Friday, May 1, 2009

Chronic WHAT cles of Summer (2)- Coffee Shop Expose

So I recently have found myself traversing across my hometown, and finding that very few things actually change in this place. People act the same, people look the same, people go to the same places, and do the same things. This isn't necessarily bad, but considering the type of town that I am from, it seems like a lot of people like to "sit", while very people actually "stand" (and that can be frustrating). If you would like me to be less ambiguous, I would say that people around here stay in the comfort of all that they have ever known, and any new idea presents itself as simply "not normal".

This morning I awoke with the notion of finally starting my summer reading. I chose for my first novel, The Yiddish Policeman's Union, by Michael Chabon. It is interesting that I chose this novel, as lately I have been finding myself becoming more interested in other cultures, and one of the cultures that keeps popping up is that of the Jews. The book is very well written (thusfar), and it interests me further, as I have heard the the Coen Brothers will be making it into a movie next year (:D). Anyways, this is all background information, or as Barney from How I met your Mother would say, "It's a sidebar."

I began my long journey to the corner deli/coffee shop with my book in hand, and enthusiasm steaming off my breath (if you want to call Cherry Halls throat lozenges enthusiastic). I arrive to find myself quite tired from the walk (its really not that far, but it feels like it takes forever... like 20 minutes), and I am greeted by two very sociable baristas, who proceed to talk me into purchasing an excellent salad. I sit and wait for awhile, start my reading, eat my salad ( honestly tell the girl who made it that it was good, as she keep asking), and began to enjoy my time of relaxation.

Around the coffee shop I notice a couple of older gentlemen, discussing the current "swine flu epidemic" (of course... yeesh...), and I notice that one of the men has a very interesting hair cut (just like that chef Guy Gyedi from Food Network), and he is wearing a visor and sipping on a Pepsi. The girls at the counter strike up a conversation with the men, and one of them makes a comment about how she always gets called older than she really is. The gentleman wearing the visor proceeds to say "me too", as he lifts off his visor, and subsequently HIS HAIR!!!! I turned right at the right moment, and witnessed the weirdest thing I had ever seen. Apparently there is a wig store that makes these "hair hats" for bald men, and this guy has, and I quote, "one for every type of weather"!!!! It was ridiculous! The girls were shocked, I was shocked. The visor man and his friend cackle with laughter (he obviously does this a lot), and they proceed to explain his decision to "wear a hipster rug with matching visor."

Oh my. What an experience. I could barely get back to my murder novel after that...

But eventually I did.

I read a few chapters, spent some time watching the weather channel (which they had setup there, gah I wish it was CNN!), and eventually decided to go and cash my check. I said goodbye to the baristas, and found that my sore throat is getting increasingly more unbearable :(.

Anyways, ever since I moved to Marysville I have always wanted to go inside this Martial Arts dojo across the street from this espresso place, but because of its strange location (by the side of the freeway enterance), I have never attempted to go check it out. I finally made the decision to do so, both out of curiosity for what it may hold (side note: I have always had this strange desire to take a martial arts class from a wise-old chinese master, work at a martial arts movie theater, and spend my days selling art and writing... I have no idea where it all came from... I think I watched the Karate Kid movies too many times as a kid), and out of an inability to go down the road that I needed to progress down (because of construction). So I preceeded to visit the local martial arts dojo, but to my dismay... its been closed down for years! what????
Oh well... I suppose my Bruce Lee impression will have to be facilitated at another hall of ultimate fighting :(

So I made the effort to walk the opposite direction, for there are two Chase banks in my area, and (with TOMS on my feet) I proceeded to walk alongside the train tracks humming bob dylan and "runaway train"... awww yeaaaahhhhh


So then I proceeded to stop at another coffee stand (which if you are keeping track of mileage... I had probably walked like 25 walking miles at this point... so tiring), and I interacted with a girl who probably had the STRANGEST voice that I have heard in the longest time. She seemed to be very superficial, from the conversation that we had, and I walked away with the worst iced mocha that I have ever had. It was terrible.
This brings me to a notion that discovered a few years back, but was resurged with this conversation with the 2nd coffee shop person. Why do people not from California insist on calling it 'Cali' ? I don't understand it. Not a single person (who was being serious) called California, 'Cali' while I was there. The closest that it came was in the form of "Nor Cal" or "So Cal" stickers, and even then... who even legitimately drives around with those? The whole thing seems ridiculous. The only California slogan that should be instated would have to be "My Governator could Terminate your Governor anyday."
I want to design my own decal actually... and have it say "Nor Wa", and on the back it would have George Washington yelling "Representation! Documentation!"
Or not...

So anyways, back to my misadventures among coffee stands.
I have recently learned of this reoccuring espresso stand fiasco known as "sexy girls w/ pasties make ur(always spelled that way...ugh...) coffees"
Aiy yi yi...
I couldn't even believe it.
If you want proof... I can take a picture... because I first heard about this today, and then to my dismay I actually passed by one of these stands... ugh... why? why why why?
To quote my good friend Dan, "I don't even know dude, I don't even know..."
I can't believe that women would put themselves into a situation like that... I can't even believe it...

Interestingly enough, I heard about this new craze from a guy who walked into the corner espresso stand, and apparently comes in there a lot. He started talking to the baristas and then asked ME if I knew any "sexy stands".... (hits forehead)...yeeesh....
I proceeded to ask him what he was talking about, and he obliged. I wish I didn't know (good grief, charlie brown music...)

He proceeded to talk to the baristas about how he takes his gf to stands like that, and she (and I quote) "doesn't mind at all.... I just tell that that is what we are doing... lol lol (evil bro laugh...)" ugh... and then continues to talk to the baristas about how he wouldn't marry his gf, regardless of them being together for 3 years, regardless of them having a son together, because "the tax benefits are so much better when you aren't married, and why would I want to give that up? and, this way, if I decide to take off one day, it won't matter as much because we weren't married"

I almost beat him then and there....
somedays... (calm down, calm down)

I wish I would have gone Mike Gallegos on the guy... but I held it back....
I mean... I didn't even know the guy... but sometimes you just wish you did... so you'd have an excuse to punch em right in the face... PUNCH YO FACE... I TAKE YOU DOWN LIKE I TOOK DOWN THAT MUGGER!!!! lol....

Anyways, this is definitely the most detailed "day in the life" blog that I've ever written.
Everyone keeping away from the pigs these days? You should, wouldn't want to start growing tails, and oinking...

Anyways... this was summer day #5.... here is to summer day #6

Middleaisle Critic: Summer 2009 Movie Review: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

I went into this film expecting very little, as I was so greatly disappointed by X-Men: The Last Stand, and let me say that by the end of this film, I was once again disappointed. This was NOT a Wolverine film. I don’t know what I watched (to be honest),but I feel as though the time and care that Bryan Singer took in formulating Jackman's character in X-Men + X2: X-Men United was all but lost in Gavin Hood’s “origin” picture.
It seems as though they threw in every “forgotten” mutant, every already touched on critical element from the last three pictures, and added in some general background information. Unfortunately (gasp) they forgot to present Wolverine's character as he probably would have been, before X1. It seems that at some point he goes from being a good guy (whose biggest anxiety seems to be flying rather than the admantium surgery), to becoming a reclusive and angered loner. Even the execution of his "switching sides" epiphany moments, seem overshadowed by a desire to continue the story arc. When he "becomes the animal" the audience is led to believe that THIS is the Wolverine that they have been waiting for, but to little avail, THIS Wolverine seems to represent a shadow of the Wolverine that we all enjoyed 9 years ago.
If Gavin Hood wanted to make this film truly work, he would have taken notes on Singer’s work, because the output of this film was incredibly sloppy. This was not a modern-superhero film; this was a mismatch of comic ideas, thrown together without style to simply create a “starter” film for summer movie audiences. I have seen his other work, and let me say that I believe he made this film as generic as possible, in order to simply make a "fast buck" on a commercial product. If I had been given the chance to direct a picture such as this, I would have brought it back to the minimalist effects of X-Men 1, while retaining the depth of X2. This film was too showy, too sloppy, and barely constructable as a piece of narrative fiction. His biggest resolution seems to be that by receiving a leather jacket, he has become "part of the human race", but must choose the alternative pathway... The Wolverine that audiences love, is the Wolverine from X1 and X2, and that is because Bryan Singer knew that the character needed to be hard-edged, he needed to be aggressive, and he needed to be anti social. Apparently Gavin Hood never got the message.
The impact that the character has upon the audience is very minimal, and to be honest, as much as I love the character of Wolverine, and as much as I enjoy Hugh Jackman’s work, I walked away very disappointed at what actually became X-Men Origins.
I will quickly compliment Liev Schriber for his work as Victor Creed, as he seemed perfectly cast to play that part. There is something to be said about a director getting a legitimate actor like Schriber to play a role that normally (check X1) would have been a filler role. If nothing else, the inclusion of Schriber, Kitsch, and Reynolds actually added some versatility to the film. Schriber should have been given more depth, and even been given more opportunity to truly develop as a character. I felt as though he would just show up at random times, in order to facilitate an act of antagonism, just as I feel Deadpool showed up at the end, because the director felt like making the ending more "popcorn friendly." Taylor Kitsch as Gambit was well played, yet he never seemed to fit in with the rest of the movie. It seems that the director probably loved the character so much, and realized his exclusion from the rest of the films, and subsequently wanted to include him. At times I felt like Kitsch would have been better off in a film like X2, or maybe even The Last Stand, as his character was merely used as a plot device for Jackman's "discovery." He essentially plays the sidekick role, to a superhero who doesn't need a sidekick. If you look back at X1-3, Wolverine's relationship with Rogue, and Jean represents his "acceptance" into a family, yet as XMO:Wolverine teaches us that the evolution of Jackman's character doesn't really matter in this film (by having him act uncharacteristically to how he eventually acts in X1), since he loses all his memories at the end so that he can become what we all know he "is". Ugh, If you haven't seen this film, you might want to just rent the originals, and wait for a HOPEFULLY good X-Men Origins film (maybe Magneto...)

In the world of post-Dark Knight, post-Watchmen, post-Iron Man; audiences have realized that the creation of a superhero film CAN, and now MUST facilitate a deeper dimension than films such as Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, or X-Men Origins: Wolverine. This film should have been reworked from the beginning, in order to create a film of quality, but unfortunately was hashed up as a mosaic of comic book cliches.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chronic What?!? Cles of Summer: Today (1)

So today I set out to spend time in my local Starbucks, with the intention of reading my Michael Chabon novel (The Yiddish Policeman's Union), and failed to even open it up. Not only did I fail to go to Starbucks, but I ended up spending a bunch of money. I guess it was one stuff I needed though, so it worked out in the end.

On the way though... there was seriously like 10 cop cars surrounding this one street (right by my house) and I have no idea what was going on... I wish I would have caught the news.... hmmm

And then...

I saw a car accident... some lady looked like she was on crack... seriously... and she hit this guys car right in front of me... crazy... I didn't know what to do....

After some conversations with several different people, I realize more and more how important community actually is. I have felt a bit lost since coming back up here, and I hope that the next few months do not diminish upon the growth that I have seen in myself. I am making strides to make sure that doesn't occur, but it is tough to get going.

I was listening to an old podcast from the Stirring... and I just was really taken aback by some stuff that Dan said... About being Jonahs, and God using messed up, angry, pessimistic people... and using them for his glory... wow... so amazing...

more on that later...

I gotta go...