I’m nothing if not a hypocrite.  Every year, I do an Academy Awards Brouhaha post where I lock in my predicitons.  I see a small handful of movies every year and base my predictions partially on what I’ve seen and partially on articles I’ve read on the Internet.  Then, at work, I take those predictions to our annual Oscar Pool and I end up getting about half of the 24 categories correct, losing in a frustrating fashion as my heart overwhelms my head more often than not.

But, NOT THIS YEAR!  I decided to take the Oscar Pool seriously!  I threw out most of my Brouhaha predictions in favor of The Consensus.  There’s no reason to ever correctly guess fewer than 17 of the 24 categories; all you’d need to do is find a gambling website putting odds up for the Oscars and pick all the favorites!  It’s shameless, it’s no fun, and the majority of the night’s suspense is ripped from you … but, having said all that, it was a little thrilling to actually get so many answers correct!

Officially, I got 19/24 correct.  It was particularly exciting as I started out winning 9 of the first 10 and 17 of the first 20.  But, then I got screwed by Best Actor & Best Director.

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I’m normally so on top of these things.  The damned nominations were announced – I want to say – WEEKS ago.  But, it snuck up on me when I wasn’t ready, then I got a little disgruntled with the whole thing, and now here we are.

This is my favorite thing I write all year, though, so I’ll be DAMNED if I’m going to miss out!

Last year, I managed to see every Best Picture Nominee before the awards night.  It was an impressive and enjoyable feat, one that I’ll cherish always.  It’s my goal to do that EVERY year, but something tells me it’s not gonna happen this time.

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If you talked to my 10 year old self back in 1991, you would’ve found out my favorite movie was Bloodsport, my favorite band was Guns N’ Roses, my favorite writer was Stephen King, my favorite TV show was most certainly The Simpsons (with a hat tip to shows like In Living Colour, Coach, Get A Life, Married With Children, Roseanne, The Wonder Years, Growing Pains, Cheers, Perfect Strangers, Dinosaurs, Family Matters, Full House, Quantum Leap, Night Court, Golden Girls, and *shudder* Evening Shade), and it’s a safe bet – with the recent release of T2 – my favorite actor was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

At the time, Arnold had a run of four straight movies that I happened to love:  Twins, Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop, and Terminator 2: Judgment Day.  He would follow that up with three movies I more or less hated:  Last Action Hero, True Lies, and Junior, before coming back with Eraser.  Eraser, as it stands, was pretty much the end of Prime-Era Arnold (later in life, I would revisit classics like Predator, Commando, The Running Man, and the Conan movies; I also loved the first Terminator movie, but didn’t happen to see it until a year or two after I’d seen its sequel).  Everything since Eraser is either a dud, or a tepid attempt at creating a “throw-back” Arnold movie.  The results are hit-and-miss, with The Last Stand being surprisingly good (for an Arnold movie) and The 6th Day being surprisingly bad (again, for an Arnold movie).

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What Drives People?

July 2, 2014

There’s this quote I just read on Twitter.  Well, it might be a quote.  It’s definitely a meme, and it says, “Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults.  Let your kid get used to somebody being tough on them.  That’s life, get over it!”  I never said it was a humorous meme, but it got me to thinking.

To date, I’ve only been on one organized sports team.  In middle school, I thought I wanted to play football, so I signed up for some little league football team.  I don’t know who it was affiliated with, but it wasn’t the school.  It was some other entity.  I didn’t come into this thing with anyone I knew, and as a result, I didn’t know anyone on the team.  I was a little fat kid and the only thing I remember was running.  A lot.  For a kid who never excelled at gym class, this was my Hell.  I dropped out after the first day and thought that was that.

For some ungodly reason, I decided to go out for Freshman football when I hit high school.  I don’t know what changed my mind, aside from the fact that I’d actually know a few people, since they came up with me through the years, so I guess that had to be it.  That, and I’d properly know what I was in for.  Running, and lots of it.

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Look, I’m just hopeless.  That’s all there is to it.  If I REALLY wanted to win my work’s Oscar pool, I’d simply check out the Vegas odds, maybe look at the other awards show winners (not JUST the Globes) and cross-reference with prior years.  It might not get me to 100%, but I’d do a whole helluva lot better than I’m doing now.

Or, Hell, if I just took emotion and personal preference out of the whole thing …

This year, I won 12 of 24, which ordinarily would be pathetic in its own right, but is ESPECIALLY pathetic considering what should have been blatantly obvious.  Give the Oscar to Gravity for everything except the acting catagories & Best Picture.  Go with the overwhelming favorites in the Acting catagories & Best Picture, and BAM, I’m already at 12 with all the other picks left to go.

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The Importance Of Being Alone

February 22, 2014

Sometimes I wonder if I’m meant to ever be with someone.

You’ll have to forgive me, because I just woke up and I’m trying to work through some shit.  It’ll be okay, I promise.

I’ve been thinking about myself, who I am as a person.  Growing up, I very much had a “Me vs. The World” type of attitude.  High school wasn’t very pleasant, I wasn’t very well-liked, though it wasn’t a source of constant misery and pain either.  This isn’t one of those things in the movies where I got picked on on a daily basis.  Rather, it’s one of those things where I was invisible on a daily basis.  And that’s the way I liked it.  I had a small core group of friends, and we’d socialize whenever we could.

I also didn’t entirely get along with my family growing up either, which certainly contributed to this Me vs. The World outlook on life.  Again, we’re not talking about something where I was abused or had some tragic upbringing.  I just couldn’t relate to my parents (they were the “cool kids” growing up, so to speak), and my little brother was more annoying pain in the ass than anything else.

I would spend a lot of time alone in my room.  My sanctuary.  I’d have my music on loud to drown out everyone else, leaving me alone with my thoughts.

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It’s difficult for me to measure 2013 overall in its quality of movies.  I don’t think it was any worse or any better than 2012, and certainly not as bad as 2011.  But, here’s the thing:  while I found myself WANTING to go to the movies more often, 2013 was one of the lowest-attended years for me since I started going to movies.

And yet, oddly enough, as of this past weekend, I have managed to see ALL nine of the Best Picture Nominees.  Which is why this is coming to you so late (the nominees were announced back in mid-January).  I made it my mission this year; and unlike years past, most – if not all – of the movies were still in theaters well into February.

But, before I get to the awards, let’s take a look back at the OTHER movies of 2013, to get the overall outlook.

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On Any Given Friday

January 18, 2014

Oscar nominees were announced this week and I still owe you a Brouhaha.  The awards are announced on March 2nd, so I’ve still got a bit of time. I’d like to see more than a third of the Best Picture nominees before I get to it.

In the meantime, this is it.  This weekend, we’ve got the AFC & NFC Championship games.  It’s obscene that we’ve got to wait until Sunday to find out our fate.  On the one hand, I’m too excited and I want to know RIGHT NOW.  But, on the other hand, I’m terrified of what I might find; putting it off for as long as possible means our season is still alive.  Two days from right now, it could be all over.  And, if it is … I don’t even want to think about it.

So, to take my mind off things, while still keeping in the spirit of the times, I’ve been watching a bunch of football movies.  Today, we ran through three:  The Waterboy, Little Giants, and Any Given Sunday.  I’ve also got a line on a bunch more:  Remember The Titans, The (original) Longest Yard, The Replacements, Varsity Blues, and We Are Marshall (not to mention Necessary Roughness, which weirdly is probably my favorite for reasons I won’t be getting into right now).

These football movies, they’re not the greatest movies.  But, kill me, I like ‘em (yes, even The Replacements).  For the most part, they came out right in the prime of my formative years when it comes to pop culture.  That 1989-2000 range.  That’s my JAM.  But, this isn’t about all that.  This is about just one:  Any Given Sunday.  And Oliver Stone.

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Jesus!  My resolution is falling apart!  It’s been a week since I wrote last!

So, on Friday, I had a bug up my ass that sent me hurtling to Tacoma.  I had a podcast I wanted to get out, and I had a weekend of football games I wanted to watch with the fam.

Took Jake & Lee Ann home after work on Friday, went to dinner at this Mexican restaurant on 38th Street in Tacoma, and had the biggest burrito I’ve ever had in my life.  Seriously, it was like a Taco Del Mar burrito and a half, all rolled up into one mega-long, gut-busting burrito!  After that, I dropped them off at their car and headed to The Hammer’s.

Captain & Coke was the drink of choice this weekend.  Did some drinking, did some podcastin’, played some pool, did some more drinkin’, did some more podcastin’, went to bed.

Football on Saturday.  Day drinking.  Jake & Lee Ann came over and we hung out.  Played some more pool after the game ended.  Drank some more, then sobered up.

Sunday was another football day.  Less stressful, since the Seahawks game was the afternoon before.  Went home after dinner.

Worked Monday.  Skipped the gym, for the fourth day in a row.

Worked Tuesday.  Went back to the gym.  Went to Trivia at the Lookout in Capitol Hill.  The categories were bullshit.  We got our asses rammed.

Worked today.  Will go home, have more gym, and that will be that.

Another Quickie

January 9, 2014

I’m trying to get in a Simpsons episode before I go to bed, and it’s already getting to be past my bedtime, so here we go.

Work was work.  Iced coffee, marshmallow dream bar, banana, PB&J.  Had my three spicy wieners for dinner.  Did 45 minutes on the bike.

The rest of my night was updating my podcast website, WEAKSTREAM.  I’m going to warn you, if you choose to seek it out, our podcasts are frequently inappropriate, and are probably only funny if you know me and my family, and even then you probably won’t think they’re funny.  But, we have a good time doing them, and I just like having them around as a document of the Good Times.  I hope to do many more, so I can look back on them fondly later in life.

The plan for tomorrow is to go to Fred Meyer after work and spend the rest of my $13 on that gift card.  Need spicy sausage and bell peppers for a big pasta, buns for the rest of my hot dogs, ham for sandwiches for lunch at work, and maybe a can of corn to go with my Rice A Roni in the cupboard.  I don’t know how much this will cost, so I’m bringing a roll of quarters to cover my bases.  These truly are the lean times.


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