Wednesday, March 31, 2010

LOST

Repeat 1,000,000 times: "LOST is a show about the relationship between parents and their children".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Horror Movie Idea: Dead Forest

In my series of bad movie ideas, I have yet to come up with a horror movie. Horror is a genre that is pretty played out. There are the psych thrillers, slashers, horror-comedies, gross out horror porn, and fantasy horror films. One genre that I think could use some development is the detective horror film. At the core of the mother of all slashers films, "Psycho" is the detective story of 'whatever happened to marion crane?' People forget that in "The Ring" Naomi Watts investigates into her niece's death and the mystery of a tape. The plot of a journalist investigating the death unravels. It loses the basic mystery a bit. That is the vibe I would be going for: a reasonable premise with a scary side. This is where "Dead Forest" goes for horror and suspense.

"Dead Forest" would be a centered around a sibling looking into the death of their brother in the Aokigahara Forest. The movie starts with older brother going to Japan for a business assignment. While there he does the normal integrating montage set in Tokyo and late in the sequence meets a girl for the night. Things get frisky but jump cut we see them hanging from a tree in the forest. This is ruled a suicide, and the protagonist is introduced to the audience when the family arrives to pick up remains. The protagonist will talk after the official police statement with the parents how he/she received a text from big brother saying "japan is kewl" or some other stupid text speak. Maybe a family message of how they think something is awesome. The parents then will say "leave it be, let it lie", but no, the protagonist has to look into it. The itch must be scratched, something seems too unusual.

The protagonist will then explore Tokyo to look into big brother's last days. Protag asks for the police file and has a reluctant police contact as a guide. Protag visits the company big bro was visiting on assignment but gets stonewalled. Leaving the office, a young worker smoking a cig spills some secrets. They converse and that leads to trips to subterranean bars, clubs, gambling dens. You name it. There are shady characters watching protag, hinting at danger. This goes nowhere, and one night of drinking leads to a drunken meet up with the cop. The cop drops protag at a hotel and says he will return. He says that he will help the protag.

The cop's visit starts the real investigation. The cop explains how the big bro was found in "Aokigahara Forest". The cop will take him there. Th drive out there will have a conversation on family. It will get a bit Blair Witchy here as even though they go in the daytime, the dense tree cover will make it dark. They will hear things, freak a bit, and stumble on other dead bodies. Seeing the suicide on the tree, the protag will notice something on the wrist. There will be a flash and he'll tell the cop that they have to review the file again. They leave and back at the hotel, they see the photos from the file. The suicide in the forest had clean wrists while the big bro had slight bruising on his wrists, as if he had been tied. The cop then thinks this is strange and should have been easy to spot. The next day the cop checks the file and determines the policeman assigned to that case. He then checks other Aokigahara suicides handled by that cop. Same thing, ruled suicides but wrist bruising. Suicides with wrist bruising by other cops are left unsolved/undetermined.

This leads the protag to have to tail the suspected cop. The guide cop can't do it because he has to work that day. This leads to the protag tailing him at bars and clubs. Eventually he sees the suspected cop meet up with small group of men. Things look normal. Then they see a separate man go to the men's room. A couple guy's from the suspect's group go to the men's room while others leave. This leads the protag to contact the good cop and tell him how it looks like a small group of men, including suspect cop, have abducted a man. Guide cop picks up protag and then make for the forest at night. Oh yeah, it's a nightime showdown in the Dead Forest. They have to move through the forest without lights but while watching the bad guy group. They stumble into dead bodies and have to suppress screams. Score would be important because there'd be no dialogue. They see the bad guys with the tied man from the bar. The guide cop and protag have to quietly take out a few of the bad guys and get down to just two bad guys, suspect cop and random baddie. They threaten to kill the abducted guy, creating a mini-standoff. We get some little 'Murder she Wrote' explanation from the suspect cop, maybe something weird where they had always wanted to know how murder felt and used the suicide forest of Aokigahara as cover. Power to take a life. Him being a cop gave them cover for certain murders. Protag's big brother was just an accident of banging japanese girl in the bar's bathroom. Portag finally realizes the bluff of the baddies. They can't overtly kill the abdcuted guy because they need to make it look like a suicide. Protag shoots the baddie holding the abducted guy. All are stunned. Protag explains it as I just typed. Cop then handcuffs suspect cop. He orders protag to take abducted guy back to the car. Protag gets to car, gets abducted guy dressed and then guide cop comes to car alone. They leave. Shot of suspect cop hanging. Denoument as protag talks to cop about how he had to resolve things. Guide cop says he will tell families of the other fake suicides what really transpired. Protag goes back to America, learning a little about themself and helping their family's acceptance of big bro's death. Either end it on the plane with some menacing looking Japanese guy behind the protag or end it in the airport terminal meeting up with his family, with menacing looking japanese guy in sunglasses looking on.

Oh this is easily set up for a sequel. This could print money in the horror genre with the 'go to any horro film' fans, and with some savvy marketing get drama viewers.

Casting

Protagonist: I'm torn about casting a male or female. I trust so few males in Hollywood under 30. Ryan Gosling? Topher Grace? The role doesn't need a physical presence, which is great for modern young male actors, and those two would be my A and B picks. As far as casting a woman, I would lean towards a young female since I do not have a love interest written in, so this would be a way to have that fake romance in with the male cop (a la Pelican Brief). Olivia Wilde. Huge fan since her days on the failed Fox show "Skin", and I have enjoyed her intelligent and destined to die young work on "House". She's in Tron: Legacy this year, and is waiting for movie roles so she can jump to the Big Screen and leave TV behind for good.
Big Brother: Steve Zahn - Crazy brother who goes on a business trip and ends up dead? This was written for him. Has to be someone with personality and a zest for life that one would question a suicide no matter what Japanese officials said. Zahn is a great supporting character, and in a heavy, dark movie, I'd want that lead in 10 mins to be happy and fun.

I'm hurting for Asian actors. Hollywood is so racist that instead of launching the career of some young Asian actor in the movie 21, they cast a white kid. They do this often. Heck, Aaliyah couldn't kiss Jet Li in "Romeo Must Die". Dead serious, go back and read how that kiss scene is a deleted scene on the cutting room floor.

Guide Cop: Hiro Sanada - That bad ass from the Last Samurai and annoying character from LOST's sixth season. He's old enough and speaks English.
Suspect Cop: John Cho - Cho's not Japanese, but he is Asian. He does have some drama under his belt with "Flashforward". I think he'd take the chance to be a small part in a horror film. To be a bad guy would also be against type for him with his Harold and Kumar/MILF Guy roles.

Municipal Bonds

Not in 2010, because state government budgets will be brutal, the adjustment process for government union ees will be hit or miss state to state, and tax revenues have not stopped falling, but I will invest in municipal bonds.

Rationale:
1. Taxes - Taxes will go up. Will go up. They will go up either through the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, the expiration of some tax credits enacted in the last few years to help with the recession, or altering which rates go up most likely screwing anyone making over 40K annually. Dirty trick increases will be a national sales tax or value added tax like they have in Europe. This will tax consumption, which 'might' curtail spending forcing people to put that money to good use somewhere. Another dirty trick increase would be an increase to the capital gains tax, not to 20% but more like 25%. Forget the fact that people now have to pay medicare taxes on capital gains (WTF???), but the straight CGT rate could jump to 25%. Why bother trying to trade and make money through stock investing at a preferred 'CGT' rate when the passive income of municipal bonds is tax free?

Taxes are a critical thing to consider with every investment. If you can defer when you pay taxes, that is great. If you can avoid taxes on your investments, that is better. I want to hold this investment in a non-retirement fund. I'd like to be able to use it when needed, and too many tax sheltered investments have penalties for withdrawals under age 60. If the worst we have to pay for taxes is Indiana's state incoem tax, I am OK looking at munis.

2. Besides our precious metals investments and the cash we have in money markets accounts, we are heavy on stocks. I'd like to diversify with bonds, but Treasuries look like a poor choice right now, and I do not trust corporates as they have been on a tear the last year.

First, we need to buy furniture.

UPDATE: IRS release shows that rich Americans have dumped muni bonds. If this continues and munis have to clean up their books rather than get Federal bailouts, I would be intrigued by year end 2010.

UPDATE 2: Pension liabilities are still a huge threat to state and muni finances unless the munis and states enact reforms that don't 'grandfather current employees'. They have to affect some of the current ees.

Lord Bison


Saturday, March 27, 2010

North Korea Sinks South Korean Ship?

Let's hope it is not, but if it is true, it could be the lashing out of a cornered snake. Explosions on ships can be investigated, so the real cause should be known. It's over a century since the "Maine" incident that Hearst requested for starting a war.

Let's pray for recovery of all survivors and the bodies of those who died.

New Mortgage Program Robs Peter to pay Banker Paul

The new government program, HAMP, to help troubled homeowners is nothing more than another program where America taxpayers pay off bankers. Details here.

Here's the message: "Let's help unemployed homeowners struggling right now keep their houses".

The reality is that the American taxpayer will pay banks and holders of the mortgage securities 15-21% for any mortgage principal amount that they reduce. The 'homeowners' who owe more than 100% of their home' value only get the benefit of reduced payments for 3-6 months. Even with principal reduction, how affordable will the payments be? What is the advantage to staying in that home vs. renting a cheaper place? This is a bank bailout using troubled homeowners as a smokescreen.

Losers:
1. Taxpayers - Taxpayers will be paying banks money.
2. Banks that did not make bad loans - Their clean portfolios don't get bailed out.
3. Homeowners without mortgages - Where is their handout?
4. Renters - Extend and pretend financial faux fixes keep home prices inflated.
5. Homeowners who pay their mortgage on time - Where is their handout?
6. Retirees - They pay property taxes that are based on the housing bubble that has yet to deflate, lowering tax bills.
7. Housing repair workers - Think a million NEGLECTED homes held off the market by banks holding them don't need repairs? The construction crews, plumbers, electricians and carpenters of America would appreciate the work.

Winners:
1. Banks - They get paid 15-21 cents on the dollar on loans they would probably have to completely write off. HUGE win. This is critical when the 'homeowners' still default in 6 months.

Pawns:
1. 'Homeowners' - These debt slaves get a few months at lowered payments and reduced principal. Wait, they are still unemployed, and looking at HAMP results will fall behind again. This just locks them in as debt slaves longer.

We need to flush the bad out of the housing market before it can start to heal. This is another handout to bankers from the Obama administration. President Obama could be tough on the banks if he wanted, and nearly all of America, except Wall St, would support that.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

La Femme Nikita the Series

Before the rush of original programming for cable stations, most cable networks aired MASH, movies, syndicated cartoons and more MASH. Few shows were true cable originals. Some syndicated shows like Baywatch, Xena or Hercules were good, but had weird schedules. Of the early original programming shows, La Femme Nikita was a notch above the rest. Peta Wilson and company kept it tight on Sunday nights.

La Femme Nikita was a series based on the French film Nikita. Great spy premise: unwilling young woman on the outs of society is snatched by a shadowy organization and turned into a spy but always has the fear of being terminated. Everyone on the show was bad but doing it for good. Nikita was an innocent woman thrown in with these jerks to fight terrorism. The lead was likeable and was the newbie through which the audience could question the environment and setting. The spy show was not just special effects, explosions and action sequences. There were actual plots, twists, story arcs and chemistry (good and bad) between characters.
I never knew that the show had budget issues which is why it scaled back the action and focused on writing good dialogue and crafting good stories. There was a general progression to the Nikita character and the show. This is like the opposite of Alias, which used stunts often, made far too many HUGE changes, and the writing went down the toilet fast. There was usually one good action sequence around the 40 minute mark. A great thing about having good writing and a lead viewers cared about was that even if the action wasn't super intense, you wanted to see Nikita come through and survive.
Nikita is the glue to the show. She is the white hat hero who works with a bunch of black hat anti-heroes. She has to perform missions and do things she genuinely does not want to do. She is likeable. She lives the dream or nightmare some people think "what if I could be a super spy but had to say goodbye to my past". She was attractive, but not an overpowering beauty. If the show were made today for a network, they'd cast some bimbo. It wouldn't work, since part of the show's charm was nikita's tough look. She had an accent, but her face had a look that didn't match it. Although looking at her now, she is Amy Smart's doppelganger. She had a sporty build, and it was plausible that she could wreck people up.
La Femme Nikita was original programming for USA as it transitioned out of old movies and syndicated reruns into the USA it is today: crappy original programming and Law and Order reruns. Ok, strike that, maybe not all change is good. La Femme Nikita did usher in original programming for cable stations. It showed that cable could make money off of dramas and find niche markets amongst the 500 channels competing for eyeballs. Maybe the fuss over Breaking Bad and Mad Men owe a small portion of their existence to the small, Canadian show on the USA network La Femme Nikita.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

HCR Thought

Some people are worried that the HCR move is going to drive up rates from insurers which will make it easy for the government to step in and say "hey let's do it through the govt and save everyone money". I dont think this will happen. In sequence...

1. Insurance companies will raise rates because they will have to remove the pre-existing exclusion.
2. This will make people angry.
3. Barry or Nancy or whomever will say "let's do it govt style".
4. People say: "We didnt want your HCR last time, we don't trust you now" and "You lied about Medicare cuts and now my disabled or old relatives died because they had lived long enough".

I'm not too worried because I have a feeling the US federal govt will have a currency crisis in th enext 5 years and some of the first things to go will be these joker rules, subsidies and programs and closing some of our foreign military bases. If you fought against the HCR bill, and looking at the numbers, you probably did, do not be sad that good reforms are not there (tort reform) and the HCR is full of crap, be happy that the uber-lib version of HCR that they floated last spring died. Plus, maybe the Supreme Court will rule a mandate unconstitutional.

I feel bad for Obama-bots who really wanted the super liberal version of this reform and got a shit salad. He had to pass anything and call it legendary reform, even if it forces people to buy insurance.

Comic Books I Want to Read

1. Black Kiss - Howard Chaykin's FU to the industry after American Flagg! but before he failed in Hollywood's adaptation of the Flash and had to crawl back with the small publisher miniseries Power and Glory.
2. Bone - The collected work. I have the early issues. I never read the wrap up.
3. Pax Romana - Brilliant concept of time travel.
4. 300 - I liked the movie and can imagine the comic is better.
5. Crossed - Heard good things about it. A zombie like tale, but the infected just act on their darkest desires.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Women Do Simple Things in Cute Ways

funny animated gif


That is one of the little things that men see ladies do, and the image will stick with them. I love the jeans shimmy. From what I hear, jeans shopping can be traumatic for women. It should not be so. An applauding partner should be present for the shimmy up and good feelings and self confidence can grow. The jeans shimmy makes me salute Levi Strauss.

Most Awesomest

Too often modern people glorify or degrade something by using language that makes it a superlative.

One of my TV Ideas Comes True...

In July, I wrote about making a show like No Reservations but for alcohol. I named it "Who's Buyin'? or "On the House".

There is a show like it on the Fine Living Channel and now it is coming to the Travel Channel. Damn!

Gym at College

Music can move people. Music is super emotional. We associate time, events, places, and people with songs or albums. Music is used for many things, and one of my favorite uses is adrenaline boosting during workouts, jogs, and long road trips. Music makes the gym easier to endure.

The MP3 player has made people much more powerful with how they consume music and what they consume. This is incredibly important at the gym. Now people are not at the mercy of the gym speakers because of an 8 oz player on their arm. CD players skipped (I had a discman sport), tapes were poor quality and wore out, but the mp3 player puts the power in your hands for a personalized workout with little physical interference.

This does kill some comedy though at the gym. At gyms at my college, and there were 6 or 7, the music was all CD based. The employees at the time controlled what was playing. Some rocked out to 80s tunes, Guns n Roses, alt rock, and top 40. The best though were the off times you'd go and catch someone dancing to their own terrible music. A young male dancing to Pink's "Get the Party Started" with his arms above his head like no one was watching will forever stick in my mind. It was a 10am Saturday workout, and the 4 people at the gym were too tired to laugh at the guy. My favorite employee at any gym ever was the bald guy at the North Campus gym who played early 60s tunes and the B-52s. Shit you not, after "red rubber ball" and "feelin groovy" you'd wait for the CD change and hear: "there's a lot of ruins in Meso-po-ta-me-a". He'd put it on random to mix it up, but who in their right mind could stay focused when "Rock Lobster" was blasting.

Music gets me and some others I know through life. I work out to keep my body healthy, my mind free of internalized stress and body looking sexy, but it is a chore. Music keeps me focused. The mp3 revolution allows me to control what I listen to and when I listen to it. This is a hidden gem of the change in modern music. Sure no one buys albums for the albums anymore, but the power is in the hands of the consumer in how they want to interact with their music.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Prophecy

First young person I meet who whines about having to buy health insurance or pay a fine for not doing so gets their HOPE 2008 sticker slapped to their forehead.

Level Headed Quickie on HCR and the Near Future

This echoes some of my thoughts and fears. How are we going to pay for another 800 lb entitlement program?


Despite all his stupidity, evilness, arrogance, idiocy, sinister-ocity, worst person in the worldness, when W and the GOP controlled congress had their plans on changing Social Security so that people would own some of the money they gave to SS when they retired, W and Co. stopped their plans to change a massive entitlement program because a majority of Americans did not support it.**


**scroll down to the CBS-NY Times poll of June 2005 where they ask people about options for fixing SS and people do not favor doing anything but raising the capped limit for taxing for SS. This would add 7 years to SS's lifespan, whoopteedoo. Yup, no one wants to sacrifice.

Being a Homeowner

Having your own Private Idaho. No upstairs/downstairs/side wall neighbors. That's really the key. Being king of the castle, queen of the land, or lord of the manor are all good states of being. Privacy.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Frank Miller's Comic Artwork

Frank Miller slowly gets worse and worse with his drawing. It's as if he is in love with how he must have drawn as a 5 year old. Compare his work with Daredevil to The Dark Knight Strikes Back and it is like night and day. Sin City was the last good pencil work he did. At least he can still write and understands the threat of Islamoterrorism to the world.

Health Care Atrocity

So if conservatives don't like it because it is government intrusion on health care (amongst other things) and liberals don't like it because it does not have a public option (amongst other things), and insurance companies like it because it is toothless and requires people to buy coverage, why exactly are Democrats in Congress going to pass it?

A majority of American people don't like it... 56%. 41% support it. Sounds like a winning idea from Obama-Reid-Pelosi.

Harry Potter HOLES

Ron gets dress robes that look lame like his auntie's. He whines about them. He's also a frickin' student of magic that has that could change them with magic. Why doesn't he use magic to alter them? This is lame. It's like Hermione never using that time reversing tool after the 3rd book. LAME.

A Mortgage Odyssey

The closing on our new home is complete, the moving has begun, and the first mortgage payment is due May 1st. Our home search started in the spring of 2009, and completed March 19th 2010. There are advertisements on radio stations that talk of sub 4% rates or quick and easy loans. These ads cite the government programs going on right now. These are all lies. It is not easy, and rates are not that amazingly low. Just ask people in tough mortgages they cannot afford how well HMP is going on. It's a mess, but if you are a patient and qualified buyer, there are opportunities for you.

In the spring of 2009, my wife and I applied for mortgage pre-approval. We were pre-approved for an amount that was 4 times our combined salary. We had a 20% down payment squared away and awesome credit scores. With pay stubs, we documented our monthly income. We were 'crystal borrowers'. This put us on the path of looking at homes. We had a price range that was well below that 4x limit. Our upper range was 40% below that 4x limit. We received letters of approval, good faith estimates, and settled on a home that was about half of that 4x limit.

This is where the lame games began. We declared all of our assets and our one liability. Not just the assets for the down payment, but the assets we had on the side. Assets we will not touch for 35 years were collected and documented. We needed recent account statements. One account statement only said page 1 of 3, despite showing the entire balance and account activity, and they asked for the other 2 pages... that showed nothing but bank advertising messages. When I transferred money from one account at one bank to another checking account at the same bank, I needed to show how it moved. The pages I showed were not enough even though the transfer was in the same bank and showed exact dollar changes. Same bank, same dollar amount, just different accounts, per their instructions. They still needed documentation showing exact transfer.

The most ridiculous part of the process was the final week. I asked for wiring instructions since I could not write a cashiers check for the down payment. They only accepted wires because fraud was so bad in the last few years. I waited a 4 days. Then I was instructed to transfer all of my money into one checking account to make the wire easier. I did this. They then asked for documentation of this transfer. Not just knowledge of the final dollar amount in the checking account. These were their orders, and I had to show how it happened. I had to do it before the final wire and closing, which was 24 hours before closing. They couldnt tell me wiring orders say 2 weeks in advance, nope. I could have wired the down payment from the two banks, but that was not good enough for them. They wanted one location, and these additional wires cost me $25 bucks each.

Final insult was on the morning of the closing. They called me at work; the actual mortgage underwriter. This was to confirm I was still working. My boss was not in so I transferred them to a coworker. Yup, they had a paystub copy from end of February. Not good enough. The mortgage broker told me they would have called off the closing if I had not been there to answer my phone and confirm employment. Couldn't I have been lying about my work number and my coworker? Overreaction maybe. I took a shot at the underwriter on the phone and said "making up for all of those NINJA loans you made in 2004?" She of course said "I wasn't here in 2004", to which I answered "no, of course it was someone else".

The mortgage industry went overboard with their loose rules in the '00s, and to make up for poor underwriting, they are going overboard in the other direction. I actually support the overboard protective underwriting, but little things like the phone call the day of closing is useless. Maybe there was a happy medium that they should have always followed. If a radio ad says a mortgage is easy, it is a lie. They should not be easy. It should be a tough process because these loans involve hundreds of thousands of dollars. If an ad says rates are under 4%, they are selling you a 5-1 adjustable rate mortgage. Yes, those variable rate mortgages, not as bad as 2-28s or 3-27s, are out there. They are still being used!!! Rates are going up. The FED MBS buying program is almost over. What will happen whent he FED stops buying? Jeez I don't know, the mortgage rates will have to go up as demand for those securities will drop. I am happy that process is behind us. Now comes the slow process of paying off the mortgage.

240 payments to go.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

New Home

I now have a house. My wife and I have been packing and moving truckloads quickly. Big movers come Friday to finish the job. I will post when I have time on the mortgage process and their final needless insult the day of closing.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cornell Athletics

Cornell's Men's Basketball team won its first game ever in the NCAA Tournament. The Men's hockey team is in the conference finals. This is quite possibly the greatest weekend in Cornell sports' history.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mortgage Mess

Today was another day of figuring out that the banks have fucked themselves royally, and are now taking it out on qualified borrowers. I just want to take a moment to thank a bunch of people for making the final week of the mortgage and closing process such a rigamaroll:

1. Fuck fly by night mortgage shops
2. Fuck Wall St. banks
3. Fuck Mortgage underwriters who slacked last decade
4. Fuck appraisers who inflated values to get loans approved
5. Fuck inspectors who didnt do their job
6. Fuck realtors, especially newly minted ones who did too much time in the tanning booth and not enough time learning about markets
7. Fuck buyers. In all seriousness, people still bought homes without inspections, bought homes well above their means, used mortgages they knew nothing about and felt entitled to the good life without sacrificing for it.
8. Fuck government officials of all locations who enlarged their tax take on the back of the property tax bubble or patronage jobs of appointing people to government housing programs.
9. Fuck Alan Greenspan
10. Fuck the petrodollar and export surplus dollar recyclers

Andrew Sullivan

Back when Andrew Sullivan was a cool socially liberal sort of conservative guy, he had a daily blog that would tackle important topics as well as trivial shit. He would give these awards for treason sounding comments, defeatism, etc. He was very entertaining. He once made a comment on how the Brits didn't stack up to Americans for beauty, and wondered why the papers were so anti-american women. Yours truly answered him. He actually posted it. It was August 14th. I checked the archives. He doesn't keep letters 9 years old, so you can't see what I wrote. To paraphrase: the melting pot helped blend many different Euro features whereas each Euro country has its look and sticks to its look because of little mobility. An australian guy responded to my letter in a ferocious way. If I recall correctly, chicken legs with balloons attached to their chests. I guess he surfs for porn a lot.

Then Sept 11th happened and Sullivan couldn't write about silly things like British papers being anti-american women and Gary Condit in between important policy stuff. Nine years have passed. He's back to writing about silly things like John Edwards and Trig's paternity.

MTV Banned Lady Gaga's New Video

MTV bans Lady Gaga video Telephone. Hmmm, I didn't know MTV played videos anymore.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Somewhere the Hamburglar Gets his Mask

There are numerous reasons to be disgusted with this report. This one is even worse. Working under the assumption of any publicity is good publicity, this type of report belongs on the Tyra Banks show. This should not be spotlighted in any way by the mainstream media as it is horrible to show someone relishing the idea of becoming 1000 lbs. Men pay to see her eat fast food??? This further proves my point that the Internet is a disgusting place that benefits pervs. Unhealthy. It took 30 medics to deliver her youngest child when she was 40. 30 medics. That is why health care costs are going up. Fatties are procreating. I do want to know who was sleeping with her at 513 lbs. She turned down gastric bypass because a friend died under the knife. OK, so she turned to a low probability of death in surgery for a high probability of death prior to age 60 from her obesity? Great decision making. People should be free to do as they wish with things like eating, but if your eating sends you to an early grave... no sympathy.

If something tragic happened to my wife and I had no children to raise, I'd probably become a serial killer. You know who I would target first: criminals. You know who I would target second: the morbidly obese (they can't outrun me). It is one thing to be a vigilante hunting down released criminals. It's another to be a serial killer by the name of "The Blimpy Slayer". I'd leave a calling card of vegetables stuffed in their mouth.

In all seriousness, you and I will be picking up her health care bill, as her high health costs are spread over an entire company's block of business. Your premiums have a fatty risk premium layered in, and sadly they cannot reward us enough for being in shape.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pulp Fiction on AMC

Pulp Fiction on AMC does edit a lot of the fun talk but it inserts the awesome "Beatles Man-Elvis Man" Q&A between Uma and Travolta. Mrs. Mia Wallace seemed like a realistic alt trophy wife in LA. Great bit of dialogue to expose the character of Vincent Vega, whom we find out is Suzanne Vega's cousin, but it messed with the flow of the movie and Pulp Fiction was already wicked long, so it was cut from the final edit.

This movie rebooted Travolta's career, brought the Indie film back, made Samuel L. Jackson's career, and influenced countless filmmakers.

Thank you AMC!

1. "Any of you f*cking pricks move, and I'll execute every motherfucking last one of ya!"
2. "Bacon tastes goood. Porkchops taste gooooood."
3. "I'm a mushroom cloud laying motherfucker, motherfucker!"

Poor Setting for a College

Cornell has had 3 suicides recently. Suicide and Cornell have a terribly long history together. Problem is that Cornell was founded and built along giant gorges that are remarkably beautiful but offer instant death. People take exams, think they bombed and therefore their future life will be horrible, and then have to walk over bridges that span these deep chasms. The more impulsive amongst us would find it tempting to jump at that very moment and know they will die and end the 'pain'.

Part of this is the pressure people put on themselves, and I think a small part of this is the demoralizing method in which some professors test students. Peers at other schools would tell me how their classes had exams with an average grade of 75 or 80. The average score on exams would sometimes be below 50. As a senior I asked a professor about this and his rationale for what he called 'tough testing' was that the students were so smart if he made the exam easy everyone would score over 90. If he knew it was tough, he'd had an even distribution of scores which he could grade on a curve and determine who was an A, B, C, D, F student. Rarely could he make a test with a 75 average and even distribution. It was balancing on a knife. I saw his point, but I also remember the walks back from midterm testing with friends dejected about their estimates of a 40 or 50. They would find out a week later the average was a 40, but for that walk across the gorges, they would be crushed. None of my friends would walk back alone as frosh or sophs. As upperclassmen, we knew one grade was not the end of the world. For an 18 year old used to acing all tests and away from home with maybe some demanding parents back home, I can see why that walk would be a hard one to survive.

Corpse Bride


Emily the Corpse Bride. Now that I know Helena Bonham Carter is married to Tim Burton, the shape of and size of the corpse bride's head in relation to her body makes much more sense. People sometimes wonder how the weird and quirky Tim Burton still makes films in the bland world of modern Hollywood. Look at his resume of films. The man prints money for studios. He manages to make kids films that adults, goths and hipsters like. He has a built in quirky audience, plus he can cast Johnny Depp and lure in the ladies.

The Corpse Bride was a weird film, but enjoyable. Burton's stop motion stuff is like the dark bad friend of the Pixar kid. They are two sides of a childhood coin. The Corpse Bride tackles love in a way no Pixar or lame Dreamworks cartoon movie would. Interesting to tackle the subject of necrophilia in an animated format. The ending is not predictable within the first 10 mins like so many kids' films.

Side Note: I had a friend who looked like Emily the Corpse Bride. Had she embraced the resemblance, it would have made a great Halloween costume. She has yet to do so, but I have lost touch with her, so I cannot verify the accuracy of that statement.

Mad Men Yourself

Lots of fun, try it. Because I don't watch much scripted TV, and with LOST letting me down, I'm anxious for Mad Men to start up again.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Way Twitter was Intended...

Aaron Haspel. This guy treats Twitter the way I wish everyone else did. He's like a never ending fortune cookie full of maxims.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Ahhhh High School Memories




I loved this song. Great 90s al rock radio song. Much stronger than "The Freshmen". The Freshmen was a moaning, whining song. Photograph rocked. I'm not a fan of whining music. Moody, sad music is great, after all, I enjoy songs by the Cure. The 90s was populated with bands that whined about lame shit. The poster boy for that era, Kurt Cobain, killed himself at the peak of his powers.... or his wife had him killed to launch her career. What was so bad for Kurt? Stop whining. All of the 90s alt rock bands went through this, and if you look at that era's progression, you see angst and depression from the drug gang wars in the cities, the bad recession, HIV killing people's sex lives. As time goes on, people get happier and the music becomes pop friendly and happy. The end of the 90s had asshats likes 3rd eye blind, smash mouth, spears, nsynch, backstreet boys and lame rap rock bands dominating the airwaves. Economic advancement, the drop in fear of HIV, drugs going back to recreational instead of scary and other factors contributed to this vibe.

I remember the Newsweek magazine cover with the headline of "yeah we saved the earth" patting humanity's back for recycling and other good environment stuff we had done since the early 70s.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Major Monkey

This photo is awesome on multiple levels:

1. It is an animal in full costume head to toe.
2. The costume in question has an old timey military look.
3. The hand is tucked into the jacket.
4. A sword-riding crop is present.
5. The hat.
6. That monkey sees victory in the distance.
7. If you swap the head out, it could be that midget from Little People Big World who is always on crutches and bossing people around.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sliders

Sliders was a short lived series on Fox designed for sci fi fans and teenage boys. It was a cool concept where a TV show would play the comic book role of 'what if' with one episode teleplays. There was always the idea of jumping at the right time, kind of like Quantum Leap, but there is the fun of the Star Trek "explore the planet" throughout an episode. My favorite episode involved them jumping to a world where the US is under Martial Law. J. Edgar Hoover took control after the JFK assassination and cops wear kilt like skirts. It's kind of funny and plenty interesting. I loved that episode, "Time Again and World", and though that was one of the best episodes they had for social commentary. Just how fast would people accept the loss of rights? Just how long would it take before people forgot what it used to be like? That was the potential for the show. Unfortunately, FOX was the broadcast station airing it, and they ran it into the ground.

Side note: look at those 4 leads. The sidekick from Indiana Jones and the fat kid from Stand by Me are the main leads. The young woman is a pixie I never saw elsewhere, and the black guy is recognizable as a 'that guy'.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Gotta be KFC


Oh that scoundrel and his wonderful chicken.

Unknown Character From....


Inglourious Basterds
Lt. Fritz von Vader

"It's about suppression"

Anyone else remember the funny Valtrex ads from the late 90s that were all about suppressing herpes flare ups so people could bike ride, hike and kayak with their attractive loved ones? Obviously, people thought Valtrex would make herpes easy to manage and impossible to pass on. Now 1 in 6 Americans has genital herpes. Come on people, wrap it up.

I just want to point out a quote from this article that tries to explain the higher rate of infection in the black community (39% of black adults)...

"the increased rate of infection in blacks is not do (sic) to increased risk
behavior but likely due to biological factors that make women more susceptible
as well as the higher rate of infection within black communities"


That statement by Dr. John Douglas makes no sense. The higher rate of infection in blacks is due to the higher rate of infection within the black community. The reason is the same as the problem just reworded??? So there is no behavioral risk involved when the article I linked to yesterday clearly said there was with HIV, and HIV and genital herpes spread in similar ways. Back to back sex related articles I link to blame black women for something. That is wrong. It takes two to tango.


Monday, March 08, 2010

Free Female Condoms in Washington DC

Washington DC is now handing out female condoms to help stem the rise of HIV-AIDS. The Washington Post has a little snark in the report. I'm really torn on this. On one side, I am glad that free condoms, oh wait, they are not free, they are MACS cosmetics funded female condoms, will help people protect themselves from HIV-AIDS. I am glad they are trying to help the hardest hit communities. I am glad they are targeting women, since in the end for consenting adults, if a woman shuts the sexy time down, it's over.

On the flip side, so adults can't just get the condoms themselves? Women also can't get their men to agree to wear a condom? Men are so fricking irresponsible that they do not wear condoms when they are part of an at risk ethnic group within an at risk geographic area. The victimization of the women is taken to a peak later in the Wapo article with this snippet...

Activists say poor women often are reluctant to protest when their husbands and
boyfriends refuse to use male condoms because they are dependent on the man's
income.

Yup, the Post calls these women prostitutes who basically exchange sex for money. These women can't make their own money. They have nothing else to give their man but sex. Way to go Wapo to reduce these poor women to whores-victims. One could flip that statement and say they exchange simple condom free sex for money from foolish men who may contract HIV from the very woman they are supporting without knowing it. To get back to the main point, it removes the need for an adult to make a decision on thier own, to plan for consequences, and to take responsibility for their actions. If you want to have sex and not get diseases, use condoms. It is as simple as that.

Asia Only Time Will Tell




Gymnastics, TVs on Tv screens, Synth. Yes it is the 1980s!

Why Women Rock


They can drink in the middle of fields and make it look sexy.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

1930s Michael Bay-Jerry Bruckheimer Film


Gladiators of the Deep
Note: I recently discovered a treasure trove of black and white photos online.

Detroit

Read through the emails in this article sent from the president of the Detroit school board. Insane but not shocking considering the city: Detroit.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lost's Creators Don't Understand Pacing

Lost is off the rails. They won't tie everything up. They ran out of time for two reasons:

1. The flash sideways are a waste of screentime. Each minute in alternate universe is a minute less of core plotline story.
2. The first 6 episodes have solved the same amount of stuff a normal person could solve with one episode. What happened to Claire and what were the numbers? Numbers had a half assed answer.
3. Pacing has been terribly slow. 3 episodes for evil Locke to get to the Temple and ice everyone when it took Hurley one scene to bring dying Sayid there.
4. They didn't kill enough people off quickly. Remember season 1 and all of the deaths? The creators missed their chance to ice Sayid and let viewers know that no one was safe. They missed a chance to kill of Kate when she was in the pit with Claire. They could have written Claire off as dead in the jungle. They've let too many characters develop, linger and putt putt.

These are the same guys who reacted to the Sopranos finale by saying they wouldn't do that to their fans and answers would have to begin in season 4.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I Wanna Say No

I just can't. All my female friends, my female relatives and even my wife, mock my crush on Audrina. Note: she has a crush on Evan Lysacek. The reaction is the same, "blech, what's wrong with you? she's so stupid. How could you like her." As if a stupid celebrity crush has to involve intelligence. If I do get some of my movie ideas produced, I will find a way to cast her dumbass. Then it's on with some fondue, champagne and sweet meats, sorry honey, go find Evan Lysacek!!!

Someone commented that she's looking a like Carol Alt here, but I have to disagree. Audrina still has the same vacant stare as always. She's done something to her face, not saying it is bad, and her eyes are done much darker than normal. Still, top notch work here.

On a fashion side note, the triangle top bikini is my favorite. It doesn't have to have a halter top to it, just the triangles. Runner up are those 1950s bikinis with the top looking like two half cups with some bit of frill along the boobedge. 3rd place is those Brazilian bikini bottoms that cover a woman's rear, but leave a little cheek exposed.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Claymation Doppelganger

Whenever I see Marc Faber and hear his euro accent...



I think of the burgermeistermeisterburger.


Jurassic Park Movies

You migth have lost some friends as a dino-snack, you might have been chased by a T-rex or raptor, but when the music builds and a brontasaurus shows up, you're safe.

Behind the Green Curtain

Interesting article on the losers of the porn world, the society it reflects, and the state it is in currently. The writer has a small blog post on how to write about smut. She also did an interview on self publishing which is good for aspiring writers. There is a time and a place for everything. Within this article, there is the theme that the content is provided because there is a demand.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Bad Driving

Driving between Ohio-Indiana on I-70 is boring and lame when the fields are not full of corn or soybeans. I only like to drive through that area in the dark when the fields are empty. It's depressing like listening to Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska album. Driving through the deep woods of Maine is scary at times and a bit thrilling. Makes one press the gas pedal more.