Dec 7, 2008
Dec 5, 2008
PS: If you don't watch Diggnation, please stand with your legs apart, get a worker to kick you in your nuts or ovaries. Thank you...
I bring this up because I just had the best roast beef sandwich of my life. Yep, a simple roast beef sandwich. Nothing fancy about that, right? In an age in which everyone is trying to be fancy, the simple pleasures in life truly stand out. People, this sandwich was pure heaven on rye, with a dash of horseradish. Cold, pink, rare beef, the kind you only find at some Jewish deli in Lower Manhattan.
As I savored that glorious meat, my jaw hurting from having to open so wide, I was taken back to all of those “gourmet” meals I’ve been treated to over the years. I’m talking about that prix-fixe crap that, after dropping $200.00 PER PERSON, you have to head over to Burger King to tame your hunger.
People, I love to eat. I love food. There is no dish I’ll refuse. And experimentation is my thing: Indian, Arab, Greek, Thai, Vietnamese, South African, Russian, German… it’s all good. And I appreciate a good meal when it really stands out. But, what am I supposed to do with a $45.00 plate of legumes with three slices of overcooked duck? How is it that a salad is more expensive than a prime rib? Just because you sprinkle some unpronounceable spices on potatoes doesn’t mean you can charge me $35.00 for it. This gourmet thing has really gotten out of hand… and the quality of the cooking isn’t even that great. And don’t even get me started on celebrity chefs. My boy Charlie serves up some serious pizzas, not that California Wolfgang crap.
Nothing has ever made my knees buckle like that damn sandwich. And it only cost $5.95, with a huge pickle on the side included.
(This was an interview since I know he will never write this for himself)
First one and most important according to him: Art School Confidential
"No matter how good you are, you will get nowhere if you don't kick ass". (I remember when we went to see it and trust me, we left the theater depressed)
Then, in no particular order...
"Do not take sides against the family. That movie, for me, is the meaning of life".
"Men will be men, no matter what". (Also, I know he loves that film 'cause he thinks I resemble Marla, hehehehe)
Field of Dreams
"One word: My Dad. For anyone that has lost his father, they will understand".
"Everytime I see it, I remember my friends".
A very good post, that Movie is Me thing.
When I sat down to compile my list, I found it very difficult to separate movies that I like from movies that “define” me. This assignment is challenging in that it really forces you to sit down and think. So, after much laboring and evaluating, here are the five films that define me:
- Citizen Kane – This is the movie that made me appreciate films as an art form, not just as entertainment. Groundbreaking, innovative, created by a figuratively and, later, literally larger than life figure who constantly battled against ignorance to share his vision with his audience. Plus, there’s a recurring theme that for some reason strikes a nerve with me – growing up too fast, too soon. I’ve always looked older than my actual age, which has worked for and against me.
- 12 Angry Men – Of course, I refer to the original Henry Fonda film. This multilayered film is all about how truth and good prevail above all else. Liars and assholes will eventually be name-checked, no matter what. You may get away with it now, but your day will soon come. I have been burned many times for being a good guy, but this movie has taught me the value of staying true to what you believe is right and making sure your actions are based on the right reasons. Also, intelligent arguments are more convincing than brute force. A powerful film with powerful messages to live by.
- The Third Man – Another Orson Welles film, though legally not “his.” The basic messages are simple, classic, and perennial: a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do to make it in a cruel, unfair, and harsh world; friendship, TRUE friendship, goes a long way; people, especially the ones who try too hard to be cool with you, are not to be trusted… Though Welles’ character, Harry Lime, has his faults, he is still a classic figure with qualities that have definitely played in role in my formation as well.
- Au Revoir les Enfants – At the risk of coming off as an utter snob, I must include this French film on my list. At a time when I was in the middle of that rebellious, the-world-is-against-me, it’s-society’s-fault phase, I saw this film in my high school French class. It opened a whole new world for me. It made me appreciate everything that’s different about me and my circumstances; it whetted my appetite to discover new things and meet new people who were very different than me. In short, it made me want to get out of my funk and just live a little.
- Malcom X – It’s difficult to discern the book from the movie, but the core messages in each are of equal value in my life: know your roots; appreciate what you have now; aspire to be better; defend what’s yours; you can always right your wrongs; there’s nothing cooler than being a smart son of a bitch. “By any means necessary”… words to live by.
Your post was very funny timing. I had just done a post on my blog this morning about if you meet someone and you want to know if you really want to get to know them ask what their 3 favorite movies are and their three favorite bands. Different from what you are posing, but still...
So mine would be:
The Good The Bad And The Ugly-
I saw this for the first time when I was on vacation in Maryland in 1976. I would credit it for starting my love of films. The epic story and shots, the music, the humor, the violence. Awesome.
A movie going experience I still remember. It was when theaters had one screen, and you stood in line outside. Plus it was an amazing movie. And I went to see it with my dad and a woman he was dating and her two daughters.
Another a cool kid movie going experience. The show was sold out but they sold standing room only tickets. A theater full of geeks there to see a Ralph Bakshi animated movie.
Just so perfect. It really was an art movie for kids. I still listen to the soundtrack today.
Required constant viewing as a teenage punk rock kid in the 80s.
Dec 4, 2008
It's been quite a while since I've written about pregnancy. You all have read my adventures in almost getting pregnant but this post is not about that. This is about the film The Business of Being Born.
For me, I always thought that having a baby had to be with an ObGyn. Maybe it was because all the drama that it carries - we women are told that it is a very dangerous thing so being at a hospital is the wisest thing to do. Hm. This documentary makes a point to not always think that is the rule.
If you are currently planning on having a baby soon - I am! - you must see this film. It revolves around a very bad experience that Ricky Lake (yes, I cringed a bit when I rented it but what the hell) had when she had her first childbirth. All the medications that the hospital gave her made it a very bad birth in her book. So right after that, she decided to research all that she could on giving birth, and what she found was so important that she decided to make a film about it.
The cool thing about this documentary is that they show, a little unbalanced but still, both sides of the story. There are some that advise strongly against midwives and there are some for having a baby at home without any drug whatsoever. For those who are for natural, completely natural childbirth say that there is something magical about feeling the process and even the pain that comes with it. Also, the drugs that hospital use - mixed with the business side of it (you go in the hospital, they want you in and out fast) - goes against nature. They explain the problems of the body positions that hospital use, the Pitocin which doctors love to give patients that have been in long hours of labor (remember, they want their hospital bed back, fast) and other key stuff actually impair the process instead of helping both mother and child.
For those who are for regular ObGyn-Hospital births, it is a safe way to give birth, get it over with and have your baby in no time, free of complications. Childbirth, according to them, is a simple thing. You get in and out fast, you have your baby and most of all, you don't suffer that much.
Trust me, a cool documentary indeed. At the end, you are left thinking... which one would I choose? It's not so black and white, the flick actually makes a point of exploring both sides of the coin in a very cool way.
So please, Netflix it, most of all if you are thinking about babies in the near future. Here's the trailer!
So, keeping up with my dear friend Joker, I've decided to also write a series - been quite a while that I haven't done it. This time, it's five things that define you. Just five things that for some reason makes sense to you. This first installment is all about movies. Not five movies you like best. It's five movies that make you who you are or have impacted you in a way that go beyond normal. The idea is that you participate - come on people, just click in the comment box and let us know how you think, we need your feedback!
Alas, here are mine. Hope to see what you come up with... In no particular order:
1) The Godfather I, II, and III.
Duh. If you have read this blog for over 3 months, you surely know that I define values by the Corleones. Loyalty and an eye for and eye is law in my book. All the rules of life are there in those movies. If you break your word, you are dead to me. If you are loyal, I will be loyal to the end and beyond. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. I can go on and on. Granted, this is a movie about killers. But deep inside, the movie carries a bigger message. It's all about sticking together. Never take sides against the family? Jesus. Those scripts are like the Bible to me.
2) When Harry Met Sally.
I hate chick flicks with a passion, but this movie, for some strange reason, connected in a way for me that no other "romantic comedy" did. It made sense. Now I know that it was because the two people that wrote it had gone thru hell and back in their relationships, and all the funny scenes were based on real life situations. Besides, I have never heard a script sound more real than that. All the damn scenes, every single one of them, I have lived at some point in my life. I kid you not. ALL OF THEM. And the irony is that when I lived them, I laughed because I remembered the movie. I even lived the scene at the end - well, it didn't happen on a New Year's Eve but still, I had my Harry come over to my house and tell me almost the same thing. And yes, for the most part, men and women can't never be friends because the sex part will always get in the way. Don't believe me? Ask Joker and Ms. Joker. Ask Restrictions and Ms Restrictions. Ask me and Travis. (Yep, I said it. Call the cops.)
Wait. The only exception to the rule, and Harry would maybe disagree with me, is that from 10 friends that a woman might have in her life, there are maybe two that she will never bang. The rest... yup.
3) Tie: The Paper and All the President's Men
That was the key motivating thing that made me think: I need to write. The power of a writer cannot be measured. I have to define what those two movies did for me because, even though they are about journalists they share one thing in common: passion.
First, The Paper showed me that you have to have passion for what you do. You strive in doing it right. And very much like advertising, there are some assholes who want you to write what they want, instead of what you think is right. It is a very simple movie for some, but for me, watching those characters really wanting to make things right by just writing one story made me want to write about ANYTHING. I needed that passion, I needed that struggle with other people. There was something about that flick that made me realize that I was born to write. Even if it was a simple 30ss ad or this blog. I just needed to write.
Second, All the President's Men shook me up like no other journalism flick because with that one I realized how powerful writers are. They can change the world. They can make or break one person. They can change history. Bernstein and Woodward, played by the incomparable Hoffman and Redford were simply incredible for me at a young age. Think about it: two dudes fought against the most powerful organization in the world, the United States Government and its president... and won. That is what I call writers.
3) Reservoir Dogs
Blood. Cursing. A great script. This was the first Tarantino movie that I saw. This was different for one thing: when you write, you have to make it sound authentic. You cannot stand there and tell me that wasn't one powerful script. And so simple! It's all done around people talking in a warehouse in God knows where, people! Besides that, it sparked a love for anything bloody and a bit gory. I had to stop the VHS (yep, it was that time, remember those?) because I was having difficulties with all the blood. I took a breather and kept on going. From that single movie, I researched more about Tarantino, which lead me to find true gems like Battle Royale and other great movies from other countries.
4) American Beauty
Have you lived your life asleep at some point? Have you ever just conformed around your life because you don't know any better? Have you forgotten, at some point, who you really are? I sure did. I am not ashamed to say that many years back I was Lester Burnham. I ended up living a situation that I didn't like. I once lived under a marriage that was broken beyond belief. I lived under a body that I did not like. I had a job that was a dead end. But instead of just living day to day and making shitty excuses or promising things that I could not deliver, I decided to wake up. I got divorced, not only for me to get a new life, but for him as well, so he could find someone that really loved him. It was only fair. I decided to change jobs until I could gather up the courage to go at it by myself. I stopped bullshitting myself about how I didn't mind the extra pounds and changed my diet and my will as well... ended up dropping all the weight in about a year. I just stopped lying to myself and learned one simple thing: when you really want one thing, when you really want to improve, there is nothing that can stop you but you alone. I am not Lester anymore. But I keep watching it over and over again to remind me that I cannot lose focus, even for one bit.
5) Chasing Amy
At some point in our lives, we encounter the difficult task of falling in love with someone and having the world against you. Maybe you find the perfect person in the world, but there is one thing about you being happy that makes the rest of the people you know angry. The sad thing is, they will do or say whatever it takes to make you fail. Truly demented people with nothing better to do than to wish you bad luck or bad things happen to you instead of thinking that, like themselves, you deserve to be happy.
Do you follow your heart and say fuck it, I'm happy, forget the rest? Yes. You. Do. Chasing Amy is - apart from the dick and fart jokes - a story about falling for the perfect person at the worst moment. It's about fighting the world because you know you deserve to be with the one that you love. There are some that don't make it. And there, there are the rest of us who say fuck you, I deserve to be happy. And the end, we do.
So there it is, my Top 5 movies that define me. If you want to take more time to think about writing back, by all means, just send me your Top Five movies at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post them here. If you have them already, just write away.
Stay tuned for next week, I will post a new Top Five things that define me. I hope you join the fun! With love, Me.
Dec 2, 2008
A facsimile is basically a reasonable representation or reproduction of x or y material. Why is this important? Well if you see a promo contest and you've always wondered if you could win it, know that you can thanks to one tiny little phrase that puts the power in your hands and your creativity: no purchase necessary.
That's right kids, most if not all contests DO NOT require you to buy anything. You can just mail in participations and harass your way into the winners bin if you waste enough time, paper and ink.
So how exactly do you make a facsimile? Basically you cut a piece of paper in a shape that roughly resembles a square or rectangle, scribble information that looks like a bar code painted under the influences of pure mezcalin, put your information, and voila. You have yourself a facsimile and your first step into playing with the system that so gingerly fucks parents over into buying cereals their kids won't eat only to be able to participate to win one of 33,436 plush toys with your proof of purchase.
That last part is the punchline to this whole scenario though. To participate you need to send proofs of purchase but by law, most contests can't exclude people like that so they have to say, "send your proofs of purchase to participate" followed by "no purchase necessary".
So what that pretty much means is that you can have some fun and demonstrate how much you don't have to play the game. If you want to make it better, make a weekend activity out of this and decide whether to write your real name to see you can actually win a prize or get a group to write phony names into the winners ballot.
So though this following phrase has been used a lot before, it definitely applies here if you see a company that doesn't approve of your legal cluster fuck: Don't hate the player, hate the game.
Dec 1, 2008
I have always said that when someone lies, at the end the truth shines. You see, when people lie, there is one thing they don't think about: your brain will go faulty in one specific moment. You will blurt out something that wasn't on the original story and bingo, you're outed. Hey, there is one thing to tell the truth, have proof and that no one believes you, and there is another thing to lie, flat out lie. In this case, this woman just concocted one of the most ugliest lies I've heard in all my life.
The brain is not wired correctly to lie for all your life, somewhere down the line mistakes are made and people notice. And there is no story that defines this more than this documentary.
Talk about the lowest of lows. It seems that a lonely woman living in Manhattan during those awful attacks didn't have anything better to do one day, so she started telling a story about how she survived the day, got burned and lost her fiancé in the process. She started telling everyone her triumphant story of how she made it from the 78 floor of the south tower. How her dear Fiancé died that day. And little by little, people started to gravitate to this "wonderful" woman, because she lived the impossible and still she had the power to strive.
For seven, yes, SEVEN years, this woman, who apparently has no core values whatsoever, infiltrated a 9/11 survivor organization and wrote about her "life". You gotta give it to her, she recited verbatim every single time her accounts to any human that wanted to listen. She advised other survivors, gave them hope and happiness thru her lies. Her story was simply perfect. She came down above the point of impact, she lost someone she loved, and she never shed a tear. She was Wolverine. She healed when other people could not. How can you survive anything of that magnitude and have a smile on your face?
Survivors started to notice simple details that were going wrong. Sometimes it was the fiancé, sometimes it was her husband. Depending on the day of the month, slight details were not making sense. But people, good in their nature, didn't want to pry. Except ones at the New York Times.
The thing was, the NYT started interviewing all the survivors for many of their stories about this horrible tragedy. When they noticed that Tania Head's story was not written about, they decided to investigate. Seemed weird that no record of her whatsoever turned out at WTC. The only thing that did check out was the name of the victim, which matched to her story. Nothing else.
In the end, this woman did not work on any of the towers, did not have a fiancé, and lied thru her teeth to all the victims. Why, may you ask? We will never know. For me, I think that this lonely woman had no self respect and no dignity, so she took advantage of one thing: other people's pain and vulnerability, just to get famous.
This documentary shines a light on how desperate people can get when they really, really want to be loved or acknowledged. Truly a sad day for humanity, if you ask me.
Click at the name of the post for one of the posts from Time about that fungi of a human being.
When I speak of Cock Demon in this point and time, I refer to the cuss ridden behemoth that is held at bay by company policies, etiquette and the fear of having my ass fired because I said something naughty, like for instance cock and all the various uses I can find for the word. You see, for a copy writer, words like cock and cunt, jizz, foreskin, necrophilia, menstrual flux and any term that might otherwise be used to gross the shit out of person actually feeds a little demon we all have inside of us. In my case, it's a cock demon because if there's a cuss word I love to use it has to be cock. Just the ease of how you can slide in cock into every day language to put that little cock stain where a harmless reference to a rooster, or a head movement is left in the delicious ambiguity where people don't know if you're referring to a man's salami sponge or what.
I can't help it, though I'm completely straight, love women and am completely devoted to Mrs. Joker, I love cock. I love cock with a passion because sometimes, you just need a good cock to get shit out of your system. Imagine those chance moments when someone really tests your patience and you fail the stress test. You have that safe word you need to belch out to exorcise those demons. Mine is cock. True, sometimes I just need some long winded insult containing the words cunt, custard, mustard, whey, muffet and phalopian, but sometimes, you just need a little cock.
Am I happy with my new job? Shit yes, but I have to take care of my language so much that it sometimes pisses me off. Sometimes I just want to bark out a slice of cock, or spew forth some cunts and pussies, maybe a little shit and jizz for color and texture. I find myself paining for a fix of cock once in a while because in an advertising context, cussing and saying your favorite swear words is second nature at the least. Shit often it's first nature. I don't know how many times during a brain storm we'd have to get out the ad ideas featuring cock before getting to work for real. That's because when you're a depraved copy writer, your ideal dream scenario has you coming up with the tridefecta of campaigns: A campaign for cock, a campaign for shit, and a campaign for piss. Trust me, if we could sell shit, piss or cock, we'd all get addy awards at the end of the year.
Fucking admit it, if not cock, you're into shit, and if not you're into constanting fucking where you see just how complicated a verb-noun structure you can construct using fuck as the mortar basis for your tower of cussery.
And in the new job I have to beat down my cock every time it wants to spring forth on some unsuspecting cubicle gnome. And it's true, often times I find myself yearning to whip out my cock in any random sentence just to test the waters and see if people can handle my cock and the passion that splurts forth from it and using it. I drink water, drink tea, piss like a racehorse, work like an animal, distract myself with real work, check my email, verify the surf, check the weather in places I want to fly to, double check the prices on amazon.com and still the cock is there humming gently waiting for me to free it to run rampant in every sentence I compose.
Cockety, cock-cock. I want to cock my cock so it cockedly cocks like a cock ought to cock. Cocka-Cola. Cockatoo. Cock the hammer. A crowing cock. The buzzcocks.
Any chance to fling a cock out there, I'm there. I'm eager and desperate for freedom of the cock and it just can't be. I can't just cock the hammer and leave things be.
For whatever it's worth though, just know that though I occasionally care for my language a little more than what is customary, be sure that my cock still pulsates strongly within me and forever I'll be here to serve up the cock for your cock consuming pleasure.
When I turned 28, I called up a friend of mine and we started yapping about getting old and other stupid things. He's one of my best friends on the whole world, I always joke that he has the burden of knowing me better than many people in this earth. We met when we were on college and became best friends in a matter of seconds.
We have lived each other's best and worst moments, together. We met each other's many boyfriends and girlfriends, we hanged out when we were single loads of times, we talked for hours about anything in the world. He was there for me when my marriage was going downhill, during my marriage counseling and, of course, during my divorce. I was there when a mad crazy woman decided to tell him that he was the father of her baby, which turned out to be a lie, and all the sad months after when he realized he was destroyed (because he wanted to be a father). A lifetime of experiences, you could say.
Anyway, back to my call. I joked that night that we were getting older and here we were, no babies in the near future. So he jokes back and tells me: let's make a pact. If we don't have a baby in a decade and you and I are still single, then we'll have a baby. At first, we laughed about how stupid the plan was. It sounded like a cheesy chick flick plot. But we kept talking and said... what if it really happens, what if in all that time we don't meet another person who we think we can have a baby with? Do we let time go by and miss our opportunity to have a baby? Hm.
So we had a drink and sealed the deal. We meant business. It meant that we were each other's back up in case shit hit the fan, sort of speak. It meant that we would have a plan to grow up, finally. For both of us, having a baby would mean that our lifes would be complete. That we were finally adults. Hey, a caviat. We were not going to get back together. It would mean just a baby and that's it. We had each other's back for so long, it seemed logical that we cover all the bases.
Well, sometimes life has a way of making things right and not letting us just accept our faith. In a decade, loads of wonderful things happened to the both of us. I met a wonderful man who truly loves me and I am very much in love. He met a woman that adores the shit out of him. We thought... maybe life is going to turn out as we wanted, after all. Cut to today.
My dear friend just reported the happy news that he is going to be a father. I cannot fathom a more happier news delivered than that. Not just because I love him dearly, it means also that he finally is complete. He achieved all that he wanted. A life. A woman that loves him and is not a crazy fuck (trust me, I've known people that got involved with questionable people), a house, a dog and a smile on his face.
I am very happy for one thing as well: he didn't need our pact. Life gave him what he wanted. A full life. In time, my turn will come to call him as well. But for today, all the glory is his. And that makes me happy.
You are going to be a wonderful dad, my sweet dude. Enjoy this wonderful gift.