Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Magical Power of 3D Glasses

Two weeks ago, I went to the movies to see Ted.

It was a movie that I had been waiting for quite some time to see, as I consider Seth MacFarlane to be a genius, Mila Kunis is gorgeous, and I have a slight* man-crush on Mark Wahlberg.


But when I got to the theater, I was disappointed to see that MovieFone had crushed my soul.  The times that they had given me were all wrong, and the last showing of Ted had started thirty minutes before.

Already at the movie theater and armed with the concealed gummy worms that I bought at the local convenience store, I decided to see something else.

I really only had one choice, however, as it was after 11PM on a Sunday night, and everything else had begun.  I could see Savages, which I also wanted to see, but it had begun ten minutes before.

Magic Mike and The Amazing Spiderman were just beginning, and I could see them in their entirety.

I am sorry to disappoint you all, but if I picked Magic Mike out of those two movies, I don't feel like I would be writing about it.

So The Amazing Spiderman it was.

Back when I saw the first trailer for The Amazing Spiderman, I had decided that I would "wait for Netflix."  Overall, it felt like a purely money-making venture.  It was the same story, told a different way, and with CGI that hadn't really progressed much in ten years.

But whatever.  I was out of options.

"One for Spiderman," I told the attendant. 

"Fifteen dollars," he said.

"Why?" I asked.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

On Top of His Work

Today's post is a piece of Flash Fiction that I wrote in attempt to become a member of the Dude Write Flash Mob.

It's weird.  I made this card.  Now I have to earn it.

Our prompt for this month (given by the oh-so-manly Wily Guy) was: "If you'd told (me, him, her, them) two weeks ago that..."

So here you go.  Weighing in at 372 words, I present to you, "On Top of His Work."

*   *   *

If you'd told me two weeks ago that Jed's work ethic would lead to his death ... I totally would have believed you.

It's just the way that his work ethic led to his death that was surprising. 

I figured he would have had a heart attack from all of the stress from all of the projects that he took on.

See, Jed was always doing something.  You know, multitasking.

The guy was always in a rush and always had something in his hands. 

Today, for example, he's carrying tons of files, right?  He has all these stacks of papers in his hands, his laptop case over his shoulder, and a rolled up poster board in his armpit -- for a presentation or something.  And he's got his lunch on top of all these stacks of paper and a metal spoon in his mouth.

But what is most impressive about all of this is that he's on the phone at the same time.  And able to hold a conversation!  Even with the spoon in his mouth and him walking with his arms full at lightning speed, he still has the multitasking prowess to be able to hold an intelligent conversation.

Never a dull moment with Jed.

However, with all that crap in his hands and his immobile neck (because the phone is sandwiched between his cocked head and shoulder), he doesn't see the bottom drawer of a filing cabinet that is open, and he trips right over it.

His teeth clench down on the spoon and he falls face first into the floor.  The spoon lacerates his larynx and he gurgles for a while and dies in front of all of his coworkers.

It’s why your mom tells you to never run with scissors, I guess.  Though scissors would have been less painful than a dull spoon. 

The worst part is that his wife is on the phone and she hears the whole thing.  She just listens to him gurgling as he dies face-down on the floor, his legs still lying on top of the drawer of the filing cabinet. 

Which is kinda funny if you think about it, you know?  Even in death, he is still on top of his work.

-Youngman Brown

If you liked this, check out some of my other Flash Fiction.  

And if you want to read some other awesome Dude Write authors, or even enter this competition and become a part of our community, come on over and hang out.

Dude Write

Monday, July 16, 2012

My 20 Seconds of Insane Courage

Before we start, I'd like to say something that might surprise you. 

I know that I make fun of a lot of actors and actresses (especially Nicolas Cage and Katherine Heigl, who are both just awful awful awful actors).  And Matt Damon is a common target among movie critics, critics of actors, or just people-critics in general.  

But I actually like him as an actor. 

Shocking, I know.

I'd also like to take a moment to warn you about spoilers ahead.  But like most movies of its kind, if you saw the preview for We Bought a Zoo, you saw the whole damn movie.

And you know it. 

Go ahead.  I encourage you to watch the preview.  Even if you have seen it before, watch it again:

In just two minutes, you know the entire plot of the movie.  You know all of the characters and what they stand for.  You know that it is going to have a happy ending and that every single character will work out their problems by the end of the film.  Not only that, but you have also just heard all of the critical lines in the movie. 

It was all gift-wrapped for you in a two-minute trailer, which inexplicably seems to have been created so that you DON'T have to see the movie.

It amazes me that people spend their time and money to watch a movie that was so elegantly ruined by the trailer.

That being said...

Friday, July 13, 2012

Netflix: The Pulse-Checker


It's funny.

Netflix was just like, "Are you still watching 'Louie'?"

And I was all like, "Of course I'm still watching 'Louie,' Netflix.  Why would you think otherwise?"

And then I realized that five hours ago, I had sat down on the couch and said "I guess I will watch an episode of 'Louie'" and then I just laid there. 

For five hours.

Because with the new Netflix streaming, you don't even have to click "watch next episode."

It just assumes that you want to.  And rightfully so.

It knows that you are too weak-willed to turn off your Playstation and call it quits for the night, so it just goes onto the next one, and you don't even have to click a button.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My Best Friend, the Terrorist


My buddy works for the government.  He recently transferred to a different location and needs to get top secret clearance so that he can work with classified information.  A while back, he asked if I would act as a reference for him, and of course I obliged.

So I was not surprised when an investigator called me, inquiring if he could meet me to discuss my relationship with my friend.  He told me that he was under a tight deadline, needed to meet the next day, and would travel wherever to make it easier on me.

"Wherever and whenever is easiest for you," he told me.

I was going to be traveling north the next morning for the wedding, and needed to make a stop in my parents' hometown to pick up my tuxedo.

He was stationed the next town over from my parents, so I suggested that we meet at the Starbucks next to the Men's Warehouse.

"Actually, it would be better if we could meet at your parents' house," he told me.  "That way, we don't have to stop talking if someone sits next to us if we are in a public place."

I wondered what he actually meant by "wherever and whenever is easiest for me," but I agreed and drove the extra ten minutes to my parents' house after picking up my tux.

Friday, July 6, 2012

¿Cómo se dice "ba-donka-donk"?

I work with a diverse group of people at my new job.  Which is a good thing.

But I have recently found myself in the break room with a group of people that I cannot understand.  Whether they speak Spanish, Chinese, or some Russian dialect, they always seem to congregate around me and speak with each other in their native tongue.

Now, maybe I am paranoid, but whenever I am just sitting there, innocently eating my sandwich, I can't help but think that they are talking about me.  Whether they are criticizing my personality, my looks, or the way I eat my sandwich, one thing is certain: they are speaking in another language, not because it is more comfortable for them, but so that they can encode their shit-talking from me.

Okay, so I'm bad at finding pictures.  Pretend that the girls in
the back are actually two bald-headed Russian guys who
aren't actually whispering.  The girl in the front is actually a
pretty good representation of me.  Minus the socks.  My
socks aren't as cool.  But I do hug my knees when I am sad.

One of the most interesting parts about being around these conversations is the English words that sometimes slip out.  I am not sure if the words are untranslatable or if the words come out accidentally, but the English words actually make me feel even more suspicious.  In my paranoia, I see it as a tactic used by my foreign-speaking friends, much like the government taking a black marker to confidential papers and only leaving a few innocuous words to leave the reader void of any actual information, and thus completely baffled.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My GPS Rant

I love technology.

If I hear a song on the radio or coming through the walls from my neighbor's house, all I have to do is hold my iPhone in the air for a while for a few seconds, and it will listen to the song and then tell me the title and artist of the song.

If I need a sports score, recipe, weather, or the home address and social security number of the cute waitress at my coffee joint, all it takes is a few clicks on the internet for the stalking to commence.

If I get lost on the road, I can simply pull out my iPhone or GPS and it will tell me where I am and tell me how to get where I want to go.

But wait a minute.

The last fact that I mentioned implies that my GPS knows all of the roads and can track me as I travel on those roads.  It knows how fast I am going on the road, and it knows the exact path that I am taking to get to my destination.  It developed my route for me, for God's sake, and if I mess up and make a wrong turn, it will find a new route for me in seconds.

So there is NO REASON, whatsoever, that my GPS should "lose signal" when I drive through a tunnel.