Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Best Of: Summer Movies 09...

Alright, as promised here is my best of list for movies this summer. I was more pumped for this summer than summers past, but it looks like it was a huge letdown. Good thing next summer can't be a let down because even if all the movies suck, Iron Man 2 will be amazing (fingers crossed Scarlett "worst actress ever" Johanssen doesn't ruin the franchise). First though, instead of doing a worst list I'll just mention some terrible movies that nearly ruined the summer. First, and by far the worst, was Transformers 2. Was that this summer? I can't believe how bad it was. I enjoyed the first one and was really looking forward to this, but it was just tremendously awful. Harry Potter 6 was also heartbreaking. The first movie in the series I didn't love. It's almost like someone read the cliff notes, decided most of it wasn't important, rewrote it, then hired someone dyslexic to put it together. I've only seen it the once so I won't say I hate it, but as of right now, I definitely didn't like it. Also making my sh*t list was Wolverine. Pretty close to hating it as much as Transformers 2 but not quite there. Way to ruin Gambit and Deadpool in one movie.

Anyway, here's the top 5 best movies. Once again these are just from the movies I have seen (May - Sept 21st) so it may not be completely accurate until I finish netflixing all the ones I missed. Honorable mentions are District 9 and Funny People.

5.) Up
Disney & Pixar did it again. I don't think they will ever make a bad movie. I haven't seen cars but I can't imagine it's bad. Following Wall-e, I didn't think they could keep up with expectations, and while this wasn't as good, it was pretty close. If that opening credits montage didn't get your eyes watery, then you have no heart.

4.) (500) Days of Summer
I love this movie. I've already talked about it a few times so I'll be brief but you could put JGL and Zooey in any movie and I'll pay to see it. The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the narration, but I'm okay with it.

3.) Away We Go
Who'd have thought a guy from The Office (terrible, I mean, U.S. version) could be funny? This movie was refreshingly hilarious. I'm sick of the 'indie' woe is me dark comedies that basically need to make characters hate life in order to get the point across. This movie was great and you should all rent it asap (it just came out today).

2.) Moon
Sam Rockwell is my hero. I know I talked about this one a couple of times already, but the fact that he carried this movie by himself and it was this good is really a testament to how good an actor he is. He created this person (people) that were so real, it was hard to figure out what was happening. I'm not sure how to classify this movie, it wasn't a comedy or a drama or a thriller or suspense. It's whatever 2001: A Space Odyssey is after the apes and before sh*t gets weird.

1.) Star Trek
This movie blew me away. Repeatedly. With so many movies coming out and the fact that I see them all, it's rare that I get to see a movie 4 or 5 times in the theater, but with this I kept going back specifically to see this and not just as a third option on a slow wednesday. Only a couple movies have been this good that kept bringing me back, Batman Begins, Iron Man and Kill Bill Vol. 1. Star Trek was perfect and I can't wait until the next one. I am not a huge fan of the original Star Trek and have only ever seen one or two episodes but that didn't matter. The story was perfect, the acting, the action and everything else was amazing. JJ Abrams is somehow sneaking his way into being one of my must see directors. This doesn't come out on dvd until mid november (the 17th I think) so you've got some time before you can watch it, but you won't be disappointed when you do.

Never have Indies dominated the chart the way they have this summer. This is sort of a combination of the fact that the blockbusters sucked, and people are loving indies (which is good for my industry) and theaters are actually screening these films in much more abundance than ever before. It's awesome. Anyway, that's it. There are some gems coming out this fall so I'll post a list soon of things you need to keep an eye out for. Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder


So I guess Fall is officially here now. The nights are getting colder, leaves are falling, MSU is losing and the Pistons finally report to training camp today. Two things I'm crazy excited for are the MSU v UM game this weekend (I'm pretty sure we're going to put a stop to our losing streak and their winning streak) and the Pistons. It's going to be a strange group that takes the court when preseason starts next Monday, but I'm looking forward to it. I haven't had this much uncertainty going into a season since 2000.

I realized I haven't done a summer movie review yet so I will get on that shortly, but for now, let me just tell you a few movies not to see in case you were planning on a movie sometime this week/weekend. First is 'The Informant!' with Matt Damon. I'm a big fan of Matt Damon but not a fan of Steven Soderberg who is not a very good director, but the only thing I liked about the Ocean's movies was Damon, so I thought that this would be good. It wasn't. It wasn't bad, it was just kind of whatever, which is pretty much how the Ocean's movies are. I almost forgot that I saw the movie the same day I saw it which isn't generally a good sign. 'Extract' was another that can wait til dvd, I'm a big fan of Mike Judge but his feature's aren't that great. 'Gamer' and 'Inglorious Basterds' were both not so great though Gamer isn't really supposed to be good in the first place. '9' was pretty good, I'd definitely watch that again. It's been a pretty lackluster summer even though it was supposed to be amazing.

Anyway, I'll have a best summer movie list of the summer up later so you know what to check out on dvd. Go big or go home.

-M, p, z & shredder

oh ps - tfln: "(559): We can get Dustin to help us. I think he'd be good at luring girls into a dark alley. " I liked this one a lot, mostly because I have a friend Dustin who I feel the same way about.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Just a couple of quick hits. First of all, this morning was street cleaning. So I move my car and double park like everyone else does. When I come back to move it I noticed there was a ticket it on it for being within 6 feet of a fire hydrant. Technically, I wasn't 6 feet from it if you measure out from the actual fire hydrant but if you're going by the yellow dash, then yes my bumper barely crossed the line. The worst part is that the ticket is $115 (don't plan on paying it anytime soon) but if I hadn't moved my car at all I would have only gotten a ticket for $40. It's asinine. And it pisses me off. It's only the fourth ticket I've gotten in NYC in a couple years which isn't so bad. I've only paid one before and that was $40. The other two were both 115, one for the same infraction above and one for literally parking for 3 minutes with my hazards on in a designated "bus zone" that was also for $115. I have paid none of those. And I don't plan to. They can't impound my car because I don't have NY plates (it's a silly rule but I'm not complaining) so I'll pay them after I win the lottery. Assh*les.

Also Halo 3: ODST came out today. It's pretty awesome. I'll save you the nerd review but if you like Halo then pick it up. Otherwise continue being lame.

That's it I guess. In case you were wondering why I didn't do a best dressed at the Emmys this year, it's because I didn't watch. After seeing pictures however, I think it would be once again Julia Louise Dreyfuss at the top although I think Sandra Oh would have taken the top spot. Elaine might just be in the top 5 of hottest celebs over 40 - she's right up there with Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston and Monica Belluci (though no one is as hot as MB).

Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder

oh ps - tfln: "(802): My social work teacher just told our class about her bicurios adventures in college
(516): is she hot?
(802): She is now"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dear Brooklyn...

Stop being a pain in the ass to get to. Stop convincing people that you're a fun borough to hang out in. You're not cool, fun and definitely not 'so beautiful.' My neighborhood is much nicer and I live in little Cuba apparently. Your streets look like Baghdad. Stop letting hipsters take over everything.

Dear Hipster, can you please stop sticking your elbow in my ribs before I kill you? It's called personal space and I know you and your bangs think that it's cool and bohemian to not apologize for stepping on my toes, but you're ugly and need makeup and are not nearly cool enough to not look me in the eye and beg forgiveness for spilling beer on me while you step on my toe. Can we please be done with the bright tights with the black boots? Hipster is the new Goth. Take a shower and grow up, you aren't that cool or original.

That's all. Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Little Loyalty...

...goes a long way. I have been going to the same place to get my oil changed since I was 16. Actually I have been going there for longer, I was just usually not the one driving. I know what you're thinking, I drive all the way to my parents house in Port Huron, Michigan just to get an oil change? Not really, I just always get one when I come home and since I never drive my car in NYC, the only time I need an oil change is after I get home.

The point of me telling you this is that my dad's car had a low engine coolant light on. So he asked me to take it in and make sure it didn't leak. So I took it in to the same place I get my oil changed and the guy checked the line, said it looked fine and then filled up my anti-freeze. Then he said, 'You're all set, have a good day." I asked him how much I owed and he shook his head and said not to worry about it. I know it probably would have only been like 5 or 10 dollars, but it's the thought that counts. I am never going to get my oil changed anywhere else, all because this guy (who has personally been changing my oil since I started going there) knew I was a valuable customer and that loyalty goes a long way.

Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder

The Season's Over...

So much for Summer. I know I say this every year, but this one really flew by - and in this case it's actually true. It pretty much rained it's way into July so by the time it was actually nice out and Summery, it was already the 4th. Usually there are weeks and weeks of beaching and being outside before the 4th. And then as suddenly as the rain stopped, it was Labor Day - and almost as if on queue, the lake got wavy, the winds grew and the leaves started to fall. Literally on Labor Day. How lame.

Luckily I always believe in denial. I still think there are weeks if not at least a month left of good weather. This may or may not be true, but my flip flops aren't coming off until Halloween. I was luckily enough to have spent the majority of my summer away from NYC, aka the most horrid place to spend a summer, and spent most of it in Michigan. Glorious Michigan. There is no place in the world I would rather be in the summer than Michigan. Until today when my mom made me put away all the summer stuff. Goodbye patio table and chairs, farewell hose, see you in 8 or 9 months my beloved kayak...

It's not over yet though. There's still time to enjoy summer things. Fall hasn't officially begun in my head until that first frost. Then I'm happy because I love Fall. Anyways, I'm headed back to NYC tomorrow which will be nice because it's no longer humid beyond belief there and I'll hopefully be taking a weekend adventure to the ocean the next weekend for my last venture into the water until next summer. So go big or go home, but definitely go outside and enjoy the weather.

I'm out.

-M, p, z & shredder

Monday, September 14, 2009

Another Day Closer to Death...

Did anyone watch the MTV VMAs last night? Neither did I. In yet another example that I'm getting older and more out of touch with today's youth, I actually thought it was the MTV Movie Awards. Tomorrow I turn 27. Meh. The only birthday I ever cared about was when I turned 16 because then the world was mine. Once you can drive there is nothing stopping you from doing everything. That license is your ticket out of anything. I didn't care so much about 21 because I had a fake and I was also the last of my friends to turn 21 so the novelty had already worn off. I was somewhat intrigued by turning 25 because then you can rent a car, but then I learned that you can rent one after you turn 18 - it just costs an asinine amount in insurance.

So 27 is just another day closer to death. I'm not actually that morbid, but it's more of an interesting fact than anything. I'm also not that out of touch with today's youth - for example, I just bought the new Jay-Z album last week. He's still cool, right? The problem I have with today's youth is that they're spoiled. Cell phones for 5 year olds? People had pagers when I was in high school. My first cell phone was in college and it was analog - oh my, the static was heinous. Kids don't send notes in class, they text each other under their desks. They don't sneak a coke into the library, they send friends naked pics of some poor slut that Jimmy made out with.

Essentially I don't think kids act like kids anymore. They're growing up too fast. Too much booze, too much sex and too much technology. These kids have access to everything so early they they never get a chance to be innocent. We didn't have high speed internet when I was 10 - we had Oregon Trail. We didn't even have high speed internet in our school when I graduated - it wasn't until college that T3 changed my life. Kids get everything now when they should be first weaned on cartoons and Saved by the Bell and Dawson's Creek. Now they have Gossip Girl and other slutty shows that teach kids it's cool to drink and party and be a terrible person.

Anyway, I'm old and rambling. I'm out. My point is that Kanye West is an asshole, I love Taylor Swift and always will, and I have never seen any of the music videos that they were talking about last night, but Beyonce is pretty nice.

-M, p, z & shredder

oh ps - tfln: "(619): You should have seen the look on the cashiers face when I was buying steel reserve with a suit on. "

Friday, September 11, 2009

Womp Womp...

...you know, sad pathetic noise. So my run yesterday went as follows: Take cold medicine, take vitamin c, forget powerbar, forget gatorade, forget ice (for my shins), forget head phones (for my head) and run anyway. I made it about a mile and a half before stopping in agony. "My shins!" I exclaimed. My precious shins, that have now turned against me like Anakin against the Jedi (bastard - he was the chosen one!). So I thought, "hey, let's walk another half mile and run the two miles back!" So I walked. Then at 2 miles, I turned and ran! I got about a quarter mile before my shins hurt even worse, and it spread to my knee. Curse you right leg!! Thou hast forsaken me!

With only 5 weeks left til the half-marathon, my days are numbered (I call Monday day 1 - get it? numbered?) Anyway, if I were to shake a fancy 8-ball it would tell me that my 'outlook is grim' and I would reply, "f*ck you magic 8-ball! What makes you so magic anyway?!" Then I would cry. This is my life. But, like Robin Hood looking for his Brother John, I'll make it to the half, and I'll run the entire thing (does it count as running if you are just walking but fake running in slow motion?). Anyway, it was the worst run of my life and as if to spite me, my leg feels fine now (except for the pain).

I'm out. Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder

tfln: "(262): Care to explain to me why theres a baby food jar filled with semen in my fridge? or why its labeled as unicorn sweat? "

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Just a few quick thoughts to start your Thursday. Everyone watch President Obama's speech last night? I thought it was great. There were some highs, mostly when he repeatedly said people do not have to change their current plan - hoping that any assh*le left who says they don't want to change their plan will hopefully be told to be quiet. There were some lows, most notably when he said that he wants to, and I'm paraphrasing here, take a look at medical malpractice reform because it 'might' have something to do with the high cost of insurance. Might? It's most certainly got something to do with it and while I have no facts to back it up, I'm pretty sure it has to be one of the biggest reasons for high insurance costs. Medical malpractice reform is an absolute must.

Other than that, Rep. Joe Wilson is a petulant 5 year old. I would have jumped across the aisle and punched him in his f*cking gourd, then said something to the effect of, "who's lying now?" or something equally action-flick witty. Overall I think it was a pretty positive and necessary speech to make, not so much to the people of congress but to the people sitting at home who believe all the misinformation that was spread about death panels and socialism and government mandating everything. Speaking of mandates, I'm not sure how he got around using that word but he did, and I just don't realistically see a bill being passed that has a mandate on people getting insurance unless it honestly only costs as much as 300-400 a year for the minimum. People can't afford it, especially now - that said, he was right to say his plan won't work unless it's mandated - so I guess you gotta do what you gotta do. Personally I can't afford health insurance but wouldn't mind paying 300 for some basic stuff if I had to.

Moving on. The U.S. Open has been alright despite my boy being knocked out early. It's kind of like watching a golf tournament where Tiger is not in contention. I love seeing good matches but with Roddick gone, I've got no one I'm aching to see win. It'd be nice to see Nadal win. It'd be awesome to see Federer lose. It'd be nice to see Djokovic win. But I just can't really get into it until I see an instant classic 5-set match that keeps me up til 1 in the morning. At least the women's draw is interesting.

Enough about that. Let's talk about me. So today will be pretty important in telling whether I am a runner or just a pretender. It's the first day I've thought about not doing my run. I've been slowly coming down with a cold for the last two days and it finally might have hit me today. I'm a little congested and tired and my eyes feel like they could sleep forever. Aside from that I've got the worst shin splints I've ever had. They burn when I run and then just kind of have a numbing pain all day long. So I'm supposed to run 8 miles today. And I might not. I've already eaten my runners breakfast and have my gatorade and powerbar ready to rock, but it might not happen. I'll keep you posted. Less than 6 weeks til the half and it's starting to get rough...

I'm out. Go big.

-M, p, z & shredder

oh ps - tfln: "(973): maybe tonight we can turn coloring into a drinking game "


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Boys Are From Earth, Girls Are From Crazy...

Girls are from crazy:

Before I begin, let me say that I'm not trying to imply chicks are crazy, I'm trying to explicitly state it. I don't think it's a bad thing, actually I kind of find it fascinating how different girls are from boys - and I don't mean to offend anyone, but if I do then thank you for proving my point. After recently having a discussion with a friend (who is a girl) about why girls spaz out a lot, her argument was essentially that girls aren't crazy - they just get 'stressed' about situations and they need to 'vent' about it by ranting for as long as they desire. I told her that this is, in fact, why they are crazy.

Not sure how many Harry Potter fans there are out there, but if you are a nerd like me then you'll remember in The Order of the Phoenix, there was a line that perfectly describes women. To summarize briefly, Harry liked this girl Cho who liked him but also had a boyfriend who was recently murdered by Voldemort and who's mom was being threatened by the Ministry of Magic. After they have their first kiss, Harry tells Ron that she cried right after to which Ron, being a dude, laughs in Harry's face at his pathetic first kiss. Hermione then explains why she cried and that she's feeling all these emotions at once to which Ron replies in complete sincerity, "One person can't possibly feel all that at once. They'd explode!"

While most girls aren't facing such dire circumstances as Cho Chang, they all react the same to everything. "I have so much to do - let me take a minute to cry about it." "I don't like my class - let me get upset and yell at people who try to calm me down." Obviously not all girls react the same to every situation, but for every girl there are many things that make them go crazy. Some girls get stressed about 'life' some get stressed about work and some get stressed about relationships and many get stressed about a combination of these things.

Boys are from earth:

For all the societal cliches that say guys are dumb, really we're just logical. We know that life is life. We don't expect everything to go smoothly and we know that nothing rarely does. No matter how much planning and coordinating and control a girl might think she has, nothing is ever completely under control.

I never expect anything I buy to work. I never think things will happen on time if the responsibility is in someone else's hands and I never plan on having my expectations met by people I don't know - whether it's at work, or getting something fixed or having any kind of customer service performed. If you keep these things in mind, the only thing left to bother you is friends or significant others letting you down - and if you know that even these things happen sometimes, then you've got nothing to stress about.

I admit that even I'm closer to Bob Marley than most guys about stress, but still, most guys just let things be. Life isn't a box of roses, it's a box of chocolates. Forrest Gump knew this, why don't chicks?

I say this not to tell girls they are crazy but in the hope that if they find themselves stressed, just think about these few thoughts: there's nothing you can do about it so just let it be, life isn't that big of a deal and finally, sh*t happens. It's a little existentialist but I wake up happy and I go to bed happy. During the day I'll be walking downtown and some assh*les will elbow me trying to get to their lame jobs and I'll have about 10 seconds where I see red and want to stab them and shove them in the sewer but then it passes and I forget about it.

As the Kingsford (charcoal) motto goes, "Slow down and grill." Words to live by.

Go big or go home.

-M, p, z & shredder

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Today I went to go see a couple movies and the best part about it didn't happen on a screen. Before the first movie it was apparent that someone was sleeping. Every time there would be a break in the commercials before the previews you could hear some dude snoring loud. Very loud. Someone must have told an employee and they came and tried to wake him up. This didn't work. The dude was politely trying to wake him up by saying, "Sir. Sir. Sir, wake up." This was clearly a bad plan, so he went and got more help. Another dude came and did essentially the same thing. Then they got a third dude. This third guy came and told them to shake him, but the other guys clearly read their employee handbook and responded by saying they weren't allowed to touch anyone. So they started shouting, "Sir! Wake up!" Again, words failed. This guy actually kept snoring while yet another employee came and tried. There were four employees coming when a manager finally came and tried again. This time she shook the chair. The guy continued to sleep and actually rolled over to the side a little bit. So now there were five employees and he still wasn't awake. Then another manager, probably the highest level of authority that remained, came and shook the chair and kept shaking and shaking and shouting. The dude finally woke up surrounded by 6 people and was asked to step outside. He never came back so I assumed he was told to leave. It was ridiculous. I've never seen anything like it.

Anyway, that happened before I saw "It Might Get Loud," which was sort of a documentary where Jimmy Page, Jack White and The Edge got together to talk about the electric guitar. It was pretty good. Not much of a story but it was interesting watching them tell how each of them got into the guitar and see old pictures and videos of Jimmy Page way before he was in Zeppelin. Jack White is by far one of the coolest dudes on the face of the planet and this makes me want to get a poster of him so I can look at his face everyday and try and emulate everything he does. The Edge was okay, he had a couple of moments but there's only so much I can take of someone doing the same stuff over and over again. Yeah, you use effects to make your guitar sound cool, neat.

I also saw "Inglorious Basterds." The movie was ok. I wouldn't see it again. I wasn't that excited for it so it wasn't a disappointment. It was pretty much as good as I thought it would be. Tarantino isn't usually someone I get super excited about. He'll never write anything as good again as "True Romance," and he'll never direct anything again that's as good as "Kill Bill vol. 1," so I really don't have too much to get excited about. I loved Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs but, with the exception of Kill Bill, all these movie were over a decade ago. What has he done for me lately?

Pretty soon I'll do a best of the summer movie and it's not going to be anything close to what I thought it would look like back in the spring. I'm out. Go big or go home.

-M, p, z & shredder

tfln: "(904): I just realized that "Hey girl, when you gonna let me tap that?" is in iambic pentameter. I'm going to write a poem"