Setting Things Straight

So, the fellas over at Outside the Box Score have an 80s Movie Tournament Bracket going. Naturally, they messed up several of the seedings. This caused me great anguish in picking certain movies over others. They also snubbed Raising Arizona completely. So, myopia strikes again.

I’m trying to darndest to make sure The Goonies keeps winning. That’s right, I’m voting as many times as I can. Which is possible if you clear your cache, so the poll doesn’t remember you. Goonies never say die.

I liked their tournament idea, but decided I’d just declare some of my favorite movies because that’s the kind of narcissistic exercise that blogs accommodate so well!

I consider myself a movie guy. “Movie buff” seems too intense and lofty for my level of fandom. But, because I’m a movie guy, I can’t just answer what my favorite movie is without some explanation. And I certainly cannot list my top five or ten favorites in order. SO, I usually resort to this:

Favorite War Movie: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Favorite Action Movie: Die Hard (1988)

Favorite Adventure Movie (Yes, it’s different than action.): Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Favorite Christmas Movie: Home Alone (1990)*

*Technically, Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie but I figured I shouldn’t duplicate any entries.

Favorite Monster Movie: The Monster Squad (1987)

Favorite Silent Movie: The General (1926)*

*This is actually the only silent movie I’ve ever seen.

Favorite Comedy Movies: Raising Arizona (1987) and Bottle Rocket (1996)

Favorite Mob Movies: The Untouchables (1987), The Godfather (1972), and The Departed (2006)

Favorite Sports Movies: Hoosiers (1986) and A League of Their Own (1992)

Favorite Sci-Fi Movies: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Back to the Future (1985)

Favorite Fantasy Movies: The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and Willow (1988)

That’s all the categories that came to mind off the top of my head. When it comes to movies, “favorite” and “best” are two different things, I believe. A movie can be a favorite because of nostalgia, impact, resonance, etc. without being good. Conversely, a movie can be really well made but not interesting or enjoyable to me (see The Aviator (2004)). So that brings me to my favorite movie of all time.

All-Time Favorite Movie: The Goonies (1985)

I Don’t Get It

I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I haven’t investigated all the ins and outs of abortion policy but as I understand it, the most recent legislation that was blocked sought to, among other things, ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in Texas.

I believe abortion at any stage is the taking of a life. Is that not what an abortion is? There is a life that needs to be ended for an abortion to be deemed successful, yes? It’s not simply a removal… it’s a cessation of life. That’s why Kermit Gosnell ensured “fetal demise” (killed live-born babies) in his clinic. Because the mothers chose abortion and he wanted to complete the procedure that was chosen.

Regardless, to focus (more so) on the recent legislation, how could anyone ever disregard the life of a 20 week or older fetus? It blows my mind and sickens my heart. I recently went to an ultrasound reading with my pregnant wife. Here is an image from the visit:

Baby Wilson

This image was taken at 13 weeks… 13 WEEKS.

My baby has a face, a nose, arms and legs. Baby Wilson is a person. Baby Wilson is alive. How could anyone, let alone the president of the United States, celebrate the blocking of legislation that would protect a life well after this stage of pregnancy?

I cannot wrap my mind around this thinking. Fighting for the “right” to choose? What is the choice, exactly? Can it be denied that the choice is to end a life?

Is that the logic in the argument? That women should have the right to choose what happens to their bodies? Surely abortion proponents realize that the fetus is a BODY inside of a pregnant lady’s body. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills and missing the point.

Pregnant ladies can’t even ride roller coasters. Whose body is being protected by that policy? Where are the protests on that attack on choice?

We’re worshiping ourselves. It’s a scary day when each person is their own authority.

That’s the self-exalting attitude that roused protesters to disrupt lawmakers in Austin. It’s the same self-exalting attitude that celebrates the freedom to end the life of the unborn. And our nation is reveling in and rabidly fighting for it.

And I just don’t get it.

oy vey, tv land.

once again, the fickle masses and almighty dollar have given the proverbial axe to another slew of shows. i don’t know how some of the surviving shows made it through to another season and i hate that others didn’t. here’s a quick rundown of some, imo, notables.

pushing daisies: been over this already, but wanted to re-mention it. also wanted to note that they’ll be airing new eps in the next few weeks, so MAYBE we’ll get some closure on this short-lived series.

the unit: sorry, mom and dad. fans can always watch allstate commercials and hope one of those wrecks getts REALLY out of hand. from what i’ve seen, the unit combines the shoot-first-ask-questions-later and body count of 24 with the marital dynamic of a “good” lifetime original movie. not really my bag.

kath & kim: i didn’t even have to watch this show to know it was horrendous. they got this one right.

knight rider and harper’s island: REALLY?! NO WAY! (i guess those weren’t really notable cancellations)

my name is earl: i admit, this ole grey mare ain’t what she used to be. not as upset with its cancellation as i am with the decline of the show. glad pressly got an emmy out of it, though. she quickly (and somewhat sadly) became the only bright spot. (i did read that ‘earl’ is being shopped to other networks.)

king of the hill: hats off to a good show with a good run. i didn’t keep up with it, but i did appreciate it. chagrined that my hank hill impression isn’t as valuable if no one knows who he is!

the unusuals:last, but not least, is a show i really enjoyed and HOPED would have some staying power. i thought the cast acted well (jeremy renner, amber tamblyn, harold perrineau, adam goldberg, and kai lennox were ALL great), the quirks were outlandish but still believable enough to watch, the soundtrack was cool, and the stories were fine. so what happened, america?! “blech,” i say. not cool.

with these cancellations (and many more), come some new contestants to vie for america’s downtime. one promising new show that caught my eye is community, brought to us by nbc. the blurb in entertainment weekly reads, “joel mchale heads up the cast of a comedy about a community college full of misfit students and teachers. funny and clever, with chevy chase costarring.” now, mchale was pretty horrible on the improv flash in the pan, thank God, you’re here, so my hopes aren’t too high.

at least my survivor and ‘idol’ picks were victorious. so not all hope is lost, ha.

i’m so glad tv isn’t important. then i’d really have something to be upset about.

it’s an honor just to be nominated

this weekend will be the tenth wedding i have participated in, if my count is accurate (hope i’m not forgetting someone).

this will be my second outing as an usher. i’ve also been a groomsman four times and held/shared best man duties four times. it’s always an honor. i know it’s not about me AT ALL, but when i think about being asked to share in such an important event, i feel blessed to be counted as friend by the people in my life.

i’m really thankful for the people and friendships God has placed in my life over the years. i’m so undeserving, yet here i stand.

you lost me…

this is a list of recent and not-so-recent things i’ve observed that made me think “are you kidding me?! what were they thinking?!” in no particular order:

-ABC cancels Pushing Daisies. this is one of my favorite shows. and i watch a LOT of shows. the american tv audience is stupid (my blog, my opinion). reminds me of FOX’s ridiculous canceling of one of the greatest shows i’ve ever seen. “PD” wasn’t exactly one of the greatest shows i’ve ever seen, but still a stupid move.

the Snuggie infomercial loses me at 1:05. it looks so warm, comfy, and natural until i see it in the stands at the game. it looks like a family of monks or de-hooded jawas mixed in with all the normal people. to paraphrase brian regan, “ain’t gonna move a lot of [Snuggies] this way.”

-DIRECTV had me mildly entertained with their recreations of classic movie scenes to hawk their wares until they used the little girl from the Poltergeist movies who died (before the third movie was even released) at the age of 12. blech. who were the ad wizards that ok’d that? what was craig t. thinking? coach must be strapped for cash. whatever the case, it turned me way off.

-the BIG XII conference is apparently the only BCS conference with a championship game that does NOT defer to head-to-head games when two teams are so closely ranked in the polls. (of course, they are reassessing the system, now!) don’t get me started, don’t EVEN get me started…

men are from mars…

wow. over a week since my last post. i do apologize.

today’s rant is not a new thought for me. the following subject has been a source of banter/trivial arguing for me on multiple occasions. but i’m in a mini blogging drought and needed to get some content up!

today’s moot argument: gatorade rain is for metrosexuals*.

if you want flavored water (on my list of the worst inventions ever, btw), drink flavored water. if you want crystal light, drink crystal light. quit trying to butch up your preferences by buying a gatorade product. “rain”? seriously?! it’s light, crisp, and refreshing in a way that doesn’t coat your throat with manly phlegmy goodness. there’s no room for that in the gatorade world. dr. robert cade, that old hillbilly scientist guy (“we called our stuff gator-aid.”), i hope, had nothing to do with it. he may even have rolled over in his grave… but since righted himself while rolling over again for G2 (rain redux?).

gatorade is supposed to be thick. it’s supposed to make you spit and clear your throat. no real man wants to replace their electrolytes the easy way. gatorade rain is for people who think lemon-lime gatorade is yellow (i.e. chicks and chickish dudes).

i’ve created an equation to illustrate my point here.

i have to assume that peyton manning and other athletes were contractually obligated to promote this dreck. if not, he should change his middle name to “not a real”.

i mean what’s next? hotwings ‘n high tea? knit shotgun cozies? there were two genders in the garden people… and there are two genders today. some lines weren’t meant to be blurred! thank you. carry on.

*note: i do not consider myself mr. macho manly man, either. i’ve never been hunting, i don’t understand “mudding”, and i have product in my hair. BUT this is my blog and my ridiculous opinion!

low-speed pursuit

trivial pursuit just released a 25th anniversary edition with a new gimmick: levels of difficulty.

halfhearted pursuit

blech. to me, the point of trivial pursuit is to pursue trivial knowledge. the definition of trivia points to non-essential knowledge. you know it or you don’t. there is one degree of difficulty: it’s in your head or it’s not.

when my bff, randy, and i were battling our parents’ sunday school class back in the day in a game of trivial pursuit (original genus* edition, i believe), we had no idea that fallen norse warriors spent their afterlife in valhalla (we do now!). we missed that question, but we won the game! AND every question had the same degree of difficulty.

according to wikipedia, folks in the UK have been claiming that trivial pursuit has been dumbing down for a while. if i didn’t agree before, i sure as heck do now. if you want lots of cream puff questions so you can play with the kiddos, play one of the junior or kids editions. if you wanna teach your kids the cold, hard truth of trivia, play the real deal. you win some, you lose some… you know it or you don’t.

i don’t have kids, so i can be mean like that. i got beat at phase 10 by my 7 year old niece, fair and square. randy and i beat our parents and their friends at trivial pursuit when we were in high school. it’s all good.

think of it as the circle of life, game style. some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.

*yes, it’s “genus” NOT “genius”. you know you’re in trouble when you bust out the trivial pursuit game box and, even though you let “trivia pursuit” slide when you heard it, “oh no! GENIUS IV edition?!?!?” just makes you cringe.