Monday, November 15, 2004

Zombies In The Bible

I grew up going to church and Sunday School every week, so I tend to be amazed when I hear about something "crazy" in the Bible that I never ever picked up on before.

I am reading a book ("Once Upon A Tree") and the author mentioned Jesus' crucifixion and the curtain in the temple being torn in half, the earth shaking, and the sky turning black. He then went on to mention dead people coming out of their graves and walking the earth again.

I had to stop and re-read that a couple of times. I don't know about you, but I NEVER heard about that last part before. At first I thought I had read it incorrectly and he was referring to the end times or maybe even back to Lazarus.

I grabbed my Bible and started searching the gospels for the account of Jesus' death and lo and behold I found it. It's only mentioned in the book of Matthew but there it was(Mt 27:51-53 for those of you keeping score at home).

"At that moment the curtain of the temples was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people."

How did I never hear about this before? Who were the holy people? What did they do? How long did they run around before they dropped dead again? Yeah, I know the focus isn't the dead people but about Christ on the cross, but I definitely want more information on THIS. It's just so bizarre to me!

Has anyone else also been deprived of this story growing up? I definitely think I would have remembered something like this, but for some reason I never picked up on it before. I know sometimes you'll be reading the Bible and pick up on something you never noticed before and you'll get a revelation of sorts. But why is the topic of dead people walking around jumping out at me now?

Friday, November 12, 2004

Keeping Up With The Joneses

Yesterday I got a chance to hang out with my good buddy John Jones from back home in Indiana. We've known each other since the 1st grade. We grew up hanging out together a lot and I still recall performing each year in the elementary talent shows doing Abbott & Costello's "Who's On First".

I haven't had a chance to hang with John in who knows how long. I saw him a few years ago at our 5-year reunion but we didn't get to really "hang out" hang out. John's workplace sent him down here to Nashville for a convention this week and yesterday we were able to get together and catch up. I drove him around and showed him the Nashville sight (like there's more than one sight to see here) and introduced him to the wonder that is Baja Burrito.

It was really good to see John again. It was refreshing. Hopefully I'll be able to see him again before another ten years goes by.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Year Of Ed

I'll be 34 in about a week, and let me tell you, as I look back I realize that 33 sucked big time. I remember when I turned 33 I was all excited because, you know, 33 was kind of a big year for Jesus and I wondered what this magical age had in store for me. After all is said in done, I feel like I've gone through a crucifixion or two of my own.

And I'm ready for 34. It's not that I'm ready for 33 to be OVER, but I'm ready for how good I know 34 is going to be. I'm ready for 34 to be a good year; to be the total inverse opposite of the age that I shall heretofore refer to as The Evil Age Of 33.

34 is going to rock. Really. I'm all set and I'm putting things into action.

34 is going to kick 33's butt.


Thursday, October 14, 2004

New Music

One of the many things in life that brings me happiness is finding a new musical artist that I really dig. This year one of my discoveries has been Robbie Williams. That dude is cool. I have also recently stumbled upon Kristian Leontiou and am also delving into Fatboy Slim. Those Brits have something going on over there. There's also an English group called "V" (I don't know if it's pronounced "vee" or "five") and it's all thanks to a UK version of "Now That's What I Call Music." I'm hooked.

Since I'm talking music, let me also bring up Martina Topley-Bird. I don't know where she's from, but I read a good review on her album in Entertainment Weekly and I'm really into her sound. Kind of a Macy Gray meets Bjork meets Dicky Ochoa vibe.


Saturday, September 25, 2004

They're Getting My People

Today the doorbell rang and outside was a nicely-dressed man, his wife (I assume), and their two kids (again, I assume). I answered the door and the man told me "Hello, I am a-Spanish speaking Jehovah Witness. Do you speak-a Spanish?"

My only thought was "Oh no!! Jehovah's Witnesses have run out of white people to terrify and now they have moved on to the Mexicans!!"

It hurt my soul.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

"Arrested Development"


This FOX show won the Emmy for Best Comedy, and it's about time this show gets some respect. If you have never seen this show, SHAME ON YOU. This is one of the best new shows to come out in a long time and like most shows that are good and well-written and flat-out hilarious, it's doing horrible in the ratings (i.e. The Ben Stiller Show). Perhaps this recognition will help.

When I realized that I only know two people (Andrew & Drew...I think it was them?) who watch this show, I knew I had to let my buddies in on the secret. I mean come on, how many shows do you actually laugh out loud at on a regular basis?

The new season starts in November, but if you have a chance try to catch some of the re-runs or, better yet, rent the first season on DVD when it comes out.

You're welcome in advance for the head's up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

This Deadly City

Poor Nashville. It cannot help but to suck.

Besides being the hub of The Devil (AKA the Christian Music Industry) it's just not a good place to be. AND IT COULD KILL YOU. So I am posting this plea in hopes that all of my Nashville friends will read it and we will all pool our resources together and buy a mansion in Palos Verdes CA and all live together like one big happy cult.

"OK, so you don't like Nashville, but it's not KILLING you," you may say. "You're just being overdramatic."

Well let me tell you, each month as I receive my new issue of Men's Health magazine, I am further convinced that Nashville is just not the place to be.

Each year they do an article on the 101 best (and worst) places to live. And there's science that goes into it, not just personal opinion. Their rankings are based on mortality stats from the Centers for Disease Control, the CDC's "Sexually Transmitted Disease Report", "Crime in the U.S." from the FBI, the EPA's Air Quality Report, CDC Behavioral Risk factor surveillance Report, the Urban Mobility Study, fitness data from Claritis research, park and recreation data, and physician data from Health Market Science.

Last year, Nashville ranked 99 out of 101 with a grade of an "F." This last time around our Fitness Grade, Quality of Life grade, and Health grade were all "D's." Needless to say, moving up from an F to a D isn't exactly comforting.

Shortly after that, MH began releasing monthly reports on the 101 largest cities in America on a variety of topics. Again, I wasn't comforted.

In "The United States of Anxiety" where they rated cities according to stress, Nashville got a B-. Not too bad. The next month, they graded cities according to the divorce rate. An awesome D that time around. The month after that was "Is Your Town Toxic?" where they rated the industrial toxicity. A C for us. "Is Your City Sloshed" was the next month's report. As if you couldn't tell from the title, they did research to determine the drunkest cities. Hooray for us! D again!And this month they researched cities according to STDs. Nashville ranked 80 out of 101 with a final grade of D- .

Now, I personally don't really have to concern myself with the STD reports or the drunk reports. But it's awesome to know who I'm rubbing elbows with at Wal-Mart.

What was very surprising to me was the number of West Coast cities that consistently do well. All this time we're told how horrible California is for you when actually where we are ain't exactly Eden either.

So pack your bags friends. We got to get the heck outta Dodge!

My Toaster

My toaster has a setting that goes from light to dark. Now I can understand having different levels to cook the toast to your specific preference, but what I don't understand is why the highest setting basically transforms a piece of bread into a smoldering chunk of carbon.

Who eats their toast like this?

What brain-dead astro-boy finds what is basically burnt black charcoal appealing to the taste buds? In my opinion, the toaster shouldn't be labeled "HIGH" it should be labeled "MARS LAVA."

And I'm sorry, but this isn't a taste that a pat of butter is going to remedy.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Bloopers In Heaven

It is my firm belief (or at least my firm hope) that when we get to heaven, there will be gag reels of our lives waiting there for everyone to see and laugh at. I am picturing a time when all of us will gather together, the lights will dim, and we'll see bloopers from everyone's lives. Every slip, trip, stumble, and fall will be there for all of us to laugh at and enjoy.

I can't wait.

So, if you're ever around me and I trip or do something stupid (as I am prone to do) and you hear me mutter, "I can't wait to see that" you know what I'm talking about.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Things That Make Me Go "Hmmm"

I was updating my email address book today and decided to do a bit of purging. Which basically means I have deleted all of the names of people who refuse to ever respond to my emails. I mean if they aren't going to write back, then they don't deserve to know what's new with Edwardo.

I was a bit saddened to see how many of those people are "friends" I met through the Christian Music Industry. People who I thought were good folks and cared about what was going on in my corner of the world. People who stopped any and all communication with me as soon as I was no longer in "the business" and had nothing to offer them (apparently). People who used to return my calls and emails in less than 10 minutes now don't respond to a simple "Hey how are you" note.

I hope I'm not coming off as angry or bitter, because I'm not. I just thought it was a little odd. Oh well. Onward and upward!

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

The Burger King Follow-Up

I finally got my Burger King coupons in the mail. They sent me 2 coupons for a free Whopper. That was nice I guess, and I don't want to come off as inconsiderate, but dang man, I'm still kind of craving a Hershey Pie.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Telling On Burger King

The other night I was craving one of those Hershey pies from Burger King. Like a pregnant woman craves Haagen Daaz, that was me with the Hershey pie. I hopped into the car and zipped through the drive-thru and ordered two (count 'em, two!) tasty treats.

My total came out to like $2.23 or something like that, and I decided to pay using the change that I keep in my car's ash tray. It was mostly quarters and nickels if memory serves, but it was exact change and I was about to enjoy my pies.

I handed the change to the guy who looks at it like I just handed him Martian currency, turns to the manager behind him, and asks, "Do we take change?" The grumpy manager growled, "No!" and the kid turns back to me, gives me back my money, and says, "We don't take change."

Was he serious?

I asked him why not and he said he didn't know. I told him, "But its money" but I wasn't being too persuasive and he just shook his head. So I just said, "Forget it." The Drive-Thru Kid was literally astonished. He got a look on his face like he couldn't believe it (probably more concerned about not knowing how to cancel an order on the register) and I zoomed off...without my pies!!!

I was angry and I wanted Hershey Pies! I arrived back home and immediately went online to the Burger King website. If there's one thing I learned from my wife, it's that if you are a victim of shoddy customer service and you let the right people know about it, sometimes you get free stuff.

BK Customer Service was closed for the night but you bet your butt I was on the phone the next morning. The woman who took my call was very polite and sounded more than a little shocked that they refused to take my money. And my free coupons are in the mail!!!!!

So I eagerly await the arrival of my two favorite four-letter "F" words: FREE FOOD

Friday, July 30, 2004

Ed Wind & Fire

Today ended up to be a really great day, and when I woke up this morning I had no idea where I would be 12 hours later.

Gabe called to invite me to see Earth Wind & Fire and Chicago live in concert! It seems his dad goes wayyyyy back with the EW&F guys, and he was able to snag 4 passes for Gabe. So there we were, only about 10 rows back and smack dab in the center. We also got special "Guest passes" that we hoped would get us backstage, but no one working at the Starwood Amphitheater seemed to know what we could and couldn't do with them. Fools!

Earth Wind & Fire put on an amazing show. I've never been much of a fan of music from the '70s (I still hold fast to my theory that nothing good came out of the '70s), but I'm not so anti-70s that I can't appreciate a good show when I see one, and EW&F definitely put on a good show. The sound was amazing, Philip Bailey has a range that would make Mariah Carey cuss, and the horn section was unbelievable. They had the entire crowd on their feet...and then Chicago came on stage and bored everyone to tears and they played their little power ballads and all the white girls in their late-30s stood up and raised their hands and sang along and wished they were back at Senior Prom again.

Luckily EW&F came back onstage at the end and both bands played together. The sound was, again, amazing.

Even more entertaining, though, was watching Phillip Bailey spot Gabe during the show, recognize him, and tell him to go backstage. It was great!! After the show Gabe and I found out what the magical Guest Passes were for. There was a holding room of sorts where a "meet & greet" was going on, so Gabe and I waited in that area to figure out how to get backstage from there when suddenly a voice called out and there was Phillip Bailey. Making his way through the crowd, he had come out in search of Gabe (and me, since I was with Gabe). That was really really cool. He took us backstage and introduced us to the other 2 founding members and we got to hang in his dressing room for a bit and try to carry on good conversation.

All in all, a great night. Lots of fun and it won't soon be forgotten!

I still think that 70s music is horrible, but at least I am learning that the people who make it can sure put on a great show.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

My Body Is A Wonderland

Yikes. What a week it's been. Methinks this blog entry will be a lengthy one, so tuck in the kids and make sure you're comfortable. I am about to embark on a tale of pain and agony, and I think what struck me most during this encounter are the random thoughts that popped into my head and I actually considered. Observe:

I woke up Monday morning at 6:30 with an excruciating pain in my left side. It felt like I had just done a million oblique crunches and now my obliques were going into spasm. It was more than just an upset stomach kind of feel where everything is a bit woozy, but it felt like something inside of me exploded. I briefly wondered if it might be my appendix but then I remembered that the appendix is on the right side of the body. I then went on to wondering if perhaps I was a medical anomaly and MY appendix is on my left side and what do you know, it done blew up.

My next thought went to “hernia.” I’d never had one of those before, but I know it’s a really sharp and sudden pain in the side. But I was also pretty sure that when you got a hernia, something stuck out of the side of your body like a lump (I learned that from “Friends” and the old Bill Cosby routine) and since my side appeared normal in appearance, I discounted that as well.

All the while, I was in unbelievable pain. I wondered if this is what a gunshot victim felt.

I really didn’t want to have to call an ambulance or anything, just because they cost money, something of which we don’t have a lot of lately. I lay there a bit longer hoping that it would at least subside a bit, but no such luck. The pain was constant and the pain was extreme. I briefly considered driving myself somewhere, but had no idea if I was going to pass out and run over a fleeing Eddie George or not.

I lay in bed, one hand on my side, my eyes scrunched and my teeth clenched and I was MAD. I was mad that I had no idea what was wrong with me and I was going to have to spend money on medical attention. I was mad that I had a job interview the next day and might have to miss it. And I was mad that I was in so much FREAKING PAIN.

There is a fire station just a few blocks from our house and an ambulance is also housed there. I heard the sirens wind up and begin to wail. Seconds later I heard the ambulance zoom past the house. I shouted, “No, that one’s mine!” but I don’t think they heard me. I chuckled to myself but it hurt.

Suddenly I tasted metal in the back of my mouth. You know how blood has that distinct metallic taste? Well, I tasted it and my mouth suddenly filled up with liquid. Great. Was I about to commence vomiting blood? I briefly wondered where my video camera was and if the battery was charged. It might make for some awesome footage.

I didn’t bother with the camera and instead made it to the bathroom. I knelt over the bathtub and spat. Whew. It was just spit. No sign of blood. But it sure tasted like blood. And my mouth kept filling with saliva. I spat and spat and spat and couldn’t stay ahead of it. Finally my saliva glands slowed down.

I wanted to call an ambulance, but I just woke up and my hair was crazy from the sleep. Should I jump in the shower first? Or maybe just stick my head under the faucet and wet it? Or maybe I should just bring a hat. A hat would be fine. But what if they need me to take the hat off and then my hair would really be insane. And I might leave my hat there. Screw that. I’m not leaving my hat at the freaking hospital.

I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. It rang once and I hung up. I can’t afford an ambulance. Maybe I’ll wait a few more minutes and see if I’m good to drive.

The phone rang in my hand. Wretched caller ID. “Did someone call 911?” they asked. And I gave in.

“I think I need an ambulance.” The pain was making my voice really raspy and it was hard to get enough breath to finish an entire sentence.

We exchanged info and I remember congratulating myself on how even keel and levelheaded I had been. I had remembered all my vital info and even told them I’d turn on the porch lights for them. If I were in a movie and I got shot I wouldn’t be the wimp that falls down and tells everyone else to “Go on!!” Doggonit I would be the guy who lags behind and slows the group down but keeps on going and then gets shot again LATER.

I put the dog outside. Who knows how long I’ll be gone. A few minutes later a fire truck pulled up and some fireman dudes came to the door. They were going to stay with me while they waited for another ambulance, since the one down the street was on another call. I knew it. I sat on the couch holding my side while two of the firemen sat beside me and asked me questions and a third perused my bookshelf. I seriously thought he was going to ask to borrow a book he was looking that hard.

In the meantime, the incredible pain continued. I tried to be a polite host but it was hard doubled-over and wishing one of them would just clock me in the head with a tire iron and put me out of it already. One of the firemen told me there wasn’t much else they could do unless I needed oxygen. I was about to tell them I’d give that a shot when the EMS pulled up. I was excited. My first ambulance ride and here we go!!

We all got up, I locked up the house, and they walked me out to the ambulance. The driver was a huge overweight guy with a moustache that made him look like Mario from the video game. I’m thinking his shirt had a stain on the front of it, but my memory might be adding that slight detail because if there wasn’t a stain on his shirt, one definitely needed to be there to complete the picture. Ambulance Jane came around the other side. She was short with a buzz cut hairdo that made me wonder and helped load me in. I tried to make eye contact to smile and kind of nod hello but she paid me no attention. Instead she started talking to one of the firemen about a friend of theirs who had a baby and yadda yadda yadda. After I was all strapped in and I thought we should be on our way, we continued to sit there while they continued to talk about the new baby. I don’t know if the pain actually got worse or it only seemed to get worse since I was beginning to get angry and impatient. Let’s go, Emergency Jane!

Finally Emergency Jane seemed to have told Fireman Bob all of the info she had on the new baby and Fireman Bob left. He closed the doors and we were off!!

Sort of. First of all, I noticed that we were cruising without the siren. Rip-off! The second thing I noticed is we were going about 30 miles an hour. Stopping at all of the stop signs and stop lights. I could see cars passing us. And I was like what the heck is THIS?? Let’s go!! You obviously can do nothing to alleviate my pain, can we at least get to the people who can a little quicker?

During the ride I tried to be light-hearted and make jokes with Ambulance Jane but she either didn’t get any of them or wasn’t interested because I wasn’t a hot girl. I remember saying “Boy being in an ambulance is so much more anti-climactic without the exciting chase music in the background.” Yuk yuk yuk. I thought I would at least get a friendly smile. Instead she answered, “We hardly ever drive with the siren on. We probably only turn it on 5% of the time and that’s only if someone is dead.”

All right, Ambulance Jane, you crazy party girl you.

I finally get to the hospital. Ambulance Jane tells me to feel better and I secretly tell her to fall in a hole. They wheel me into what looks like an examination room in a doctor’s office instead of the standard “hospital room” and that’s fine with me (maybe cheaper!). Nurse #1 comes in and asks me all of the questions and I give her the rundown. She asks me how much pain I am in on a scale of 1 to 10. At first I say 10 but then tell her on the grand scheme of things compared to other people who’ve had metal pipes lodged in their heads, it’s probably only an 8. Nurse #1 laughed and I thought “All right.” At least it’s not my material. The ambulance was probably just a bad crowd.

I’m still not sure why I feel the need to make people laugh, even when I am in pain. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t people be trying to entertain me? I think it’s just another classic Ed example of putting others in front of myself. I don’t want my pain and inconvenience to make them feel uncomfortable, so away I go. I don’t know. Just a theory. Not like I know what I’m talking about or anything.

Nurse #1 said, “But this is the most pain you’ve ever been in, right?”

Definitely right.

She wondered if I had kidney stones and I thought that was odd. I’d heard guys’ horror stories about kidney stones and thought there was only pain when they were actually trying to pass the stone. But what do I know. I only realized that the U.K. was an island last year and I’m 33 freaking years old.

Nurse #1 left and Admissions Nurse came in and took all of my information. After a few minutes, Admissions Nurse left.

And there I was all alone. Just laying there and then the saliva started up again. I felt like I was going to puke and I sat up. There were two trashcans in front of me. One was your standard trashcan and the other was for hazardous waste material. What’s the proper etiquette in this case? I mean, vomit isn’t exactly hazardous, but it’s also not paper or plastic cups. I assume the hazardous waste can would have a liner inside that might hold up better against vomit, but at the same time I didn’t want to puke in the hazardous can and make herpes splash up into my eye.

So I opted for the regular trashcan. I was so mad at the possibility of throwing up because I was about to break my 17-year record. I was a middle school kid living in Indiana the last time I threw up and I loved impressing people with my tremendous record.

I heaved.

Nothing came up. Whew. Technically my record still stands.

And then something weird happened. The pain started to go away. Seriously. As quick as it came, the pain started to subside.

I sat back on the gurney and lay down. Hm. That was weird.

I didn’t hurt anymore.

You mean if I had stayed at home and just waited it out for 45 minutes everything would have been cool? Well that sucks.

And now what? When the doctor comes back, should I pretend that I’m still hurting or should I just be like “UM, I’m OK now?” That would be a waste of everyone’s time. But these people are professionals and they’ll know if I was faking it. But I wasn’t faking it earlier. For real!

Nurse #2 came in and announced we’re off to get a CAT scan. I was excited. Another new adventure!! So many new things we’re learning today, kids!

Nurse #2 explained on the way to the scan room that she too thought it might be kidney stones. I told her I heard they were awesome. She asked me if I needed anything for the pain and I told her it’d actually gone down a lot. I told her it was a 4 on a scale of 1 to 10. In reality it was probably only a 1 or a 1/3 but I didn’t want them to throw me out quite yet. I wanted a CAT scan!

The CAT scan was also anticlimactic. I was picturing the big white tunnel-thing like you see on TV and I wanted to show them that I was a man and wouldn’t freak out like those wimps you see on TV (“It’s too small! I can’t stand it! Get me out of here!”). Instead they had some new-fangled device that was basically a small wall in part of the room with a hole in it. Kind of like they stood a big piece of drywood up on end and put a hole in it. Not at all intimidating.

They scanned me and took me back to the room and told me it would be half an hour. Awesome. I felt fine. I can do a half hour. And I fell asleep.

I was awakened by Nurse #2 returning to announce that Yep, It’s Kidney Stones. Awesome.

The good news is the stones I have (3 in total. Or as some people say for reasons I’ve yet to understand, in toto) are only 1mm in diameter. Interestingly, the Nurse informed me that I probably wouldn’t even feel them when I passed them, but the passage from the kidney to the bladder is when I would actually feel the pain, since it is a much smaller tube than that from the bladder to the toilet. She said I was actually fortunate, as in most patients the pain lasts much longer, even a few days. Well, Nurse #2, most patients aren’t Ed, are they? They gave me a prescription for the pain and sent me on my merry way.

Awesome. I’m free to go and my hair isn’t even close to being presentable.

I called Drew and Andrea and they were awesome enough to swing by the hospital and pick me up (as my friend Nik says, hospitals don’t exactly deliver. Except babies. Heh heh. I’ll have to tell Nik my addendum to her little joke). I got home and felt great. I didn’t even bother to go to the CVS down the corner to get the prescription. If I start to feel the pain, I’ll run down (it’s literally ½ block away) and pick some up.

About 3 hours later I felt the onset coming, so I went to the drugstore, added a book of puzzles to my purchase, and returned home. I took a pill (the prescription indicated to take 1-2 pills at a time, but since I don’t get a refill, I decided to conserve).

The pill hit me faster than I anticipated and I was out for the rest of the day. Goodnight Irene. Kidney stones are cake.

I awoke the next morning at 5:30 am in pain just as horrible as the day before. I did not fret, though, because this time around I knew what I was in for and I also had medication. The pain will last for 2 hours tops but hey, I have medicine so we can cut that out of the equation. I took two pills and went back to sleep. Or at least tried to.

Apparently 1 pill is all Ed needs. Two pills means vomiting.

My record was broken and there were no technicalities to dance around this time. I was vomiting. I threw up perhaps 6-10 times before 9 am so I knew I was in for a great day. And I must have vomited up the pills’ super powers, as the pain did not subside. I couldn’t even hold down water. It was an amazing display of biology.

I won’t bore you with all of the details. This thing has already run on a bit too long and worn out its welcome, so let me begin to wrap up. Basically the pain on Tuesday lasted until that evening. Maybe 9:00. It was definitely a very bad day, one of the worst ever. Also that night, the A/C in the bedroom conked out. And if you’ve spent any time in the south, July isn’t exactly the best time for your A/C to conk out.

I spent the rest of the week recuperating. I’m still a little sore, but I think the worst is over. Actually the most pain I have now is in my back, probably from spending so much time laying down (and not exactly laying straight…a lot of it was curled up, so my spinal cord is probably more twisted than the “21 Grams” storyboards.

I was able to get my job interview postponed and I went in on Friday morning. It went really well and am going in next week for the follow-up interview to meet some of the management.

Davy and Jenn got in touch and offered to pick me up and take me to their house to rest up and recuperate. You (and they) have no idea how much that meant to me. Friends like that are indeed a rarity. I didn’t get their message until Friday afternoon (I think they called Thursday) and by then I had some gas from Venus and didn’t want to bring it to their fine house. Drew also called to check in and make sure everything was OK. I didn’t get his message until I got the message from Davy and Jenn (when I got back from the hospital on Monday, my cell phone somehow ended up under some pillows behind my bed).

OK, that’s enough. I’ve kept you too long. Go out and get some Chinese and a breath of fresh air. That’s what I’m going to do.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Another Triple-Feature.

In a previous post I mentioned how my last 3 Netflix rentals all had something in common (they were all based on true stories). I thought it was pretty cool, since it had happened unintentionally.

Well, I am very happy to announce that it has happened again. I'm on a roll!!

My movies this week were "Shadows and Fog," "The Majestic," and "Mighty Aphrodite." 10 points to the person who can guess what the connection is this time around....they all feature David Ogden Stiers*!!

OK, OK, I know he's not as recognizable as Harrison or Julia, and I probably wouldn't even have noticed it if it weren't for my knowledge of Disney films. (I'm going somewhere with this, I promise).

I remember listening to the director's commentary on a Disney animated film (I think it was Atlantis) and David Ogden Stiers had a short cameo in the beginning as one of the professors. The director mentioned that DOS is like their good luck charm and they use him in as many of their animated films as possible. As I reference the Internet Movie database, I see that his stint with Disney began with "Beauty and the Beast" (he was Cogsworth the clock) and has since appeared in most of the films (he was the villain in both "Lilo & Stitch" and "Pocahontas").

So, as I saw his name on the opening credits of "Shadows and Fog" (I love Woody Allen!) I was excited to look for him and see what he looked like. Unfortunately, most of the film took place in shadow and fog and the cameos were so quick, I couldn't recognize him by his voice. I was able to point out a young William H Macy, who was at-the-time listed as WH Macy. Kinda cool. And by the way, it's too bad that "Shadows and Fog" is such a hard film to find anymore. A hidden treasure!

I didn't recognize him in "The Majestic" until the very end and I was like ohhhhhhhh ok. By the way, this film got a bad rap. Kinda like "The Cable Guy." I think most people were expecting another Ace Ventura wildman out of Jim Carrey and instead they got a Capra-esque drama. But give it a chance. Much like Adam Sandler's "Punch Drunk Love"...only easier to make sense out of. But to be fair, the poster for "The Majestic" was, in my opinion, the worst poster EVER. A watercolor painting of Jim Carrey? And a bad one at that? Booo!

I haven't even watched "Mighty Aphrodite" yet. As soon as I saw DOS's name in the credits, I flipped out and had to let you know about it. Turns out that he also appears in a lot of Woody's films, so this might be cheating a bit, but since I didn't know, I shall excuse myself and still bask in the wonderment of coincidence.

My next 3 Netflix movies coming are "The Truth About Charlie," "My Family (AKA Mi Familia)," and "Air Jaws 1 and 2:Sharks of South Africa." I think I may have just put the kibbosh on my "3 films that are oddly linked together somehow." But who knows. I'm hoping Edward James Olmos will surprise me.

*[For all of you M*A*S*H* fans, David Ogden Stiers played Maj Charles Emerson Winchester III on the TV series. I have no idea who that is since I've never seen an entire episode of the show. I try not to watch horribly overrated TV shows that are in truth just plain boring]

Monday, July 12, 2004

I Hate Shaving

I mean, REALLY, I loathe shaving. But I don't want a beard so it's somethig I have to live with. I've never liked shaving. Never ever. I can remember my first time shaving back in Indiana and thinking to myself "Well this is gonna suck." And it does. Shaving sucks.

Beards serve no real purpose to me so thank you, Ed's chemical makeup, but no thanks. Yea sure, maybe back in the caveman days we needed them to protect ourselves from the sun, but I'm not a caveman and I need no such protection. Unless I'm Amish and I want to let people know that I'm married, I don't really need a beard.

And hear me when I say I'm not coming down on people with beards or goatees, it's just not for me. But I AM coming down on the guys with pencil-thin sideburns shaved into intricate designs. I mean come on. Seriously.

I'm also not saying people (guys mostly) shouldn't have the choice whether or not they want facial hair. I'm just saying that if they do, they should have to work for it. Like abs. You should have to do facial crunches and then the more you do, the more beard you grow. That way those of us who hate shaving can live peacefully and care-free for the rest of our lives and those who want the stubble just have to put in a little effort. But, no, a beard you can have for free. Abs you have to work for.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

3 True Stories

I've been a subscriber to Netflix for some time now, and I think it's awesome. Well worth the money. Considering how much I'm into movies and how much I WOULD spend a month on rentals, I'm saving a lot of money. And now I think Netflix should give me 8 free months for that piece of advertising since MILLIONS of people read this blog each day.

Anyhow, I received my 3 latest movies from them and without even realizing it, I had chosen 3 movies that were based on actual events. "A Beautiful Mind," "Radio," and "Blow."

I'd never seen "A Beautiful Mind" simply because I can't stand Russell Crowe. If ever a face was asking to be slapped with a dead fish, that face is Russell's. But, because I am impartial and a true and just man, I was able to look past my dislike for him and actually thought it was a pretty good movie. His acting was very good, he did a nice job of capturing John Nash. I gave it 4 stars out of 5. But I still think Russell Crowe is a dork.

"Radio" was stupid. I wasn't expecting much, and it STILL managed to let me down. This was actually worse than "Forrest Gump," if you can believe it.

I gave "Blow" 4 stars as well. Great movie. I was going to give it 5 stars, but I can never justify giving ANYTHING with Bobcat Goldthwait in it 5 stars. Johnny Depp more than made up for it, though. He always steps up to the plate and this time around was no different. After watching the bonus footage and the interview with the man Johnny was portraying, it only showed how good of a job Johnny did.

So three movies in three days. Not too bad. Two out of those three were actually worth the rent and worth recommending, so again, not too bad.

As I check my Netflix queue I see that the next movies on my list that are coming to me are "Shadows and Fog," "The Majestic," and "Mighty Aphrodite." It's been a while since I've seen a good Woody Allen film, so don't let me down "Shadows" and "Aphrodite." Or face the wrath of my NEGATIVE REVIEW IN MY BLOG!!!

Bwa ha ha ha ha ah aha ha ha ha ha ah aha ha ha ha

Thursday, July 08, 2004

I Want This Much. But I Only Wanna PAY This Much

There's this commercial that is played too many times here in Nashville and it's gotten to the point where every time it comes on I want to put sharp objects in my eyes.

It's a BellSouth commercial advertising their High-Speed DSL service and features a bunch of cool hip people running around doing hip and cool things as they constantly proclaim throughout the entire thing "I WANT THIS MUCH SPEED!!!" and they stretch their hands out. Quick cut to a shot of them with their thumb and index finger an inch or two apart. "BUT I ONLY WANNA PAY THIS MUCH!!!"

And they scream this particular desire over and over and over and over. And over.

It's just funny to me how, after seeing the same commercial 5 times in one half-hour block, a bunch of young hip people doing young hip things who want this much but only wanna pay this much magically transform into little whining annoying cheapskate babies who want everything they can get but are too cheap to actually pay for it.


Tuesday, June 22, 2004

These Are The People In My Neighborhood

A new Chinese Restaurant, CHINA DRAGON, has opened up around the corner. I like to frequent their fine establishment and it's gotten to the point where they recognize me when I phone in my order and carry on great conversation while I go in to pick up my food. Yesterday when I went in they threw in a FREE DESSERT! How cool is that. I feel like such a part of the neighborhood now. It was a cool adventure and a nice warm fuzzy feeling.

And speaking of the people in my neighborhood, I have become hooked on a Broadway musical that I have never seen. Those of you who know me know that I am into acting, but most of my knowledge is in movies. I haven't seen many musicals and even fewer plays. There is a new musical, though, that is at the same time a biting satire on "Sesame Street" and current events. I'm a huge fan of parody (but only when it's done right...lame parody is just...well, lame (are you listening, Apologetix??)) but the fine folks who put together "Avenue Q" are geniuses. I saw a small bit of their performance during the Tony awards and I was like "Hm." I did a search online and downloaded a couple of songs to test it out and was hooked. The next day I went out and bought the CD (not all people who download songs are evil, eh?) and I can't stop listening to it.

If you're able to get up to NYC, check this show out. "The Lion King" used to be the Broadway show that I "had to see" but I believe the animals of Africa have been bumped by some foul-mouthed puppets from New York.

Monday, June 21, 2004

The Terminal

The weekend is over and the results are in. "Dodgeball" was the highest grossing movie of the week, smashing it's opening-weekend competition, "The Terminal" starring Tom Hanks and directed by Steven Spielberg.

I didn't get to go see "Dodgeball" (but believe me, I want to) but I did catch "The Terminal." I've read some reviews and seen some reviews on TV and some of them have been less-than-flattering. Please let me take this time out to encourage you to ignore those reviews and check it out for yourself.

I hate to tell people to go see movies because when people tell ME that a movie is amazing and what have you, my expectations are always really high and inevitably I am disappointed. I don't want to do that to you. But I do want to encourage you to check it out. Tom Hanks does an amazing job and by the first 5 minutes, I forgot that I was watching "Tom Hanks."

Two fun things to talk about after the film is over:

1. It was inspired by actual events. If you pass it off as "oh that could never happen," then know this. There is a guy (I believe from a middle Eastern country) who has been living in a French airport for the last fifteen years.

2. You'd think they had to shut down parts of an airport in order to film everything, but they actually REBUILT AN AIRPORT TERMINAL inside of two huge airplane hangars, and you'd never know. Amazing.

But now I'm ready to grab life by the ball....

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Office Depot: Smarter Than Me

A couple of days ago I went to Office Depot to buy some mailing envelopes. Upon checking out, the cashier told me that if I called the number on my receipt and took part in their customer service survey, at the end of the phone call I would be given a secret code that would give me $5 off my next purchase at their fine establishment.

I thought that was awesome. Each pack of envelopes that I got was about five bucks, and since I knew that I would probably be going back soon for more, that meant that one of the packs would be free. FREE I SAY!!

The time had come to purchase more and I went back today. On the way there I had it all figured out. I'll buy two more packs, one of them will be free, and then I'll take THAT receipt, do the survey thing again, and get another $5 off and go back for two more in a few days where one of them would be free and so on down the line. I had found a loophole (kind of like the pudding tops and free air miles in "Punch Drunk Love") and I would soon be swimming in free mailing envelopes! The genius of my plan!!!!!

But this time when I checked out I just got a regular dumb old receipt with no option of a survey. Just an itemized list of my two packs of envelopes.

It seems the marketing geniuses at Office Depot are one step ahead of me. Well played, Office Depot. Well played.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Join Me!

I just finished a book called "Join Me!" written by Danny Wallace. It was a quick read and an amazing story.

It's the true story about a guy who accidentally started a cult. He's an Englishman who was bored and mixed with a recent family member passing away, decides to put an ad in the paper that simply says "Join Me!" and asks people to send him a photo of themselves. And that's it. He doesn't say what they're joining (and he actually doesn't know himself) and is surprised to find that people begin to join him and his undetermined cause.

It's a humorous and entertaining ride to see people jump on board and watch Danny scramble to figure out what exactly it is he's asking people to join him in doing. I highly recommend it. Again, it's a really quick read (I'm not a fast reader and I sped through it in 2 days) and very uplifting as well.

On a side note, I finished importing all of my movie soundtracks into my iTunes. Now, with only soundtracks and comedy albums, I have 1703 tracks (4 days of music).

Now what.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Funny Ha-ha

I've finally finished importing all of my comedy albums into my iTunes. I had a lot more than I thought. 599 cuts, 1.5 days worth of non-stop hilarity. Very cool!

Today I begin importing my soundtracks. Lights. Camera. Action.

Catching up

Last night was the first Poker Night in a long long time and it was really good to see and catch up with some of the guys (it was a rather small Poker Night...only 5 of us).

Poker didn't start until 7, so Gabe and I met Chico at Gotee at 5:30 when they closed, I had the PS2 in tow, and we played video games at the office for a bit until it was time to drive around the corner to Jeff's house and begin the festivities.

I did pretty well for most of the night...won a couple of "big" hands (or at least big hands to me) but by the end of the night, I had whittled it down to my usual small stack of chips and decided to go all in on the last hand just because I didn't feel like counting out any change. I lost, but I didn't mind. It was a good night.

Afterward Chico and Gabe and I went to the movies to see "Envy." Ugh. Poor Ben Stiller. I mean, I'm glad that he's able to work and stay busy, but he needs to learn how to say "No" once in a while. Such a big steaming hunk of crap I have not witnessed in a long long time. I actually considered walking out a few times, and if you know me, you know that I don't walk out on movies. But "Envy" was as big a pile of dog crap as ever came out of Hollywood. It actually only made me mad. Why aren't people paying ME millions of bucks to write movies? I can write bad movies, too, if that's what they're looking for.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Filling in for Jesus

The audition today was one of the quickest I'd ever been to. They were looking for someone to stand-in for the Jesus that had already been cast, so basically either I look like the guy already cast or I don't.

They had me go in, take off my shirt, hold my arms out to the side like I was on a cross and then turn to the left and then turn to the right and that was it.

So who knows. They had me stand there for a long time and I am proud to say that my arms didn't twitch or move. I was rock steady baby.

Indie Comics

Indie comics annoy the heck out of me.

You know those "cool" indie magazines that every city has...a lot of times it's the city's paper that lists all of the happenings for the weekend or what have you (here in Nashville, it's "The Nashville Scene"). And toward the back of the paper right before the ads for bi and lesbian couples they have a page of comics that are too cool for me. The main character is usually a triangle with a beret and a little bug sidekick that go around doing nothing and making remarks about it, pretending to be deeper and more insightful than it really is. Usually it's barely even a cartoon because each panel is crammed with so many words, there isn't any room for the artist left to draw in.

Like they'll be at the grocery store and Triangle Head says "Hey do you know that the gorvernment is watching everything we do?" and the bug will say, "It's true." And then a guy who looks like a cartoon from the '50s will pop his head in and say, "That's right folks! The government hates you but now I have Brill Creme!" and in the last panel Triangle Head says "But the beaurocratic sense of development sure can't compare to the investigative crack journalism I see everyday on my local news affiliate!"

These things don't annoy me because they're comics yet aren't funny or interesting or because they are so presumptuous. It's not the fact that it's not even really a comic but a rant (and I don't mind rants...that's what THIS is...but the fact that they are trying to disguise their rant as a comic is insulting).

I think the fact that annoys me the most is that I know they are getting paid to draw and write bad comics.

No fair.

Monday, May 24, 2004

My hairy chest

I got a call from my agent. They are sending me to an audition tomorrow to audition (I believe) for the role of Jesus. HA HA HA. I'm not sure what it's for, but I do know it's a photo shoot. The same company is also wanting me to do a voice-over audition where I have to read some Bible passages. One of their stipulations, though, is that the person has to have a hairy chest.

So that's what I learned today. Apparently Jesus had a hairy chest. Groovy.