review

Year in Review (2009)

2009 – YEAR IN REVIEW

It’s time again for my look back at the goings-on of the past year. Feel free to read, skim for your name, or just find the bold links and click on them in the hopes you’ll find a video featuring  a midget dressed up as Michael Jackson and dancing in the NYC subway system…you might just find what you’re looking for.
JANUARY
  • 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
  • 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

  • March 17-24
APRIL
  • 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
  • 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
  • June 23 – I broke a molar eating an ice cream sandwich.
JULY
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.

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“The Haunting of Molly Hartley”: A Review by Sarah

Sarah and I just finished watching The Haunting of Molly Hartley. It was horrible, especially the ending, and I’ve never seen Sarah so angry at a movie before. So angry in fact, that she stood up and yelled at the TV,

“Who gave that douchebag a million dollars to make that movie?!”

Well said, baby.

A Scathing Review

Earlier this month I wrote a blog half-heartedly reviewing the Twilight book series. It wasn’t a review more than it was a series of sarcastic comments, but we all had fun and got a laugh or two. That is, until Rebecca from Milton in Queensland Australia gave it a read and decided to teach me a thing or two and leave a comment putting me in my place.

My first knee-jerk reaction was to simply delete the angry comments and move on, but, never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I decided to embrace this opportunity to make yet another series of sarcastic comments. I then wondered if the comments weren’t actually written by one of my friends posing as “Rebecca” but the passion behind the comments was so real, the spellcheck so unused, and…the… grammarcheck also so unused, I knew it had to be real.

Yes. I couldn’t just delete the comments. I had to give them their own blog. But beware, Blog Reader. Rebecca (who can apparently be reached at hallo_bob@hotmail.com) uses some pretty harsh language to put me in my place. I guess that’s what I get for taking these books about vampires and werewolves so lightly.

I am including her comments as she wrote them. I am also including sarcastic retorts.

Comment:
ahh wtf,

(Ed here. You know you’re in trouble when they start off with such harsh letters)

this is gay the books are great, and i love em,
your ust some lame person that is jelouse that you are not bella. hahhhhaha your so lame!!
(yes, Rebecca, you’re right. You busted me. I stay up all night being jelouse…I mean jealous of a fictional character. And a female one at that. I guess no one would have ever found out if it hadn’t been for you meddling pre-teens! And you’re right. I’m so lame. I’ll be the first person to admit I’m lame. It sucks understanding basic contractions)

pretty sure i woudl abuse you if i could be botherd (and i’m pretty sure you could spell “would” and “bothered” correctly but you have to get back to your Katy Perry music, right?) but to end it you are a fuck tard and a waste of time, so go suck yo mummas penis :) (Wow Rebecca, it must be hard spendin’ all your life livin’ in a gangsta’s paradise. Of course, my favorite thing about this last “sentence” is the fact that it’s like insult, insult, insult, smiley face. Why the smiley face? )

ya bout say it dick (This one is just as confusing. I’m going to assume it’s an Australian phrase and I admit I’m definitely going to need help translating this one.)

One thing I probably should have warned Rebecca about before she commented: The comments don’t just magically appear, I actually get an email letting me know there are new comments to approve. After submitting her comment, Rebecca got a message on the screen saying something to the effect that the comments are pending approval by Yours Truly. I can only assume this is what enraged her even more, causing her to comment again exactly one minute later:

ah what the hell, you are so lame you like the book but you make fun of it, wow your real cool,

Wait, that’s it? Rebecca, don’t leave me hanging! You ended your sentence with a comma, making me think there’s more on the way but nothing! I don’t know what I,

Twilight: A Spoiler-Filled Review

I meant what I said in the subject line. This blog includes spoilers. Consider yourself warned.

I’ll be honest: I never heard of the Twilight book series by Stephenie Meyer until I started seeing articles in Entertainment Weekly over the past few weeks touting it as the new rage and Harry Potter’s replacement. I decided to pick up the first book, “Twilight”, and see what all the fuss was about. Despite the fact that it sometimes read like a romance novel written from a 14-year-old girls’ perspective (I’ve never read a romance novel, nor have I read a novel written by a 14-year-old girl, so this is complete conjecture), it was actually an extremely quick read and I flew through it. And then I read through the other 3 books as well and again, they’re all really quick reads. Sarah, who readily admits she hasn’t read a book since “The Mummy” in 6th grade, even got into it and found herself tearing through the books, too.

To save you the time of reading the 1700+ pages, let me re-cap:

Twilight (The Twilight Saga, Book 1)

Hi. I’m a girl. I’m angsty. Oh wait. There’s this really hot guy in my new school. He’s sooooooo dreamy. OOoooooooo.

(Repeat for 400 pages)

Oh wow! Turns out he’s a vampire. But oh I still love him even though I know I shouldn’t.

I shouldn’t.

Oh, but I do.

Oh, but I shouldn’t.

Oh, but I do.

(Repeat for 5 more chapters)

Oh no! It’s almost the end of the book! I think I’ll get chased by a bad vampire to give this book something to do and end with action and a thrilling climax!

New Moon (The Twilight Saga, Book 2)

Ohhhhhhh my vampire crush moved away………Life is sooooooooo horrible…….how will I live……..ohhhhhh… woe is me……woe is FREAKIN me………….

(Repeat for 8 chapters)

I think I’ll start hanging out with this OTHER guy who turns out to be a werewolf! He’s so different than that vampire. But ohhhhhhh I love the vampire.

But now I think I love the werewolf.

But my heart is with the vampire.

But I love the werewolf.

But not really because I love the vampire.

But the werewolf is my true love.

Except for the vampire who I miss soooooooo much.

(Repeat for 500 pages)

Oh no! Almost the end of the book! I better bring back the vampire so he and the werewolf can yell at each other for 11 more chapters and then get threatened by a bunch of scary vampires and have nothing actually come of it!!

Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3)

Oh nooooo. I’m such an angsty girl and now the vampire and the werewolf are both here and ohhhhh I love them both. So I’ll tell the vampire I love him and hang out and kiss him and then hang out with the werewolf but we won’t kiss we’ll only hold hands and of course the vampire is so wussy he won’t even care.

Kiss the vampire.

Hold hands with the werewolf.

Kiss the vampire.

Tell the werewolf I love him.

Kiss the vampire.

Try to figure out why the werewolf doesn’t get that I don’t want to be with him as I tell him I love him and hold his hand some more.

(Repeat for 500 pages)

Oh no!!! A whole bunch of bad vampires!! Let’s fight them all!! The end.

Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4)

Oh, being married to the vampire is soooooo amazing. I think we’ll have crazy crazy vampire-on-human sex! It’s ok, we’re married now. Because if we weren’t, having sex with the undead would just be weird. Ooooooo I sure do like all the love makin’! In fact, I think I’ll make love to him for the first 200 pages!!

Oh no, I’m pregnant!! How did that happen? And with a vampire baby! It scratches my belly and breaks my ribs when it kicks. Ouch!!! Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch!!! Oh the pain!!! The pain!!!!!!!!!!! I know what will make it easier on you, the reader: I’ll be in horrible horrible labor for the next 700 pages.

Oh I have a baby now. I love her! And the werewolf fell in love with her (For real. The werewolf is in love with an infant mutant baby)! What could possibly go wrong??

Oh no!! It’s the end! All the bad vampires from around the world are here to kill me and my baby!!!!!!! Oh no!!!! What should we do!!!!!!!! I know! Instead of having an exciting, dramatic climax, where we all fight and put an end to their evil vampire ways I’ll just be like, “You guys are wrong, my baby is cool.” And they’ll be like, “Oh yea, your baby IS pretty cool. My bad. See ya.”

Yeah. That ending is MUCH better.

I just realized this blog makes it sound like I didn’t like the books. Obviously, since I read them all, that’s not true. I liked them all except the last one. But when you capsulize these tomes in a quick, sarcastic blog, they’re gonna end up sounding pretty ridiculous. And I guess they kind of are.

***UPDATE: Apparently Australians don’t appreciate my book reviews. Read more about that RIGHT HERE.

Indiana Jones 4: An In-Depth Review

Just kidding. I don’t want to spoil anything for you. So I’ll just say Sarah and I both really enjoyed it. Afterwards in the car on the way back to work (yes, that’s right, I took 3 hours off in the middle of my work day to go to the movies. So I work somewhere cool that lets me carry on such shenanigans, sue me) I turned to Sarah and said, “I thought there were only 2 gay parts. Guess what they were.”

She guessed them by saying only two words: “Groundhogs. Vines.” (Settle down, I haven’t given anything away)

Other than that, well done everyone. We had fun!

Wow….We’ve been looking forward to this day for so long. May 22nd has come, I saw Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull….

Now what?

“The Number 23”: It Works!

Sarah and I just watched “The Number 23” with Jim Carrey. In keeping with the spirit of the movie (where the number 23 is everywhere and doggone-it, it’s out to kill you!) I now present my short, but 23-laden review:

23 is composed of a 2 and a 3

2+3 = 5

23-5 = 18

The 18th letter of the alphabet is “R”.

The 5th letter of the alphabet is “E”.

And, of course, R and E are the first two letters of “RETARDED.”

Yep. It works.

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“The Woodsman”

I saw a movie tonight that did what every good movie does: It made me think.

I recall reading a review for The Woodsman when it first came out last year. The reviewer liked it but, because the content was so touchy, predicted it wouldn’t do big business in the box office. The reviewer was right. I never heard anything about it since but tucked it away in the back of my head as something I’d like to see sometime.

I’ll do my best to not reveal any major plot points or give anything away, so continue reading with no fear of spoilers.

Kevin Bacon stars as Walter, a man returning to society after spending some time away. Walter was a bad man and did bad things. He’s haunted by his past and his actions. He knows what he did was wrong and wants desperately to change as he tries to fit back in. More than once he asks his analyst, pleads, “When will I be normal.”

Unlike many movies, Walter doesn’t (and can’t) change overnight. Walter struggles against temptations that are right outside his front door…literally. He wants to change…he really does. It’s hard to sympathize with Walter too much, however, because we know what he’s done in the past and his crime is indeed a horrible one. Is it right to empathize with someone who’s done something so wrong? If someone commits what can very easily be considered an unforgivable sin, does it make you just as bad as the criminal if you forgive him? Should we really forgive those who trespass against us? Can we?

At one point in the film Walter finds himself giving in…we see him giving in…and I found myself pulling for him, hoping that he wouldn’t do it…I really wanted Walter to stay strong and found myself getting angry at the fact that Walter was failing. Again. And then, at the last possible second there is a revelation that changes the direction and flow. It’s not one of those twists-for-sake-of-a-twist that is so popular in movies now but a moment of clarity for Walter that may not have come if he wasn’t tested.

I’m not trying to annoy you with my vague details, but one of the things I liked so much about the film was that I knew very little about it going in, so I never knew what to expect or what was coming next. I will say this: One doesn’t walk away from the film with the false idea that every bad person will change their ways. But it hints at the fact that they can.

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