Tuesday, May 30, 2006

92. Have You Seen “Mary Kate and Ashley: Reloaded” Yet?

You know the type of person: You go see a movie like “Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle” with friends only to leave the theater and hear, “The book was better.”

You turn your head and look at the alien that vaguely looks like a former friend of yours and you say, “I didn’t know there was a book.”

“Yeah there is. It was published by Bantam House as ‘The Piccadilly Prance’ but was renamed ‘Harold and Kumar Go to Whitecastle’ when the publisher was sued by the British Royal Navy in an effort to forcibly keep the details of Piccadilly Circus from panicking the uninitiated.”

"Um, get a job dude.”

Then on the other side, you have a friend who insists on asking you if you’ve seen “White Chicks” yet. YET? Do my friends think I’m dim enough to be entertained by stupidity?

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know I’m neither type of person. I’m not going to ask if you saw The DaVinci Code yet, and I’m not going to force you to hear me say the book was better. So if you don’t want to here either of those phrases, stop here--->.

I am not a book snob. I don’t even read. Nevertheless, The DaVinci Code was a much better book than it was a movie. What was great about the book that was wrong with the movie:

  • I couldn’t stop reading the book; I kept looking at my watch during the movie.
  • The book was light, fun and fast-paced; the movie was serious, dark and slower-than-tar.
  • The book made me want to become a writer; the movie made me want to become French. No way that's going to happen.
  • The ideas in the book were well organized and logically fit together; the ideas in the movie were chunky and didn’t flow from one to the other very well. (Disclaimer: I didn’t think the book’s logic holds up in real life. Only within the confines of the fictional universe inside the book do the ideas hold up. They are consistent within that universe.)
  • The female protagonist, Sophie, is an intelligent problem-solver in the book; In the movie, she is a bungling sidekick at best. “What? Quoi? Moi? I don’t unduhstand and neezuh does zee audiANCE . Please sPLAIN-e-moi so everyONE weel unduhstand zee storee. Do I look lost? Can someONE Pleez-uh help me smile?” The character Sophie spends much time in the book recalling old facts, solving the puzzles and being a character. In the movie she doesn’t intelligently do anything. In fact, it is completely out of character for her to (spoiler coming) spring Langdon from the clutches of Fache, because that would have required her to know Langdon was being wrongly accused and to have acted on her own—a plotline much too intelligent for the movie Sophie.
  • The book assumes you are smart and will understand and see all the clues; the movie assumes you will understand nothing unless they highlight it for you. In the movie it’s not enough to show a symbol on screen. They have to use a highlighter to make the symbol visible.
  • The book takes about three (3) hours to read; the movie is at least six (6) days long.
  • The book’s climax(es) ebb and flow, and they feel like real climaxes; the movie lacks a real climax and needs to have a more solid climax so the endings don’t feel so drawn out. The movie has at least four (4) endings and none of them seems to bring closure or finality to the story. The book has the same four (4) endings but they don’t take 1/3 of the running time of the story.
  • Did I mention how long the movie seemed? I was surprised when I hadn’t lost my job because I thought I had spent weeks in the theater.
  • Can you tell I wasn’t thrilled with the movie? My wife Limpy said it was the dumbest movie ever made. I asked how she could possibly know that.

    I am not a book snob, but I do feel the book succeeded where the movie failed. I would rather poke my eyes with needles than watch that steaming pile of manure again. My counsel to you: if you enjoyed the book, read it again while spraying lemon juice and ammonia in your eyes—you’ll still enjoy the book much better than the movie.

    Thursday, May 25, 2006

    91. The Simpsons are Evil and I Rebuke You.

    When I was in college I moved into an apartment with some guys I didn’t know. They were pretty cool and we had good times. One of my favorite traditions they practiced—which I agreed with—was watching “The Simpsons” every Sunday night at 10:00 after the news. It was a good chance for some manly bonding and to invite the more humoristically progressive ladies over to the apartment.

    A student who lived directly above my apartment was also the leader of a church organization I belonged to. One day during church, the upstairs neighbor told the whole congregation “The Simpsons” was an evil show and rebuked us by apartment number for inviting people over to participate in our Sunday-standard activity. We named him Rebuke Boy.

    Then a week later in the same church meeting, his short, angry roommate (and assistant leader of the church organization) rebuked us again and said “The Simpsons” was one of the more vile shows on TV at the time. My roommate raised his hand and asked, “Even Flanders and Reverend Lovejoy?” The rest of the people in the meeting snickered while the little bitter guy’s face turned red. We named him Rebuke Boy #2.

    What is with people like that? Using his logic, we could just have easily called them to task by reminding them driving a Camaro and listening to Bon Jovi at ear-splitting volumes is a much quicker path to the darkside than “The Simpsons.” At least The Simpsons could be said to provide some intelligent social commentary once in a while. And it’s not like we bashed on their Oakland Raiders flags in the window either.

    I couldn’t then, nor can I now, understand why someone who is trying to “help” someone would ever think it acceptable to use such a public setting from a supposed position of authority as a means to call attention to a specific person’s sin—perceived or real—and call it a means of providing spiritual help. Real Christians would (or should) give a humble hand of encouragement and a ‘hand up,’ not a public backhand slap.

    Anyway, my point is that I ran into Rebuke Boy #1 yesterday and I talked to him for a few minutes. The conversation was not very stimulating, but I was genuinely glad to see him:

    I needed blog material.

    Oh, and I was just kidding about the name stuff; call me stupid or whatever you like...

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    90. STÚ•pĭd•răm•blĭng•s

    From time to time someone posts a comment on my blog stating their reticence and reservations about using my rightful and given name, stupidramblings. I’m sure in some of your households stupid is a four-letter word not to be used by anyone about anyone else unless the speaker is talking about someone with a zero (0) or null IQ.

    Unfortunately for those of you who fall into the aforementioned category, stupidramblings is my name and you will feel compelled to call me stupid. Or you can call me stupidramblings. No other derivatives of stupidramblings are acceptable and right.

    Also, some of you have asked me how I pronounce my name. STÚ·pĭd·răm·blĭng·s is the proper pronunciation. And don’t forget to make the ‘s’ on the end its own syllable…

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006

    89. Get Stupid!

    Finally!

    I have figured out a little more about HTML and I have figured out how to add an RSS feed to my account. Now you can check my content without having to search out my blog. The link is on the right. Sign up today. The link is labeled "get stupid." -------------------------------------------->

    WARNING: The stupid RSS feed is for prescribed use only. Dosage changes should only be made by a qualified physician. If you show symptoms of scours, rickets, mumps, or death, you should not use the stupid RSS feed. Pregnant women should not use the RSS feed. May cause multiple births, birth defects multiple defects and birth multiplication, and long division. If you are thinking of becoming pregnant, or if you know someone who may become pregnant, OR if you think pregnancy happens when two people really, REALLY love each other, do not handle, smell, or look at the stupid RSS feed.

    Also available in children's stupid RSS (but it's just a half dosage, so you might as well just buy the lower cost adult version and cut the suckers in half. (The pills, not the children.)) Do not take within 48 hours of eating fruit, laxatives, or food.

    Monday, May 22, 2006

    88. This Is Your Mentor, Stupid

    If you’re here because I left a message on your blog, you’ve come to the right place. The story:

    Last week, various people called me to tap my vast fount of knowledge and reason. All of the phone calls were stimulating, but I noticed a dangerous pattern: All of my peeps started the phone call the same way:

    Me: “Hello?”

    Them: “Hey, this is your (acquaintance), (insert name here.)”

    Me: “What’s up?”

    And then the conversations ensued. I know it doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary, but these are my friends—those whose voices I should know and whose phone numbers appear on my caller ID before I even answer the phone.

    The culmination of me noticing this trend was when my brother Chewy called and did the same.

    “Hello?”

    “Hey, it’s your brother, Chewy?”

    “I know, what’s up?”

    It’s a little troubling when people—close friends and family—call me and re-introduce themselves. My own brother apparently thinks I am dim enough to have to be reminded who he is—as do most of my friends. Strange.

    Anyway, so I was telling my wife last night about the trend and she told me she had been noticing the same thing. So last night just before bed, we had this conversation:

    Me: “Hey Hunny Bunny…”

    My wife Limpy: “Yes?”

    Me: “It’s your husband, stupid.”

    We laughed until she cried—I try to make her cry at least once per day—and then we continued our conversation.

    I decided this would be a pattern for living. I will be introducing myself to you every time I post on one of your blogs by reminding you who I am. You won’t have to bother looking at my non-existent avatar anymore to figure out who I am…

    Thursday, May 18, 2006

    87. Bustin' Cats.

    Sensitive viewers might find the following stories...unsavory.

    I'm finding I'm none too kind to animals lately. Specifically cats. (Watch out, Cicada's cats.)

    Today I was driving in Kansas City in my rented Camry when I saw an object lying in the road. I thought it was a rag or a piece of cardboard or maybe even clothing. As I approached I realized it was a cat--probably already dead. Its head was resting peacefully against the pavement and my car had plenty of room to clear the rotting carcass, so I didn't slow down.

    As I got closer, I noticed the people on the sidewalk all gathered around staring at the cat from mere feet away. No problem I thought as I continued to speed toward the feline wonder.

    Imagine my surprise when I noticed the cat's eyes were open and it was staring right at me--and then, like a Stephen King plotline, the little guy (seeing its life flash before its eyes) raised itself up on its forepaws in a last futile attempt to escape the bitter Camry of justice before I finished it off. The poor little guy (for storytelling purposes, lets assume the cat is male) looked like he had just escaped from a washing machine.

    I heard a violent THU-THUNK as the kitty's head hit the front undercarriage of the car and then the back axle. Serves him right--he shouldn't have raised up like that. The bystanders all went crazy as I sped away. They were treated to a gruesome scene only PETA could have made more ridiculous (which I'm sure they will after a comment like that.) I would have stopped, but

    • I don't like cats.
    • I don't like cats that pretend to be roadkill, only to try to ellicit a reaction from me.
    • I'm insensitive.
    • I was in a rather seedy neighborhood, not a good place to stop.
    • I didn't want to ruin my streak.
    Less recently, I was driving in my home town a while back and I ran over a raccoon. Let it be known to the entire internet that I have never even seen a live raccoon, let alone in the middle of town. It was just there on the side of the road apparently waiting for me to pass. Again, like the cat, just as I arrived, it put itself in the path of danger and crossed the road. I could only wince as I passed over its chubby, city-loving body with both right tires. I stopped to check on it, but I couldn't find the body.

    Way further back, my sister and I were driving early one morning and another apparently dead cat in the road opened its mouth in a wide yawn as we approached. I swerved to miss the thing, because the gaping piehole freaked me out a bit but instead of clearing it, or swinging wide, I ran over its head with both left tires.

    I'd like to see Stephen King finish this story, maybe with a violent return of the critters' ghosts to haunt me and my family until we cave and buy a dog (which we will promptly have to dispose of) so its ghost can take care of the cat and racoon spirits that will be rummaging through my garbage.

    Go Fido, Go!

    ...

    you can find the armadillo photo here.

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    86 Still mad.

    Yup, I just got done checking and I'm still mad.

    Nothing funny about that, IS there smacky?!?

    ...

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    85. I'm Mad as Hell, and I'm Not Going to Take it Anymore

    The letter I would have emailed to a local business if I had found an email address on their website. As it was, I just had to call them.

    Recently (and for the third time), your evil minions have taped flyers to my door advertising your societally-non-productive service despite my “no soliciting” sign twelve inches (12”) from the doorknob on my front door. Reasons I have installed a “no soliciting” sign:

    • I don’t like litter. Last time I called to tell you about this problem (the second time it happened) Your secretary totally blew me off telling me just to throw the flyer away if I didn’t want it. I asked her, “If it’s garbage, why not throw it away yourself and cut out the middle man.”
    • I’d think if you’re going to market directly, you would pay the bulk-rate postage and have it sent to my house in the money mailer so I can throw it away with everything else. (IF, in fact, you want me to throw it away when it arrives like you said.)
    • I don’t think the tree you cut down to make the flyer would appreciate being cut down for the sole purpose of rotting in the landfill.
    • I don’t like burglars—who have been casing my house daily for months—to know I’m not home because your bright yellow flyer sits taped to my front door for a few days until I finally see it there. I don’t use my front door. I have a garage. If you really want me to see it, you will put it on top of my wallet and keys while I sleep. I’ll be sure to see it in the morning, because I never go without my wallet and keys.
    • The tape gets baked onto my front door in the morning sun.
    • I hate you.

    What I want you to do about it:

    • Please fire your President, Vice President, Marketing Manager, and whomever you sent to tape your trash to my door.
    • Please send me an email and place a phone call to me to tell me what you are going to do about it.
    • Send my mom flowers for Mothers Day. Somebody’s got to do it and it’s not going to be me.
    • Find a way to corporally punish those responsible and send me the video.

    What I will do about it if you don’t stop taping crap to my door:

    • I will take you to small claims court and find a way to get a judgment against you.
    • You will be buying me a boat.
    • I’ll get a lawyer if I have to and I will sue you for a boat and lawyer fees.
    • I might die.
    • I will tape my garbage to your front door every time it happens—oh, and BTW, I cook with fish—a lot.

    Sincerely yours,
    StupidR.
    1-801-Ihateunscrupulousmarketers.
    noway@yeahright.com

    Clipart courtesy: here

    Tuesday, May 02, 2006

    84. My Brushes With Death

    Following news of th.’s wreck and subsequent hijinks, I have decided to tell you all of how I was involved in two (2) car accidents in three (3) days this past weekend:

    Saturday I was in New York to see a concert I had been looking forward to. I arrived late Friday and checked into my hotel near the JFK airport. My room was dreadfully small, but the bed was amazingly comfortable. In fact, the bed was the first hotel bed I have ever used that was more comfortable than my own.

    Anyway, Saturday I needed to get to Manhattan so I could attend the concert, so I decided to take the shuttle bus to the airport and ride the subway into town. I hopped on the idling shuttle bus when it arrived only to wait for the driver to go into the hotel for three to five (3-5) minutes. I guess he needed to freshen up.

    While I was patiently waiting, an elderly gentleman parked his black, mid-nineties (‘90’s) Monte Carlo (with a handicapped sticker in the front window) next to the shuttle bus. He was parked very close, but I didn’t think anything of it. Just then some old ladies entered the bus and distracted me from watching to see what the man was going to do. While I was not paying attention, the old man had backed his car behind the bus perpendicular to the curb. The nose of his car was sticking straight out into the non-busy street.

    I thought he was going to leave it parked there when he abruptly pulled forward again turning his steering wheel more sharply to the right. I was convinced he was going to hit the bus, so I removed the old ladies from around me using a club and I sprang toward the door of the bus to see if I could stop the old man from causing himself some embarrassment and causing me further delays for my first trip into Manhattan. Before I reached the door, however, I felt the bus lurch. He hit it.

    I exited the bus just as the driver arrived. The driver promptly confronted the man (he was very nice about it, but confronted was the best word I could think of.) He told the man to stop his car and come to look at the damage. The man denied any fault and said he would have felt a collision. The driver pointed to the three foot (3’) white gash down the door of the old black Monte Carlo and told him he was wrong. Then the driver got the hotel manager outside to see the damage and hopped in the bus and drove us away.

    Car accidents are scary. I’m just glad on one was hurt.

    Anyway crash number two (#2):

    While my wife Limpy was driving me to work Monday morning (we carpool), I remembered the story about the old man and the bus. I decided to tell her the story. While I was in the telling, we came upon a red light and she slowed down to stop behind the other cars. She didn’t stop all the way though and she tapped the bumper of the car in front. We both looked at each other and started laughing. Then we looked at the driver in front of us to see what he wanted to do. We continued to laugh as he eyed us in his rear-view mirror.

    He sped away when the light turned green. I had motioned for him to pull over so he could talk, but he just drove away.

    So if you are reading this and you drive a small-sized green SUV with customized plates that read “I don’t feel anything” and you have a little scratch on your painted bumper, I deny any wrongdoing…