I got an email from the team that addressed me as a Season Ticket Waiting list member. I don’t recall ever adding my name to the season ticket waiting list. Hell, I don’t even have the money to get a season ticket – let alone would I enjoy being at Buc games (sorry boys but Football is better, for me at least, on Television).
This will lead you to my write-up before I left for Game 7 of the 2004 Stanley Cup Finals.
Stranger in a strange land
So the Lightning have one last game this season, and that last game is the true title game as the Stanley Cup Champion will be crowned after this game.
And Keith is heading down here tonight and will be arriving early tomorrow morning in Tampa to catch the game and stay a couple of day sin Tampa Bay.
It”s odd enough for me to deal with the fact the Lightning are playing for the Stanley Cup, it’s been a wild last couple of days and last couple of weeks as I have had several things change around me — which I never blogged in here .
But now I have to play International Host which I have never done before. Hell, i have never traveled by myself and can’t fathom how Keith is doing it – flying from Calgary to Tampa… I feel some insecurities because I’m still a gimp for the most part and he wants to take in some events here in Tampa and o course i want to show him around too… And doing that by car isn’t exactly how I planned it.
ON one hand, I wan tot meet him and show him the beauty of Florida before the Bolts kick the shit out of the Flames (and after :tongue) :biggrin, and on the other hand – now I know the feeling that others might feel when they are told someone is going to be visiting their neck of the woods to almost specifically meet.
But then again – it’s immaturity to look for a escape route – which I’ve seen in the past. Which I’ve participated in, in the past.
Crappy week for friends and Family
So first off, Andy gets accused by his manipulative bitch.
Then Melinda is heartbroken (in part) because her Mandy is still abroad and having visions of grandeur staying there.
Next? Finnaula’s (aka Danielle) boyfriend leaves her to sort out some personal issues — at best. Leaving her absolutely devastated by this blindside move.
And of course the Lightning lost tonight, which continues the suckage of it all. What’s next? Ghosts of heartbreak past coming back into my life? Or worse? OR better?
So Brian Spilner… er, I mean Paul Walker is being courted to play Michael Knight or whoever the hero character ends up being in a Knight Rider movie…
As if they couldn’t do worse when it comes to finding someone to play the role.
Oh, I don’t mean to put down Paul Walker who I like regardless of the babble of a script that he was stuck with in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the part he played in another mockery of another Crichton novel, Timeline. Regardless of all that, Paul Walker is the worst casting choice they could make for the movie — for both Walker and the Film itself for that matter.
As I started out this entry, Paul Walker is associated with Brian Spilner – the character he portrayed in the first two Fast and the Furious movies. Not only that, but Spilner’s character is supposed to be undercover law enforcement and a pretty good street racer (but he’s no Dominic Toretto – Vin Diesel’s character). Does he really want to be typecast into another Car flick? I mean, he was in a beat up car for most of Joyride” and the two Fast movies made big on the driving part…
And any role in Knight Rider would force him to further play the driver role. That being said, he’d be smart to turn the other cheek toward the project.
Now, whoever the hell is putting together the Knight Rider film does indeed want to cater a bit to the crowd of car fanatics that made the Fast movies big hits. They also want to distance themselves from the cheese of David Hasselhoff’s career. Fine, you can do that but dear god — if you want to imitate Fast and the Furious, don’t go so far as casting someone from those pictures to lead your film! You do not want Fast and the Furious fans coming into the theater expecting a third installment of the film series, only to find out that the flick is about a crime fighter and his talking, supped up car.
That being said, I still have hopes for a Knight Rider film, but they surely have to brain up unless this is going to be a spoof film all the way.
Are Blogs part of the reason America is polarized?
Just a thought here —
You can come across many a left-leaning blog on the Internet, putting down the President, talking the Truths to the war, hatching conspiracy theories on Joe Wilson and his wife’s outing, etc….
But you can also find havens of Anne Coulter loving bloggers who think all the Left is doing online is lying and the Great George W. Bush is the lord and savior incarnate…. Instead of getting a clear political picture, you get no-man’s land when you try to find a moderate footing on the issues – that Iraq is a bad situation, that monetary focus would be better here in the States than abroad, that the Democrats have done little to try to moderate issues and have been weak willed in dealing with them.
Or maybe it’s the fact that moderates are slandered as either Democrats or Republicans when they don’t always agree with party lines?
Suffice it to say – I think blogs are just helping continue the polarization of America, but are a necessary evil in spreading both information and unique thoughts and debate…