Monday, May 26, 2008

Things I Learned This Memorial Day Weekend

It's been a busy Memorial Day weekend. I don't want to bore you with a play-by-play recap of the past four days. So, I'll just share what I've learned.

George Lucas knows how to ruin a successful movie franchise. The franchise of which
I speak is the Indiana Jones series with the latest addition being The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, released this weekend. I could get into the troubling colonial undertones of the entire franchise, but there's no need. Lucas continues to wreak havoc all over the movie franchises that made him rich.

The first was the Star Wars trilogy, which he completely negated with his prequel trifecta of lameness. The first episode was The Phantom Menace with "menace" being an understatement. In that film, he killed off his best character since B
oba Fett, who he later ruined in the second installment.

Now, he's slowly taking apart the Indiana Jones franchise with stupid CGI animals, an annoying heir to the throne, and Harrison Ford's ever advancing age. While watching The Kingdom, it occurred to me just how much Lucas films have depended on Ford's
dead-on delivery. Now with his life expectancy shrinking, Lucas will need to find a new leading man with as much charisma and charm as Ford. I do know that this replacement won't be found in his new boy-toys, Hayden Christensen or Shia LeBouf.

It's nice to be a regular at a bar. Flat Branch was super crowded Friday night. It was difficult to find a spot at the bar much less get service. (From where did all these people come?) So, we headed out to the less-crowded Ragtag, or 'Tag as I'm calling it. As I mentioned before, bartender Barry stocks some good beer, particularly Bells Two-Hearted Ale. Now, he knows me when I come to the bar. He asked if the Two-Hearted would be my regular thing. Sure. We returned the following night and Barry remembered. Nothing beats being a regular at a bar.

I can make a mean guacamole. An invitation was extended for a Memorial weekend barbecue and I needed to bring something to contribute. Chips were sugges
ted, so I took it one step further and whipped up a batch of guacamole. My guac' is loaded with cilantro, fresh garlic and plenty of lime juice. There are no measurements. I just throw it all in the food processor and add salt to taste. I may have to make another batch...

Wii Bowling will put actual bowling out of business. Sometime last week, I was introduced to the Wii by my partner's boss' ten-year-old son. I didn't do so well. When it was shared that the barbecue would be closed with some Wii bowling, I wasn't too enthused. However, what I found is that bowling on the game system is actually better than the real thing. There were no stinky shoes. You didn't have to search for hours for a ball that was just the right weight and fit your fingers. Also, I didn't get that pain in my forearm that often happens since I bowl maybe once a year.

Besides the absence of bowling negatives, Wii had a lot of features real bowling just can't offer. For one, we were able to pick our own characters. One guy was "Uncle Bob" (aka Bob Pollard). I was Stanley from The Office. You can put spin on the ball or bowl unbelievably straight w
ithout being an expert bowler. The play was otherwise very realistic, making me satisfied that I won't have to bowl (real or virtual) for another year.

The people who work at Flat Branch don't drink the beer at their own parties. By knowing someone who knows people, I was able to crash the after-work party for the Flat Branch staff. The people at Flat Branch are a fun lot, but they have surprising taste in beer. I was thinking that a Flat Branch party would have a load of KT Trail in growlers or at least a keg of the green chili beer. Much to my surprise, there was a keg of swill and Jello shots, not exactly fine, craft beers.

We can grow grass in our backyard. For those of you who have seen the
backyard, you know what an accomplishment this is. For those of you who have never seen the backyard, it is completely shaded by trees and was once a mud hill where no grass would grow. Now, I have to mow the backyard. I don't know how, but there's grass there.

It's not a good idea to use regular furniture as a work bench when cutting through wood. The dog has been getting into the cat's food, so we figured that we should cut a cat door into the laundry room door. I looked around for a place to rest the door while I cut the hole. Our old dining room table looked like as good a place as any. Wrong. As I finished one side of the rectangular hole, the saw seemed to suddenly struggle. What I found ou
t was that I had cut about one inch into the table's edge. Oops. Not to worry. I was able to patch it up with some wood filler. Of course, this probably doesn't get me out of trouble with R.

There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men are magnificent, yet violent films. After paying yet another late fee at Ninth Street, I rented two films that have been talked about more than any films I've heard in a long time. There Will Be Blood is an incredibly smart metaphor for the state of our current economical situation with blood-thirsty oil men taking advantage of their many advantages in expanding their wealth. No Country is a great piece of noir that's actually a western and period piece. Both films are incredibly violent and feature two of the most menacing characters in film history.

The NBA playoffs are kind of a yawn so far. There's very little drama even though there are many evenly matched teams. None of these teams are likable. In the west, the Lakers have Kobe Bryant who's not exactly the nicest guy in the league. The Spurs are just plain boring and now they're old to boot. The east may even be worse. The Celtics are supposed to be one of the most dominating teams in years, but they have struggled every step of the way this post season. Their opponents are the Detroit Pistons, the eastern equivalent of the Spurs. Some are talking about how great it would be to reignite the Lakers/Celtics rivalry. However, that match-up was great because of the players involved, particularly Bird vs. Magic.

I did a few other things this weekend that weren't so memorable. The nursery is a little closer to being done, I ate a lot of grilled food, and I'm still waiting for a shipment from Insound. I head to Seattle on Wednesday and may have to go on hiatus from the blog for a few days. Actually, I have been feeling the effects of constantly typing and using a touch pad, resulting in what I believe to be the beginning signs of carpal tunnel syndrome. Anyway, I'll get back to some more interesting stuff soon enough.

1 comment:

DJ Mike said...

I have a little sympathy for George Lucas re: the terrible, terrible recent Star Wars movies. The original three were entertaining, but a large base of its fans seems to think the movies define us, somehow. The original Star Wars trilogy did what it set out to do, which was to entertain...I think that Star Wars fans get what they deserve in the second trilogy, since they'd been telling Mr. Lucas how profound and deep the first three were.

I haven't seen the new Indiana Jones yet. I hope it's not as deep and significant as the Star Wars sequels. I was always a bigger Indiana fan, so it's disheartening to hear that it might be blah.

There Will Be Blood is the best movie ever. How would George Lucas have handled that one? (Rumor has it that Paul Thomas Anderson is interested in doing a Metal Gear Solid movie. Indie video game flick! Uwe Boll might find himself out of a job!