Dec 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

2008 is coming to a close and the populace gets ready to ring in the new year with much fanfare watching the ball drop and kissing their beloved. I will spend this evening as you would expect, which involves pickeling my liver and depleting my bank account at some bar.

I'm normally not one for making resolutions, but this year will be different. Instead of making one I'll list out quite a few so at least I can claim one as a victory.

Without further ramblings I bring you Wiwille's resolutions for 2009:

1. I, Wiwille, resolve to meet at least one blogger on the 'blogs by people I never met' list. Last year I met the lovely Miss Ash and the pretty Kellie and am glad I did.
2. 2008 was a great year for boobies and I want that to continue in 2009. Hopefully the boobage will be so glorious one day I'll lead a congo line of people chanting 'boobies boobies booooooobies, boobies boobies booooooobies'.
3. It's been said that I'm a better person with at least three pints of beer in me so I hope to maintain that level of inebriation for the greater good.
4. I really want to finish production on Corey's script. I think it's hilarious and should be a small hit.
5. I want a better Halloween costume this year. Jessica inspired me to dress as backup dancer for Beyonce based on a recent SNL skit. Sorry for that image.
6. I believe this blog needs more political posts and an obscene amount of pictures of Anne Hathaway.
7. Canada's a nice country, but living so close to it doesn't make visiting it that much of a memorable trek. I'd really like to visit another man's land, especially one where I'm not versed in their native tounge.
8. Corey, Quoc, and I agreed to go paragliding this year for my birthday. I hope to do something similar for theirs and keep this going every year till one day we'll have to go running with the bulls or spelunking down caves in Thailand to find an activity we've never done before.
9. I will meet her in person.
10. I'll pick up an instrument I used to play and start practicing again.
11. Yes I will get that motorcycle I've always talked about.
12. To gain a sense of serenity I will randomly sing 80s pop tunes at inappropriate times while under the influence of up to 17 pints of beer.
13. I want to spend more time with my nephews.

So there you have it. I hope to accomplish at least one goal on this list. If I don't I need to seriously get a life.

The folks at Erik's Ramblings wish all of you a safe and happy New Year!

"An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves." - Bill Vaughan

Dec 30, 2008

What is a war crime?

I'm sure most of you are aware of the Israeli offensive against Hamas in Gaza as a result of the terrorists rocket attacks. The world community has lashed out at the Isreal condemning their response as disproportionate. Many civilian lives have been lost in the bombardment of Gaza and it seems most nations are sympathetic to the plight of the oppressed.

I'm with Isreal. While yes my heart does go out to the folk who are being used as shields by Hamas while the militants hide their weaponry and soldiers amongst the innocents I don't think our allies have much of a choice. While I understand the world community's disdain for the rampant amount of causalities in this offensive what they have failed to offer was a reasonable solution.

History has failed many who believe Israel is out of line. The number of rockets fired by Hamas was the same amount that were launched against Great Britain. The terrorists continue to embed themselves in schools, mosques, and other buildings populated by women and children yet for some reason we expect the 'Zionist' state to sit back and just accept that their citizens die at an alarming rate. We want Israel to ignore such attacks and try and fight a more, if you'll pardon the term, civil war.

I don't know how anyone can expect a nation to not do whatever is in their power to protect their people as it's assumed that is their first responsibility. War is never pleasant and of course there are always casualties of such actions. The terrorists are using the Palestinians as collateral damage and crying to the UN when women and children die blaming big, bad ol Israel.

Sadly this recent action will do nothing more than incite more people to the cause of Hamas. The extremists will win no matter what happens. It's events like these that make me want to punch anyone who claims that world peace is possible.

"The aggressive, unprovoked acts of violence against Israel by Hezbollah and Hamas are revealing. It is clear they don't want peace, but rather seek the ultimate destruction of Israel." - John Boehner

Dec 27, 2008

They may take our lives....

My complex is finally clear of ice and I'm ready to brave the roads. This pleases me. No longer will I have to be stuck here at my apartment spending quality time alone.....err....I mean playing video games and watching movies. Yeah that's it.

So today I'll leave you with a meme that I stole from Claire. Enjoy.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you'd never done before?
Well some random guy grabbed my packaged and said hello. I didn't punch him. I call that a victory.

2. Did you keep your New Years' resolutions and will you make more for next year?
I did resolve to sing more Neil Diamond songs and accomplished just that.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not anyone close.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Thankfully no.

5. What countries did you visit?
Canada

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?
Anne Hathaway

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My birthday. Quite possibly the most bittersweet birthday I've ever had.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
That I'm still employed.

9. What was your biggest failure?
My personal life.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Lost 20% of my left kidney to some strange blood clot. Very surreal.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
A gift for someone I hold dear.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?
Just the fact that the people in my life put up with me deserves celebration. Andrea and Justin's wedding was definatley a reason to drink up.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Besides my own?

14. Where did most of your money go?
Beer

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Being able to leave my home. Drinking.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008?
Nothing in particular.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: Happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter? Richer or poorer?
Happier, thinner, richer, but really not content for whatever reason.

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
Something less self destructive.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?
Fart

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
I spent Christmas Eve drinking and staying up late with my best friend. Holiday cheer!

21. Did you meet/date anyone special in 2008?
Yes I did.

What the hell happened to 22?

23. How many one-night stands?
Only one and god bless her for she's way hot.

24. What was your favourite TV program?
Chuck

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?
Hmmm, well no one that's not involved in politics.

26. What was the best book you read?
John Adams

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Once

28. What did you want and get?
Beer

29. What did you want and not get?
Scarlett

30. What was your favourite film of this year?
Slumdog Millionaire

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I drank with my best friend and turned 33. Deja Vu?

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
More boobs.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I complete revamped my wardrobe.

34. What kept you sane?
Beer

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
You haven't read this blog much have you?

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
The recent turmoil in Gaza.

First 22 and now 37 is missing?

38. Who was the best new person you met?
I've met so many this year it would be ridiculous to name just one.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.
The people in your life are the most valuable asset you'll ever have.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Pardon me boy, is that the Chatanooga Choo Choo?

"Why do you judge me as a musician, John? All I'm interested in is making money." - Glenn Miller

Dec 25, 2008

I'm dreaming of a white...

The weather outside suck large dick and I am so sick of it and since I have places to go...

Eh that's enough of that.

It is indeed a white Christmas here in Renton. The snow is falling, the air is crisp, and the peaceful silence made possible by no traffic has truly made this a beautiful holiday.

I'm still stuck at my apartment complex. The misers did not hire out for a sander or plow to clear the hills and my vehicle still can't make it out. Last night instead of attending midnight mass Corey picked me up at the bottom of the hill and we went to our shared church, a local Irish pub. We ate really bad food and as you would expect I consumed multiple pints of Guiness.

Today I'm still stuck at my apartment enjoying holiday cheer via online and phone, but so help me god next year I'm getting snow tires. I've watched about every holiday special that's been broadcast and I'm slowly getting cabin fever.

I hope you all have had a safe and Merry Christmas.

"Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love." - Lucinda Franks

Dec 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Christmas will be unique this year. As most of you will be celebrating the birth of the baby Jesus with family and friends I'm stuck here at my apartment cause the hill to the entrance is a sheet of ice and my vehicle refuses to climb it. Sadly my family get together will be postponed this year till the weather gets better and I'll be spending this holiday in front of the tube watching Christmas specials.

I started racking my brain for some of the strangest holiday specials as a kid. Sure we all remember Rudolph, Frosty, Charlie Brown, and The Little Drummer Boy, but I recall one that really boggles the senses.

No it's not The Star Wars Holiday Special, but I'm glad to see you're thinking.

I recall The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause, originally written by L Frank Baum who was the brains behind The Wizard of Oz. Taking the story of St Nick the writer made a twist and gave it a pagan approach. The show starts with nature spirits having a conference about whether to make Santa Claus an immortal. Some important one tells the story of Santa's life and tries to convince the others that he must live forever.

The scene I remember is when the child Santa is being taken around the world by the immortal with elk horns and is shown how brutal humans can be. They observe two boys in Japan training to be samurai and kicking the living crap out of each other with wooden swords. Little Santa does not like this and sees a world where children must be happy.

My sister and I had this recorded for whatever reason, but we watched it constantly. I loved stop motion animation as a child.

I have no idea why I spent time writing about an obscure Rankin/Bass production. Oh well.

The folks at Erik's Ramblings wish everyone a safe and Merry Christmas.

"Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'" -. Bing Crosby









Dec 22, 2008

Wiwille has a femme and manly weekend

Friday night a friend took me to see 'Beauty and the Beast' on stage. We had a great dinner then had some drinks before and after the show. We scored fourth row center tickets amazingly enough and it turned out to be a great production.

When telling people I went to see this and that I do love and own the Disney film I've gotten a some interesting responses.

Me: I'm going to see Beauty and the Beast on stage tonight.
Her: That sounds like torture.
Me: Sometimes I think you're more manly than me.
Her: No, you're more manly, just sometimes more faggy.

Him: Dude I require you to turn in your man card.

Me: I'm going to see Beauty and the Beast on stage.
Her: As in a play?
Me: Yes.
Her: If you weren't so obsessed with boobs I would wonder about you.

Me: I'm going to see Beauty and the Beast on stage tonight.
Him: Bwwwaaaahhh hahahahahahahahahah
Me: Dude it's.....
Him: hahahahahahahahaha
Me: Stop laug.....
Him:....hahahahahahahahah....oh wait....hahahahahahaha

So the reaction by me attending this play was mixed at best, but I had a great time. Gaston is quite possibly the best Disney villain ever and is full of hilarity. I forgot to mention that the girl who played Belle was smoking hot.

The snow has hit the Seattle area. While this is not a big deal to most the Puget Sound is full of hills and curves and is known for drivers who are panicky and act about as skilled as toddlers flying jet airplanes. Most of this weekend I was a shut in, but that was okay for this Sunday was a glorious day.

This day was about football.

This Sunday was not just any day involving the NFL, but my fantasy football team, the Nashville Tax Burdens, was playing in the finals for our league. After last week's victory over the Waco Branch Davidians, which was surprising since the owner and my best friend Corey is known for sacrificing small animals in some occult fashion to secure wins, I step up to face Paul's team, the Seattle Porn Surfing Slackers. This match up in the finals is a repeat of 2005 where he trounced me with a strong showing of the now worthless Shaun Alexander.

Today that all changed. Going this entire season on luck and scoring minimal points to secure a win I racked up over 150 points to crown myself champion of the Redmond Optional Football League on this fine Sunday. I watched Sunday night's game, which featured one of my highest point scorers who upon each of his four touchdowns I could hear Paul scream obscenities and pound another beer from miles away. I beat my chest proudly and proclaimed myself God of everything football related on this glorious day. Cheerleaders came marching in my door and started feeding me grapes as I celebrated my conquest.

Okay I made the last part up.

Twas a good weekend.

"When Brian told me he grew up in New Mexico, I told him I thought it is cool that people from other countries play football. He corrected me on my geography and agreed to sit down with me anyway." - Terry Bradshaw

Dec 19, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 69

In case you haven't noticed I'm a huge fan of politically incorrect humor. Films such as Blazing Saddles never fail to amuse me. I'm not sure why comedy that plays upon stereotypes tickle my funny bone so much. Maybe it's because I think American perception of the cultures of others are so ridiculous I can't help but laugh.

'Hebrew Hammer' is about a Jewish private detective, Mordechai Jefferson Carver, who embraces everything about his culture and is a walking billboard of every stereotype. After Santa, who strongly embraces other holidays during the season, become the victim of patricide the jolly man's son takes over the duties of Saint Nick and vows to put an end to Hanukkah. Fearing that the eight day festival will be put to an end the Jewish Justice League hires Carver to stop the new anti-Semitic Santa.

I kind of wish I knew more about the culture of the chosen people, cause I imagine this film would be a lot funnier if that was the case. While the humor is hit and miss the movie is at it's best when it plays upon the already mentioned, possibly offensive stereotypes. When it's not the jokes fall horribly flat. Still this movie does have it's moments and for those who are fans of crass humor I would recommend it.

Thanks to Stan 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.

"What's great about this film is that it mocks everyone and warps the common definitions of everything within it, from the plot itself to the fictional organizations of the JJL and KLF, and even to potentially harmful stereotypes, and it converts them (so to speak) into something lighthearted and hardly offensive." - Jono Baron

Dec 18, 2008

Thursday Music

I've come across an article that claims NIN will take a hiatus from music after their current tour. This does not make me happy as I'm a fan. Even more disturbing is that I've discovered that Hootie and the Blowfish are still together and will continue to play at your local Indian Casino for a free buffet.

I've seen NIN live and it was a great show. I guess I'm going to kick myself for not taking the opportunity to see more shows, but I imagine Trent will come back to the scene when he's bored.

I first discovered the Trent's work when I heard 'Head Like a Hole' in a record store in the small town I grew up in. I never heard it before as the city was not known for it's music scene, but it captured my attention and I bought a copy. After listening to it I thought 'Head Like a Hole' was going to be a huge hit, but sadly Nirvana's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was crowned by the industry and fans as the anthem of the 90s. NIN went largely overlooked by most until 'The Downward Spiral' was finally released and was marketed heavily.

Many jumped the bandwagon and all were welcome as Trent put the genre on the map. While the quality since 'The Downward Spiral' has varied I will always consider NIN as one of my favorites.

"Sometimes we pee on each other before we go on stage." - Trent Reznor

Dec 17, 2008

Unreasonable expectations

According to a study by a university in Edinburgh having a steady diet of romantic comedies can ruin your love life. Watching these films apparently can result in unrealistic expectations of romance and can lead to believing in fate and all that nonsense. The research goes further to indicate that people who enjoy such films curb important traits of maintaining a healthy relationship such as communication believing that if it's meant to be they shouldn't have to put in much effort.

So does this mean that the time I busted in at a wedding and proclaimed my love for the bride after knocking out her dipshit groom was a bad move? Was this the reason behind that whole annoying restraining order?

Actually I've attended over a couple hundred weddings as a photographer or spectator and never once have I seen anything like that happen. I've witnessed some events that have been amusing and terrifying, but never have I seen the church doors fly open with some sap screaming to stop the wedding. I kind of hoped to see something like that, but alas.

If you truly expect love and romance to be akin to anything starring Colin Firth or Hugh Grant you really need to seek therapy. Relationships are hard work and take dedication. It's especially difficult since men are lazy and women are half batty most of the time.

Then again what the hell do I know? I mean if this applied to porn fans we'd all give up our jobs to be pizza delivery boys, cause after all every shift would have one busty hot brunette customer who was short on cash and needed an alternative method to pay for her dinner.

Now if one was to believe in this study would it be safe to assume that the whole 'violent video games lead kids to shooting up convents' proclamation by Sarah Palin fans to be true? Something to think about.

It's kind of funny that I'm writing this after I watched 'Love Actually' last night. I guess I might need to turn in my man card.

"There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." - Frank Zappa

Dec 16, 2008

Wiwille's Christmas list

I was speaking with my folks the other day when they asked me what I want for Christmas. Kind of a difficult thing for me to answer as I'm in no way a materialist and the items I really want to see under the tree are a little out of their budget. I hate asking for things, especially useless items, so I told them to just buy me a nice dinner and some drinks.

Reflecting on that conversation I came up with many things I'd like to receive on this merry holiday so today I'll detail what I want for Christmas. For those interested in giving Wiwille a present (no one) I suggest you read closely.

Lightsaber: No I don't want some plastic crap sold at your local Target. I want scientists to stop working on things they consider important, like curing cancer and curbing global warming, and concentrate on what the human race really needs and that is a real working laser sword. Of course I will be the first to receive and test one.

Anne Hathaway: I hear Scarlett is spoken for.


A chance to enter the ring with Vladimir Putin: Call me a glutton, but for some reason I'd like the fight the tyrannical, martial arts obsessed, former KGB agent, and current elected dictator of Russia. Wish me luck.A trip to meet the people listed on my 'Blogs by people I've never met': Whether it be drinking and eating bad food with WIGSF, racing go-karts with Alyssa, having Big Ben take me to his favorite local strip club, debating music with Scott, and/or getting hammered and singing bad karaoke in front of Jlee I think the stories that would arise from such visits make for good blog material.

There are a few more on the list, like wanting to punch any executive who has given the green light to an Ashton Kutcher or Uwe Boll film, but I think I'll stop for now. Wait a second, I also want to punch anyone who believes Sarah Palin would make a good President. Oh and I want a flame thrower and a katana so I could be like a hybrid GI Joe-like ninja/fireman. They would call me Firebird and I would fight the evil that is Serpentor.

Yes you can make this a very special Christmas for Wiwille.

"Christmas is a holiday that persecutes the lonely, the frayed, and the rejected." - Jimmy Cannon

Dec 15, 2008

Wiwille's inconsequential list

The internet is chock full of stupid lists and jumping on this ridiculous bandwagon will be your author. Sure you'll see many writers detailing their favorite books and what's the perfect mix CD you should give your scorned girlfriend after she finds those pics on your best friends cell phone, but today's post won't be as interesting or as scandalous as I detail for you the best and worst movies of this year.

I haven't been to the cinema a lot this year choosing instead to spend my time drinking myself into states that would make Ireland proud and waking up in unfamiliar places. Still with DVDs coming out a month after a film's theatrical run I've attempted to keep up. So in no particular order below are my favorite films of 2008:

The Dark Knight: While yes I do believe that in some ways this film is overrated, but still it's the finest superhero film ever to be made. If the genre had a "Godfather" this would be it. Remarkable acting from the entire cast and a great script this has set the standard for all future comic films to aspire to, and I imagine many will fall short.

Slumdog Millionaire: A treat for the senses, this film from Danny Boyle has an excellent story detailing the upbringing of a kid born into extreme poverty and how it never hardened him to risk all for his love. A touching tale with a rousing soundtrack and excellent cinematography.

Wall-E: While not the best from Pixar I was amazed at how this film captured my attention in the first act while having little dialogue. The stabs at it's own consumer base was humorous and the tale of a robot's dreams made for an entertaining movie. Visually it was incredible as you would expect from this studio.

The Bank Job: Heist films are hardly original, but this one is a clever tale based on one of Britain's largest bank robbery. Yes I'm as surprised as you are that I'm posting a film starring Jason Statham.

Gonzo: A revealing look into the life of one of my favorite writers. It's a well crafted documentary that's both honest and telling. While there are many films surrounding the legend of the unorthodox 'journalist' this one is by far my favorite. It has it's flaws yes, but for fans and even those who've never heard of him it's an entertaining journey into the life of one who was never bored.

And now for the worst:

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: I don't know where to begin with my loathing of this film. The script abandoned all the traits that made the previous three films charming and fun to watch. This movie, like it's cast, is tired and humorless.

Religiolous: I know I'll catch a lot of flack from Maher devotees, but really this film is nothing more than him being snide with the emotionally crippled. It's like watching two hours of poking fun of people on the street which loses it's luster in about ten minutes. While Bill Maher is not as smart as he or his fans think he is the comedian is too intelligent to make a film this preachy and dull. It's more disappointing than bad. It's proof that just because you agree with a subject doesn't make it a good documentary. It's like watching the wildly overrated 'Outfoxed'.

Prom Night: Saw this because of a girl and I still wish I had that time back. Quite possibly one of the least scary horror films ever. Oh 'The Ruins' sucked too. Damn her.

Well there it is. I'm sure there's more I could think of if I really spent more time.

"One of the rules of satire is that you can't mock things you don't understand, and Religulous starts developing fault lines when it becomes clear that Maher's view of religious faith is based on a sophomoric reading of the Scriptures." - Neely Tucker

Dec 13, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 68

Bakshi has been kind of hit and miss for me. While most of his films have been ambitious, such as the animated Lord of the Rings, there's always something missing from the narratives. I hardly remember some of his other work like 'Wizards' and 'Fire and Ice', so maybe I need to refresh.

'American Pop' is a treat to watch. Following four generations of a family of musicians starting with their immigration to the US from Russia during the Czars reign, each story is set to music of the period. Engrossing itself in popular culture through each decade the film's characters chronicle the songs of the time which are both memorable and actually good.

While the music is entertaining and the animation is incredibly creative there's not much of a story here. It's actually hard to write about this. The script is incredibly weak and the editing is spotty, but the voice acting is good. A lot of people are put off by rotoscoping claiming it's creepy, but I am a fan and it works well with this film. There are some touching moments set to some of my favorite songs. It's a must see for fans of music and for that alone I'll recommend it.

Thanks to Jeff 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.

"Although cartoonish in the most pejorative sense, American Pop knows its musical lore. This film has little bits of tragedy that just may break your heart." - Martin Scribbs

Dec 12, 2008

I figured

According to a recent study developed by Intel 46% of women would rather go without sex for two weeks than give up the Internet. Amazingly enough the older the woman's age bracket the higher the percentage is.

Most users regard the Internet as a means of social interaction so in some ways this makes sense. That and there could just be that many bad lovers out there. Since the advent of high speed communication it's easier and sometimes cheaper to stay in touch with people, read celebrity gossip, or watch television shows even. Still I think men really need to step up their game, myself included. I'm sure any girl I've slept with would prefer taking out the garbage than getting naked with me.

The Internet can become an addiction for many. I know some who will not travel without it whether their plans really necessitate it. In our spoiled culture we have assumed luxury items to be pinnacle to Maslow's hierarchy of needs right up with food and shelter.

I would never rid myself of boobies for any amount of technology. If the choice comes between naked ladies and writing incoherent posts on this blog you can rest assured good nudity will win.

Ladies, what do you think? Can you see yourself giving up the Internet for at least two weeks so you can have sex?

"Some 30% of all men would swap sex for the Internet for two weeks, if they had to." - Silicon Valley Insider

46% Of Women Prefer Internet To Sex, Says Intel Survey

Dec 11, 2008

Thursday Music

Most people I know in my generation don't care for jazz at all. I guess it's understandable considering the scene never really appealed to much to younger folks and the corporate powers that be are too busy hammering into the brains of music lovers that Nickleback, Creed, Dave Matthews Band, and Linkin Park are the only ones pumping out quality tunes.

We all have a love of the music we grew up with regardless if it's good or not and maybe that's why I have a place in my heart for John Coltrane. I listened to him for years on a cassette that was given to me and didn't even realize who he was. All my friends hated it. My parents couldn't stand it. No one I knew enjoyed it at all.

So at the risk of posting a tune which no one will like I bring you John Coltrane playing with the coolest mother fucker who ever lived. Not my favorite of their tunes, but still a good one.

"You can play a shoestring if you're sincere." - John Coltrane

Dec 10, 2008

You won't watch it

When I heard 'Friday Night Lights' was being developed into a television show I was skeptical. While I was a fan of the book and found the film to be wildly underrated I didn't want to see both turn into some crapfest that only television can produce. I avoided watching it assuming the worst.

Finally one night after being incredibly bored I saw a bunch of promos to watch the show online. I decided to at least give the pilot a shot.

I was captivated within the first ten minutes. The show turned out to be smartly scripted, incredibly well acted across the board, and had great cinematography. While the show does center around the small town politics of having your high school football team be your church and your royalty the game is hardly the focus of the drama. The teens aren't written as a bunch of mindless simpletons, but are treated with respect. This is not your typical WB, CW, or whatever kind of thoughtless drivel that are usually given to young characters. The players are filled with rich, authentic dialogue. Even the accents and speaking mannerisms are handled with respect to it's location.

I rushed out and bought the first two seasons on DVD.

Hailed by critics as one of the best shows on network television the series hasn't gathered much in the way of ratings. People are turned off by the idea of it and would rather watch The Bachelor or some crap. Granted there is a lot of great television out there and I will always miss great shows as 'The Shield' and 'Rome', but I advise you to give 'Friday Night Lights' a chance. Check out the pilot and see what I'm talking about.

For a better written argument for the quality of this show I recommend you read Pajiba's review of season one.

"After two years of persuasive arguing — it’s not really a show about football, it’s the best family drama in the history of television." - Dustin Rowles

Dec 9, 2008

Feeling a bit random

Have you ever wondered how Superman shaves? This question has probably been visited many times before by fans of comics, but it occurred to me last night. How does he manage to stay so clean shaven? Assuming his hairs are as strong as the rest of him would there be a blade that could actually cut his super scruff? Does he have a diamond edged razor? Actually does he use the Kryptonite Mach 3?

I'm normally a gentle soul who doesn't like to disturb the Innocent. There is one pet peeve of mine though that unleashes the fires of my being and turn me into a vandal of sorts. Whenever I park next to an over sized SUV sitting in a space clearly labeled 'compact' I make no hesitation of swinging my door open and possibly leaving dings in the contraption next to me. Rather than try to do the gentle squeeze out of my roller skate of a car I just feel leaving marks in a gas guzzling behemoth is justified. Does this make me a bad person? Do you honestly think I would care if you said yes?

Am I the only person that thinks John Stewart is no longer funny and hasn't been for a long time? How many times does raising one's fist in the air and screaming 'damn you (insert random person here)' keep people in stitches? Does that nasally Bush imitation really make you want to laugh out loud? Do you feel hip and part of something when giggling at repetitive jokes from the lefts' own comedic savior?

Did we really need another Indiana Jones sequel, the Hills, or most films starring Nicholas Cage? Is there a reason I'm so random this morning?

This folks is how I get when I haven't had my coffee, shot of whiskey.

UPDATE: My friend Alec answered the Superman question:



"In less enlightened times, the best way to impress women was to own a hot car. But women wised up and realized it was better to buy their own hot cars so they wouldn't have to ride around with jerks." - Scott Adams

Dec 7, 2008

I knew better...

I usually don't get too personal on this blog normally because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Still this will be one of the rare times I actually write about something involving emotions, feelings, and all that sappy stuff. So sit back with me and take a journey through dating-land with Wiwille. Popcorn is optional.

She opened the door and gave me a bright smile. Without a pause she threw out her arms and gave me a huge hug. I reached in my back pocket and pull out a king sized Butterfinger bar and handed it to her. She was a little stunned, but thankful as I remembered that was her favorite candy bar of all time. She invited me in for a brief tour of her condo and then we made our way to dinner.

For purposes of anonymity we'll call her Sarah, but then again I know she doesn't read this blog. Still just in case I'll keep her identity a secret from those who aren't familiar with the situation already.

We went to Casa Que Pasa as she's never been there before and has yet to try the infamous potato burrito. Sarah's a big fan of tequila, so I knew she would enjoy a few drinks as they specialize in fine liquors from south of the border. We had great conversation with never any uncomfortable silences. We laughed a lot and so far the date was going really well.

She wanted to do something else so I suggested we take a walk around downtown and play 'questions'. Sarah agreed and we just took a stroll asking each other all sorts of things from what's our favorite film to personal stuff. We laughed through out the night as it was a warm evening and she was a very interesting girl as well as entertaining.

We stopped by another bar and she suggested we should order our favorite drinks for each other. I was handed a Blue Moon with a dash of orange juice and a wedge of the same fruit. I order her a Guinness, which she found disgusting. As I handed the bartender the cash Sarah looked at me with a nervous smile.

"You've paid for everything so far," she said a little sheepishly.

"Oh yeah," I said. "Well if you're more comfortable going dutch that's cool. You can get the next round."

"No you don't understand," she said. "I usually pay for everything."

"Everything?" I asked a little confused.

"Yes," she said. "Usually the guys I date don't have any money."

I was taken aback by this. Here before me was this girl who was extremely personable and way out of my league hot telling me she dates guys who don't have much of an income. I took it as a red flag, but decided to let it go and see how the rest of the date went.

We played some pool, continued playing 'questions', and met up with some of her friends. I later took her home and she invited me in. She gave me a big another hug and said she had a great time. I asked if I could see her again and she agreed. Sarah then paused and looked at me.

"Can I have a kiss?" she asked.

"If you're luck...." I didn't even get the last syllable out before she gave me one. The date was a success.

I called her the next day and thanked her for hanging out. She was amazed that I did as she relayed that no one ever did that. Sarah then admitted that she told her mom about me that morning.

Now I was surprised. After asking her why she said she had never dated anyone who drove, opened doors for her, walked street side of the sidewalk, or voluntarily pay for the outing. When Sarah told this to her mother I guess the woman was very happy her daughter was being treated to a good night out.

We saw each other a couple more times that weekend. All very casual dates involving ice cream, walks in the park, and hanging out at various watering holes, but very fun as we got to know each other.

Even though Sarah and I lived over two hours away we made every attempt to make it work. Some involved some sacrifice and it was hard being spontaneous.

Sarah's birthday rolled around and it was on a Wednesday. We spent the weekend together and I took her out for a birthday dinner just her and I and we had a great time. I was bummed I couldn't make it to her birthday dinner with her friends as it would be a four hour round trip car ride and I had to work at the crack of dawn the next day.

That Wednesday rolls around. I walk out of the office and think about her. I get into my car, drive to get her a present, and make my way up north. Thankfully traffic was good and I made it to the restaurant on time.

My arrival was not well received at first. Sarah was shocked I showed up and didn't know what to say. It was so bad I asked her if I shouldn't have come, but she said she was happy I was there even if she didn't look it. After a few minutes though she warmed up to me and was genuinely excited I was there. I liked her friends and they seemed to like me. Everyone there had a great time.

After dinner we sat in my car and I gave her my present. I asked her why she seemed so put off at first. She said that she never had anyone do anything nice like that for the sake of just making her happy. Sarah said she was nervous that I was going to break some bad news, like if I slept with someone or stole money. I told her that everything I do is simply because I want to make her happy. She said that would take some getting used to.

Seeing a trend here?

I told her I understood she's used to dating a string of bad boys and that if that's what she's looking for from me that I will bore her. I made it clear I don't cheat, have a job, don't go to jail, etc. She said she was indeed looking for a nice guy and was happy we found each other.

We continued seeing each other and things were going well. She wanted me to meet her folks and was excited that I was referred to by her long time friends as the 'favorite'. My parents were curious about who I was spending all my time with so I gave it some thought. We'd only been dating a couple months, but I was open to the idea.

Then one night I called her and never got a call back, which was rare. I texted her goodnight, her preferred method of communication, and again didn't hear from her. This went on for about a week. Every attempt I made at communicating with her went south. Besides the occasional text and short IM conversation I didn't hear a thing from her.

Another week goes by and I had enough. I text her telling me I just want to know what she's feeling before I start falling for her. All I wanted was to know if she wanted to see me anymore. She texts me back saying that we need talk and that it wasn't a good time. She then said she'd call me. I told her I'd be at a wedding later and we should talk the next day.

Cue the Andrea and Justin's wedding that evening. I'm sitting at a table waiting for the ceremony to begin when I get a text from Sarah asking if I wanted to talk to her. I replied saying I did, but reminded her that I was at a wedding. She texted me back saying she no longer feels for me anymore.

Unbelievable. I'm being dumped via text messaging while I'm at a wedding no less. Needless to say I got really drunk that night.

That Monday she IM's me asking if we're even friends anymore. I tell her that we can be, but I would need some time. She admits that she was crying and told me she was sorry numerous times. I tell her not to be as I will look back at the short time we had together fondly. She tells me to stop being nice to her as if she wanted me to hate her. I told Sarah just to let it go and stop being upset and that I will not harbor any hard feelings. She claimed she never hurt anyone before and that she felt terrible, but I tried to assure her that she had no reason to feel bad.

A couple weeks go by and I'm being inundated with Facebook and Myspace notifications of her posting attention whoring photos for which numerous guys constantly comment on. Sarah loved the online attention and knew exactly how to garner it. Being pretty with big boobs sure did help. I felt like a total schmuck and just decided the best thing to do was just delete her. Immature sure, but I got sick of not wanting to log into the applications.

She figured it out and told me she was unhappy with that, via text of course. I called her to explain, but she sent me to voice mail. She immediately sent me a text saying she was watching a movie and couldn't talk right then. Confused was I, but I figured she'd call me back.

That's asking too much I guess. I never heard from her and just assumed I wouldn't be in contact with her again.

Fast forward a couple months to Thanksgiving. I'm sitting at my parents' home after dinner when a certain ringtone comes through my phone. I look at my cell in bewilderment as I never thought I'd hear that song come playing on it again. After wondering why it was I never deleted her from my address book I flip it open and see a text from Sarah wishing me a happy Thanksgiving.

I was a little surprised, but I replied politely and wished her a good holiday as well. I assumed she probably sent that message to everyone in her address book and I just happened to be on it. She never texted back so I just figured that was it.

That Sunday I get home and log into my email after being without internet for a few days. She sent me a message saying she still had some movies of mine and would like to send them to me. I found this weird cause I told her she could keep them as she really enjoyed them. Sarah ended the message saying she didn't want me to hate her more than I already did.

I told her I didn't hate her ever and I was sorry she thought that. I gave her my address and thanked her for sending them back. She kept the thread going though talking about the films. I kept my responses brief. She then apologized again for everything and said she hoped I had a good Thanksgiving. I told her not to be sorry and reminded her that I had no hard feelings and said I hoped her and her family had a good holiday. She thanked me and that was the end of it.

I have yet to receive the DVDs and I don't care if I do or not honestly, but I'm baffled by the whole thing. Sarah never did say why she didn't want to see me anymore and at this point it doesn't matter. I knew from the beginning that this probably wouldn't work as we had little in common and I definitely wasn't her type, but I felt compelled to try. Maybe I was so attracted to her cause she was everything my previous girlfriend was not. Not that Sarah was better or worse than her, just different.

I should have went with my gut and just not bothered with a second date as I knew better. Whenever a girl has told me they're now looking for a nice guy it always ends up with the same result. They get bored as the addiction to drama is just too strong. They make excuses and find stuff to pick apart. A lot of them just don't feel they deserve someone good and will sabotage anything that may make them happy. I don't know why that is, but I'll never understand women really and that's why I still sleep cold and alone.

I hate to make Sarah sound like a crazy woman. We had a good time dating and I'll cherish those memories regardless of how it ended. I'm not bitter at all. If anything I'm mad at myself for believing that this time would be different. Sometimes I'm not cynical enough.

"That was the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me. Thank you." - Sarah

Dec 6, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 67

Action films are not my cup of tea. I know I'm a guy and as per our culture's rules I'm supposed to enjoy anything with a fair amount of gunplay and watch it while eating a hamburger and sporting an erection. I'm not opposed to violence and I'm far from a pacifist, but most films that involve people shooting try to be pretentious enough to try and make me feel that anything I see on the screen to be anywhere believable to actually give me a sense of tension.

'Shoot Em Up' abandons all sense of realism and embraces the fun that action films can be. Clive Owen plays Smith, a seemingly homeless man who intervenes when a pregnant woman is being hunted by a group of armed thugs. He helps deliver the baby and and leaves a large body count in his wake. Smith takes the baby to a lactating hooker named Donna. Pleading his case as the child's mother is dead the unorthodox new family fend off hordes of armed men while Smith tries to figure out why this child is a target.

The film has such greatly choreographed scenes it feels like a ballet or an old John Woo film. While the story is weak and sometimes preachy the scenes are shot well. Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti are always fun to watch. Monica Bellucci, well, I shouldn't have to say it, but I can't keep my eyes off her whenever she's on screen. It's a fun romp that isn't pretentious, but it might unfairly pull at your strings a little too much with putting an infant in harm's way. The end of the film contradicts any of the sensationalized violence you just sat through and at times it may seem tasteless. Still I recommend it for any action fan.

Thanks to Mizzle 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.

"Deliriously tasteless and shamelessly entertaining, Shoot 'Em Up is the guiltiest pleasure of the year." - Colin Covert

Dec 4, 2008

Wiwille's movie reviews part 66

Addiction is a difficult subject to capture on film. It's difficult for many to sympathize with a character who can't seem to set aside their habits and often they come across as nihilistic, self absorbed, and weak willed. Still for all of Hollywood's efforts at detailing the nature of an addict sometimes they get it right.

'Less than Zero' was a movie recommended to me many times, but I never made an effort to view it for whatever reason. I'm a fan of Robert Downey Jr, but yet I put off what is known to most as his finest role. Thankfully I have this little blog to help motivate me to watch films I otherwise would have never seen.

Based on a Brett Easton Ellis novel the movie takes place in southern California and centers around the lives of three rich youths. The story starts with them graduating high school and playfully planning their futures. Cut to less than a year later where Clay, the moral center of the three, is off at MIT and gets a phone call from Blair, the girl that scorned him by sleeping with his best friend Julian. She begs him to come home for the Christmas break, but cuts the conversation short.

Clay returns home to find Blair being absorbed by the culture of celebrity. A model and part time coke addict her main concern is for Julian, a former record producer who dove headfirst into drugs. Clay feels overwhelmed with the direction his friends have taken. His beloved seems to ignore her own issues as his best friend is spiraling out of control.

Julian displays all the features you would expect from an addict. He's a charming young man who cons his way in and out of rehab, his father's home, and credit to support his habit. Constantly under the watch of his dealer, who he owes a great sum of money to, Clay and Blair seem to be the last of those who believe in him and genuinely want to take care of him. The two get frustrated with trying to keep him clean and often times find themselves victims of Julian's criminal activities, but still they cling to the belief that he'll heal.

This is a tragic tale of selfish rich kids with too much money and time and not enough love or direction. As with most tales of this nature the real victims of addiction isn't the one who struggles with drugs, but the people who love them.

While the film kind of misses the mark regarding Ellis' use of culture being one of the main proponents of self absorbed behavior the movie is worth a look for the acting alone. Robert Downey Jr is excellent as the drug addled Julian. James Spader plays the dealer Rip with a cold nature that comes off kind of frightening. The cinematography is really good as well. Given the movies faults I still would recommend this.

Thanks to Kelli 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.

"A startling tale of alienation and self-destruction." - Widgett Walls

Thursday Music

I have a coworker who's a devout follower of his faith. The man is getting married soon and he invited the entire team to celebrate his upcoming nuptials. The message he left for everyone was quite humorous.

"I am pleased to let you know about my impending marriage

The wedding reception will be located in Oak Harbor at 2:30 pm.
If you would like to attend let me know.

Attire is work casual, (please no tee’s and shorts)Unlike Andrea’s wedding, we will not be having any alcohol. Sorry Erik."

Geez. Get drunk and chase some guy out in the parking lot accusing him of witchcraft and everyone assumes you're a raging alcoholic.

Well onto music. Here's an obscure deleted scene from one of my favorite films. The song will be in your head for quite a while. Enjoy:



"I phoned my grandparents and my grandfather said 'We saw your movie.' 'Which one?' I said. He shouted 'Betty, what was the name of that movie I didn't like?" - Brad Pitt

Dec 3, 2008

Observant child

Out of mouths of babes often come gems. Such is the case I experienced yesterday at the gym.

I did my normal workout without incident. Forty minutes on the elliptical trainer, while watching Cash Cab of course, and some free weights was on the agenda that day. I made my way to the locker room when I saw a little boy singing and dancing to The Pussycat Doll's 'Dont Cha'. A little strange sure, but kind of amusing.

After my shower I head to my locker to change. The little tyke was now in the locker room continuing his verse while mocking the rhythmic movements of the band. The kid seemed to want a future in musical theatre.

For whatever reason the young one stops his rendition and stands and stares at me for a little while. In a voice that beckons the call of Cuthulu the child points and hollers 'YOU'RE FAT'.

I look at him for a second, then carry on with getting dressed. I can't argue the aesthetic tastes of a young lad, cause as they say if a kid calls you fat well then you might as well accept that you'll only get a phone call from your mother on your birthday. After I put on my clothes the child just stood and smiled at me saying nothing, then he continued his singing.

Why yes I'll be spending more time in the gym and on my diet. Why do you ask?

"One day I may be meeting you and hearing how you've changed your life by saying, 'Farewell to Fat'." - Richard Simmons

Dec 2, 2008

Why?

When I browse the DVD section I find a lot of crap that should've died a sweet death with VHS. Many times I've seen copies of old B horror films that upon viewing you would think they're being used as torture devices reserved for 'guests' at Guantanamo. Don't get me started on why 'Armageddon' and 'The Rock' should have no business being apart of the Criterion Collection. That's for another post.

Every Christmas I browse sites like Amazon to hopefully find movies that are considered obscure by my generation. My parents like old films and many of them have been forgotten by audiences. When buying them gifts I have to get creative when searching for them. Both complain about films they love not being available on DVD such as the laughably bad 'Harry Black and the Tiger' to the mediocre 'Boy on a Dolphin'.

The other day I found myself speaking like them when referring to the masterpiece that is Rad which has yet to be released from VHS obscurity. When I caught myself I ran to the nearest mirror and started checking for grey hairs.

I've written about this film before and it's on my 'Bad Movies I Love' list, but I can't understand why crap like 'The Never Ending Story book 3' and 'Blackula' are available on the soon to be extinct DVD format and childhood favorites such as 'Rad' will never be enjoyed by the next generation.

Look I understand market forces drive everything behind the arts and yes I know Rad is a terrible film, but seriously people create a demand for such fine entertainment. Think of the children! You know anything that stars the late great Ray Walston is a movie worth sitting through at least once.

For you naysayers I dare you not to be touched by the bicycle boogie scene with Lori Laughlin. Yes this was before she started sharing screen smooches with Uncle Jesse.

"God, what I wouldn't give to go ass-sliding with you right now." - Cru Jones

Dec 1, 2008

I still don't know how.

You ever hear those stories of mothers in a car wreck lifting vehicles off their children? You've been told this straight from the pages of Reader's Digest or from a friend of a friend who you never actually meet, but we've all listened to this tale with some amount of awe while at the same time wondering if such an event ever took place.

I have experienced a similar event that actually happened to me. So sit back with a cup of jo, or better yet a glass of whiskey, and read about a bizarre event that even I have a hard time believing and I was a participant.

I was thirteen years old. My Grand Uncle has 40 acres of land that me and my cousins would turn into our own amusement park. Big fields and trees abound we would play on our wilderness wonderland and to this day I cherish those memories. One incident amazingly enough left my brain and was recently retold to me by a relative.

My cousin Kellie was playing on a tire swing that sat not far from my Grand Uncle's house. The tree was a short one that branched out large limbs from the base and was used for years to entertain children. My sister Tonya decided to climb the tree and sit atop the limb that held the tire. We did this a lot so there was no sense of danger. Still this being my blog you know something had to gone awry.

As you clever readers may have guessed the limb broke. My sister fell to the earth a little bruised but okay. The giant branch however was pinning my cousin Kellie. Unbeknownst to me she fell in large divot in the ground so the tree didn't exactly hit her. It was just resting more on the ground than on her, but enough so that she couldn't move. To my young eyes though I was watching my cousin being crushed by some rotting limb.

In what I can only explain as an act of pure adrenaline I went and threw my arms around the limb and lifted the tree off of her. She scurried to safety and I dropped it down. Adults who witnessed the event came rushing to check on Tonya and Kellie, then looked at me wondering how it was possible that I got it off the ground at all. My dad and others tried to lift it up but to no avail. I tried to replicate the incident, but it wasn't happening. No one could make that thing budge.

Finally the adults decided to chop the tree up and it got used as firewood. I forgot about the whole thing for a long time until it was retold to me a couple years back. I still have no explanation for how I did the seemingly impossible.

"He that climbs the tall tree has won right to the fruit, He that leaps the wide gulf should prevail in his suit." - Walter Scott