Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Stupid conversations... or conversations with stupid people

I was out minding my own business having a beer at a local pub a couple weeks ago. This is how a lot of my stories start, by the way. So this blonde woman starts talking to me.

I figure that talking to some stranger was probably more productive than reading the local left-wing biased entertainment paper. So There I was talking to a complete stranger at a bar. It turns out that she works for AOL. So as all people in the technology industry do, the topic eventually turned to offshore outsourcing. I happened to mention that I'm the only Caucasian programmer in my department. She told me I must be really smart.

Supid conversation or conversation with a stupid person? You decide!

So today I came home from work for lunch. I didn’t have any cash and needed to buy bread and pay my bills. Unfortunately when I arrive at my front door my neighbor I won't let you guess: he's definitely a stupid person.

So as I'm exiting my car and walking up to our mutual front porch he tells me that he saw a car kit that would "look sweet on your car." A little background information is due here. My neighbor is Mr. Immobile, and this is what he drives. Yes definitely a stupid person.

So I replied to his suggestion of a car kit by saying, "I'm not putting that $#!* on my car." I don't normally speak in expletives but it was such a stupid suggestion. Then I felt bad because his young daughter was right there too. Maybe they'll move now that they know I'm a bad influence on children.

But that's besides the point.

I continued to try and convince him why I don't want him stylizing my car. I told him it devalues the vehicle and really makes you look like you have no taste whatsoever. I mean think about it, you might see some teenager with a tricked out Honda, but you never see an investment banker with neon lights around the base of his BMW. There are just some things you don't do when you're actually concerned with appearance.

I guess this was just a stupid conversation with a stupid person.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The 40 Year Old Virgin Hits a Little Close To Home

In the film "The 40 Year Old Virgin" Steve Carell plays a guy named Andy who collects action figures. This, however extreme similarity to my own life, does not mean that I have sold my memoirs to Hollywood.

But it the similarities are eerie!

But enough about my own insecurities about collectable plastic men, and onto the review.

Andy and his toys...

I've been a Steve Carell fan for years now. Ever since college when I would watch The Daily Show on Comedy Central... well... daily, I was impressed with his comedic strait man abilities. I felt he was very underutilized as the idiotic weatherman in last year's "Anchorman: The Ledged of Ron Burgundy." But with Correll working as co-scripter of the film and it's star you get one of the most original presentations out of Hollywood in quite some time. The reason for this is that Carell and co. are not part of the Hollywood establishment. No it's not that there's groundbreaking new cinema being made here, but at least it's jokes that haven't been done before, redone and done again. It was just new (albeit edgy) genuinely funny comedy.

The story is that of an employee who works in an electronics store. During a poker game with coworkers it comes out that he has no experience with the fairer sex. This prompts the three different personas in the card game to start devising plans to get Andy... some... a.... well you know.

The 40 year old virgin and his toys!

Of course his friends' advice is worth exactly what he paid for it. NOTHING.

The moral of the story eventually becomes: get to know someone before you sleep with them. (Come to think of it, it would take a Hollywood outsider to put that in a movie).

But morals aside (Good advice if you want to laugh at this movie), this is one of the funniest comedies I have ever seen. The movie never takes itself too seriously trying to convey a hidden message, though the pot smoking scenes didn't seem to fit. The jokes come rapid fire. The comedy builds on momentum. Even with a slow start in the first fifteen minutes it's literally like a role coaster ride of comedy after the slow rise to the top of the first hill.

The comedy ranges from situational to gross-out. Again, morals aside. The supporting cast does a great job, and actually takes the role of the goofball losers, not the virgin. You see it's not that Andy is undersexed, it's that the rest of the world is oversexed.

Yes, I keep telling myself that too!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

It's almost 3:30 am and here I am

Friday night has come and gone. And here it is, the wee hours of the morning. No I'm not drunk (the spelling errors come with soberity). In fact not a drink all night.

Tonight I decided to rent a video game. The X-Box and I haven't spent quality time together in quite a while (And I don't care what Canton Highschool principals say, I don't beieve you can get pregnant from a video game!). So I played Lego Star Wars tonight. Got through the whole game in one night. I'm glad I didn't make a purchase of this one.

But sitting here and looking at the clock knowing what else I could have done. But I doubt I can sleep now. You see I had the windows open all week, becaue it cooled off quite a bit. But the humidity came back yesterday and I'm not quite sure it would be conducive to sleep now that it's muggy in my house.

So here I am, blogging while the world is sleeping. Even the west coast chat rooms are dead. I've got a couple IM's going with some fellow insomniacs, but it's just chit chat.

I swear I'm not much of a homebody. Sure the past few months I have been but that was because I was virtually living a relationship. I was supposed to be involved by now. But it wasn't meant to be. And single life sometimes sucks. I mean sure I could have drunk myself to sleep, but at what price? A saturday hangover and a "what the hell was I thinking when I kissed her" regret.

At least with the video game I got a free movie rental next week!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In the News...

It's been a long time, so here goes,

The Adventures of Andy presents
In The News
65 out of 490 girls at school pregnant
Movies, TV, video games, lazy parents, lax discipline all cited as likely reasons

Shocking school administrators and others community members, fully 13 percent of the female students at an Ohio high school currently are pregnant.

According to a report in the Canton Repository, 65 girls of the 490 females at Timken High School are with child – a number confirmed by Principal Kim Redmond.
"This has gotten to horrible proportions," said Redmond. "I wish I knew the answer to why it's happening." Repository columnist Rick Senften mentions the potential suspects of movies, TV and video games, lazy parents and lax discipline.
Now I'm a regular TV watcher, You've seen my movie reviews, I own an X-box and though I'd hate to call my parents lazy, they do own a garrage door opener and my dad did teach his dog to bring back the golf balls he knocks around the back yard. However, I have to say that I think that some of these kids are having sex!

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson apologized Wednesday for calling for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, hours after he denied saying Chavez should be killed.
"Is it right to call for assassination?" Robertson said. "No, and I apologize for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the U.S. is out to kill him."

On Monday's telecast of his Christian Broadcasting Network show "The 700 Club," Robertson had said: "You know, I don't know about this doctrine of assassination, but if he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."
Now I don't know much about this Chavez character, other than he has a great name for a villan. Maybe we should make him the bad guy in the next James Bond film. But I digress... How evil do you have to be to get Pat Robertson, a holy Christian man to want you dead?

By Bob Ryan, Globe Columnist August 25, 2005
To believe or not to believe. That is the question.
Do we believe the French newspaper L'Equipe, which asserts that it has proof Lance Armstrong used EPO in the course of winning his first Tour de France in 1999, or do we believe Armstrong, when he answers the charge by saying, ''I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs?"
The reputation of the world's most noted individual sport athlete is at stake. Though the intricate nature of his sport is a mystery to most American sports fans, he has even become a true household name in his native land. Armstrong has positioned himself as more than just an athletic achiever. As a well-publicized cancer survivor, he is a symbol of hope, determination, grit, spunk, dedication, and many other attributes that we revere. Even cyclophobes have some understanding that the Tour de France is a grueling three-week enterprise representing a supreme test of Man vs. Nature. To win one is admirable. To win seven -- two more than anyone else has ever been able to do -- is almost mystical. When he rode with the president of the United States last weekend, there was little doubt which man was more honored to be in the company of whom.
Hey France, Our guy can bike better than your guys... for 7 years! And who takes the French seriously? I mean they couldn't even get a draft of the EU Constitution passed!
Okay folks, that's what's in the news this week. I'm hoping to make this a regular Wednesday event (I know today's Thursday but I went to a baseball game last night.)

Monday, August 15, 2005


Here's a list of my summer movie reviews.

Fantastic Four
Marvel Comic's oldest franch finally hits the big screen. A solid popcorn action movie with great character interaction and a really disgusting bad guy.

War of the Worlds
Spielberg gives you something to rial up your emotions, Dakota Fanning steals her secenes and Tom Cruise... well he sure knows how to ge his name in the paper!

Batman Begins
Not only is this how Batman movies should be done, its how James Bond movies should be done and a CSI style plot with a carchase the Blues Brothers would be proud of!

Finally, a Star Wars film for Lord of the Rings fans. Violent and action packed, it's everything those of us who grew up with Star Wars wanted as kids but would have been too scared of back then.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Where everybody knows your name...

While I was away, I was away from a lot. Away from many friends, from the internet and even from my neighborhood pub.

Now before this turns into a college-esque, how-great-beer-is essay, I want to point out that I would probably still frequet this establishment were it not of the alcohol distribution nature. I'd be about the only one and they would likely go out of business, but the point is that this isn't about beer, it's about atmosphere.

The Backstreet pub isn't much to look at from the outside. The front windows don't match (due primarally to a halloween night barfight), the carpet is warn in places, the coolers are dented and scratched and it's actually quite dificult to find.

But those who have found it and made it their local watering hole are some damn fine people.

I hadn't been there since March. Sure I see the place every day because it's just a quick 300 yard walk through the back lot of the grocery store to get there. So last Saturday evening I stopped in on my first night out in quite some time. It was nearly 1:00 am and the majority of the crowd had gone for the night. But I hadn't made three steps into that back hallway when the bartender on duty turned to see who just came in.

She took a moment to double focus her vision and excitedly exclaimed, "I know you!"

at least 3 more times (there were only 4 other people in the bar) that night I got an "Andy, how are you.... It's been a long time."

Perhaps there is something depressing that I can be scarce from a bar for nearly 6 months and return to recognize everyone there. Or maybe it's just comforting that the friendships that were put on hold were rekindled with little or no Effort.

So last night I went out again and as I sat on the patio with the pretty girls and the middle-aged men trying to pick up the middle-aged women I engaged in a conversation about local eateries. It was a 4 way conversation where everybody had input, we all had a beverage in front of us, jokes were made and laughs were shared. I took a moment to pause for a moment and realized that I hadn't had this in quite some time. When I went scarce I sacraficed socalization. That's just not me. I enjoy a party or just conversations with friends.

Well, football season isn't far off. I think they'll see me in there again sooon.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Death of the Anchorman

ABC News Peter Jennings passed away yesterday from lung cancer. I’ll reserve what I really think about him for another time. Instead let’s look at the institution of the network anchorman.

Until about 15 years ago when 24 hour news channels made inroads into the daily lives of Americans it was the Network Anchor that gave us our daily news. They brought the world into our living rooms and for 30 minutes a day we lived outside our communities.

When the Gulf War broke out in 1992 we watched it live on CNN, who gave us 24 hours of coverage a day. The simple half hour of information a day was simply not enough. It was truly the first step into the Information age.

This was also the first step to in fall of the Network Anchorman. As Cable News proliferated and news companies fought for attention amongst a crowd of others all saying the same things, one voice took it upon itself to deliver a "fair and balanced" view of the world. With the Internet came a man named Drudge brought us daily information that was not seen on our network newscasts and another named Rush started a movement of radio broadcasters who poignantly refuted the lines of the Anchorman.

Jennings was the last anchorman.

Of the big three he was the last to go. Dan Rather was embarrassed into retirement due and will forever live with the legacy of forged documents. Tom Brokaw announced his retirement over two years before retiring in late 2004 (as if we needed that much time to prepare ourselves for someone else reading a teleprompter out loud at 6:30 pm each night).

Jennings death elevates him to a level that even the revered Walter Cronkite hasn't reached. In dying the question is asked, "What else could he have done?" Much like Jimi Hendrix, Steve Prefontaine or Janis Jopplin, the perceived potential of the individual begins to overshadow the lifetime of achievements.

Over the next decade the network newsman will find himself less and less important. No longer will one anchor be the face of a network for decades at a time. In fact network news may go the way of Saturday morning cartoons.

And that was a truly sad moment!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Welcome Back...

Welcome back to the Adventures of Andy. It's been a while and don't ever expect an explanation for that. Life went on hold for a while and while I'm just now trying to figure out what it was all about, I am ready to move on and get back into my life.

No I wasn't in a coma or rehab, it was a woman. (and that's ABSOLUTELY all you're getting!)

There will be, however, a few changes.

First off, there will be little to no personal blogging. My dating life is no longer for public consumption. The stupid stuff, like a funny story about buying socks will still be here. You know something where, say, I go to target to buy socks, and while I'm there an army recruiter asks me to join up. I tell him that I've already got a career but fully support the mission, he then hands me a rifle and asks me to prove my marksmanship on the dairy isle.

Needless to say that would be really funny to write about if it were to really happen. But I was at Target today and that didn't happen, but I did get some low calorie fruit drinks!

As for the other changes, this is really just a temporary stop for my permanent blog. Yes I'm building my own blog site. Something a little more customized to my style than the Blogger template.

Finally there will be a more spiritual perspective in some of what I write. Yes I'm a Christian, I'm not afraid to say it and I will defend those beliefs online and in my life.

Don't worry, Action Figure Theatre is coming back!

See you online