Sep 30, 2008

Where has Wiwille been?

Hangovers. However painful they may be they are a good reminder that I need to drink more responsibly. I usually don't get them, but from time to time they happen and learn from them I do.

Saturday night I made my way up to Bellingham for Tracy's birthday. The girls dressed up all nice, including the cute Maddi who decided to wear her Disney princess dress. Must be nice being a toddler, cause I really wanted to wear a GI Joe outfit.

Dinner was good as I split a bottle of wine with Corey. I think the waitress thought we were gay as we were the only guys there not present with a girl and we were sharing vino. We were also wearing similar shirts.

After dinner we made our way to an Irish pub and I drank like I was 18. Car bombs, numerous pints of Guinness and Nut Brown Ale, shots, etc were flowing into my belly with reckless abandon. I was like a sixteen year old with keys to the parent's Porches. Drinks kept flowing and I kept consuming them. The evening was a lot of fun, but surreal as I had an interesting conversation with an ex sniper, a girl who wanted to feel my chest hair (don't ask), and I engaged in a political debate with someone who felt Sarah Palin was qualified to be in the White House.

The next morning I woke up at Elli's to Corey and Tracy chatting in the early hours and I felt like someone dropped a VW on my skull. Seriously for a few minutes I was wondering if I got into a fight that night. I went to the bathroom and didn't see any signs of a physical confrontation so I assumed correctly that I really over exerted myself in the art of binge drinking.

Okay, this next part gets kind of gross. Stop reading if you're constitution is sensitive.

I was feeling particularly gassy that morning so instead of subjecting Corey, Tracy, and Elli to my almost inhuman flatulence I decided to step out of the house. I was in front of Elli and Friends' home when I let one off that was almost a world record. I could of sworn pilots were feeling the vibrations. I turned around to see a lady walking her dog. She stopped and stared at me for a moment and decided to walk across the street. She turned to look at me and gave me a wave. I probably looked like death. I gave one back then decided to enter the house. Love to keep up the neighborhood relations on the positive for my friends.

I spent most of Sunday sleeping and drinking as much water as I could. Watched a few movies with the folks and was for the most part useless.

I decided to stay in Bellingham for a few more days, but when I do I feel unplugged as my folks don't have internet or cable. I learned about the stock market plunge via text message from Corey. I seem to be hearing a lot of bad news from that method lately.

Without any access to blogs, email, and news I felt a relief. It was nice just to chill and not be connected. So far it's been a good vacation.

Thursday I hop a plane. Details will come after I get there.

"A real hangover is nothing to try out family remedies on. The only cure for a real hangover is death." - Robert Benchley

Sep 25, 2008

Thursday Music

Popular in the 80s, the keytar hasn't seen much in the way of modern music anymore. Normally associate with bands that sucked hard, it's become a staple of the decade as much as parachute pants and the Pogo Ball. I'm not really sure what the point of the invention or use of the keytar was. It just looks impractical as using both hands on the keyboard would seem to make a more harmonious sound, but then again this is modern music I'm talking about and quality is not the most important thing in that industry.

Still it's fun to look back at the music of the 80s that utilized this bizarre instrument and the mullet strewn 'musicians' that felt it would make the best sound. That being said I've never seen a keytard played like the woman below, who felt it was a great idea to straddle the thing while fingering the keys.

Words. They do fail me.

Thank you Rusted Violin for showing me this...I think.

"Every time I use the Keytar on the show, I get many questions and comments. As a keyboard player, I've been struggling for years with a means to rock with the rest of the band. The Keytar fills this need." - Jeff Babko

Sep 23, 2008

You did it

There was a time not too long ago, where investors felt confident in companies that had no product to sell or had the managerial skills of your average meth addict. Money flowed, people got rich, and the market flourished. Many Americans became wealthy off the backs of investors trying to get in on the next big thing.

Everyone tried to get on the gravy train. Citizens were buying up all sorts of material excess and running up credit cards on IKEA furniture, home entertainment systems, and strip clubs. Yes times were good for middle class America and they would bear the fruits of not much labor.

Now the housing market has collapsed and the financial state of this country is suffering. Blame is being thrown around like a hot potato. Democrats are pointing the finger across the aisle while Republicans go on Fox News and tear into Pelosi. The public is looking for a crotchety old guy or their risen lord and savior to somehow fix the mess that they themselves made.

Yes I said they themselves. I don't blame the current administration nor anything Phil Graham has done. Fannie Mae may have pulled some shitty deals, but it was us, the American people, who, blinded by greed, pursued a lifestyle way above their means. We signed the dotted line with reckless abandon not even paying attention to terms like 'flex rate'. We did this.

Of course the burden now lies with the people who actually made smart decisions. Now everyone is looking to our leaders to protect us from ourselves, cause obviously we're a bunch of children who can't be entrusted with making a smart decision. Given the high ratings for reality television maybe we do need to be coddled.

"I have as many guns as I need, but I don't have as many guns as I want." - Phil Graham

Sep 21, 2008

Elivs lives...

Mawwiage. What a delightful institution where people of like minds come together in holy matrimony to express their love in front of people who are eager to feed their bellies and consume spirits. I've been to so many weddings a lot of them seem like a blur, but last night's will stick in my mind for many years to come.

Andrea and Justin shared nuptials yesterday in what was quite possibly one of the most unorthodox wedding I've ever witnessed. When you consider I've been to over 200 of them that's saying a lot. Each member of the bridal party came walking to various songs, but Andrea brought the house down when her and her father came strutting to 'Brick House'. A crowd pleaser for sure as people in attendance were hooting and sharing in the joy.

The officiant was dressed as a female Elvis impersonator. I'm not kidding folks. She did a well scripted ceremony incorporating the King's song lyrics into her delivery. Tears were flowing from the bride as she made her vows to Justin. Overall it was very sweet and as someone said that evening, it was just so 'them'.

After they announced the couple as officially married my friend Crystal turned to me.

"You're going to blog about this aren't you?" she asked.

"Oh you know it," I replied.

Let me back track a little.

I'm sitting at a table with friends waiting for the ceremony to start when I start to receive text messages from a girl I've been seeing. Rather than pick up the phone and call me she decided to let me know her lack of feelings for me by the more modern approach. Feeling a little down and wanting it to not show I decided the best idea would be to consume my own body weight in alcohol.

Good times were had as I just tried to maintain a straight line and speak coherently. The speeches then came and were made by each and every one of the bridal party, then the DJ asked if anyone else would like to say something.

Oh my. My head is spinning in beer and vodka and there's a chance to make myself the center of attention. This could be a recipe for disaster. Don't go up to the mic Erik. Just don't do it. Make a good decision for once in your life.

If you honestly believed that rational thought would prevail I'd like to welcome you to my blog. I always like new readers.

My speech went well I thought. People laughed a lot and there was a large 'awwww', but honestly I was so out of my mind drunk the crowd could've been heckling me and I would've been none the wiser. Dancing ensued and conversations were had. I was having a good time, but I wasn't sure if I was offending anyone with my seeming inability to maintain any sense of sobriety. I didn't get punched though, so things went well.

The bride asked for a dance and I was happy to oblige. During it she confessed her concerns about how the night would appear on Erik's Ramblings. I assured her it would be an honest portrayal, but I left out the fact that it would be seen through the goggles of someone swimming in booze.

I did have a great time though as everyone else seemed to as well. Luckily after much concern about my state of intoxication I got a ride home. This morning I wasn't sure if I was hungover or still drunk. A friend took me to get my car today and thankfully it was still there. After a nice lunch on the pier I drove away grateful that I got to witness nights like that. I've never seen my friend Andrea look more happy or more beautiful.

I still have no idea how much I drank.

"Man, I really like Vegas." - Elvis Presley

Sep 19, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 60

Men. We're just boys who refuse to grow up. Never content with the good things in our life we take things for granted and often end up hurting ourselves more than anyone else. We live in a fantasy world not unlike children.

'Beautiful Girls' is about such men. Set in northern Illinois, Willie is a piano player in Chicago who returns to his hometown for his high school reunion. His old chums are still living in the working class community doing blue collar jobs. Willie is the romantic of the group with a talent that sets him apart from the other lads; however, he's starting to question his life, professionally and personally. His girlfriend back home is the source of his longing for something new, something different.

Willie meets his father's neighbor, Marty. At the tender age of 13 she's incredibly literate and well spoken. Willie is taken with her charm and finds himself drawn to the teenager as she's the only one in the town that seems to be as cultured as him. Given the age difference he understands the nature of the girl's attention and sees himself as a mentor of sorts.

Willie's friends are all having their own little crisis. Tommy can't seem to let go of his younger days and sleeps with his now married high school sweetheart, much to the sorrow of his current girlfriend. Paul is missing his ex, who he never really loved in the first place, but now that she's with someone else he's fighting for her heart as best as he knows how, with results that are mixed at best. The rest of the gang are as equally pathetic who just can't seem to get their emotional house in order.

Enter Andrea, a supermodel beauty that's visiting the town as well. Immediately she captures the attention of the guys; however being more than a pretty face she's incredibly cool and wise as well. Being the voice of reason for men who can't seem to think reasonably she bonds with them and shows a few how completely naive and ridiculous they are.

Much like the superior 'Diner', 'Beautiful Girls' is a touching film about men who are afraid to grow up and accept the responsibilities normally attributed to men. Not a new theme for sure, but one that's entertaining. The acting is good for the most part and Rosie O'Donnell's monologue is so hilarious that it almost makes up for everything else she's done. Natalie Portman shows off her talent brilliantly and it makes you forget how terrible she was in the 'Star Wars' films. If you haven't guessed already I do recommend this.

Thanks to Scott for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"Portman was memorable as the little girl in The Professional, but her work here throws off an eeriness in its revelation of such huge talent in one so young." - Jeff Millar

Sep 18, 2008

Thursday music

The music industry has made a killing off the broken hearted by releasing music reminding the recently scorned of how much their life sucks. Whiny songs ranging from simple ballads to angry vocalists are normally huge hits and get a serious amount of radio play.

People who admire themselves as music snobs, but won't listen to a song produced before 1987, will constantly remind you what the greatest break up song they feel is. Delving deep in into their music library they'll throw out any number of tunes that include some pop star wailing about how they feel some sort of pain.

Well since I'm an extremley opinionated yutz I bring you not one, but two songs I listen to when my personal life is in the toilet. Yes a double dose of music from Erik's Ramblings, cause after all I'm a giver.

"What's the message in Metallica? There is no message, but if there was a message, it really should be look within yourself, don't listen to me, don't listen to James, don't listen to anybody, look within yourself for the answers." - Lars Ulrich

Sep 16, 2008

Please tell me more.

Anyone that follows the news must feel inundated with all things Palin. Between coverage of hurricane devastation our nation's obsession with all things hockey mom is turning my stomach. It's like we haven't made up our minds yet about her qualifications to be one heartbeat away from the Presidency. Nope. We clearly need to hear about her all the time. Please mainstream media, please keep reminding us of the corruption scandals, pig with lipstick, and how Tina Fey was brilliant in her portrayal. It's really interesting.

I don't need to know what any of the other three stand on any particular issue. Oh and whatever's going on outside our borders is insignificant. I'm a mindless simpleton who will consume anything that has a pretty face. I can't be trusted to formulate an opinion of my own so while I'm not watching "When Animals Attack During High Speed Police Chases," please show us more segments of the scholar of the Bush Doctrine. The free market demands it. I'm sure everyone else feels the same.

Thank you for listening.

Actually I shouldn't blame the news for essentially bringing you information that you crave. I hate you all. Yes you too.

"And, you know, I say this, too, as the daughter of a science teacher. Growing up with being so privileged and blessed to be given a lot of information on, on both sides of the subject — creationism and evolution." - Sarah Palin

Sep 14, 2008

Wiwille has a weekend of service

Yesterday I helped my coworker move. It wasn't a bad move as there were many there to help. Except for the hot weather it went reasonably well. I moved some heavy furniture, put together some beds for his girls, and had an interesting time with the company he keeps.

There was an older gentleman there named Paul. He was a chipper fellow that was coordinating the event. He enjoyed barking orders at us as we lifted items into his trailer. He had some sort of injury that prevented him from heavy lifting, which was convenient as hearing himself speak was his true gift. I learned a lot by speaking to this man who was an authority on everything. He did have an amazing ability to give his resume concerning his truck driving and his preaching across the country. Modeling himself after the Apostle of the same name, Paul made sure I understood what his ministry was like and I watched him speak with pride about taking other churches to task for various things such as doctrinal differences, dogma, and going into bars teaching the good book.

Then came the political discussion. Oh boy you think the only issues that mattered in this coming presidential election were abortion and gay marriage. I asked him and anyone within earshot if they thought God really cared about gay marriage. They responded as if I were an idiot. I told them that I think God only gave a damn about the act of homosexuality and cared nothing for some legal binding contract that is essentially a property arrangement. They quickly changed the subject to abortion and didn't want to respond to that.


Still they were nice people and I enjoyed their company, politics be damned.

Today I woke early and helped my friend Andrew move. A very easy move it was as we had a lot of people to help and we didn't have to move any heavy furniture thankfully. We got done in a short amount of time and had a nice lunch outside in some Mexican restaurant.

I started my drive home alone with my thoughts, which can be a mixed bag. I watch my friends with their loved ones talk about things related to being a family. I was the only one who was single and at my age and it's starting to feel pathetic. I reflected on my life, past loves, and various other observations as to why I am who I am. It's hard being me sometimes and right now I'll put a thousand dollars on the fact that I'll die alone.

I have no one to blame but myself for the choices I have made.

Enough with the damn whining. I need a beer.

"Ethical religion can be real only to those who are engaged in ceaseless efforts at moral improvement. By moving upward we acquire faith in an upward movement, without limit." - Felix Adler

Sep 12, 2008

Wiwille needs assistance

Halloween is my favoritest holiday in the whole wide world. Yes I said favoritest. What other holiday can you dress up as anything you want (assuming it won't lead to an arrest), get lots and lots of candy, and stare at women who feel the Hallmark holiday has really brought out their inner whore?

There's just so much to love about bobbing for apples and drinking heavily while wearing some ridiculous costume. So happy am I about this years Halloween that I will once again dress up in an overpriced costume.

Seeing as democracy rules here on Erik's Ramblings I've decided to put my costume ideas to a vote. Yes you can decide the attire for Wiwille. Listed below are the choices. In the event of a tie I'll choose three regulars to decide the fate of my All Saints' Day.

1: The Boondock Saints: This will be difficult as I would need someone who a) looks like me (the poor bastard), b) is willing to do this, and c) is comfortable trying to explain what the costume is about all night. Still I think it's way cool.

2: Ken from Streetfighter: Quoc and I used to spend hours playing Streetfigher 2 and Ken was always my favorite character. I think Quoc needs to dress up as Guile this year. The wife can go as ChunLi and the kid could go as Cammy.

3: Han Solo: Years ago a group of friends were sitting around arguing about which Star Wars character we would be. They decided I would be Han Solo which is pretty cool. I don't think Andrew was happy that it was unanimous the we thought he was C3PO.

4: Bobba Fett: In the previously mentioned conversation Ryon wanted to be Bobba Fett. No one would let him.
5: Popeye: It would give me an excuse to mumble and smoke a pipe.
6: Boob man: This would probably be more appropriate for WIGSF or Big Ben. Still I think it's kind of funny.
7. Stewie: Victory is mine.

8. Spartan: This would only be cool if I could kick someone down a well.
9. Spartan without the fake muscles: I better hit the gym more.

10. Phoenix: A Facebook friend stated I should go as herself. If she provides the outfit I'll do it.
11. Superman: Kellie thought this would be a good idea. I'm not so sure.
12. My former roommate Tad: Too bad I'm not Korean.
There you have it folks. Your vote counts here so make sure it's a wise decision.
"There is nothing funny about Halloween. This sarcastic festival reflects, rather, an infernal demand for revenge by children on the adult world." - Jean Baudrillard

Sep 11, 2008

Thursday music

My father is a huge Sophia Loren fan. After he bought one of the first line of VCRs he immediately purchased 'Boy on a Dolphin', which has the infamous coming out of the water scene. I sat through many a bad film only because she starred in it, but 'Boy on a Dolphin', which was a mediocre movie at best, was watched so much I could recite dialogue on cue.

My folks had an album called 'Love Italian Style', which was a compilation of Mediterranean singers belting out various love songs. My mom being the good Italian she is listened to it over and over again and I was subjected to it so much that I could recite the lyrics without skipping a beat.

Many years have passed since I've heard those songs, but I had a recent incident where the consumption of said music embarrassed me. I was walking through Trader Joe's loading up my grocery cart when all of a sudden Sophia Loren's 'Soldi Soldi Soldi' came blaring over the speakers. Ye gods I haven't heard this in probably twenty years, but yet I knew all the lyrics regardless of it being sung in a foreign language. It sounded exactly like I remember it from my mother's album. I looked to my right and noticed a girl eyeballing me with a smirk. Dressed in attire normally reserved for hippies that do shower she tilted her head and had a curious look.

Oh my god I was lip synching. This girl's laughing at me. Damn.

Oh well. Might as well go with it. I started shaking my hips and pointed at her while lip synching 'cha cha cha'. She finally started laughing out loud at the little display I was giving. I like keeping my audience riveted. The psuedo hippie chick thanked me for the show. She didn't tip though. Cheap hippie.

So today folks I bring you Sophia Loren's 'Soldi Soldi Soldi':

"Sex is like washing your face - just something you do because you have to. Sex without love is absolutely ridiculous. Sex follows love, it never precedes it." - Sophia Loren

Sep 10, 2008

Ghost Cave

As some of you are already aware I'll be starring in an extremely low budget film later this month. Production has started as we speak and the story that was the brain child of my friend Ryon will be a reality. I will be playing a sheep rancher who'll be rescuing his fiance from ghosts that are led by some historical figures. I do some gun slinging and have some mad yo-yo skills.

I'm not kidding.

I met the actor that plays my little brother the other day. Being the ripe old age of 20 he could pass for 16. A good looking chap for sure; however I outweigh him by at least 40 lbs and could probably get away with portraying his father rather than an older sibling. Still he was excited about being in the film as he's an actual professional. He doesn't look anything like me, cept for the dark hair and eyes, but I'm looking forward to working with him.

I've been studying my lines and mannerisms and am nervous about acting alongside people who actually do this for a living. They'll make me look like the amateur I really am. I'm going to be the Jar Jar of this film. I just know it.

If anyone in the area wants to play a spooky ghost and is willing to drive out to Idaho to do this let me know.

The cast list for 'Ghost Cave'

"Listen, if there's one sure-fire rule that I have learned in this business, it's that I don't know anything about human nature." -Francis Ford Coppola

Sep 9, 2008

Men want honor, are dirty liars

I have many female friends who often complain about the lack of honor amongst men. I become a captive audience to hearing a lecture regarding how those with a penis are only interested in getting some action. Really their moaning is not unfounded as I know many men who will say or do anything just to get a lady naked.

No I will not mention any names.

Recently a study was conducted where men were polled all over the western world regarding their attitudes towards sex and masculinity. According to the results men overwhelmingly held virtues such as honor and respect in higher regards then the amount of women they sleep with.

While this may come as a surprise to most I'm actually not at all shocked by this. Seriously. I know I write about boobs a little, okay a lot, but doing the right thing by the people close to me trumps all. Maybe this is why I'm not getting any. Well I'm sure there are a number of other factors.

I think most men would agree with me in all honesty. There was a time I was once adored and most feelings of carnal lust were set aside for just those moments where I got the opportunity to show my appreciation for it. Those days are over. but I'm okay with that. Proper health, career, and family life will always be the things I work the hardest for from here on out. Still I....

....awe who am I kidding. I like boobs.

"Just two per cent put a satisfying sex life as their top priority." - The Journal of Sexual Medicine

Sep 8, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 59

Voyeurism. It's what drives our culture to watch insipid reality shows. It's the reason when standing in the grocery line my eyes end up coming across some rag that celebrates some celebrity who may have lost 5 lbs on a diet when in reality it was due to liposuction and/or cocaine. I suppose there's a peeping tom in all of us and that's why dramatic stories are so popular. I mean that may be part of the reason we read amateur blogs.

'Rear Window' is the story of L. B. Jennings, a newspaper photographer who is holed up in his apartment with a broken leg from an on the job accident. He sits in his apartment all day while being tended to by his nurse Stella. To relieve his boredom he peers through the lens of his camera at his neighbors and observes their various activities. Instead of turning on the television he becomes his own director of the action, setting up his own stories for each occupant, and letting his imagination run wild.

Neglecting his uber hot girlfriend and almost every other responsibility he has L.B.'s need to entertain himself overcomes all. Finding himself suspicious of a certain neighbor and the disappearance of his wife, L.B. keeps a watchful eye on the apartment below. Given his injury he's unable to investigate the scene up close and is powerless to involve himself as anything but an observer.

'Rear Window' is often regarded as Hitchock's best and it's not difficult to see why. Granted he has a long list of impressive films such as Psycho, North by Northwest, and To Catch a Thief, but this one stands out as one of his simplest, but most powerful films. In a single setting Hitchock manages to capture the audiences interest with his vulnerable main character following the action. Setting up L.B.'s camera lens as almost it's own player the action in the film is never overdone or corny. Simple music and street sounds make up most of the score of the picture rather then cheaply capture the audience with powerful symphony.

None of the usual tricks are necessary as the acting, especially by the fore mentioned Burr, is great and the editing is top notch. The theme of the film is well ahead of it's time and resonates today more than ever. The building of suspense by a master of his craft is amazing. Sadly you won't watch this as you've already seen this plot redone numerous times and you, if given the chance to see it, will think 'Disturbia' is better. I hate you.

You should just watch this for Grace Kelly alone as she's quite possibly the most beautiful woman who's ever lived. My god she just had everything. Ohh Grace, dear princess...

Sorry got carried away there.

Thanks to Greg for submitting this as he definitely made up for the time he made me watch White Water Summer. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"Rear Window lovingly invests in suspense all through the film, banking it in our memory, so that when the final payoff arrives, the whole film has been the thriller equivalent of foreplay." - Roger Ebert

Sep 5, 2008

And so it begins

Well the RNC is over and officially the nominees can begin the business of convincing the American people that they're the best choice for the highest office in the land. The convention went exactly as expected, no surprises or disappointments. For the most part it was frighteningly mediocre. There were a few highlights, such as Guilianni's speech which was far better than Warner's.

It's a national convention and both parties just speak to their respective choir. Since there was nothing terribly interesting about the conventions I find the publics' reaction to them as comical at best. Depending on your political slant it's hard to watch the rhetoric objectively. This I do understand. That being said the conversations I hear are just laughable.

The Presidential elections are an exciting time around the ole USA and everyone feels that their opinion on the best candidate should be spread to anyone within earshot, including myself. With the zeal of a religious fanatic I overhear many a person spout their 'wisdom' hoping all will agree with their views that were formed after watching 'The Daily Show', 'Countdown', and/or 'The O'Reilly Factor'.

What's even more funny, or sad, is how angry people get when they hear a view that opposes their own. Like a child who lost a game of tetherball followers of the election are often internally stomping their feet when they over hear a view contrary to their own. We can't have people with diverse thought after all. I mean how dare they have a different opinion?

As to me I don't really have much love, if any, for either candidate, so again I feel like casting a ballot for either would be a dishonest one. If I question Obama's experience or his position on any such issue I'm automatically assumed to be a McCain supporter. If I doubt McCain's politics I'm labeled a whiny Democrat who'll blindly buy anything like some born again Christian. Both of which are untrue.

I live in Washington State, which historically always goes Democrat due to the electoral process. While I'm not happy about how this system is I accept it, partially because I'm disgusted with the Republican party. My only wish this political season is that voters of this state actually pay attention to the local issues. If all these people who worship at the altar of Obama want real change then they should start with their own political homes starting in Olympia. Sadly this won't happen as it's just not cool to talk about Rossi, Gregoire, or a ballot measure. It's easier to praise someone they'll never meet nor even read the platform and get swept away in the glamour of federal elections. Like any religious text everyone has an opinion on the parties' platforms, but sadly I know only a few that has actually taken time out to read and study them. Some will even sink so low as to claim they have when it's obvious they never did.

Most people can't seem to find the time to watch or read anything from the horse's mouth and that's why pundits are so popular. I get that. Sometimes I can be guilty of the same, but what will I learn by listening to people all the time that I already agree with? I guess to some degree it feels all nice and fuzzy to know you're not alone in your thoughts. Also we can't take time from filling our brain with mindless entertainment to focus on the future of our society. Where's the fun in that?

One thing I might add is that Sarah Palin is kinda hot. So is McCain's daughter. If there's one thing I can thank the Republicans for this election is that they sure brought the eye candy. Won't vote for them, but still.....

The video below was one of the most disgusting grabs at using a world wide tragedy for political gain:

"We cannot forever hide the truth about ourselves, from ourselves." - John McCain

Sep 4, 2008

Thursday music

One of my favorite songs by Leonard Cohen is known to many as overrated, or even over written, but Hallelujah never ceases to touch me in ways I can't explain. It's just one of those songs that resonates in it's fine lyrics and has beauty in the simplicity of it's composition.

While the song has been covered numerous times to varying degrees of success I've never been one to shudder at another singer belting out the lyrics. Sure there are many who claim to love Cohen's voice for reasons they may not understand, but sometimes I like to hear Hallelujah done without the gravely sound. A friend recently sang it to me and I wish I could've recorded the session, but sadly that didn't happen. Now I only have the memory of her playing it, but it's a good one indeed.

So today dear readers of this mildly literate blog I bring you yet another cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah.

"Any startling piece of work has a subversive element in it, a delicious element often. Subversion is only disagreeable when it manifests in political or social activity." - Leonard Cohen

Sep 3, 2008

Bring back smoke signals

It seems that fewer and fewer phone calls are actually made lately, at least on my end. People seem comfortable sending about 27 messages back and forth that may take up to an hour after thoughts finally process across the fairly new technology instead of just taking a couple of minutes to actually dial.

Try explaining this to an old person. Go ahead and sit your folks down and tell them how an inefficient message delivery system that sometimes takes forever is a far better means of communication than actually speaking to your intended party. Good luck with that.

I have a friend who won't ever answer his phone. Every form of communication with him is done via text messaging in order to guarantee a response. When I asked him why that was his preferred method he told me he just didn't know what to say.

It seems others prefer to send a text rather than speak to me. When I first got text messages it was usually just chipper little messages, funny pics, etc. Now I hear it all, from long rants to stuff I won't post about here. It seems that people are okay with typing messages in a bastardized version of English telling all tales of high drama and don't assume anything will ever be taken out of context.

I can see the benefits of texting though. It's less intrusive when trying to have a real life conversation and text at the same time, although this can be highly annoying to the present party. You can communicate quietly in situations that require it. You can also get really drunk and steal someone's phone and take it into the bathroom ensuring they, and everyone on their address book, awake the next morning to find a photo of your ass in their inbox. Not that I've ever done that....nope...never.

When I signed up for my cell plan, which was about four years ago, I got 400 free text messages to send and receive. This seemed reasonable until I looked at my bill this month and found I had over 900 messages distributed via my phone. This added up to a sum that doubled my normal monthly expenses.

I laughed and changed my plan to unlimited texting as it's worth the ten dollars a month. To think I'm not even sleeping with anyone.

"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." - Alexander Graham Bell

Sep 1, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 58

Japanese entertainment. Seriously, what the hell?

In taking a turn for the surreal fellow blogger and friend Alec decided to submit Versus for review, a film I've never heard of. I'm not very well versed in Asian cinema nor do I watch a lot of zombie movies everyone seems to be on a kick about, but I thought I'd give this a look. Who am I to deny my readers a review?

Versus starts off in a strange prologue of how there are 666 portals across the Earth (get it?) to the 'other side' and the 444th one is available in Japan. Conveniently located in a setting where it's cheap to shoot a film, the story then cuts to an action sequence in a forest where some samurai is hacking up the living dead.

Cut to present day where two escaped cons meet up with a gang of mafia thugs for what seems to be some exchange. The gangsters bring out a girl who seems to be important for reasons unbeknownst to everyone, including the audience. Violence ensues as the convicts aren't happy about whatever arrangement's been set and the first person to die returns as a zombie to everyones dismay. After slaying the zombie it's agreed that the convict is not to die and a chase ensues.

I won't go further into the plot as it gets a little muddled, but lets just say it's not all that deep as you would expect. That being said Versus is an interesting mix of high wire martial arts, John Woo style gun play, zombie action, and some of the most horrendous dialogue I've ever heard. This is why I'm torn about the film. I enjoyed some of the fight scenes and the concept was intriguing; however the dubbing was extremely poor and the overuse of pan shots was annoying. While some of the editing was clever most of it was sloppy. There were some really cool looking shots and then there were those that were about as corny as you would imagine a Japanese action film to be.

Versus is probably the most difficult film I've had to review since I started this as throughout the viewing I kept trying to decide whether I liked it or not. It was like a roller coaster of suck. I may have liked it more had I got a hold of a subtitled copy, which may have been better than listening to horrible voice actors, but not by much. Still there were some rousing fight sequences and the overall plot was interesting enough to keep me guessing. That packed with an ending I in no way expected made it an overall enjoyable experience given it's obvious clunky flaws.

Versus may be a difficult film to recommend, but movies like this and Dead Alive have their merits and when not taken seriously are really entertaining. It's not a pretentious film by any means which makes it easy to forgive it's down points. If you go into this movie expecting 'The Bicycle Thief" you'll be sure to be disappointed, if not angry enough to make it your life's mission to destroy every copy of it. For a low budget hybrid of martial arts action and horror you could do worse.

Thanks again to Alec for submitting this. Wanna see a film reviewed by Wiwille? Drop me an email or comment and you'll see it soon on Erik's Ramblings. Rules are posted here.

"For a low-budget ghost-yakuza thriller, Versus is a fairly impressive achievement." - Michael Wilmington