Out And About
I’m sure some of you have heard of the Duggar family. They’ve been on TLC for a while now with a few documentaries. It was 14 kids, then 16, now 17 with one more on the way.
I’ll keep it short. These people are scary. I mean, you can have as many kids as you want, but I think most of us just inherently creeped out by a woman who has been pregnant for nearly 20 years (she’s 41), so she’s basically been pregnant her ENTIRE adult life. Which is he right, but give me an F’ing break, that’s weird beyond belief.
I watched part of their show 1 million kids and counting (or whatever they call it) tonight, and they came off just as I thought they would- uber-religious, won’t let their kids attend school (homeschooled), strictly limit their kids access to the TV and the internet. That’s all fine and good- I think parents should be more strict and not allow their kids to do anything they want, watch any movies they want, etc. But, there comes a point where you just exude weirdness. The Duggars hit that point long ago. They gave off the vibe as if they were stuck a few decades back in the past with their hair styles, the clothes, their look just really fit the stereotype.
Like I said, people can do what they want, but I just find it so very very very weird. What happens when the mother can no longer have children? How will she live, as she’s never been an adult woman who wasn’t pregnant? How can a human even take care of themselves never knowing what it’s like NOT to be pregnant with yet another kid? What happens if their business goes belly up and they have no way to feed 20 mouths? Is there a moral issue here? So many questions. I have a feeling a deeper look into this series (no thanks) wouldn’t provide any valuable answers. I get the feeling even they have no idea why on earth they’re doing what they’re doing.
(Note: I realize this is really old news, and I think I covered it at the time, but I came upon the issue again tonight and wondered about it…)
I was browsing a few sites and came upon a generic link for Meetup.com. I used to try to find local groups in the area a few years ago. I started a Bill O’Reilly group at one point and was the leader of a Sean Hannity group (at the behest of another member of that group), but neither one ever had enough local people to warrant a get together.
It was a nice site. You could create groups to meet locally for free. In 2005 they started charging fees. You have to pay a monthly fee to create a group, I believe. So any groups on the site are now paying groups…the leader paid up the fee or split it with the other members. It’s a modest fee, but it’s still a fee-based service now.
Dumb idea if you ask me. There’s little chance I’d ever pay for the service, so I’m basically out of that for good, when before I was ready to use it and recommend it regularly. It’s a business, and it has to stay afloat somehow, but this seemed like the worst way to go about it. I realize this is years in the past, but the site is still running, and it’s still fee-based, so after trying to create a group just now and seeing the credit card info page asking for $12, I said to hell with that and left the site probably never to return. How many people did that when they started charging fees?
According to the wikipedia page, there are currently only around 16, 000 groups nationally. 350 million people, 50 states, tens of thousands of cities, and only 16, 000 groups. No wonder my search of my city with nearly 250, 000 people turned up only one page of results with some fairly uninteresting groups meeting. If the site has only a handful of uninteresting groups in a city of 250, 000, I can’t imagine how they even stay in business. $192, 000 isn’t that much money. No idea what else they do to bring in revune, but there has to be something else they’re using to bring in cash flow.
I just have a hard time believing that some of these groups are going to pay any money at all, when it was sometimes hard to find enough people to meet up when it was free. And will a lot of people pay up to gather a mere 10 people together? Or 5 people? I haven’t been able to find any stats on how they’ve done since their implementation of fees, so who knows…
MySpace now has features that allow you to anounce groups and events. It’s not a neat format or as easy to navigate as meetup.com, but it’s free and it looks to stay that way for some time to come. I can’t imagine they’re having an easy time over at Meetup (I could always be terribly wrong, of course). It just seems they made a bad move…going from half a million groups to 16, 000. That’s a big loss. Fewer eyes on your site means less of a chance to make any money, it would seem. Sure, you have paying members now, but there’s also a much smaller chance anyone is going to pass through and stay very long when they see they have to pay to play.
Maybe the internet model of ad-based free services has spoiled me.
Went to see THE STRANGERS tonight. (for free). I went to see it the day it opened (May 30) right after work…I went at 4:40PM, but I should have went later…horror movies are, for me, always more fun when you have a whole theatre full of people, and you get all these people that go and completely flip out, screaming their heads off. I think there were 4 other people in the auditorium with me the first go around. A friend invited me tonight, and we were with 5 people in the theatre…3 in front of us and 2 in the very back row. So, none of that flippin’ out going on.
Great movie. It’s being compared to ILS, the French film I reviewed here. If you happened to read that, you’d notice I started that review with the words “holy crap”. ILS is a fine horror movie. Scary as hell. Bad ending, but a great, solid horror film. THE STRANGERS- holy crap could be uttered for a review of this film as well. VERY solid…very scary, the strangers themselves- creeeeeepy. Where ILS refused to show you the baddies, THE STRANGERS had them on full display, and their onscreen presence made for a lot of scares. Liv Tyler I could do without- the first 30 mins of the movie she sounded as if she suffered mental retardation of some sort. Her voice was really high pitched and sing-songy. She just seemed phony to me. Bad acting or just a weird voice? No idea.
The story was crisp, well thought out, some minor plotholes with people doing downright stupid things they probably wouldn’t do in real life, but it all held up really well. I didn’t love the ending (just like I didn’t care all that much for the ending to ILS). It’s got a Tales From the Crypt-like ending, if anyone has seen that HBO series from back in the day. Some will love it, others will hate it.
Where ILS was beautifully shot, the cinematography itself playing a role, The Strangers had little of that. It was well shot, it was done well for a horror movie (the look of things that make for creepiness), but it was no ILS. Not even close in that regards. ILS was just beautiful throughout. The lighting, the sets, the framing, the overall art direction. Maybe The Strangers could have used more of that? Maybe the European setting for ILS helped in that department a little?
Fantastic horror movie, I’d definitely try to catch it if you’re a big horror fan.
I went to our annual family reunion today (Saturday)…I only found out it was today yesterday (Friday night). My brother told me about it last night, and I didn’t go last year so I thought I’d go this year. It’s my mom’s side of the family. My mother died in 2006, so I wasn’t really looking forward to it. The truth is I don’t know many of these people all that well, and most of them I have no idea who they are at all. I don’t like meeting new people, nor do most people who have social anxiety…hence the term “social” in there.
Actually, I take it back- I pretty much despise meeting new people or being in new situations. It’s normal for most people not to like to do new things, because…well, because doing new things is usually scary for most of us. I don’t dislike it, I hate it with a passion. I disdain it. I hope the idea of meeting new people goes out of fashion, and the world decides to never do it…we go back to living in small clans in caves, never having to run into other people again. Okay,that’s hyperbole, but let’s just say I hate it. Part of me hates it. Part of me wants to meet all sorts of new people, but feel comfortable doing it, and feel anxiety-free while and after I do it. Part me feels as if meeting new people is awesome, and feeling anxious about it creates a disconnect…I feel as if I can’t connect with all that many people. That is just plain lonely. It’s a weird feeling of looking in on life from the outside, as if everyone around you has created a circle together, but there’s no room in that circle for you.
Anyway…I did go, and I talked to some of the people there. I talked about a bunch of nothing. Which is another problem I think I have, and I think a lot of people often have. What do you talk about? Especially with people you don’t know. You can ask them about their jobs, how they’re doing, the basic generic stuff, but those items only last so long. After you exhaust those little niceties, there’s not much left a lot of the time.
Truth be told- today wasn’t all that bad. It wasn’t anxiety-inducing, it wasn’t terrifying, it wasn’t even really scary at all. When I sit somewhere, and I feel I’m not participating enough, my brain goes into overdrive- wondering if people are thinking that I’m not participating enough, whether I’m somehow arrogant as to not talk a lot to them, whether I’m a snob who acts like I’m too good for them. I can’t help but automatically analyze and overanalyze my own actions as compared to those around me and my actions as others seem them. So, I try to counteract any misconceptions people might be creating about me…I want them to know that I am not a snob, that I don’t think I’m on some higher plane than they are, and that I’m just as friendly as they are.
It probably sounds horrible from what I’ve written so far, but I will repeat- it wasn’t all that bad at all today. I talked to a few aunts I haven’t seen in over a year, I talked to the husband of an aunt and felt really mano a mano (yes, I felt ‘hand to hand’) with him. I purposely went out of my way to shake the hand of an uncle I barely know (at least I think he’s an uncle?) The main reason I went to begin with was to experience something that wasn’t all that comfortable in the hopes of these things being more comfortable in the future, and for needed practice/experience in general, which could always help in the future.
Fairly boring time overall, not much talking going on, and the talking that was going on was stuff I had no idea about. People I didn’t know talking about other people I didn’t know. The food was okay, it’s been better in the past- those gross hamburger patties that are nearly burnt to a crisp when they’re finally taken off the grill. Hot dogs the width of a baseball bat- that was quite odd. Fried chicken, tho I’ve never liked fried chicken, as it’s always full of fatty spots, big black and brown spots (chicken bruising???! tumors?!) Could have been better, but I won’t complain too much, as it was free which is always nice, and I didn’t have to bring anything myself which was good.
It was hot hades, I’ll say that much. It was probably 95 at some point, direct sunlight in most areas in the park (we had it at a local park that holds the park for the local baseball team, the Evansville Otters). The humidity must have been high today too, so that made it rather uncomfortable. On my way home (after sitting there for about 4 hours), I stopped by McDonald’s to get a large powerade (no ice)…I drank it in a matter of minutes. I came home, turned on the AC, sat down, and watched TV. Spent the rest of the day doing pretty much nothing. Watched some TV, talked to a couple of people online at justin.tv (webcam site), read a little, caught up on some current events news, that sort of thing. And now I’m here.
Finally, I’ve been “blogging” for over 6 years now. I started blogging on my old AOL website. I canceled AOL when I got broadband in 2001. I used to “blog” but in EMail form. I’d basically post as I do now about current events, but instead of putting them on a webpage, I’d mass EMail them to a list of friends. I started that and, I’d guess it was 1999. I started posting blogs to my AOL website, and after that my geocities and angelfire websites around 2001…probably the end of 2001. I created this domain name and got the hosting in 2002.
I’ve basically been doing this a long time. 8 or 9 years in some form, 6 years in July on thebluesite.com I was looking back through my website at old entries. Like stuff from 2002 and 2003. Things have changed considerably. Before, I was more personal, posted about my life, the private stuff that was going on. I tend not to do that so much now. Privacy is one concern, especially considering that I choose to use my full (and real) name here. I use my full name on most websites now, as I usually link those back to this website where I use my full name, so there’s very little use in hiding anymore. I didn’t feel totally comfortable with that in the past, but I guess I’m cool with it now. No big deal. If someone wanted to find you, and you didn’t use your name, and probably wouldn’t even be all that hard then either, so what the hell.
Here are a couple of old entries. They’re from the days when I used Movable Type for my website (I use WordPress now), so some elements of the theme were lost…which means the text and page background are very similar in color. I will surely fix these archives one day, but that’s a lot of work and a daunting task.
This second one is from May 22, 2003. I discuss random thoughts going through my head, watching the series finale of the wonderful CBS series, Hack, nearly spraining my ankle, wanting new shoes, missing my ex-gf, and on and on. I reread it a bit ago, and how disturbing- John Wayne Gacy was arrested on the day I was born (December 21, 1978) according to a video I mention in the post…Wikipedia shows Dec 22, 1978.
Well, I guess I’m off for the night. Going to watch F/X (tell me that movie isn’t the greatest).
Our team won pub quiz tonight at the local Irish pub. And they have delicious reuben sandwiches by the way…
There was a lot of mancrying and manhugging going on. Well, there was neither, but we’ll pretend. I don’t drink, but it actually came out to a tie, and you have to chug a beer to decide who wins a tie. I walked up to volunteer (I’ve had exactly one beer in my life and I chugged it when I drank it), but another teammate who actually drinks volunteered himself, so I said ‘you go, girlfriend.’ (yeah, I speak like a sassy black woman…so what?)
I’m off to bed…O’Grady here I come.
I posted on December 9 that I planned on seeing a movie and was not sure if it was going to be Noelle or The Mist. Well, I saw both films and they were both really good. I also saw I Am Legend last weekend…I will concentrate on Noelle for now.
Noelle is a the story of 2 very different priests. Father Keene (played by writer and director, David Wall) is bitter and probably way too uptight. He comes into a small eastern seaboard town in order to evaluate a failing parish that will probably be closed. That parish is lead by Father Joyce- a man who doesn’t seem too awfully concerned about various Catholic traditions. The two know each other from seminary, so there’s a back story there that works it’s way into the plot. It takes place near Christmas, and they hatch an idea to have a real-life nativity scene outside the church to get people involved and get people back into church.
Keene finds himself involved in the lives of the various odd townspeople, including the librarian whom he wants to act as Mary in their play, some local tree-trimmers (who sing!), the librarian’s grandmother who throws the biggest Christmas party of the year, and more.
The message of the story wasn’t all that clear to me. Both men were very flawed, especially considering their particular vocations. I was expecting more laughter than what the film offered, but it’s a good movie with the few laughs that are scattered throughout. It’s cute more than anything else.
Many people have said it’s anti-catholic, but I think that’s just utter nonsense. I nearly didn’t go to the film due to these complaints, but after seeing it I think some people are just being way too over-sensitive about things.
It’s not quite a “Christmas-film” or even a family-film, but I’d recommend it either way. It fits into a category of its own, and it’s very well done considering the small budget that went into making it.
I’d like to see more movies like this- it was produced by a protestant Christian film company…maybe the same company has plans for future films with the same basic theme?
A lot has been going on the past month. Some good, but mostly bad. I lost a dear friend that I truly do cherish. I should note- she didn’t die, but I lost her in that we were in a relationship and that abruptly ended, and I don’t think being the bestest of friends is going to work out. Hopefully we’ll talk still- maybe become friends in time, because I’d hate to lose her totally.
She mentioned that her hamster died. The little guy we bought together. I loved the tiny little runt. We named him squirmy because…well, because he constantly tried to wriggle out of your grip and woudl squirm all over the place. It seems like the end of an era has come…the end of a 2 and a half yr job (for someone else, not me), the end of a life (the hamster), the end of a beautiful relationship (me and her). It’s been pretty rough, and I’m not all that great at taking these things very well. I’ll do fine though…in time.
I haven’t been to a see a movie in forever, so I’m wanting to see one near 4PM. I checked the website (kerasotes.com) for times, and I see Noelle and the Stephen King adaptation (of his novella), The Mist. I want to see The Mist, and I’ve heard really good things about it, but I also remember seeing a preview for Noelle months ago and thinking- that looks like a good one that I’ll probably try to catch.
Noelle is actually a religious film in that it was produced by a Christian company. Tho, I see that Bill Donahue is saying that it’s anti-catholic, which at first turned me off, but I read more about it and watched a few interviews with Crouch (of the production company), and I think it’s probably not going to be upsetting in that regard.
I think I’m going to go with Noelle for today and maybe see The Mist sometime after work this week. Maybe I can find someone to go with me to see that one. We’ll see.
So, I guess I’m off to get ready. Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend.
I saw this restaurant, Fast Eddie’s Bon-Air on FEASTING ON ASPHALT…need to make a trip out there. It’s not that far away (around 4 hours, I think). They only have 7 items on their menu, but it’s all very cheap (it’s a roadhouse, and they want people to buy booze- I don’t drink, so cheap food works for me). Also- it looked really good too. The steak kabobs and the half pound burgers. Mmm.
Who’s going with me?
It’s Sunday evening…nearly Monday morning. I thought I’d take a second to update. We went to see the new movie, WAR, this evening. I actually liked it a lot- even tho it’s so completely not my type of film. It stars Jason Statham and Jet Li and is full of the obligatory action sequences, slow-mo car crashes, and the requisite amount of blood and bullets. The story was actually really good with a very nice twist at the end. One I did not see coming at all. I actually like Statham- he’s a good actor, he’s interesting to watch, and he’s not hard to like as a character.
So, that was nice.
I’m seeing that HALLOWEEN (Rob Zombie’s new film) opens this coming Friday. Being a major fan of the film series, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing that. Might try to go Friday night (by myself, as everyone else will be working, I think.)
Finally- I need the following items for my apartment. Don’t everyone rush to buy them for me at once. If more than one person buys me the same thing, I will do the right thing and keep only the first and second one…I’ll return the third duplicate and sell the second. I promise I’ll split the money down the middle from the sale. (I’m so swell.)
I’m off to watch the latest episode of FEASTING ON ASPHALT (the second season of Alton Brown’s road-food series.)
I NEARLY FORGOT- Be sure to check out the very cool Doritos zombie videos. It’s in Spanish, but it doesn’t even matter from the few videos I’ve watched so far…
Went to see SUPERBAD Saturday afternoon with my brother. Not a bad movie…sort of disappointing in that from the trailers, I thought it’d be absolutely hilarious and the humor would be a bit more highbrow the masturbation jokes.
Written by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, it’s supposed to be a true life story of their teen years…sort of. At least that’s what they kinda sorta said on an interview I saw Friday night about the film. The two main characters are named Seth and Evan, so it fits…
Unfortunately, there’s too much idiotic and over the top vulgar humor. I would have probably thought this movie was hilarious in 8th grade, but I’m older and wiser, and my humor needs to be more grown up as well. I thought of OLD SCHOOL when I watched this movie- it wasn’t overly vulgar, and it was hilarious…this movie just tried too hard in some points.
Michael Cera (George Michael from the brilliant Fox series, Arrested Development) played Evan, and he was quite likeable. Jonah Hill (from another very funny movie, ACCEPTED) played Seth, and he wasn’t all that likeable. In fact, he would probably have been funnier had his character not been such an idiot you couldn’t possibly care about throughout most of the film. With Cera- his character wasn’t too vulgar, and that’s good, because you just have a hard time seeing this kid play vulgar like this. He looks too nice and wholesome. Hill’s character, on the other hand, was over-the-top vulgar and that made much of it all very unfunny. Pretending to ejaculate into a pretend cup and drink it behind a girl’s back might be funny to some, but I don’t find it at all funny. It was just stupid.
So, a mixed bag overall here. Way too vulgar, especially in the beginning, which took away from the humor- I felt dirty watching a lot of it…disgusted by the constant talk of “pussy” this and “blowjob” that. If one needs to be overly vulgar to be funny, then that person probably isn’t too funny to begin with. If they would have toned it down a bit and made Seth atleast semi-likeable for most of the movie, it would been a much better film.
Seth Rogen and Bill Hader (from the fairly unfunny movie, Hot Rod) play out of control cops who spend the night going insane with another main character, Foggell (or as his fake ID reads: “McLovin”- the 25 yr old organ donor from Hawaii). They were very funny, and this added a nice subplot to the story. It all takes place in one day- mostly during the night…trying to get to a graduation party (the main characters are nerds who finally got an invite, trying to get with their respective ladies)- trying their best to buy the booze for the party to be big heroes and get the girls. The plot, though simple, worked well, and there were many sub-storylines that kept it all going nicely.
In the end, it’s a great movie that went a bit over the line in some places. There’s no need to be super vulgar to be funny. That was never the case before, and I don’t think it’s the case now. Writers and directors can tone down the vulgarity a bit and still have a gem. This was a gem slightly tarnished by some minor flaws.