12 Movies For 12 Months

6

I think everyone has a movie that defines the year. You know, the movie that you rent and your friend comes over and says, “God, this reminds me of my sophomore year when I lost at naked Frisbee.” It is weird to think that two hours of cinema bliss can bring up memories that define the 8766 hours of a year. I guess it is the entertainment generation we grew up in because I have heard my grandparents reminisce over a dinner plate. My point is, is that movies can bind people together, link memories to momentous occasions and even make it easy to score with your date. I have my own but if I only had a year to live I would have 12 movies for my last 12 months. Here they are, starting with January.

Over looked by most and loved by too few, this movie is a must in January. I think it is because by the first of the year I want something so opposite of the holiday season (including horror movies from October) that I need a little summer and a lot of crazy. Many people think that Bob (Bill Murray) is just a harmless and innocent schizophaniac that looks up to and latches onto his therapist’s, Leo (Richard Dreyfus), life and family but I know better. I know this is more than a comedy. I this is a dark twist on a funny story and Bob was trying to hide behind his cute innocents and quirky ways to bump off Leo and take his place. Do you think I have seen this so many times that I see too much into the plot? This is my Catcher in the Rye.

When I Googled an image for “What About Bob?” this is what I found. Awesome.
For February it will always be Empire Strikes Back. Even though it is my birthday month February is like the Monday of the year. There is nothing that special about the month except that growing up in Atlanta, this is when we have our annual few days of snow. Living in a city that shuts down for two inches of frozen precipitation, it is a guaranty that school is canceled. Now I don’t have any siblings and there is no way that my mom would try to drive me to a buddy’s house if there was a chance of “black ice” so this was when I became Luke Skywalker. I swear that I was on Hoth, ignoring blades of grass sticking out the snow, battling Wampas and Imperial snow troopers. Armed with a wiffle bat light saber and the force, I made it clear to the neighbors that I was child to be wary of.

Even today, when February comes and there is a 30% chance of frozen precipitation, Empire strikes Back makes it to the VCR and thoughts drift to when mom put plastic sandwich bags on my feet to protect against frostbite from wet sneakers. I never had snow boots.

Ten more months tomorrow. I have to work tomorrow really early. sucks

 For March it will always be Something About Mary. I think this movie has a special place in my heart because when it came out on DVD, there was something about Mary for me. I got dumped on my ass by some chick while on deployment in Kosovo so I needed to focus on an unattainable goal. I specifically remember sitting on the couch with all my Army buddies thinking, “what have I been doing for the last two years? I need to date a girl like Mary.” While Warren stole the show for my friends, Mary stole the focus and was a new motivation to get back on horse. Yeah, I was young and dumb but every March this movie will be watched. I don’t watch it for Mary anymore but rather I watch it to remember the bumbling idiots I served with who were the real reason I didn’t go crazy after receiving a Dear John letter.

It’s years later and I am no longer a hard charging infantry man but I can put this movie in and see my friends faces as clear as day. Some are like me and have moved on, some are still in and have to put up with wild kids like we were and some have not come home alive from Iraq and Afghanistan. Sometimes I get up in the middle of the night in a panic that I have forgotten what they look like or someones first name. Luckily the mind works in funny ways and Something About Mary can take me back to that couch, laughing  with the greatest people I have ever known.

When spring hits I think less about Easter candy and bunnies but rather The Last Stafighter. I’m not sure why because I am fairly certain I saw this when it was released in the theatres some 100 years ago. Like fake Easter basket grass wrapped up, choking a vaccume, and black jelly bean tongue stains, this movie symbolises the death of winter and the birth of allergies. I feel sort of bad for Lance Guest who played Alex Rogin. What an underrated actor! When I was 10 he was my idle and then came Jaws 4. Why Lance? Why?!?! You could have been great but now you are tarred and feathered by a velvet shark!

 I think Grig looks less like a navigator on a Gunstar and more like a Grandpa Mutant Ninja Turtle, but that is just me.

 For May I think Lane Myer (snort, snort…weeeooo) is the man of the month. Better Off Dead is a story that all middle of the road socialites like I was, have lived through. There will always be a week in high school were you think that it can get no worse and it usaully happens around the final weeks before summer. This movie has everything; the prettyboy bully, the weirdo neighbors, stalking paperboy, an asian Howard Costel, claymation Van Burger and failed suicide attempts. It’s aces and it should go down as one of the greatest pieces of cinema to ever grace the screen.

 Like a good sadomasicist, I will always screw myself over before going to the beach by watching Jaws. The sequel to the movie that scared thousands out of the water terrifies me more for some reason. I think it is the beginning scene when you see the enormous fin breach the water at night while music is faintly heard in the background from the openning of the new Amitty hotel. God, that gives me goosebumps.

 So June is the month of the shark and damn it if I don’t think about that in the ocean, pool, tub or toliet. I even get freaked out when wading in knee deep water, afraid that a charred corpse will fling itself out of the waves. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

 I like baseball but I certainly don’t go shit crazy for it. The Sandlot was a perfect depiction of what it is like for a new kid with no athletic skills and his quest for peer acceptance. This was totally me when I moved to Phoenix, AZ and the quickest way to make friends  was to join the local little league team. It turns out that my fear of being beamed by a 35 mile per hour pitch out weighed actually hitting it so that made me the worst player in the world. No matter. I was befriended by Tony Rodrigez which he coinsidently looked a lot like Benny “the jet” Rodrigez. I could have ran the wrong way around the bases and it didn’t matter because I was friends with the coolest kid in school. Thanks Tony. July will always be for The Sandlot.

 Fuckin’ shit, man! Every August this movie preps me for the Halloween season but a few years ago it nearly scared me into a coma. I came home alone after a night out with a few friends. Earlier in the evening we had dicussed which films we could not watch alone and The Exorcist was unanimously the movie. So, that night it found its way into the VCR and I sat on the couch, alone, and watched it. About 45 minutes into it the power went out and there was a little speck of light in the middle of the TV. But there was something strange and there was a different feeling about this power outage. It’s that different feeling, like when a funny sitcom is made into a movie and you notice there is no audience laughter during funny lines. I looked out the window and noticed that my apartment was the only one without power. I was so scared my feet went numb and I left to go drink 6 or 7 beers at the local pub. I have no explaination but I know I will never watch that movie alone again.

 Ah September. Time for camping! I have never been camping the same after watching The Blair Witch Project. I don’t know why people were dissapinted in the movie. This film scarred the shit out of me, especially when the dead kids were kicking the sides of the tent. What a great scene! I always think about that when we go up to Tennesse and camp out near the site of The Bell Witch. There is actually a historical marker that states, the most documented haunted spot in the United States. Even Andrew Jackson had his carriage messed with by the Blair Witch.

On the other side, the movie An American Haunting is a real dump in a jar. Don’t see it. I hate Donald Sutherland for it.

 Well, it’s the Halloween season and what else would one watch but The Great Pumkin? I know it is not a movie but in 29 years I have not spent at least two hours or four viewings of this classic. Immortalized by X-E and loved by millions, this tale is what Halloween night is all about; tricks or treats and the anti-commercialism that Shultz disguised in animation. It isn’t the Halloween season without watching Linus roll a pumkin out of control only to see his sister stab it and gut it to the theme so aptly named “Linus and Lucy.” Just thinking of this timeless classic makes me want to rake leaves.

 Every Thanksgiving holiday our family has the tradition of going to the movies. This annual tradition started around 1981 or 82 when we went to see Empire Strikes Back. While I have no specific memories of Wampas or Ion cannons I definitly remember teh trailer to the Creepshow. This image to the left has been burned on my brain insuring that every night before I go to bed, the curtains are shut. There is nothing more scarey to me than seeing that outside. The only other movie that comes close is Salem’s Lot when that dead kid was scratching on his buddies window. So when I am eating turkey, mashed potatoes and grean bean cassorole you can be sure at some point the Creepshow will find it’s way in the DVD player and we can all remenise about when little Billy hosed himself in the theatre before the movie even began.

 Last but definitly not least, for December I will always stick with The Christmas Story. Thank God for TBS showing 24 hours of this because I could not unwrap presents without the background noise of the Bumpas’s dogs eating all the turkey. This movie encompasses everything that is Christmas for a boy. It’s not the season for peace and joy, it’s the season to get an official Red Rider, carbine pump action BB gun with a compass on the stock and this thing that tells time. I can identify. I spent a three month campain just for the USS Flag. For those who don’t know, that was the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. The thing was 7 feet long!                              And no, I didn’t get it.

  Well that only took two weeks to post. So there you have it. These are movies that define my months of the year. What are yours?

Peeing Your Pants Is The Coolest

11

It’s funny to recall how kids in middle school determined what was “cool.” I can only attribute this to the kids with older siblings because as an only child these trends seemed to appear out of no where. From rolling the pants of jeans to buying Chicago Bull apparel (even though we living in Phoenix), I could never connect a reason but rather just conformed to the absurdity. I guess it didn’t help to have two parents (love them very much) who had no idea what the concept of cool was. My mom never ventured into the realm and my dad was a nuclear engineer so you connect the dots. I was doomed. My first day of the sixth grade after I moved to a new school, I was sporting a sweater with an Indian in a canoe embroidered on the front. I should have worn a Mr. Goodbody bodysuit instead because it would have had the same effect. Thinking of strange “rules to be cool”, I can’t help but remember the ways these standards could not be faked. I can get away with most anything today but then it was about what you wear, physical abilities and what your current growth rate was. I happened to be a smaller kid with a shoe size of about 5….in women’s. Try finding Bo Jackson Rebox. They didn’t make them in that size so it was all about the Keds. Turns out they were great for running from bullies and I believe they had that in mind when they designed them. I guess this is comparable to girls with their bra sizes. Us late bloomers always have a bond.

Basketball was the sport of choice in middle school. That was perfect because I was as good at this sport as I was with econometrics at age five. I learned that your ability is directly correlated to the order you get picked for a team. It is a humbling situation when the team captains have to argue who they end up with; you or the kid in the wheelchair. I can’t blame them. I mean, it’s pretty bad when someone passes the ball to you and you immediately take the shot, no matter what side of the court, for fear of a dribbling mishap. There’s nothing like watching an 80 pound kid try to chuck the ball from half court. It probably looked as if someone turned up the gravity as soon as it left my hands. Those kids would have had a better shot if they passed to Steven Hawking.

Strangely enough I was always invited to birthday parties. If I want to be a pessimist I guess I can see it from their angle. I was a no talent ass clown of a kid but I was white and nerdy so that meant upper class. If I was in the upper class category this meant better b-day presents. The joke was on them though, because my mom is the worst gift giver in the history of time. I remember a specific present that Brian DeAngelo received from me. It was a Marvel comic toothbrush set with matching rinse cup and soap dish. He gave me the same look as if I re-gifted his own dog.

The parties where bittersweet. On one hand I was invited so that was good. On the other hand it was usually at Sparkles. Sparkles was the local roller rink and it was a place that combined all three cool levels; fashion, growth and coordination. If you want to suck whatever remained of my coolness put wheels on my feet. It’s humbling enough to cling to the wall of the rink but having a catastrophic fall from just standing still is too much for my peers to ignore. I wish I did not fight it but rather accept gravity. Flailing and tap dancing only adds to the hilarity. The growth part was asking for a size five roller skate out loud. Of course I asked for a size eight but I underestimated the skill of the 16 year old behind the skate counter who could judge a shoe size by height and was called out. I hope he’s still working there. I would usually just stick to the video games because I could hold on to the joystick and remain out of sight.

                                                     

This blog probably sounds pathetic but as high school came I qualified for my “cool card.” I learned how to fight, cuss, catch a football and fell in love with baseball. The point of all this is really to remember how kids are. When I have kids I want them to be happy. I was happy even though I was not cool so I know it’s possible to do so. But what I want to be as a parent is cool. I want to have an idea what the kids are into and have a clue what my kid faces from day to day. Failing to do so can only lead to themed sweaters and toothbrush birthday presents.

Live Every Week Like It Is Shark Week

0

 isher       Shark Week 2007 kicked off this morning and I have been glued to the TV, not really learning anything new, but still jazzed to see great whites eating seagulls. I have been in love with sharks ever since I can remember so this week has given me reason to drop all responsibility after 6 pm.

Having had my own shark experience a few years ago while surfing off the South Carolina shore I thought my kinship with sharks would grow over time but in all actuality, it did not. They still terrify me. The very thought that you could be swimming and have a 20 foot great white under you sends chills all over my body. Living less than five minutes from the ocean I spend a lot of time swimming and every so often I get the feeling that something knows I’m there. Creepy.

Make sure you watch this week! I also can’t believe Shark Week is 20 years old. We didn’t have cable until I was 13 so to me it is 16 years old. That’s how I justify age in my life; when did I know about it.

Here is a look at the upcoming Halloween Season

0

Today we went to an old haunt to get a sneak peek at the up coming Halloween season at “Fat Man’s” gift and holiday store. I know it is way too early to get wrapped up in Halloween madness but I have been here in late August only to find remnants of what was cool and all that is shit left over. So I went to Fat Man’s with the attitude to just document and ward off any autumn yearning because I know myself. The fall bug will bite and before I know it, everything Halloween will be burnt out by October 12th. I hate myself for that. So putting all emotions aside, we entered in to find that , yes it is true. The Halloween season is just around the corner because every available worker was busy with a half unpacked box beside their feet and an inventory sheet in hand. Feeling like a spy, I walked through the aisle whistling with camera phone in hand. There was an overwhelming feeling that I was unwelcome to take pictures, I can’t imagine why, so I snuck in a few when no one was around. I guess it it looked weird to see a guy in a KISS shirt walking around fake flowers and Department 56 stuff. Hrm…

I can see why grandmas shit when they walk into a store like this. Anything you find at grandma’s house can be found here. At every turn there was a wreath for any occasion, fake flowers of every genre, bears with aprons, and so much paisley with pastels, it looked as if a clown blew up all over the store. But I didn’t come here for cards with dogs in hats or rabbits feet, I came for what was upstairs; Uncle Fat’s Halloween attic.

Up the stairs and to the right, you could smell the undeniable rubber smell that could only be the commercialization of the day of the dead, Halloween. Enter the world of latex and glue; Fat’s Attic. I’ll be honest with you, it was tough to not feel a tinge of excitement, but I could all ways remind myself that it was still at melting point outside. It is true that memory is linked to smell because once that smell of latex hits you, you are back to being 12, sweating in a mask. I love Halloween. It’s more of a season than a day but it’s times like this that bring back the feeling of a sack full of Dum-Dums and mini-Snikers hitting my leg as I cut through the yard, trick or treating, ignoring the polite use of driveways.

Just like I remember, aisles filled with masks, adult costumes, fake machetes, Kruger gloves, fake blood and over the top hats. It looks like Halloween will come again this year. Walking around, one can not help themselves to put on a hokey mask and browse the new line of plastic killing tools. It really makes you wonder what the Chinese sweat-shop worker thinks about us as he packages up 6,000 blood stained plastic kitchen knives. Oh those wacky Americans and their bizarre holidays.

Here are the serious masks. By serious I mean over $20. There some of the same ol’ same ol’ but this year I have noticed definite stand outs. With the ever increasing horror remakes you can be sure that kids of this generation will want to be Leatherface just as their parents were 20 years earlier. But the difference is in the almost scary realism in the latex masks. I was Leatherface many years ago and I swear I was mistaken for Bob Dole at least 100 times. This year there will be no mistaken identity for a five foot , meat stained apron wearing, plastic chainsaw toting Leatherface begging for Blowpops. Lucky punks.

I mean look at this! Teeth and all! I wish I kept my mask to compare but oh well. Back then I had a Mike Myers mask too and he was barely recognizable. There are no mistaking these guys. They are just aces.

It’s nice to see that now a days you have a choice to not only be a realistic Jason Vorhees but you can also be Jason from different Friday the 13th movies. I like the reassurance that you can go to a Halloween party, be one of many Jasons and kick someone straight in the balls for questioning you originality.

Me? I think this year I am going as Jason from Sunday the 15th; Jason in Church Dress. If you are unfamiliar, don’t worry. It suffered the same fate that many Disney sequels did and went straight to DVD. I Kid, I kid! I do like the hat.

I love browsing among rows of corpses and severed limbs, sneaking photos here and there. This is when I was caught by a lady who was out of view. We made eye contact and then quickly faked the camera noise as my ringer and pretended to answer the phone. Wouldn’t you know it, within seconds of my fake conversation I had a real call and the phone began to ring in my ear. So I did what anyone would do. I left in a hurry. To that lady, I was probably the most bizarre person she has seen yet. Then again she was the person stacking rubber rats on a shelf, so who is the bizarre person?

Well, shit. I did what I told myself I would not and got myself stoked for the Halloween season. I always do this. But what can you do? If you are ever Augusta Georgia you should stop in an see Fat Man’s for yourself. I covered about 10% of all the goodness they had to offer thanks to my cell phone debacle, so check them out. Hey, it’s cool in there.

Hello and Welcome!

1

Thanks to a friend of mine, kristiane, I have finally found the one blog spot to post everything I feel like talking about. Rest assured that there will be no talk of politics or religion. I’m going to focus mostly on what the world looks like from my perspective. Most of my friends will tell you that my out look on life seems to be different than most. I will never consider myself to be better than anyone but I will always find humor where it deserves to be pointed out. So in future posts, it may look like I am making fun of some poor soul, but in actuality I am just having fun….at their expense. Don’t worry, I will thank them at the end of the post. Credit where credit is due.

……..See? Funny! And thank you!