Day 07 – A picture of your most treasured item
2009 – YEAR IN REVIEW
- January 4 – I auditioned for The Foreigner at the Fulton Opera House. I didn’t get it or anything, but call me weird, I like auditioning. It’s just another excuse for me to get strangers to laugh. On purpose.
- January 11 – My pal John Allen was in town for a conference. I know John from my days working at Gotee Records in Nashville when I was in the Radio Promotions department and he was in Sales. Sarah and I met up with John in Hershey, PA. It was really nice to re-connect and introduce him to my better/crazier half.
- January 17 – I went hiking with my friend John Blowers in the Pennsylvania mountains. Somewhere. I actually don’t have any idea where we were, only about a half hour or so from Lancaster, so if he wanted to kill me and hide my body he very well could have. But he didn’t. I guess that means John’s my friend. :)
- February 3 – Sarah and I watched the touring production of Avenue Q at the Hershey Theater. There’s nothing quite as fun as introducing your wife to the world of foul-mouthed puppets. And Gary Coleman.
- February 22
- February 27
- March 17-24
- April 19 – My pal Mitch McVicker came to town and performed a concert at our church. Even better than watching him perform again was getting to catch up with a good friend.
- April 24 – Sarah and I went to a Capital Lights concert with our travel buddies Alyssa and Ashlea. Weeks later, the band announced they are breaking up. Coincidence?
- May 15 – Sarah and I traveled to New York City for the weekend. I rejoined my friends at the National Comedy Theater and jumped in the Friday night shows for a great night of improv. I am happy to report that JT, Chris, Paul, Dan, Cohen, Kevin, and Jason have not lost the funny.
- May 16 – Sarah and I hit some NYC tourist spots and that night we were in the live studio audience for the season finale of Saturday Night Live. It was everything we dreamed and more.
- June 23 – I broke a molar eating an ice cream sandwich.
- July 8 – After two weeks of temporary crowns, my molar was finally completely repaired.
- July 17 – Sarah and I attended a barbecue at Dustin and Janelle’s house. It was a great evening of friends and hangin’ out, capped off by an amazing Roman candle fight between Jeremy and Dustin.
- July 24-26 – Sarah and I returned to New York City and this time we brought our friends Ryan, Alyssa, and Ashlea with us. I performed at the National Comedy Theatre Friday and Saturday night and the rest of the time was spent giving them a whirlwind tour of the city.
- August 8 – Sarah and I went to Nissley Vineyard (the place I proposed to her two years earlier) with friends to enjoy a nice evening in the countryside.
- August 28 – Posted my 200th doodle.
- September 12 – Sarah and I saw Bill Cosby perform live at the American Music Theatre. Despite the fact that he looks older, he’s still the same old Cos.
- September 18 – I had a voiceover audition at Max Films. Nothing has come of it (at least not yet) but again, it was something fun to do on a weekday afternoon.
- October 1 – I hung my doodles at a local coffee shop, Square One, as part of their monthly rotation of local artists. The theme for the month was Halloween, so I displayed my collection of doodles of movie villains
- October 3 – Sarah and I went to the New Holland Fair and were shocked to find they imported everyone who attends the county fair back home in Indiana to attend this one, too. Either that, or everyone who goes to fairs looks the same.
- October 7 – After months of hunting, Sarah and I picked up our new car, a Ford Focus from Keller Brothers. If you’re in the area, we highly recommend them!
- October 26 – Married to Sarah for two years and she’s still my bestest friend.
- October 31 – At our Murder Mystery Party, everyone got dressed up in fancy clothes and we pretended we’re a lot more civilized than we actually are.
- December 4 – We attended a surprise birthday party for our friend Alyssa. It was a successful covert surprise operation.
- December 5 – My dear friend Nik (another Gotee Records survivor) is in town and Sarah and I get together with her for coffee. I probably sound like a broken record, but it’s so nice to re-unite with old friends and catch up!
- December 12 – My pal John had a poker night (guys’ night out). We tried to keep it as manly as possible, considering the snacks consisted of deli meats, apple cider, and hummus.
- December 24
- December 26 – For the second year in a row, Sarah’s sister and her family (The Tatmans) visited us for a week . We played games, watched movies, and hung around the house. Basically everything you WISH you did on vacation.
There’s one highlight I didn’t post because it happens every week: Sarah and I have some good friends over on Tuesday nights to watch Lost. Our usual gang of misfits includes some of our closest friends in Pennsylvania (Alyssa, Ashlea, Dustin, Janelle, Monica, Tammy, and Tyler). Sure, we’re all fans of the show and enjoy the twists and turns, but most of all we love having an excuse to get together with good friends. In a time of virtual social networking, nothing compares with actually hanging out with others.
Thanks, everyone, for a great 2009. Preparing to enter 2010 is weird. 2010. It looks really super futuristic. If I don’t have a flying car by 2015, I’m going to be mad.
Part 3 of my Top Movies of 2008 series is written by Brad Moist. Brad lives in Nashville where he works at Gotee Records in A&R. As big a fan of movies as he is, he’s probably an even bigger music fan, and releases a great music top 10 list each year.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog about trying to get a copy of my pink slip from when I was fired at my job at a record label. The reason for trying to get a copy was because of what was written under “Reason for Termination”: No radio experience. (For those of you who didn’t bother to read the other blog, I had just finished a 3-year stint in radio before coming on board.)
My pal Brad put me in touch with Sara at Gotee Records to see about getting a copy of my paperwork and she was really cool about it. Alas, I heard back from her today and although they did indeed find my file, my pink slip is nowhere to be found inside.
I have to admit, I’m a little depressed about it. Why? I’ll explain by giving you some true stories:
- Walt Disney was once fired by a newspaper editor because “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”
- After Harrison Ford’s first performance in movies, the studio vice-president called him into his office and said, “You ain’t got it kid , you ain’t got it … now get out of here.”
- Charles Schultz had every one of the comics he submitted to his high school newspaper rejected .
- A memo written in 1933 by an MGM testing director after Fred Astaire’s first screen test said, “Can’t act. Can’t sing. Slightly bald. Can dance a little.” Astaire actually had the memo framed and placed over his fireplace.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I’m better than or even nearly as good as any of the people I mentioned above but man, I really wanted my own little piece of irony to hang on the wall.
I’m having trouble contacting an old employer.
I used to work at Gotee Records, a Christian record label in Nashville. Before making the move there I worked at WJTL, a radio station in Lancaster PA for 3 years (I’m actually back at JTL again, so that worked out).
Not long after I got to Nashville, people started being let go from Gotee under really weird circumstances. Two years later, it was my turn. The best part is, it was one of those weird situations where the guy doing the firing couldn’t come up with a valid reason to let me go, so he had to make something up. On my pink slip under “Reason for termination” the excuse he put down was “No experience in radio.”**
I thought this was hilarious but have since lost my copy of the pink slip. I tried to get in touch with the HR department at the label to get a new copy sent to me. I actually want to frame it and put it in my office (I’m sorry, but when something is funny, it’s funny). I called the label today but got an automated message saying “Please hold for assistance” over and over again and was never connected to a real person. So, if anyone reading this has a hook-up…hook me up.
It’s all in the name of comedy.
** Interesting footnote: The promotions manager who fired me? He’d worked there only a couple of months longer than me and his previous experience was working at a coffee shop. For realz, yo.
A few minutes after posting this, my buddy and co-former Gotee employee Brad gave me the heads up on the person who could possibly get me what I was looking for. He gave me her email address and I sent her a friendly and polite email requesting a copy of my pink slip.
Approximately 30 minutes later I received an email in response to my request. She told me she’d see if she could get it from Joey (co-owner and co-founder of the label) and she would keep me posted. So far this is going much smoother than I anticipated.
One of the coolest things I like about this blog is seeing what people searched that led them to my little corner of the web. It’s always interesting to see just how many people do a search for “Menards” (a lot more than I would ever guess), “fridge decor” (people search for that?), and “Apollo stump” (I can’t say I blame them for that one…I often wonder how that tradition started, too).
Of course, I am sure my blogs help very little in providing them the information they were actually looking for. Instead of data pertaining to the department store, how to decorate your refrigerator, or insight into strange theater traditions, they get blogs about body parts said with English accents, a plea for free stuff, and a short story about a Jewish guy and Mo’Nique.
Another search a lot of people enter is “Brad Moist” which is curious, as he is a buddy of mine I worked with at Gotee Records who then went on to found his own record label, Mono vs Stereo. I used to have a link to his blog my blogroll (on the right-hand column of this page)but he recently took it down. I am glad to say, though, that now people can find him again as his new site is up and running. And for once, I can help. When people do a search for Brad they may actually find him, rather than my silly blog about Guitar Hero.
Usually each January I poll my friends to find out what they thought the best movies of the previous year were. This year I decided to do something a little different and go to a few select pals who usually have some interesting insight and ask them to write about their top picks.
And so without further ado, here they are. The Best of 2007 according to people I know. And me.
1. The Simpsons Movie
Quite simply the movie that made me laugh the most and the hardest all year. And I laughed a lot this year. Going into it I was a bit nervous about how much I’d like it because I haven’t seen the TV series in about 8 years. But I didn’t miss a thing because, quite simply, when something is funny, it’s funny. And this was funny.
2. Dan in Real Life
Maybe I missed all the buzz on this one. But probably closer to the truth is the fact that there really wasn’t any, and that’s a shame. This one kinda slipped under everyone’s radar and I don’t really get why. I mean, after Little Miss Sunshine it should come as no surprise that Steve Carell can do a movie that isn’t Anchorman-slapstick and still make a great movie (and be funny). Dan is no exception. When Dan sings his song in front of the family….wow….what a great scene. I almost lost it, I freely admit it. Plus Dane Cook. Score.
3. Hot Fuzz
The guys who brought you Shaun of the Dead are back (along with most of the S.O.T.D. cast) and finally cop/buddy movies are fun again.
Loved it. Blogged about it. Read it.
Really, can Pixar do no wrong?
I could go on and on about how cool this Irish indie film is but every time I’ve tried to tell someone about it, I never seem to capture how cool it actually is, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. If you’re a music fan, this is a definite must-see.
Yes it was raunchy. Yes it was rude. Yes when it was over Sarah turned to me and said, “I hope our kids don’t talk like that.” But that doesn’t mean I we didn’t laugh our heads off.
8. 3:10 to Yuma
Once again Russell Crowe (an actor I hate) stars in a western movie (a genre I hate) and I loved it. Between this and The Quick and the Dead he’s a wily guy.
9. Knocked Up
Yea. I admit it. I’ve become a Judd Apatow fan. But who hasn’t?
This is one of those you-had-to-be-there films. Seeing this in the theater was a roller coaster ride like nothing I’ve experienced at the theater. A double feature of crazily over-the-top action films with ridiculous fake trailers in between. My buddies and I (but not my brother) experienced a ride that may never be captured again.
My Worst of ’07
I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry – Hey…anybody know where I can hear some really bad gay jokes? Over and over. And over. And over. And over. And over. (Repeat as desired)
Reno 911 – Aw, man….and I really like the TV show. I think the whole premise of the movie was “Wait…you mean we don’t have to blur out the boobs? DONE.” And as a result, they ended up blurring out the funny.
Pirates 3– Hi, I’m Johnny Depp. How about in this one it’s just me running around the boat but the boat’s crew is a hundred other me’s? But for no real reason. It’ll be fun!
Transformers – I really thought I was going to like this one and then halfway through realized “Oh wait…I’m not a 17-year old.”
Keith Soljacich is a writer/filmmaker living in the Chicago area. His work has been recognized at the Chicago 48 Hour Film Festival three years in a row, and in 2007 his short film Last Hand won the City Award to compete in the National finals.
Went in to the year with high hopes came out with mostly disappointment
1. Knocked Up
I picked this as my favorite movie of 07 because I had really high hopes going in to the movie and it exceeded my expectations. It was easily the funniest movie of the year, and for me a good comedy goes a long way.
2. The Simpsons Movie
3. American Gangster
4. Hot Fuzz
9. Aliens vs. Predator
10. Hot Rod
Balls of Fury (surprise surprise), Everything but Venom in Spidey 3, Good Luck Chuck, Rush Hour 3, Black Snake Moan (boring), License to Wed
Best TV of 07
Lost, Curb Your Enthusiasm (You got some long ass balls Larry), 30 Rock, Weeds, The Soup, The Office
Best Shows I Never Watched Before 2007 (Netflix is great)
Dexter, House, Weeds, Veronica Mars, Monk
John Allenlives in Louisville and works in sales with EMI in the national music retail division. John has also worked at Gotee Records in the same capacity and is an aficionado of all pop culture. John also maintains a great blog.
Stacey Gagne works at WJTL and is deeply involved in music, movies, and all things pop culture. Stacey is also a published writer and keeps a blog at Infuze.
Amazing Grace: Powerful and Inspiring
The Bucket List. Great Mix of comedy and drama. I laughed, I cried, I reminded myself to get my passport and get to livin!
PS I Love You. Sweet love story, not necessarily the expected ending.
Hairspray: fun, and I always love a musical
Music and Lyrics Drew and Hugh… what could be better
Wild Hogs: Great cast, I like a movie I can watch with anyone once in a while.
Shrek the Third You gotta love a Shrek movie, although i feel like the jokes are all out on the table now…
Pirates: Again, well done, but nothing beats the first one
Spider Man 3: I liked the darkness of this one
Premonition: lots of twists, but so heart breaking!!
Others I saw:
> Evan Almighty: cute but not hysterical, just cute
> Blades of Glory: funny, but too raunchy for me
> Ratatouille: cute and fun, I think I enjoyed it more because of the company I was with… I think it might have been a little slow otherwise
> Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: another Harry…
> Atonement: well done, but so depressing… I can’t bring myself to put in my top 10
Brad Moist is a movie and music wizard. We also met at Gotee Records and he went on to found the record label Mono Vs Stereo. Brad is still involved in the music and is a contributing music reviewer for CCM Magazine. Brad not only has his hand on the pulse of what is cool but also what is about to be cool.
2. The Kingdom
5. The Lookout
6. 30 Days of Night
7. Shoot ‘Em Up
8. Live Free or Die Hard
9. Smokin’ Aces
Sarah Placencia is a fitness instructor who can also make one mean white mocha (being a Barista Supreme will have that affect). She loves movies and has declared her goal of becoming a movie geek.
1. Hot Fuzz
I am a big fan of ‘Shaun of the Dead’ and I am definitely planning on seeing ‘Run, Fat Boy, Run!’. Simon Pegg, yeah he’s cool.
2. Mr. Bean’s Holiday
I could watch this movie over and over. Rowan Atkinson is brilliant!
Very cute movie.WARNING: Do not think you are a chef after seeing this movie, some foods should not be made into soup. My bad.
4. Simpsons Movie
Pure Classic. This was actually the first movie that I watched by myself in the theater and I still laughed out loud, alot.
This movie was great. At first I had wished for a different ending, but then I thought ‘who am I to think it should end a certain way?’ And in a way it didn’t really have an ending. It was a film about new beginnings, which are stories that I’m all for.
Sure these guys are crude and cuss like sailors but in the end, they really are ‘gentlemen’. And it goes to show how important friendships really are……now all together…’aaaawwwwww’.
7. Sweeney Todd
Hmmmm. The music, the makeup, the actors were very intriguing. Who knew that I would actually rooting for their ‘meat pie’ shop to flourish…I’m gonna go see my psych…right now.
8.Shoot Em’ Up
Am I dude? Sometimes I wonder….heh, but I actually really like this movie. It had a Rodriguez/Tarantino feel to it. And I have a weird # that I see at random times in my life. It shows up in this movie for a split second, right before it gets ‘shot up’. Look for it; 1026……yeah I’m weird.
This movie is true story that shows the determination of one teacher reaching out to help her students excel, not only at school but in life. It’s encouraging to see how one person can do so much. Highly recommended.
I’d say this movie was pretty much amazing. It made me really appreciate music, and I don’t even play anything. Great story as well.
Todd Sattison is my oldest friend…not that he’s the oldest person I know, but that we’ve known each other were 4 and 5 years old. Todd’s a big movie buff who’s always up for a trip to the theater.
1.300– The best I’ve seen this year. THIS IS SPARTA!!!! What a wonderful film.
2.Smokin Aces– Fantastic Cast. Ryan Reynolds was really good in this.
3.The Number 23– I’m not sure why I liked this movie so much. It just had me from beginning to end.
4.Fracture– Nobody plays the part like Anthony Hopkins.
5.Disturbia– I rented this movie and thought I would hate it and I ended up loving it.
6.Mr. Brooks– I really have to rave about this movie. Kevin Costner was great as a bad guy. The “I can’t believe I didn’t see this sooner movie”.
7.1408– I really don’t like Cusack that much, but he pulled it together for this Stephen King story.
8.The Bourne Ultimatum– Love this story. Can’t wait for the next one???????
9.Superbad– Funniest movie I have seen this year.
10. 3:10 to Yuma– Crowe and Bale were both great in this western.
Going to see No Country for Old Men this weekend and could bump someone.
So…how’d we do? Agree with our picks? Think we’re way off? Leave us a comment below with your thoughts!