"The greatest mistake you can make in life is continually fearing that you'll make one."
~ Elbert Hubbard
All of you stop the madness. I have the Slanket in beige and love it. It is thick, warm, good quality and more importantly my cat likes to lay on it. Although it has lots of silly ads and is in every dime store, the Snuggie is an inferior product. You get what you pay for. Just because it and all the other knock-offs are everywhere does not mean that it's good.
Jesus Christ, right now there's an ad on tv for this thing called the Dreamie. They're implying that it's better than the Slanket or Snuggie because it covers your feet and you can actually sleep on the couch in it. And it's only $19.99. What a deal.
These 'comfort blanket on your couch' wars have literally gotten out of control. Almost every place I went shopping on black friday had a version of the snuggie/slanket for sale. Please. I guess that's to be expected because mankind is basically living on their asses in front of their ridiculously huge high definition television sets. Apparently we aren't moving. So we need blankets with sleeves, blankets with foot pockets, blankets that will bring your lazy ass something to drink from the kitchen. Hell, apparently there's even a snuggie for dogs. Somebody is getting filthy rich off this racket. I just wish it were me.
I got my Slankets from QVC, which saved me a little money, but you can also purchase directly from their website www.slanket.com. If you're going to lay around then you might as well have the best.
I’m about 6 hours into an 8 hour flight to Hawaii. It is my first trip to Hawaii ever so I should be jumping up and down. The problem is I hate airports and I hate sitting in airplanes. Someone please explain to me why the airport is jammed packed the Monday after Thanksgiving?! All you freaks were supposed to fly home on Sunday not Monday so you could be at work, school, or whatever it is you pretend to do on Monday.
Why can’t the Middle Eastern couple with the baby stroller get their act together as we stood in the security line for 20 minutes as opposed to waiting until we are up at the scanner to then start bumbling around in confusion?! I promptly cut in front of them. Now I asked first before doing so but it genuinely did not matter to me what the response was.
This airplane is bouncing around in turbulence quite a bit. Why aren’t the flight attendants handing out ginger snaps or crackers to help relax my queasy stomach? Why does an 8 year old girl whose legs don’t even touch the ground need to recline her seat all the way back into my gut? How much room does the squirt need? And why are you as a parent sitting next to aforementioned child, OK with this? I hate your kids. See a previous blog.
And who the hell keeps shuffling playing cards for the past six hours a few rows in front of me? WTF?! Make it stop already. How much card playing are you doing? What’s worse is the 8 year old girl has me so jammed in my seat that I can’t even get a good look at who the relentless card shuffler is.
Why is Continental repeating their inflight movies. Sitting through “The Time Traveler’s Wife” once was more than enough. I saw no reason for the movie to end the way it did except for a sad attempt by the screenwriter/director to make us care about these characters finally in the last 5 minutes of the movie. Skip it.
Here’s hoping my bag makes it on the other end. I’m truly about to be sick.
So Black Friday was to quote a friend of mine, “glorious”. I did it on about 2 hours sleep after staying out pretty late on Thanksgiving night. I made it to Kohl’s at 3:25 AM to find that their were about 100 people in line in front of me. I braved the cold for about another 30 minutes until the fine establishment opened up at 4 AM. What shocked me while I was waiting in line is that there were some people waiting who didn’t even know what they wanted. They were just there. Well, I eat those people for breakfast because I went directly to the comforter set that I’d scouted on bfads.net and circled in the flyer. It was the only one there in the size and color I wanted. This makes me giddy with delight. I saved $50.
From Kohl’s, I went to the mall to hit Sears, JC Penney, Express, Bath & Body Works, New York & Company, and the Limited. They really get me with those “spend this amount of money and get this scarf, watch, etc for free” gimmicks. I’m a sucker for it every time. I was only supposed to go in JC Penney, Sears, and Bath & Body Works but the others wound up seducing me inside.
After the mall, it was Ulta Beauty, Best Buy, and Home Depot. Home Depot was basically a bust because by the time I got there the tape measure set I was looking for was already gone. Due to only 2 hours of sleep, by about 8 AM, I was behaving like a drunk person. I’m drunk alright; drunk off the bargains. I don’t have a problem and I don’t need rehab. You can’t make me go.
On the way home at like 11:30 AM, I stopped at Jimmy John’s to pick up lunch. I asked the guy behind the counter if they were doing any Black Friday deals. He responded, “We did but you had to be here at 5 AM”. Sorry dude, I was elsewhere in a heated shopping frenzy. Maybe next year.
No diatribe needed for this blog. I love the New York Yankees and always will.
They are the best ever!
The World Series has consumed my television viewing but there are 3 shows that I try not to miss but I think the rest of the world is.
FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS
It's back for its 4th season which is a milestone I never thought a quality show like this would reach. DirectTV is currently premiering it on its 101 network with NBC scheduled to run this season in the spring. In all honesty, season one was brilliant but the show faltered in season two with a manslaughter sub-plot where all the main characters got off without a hitch. Season 3 was good and basically seemed to encourage the viewing audience to forget about the missteps taken by the writing staff in season 2. Last night I watched the first episode of season 4 and I felt like the show had returned back to its original form. The show's creator, Peter Berg, directed the premiere which helps and it appear as if Derek Jeter's latest squeeze, Minka Kelly, has been written off the show. Way to date a chick that's unemployed Derek. I, on the other hand, actually have a job...but I digress.
Our favorite and sexiest high school football coach ever in the history of television, Eric Taylor, has been forced to take a job coaching the less funded and far less athletically talented East Dillon Lions due to revised district lines. So Coach Taylor is wearing new colors, has a new team of nobodies, and has to rebuild from the ground up. There are new characters and the show just feels reborn. Taylor Kitsch is still hanging around as Tim Riggins and I'm sure he'll be helping Coach Taylor whip the Lions into shape.
Kyle Chandler, who plays Coach Taylor along with Connie Britton, who plays his onscreen wife have been overlooked by the emmys since the show began. It boggles the mind. These two put on an acting clinic week after week. Even when the writing was uneven, these two kept the show grounded in reality.
See it - DirectTV 101 network, 8 PM CST/9 PM EST on Wednesdays with replays throughout the week.
The Phillies truly suck. I'm also watching....
RESCUE INK UNLEASHED
God bless the guys at Rescue Ink. These are a group of tattooed, muscled up tough guys who roam Long Island and New York City helping animals in need. I've been watching this show for several weeks and I've watched these guys chase chickens, find homes for cats, rehabilitate pitbulls, educate owners, stake out a bad breeder and most importantly save animals from euthanasia. Dogs that seem too aggressive for society, they find someone to train them. Cats that were crammed in a hoarders home, they find someone to vaccinate them and hold an adoption fair. Your dog needs to be neutered? Here they come. They know guys that know guys.
Headquartered out of Long Beach, NY, the show roams some familiar areas where I grew up. Last episode, they actually went to an animal shelter in my hometown of Freeport.
See it - National Geographic Channel, 9 PM CST/10 PM EST on Fridays
The Phillies and their fans can all drop dead. Finally, I don't miss....
We all have too much crap but the individuals featured on A&E's Hoarders have mental hang-ups where they can't get seem to get rid of anything. I've been known to hoard clothing but these people are so sick that they'll hoard rotted food, old buses, tools, even cats. It is unbelievable how bad these people let their homes get. They can't even physically move from room to room. One husband caused his wife (or was it the other way around) to fall down the stairs because he had hoarded so much stuff on the staircase. Everyone on the show has extreme hoarding issues to the point where they've lost custody of their kids, are about to be evicted, or some other legal action is threatened. So its clean up your crap or else.
My favorite episode so far has been the one with the lady that was hoarding rotted food in her kitchen. It was so bad that flies were hovering in her kitchen and sticking to a fly strip. I think this episode reairs next Monday on A&E at 9 PM CST/10 PM EST.
See it - Hoarders Season 2 Premiere, Monday Nov 30th 9 PM CST/ 10 PM EST.
Werth and Utley need to be strangled. It's top of the 3rd.
Again, perhaps if they raised their children a little bit better, they wouldn't be such LOSERS!
My beloved Yankees have made it
past the Twins to face the Angels in the ALCS. I
love October for a number of reasons...the leaves
change colors, Halloween, the temperature cools
down, and postseason baseball. This is the time of
year where I almost lose my voice screaming at the
television. I was hoping for a Yankees/Cardinals
world series but it was not to be. The Cards got
run over by the Dodgers. I was thinking the other
night how interesting it would be for the Yanks and
Dodgers to square off in the WS since Joe Torre is
their ex-manager. It would be an awkward match up
but definitely one for the ages. Nobody knows what
the Yankees are going to do or can do like Joe
Torre. It reminds of a Star Trek: The Next
Generation episode where Captain Picard is captured
by the Borg and his 2nd in command is forced to
square off against him. Whereas Picard had written
the proverbial "book" on the Enterprise, the second
in command was not successful until he threw that
book away and wrote a new one. I hope you're
reading this Joe Girardi.
As for the Yankees' arch nemesis, the Boston Red Sox, they're out of contention. Perhaps if they raised their children a little bit better they would have lasted longer in the post season. The picture below is disgraceful.
“This quirky little comedy about how inter-office cliques are shattered once two co-workers from vastly different departments wind up stuck in an elevator for seven hours is a wonderful example of effective economic filmmaking. Running a scant seven minutes, director Lynelle White puts her two actors through the ringer in this cute emotional rollercoaster of a movie.”
Thanks Chuck! To read the entire article, click here.
Congressman Wilson abandons any form of decorum to yell “You lie!” at our nation’s president. Serena Williams flips out on a line judge at match point and tells her “I’m going to shove this f*ckin’ tennis ball down your throat”. Kanye West interrupts a teenager’s acceptance speech at the VMAs. It’s all so classless. I don’t know Wilson from a whole in the ground and I’ve never been a fan of Serena Williams. In my opinion, she is just too damn hefty to be running around on that tennis court. What the heck is she eating? As for Kanye, he does things for attention because his music is insufficient to carry his career.
Hey I just realized all three of these people have last names that end in “W”. Wilson, Williams, and West. Hmm. Is this coincidence? I think not. Wait...my name ends in “W”. Am I next to lose my freakin’ mind?!
Then on Friday, I just about fell out of my chair when I got a text from a friend that said Jeff Hardy had been arrested. Apparently the police found 200+ Vicodin, 100+ Soma pills, half a liter of steroids, and other drug paraphernalia. It was just a few weeks ago that I praised Jeff Hardy in this very blog for leaving WWE in outstanding fashion and thanking him for everything. WTF? He’s innocent until proven guilty but the cards seem a little stacked against him. Jeff’s previous drug issues are well documented. Furthermore, he is being charged for some serious felonies this time around to include trafficking.
I don’t take back any of my words from my previous Jeff Hardy blog but at this point I’m disappointed that he is once again involved in some drug-related drama no more than two weeks after going on hiatus from WWE.
I was just about to head outside jogging when I heard this loud crash from upstairs. I was thinking Honey might have knocked something over. Come to find out my closet freakin’ collapsed.
After 6 years, my closet could no longer withstand the weight of my shopping addiction. Then again the builder, Keleher, installed the cheapest closet system known to man. Weak little hooks could not have possibly lasted.
Thank God, Honey was nowhere near this thing when it went down. I would never forgive myself. This now gives me an excuse to install one of those fancy custom-made closets.
Josh’s sign got on TV as did the sign I made for Kofi Kingston.
So I’m booing the hell out of Jack Swagger and Nicole is taking pictures. Speaking of pictures, I brought my new camera with me and got a few decent shots. I’ll upload to a gallery later.
This one is fairly self explanatory. The WWE Champion Randy Orton is strongly disliked even in his hometown of St. Louis. When he came out earlier in the night, I yelled, “Orton you’re a greasy pig!” He then turned and looked me dead in my eye. Ooops. The second time he came out that night I kept my mouth shut.
**I feel the need to promote Voila a little bit. It took no time at all to get this done. For more info on Voila by Global Delight, click here.**
The Man in the Arena
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."
President Theodore Roosevelt
Speech at the Sorbonne Paris, France
April 23, 1910
This is the first movie I’ve seen this year in the theaters that has lived up to the hype. You must understand though, I don’t waste my time or money watching the “summer blockbusters”. I don’t call a never-ending stream of special effects loosely held together by a thin plot with minimal character development and even worse acting, worthy cinema. I call it obnoxious. So I didn’t waste time with “Transformers 2”, “Terminator Salvation”, or “GI Joe”. I did see “Star Trek” only to be kicked in the gut when I realized that JJ Abrams has singlehandedly wrecked the Star Trek Universe by significantly altering time lines. My continuing disappointment with the blockbuster, with the exception of Pixar’s “Up”, led me back to my beloved art film. I saw “Tyson” (OK), “Away We Go” (OK), “Departures” (Great) and now “The Hurt Locker”.
The Hurt Locker is a triumph in independent cinema. Director Kathryn Bigelow manages to combine key aspects of an art film with those of an action flick and strike the perfect balance between the two. This is not an easy task but Bigelow makes it look easy. In summary, the film is about an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team disarming bombs on the streets of Baghdad in 2004. You also get to see the intense personal interaction amongst the team members which is just as gripping as the bombs themselves. The performances by Jeremy Renner (SSgt. William James) and Anthony Mackie (Sgt. JT Sanborn) are exceptionally good. Never did I see two actors reciting lines off of a page. Everything felt real. Brian Geraghty (Specialist Owen Eldridge) rounds out the trio playing basically the same un-sure of himself, not as tough as the others character he’s played in movies like “The Guardian” and “We Are Marshall”.
Now I’ve been known to bash the
Army in the past being ex-Air Force and all but I
gained a newfound respect for the Army guys that
work EOD in this film. The focus and concentration
required for hours on end in the blazing heat is
unbelievable. Not to mention the simple fact that
they walk towards a bomb when everyone else is
walking or running away. Every encounter with an
IED is life or death; no in-between. Yeah, it’s
brave and patriotic but it’s also a solid mix of
crazy and cowboy that makes it oh, so American.
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the film and give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars. I found myself putting my hands over my mouth several times because of how tense some of the scenes got. For anyone else that has ever worn the uniform of our nation’s military, this is a must see. For those of you that haven’t been affiliated with the military, see it – it’s so easy to forget what your neighbor’s son, your cousin, or some other relation might be doing “over there” on a day to day basis.
I had some teenagers sitting behind me that obviously didn’t appreciate the film and found it boring. They came in 20 minutes late with the goal of just killing time. I gave them the once over while the credits rolled. Of the four of them not a single one would last 4 minutes doing what those guys in the film had to contend with. In the St. Louis area, “The Hurt Locker” is playing at The Tivoli and The Plaza Frontenac. I saw it at a Wehrenberg chain but they are no longer carrying the film.
Finally, if Kathryn Bigelow is not nominated for a Best Director Oscar this year, it will be a travesty of justice.
I just sent an email to the Cinema St. Louis guys. I want a certificate or something to put on the wall. But for now...
- Scoring an Empire Strikes Back T-Shirt from Old Navy
- Paying for 3 bras when I really had 4 ~ Gotta love those check out girls that don’t pay attention
- The secret spot where I found Lands’ End merchandise drastically marked down ~ I could tell you where it is but then it wouldn’t be a secret anymore. Needless to say I loaded up on stuff for winter for both me and my dad. Reference my earlier blog here.
- The bath I took at the end of the day to soak my aching muscles ~ Those shopping bags were heavy and I was moving fast. Plus I did a tough weight workout the day before.
- Large girls in way too small shorts ~ It was everywhere! Ladies, stop it. You know who you are...and no, you do not look good in them. Period.
- People walking too slow ~ It’s tax free weekend! Move your ass! There’s a lot of ground to cover.
- People walking too slow with strollers ~ The amount of strollers is out of control. In the mall it felt like an obstacle course just to get around all these things. And people always want to stop their stroller in the most inconvenient location it seems.
- Express and Gap Outlet ~ Both let me down. I didn’t get anything from either and normally those are my “go-to” stores.
- Lack of mall directories in the Chesterfield and St. Louis Mills Malls ~ Maybe I was moving too fast and didn’t see any of them but I doubt it. I guess the fat heffers in the daisy dukes don’t need the directories but I don’t come to these malls that often so I could have used some help.
- The Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Bridgeton is apparently only open on weekdays ~ This caused me to go an additional hour or so without food until I happened upon a Quizno’s.
- Quizno’s has changed their damn menu ~ They took my favorite prime rib sandwich off the menu and it’s 9 PM and I’m starving. I get the cheesesteak sandwich instead but it is not nearly as good as the prime rib. The bread seemed harder too and it irritated the roof of my mouth. Just when I was starting to become a regular at Quizno’s...
- Dropping a snickerdoodle cookie between my car seats ~ Famished and trying to race into Best Buy, my last stop of the night, I dropped a cookie in between my passenger seat and the center console. Why is it every time I drop a food item in the car it has to fall into the most unreachable place imaginable?! I just vacummed the car a few weeks ago. I abandoned the cookie crumbs after spending ten minutes trying to get it out.
Now this may look like there are more lows than highs but behold the fruits of my labor below:
I live for this. I am a one woman stimulus package.
This blog is just going to be some random thoughts as I have no real purpose or insightful message.
While I was driving today, a man whizzed passed me on his motorcycle. The back of his T-Shirt flapped in the wind. It would have been nothing to take notice of only the T-shirt blew up to reveal his large butt crack. Old boy must have felt the breeze because he kept trying to pull his shirt down to no avail. For a second I thought he might cause an accident due to his preoccupation with his plumber's crack on the interstate. Then I would have had to pull over and be a witness to the event and try to explain it all to the police.
I used Strap Perfect for the first time today. Its one of those $19.99 TV gadgets where you can prevent your bra straps from showing under your tank top straps. I must say, it worked for me as advertised. I only paid $14.99 for it though at Bed, Bath and Beyond.
I create this blog on a Mac using a program called Rapidweaver, which I really like. If you have a Mac, don't buy a program called Garage Sale Basic. I just wasted 40 minutes of my life with it and it failed to list my eBay auction. Wound up doing it the old fashioned way. I'm a bit of a hybrid computer freak. I have both a PC and 2 Macs in my home. One day I'll be totally Mac though. The PC is 5 years old and I keep it because there's so much stuff on it and I like Outlook. I know, I know. I could run Microsoft Office on an Intel based mac but I just don't want to contaminate my macs just yet.
Speaking of Mac....I visit www.dealmac.com everyday. It's a great site that finds the best daily deals on the internet not just for Macs but for all sorts of electronics. I also check out MacUpdate daily for the latest 24 hour software deal (www.mupromo.com).
Little Caesars is the come back story of the year. I remember when those places were going out of business. Now with that $5 pizza deal, you can't beat it. Everyone I've talked to likes that $5 pizza.
I'm not going to join Twitter. I really don't want people to know when I'm not home. They will rob me. I know this sort of thing has already happened. Twitter taps into everyone's deepest desire to be a celebrity and have tons of people interested in what they are doing. Speaking of celebrities...
Really A-Rod? Kate Hudson?! Really?! (Insert roll of the eyes here.)
There's a local radio show called Absolute Wrestling Radio that I listen to on the weekends. Mark and Andy are the hosts. I've never met either of them in person but a few nights ago I had a dream that Mark and Andy were getting out of a car and walking into a residential home. Pretty uneventful except for the fact that Andy was wearing a large-sized diaper and nothing else! That was the end of the dream (I swear) but what in the blazes does it mean if I'm dreaming about a man that I've never met and he's wearing an adult diaper?!
Speaking of dreams...
Congratulations to Jeff Hardy on winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship last Sunday. Jeff has been chasing that title for half the year so it's so good to finally see him get it. The true champion has been restored. About 18 months ago, this man lost everything he owned including his dog in a sudden house fire. During that same time frame, he was serving a suspension from the WWE for a wellness policy violation. A lesser man would have packed it in and called it quits. But Jeff fought back to be the top guy in WWE and win the two biggest singles titles in the wrestling business. We all make mistakes and noone is perfect. But the true measure of a man is how he reacts when the chips are down and how he picks himself up after the fall. Say what you want about Jeff Hardy: he's a screw-up, he's a drugee, he's weird. To me, he's simply, my hero.
There was a tremendous turnout for the Relationship Shorts program at the Tivoli this past Tuesday for the St. Louis Filmmaker's Showcase. I was pleasantly surprised to see that many people come out on a weeknight to see short films created by local filmmakers. My favorite of the evening was a 35 minute short called "A Slice of Pie"...everything about it was great. The acting, the cinematography, the story were all at a level that I strive to have my films reach some day.
I've had a series of unfortunate events as of late: The kitchen faucet needed to be replaced, I lost my complimentary tickets to the filmmaker showcase, my air conditioner in the house went out for two days, I lost my post office box key...I then clogged aforementioned sink with sweet potato peels. Apparently you're not supposed to put potato peels down the garbage disposal. Who knew?! You're also supposed to have routine maintenance on your AC and furnace too. And don't put glasses in the dishwasher over the prongs; they should go in between. I truly know nothing. I was the nearest adult in the vicinity when a 10 year old boy accidentally crashed his bike into one of my neighbor's parked cars. I guess this was more his unfortunate event than mine. After seeing that he'd broken the tail light and scuffed the vehicle, he immediately began crying and yelling, "I'm an idiot! I'm an idiot!". After spending the past two Saturdays uncomfortably under my kitchen sink and realizing that I'm a moron when it comes to home maintenance, I know the feeling kid.
On the bright side, I was able to fix my plumbing issues without spending money for a plumber and the AC only needed freon after 5 1/2 years of my neglect. I also got some really good news about "And Seven Hours Later..."
Erik Williams was kind enough to submit the film to the Route 66 Film Festival and as luck would have it, the film got into the program. The festival is September 19th and 20th in Springfield, Illinois at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. The full address is on their website www.route66filmfestival.net. Our short will air in the 10 AM block on Saturday, September 19th. I’m probably going to make a weekend out of the trip up there since I’ve been wanted to go to the Lincoln museum and some other Springfield sites for a while now.
I'm continuously surprised that a film I shot basically for practice has done well enough to be an official selection at two festivals. Perhaps my series of unfortunate events has ended.
A world without Michael Jackson
is an empty one. I’ve been walking around in a fog
since I heard the surreal news of his death on June
25th. The air itself feels stale,
food has lost its taste, colors appear dull and
listless. In fact, I looked at the sky yesterday,
the day of his memorial service, and it just didn’t
seem as blue.
I found myself asking, “What’s the point of it all?” Why do anything anymore. Why try to be the best at something? Why work your hands to the bone if this is the end result? I lost motivation. I’ve had to drag myself through the motions: go to work, clean up the house, workout, edit my movie…but in the end it felt pointless. The void was too huge.
Being an 80’s kid, I remember seeing the moonwalk on the Motown 25th Anniversary special. I remember “Billie Jean” and “Beat It” getting regular air time on a fledgling network called MTV. I remember the day my father brought home a contraption called a VCR and we only had 2 VHS tapes to play in the thing. One was “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the other was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” with the ‘making of’ documentary. My sister claims that I got too scared during the first 3 minutes of the “Thriller” video and we had to turn the TV off. I have no recollection of this. What I do remember is that in my eight year old mind, the “Thriller” video was the Star Wars of music videos. It was the best of its kind. On the school bus, me and my friends would bicker about who was going to marry Michael Jackson. The argument was never really settled.
I remember a day where every radio station in NY and possibly the country suspended their regular programming to play “We Are the World” simultaneously. Michael Jackson videos were appointment viewing long before there was such a thing as “Must See TV”. The major networks would stop their prime time lineup to premiere his latest video and everyone stopped what they doing to watch. There is not a single artist today that remotely has that sort of pull, that sort of magnetism. I remember eagerly waiting in line at Walt Disney World to see Captain Eo.
There was nobody bigger or better. Michael Jackson was larger than life. I was too young to be fully aware of all the problems of the world during the 1980’s but I do know that the Cold War lingered in the back of everyone’s minds. Come to find out, the music industry was hitting a rough spot as well in terms of sales. So Michael Jackson was as timely as he was timeless.
Now it’s 2009 and the cable news networks are all confirming that Michael Jackson is dead at age 50. It’s incomprehensible. For some reason I’d envisioned him moonwalking and spinning on a stage well into his 90’s. A depression set in. If this could happen to the biggest superstar that ever lived, what hope is there for me? Nothing mattered anymore.
But yesterday at the memorial service, my faith was restored in the most unlikeliest of places. I have never been a huge fan of Al Sharpton. I always thought he weaseled his way into situations in order to extend his relevance. I often believed he misrepresented the black community. But yesterday when he said, “Michael never stopped!” it helped pull me out of the funk I’d been in for the past 12 days. If Michael never stopped, then I can’t either. He had the world watching his every move. His life was dissected. If he never stopped then I have no excuses.
I’ve seen a lot of negative
comments on the internet and the media about his
private life. I’m surprised at how few people have
the decency to not malign the dead. As much as the
internet has expanded information flow, negativity
spreads on it like a plague. Everyone is so much
bolder in anonymity. Michael Jackson the man was as
tormented as he was talented. No doubt Michael
Jackson struggled with multiple demons. The depths
of these demons we may never know but I choose for
once, to dwell on the past instead of the present.
This is the Michael Jackson I
will remember. The beauty, the genius, the gifts,
the creativity, and the vision. A man who was known
even in the forgotten corners of the world not just
for his musical talents but also for his tremendous
generosity. A talent the world had never seen
before nor will again.
When they put together the time capsule to leave behind on Earth for the aliens to find and gain a better understanding of humanity, all sorts of masterpieces from literature, film, and music will be gathered. You put Elvis in there. You put the Beatles in there. Shakespeare. Sinatra. And, of course, you put Michael Jackson in there.
I had not intended on participating in the St. Louis Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure but I found out just yesterday that a friend of mine has been diagnosed with breast cancer. She has a tough few months ahead of her...surgery, chemo, radiation therapy. I decided yesterday afternoon, the day prior to the race, to sign up. I also like to run the occasional 5K here and there so it seemed like the perfect idea.
I just got back from the race downtown and what a colossal disappointment. It was incredibly unorganized. It took me 15 minutes just to find the registration tables. People were wandering around aimlessly not knowing where the runners should go or where the walkers line up. I was shocked that there were no volunteers to direct people to registration, the start line, etc. UNREAL.
I found the registration table through word of mouth just 5 minutes before the start for the run. There were no more medium shirts so I took a rain check to pick my shirt up at a later date. Not a big deal. The ladies behind the booth handed me my race number for my shirt but had no pins for me to attach it. WTF?! What am I supposed to do with this?! "They didn't give us any pins", was the response. GOOD GRIEF.
At this point the runners are going or so I hear some screechy lady announcing through a microphone but I still have no idea where the start line is nor can I find it in this unorganized sea of people. The majority of the people out there seemed preoccupied with eating or trying to get free stuff from the vendors. The placement of the vendors was ill thought out or perhaps not thought out at all. It only created a massive traffic jam of people before they could even get to the start line. I've been spoiiled by well-oiled machine races like the AF Marathon in Dayton.
I prefer to run...that's me. If you're walking, fine but do we really need all the strollers mixed in everywhere making matters worse? I saw some guy pulling a giant tortoise around on a wagon. What in god's name does that have to do with breast cancer? Let us not lose sight of the real issue. There were so many crazy t-shirts, capes, outfits, bunny ears that it got on my nerves...the race seems more about dressing up and being cute than anything else.
The bottom line:
I blame myself for attempting to register and then find the start line. I should have just focused all my energies on finding the start lines when I first arrived but I assumed all the runners would need to be wearing numbers. Maybe arriving 25 minutes prior to start was not adequate time. If that's the case then this definitely isn't the race for me.
I wound up walking but I swear the mob drove the start of the walk more than anyone running the event. I was walking at around 8:40AM and I thought that portion wasn't supposed to start until 9AM. After one mile, I called it quits and headed home. I'd come down there to run, not shuffle. Furthermore, all the previous incidents had put me in such a foul mood that I honestly did not feel like dealing with hordes of people trying to leave once it was all over.
I am disappointed that circumstances prevented me from truly supporting my friend as she fights an uphill battle. I hope I can find some other way to rectify the whole left in my heart. The Susan G. Komen Race just ain't the thing for me. I need something quieter, more serious, and with less pink.
I got word on Tuesday that my silent film, And Seven Hours Later has been accepted into the St. Louis Filmmaker's Showcase. It will screen at the Tivoli on July 21st at 7PM. For more info, visit Cinema St. Louis here. I am pleased to be included in the showcase this year after being rejected last year...but I'm not bitter about that still. Honest.
What else....I am still hard at work on my inauguration documentary. I will admit that I put it on the back burner for a time but I'm going to try like heck to get the piece completed by end of June. I spent all day in front of my computer today working on it as a matter of fact.
Summer tip - I learned this when I was visiting NY a few weeks ago. McDonald's has sweet tea for a $1 and it aint' bad. Matter of fact, it comes in a large size cup and will definitely quench your thirst on a typical hot-ass St. Louis day.
While I was home in NY, I visited the new stadium. It is completely gorgeous. The big screen monitor in centerfield is so clear that I would rather watch it than watch real life. Here are some pics:
DELTA (Don't Expect Luggage To Arrive) managed to misplace my bag on a direct flight from St. Louis to JFK. How this happened to me and about eight other people still boggles my mind. I will never fly that airline again. At the Yankees game, some little bastard kids swiped my Rodriguez T-shirt that I'd bought from the Yankees store. The Yankees ticket management folks then gave me the run around when I was trying to contact the season ticket holder behind me about his kids grabbing the shirt that didn't belong to them. First, Simone said she would help but when I called back she backed off helping and copped an attitude. Then I tried to talk to the supervisor but he wasn't in so I got Stan who promised the supervisor would call me back but I never got a phone call. Typical NY nonsense and heffers like Simone just don't care. What's funny is that at the new stadium, they have all these employees walking around with signs saying "I'm here to help". Um, Nice try but I really don't think so.
Thank you so much to Erik Williams for getting my short film listed on IMDB (Internet Movie Database). It's official and you can see it here.
It makes me feel like a real director to see this. You rock, Erik! Rest assured I will be submitting "And Seven Hours Later" to the St. Louis Filmmakers' Showcase. Keep your fingers crossed that it gets in.
Also, here's a quick filmmaking update. My goal is to finish my inauguration documentary by the end of May. I had to get another project out of the way first and will now have the time to commit in the coming weeks. My home office has got to get cleaned up first...it's a wreck. Maybe I'll do it tomorrow
In June/July, I plan on shooting another short film so stay tuned.
Kim and I went into the Air and Space Museum. It was so great to get a break from the cold. The first floor, however, was full of people so we thought to go upstairs in order to find a seat to take a load off. Wouldn’t you know it…the up escalator is blocked off for some unknown reason. It seems like all day wherever we wanted to go was not available to us. We saw someone on the other side running up the down escalator. Kim says, “We could do that.” I initially rejected the idea. I’m too tired. I only got 3 hours of sleep. My arms are sore from carrying the camera. But my pride in personal fitness quickly took over and I changed my mind. We went for it.
Everything went great at first. I was in the lead with Kim right behind me and we were covering ground. Halfway up I felt a slight burn in my legs but I keep going. “I’ve had worse,” I think to myself. I press on. The burn intensifies. I realize that neither Kim nor I had accurately accounted for how long this escalator truly is. But I’m almost at the top and the escalator track is beginning to level out. The steps are coming faster or maybe my legs are tired and they’re moving slower. Regardless, I can’t keep up. I face plant. Worried that Kim might fall right on top of me, I quickly get up. A few more steps.,.I’m almost to the top. BAM! Face plant number 2.
The second face plant was close enough to the end of the escalator so that when I landed, I stayed on the ground and began crawling my way off the platform. I see two people sitting on a bench watching me claw myself to the finish line exhaustively. They don’t bat an eyelash. Don’t attempt to help. Nothing. Kim miraculously is able to make it up as well without falling on top of me. The whole time I had my prosumer Panasonic DVX-100A camera in my right hand. I’m very thankful it wasn’t smashed to pieces in two consecutive wipe-outs. He’s a tough little guy.
Here’s the irony. Kim and I are both pilots. Kim is still flying commercial and for the reserves; I’ve taken a much needed break from it. As African-American female pilots in the Air Force, we were a rare site during our active-duty flying days. You would think the two of us would have more sense than to attempt to go up the down escalator but lack of sleep and standing all day had clouded our judgment. But here we are, the two of us, falling like idiots in the Air and Space Museum of all places. What a disgrace. The incident had to have been captured on a security camera. Maybe one day I’ll see it on youTube.
We skipped the parade because all of us at the national mall had been told early on that the route was full. Additionally, by the time the parade was going on, the temperature had dropped even further.
At the end of inauguration day, we felt like we’d been through a war. I was completely wiped out at the end of the day but I’m so glad we decided to be one of the 1.5 million in attendance. We concluded our day with brownie sundaes from Pizzeria Uno and then watched the inaugural balls on TV. We have a President who dances. And he and Michelle are so sweet together. Aww.
Slumdog Millionaire was good but overrated. Best Picture should have gone to Benjamin Button. It was a sweeping epic. The Oscars this year were a let down. Slumdog ripped off everyone and the multiple presenters deal was plain uncomfortable. Does Beyonce's chubby-ass have to show up at every awards show? Give us a break already.
Kim and I were standing watching the jumbotron when she nudges me. “Hey, look out,” she says pointing behind me. Some guy had just randomly vomited about one foot from our blanket behind us. Just what we needed. The crowd was already beginning to smell like one big, giant fart, now we can add the aroma of vomit on top of it. A couple of ladies in the vicinity of the “accident” initially made faces but then rolled up their sleeves to solve the crisis. They threw dirt on top of the vomit and borrowed some newspapers from Kim to cover it up. They stood on the newspapers and trampled the vomit into the earth. I guess this reflects the overall mood for the day. Shit happens, adapt, and keep it moving.
The oath botching sort of took the wind out of everyone's sails temporarily, I must admit. We all sort of scratched our heads like “WTF?”. But President Obama’s speech managed to pull everyone back in.
Here’s what disappointed me the most. People started leaving before the entire ceremony was over. What kind of a classless moron are you to start walking to leave during the National Anthem?! And by the way, where the hell do you think you’re actually going to go?! There’s over a million people out here. Stupid idiots. I was flabbergasted by the disrespect. You’ve waited hour after hour and you can’t stand there another 15 minutes until the ceremony is concluded? Please. Kim and I stayed put as best we could until basically people kept walking into us.
When there was room to move, we eventually tried to follow the crowd and exit. This was extremely slow going. Move a little, bottleneck. Move some more, get stuck, push. Miraculously we got funneled to what I’ll call “Vendors row”. These guys were selling all kinds of stuff. A lot of it was overpriced and of poor quality. Neither one of us bought anything.
I've got one more installment left. I still need to cover how Kim and I disgraced ourselves in the Air and Space Museum. If you want to see all my pictures from that weekend, visit my website for the documentary www.inaugurationroad.com. I've posted all the pics there.
My friend Kim joined me out in DC for the weekend. We had a fairly smart setup. Our hotel was in Fairfax, VA and was less than a mile from the metro station so we had no issues getting around. In fact, it was better to stay further out because by the time the trains arrived DC they were already full from all the suburb people. The problem with Kim and I is that we decided for various reasons to stay up until midnight the night before the inauguration. We knew darn well the metro trains started running at 4 AM and we wanted to get up at 3:30 AM. But for some unknown reason, we stayed up fooling around on the internet and formulating a "plan" for the next day which ultimately proved to be worthless. In any case, it was the best 3 hours of sleep I think I've ever had.
We get out to the national mall and there's a significant amount of confusion. Nobody, including the police, seem to know where the non-ticket types are supposed to go. There's pushing, squeezing, and a mob mindset. We finally find our way into the mall and pop a squat in front of the the 3rd jumbo tron back. Thank goodness I had sense enough to bring a blanket. Kim takes a nap on the ground while I shoot some footage. Here's what things looked like when we first arrived that morning at 5:30 AM:
So we're all huddled around waiting for the sun to come up...hoping that with the appearance of our closest star the temperature will rise. It does not.
Here's where things start to get scary. The port-o-potties are all on the sides of the mall. In order to get through them you have to shove yourself past thousands in the crowd and then attempt to return to the hapless little spot where you positioned your blanket but is now getting trampled on. Kim went first and then I went. I honestly did not know whether I would ever make it back through the masses. At the point where I was about to give up, I recognized the weird looking lady who had been standing behind us and she was my beacon back to the promise land. From that point on, there would be no more trips to the port-o-pottie. I'll pee right where I stand before I go through that hell again. Some people were even trying to make it through the crowd with hot chocolate in their hands. Good grief!
More later...it gets better.