Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Memories

I remember that one year when the lake froze and we walked out on it for the first time. I also remember I had to pee so bad I didn't care about the magic snowman who talked to us and told us he knew Santa Claus personally. I ran home and almost didn't make it, but boy what relief. I never saw my friend Derrick again. Maybe he went with that snowman guy and met the real Santa. Some guys get all the luck.

I remember the Christmas I bought my wife that new Kawasaki gas powered weedeater. She was so thrilled she was speechless. I felt bad for her though, because there was a foot of snow outside and she wouldn't get to actually use it for months. But I was prepared for that. I also got her a new mop and a whole box of rubber gloves. Who loves ya babe?

Probably my best Christmas memory is the time my Uncle Billy misplaced 8000 bucks and I was about to jump off a bridge into an icy river when I was visited by three ghosts, one at 1:00, two at 2:00, and the third was from that Def Leppard video. I told them I walked through the Lincoln tunnel to find my real father and get an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle and if I didn't I was going to steal Christmas, everything from the Who hash to the roast beast. Then they put me on trial for my threats and to prove there was no Santa Claus until the post office intervened by sending Yukon Cornelius to tell me "You'll shoot your eye out kid!" I had no earthly idea what he was talking about. They dismissed the trial but I was back in court only a few weeks later because my delinquent parents flew off to France without me, and also I was sued for assault by two crooks who tried to rob my house. Apparently it isn't legal to burn, impale, shoot, drop an iron on, or threaten with a My neighbor just paid a fine though, for hitting them with a snow shovel, so I feel good about the case. So that was a pretty good Christmas I guess. Oh, and if a train comes down your street to take you to the North Pole and nobody else sees it but you, stay in bed, trust me. It's a nightmare. I think I still have whiplash. Also, while I'm thinking about it, if you see Santa on your roof, don't call out to him or he'll slip and die and you might have to replace him. Stick to Buzz Lightyear and we'll all be better off, thanks.

Happy Christmas memories!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Underrated Christmas Classics

We all know about It's A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street, and A Christmas Story. Elf is quickly becoming a holiday favorite, and movies like Holiday Inn , Scrooge (with Albert Finney), and White Christmas are finally getting their due with new DVD releases prominently displayed in stores. But there are a few gems out there still relatively obscure and deserving of annual appreciation. Here are just a few I consider underrated classics:

Christmas In Connecticut

This Barbra Stanwyck film was remade a few years ago, but the original still holds up with that idyllic feeling of white Christmases from a simpler time. Of course what Stanwyck's character has to accomplish to get that picture perfect holiday is not so simple.

The Bishop's Wife

Another classic remade, but sorry Denzel Washington, there's only one Cary Grant! In the same vein that made It's A Wonderful Life a masterpiece- angel + Christmas = holiday magic. Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven make a good team in this one and it only gets better with repeated viewings.

The Shop Around The Corner

Sensing a theme yet? Yes, this was also remade as You've Got Mail or as I call it You've Got To Be Kidding, because the original is such a great film. Director Ernst Lubitsch who made many great films said this was his best, and most critics would agree. As a matter of fact some critics have said this is the greatest Christmas film ever made. Better than It's A Wonderful Life?...Sorry, don't think so. But still, like that other Jimmy Stewart classic, The Shop Around The Corner only gets better with age. Watch it every Christmas...and more!

Ernest Save Christmas

There's a certain sophistication and panache about Varney's slapstick which creates an ambient faux sense of Victorian Christmas deja vu and leaves the viewer entranced with a bittersweet pining for holidays remembered and hope to come. The comedic subtleties are nuanced so precariously on the precipice of lunacy you feel giddy with joy to the point that other senses create their own universe. I even thought I smelled holly berries and the crisp currants of whipped Christmas strudel.

...Just kidding.
I don't even remember watching that crap. I just couldn't think of any other underrated films since most Christmas movies suck!

Enjoy watching and Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Mark Ingram shoots the gap.

Terrence Cody and Bobby Greenwood bring the pain!

Glenn Coffee chewing up yards!

John Parker Wilson celebrates another score!

"Mount" Cody celebrates victory!

Coach Saban's First Iron Bowl Victory

Bobby Greenwood

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Leftovers

In honor of Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when we pull out the mayo and leftover turkey for some turkey sandwiches, I thought I would pull out a leftover for your amusement. Here's some recycled humor from the blog going back to the beginning...

Media Anxiety Disorder
Do you ever go for a few days or weeks without watching the news and then you have no idea what's going on in the world? You go to work one Monday and you're like "Burt and Lonnie got a divorce?!" Everyone around is wondering why your haircut and shoes are relatively up to date and you aren't wearing a bolo tie. Which reminds me...

3 things that seemed really great at the time but now we wonder why they ever happened:

Bolo ties
Astro turf
Joni and Chachi

Are there certain songs you used to really like, maybe very good songs, that now you loathe passionately because they remind you of something or somoeone you'd rather NOT remember?
Like the song you were enjoying right before your transmission went out that time, and now if it's ever playing at Quizno's while you're eating your Angus Steak you get a sudden tightness in your stomach reminiscing about having to put $1800 on your credit card and the smell of that cheap, dingy hotel you had to stay in while it was being fixed because you were on a road trip 300 miles from home.
-Or the one that comes on periodically that you absolutely loved in your younger days because you and your sweetie-pie chose it to be "our song" and now it just reminds you of how that special someone dumped you so you could "just be friends" assuring you repeatedly that "it's not you, it's me" but had no problem making out with someone who wasn't "just a friend" two weeks later at the prom!
-Or the one that played every single friggin' day over the Muzak in the department store you worked in for a whole year and now every time you hear it you feel like you're back folding crappy Bugle Boy apparel and straightening ties for an hour straight, or whatever you had to straighten.
Please let me know if I left any particular painful memory out.

Mmmm, this homemade stuffing is even better the day after. Enjoy the rest of your leftovers (especially the pumpkin pie!) and get some of that Christmas shopping done. Peace out!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What I'm thankful for in 2008

I'm thankful that Alabama is ranked #1 for the first time since 1992!

I'm thankful that the interminably long and obnoxious political campaign season is OVER!

I'm thankful that "Bush derangement syndrome" is almost over.

I'm thankful that we finally have a black president so I can complain about the MAN keeping me down for a change!

I'm thankful that freedom of speech on blogs, including sarcasm and biting criticism of political lefties is still legal (for now).

I'm thankful to the judges on Dancing With The Stars for letting Warren Sapp make it to the finals, because otherwise I wouldn't be on the edge of my muted anticipation.

I'm thankful that Ben Affleck hasn't been in a movie for so long I can't remember.

I'm thankful for Daniel Craig making 007 super cool again.

I'm thankful that the Detroit Lions can finally break the record as the only winless team in NFL history. (Let's keep our fingers crossed!!)

I'm thankful that 24 is finally back on TV. Unfortunately, I missed the 2 hour special so now I have to wait a year for the DVDs. I need Tivo.

I'm thankful that Simon Pegg and Ricky Gervais keep making movies and keep making me laugh.

I'm thankful that others are starting to figure out Adam Sandler isn't that funny.

I'm thankful that U2 is in the studio working on their 12th album and it will be out next year.

I'm thankful for everyone who actually reads all of this crap everytime I post. Thank you.

I'm thankful for friends, family, the U.S.A., the U.S. military, Turner Classic Movies, cheesesteaks, burritos, good music, good movies, college football, online movie rentals, mp3s, Thomas Sowell, Alison Krauss, the Coen brothers, Coach Nick Saban, Sarah Palin, my wife, my kids, and Jesus Christ, THE dauphin of daylight.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Decades: Poll Results

As best as I can remember them. I broke ties with a dictatorial deciding vote, after all, it is my blog.

Favorite Actor and Actress

1930s- James Stewart
Judy Garland

1940s- Cary Grant
Katherine Hepburn

1950s- Marlon Brando
Grace Kelly

1960s- Sidney Poitier
Audrey Hepburn

1970s- Jack Nicholson
Diane Keaton

1980s- Harrison Ford
Debra Winger

1990s- Morgan Freeman
Sandra Bullock

Today- Christian Bale
Kate Winslet

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Australia, Australia, Australia, we love you, Amen!

Since there is much hype surrounding the upcoming epic film Australia starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman I thought I would name a few Australian movies I like; some made in and some about the land "down under".

The Castle
Funniest movie ever from Australia. "Bonny Doon". "How 'bout that serenity?"

Danny Deckchair
Another excellent Aussie comedy starring Rhys Ifans (Notting Hill) and Miranda Otto (Lord of the Rings)

The Man From Snowy River
Still a family classic.

Quigley Down Under
Underrated western set in the Outback has Tom Selleck in his best cinematic role and an ending that still packs a punch.

A mystery and intense character study with an excellent ensemble cast- Geoffrey Rush, Barbara Hershey and Anthony LaPaglia.

Breaker Morant
Director Bruce Beresford's finest film (Driving Miss Daisy, Tender Mercies) is a true account of Australian officers on trial during the Boer War in South Africa.

Crocodile Dundee II
Okay, so this isn't a list of Academy Award winners. I said my favorites remember, and the second Dundee flick is actually set "down under" and is much funnier than the first one in my opinion.

Although the critics seem to dig Picnic At Hanging Rock the most I think Gallipoli is Peter Weir's best Australian film and maybe the best of all of his films ( The Truman Show, Witness, Master and Commander). It is a timeless story of youth, friendship, adventure, and sacrifice. It portrays with historical accuracy the fateful WWI battle at Anzac which is the most hallowed in the memories of Aussies to this day and celebrated annually on Anzac Day. It is also my favorite Australian film.

...Of course Finding Nemo is pretty good too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yay, Communism!!!

Now that this interminably long election season is over we should pause and look at what has happened. Don't get caught up in the hype of the giddy media coverage over this "historic" presidential pick. It is historic but not because the new president is "black". It is instead a historic turning, because of ignorant desperation, toward socialism. Despite the evidence of history and more resources for learning at our beck and call than anytime or anywhere in history we think we should try what others have already proven is a failure. But don't take my word for it. Let's examine the words of the man himself.

Obama says- "health-care is a right"

So I guess that means doctors should deliver my children for free. After all it is my "right". We have a perfect example of a single-payer healthcare plan just north of us in Canada. Canadians drive to the U.S. for health-care because of the long lines for any kind of operation. I spoke to a Canadian recently who has family in Saskatchewan. He says they drive to some tiny burg in North Dakota to go to the hospital even though there are Canadian hospitals much closer. Why? Since my wife is a nurse, I know the answer. When health-care is "free" (as we have in this country with MediCare) people come to the hospital for anything and everything, clogging up the system and making it harder to serve those with more serious problems. When everyone is "free" it will become a nightmare. In Canada and other countries with socialized medicine it takes weeks and even months just to get an MRI. The Canadian I spoke to had an uncle who died of a heart attack at 52. He said his uncle had chest pains for weeks beforehand, but couldn't get in to see his doctor because of a waiting list. Sounds like utopia to me!!
Sure, like everything else in the left-wing mindset, health-care isn't MY responsibility. It's a "right" and others (see government) are supposed to take care of me. Since we know it doesn't work anywhere else, let's see how bad it can be for us. Thanks Obama. Yay Communism!!

Obama says- "We have to grow the economy from the bottom up"

Of course, because venture capatalists are always at "the bottom" right? And no rich person ever starts businesses, or invests in businesses, or hires people at "the bottom" for their business. That's why Cuba has the best economy on earth and regularly outproduces the U.S. in GDP, right Obama? If I know more about economics than the President of the United States something is seriously wrong!! Thanks, Obama. Yay, Communism!!

Obama says- "Everyone making less than $250 thousand a year....everyone making less than $200 thousand a year will get a tax cut"

No, because when you let Bush's tax cuts expire and revert back to pre-2000 tax rates, EVERYONE will get a tax increase, even those underneath your shifting arbitrary number, Obama.
Thanks, Obama. Yay, Communism!!

We have finally been taken over by the media and THEIR political party which is ignorant of economics and indifferent to the Constitution. Even when they screw things up as they have with the current bailout, the truth is swept under the rug and few learn the lessons of failure. The current economic crisis can be directly linked to Obama and his party allies but obviously after this election, not enough people knew (thanks to the media and timid Republicans) or not enough people cared. Someday hopefully they will. Until then...thanks Obama. Yay, Communism!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My favorite thrillers

Halloween is the time when your TV gets swamped with "scary" movies. Most of them are not scary or even entertaining anymore. Modern horror films have become gore fests trying to up the ante on how many shocking ways people can be dismembered. And apparently there are still plenty of blood hungry people willing to shell out some cash to see them, otherwise they wouldn't have needed to make Saw V. So what better time to offer up a sample of my favorites in the horror/thriller genre.

Shaun of the Dead

Nothing like a good zombie movie. Throw in some romance, the best young comic actors Britain has to offer, more hilarious moments than whole seasons of most American sitcoms, and you've got a modern horror/comedy classic! "You've got red on you."


What makes Jaws a great thriller is NOT the shark, because I can hear you now saying, "but it looks so fake!" It was actually fortunate for Spielberg that the mechanical shark broke down at the beginning of production because his original plan to show us the entire beast in the first sequence was thrown out. It's what we DON'T see for most of the film that freaks us out. John Williams' music is still terrifying and instantly recognizable, and face it, you know a movie scares people when they stop going to the beach for months after seeing it.


F.W. Murnau made his silent classic in 1922 after Bram Stoker's widow refused to give him the rights to film Dracula. Murnau decided to change the name and created the creepiest vampire in film history, Count Olaf. Plus, his cameo made one of the funniest SpongeBob episodes ever!

Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn

Another comedy/horror classic which put both Bruce Campbell and director Sam Raimi on the map. Perfect combination of Three Stooges slapstick and George Romero-like horror. When they kick the old hag in the face I crack up every time.

The Sixth Sense

Clever idea for a horror film and proof that you don't need gore, monsters, or even special effects to make an audience jump out of their seats.

What Lies Beneath

Once again, very little special effects needed to send chills up your spine. I love the way Robert Zemeckis plays the audience in this one. It's not even all that scary, but when you find out the truth you don't want to believe it. I'll leave it at that for anyone who hasn't seen it.


Director Henri-Georges Clouzot's French mystery masterpiece was unfortunately remade with Sharon Stone! GAG! See the original and keep the classic ending to yourself.

The Shining

Jack Nicholson is superb in Kubrick's horror classic. I actually root for Johnny, he's so funny. "Give me the bat, Wendy!"


Still the greatest horror flick ever made because there's never been another Hitchcock. It was made in 1960 and hasn't aged a bit. Anthony Perkins gives one of the best performances in film history. And if you think not going to the beach was a big deal, after Psycho people stopped taking showers!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Music Research Project

Someone once said that Styx was the "Worst band of all time". So after hundreds of hours of "research" here is what I've come up with:

Artists WORSE than Styx!

Michael Bolton
He oozes sophistication doesn't he?

Cute and cuddly like little puppies hence the name, uh, wham?

Bad English
When I see you smile...something tells me you're not smiling "with" me.

Lita Ford
"Kiss me once, kiss me twice!"....shame on you.

"I'm Gaaaaaaaa-ay!"


Night Ranger
Is that a band or a bail bondsmen convention?

38 Special
Yeah, gay Cowboy hats are cool!

I can see where they got that name...every woman's dream.

A better name would be GiveMeMyNickelBack

Billy Squier
Don't mess with that guy! How about Billy S Quier?

Vanilla Ice
And you thought YOU were cool!

Limp Bizkit
Yeah, we're Rage Against The Machine for middle school!!! Your parents warned you about us.

Peter Frampton
Back when People magazine wasn't targeting the "heterosexual" demographic.

So talented they make my eyes hurt.

Hootie and the Blowfish
Seriously, is that the best name they could come up with?

Kriss Kross
Move over Ralph Lauren, this style will never die!

Boy, you really look depressed. Maybe you should jump off of a bridge.

How many buffalo wings joints would have used that name if it weren't for you?

Color Me Badd
Who else could make New Kids on the Block look like The Beatles?

Their music might suck but their hair is FABULOUS!!