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Inconsequentials & Trivialities » Popular Culture

It’s just a good thing this island has electricity and the equipment to play a cd!

Today, by special request, I will try to answer the following:
If stranded on a desert island, and could only bring one music album with you, which would it be? What is it about this music that never gets old for you?

My initial thought is that I would bring the album, Some Great Reward by Depeche Mode. For many years, DM was my favorite band and this was the first album of theirs that I’d listened to. Not every song on the album is a favorite. Particularly, I’m not much a fan of Somebody or Blasphemous Rumours. But these songs are part of the album and so I accept their inclusion. I guess this album speaks to my youth; of that time when the world of music was really starting to open up to me. Of all the various ‘sounds’ that Depeche Mode has evolved through over the years, this represents my favorite period.

Other albums that are top-tier for me include, The Two Ring Circus by Erasure, Greatest by Duran Duran, Table Songs by David Haas, The Joshua Tree by U2, ABBA Gold by ABBA, The Commitments OST, Les Miserables – The Complete Symphonic Recording, Farewell to Ireland by The Dalraida Brothers, Sucessos de Verão by Roberto Leal, and Stunt and/or Everything For Everyone by Barenaked Ladies.

Google is your friend.

The WAY to celebrate a birthday

2:15 – I had many things that I’d planned to do today; laundry, CHP office then court, rotate tires, grocery shopping (maybe), nap, bridal show & party. I got a bit of a slow start but I’m about to check off #3. A nap is looking more and more unlikely, maybe I can still do an hour or so… I will have to do a little shopping first.

3:45 – Home now, finishing up this week’s The Cape. Had a couple hot dogs for lunch and a nap is pending.

6:05 – Got less than an hour of sleep for a nap. 🙁 Ah well.
Currently standing outside Mistlin Gallery with about 50 other people waiting to get in for the bridal show. It’s ok that they haven’t opened up yet as I am not yet in possession of a ticket. I anticipate the arrival of same any time.
Uh oh. They just announced that doors will be opening momentarily. Carp!
Joy! My ticket arrived!

9:13 – hanging at Surla’s with Betty, Brian, and Jaime (and dozens of others) now that the fashion show is over. I liked it! I hope I get to go to more! I did feel that the models were a little inexperienced but it was ok. I think that the show is viewable online at www.bridalcouturemag.com.

I need to head home now to try to catch another nap before heading down to Irvine.

Ciao!

Que linda esta la manana

So, I’ve been watching a lot of old television lately. I’ve watched several episodes of The Rockford Files, two entire seasons of Magnum PI, and tonight I watched four episodes of The Six Million Dollar Man and one of The Bionic Woman. I have Emergency and Simon & Simon ready to view on Netflix. These are all shows from my childhood and it’s definitely nostalgic. It’s interesting to see how things were portrayed back then.

Tomorrow is my birthday. I’ll be 41. Birthdays to me are so very unimportant. I guarantee I won’t feel any different tomorrow than I did today. I rather dislike my birthday actually. A month ago, I requested the day off work so that I wouldn’t have to be there for everyone’s birthday wishes for me. My supervisor asked if it would be ok if I was given a card (which is what we do for everyone). I told her that I would prefer not. Well, I was given a card anyway. As I read it, I was nearly overwhelmed with loneliness. But this year isn’t as bad as last year was. Last year, a girl I was dating decided to break it off the evening before my birthday (hey, that’s today!). It was really hard on me. And the next day I had to go into work where my coworkers had decorated my work area for me. It was my 40th birthday so they tried to kick it up a notch. I did expect that they were going to do something so despite feeling like crap, I put on a brave face and attempted to cheerfully go along with it all. So the crappy part wasn’t turning 40. Big whoop. The crappy part was being dumped and especially that on my birthday, I had to act happy in order to make everyone else feel good.

So let us all agree that I do not care to celebrate my birthday. It’s nothing special. I think it’s much more significant to celebrate my conception day. Good luck figuring out when that was. 🙂

O.P. WestdaleCo

Oscar nominations were announced this morning. I was up to watch it live. Yay me! And yay Modesto Ambadassadors! That’s what we’ve named our movie group.

So far, I’ve seen 15 of the 56 movies that were nominated in one category or another. I’ve seen 7 out of 10 of the nominees for best picture. I plan to see The Kings Speech with Jamie and Betty next Tuesday evening. Anyone else want to come? During my lunch today, I watched the first half of one of the movies nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Exit Through the Gift Shop. I’ll finish it tomorrow.

Tonight I watched Restrepo, another of the documentaries. I liked it. I liked it way more than Inside Job. Resptrepo told a story; it gave an account of a group of people in a period of time. What it did not do was beat me about the head with it’s heavy-handed message. Whatever conclusions are to be drawn from Restrepo, I get to come to those conclusions on my own, thank you very much.

 

Ok, so I feel like I should be much more tired than I am. I’ve been up since 4:30 this morning and it’s almost 11 PM. Either way, I’m going to bed very soon.

Oh, yeah. Pastoral Council was tonight. Nothing Earth shattering, but it’s always nice to see people. One thing that came up was that this Feb 15th is going to be the 2 year anniversary of the dedication of the church. I’m going to see if I can video record the Mass. Man alive do I need a video camera!

The week in preview

Tonight I plan to go to bed around 8:00. This is so I have the best chance of waking up at 4 AM to make it over to the Holiday Inn Express for the Morning Matinee. Apart from that, today is just a work day.

Tomorrow, as I said, I’ll be up well before dawn to go watch the Oscar nominees being announced. Then work all day and a pastoral council meeting in the evening. Then I’ll probably collapse into bed.

Wednesday is a regular work day made special by the fact that it will be my last work day until Monday. This will be the only evening of this week that I will be able to watch any television. I’ll try to squeeze in as much as possible, but it won’t be enough.

Thursday I need to go have a police officer sign off on a ticket I was issued back in November then go to court to settle everything and possible pay a fine. I’ll also use my time off this day to do laundry and pack for the weekend. In the evening, I’ll be going to a party at Surla’s with Betty, her husband, and another friend, Jamie. I’ve been promised socialites in pretty dresses, food, and booze. 😉

Friday (payday) I will have to be up even earlier! I’ll need to depart at 3 AM or somesuch to make it down to Irvine in time for my uncle’s funeral. I love long drives by myself; I get to listen to books or podcasts and no interuptions from chatty travel companions. After the service, time spent with family then spend the night at my cousin, Danny’s new place.

If prior plans to game on Saturday hold, I’ll have to leave to come home at around 8 AM, otherwise, I may stay a second night and drive home on Sunday.

 

Ok, there’s my game plan for the week. Any questions? Suggestions? Plot holes? (You KNOW how I hate those!)

Potpourri

I participated in my first raid ever tonight. It didn’t go well. Heck, we didn’t make it past the first room/boss. However, there was a feeling on the part of many that it was a successful night in the sense that many newbies to the raid now know the mechanics for this fight. Perhaps we’ll try again tomorrow.

My friend, Betty started The Challenge last year. I joined in then and we are doing it again this year. This go around, we’re taking it up a notch. Bam! So the first of several scheduled events will be the Morning Matinee, wherein the most dedicated (crazy) among us will meet at 5 AM on Tuesday the 25th to watch the Oscar nominees announced live. The awesome part of this event is that Betty, with help from her husband, has secured the dining room of the Holiday Inn Express for the viewing. It will be up on a big screen and breakfast will be free! w00t! So I plan to go to bed VERY early on Monday so that I can make it up well before the crack of dawn. Perhaps some of you will come join us for the viewing…..

I have tendered my resignation from the percussion group I was in. It had started to become clear that it was going to be much too serious for me. I just want to have some fun. I wish them the best and I anticipate that I’ll still sit in and play with them sometimes. I hope so.

The funeral for my uncle will be on Friday, the 28th. I already had planned to be off work that day so hopefully I’ll be able to make the drive down to Irvine. But I’ll have to leave at O’dark in the morning. The drive should take about 6 hours and the funeral starts at 9:15. So I need to leave by 3 AM. Ugh. I’ll plan to stay overnight at my cousin’s then come home on Saturday in time to play with my gaming group at 2 PM. Busy? Yeah.

All my heroes are dead and gone…

…killed by bad writing.

Once upon a time, there was a brilliant, shining star of a show called Heroes. Heroes tried to explore how people might really behave/react if they suddenly acquired super powers. Anyway, I do not take it upon myself to try to give you the entire premise and backstory of the show. No, I am here to rant about how bad the writing got and about glaring inconsistancies and torturous plot holes that never, ever got explained. Verily, the writers never tried.

Here are just a couple that I’d like to point out.

#1 This is the biggest for me. In the first season, the ‘boss’ bad guy was Mr. Linderman. His power was to heal others. Well, he dies at the end of the season. At the end of season 2, one of the main characters, Nathan, is shot. So at the beginning of season 3, he’s taken to the hospital, hovers near death, yadda, yadda, yadda. All of the sudden, we see Linderman is back! Whoa! He heals Nathan and is a recurring character for several episodes. Then we learn that it really isn’t Linderman, it’s a character who has telepathy powers, including planting thoughts in the minds of others. This whole affair is important to the story the writers are trying to tell. But they never go back to explain how Nathan healed! It’s like the success of the show depended on viewers not paying attention! Crimeny!

#2 A popular character from season 2 is Adam. We meet Adam back in feudal Japan. His power is that he heals from pretty much any wound. This also allows him to live for centuries, maybe longer. In season 3, Adam has lived long enough to be in the present day. Ok. The big bad boss man in season 2 is Arthur Petrelli, father of Nathan. Arthur’s power is to steal/take for himself the powers of others. But Arthur has been lying in a hospital bed for a couple of years, on a ventilator. Adam is brought before Arthur, and Arthur takes Adam’s healing power. Which causes Adam to crumble to dust due to extreme age. Later in the season, there’s an eclipse which takes away the powers of all the Heroes (and Villains). You see, it’s sort of implied from the beginning of the series that an eclipse is the way that people got powers in the first place. So the eclipse giveth, and the eclipse taketh away. Silly to begin with, but whatever.
So, my question is, why didn’t Adam crumble to dust during any of the hundreds of eclipses over the past several hundred years??? Again, the writers must think that we the viewers are complete idiots!

I have more, but I’m too disgusted to continue.

Ciao.

Mo movies

**Warning – the following will contain spoilers. Do not proceed unless you don’t care about ruining your own viewing experience!!**

This week, my intention was to see the following movies: The Tourist, Tangled, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Dawn Treader, and The Fighter. I was planning on one movie per night at $5 each.

Well, first night, I go to buy my ticket for The Tourist, a movie I’m given to understand isn’t very good, and I’m told that Sony Pictures doesn’t allow the theatre to do the $5 deal on its movies. So I opt to see Tangled instead. I liked this movie! The animation was excellent, the voice acting well done, the songs were pleasant, and wow, the textures on some objects were just incredible! When I was a young lad, there were half a dozen or so animated Disney movies (Snow White, Bambi, Cinderella, Dumbo, Lady & the Tramp, a couple of others) and being as how there were relatively few, each movie sort of stood out. Now, there are many, many, MANY animated Disney films and each individual movie seems now to just be part of a tapestry. So although I did like this movie quite well, I doubt that it will shine more brightly in my memory than any other Disney film. Recommendation: Go see it. It’s good. 🙂

Because I ended up seeing my Tuesday movie on Monday, I wasn’t sure what I should do on Tuesday. See Narnia a day early? Substitute in another movie like Country Strong that was also on the nominee list? Ultimately I decided to see no movie this night, and instead go down to the church to see a guest speaker, Fr. Tony Ricard. More on this in a future post. Maybe.

Thus far I was 1 for 2, which is a really great batting average, but lousy pretty much everywhere else.

Ok. So then I hear from my friend, Betty, with whom I had been planning to see The Fighter, that she’d like to maybe see Inside Job on Thursday in lieu of or in addition to The Fighter. I’m down for a double feature so I decide to skip a movie on Wednesday and make it an early night so that I’m not tired on Thursday evening.

Thursday evening I met up with Betty after work and we went and got a quick bite to eat at Hero’s Sports Lounge. I had their happy hour pizza, which is about 9” in diameter. Filling! As we’re walking to the State Theatre to see Inside Job, Betty’s mom, Jan, decides to come see the film with us. Bonus! One more person participating in the challenge!!
Inside Job was a pretty good movie but just a little heavy handed for me. When I am being presented with information, whether in person, via the news, or a documentary, if that information is presented straight, without bias, I am perfectly comfortable drawing conclusions from that information. However, if the information is coming slanted, from a position, I feel it would be irresponsible to make up my mind until I hear one or more opposing viewpoints. To me, this is just part of critical thinking. So this film lays plenty of blame on all kinds of people and entities. And though they may be dead on accurate, some of the snarkiness in the presentation is off-putting and prevents me from just taking the film maker at his word. He clearly has an axe to grind and I will not just accept whole hog someone else’s point of view. The film maker points out over and over that this or that person declined to be interviewed for the movie. I think this is supposed to be an indictment of those absent voices, but I can’t blame them for saying no. There is zero upside for them; the best they can hope for is to not look too bad. Because the film maker’s point of view is that they are bad and I would fully expect him to edit the footage in the most damaging way possible so as to reinforce his bias. Mind you, I have no complaint with this as long as his bias is disclosed.

Next up, we travelled a few blocks over to see The Fighter. We thought that this movie was scheduled to start at 9:40 but it turns out that it was really 9:00. Zoinks! As it happens, we were right on time. Jan skipped this second movie but Betty and I took our seats during the previews. The Fighter was also a good movie. (I’ve been rather fortunate in my movie selections over the past several weeks. All fair to good movies!) I think Mark Wahlberg did a good job and Christian Bale did a GREAT job! Amy Adams was pretty good too. Definitely a different type of character for her. The characters in this movie may have the most annoying family I’ve ever seen. So mind boggling to think that this was based on a true story. I mean it, this family is awful. And they don’t know they’re awful. And that may be the worst kind of awful. At some points during the movie, I was so annoyed by some of the characters and circumstances that I felt like crap. By the end, I really came around to liking this movie. Just at the beginning of the credits, there is a 30 second clip of the real life brothers. This 30 seconds may just earn Christian Bale an Oscar. He nailed it.

So, final score: I saw 2 of the 4 movies I set out to see, but I did see a total of 3 movies. Ima go ahead and label this a successful week of movie-going. Word.

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