Saturday, September 27, 2008

Random: Perspective

700 billion dollar "bail-out" almost approved.
The US is currently in 10.5 trillion dollars of debt.
The Gross Domestic Product of the US is 14 trillion.

I wasn't going to get Starbucks that day, but after reading about the economy it made me feel a little better about my purchase.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

BTTF 4?!?

VAF- Video Awesome Fridays

Watch the video before reading the blog. This video makes me miss good ol’ music videos.

Remember when you could turn on MTV and actually watch a music video? Well I was reminded of how gloriously bad these videos can be when I came across this gem. I like this little dance song, its got a good groove. And of course, the concept of people checking their coats at the door of a club makes one think of time travel. So it makes perfect sense that this video would establish the artist as the guy running the coat room at a club who bumps into Doc Brown. They travel into the future and visit the exact same club that looks exactly like the present day. Only difference is O’neal McKnight (great name, I know) is going to get the girl this time.

This video clearly doesn’t make any sense, then again, how much sense does the classic “Thriller” make? It makes me laugh, makes me want to let the music get inside me and dance the night away, makes me want to travel through time. IT’S ON! And by “It’s on” I mean that I will just continue to dance alone in my room when getting ready in the morning, I will not travel time but just watch the Back to the future Trilogy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Random: ideas

My birthday is in less than 2 months. Just something to consider.

Video Music Awards were HORRIBLE!!!

This little british fellow contributed the horribleness.

Most of the time I try and make my titles clever and coy, but I had to go completely blunt in this case. I am not a fan of most award shows. Besides the Oscars (which, to quote my friend Emily “is my superbowl”), I find them boring and uneventful. I usually save myself the time and just look up the list of winners online. There was something intriguing about the Video Music Awards this year. I was talking with some friends out in front of the theater the other night and commented that the VMAs were in Los Angeles this year. I was wondering what arena they would be held in, and a friend said “down the street on the Paramount Lot.”

I thought that was interesting and did some research online, turns out they’d be doing the show “all over the famous Paramount Studios Lot”, taking on a Hollywood theme. It sounded kind of cool and while I wasn’t usually tuning into these things, I’d throw this one on the TiVo. Well, I now feel the need to apologize to my TiVo for subjecting it to this horrible few hours of television.

When they showed the main room, it felt like an awkward gymnasium with people in folding chairs and bleachers in the back. There was no warmth to the room and the people were not impressed. The host, Russell Brand came out and absolutely bombed the opener. He is a former VJ for the UK MTV who gained some popularity after his role in “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. I later found out he became infamous when he showed up to work as the host of the British TRL on September 12th, 2001 dressed as Osama Bin Laden. MTV fired him for his lack of judgment. Apparently they felt he had learned his lesson and was a great fit as the host of their largest annual event. Now I am willing to forgive people for their mistakes, but it will take a LONG time to forgive him for his horrible performance. It was not just a bad job, it was horrible.

Jamie Foxx was one of the first presenters and came out with energy and tried to pump up the room. Whatever energy he built up, the host quickly deflated. Brand kept returning to a set of “Jonas Brothers are virgins” jokes. It was kind of funny the first time but not something you want to hear 100 times, no matter what your views are on teen promiscuity. And the host was leading into nothing of value. The performances were trying harder to be different than they were good. The acceptance speeches had the same “who cares” sentiment that I have when I get a notice on Facebook that the “compare my friends” application has determined I am the most “tech savy”. Britney Spears had a stump speech and simply repeated it, as if her manager had given her strict guidelines while sitting in the audience with her.

It was like every choice was a poor one. Even the stage was lame and lacked common sense. (Don’t put mirrors on the back wall, we can see the camera crew and the teleprompter.) Pete Wentz from Panic at the Disco came across like a frustrated cheerleader at Valium High School every time he tried to pump up the crowd while re-explaining how to text our votes. The room felt dead, the songs felt fake, I just couldn’t finish the show and angrily deleted the show. The only thing that was slightly redeeming was the DJ AM and Travis Barker House Band routine. It was great to see a drummer jam with a DJ, very cool sound and just in line with some of the mash-ups that I’ve been listening to lately. Still, not worth watching an entire show for those 45-second lead-ins after a commercial break.

The theme and prospect of something fresh and new got me to tune in this year. What was delivered was a misfire on every level. It’s going to take something big to bring me back to the VMA’s, because this years show was downright HORRIBLE.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Random: When there is a will...

...there is a way! This dog is legit, and deserves his freedom.

I think we have a theme's dog video fridays.

(kudos to dustin for showing me this video.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am proud to be a human.

The Birds Nest in Beijing is spectacular. I’ve seen American Birds Nests in the US and clearly China is winning when it comes to avian houses.

During the opening weekend of football I felt like something was missing. I know that for some friends, this weekend is the best. They track their fantasy football teams, cheer for their favorite team, avoid human contact all Sunday afternoon while they watch every available second. I am not a football fan. I will watch a game and engage with my friends but it’s about friendship, not the sport. Seeing their zeal for football reminded me of how much I miss the Olympics.

I like the idea of nations coming together to engage in sports and represent their countries. I liked the challenge and the fact that these are the worlds best. This years Olympics were different though. It was as if the spectacular opening ceremonies grabbed everyone’s attention and said “tune in, this is going to be awesome.” The ratings show that people did tune in. For those 2 weeks, we had a nice break from the political garbage that’s been filling the airwaves. Each day the talk around the water cooler at work was about the events of the night before. There was a positive vibe and it made me feel united with my friends. I did miss my old roommate Josh sitting on the couch arguing with the gymnastic judges; “Eight point seven…she stuck it!” Mind you he’s never done gymnastics and yet is questioning a judge that’s devoted their life to the sport, but our feeling of empowerment is one of the great things about the Olympics.

Clearly the Chinese officials got what they wanted. I heard some staggering figures about the money they invested in the cities infrastructure to ensure a seamless experience and the training to ensure as many gold medals as possible. All of the negative press about human rights violations and horrible smog seemed to fade away. Every time I saw a helicopter shot before a commercial break the streets were empty in this giant metropolis. It was clear that a communist memo went out to say, no driving in the city for 2 weeks. Imagine how that memo would be received in the US. Hopefully we will see in Chicago, 2016. But as for 2008, it was a polished and nearly perfect presentation.

The Chinese spent 44 billion dollars on these games. There were great moments like the opening ceremonies that made this investment clear. The opening ceremonies in Athens 4 years early set a record with $28 million in costs, Beijing shattered that by spending $300 million on theirs. When you saw the 15,000 people performing it became obvious why it was so expensive. With all that investment it seemed like they could have at least coordinated some seat fillers. I understand there are dozens of events at one time, but you’re a communist nation with huge pockets and over a billion people… why can’t you coordinate the effort to make sure there are always packed housed?

Even with these petty imperfections it was still a great set of games. A month later I do miss them and hope that London has the same excitement…In the mean time, it’s back to hearing about football. I will end this blog with a recollection of a few memorable Olympic moments.

Moment that ticked me off.

I have to share a negative, because this really ticked me off. While becoming the fastest man in the world, he decided to slow down and showboat for the last 20 meters. Sure he beat the record, but he could have destroyed it. Instead he slows down and raises his hands in the air. Then he comes across like an arrogant teenager during his victory lap. I wanted some class, but unfortunately talent and tact aren’t always present in the same person.

Moment that broke my heart.

Ok, Lolo Jones was the odds on favorite for the 100 meter hurdles. She’d trained her whole life and took off with a clear lead. As the race was clearly hers, her foot clipped the 2nd to last hurdle. She finished the race second to last and immediately hit the ground after the finish line. Staring up to the sky she was overwhelmed with disappointment, she just seemed shocked.

Then she had the class to go over and do a post race interview. She was pleasant and congratulated the teammate that won. She said, “I run that race every day and hit two hurdles a year. I just happened to hit a hurdle on the biggest race of my life.” This broke my heart and apparently broke hers. She walked off to the tunnel and when she thought she was out of sight, she leaned against the wall and just sobbed. I was teary watching this athlete break down. Its still very memorable and in a sad way, a highlight.

Thanks for reading my super long post, I had to write a long enough blog to keep your Olympic blog needs for the next 4 years!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Random: Halloween Costume

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

Ok, I can't stand people dressing their animals. This video is proof that I am not alone in my opinion. Both dogs are trying to kill their owner with their eyes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Photobucket Image Hosting

I remember…
- awaking to immediately hear that America was under attack.
- seeing the images of the planes hitting the towers over and over.
- the people running in the streets with ash filling the sky.
- crying.
- being sure another plane would hit another building any minute.
- feeling fear, anger and patriotism all at once .
- understanding why hundreds of thousands of young men enlisted in the weeks following Pearl Harbor.
- knowing the world would be different from that day on.
- going to work that night to an empty restaurant, wondering if a year later I’d have been drafted and serving in the Army.
- wanting to have an enemy to focus on, but not knowing what nation to blame.
- thinking I’d never forget this day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Sequel isn’t as good as the original!

That’s Elisabeth Shue playing the role of Elisabeth Shue.

This movie sounds like it will have what you want in an indie comedy. From the Sundance buzz to the producers having a track record that includes “Little Miss Sunshine”. This is the quirky story of a bad actor writing a bad play and having a group lacking talent to perform the musical that reaches too far. The opportunity to revisit “Waiting for Guffman” territory excited me. As a former drama nerd, I get excited about this story as it reminds me of my days of yore. But unlike “Waiting for Guffman”, this didn’t have me laughing the whole way through, in fact my laughter was sporadic and just based on the quirky moments.

The characters weren’t memorable, to the point where a week after seeing the films, I can barely remember the arch types let alone the funny moments. Hamlet 2 kept building to a final scene when the musical is finally performed. With the first 80 minutes being filled with boredom, the play wasn’t able to carry the rest of the film. This one is skip-able in the theaters and not necessarily worth the spot in your queue. If you can’t resist, it won’t be a complete waste of time, but it will leave you unsatisfied. Of course I could be wrong, you may love it and therefore have no taste. The way I see it these are the only two options.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Random: Math & Statistics are never wrong

note to self: hang out with more crazy peeps and find your self statistically more likely to be sane.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Definitely a Disaster!!!

Just because I really liked Juno & Enchanted, doesn’t mean I am defensively hating this movie. It is horrible on its own merit.

Maybe you saw this post and realized it was for Disaster Movie and thought to yourself "wow, Trent saw this." If you said this out loud and I was in the room, I would yell "clearly, you don't know me" and slap your face. When I saw the previews for this train wreck of a movie on TV, I literally gasped. How is this happening?!? How are these movies still being made? So, I did some investigating. (10 minutes of Google searches qualifies as an investigation, right?) The last film, Epic Movie made $40 million domestically and even more in the international box office. This current trend started with Scary Movie, which I was okay with. But the idea that these movies started making more money as time went on is shocking. Was there more that needed to be said? Did the characters have multiple story arcs like Michael Corleone Godfather?

This is the kind of trash that Kim Kardashian’s agent dreams of and uses as a vehicle to further her career as a celebrity. (She’s “famous for being famous.”) These movies are made for economic reasons, which means in a capitalist society, the consumer has the power. Yet half a million people went this last weekend to see it. They make easy and lame jokes that are so very topical. This movie should not even be a direct to DVD release, it should be released directly into the $3 bin at Wal-Mart. If you want to watch lame pop culture references in not very funny segments, turn on SNL!

If you see this movie, you are hurting America…please stop hurting America!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Random: food for the soul?

Today in starbucks they were setting up the fall promotional art. Signage, mugs, even new bags of beans. They transform the store to fit the season. This year they are promoting a new oatmeal. Now I like there products as much as the next guy, but this add was a bit much. Starbucks is now claiming to have food and drinks that nourish your SOUL!!! I'm sure it tastes good but this claim is far too lofty and downright ridiculous. Things that can impact your soul: books, music, God, relationships...not a mocha.

Come on Starbucks, you're better than this.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Random: happy but sad.

I pull into the station on Labor day weekend and say "Yes, $3.83!!"

Then I think how sad it is that this makes me happy. Gas cost $1.61 a
gallon when Bush took office. I can't wait for alternative fuels to
become the norm. Like hydrogen, or trash, or re blood of Unicorns.
Anything but expensive oil!!!

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