Archive for July, 2006

Barnyard: The Original Party Animals

“The Cow King”

We are afraid of tragedy in modern American cinema. We are doubly afraid of tragedy aimed at kids because of our belief that children can’t handle it. We do so under the well-intentioned umbrella of motivations of trying protect them from it rather than prepare them for it. The last successful (traditionally) animated film to tackle tragedy was Disney’s The Lion King. A variation on Shakespeare’s Hamlet, except with a happy ending, Disney continued its theme of parental loss (from Bambi to Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo) and learning responsibility as you grow up. While there was humor in The Lion King and Finding Nemo, both movies realized that they couldn’t be wacky comedies when their plots revolve around the death of a parent.

However, Barnyard: The Original Party Animals tries.

Director Steve Oederick (who wrote not only this screenplay but also such films as Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Bruce Almighty) doesn’t want a little thing like the death of a party to stop the zany hijinks of his stock cast of characters. Either he didn’t trust his audience or this movie didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be. It started a number of epic themes, yet failing to follow though with a serious examination/meditation on any of them: fathers and sons, what it means to be a leader, having fun vs. learning responsibility, the natural order of things, what it means to be a(n adopted) family, and the futility of vengeance (violence doesn’t solve anything in a lasting way).

[Okay, I’ll be honest. I was thrown through the entire movie. I couldn’t get past the disturbing display of udders from all of the boy cows. Maybe it was my inner-seven year old, but that was the thing that I kept giggling at.]

“The best leader is the one that cares the most.” –Daisy (Courtney Cox)

“My place is here. Taking care of things,” Ben (voiced by Sam Elliott) believes. There is a myth called “The Corn King,” popularized by Sir James Frazer in The Golden Bough. It presents the archetype tradition of the king who carries the life of the land. That king, that protector, may be called upon to sacrifice himself for the sake of the land, his people. Obviously, this is an even older story, the story of stories, if you will, but it is the story that Barnyard: The Original Party Animals tries to follow. In this case, it is the story of a father, Ben trying to pass on the mantle of responsibility to his party-all-the-time son, Otis (Kevin James).

“A strong man stands up for himself. A stronger man stands up for others.” –Ben

The idea that the movie kept returning to was the idea of individuality vs. community. Otis is focused on himself, his needs, his desires. As a consequence, he believes in the survival of the fittest, every man for himself, pull yourself up by your own bootstraps mindset. While he has a regular contingent he hangs out with within the farm community, he also hangs out with a group of poser hooligans who are often guilty of, among other things, the “animal sin of sins”: joy-riding. Ben, and subsequently the farm elder, Miles the Mule (Danny Glover), try to instill in him the value and importance of community. Sadly, Otis has to learn the hard way, as Dag (David Koechner) the coyote points out, that “You could’ve made a difference had you been there for him.”

We say we want community, but we don’t really. We want that close circle of connectedness where one experiences a deep sense of belonging, acceptance, and love. That’s the lure of community, but we don’t want to do what it takes to achieve it. Otis has to realize not only the importance of community, but how tied he is to the community. The flipside of learning how to be a part of the community is learning how to let the community be there for you. This is the final lesson that Otis has to learn.

This year has an unprecedented amount of animated movies. Because this is a kids movie, we know that the tragedy will eventuate in a happy ending and we expect laughs along the way. Barnyard: The Original Party Animals has all of the right ingredients, yet still manages to wobble between overly earnest and randomly amusing. It has trouble sustaining the right tone/balance, lacking a central focus. These might be quibbles, however, since the yuks in the movie works fine for kids.

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Indiana Teens Need Better Outlets

BROWNSTOWN, Ind. — A hunting trip with friends and relatives sparked a rage in Zachariah Blanton on Saturday night when it came time for the messy work of gutting a deer. A fight erupted, and although investigators have not said what it was about, the 17-year-old interstate sniper suspect bolted for his car and headed for his Delaware County home.

“I found myself driving to the overpass,” State Police forensic crime scene technician John Kelly recalled Blanton telling him. Then, Kelly testified, the teen offered his explanation for firing a high-powered hunting rifle into the windshields of two southbound pickups on I-65, then driving about 100 miles north and firing on two other vehicles in Delaware County. Blanton gave Kelly a simple motive. “I felt that was a way to relieve the pressure.”

Relieve the pressure? I have already been warned that I shouldn’t make light of the sniper attack, but come on. Back in my day, man, do I feel my age saying things like that, we at least had cow-tipping. What kind of screwed up emotional skillset are we failing to teach where a teen goes through the mental steps of:

-I’ve just had a fight with my folks
-My parents just don’t get me.
-I’m upset.
-I’ll go for a drive.
-Let me stop here on this overpass and randomly start shooting at folks.
-Ah. I feel my pain leaving already.

In fact, there must be something in the water, because I just heard about this:

Greencastle, IN – Someone in Indiana is doing more than minding his P’s and Q’s, he’s stealing R’s. Dozens of the letter R have been stolen from signs and marquees in Greencastle, which is about 40 miles west of Indianapolis. Police say the consonant thief targets gas stations, restaurants, repair shops and medical offices.

Shooting people or stealing the letter R? These are what our teens do to relieve themselves? There is definitely a disconnect with them somewhere along the way. You know what this means? Rather than blame the parents, or the fact that, hey, people are born screwed up, it’s time to find a scapegoat. Let’s whip Congress into a frenzy to complete the misdirect. We’re already beaten up television and school recently, so I say we blame it on video games (it’s either that or call Sesame Street: Special Letters Unit).

If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say hi, feel free to do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.

Break Glass in Case of Emergency

I may not always seem around, so just in case, I thought I’d leave you this little reminder:

You are loved.

Despite your best efforts, you are accepted for who you are. Not for who you pretend to be to the people who think they know you, not for what you can do or what you think you bring to the table, but for you. You see, perfect love drives out all fear. One of the biggest fears you have is that after revealing who you are and what you’ve done, or had done to you, that people will pull back from you. Yet I’m still here. I haven’t run. In fact, the more I learn about you, the more I love you.

Deal with that.

I’m sorry you’ve had your heart broken. I’m sorry that trust is so hard won and intimacy so rare. I’m sorry that you hurt. When you are busy beating yourself up over mistakes you’ve made, remember, I believe in you, even when you don’t believe in yourself. I’m more patient with you than you are with yourself.

When you are alone in the dark, when you believe the lie that you are unloved and unloveable, you have to deal with the reality of my presence in your life that tells you that’s not the case. I am as close and as far away as you need me to be. Try to ignore my voice, that’s fine, but I’m going to keep reminding you that you have a beauty that is you. You have worth because you are.

I may not always be able to hold you, to comfort you like I should, but you’ll always have my promises to believe in.

You are loved.

Don’t be afraid to love. Don’t be afraid to let me love you.

Friday Night Date Place – Becoming a Prayer Warrior

(Or “Why doesn’t God hear my whining?”)

Dear Whining, Begging Searcher,

You Ever wish that you could skip ahead in the book of your life and see who you’re going to marry so that you can more easily weed through the dross and skip the heartaches?

You are not alone.

When I was in my early 20s, laying on my bed late at night, alone, prospects for finding someone pretty grim (thinking about moving out of country to get a fresh start), I made the following prayer to God: God let me at least meet the person I’m supposed to marry. A sincere, if nonsensical (especially in retrospect), prayer borne of desperation. Not one of my brighter moments. One, it was so vague a prayer as to be little more than gibberish (thank you Jesus for interceding for us). Two, it failed to take into account God’s sense of humor: I had actually met the woman I was going to marry in junior high school. And hated her.

In everything we do we are to glorify God (I Cor. 10:31), including how we go about dating. We are to practice the presence of God, finding Him in the little things, including dating. In the same way, we can learn about and encounter God in whole new ways as we go about the dating process. If nothing else, my prayer for a mate experience taught me to be more specific in my prayers to God, or at least pray in such a way that I would recognize His answer.

Speaking of those late, lonely nights of singleness, those are often the times most likely to lead to frustration. With your situation and with God. “Why did you make me this way, to burn with passion, and not provide any relief?” We find ourselves getting angry with Him. It’s been so long. You are so lonely. Does He even love you? He’s a big God. You can, and He wants you to (Ps. 51:6), be honest with Him. And, if you cross that line, He offers forgiveness (I Jn. 1:9).

God has His reasons for not answering, or answering in ways you don’t appreciate. Your job is to keep the faith during the silence. Remember that He is good. Remember what the Bible teaches us about His character. Remember that He has a plan for your life (Rom. 8:28 is a “cliche” for a reason). Remember the times that He was faithful in the past. He is consistently faithful, even in the midst of suffering. He can help you through it. Remember the prayer of Mark 9:24: “‘I believe. Help me overcome my unbelief.’”

Remember, there is a higher purpose for your singleness. Your life is bigger than focusing only on the next phase of your life, if indeed you are called to that life. You are more than your marital state. Life is more than marriage, as is the work you are called to be doing, and the person you are called to be. So here are some suggestions for prayers:

-Support each other in prayer. You and your other single friends bearing one another up.
-Be grateful for where you are and what you have.
-Don’t take relationships (any relationship: God, friends, or family) for granted.
-Patience. To be still.
-Contentment (okay, since we’re talking about the lonely, especially single feeling occasions, begging Him to reveal the slightest glimpse of hope).

I’m not going to say don’t pray for your future spouse. Some people think that it is your duty to send helpful hints to God. Pray for their moral character or temptations that they may be facing. Okay, I guess. I tend to think that as you date, you would be better off praying that you don’t choose or settle for someone of weak moral character. Pray for discernment to recognize what He wants.

Prayer is good … just remember that God is more than just some cosmic genie.


Married Guy Who Thanks God He Doesn’t Have to Date Anymore

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My Name is Earl

“You know the kind of guy who does nothing but bad things and then wonders why his life sucks? That was me. Every time something good happened to me, something bad was always waiting around the corner. Karma. That’s when I realized I had to change. So, I made a list of everything bad I’ve ever done and one by one I’m gonna make up for all my mistakes. I’m just trying to be a better person. My name is Earl.”

So goes the intro for My Name is Earl. The premise is simple: Earl’s (marvelously portrayed by Jason Lee) life was full of mistakes and poor choices, the kind of self-made bad drama that fuels many of our lives. A man just this side of naive, yet impossible to dislike, one day wins a small lottery, but then is promptly hit by a car. While recuperating in the hospital, he has an epiphany. There is a sort of balance to the universe, a cosmic justice that demands a payment, or retribution, for the wrongs one may have committed.

One wouldn’t think this would be the fodder for one of the funniest sitcoms on the air, which points to the sharpness of the writing and the supporting cast. Playing a string of trailer park misfits, we have Earl’s brother Randy (Ethan Suplee), their illegal immigrant friend (and oblivious romantic interest of Randy) Catalina (Nadina Velazquez), Earl’s harridan of an ex-wife Joy (Jaime Pressly), and her other baby’s daddy Darnell (Eddie Steeples). A passel of engaging characters rarely seen on network television. The comedy usually arises from Earl’s grand schemes to make right going horribly, horribly awry.

“Karma has a plan for me.” –Earl

We too have this sense of right and wrong written onto our hearts, wired into our very being. Though we may believe we’re all basically good people, we also have a sense that our lives are on some sort of scale and if the good we’ve done outweighs the bad, we’ll be fine – in the eternal consequences sort of way.

Karma becomes Earl’s religion and he becomes its prophet. This Karmic idea of God is an incomplete picture of Him, often leading to the image, especially as practically lived out in the reality of our spiritual journeys, of God hiding behind bushes waiting to smite us when we screw up.

“I like thinking about the journey it must have taken to get here.” –Randy

Earl leads what could be described as a purpose driven life. Despite being poor and uneducated, Earl comes up with a rather sophisticated self-salvation scheme. He seeks atonement and true to his understanding of atonement, he seeks out opportunities to repent. Not just to apologize, but to do something about it – an act of penitence – in order to truly change his life. He wants a better life for himself, wants to be a better man, and knows that this isn’t the end of his journey. He’s fully aware that he has a long way to go, but he clings to his hope that “ne day we will be seen as the perfect people we were on that one perfect day.”

For all of its morality tale trappings, My Name is Earl is the best kind of comedy. It radiates heart and warmth while not skimping on the laughs. Paired with The Office, My Name is Earl makes for a grand hour. Methinks the laments of the death of the sitcom might be a bit premature.

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Miami Vice

“Style over Substance. Again.”

It’s not like I went into Miami Vice with high expectations, fully prepared for another buddy cop movie to steal two hours of my life. In this era of small screen to silver screen leaps, usually spoofing the source material in the transition, the talent collective of Mann, Foxx, and Farell should be enough to sustain some hope for at least a grand mess. We get a pretty flat mess instead.

Writer-director Michael Mann (Last of the Mohicans, The Insider, Ali, Heat) returns to his roots, updating the series he executive produced from 1984-1989. Detective James “Sonny” Crockett (Colin Farrell) and Detective Ricardo Tubbs (Jamie Foxx) are our no-nonsense (and no chemistry having) cops for a new generation. The “MTV cops” lose a lot of their glam, opting instead to take themselves much too seriously.

Part of what made the original show work was how it eschewed the reality of police work for a more salacious peek at the underworld. Mann kept the trappings of the show, letting the guys play with all of the cool toys (boats, cars, planes, women, yes, women were always little more than disposable objects, etc.) but aimed for a more mature look. The jittery, hand held camera work and grainy night lens look he employed with his last team up with Foxx in Collateral enhances the dark, brooding mood. It would make sense for Mann to explore the creativity and freedom that an R-rating might give him, however, the profanity, nudity (shall I note that these are some of the most gratuitously clean characters that I’ve seen in a while), and violence (the sheer level of brutality was the only thing to enliven the movie) had the feeling Mann was doing stuff just because he could.

The viewer gets dropped in the middle of the story: an overly complicated tale of white supremists, Columbian drug lords, and botched FBI operations. Luckily, we have our (deputized to do whatever they need to do) Miami-Dade police. There was so much authentic sounding jargon flying about, the characters were like talking tech books in a drug undercover procedural (peppered with random cliches and stilted fragments, not giving the actors much to work with).

Because of the setting, the movie is thick with a kind of swaggering machismo: guns and sex and drugs following the credo of whoever has the most toys when he dies (in a testosterone-fest of splattering blood), wins.

“Who are you?” Isabella (Gong Li)

Miami Vice relies on our familiarity with the characters, which is all we have to go on as none of the characters have any identity of their own. They are names and mission with no room for anything else. The performances come off as wooden (Farrell – a charismatic hardbody with bad hair) or sullen (Foxx – strangely restrained, not allowed to demonstrate much wit or warmth). Though Foxx’s Tubbs felt more of an equal partner to Crockett (so the movie didn’t feel like an episode of “Sonny and friends”), the rest of the relationships felt so contrived that not even the characters seemed to buy them.

“There is undercover and there is ‘which way is up?’” –Det. Tubbs

There is a lot that this movie meant to explore. Undercover cops successfully lead lives of duplicity and secrecy for months on end. With their fabricated identities, they are often so undercover as to lose their moral compass. We all face a similar situation living in a fallen world, not sure of our true identities (or our own moral compasses for that matter). Sometimes, like Isabella, this is the only thing, the only world, we know. With the constant deception, fear, broken relationships, and death, this undercover world finds many otherwise good people on the wrong side of the law.

The bottom line is that, Miami Vice retains the rhythms of the show, feeling like a particularly drawn out episode. It could have been an insightful meditation on identity and duality, examining where the good guy stops and the bad guy, the “outlaw attitude,” begins. Instead, it has a convoluted plot, meant to imply depth – as opposed to messy story-telling; a dour and humorless cast of characters; and gritty for grittiness’ sake. No pastels, no percolating pop tunes (besides a poor cover of Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight”), it is a grim, though stylized, exercise in atmosphere-buoyed, by-the-numbers crime yarn.

The war on drugs never ends. Thankfully, this movie did.

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The Lady in the Water

“Man may have forgotten how to listen.” –Narrator

The Lady in the Water first and foremost, as we’re told, is a fairy tale. The problem afflicting M. Night Shyamalan movies is that people now go into them expecting/anticipating “the twist”. A lot of the reason why his movies have experienced mixed reviews is that the viewer is often promised one kind of movie, but comes out having experienced some thing different. The Sixth Sense wasn’t a horror movie, it was about a boy coming to terms with himself. Signs wasn’t an alien invasion movie, it was the story of a man wrestling with grief and faith. Then Unbreakable and The Village, which brings us to The Lady in the Water. The strength (and some would say weakness) of this movie is that it is so intentionally allegorical, however, the key to deciphering The Lady in the Water is realizing that it purposefully seeks to tell the story of Christ within our cultural context.

“You have to believe that this all makes sense somehow.” –Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti)

The Lady in the Water tells an ancient story, interpreting this story in a (postmodern) cultural context, re-examining this tale by connecting the ancient to the future to find faith. It starts with the Blue World, the spiritual realm home to all manner of beings, namely Narfs. The Narfs are guides, sea nymphs-cum-muses, desperate to impart their knowledge and warnings to vessels (mankind). The natural predator of the Narfs are Scrunts, grass-fleshed creatures that prowl around like roaring lions. Should a Scrunt break the rules that govern the Blue World, they are punished by the Tartutic, essentially angels, though not all that different in appearance than their “fallen” brethren, though more simian. Once a Narf has fulfilled her mission, she is carried off by a giant eagle, the Great Eatlon.

“I think we are linked.” –Young-Soon Choi (Cindy Cheung)

Cleveland Heep (Paul Giamatti), once a doctor, spends his time helping those around him in the most mundane of ways, as the superintendent of The Cove apartments. The building is filled with colorful characters, going about the routine of their lives, each allotted their space in The Cove. Enter Story (Bryce Dallas Howard), the tale made flesh. Cleveland believes that he has no purpose, but “all beings have a purpose,” Story corrects. Cleveland personified that, as a vessel, we want to be known, we want to have the journals of our hearts read. No one is ever told who they are, but at some point, someone has to come along to reveal the truth of their natures to them, and the truth about the Story.

“Does man deserve to be saved?” –Mr. Leeds (Bill Irwin)

Though the theme of figuring out what is truly important (and who you are) runs through all of Shyamalan’s movies, the viewer is still tempted to play guess the twist. However, the twist reveals itself midway through the movie: that everyone has a part to play. Everyone has a gift to be used to carry out their mission in life. The biggest twist of all? That the weak, the seeming useless, are the ones who play the most important roles.

Even Story herself isn’t above being on a journey. Story comes to give purpose, provide a clarity about the nature of the vessels and the world around them. She wrestles with her own messianic consciousness, coming to terms with her fulfilling her role as a meta-Narf. At one point, the movie didn’t seem to stick to its internal rules (as the Narfs aren’t told of their own importance), however, Story is the fulfillment of the rules.

“He’s hearing the voice of God through a crossword puzzle.” –Anna Ran (Sarita Choudhury)

After all of their ancient-future examination of the story of Story, the residents of The Cove realize life is about seeing God at work in the ordinary. Believing that this is a magic infused world, filled with wonder and mystery; that our every action has meaning and eternal consequence. This world is about finding your purpose and joining in the mission, using your gifts, to be a blessing to one another. Only the arrogance of certainty (in the form of the movie critic, Harry Farber (Bob Balaban)) proves to be one’s spiritual undoing. Even the skeptic, Mr. Leeds, stumbling around trying to find meaning in a meaningless existence, wants “to believe in something other than the awfulness.”

The movie is about finding faith. Sometimes we feel like we have to throw out logic, but rather we, like Cleveland, have to become child-like in order to fully grasp the Story. We are all searching for a Story to provide meaning. Obviously, Story is the Christ figure (the movie revolving around her death, resurrection, and ascension being a very big clue). The Eagle landing on her like the Holy Spirit after Christ’s baptism, since rain, as we are told, is a symbol of purification and rebirth. Her return to her home in the heavens leaves Cleveland only capable of saying “Thank You for saving my life.”

This movie has a spirit of magic about it, not necessarily inherent to it, but because it takes pains to grab us by the collar and tell us how magical it is. Thoroughly explaining its magic in case we don’t get it. M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are intentional to the point of being contrived if not heavy-handed. Often accused of making self-indulgent movies (Exhibit E: he casts himself as the writer whose work may not be understood in his lifetime but will affect major changes in the world), either you track with them or you don’t. The Lady in the Water is full of his quirky sensibilities and humor, trying to operate on a meta-level of self-aware criticism (again, back to the movie critic). More intriguingly, the movie is full of his faith which tries to convey the power and importance of fairy tales and myth, the power of story, to transform lives. His reverence to the idea of story-telling bogs down the movie, bordering on pretentious; but if you can go with the movie maybe you can join in the glee of his child-like wonder.

Favorite Comic Book Movie Adaptations

Now that I’m the comic book reviews editor for Hollywood Jesus, I started thinking about what comic books have best made the leap to the big screen. Here’s the list that I came up with:

1. Batman Returns
2. Spiderman II/I
-These movies set the standard for how comic book adaptations should be done. A heady mix of action and great cinema as well as being true to the spirit of their original works.

3. Road to Perdition/Lone Wolf and Cub (Lightning Swords of Death, etc.) series – I count these as basically from the same work. Road to Perdition was Max Allan Collins doing Lone Wolf and Cub
4. V for Vendetta – no, the movie wasn’t strictly “faithful” to Alan Moore’s original source material, but it was a great flick.
5. Sin City – this was not so much an adaptation as much as it was a transliteration. A panel-by-panel birthing to the silver screen. It’s what true comic geeks say we want.
6. X-Men I/II – Truly wonderful works; too bad the third entry couldn’t live up to the first two.
7. Ghost World – a little known indy comic made good.
8. Men in Black – ditto.
9. Constantine – I’ll say it again, though I am somewhat of a fan of Hellblazer (the Ennis and Ellis runs), the movie was more … comfortable for me to watch and best illustrates the power of religious horror.
10. Hellboy – I am a big fan of the comic and this film was pure fun crafted by a fanboy.

Nearly Made the Cut
Blade II (but definitely not Blade: Trinity) – from the same fanboy that brought us Hellboy.
From Hell – more love for Alan Moore’s comics.
The Crow
History of Violence

Brilliant Messes (Honorable Mentions)
Superman Returns
The Punisher

Let the nerd debates begin.

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Getting Snipped

I don’t like Blogs. Especially for writers. I think that they destroy the writer’s mystique. You don’t need to know what I had for breakfast, how I coordinate my underwear drawer, or what me and my wife fight about (which, as far as any of you are concerned is nothing. We rarely fight. She’s bigger than I am. And crazy. But you don’t need to know that either). … So you won’t be reading about my struggles with premature ejaculation or anorexia or any of the numerous way-too-personal things that I see on other blogs.

That was from my first blog ever. Admittedly, I’ve broken this mandate on numerous occasions. And today is no exception. It starts with a pet peeve of mine: people casually as the most intrusive personal questions.

If you are single, people, well-intentioned or not, feel the need to ask if you are dating or if you have a special someone. If you are dating, you get asked “when are you getting married?” If you are married, you get asked “when are you having kids?” [As an aside, I was only ever asked this one and a half times. The first time I was asked this, I announced to the crowd of interested friends, family, and fellow church attendees, which page of the Kama Sutra me and my new bride was working on. The “half” time I was asked happened when my friend was asked this question. Now, she was sitting right next to me – and had actually just found out she was pregnant – but was asked by someone she barely knew. So I asked if I could answer the question for her. She gave me the nod. So I went on a several minute harangue about their heartache of trying and trying to get pregnant with no success. And how every time the question is asked, it was like the wound being re-opened. But otherwise, thanks for asking. Actually, I’m still at a loss why I didn’t fit in better at that church.]

All of this brings me to the question that we get asked. We’ve been married six years. We have two boys, Reese (Maurice the Second, retroactively making me “Maurice the Great”; age 5) and Malcolm (Malcolm Xavier, who was to be just Malcolm X, but my wife wanted the X to stand for something and she vetoed the name “Xerxes”. The name was also chosen before we knew he was going to be blonde and blue-eyed. Age 4).

(L-R – Malcolm and Reese – the faces of evil)

Let me save you the trouble. No, we aren’t having anymore. No, we weren’t big Malcolm in the Middle fans and aren’t planning on having a Dewey. When we first got married, we talked about having five kids. (Contrary to the rumors, I was not going to name all of the kids after myself. I was going to name the first two BOYS after me – I would have called the third Maurice “Tre” – that way in case something happened to one of them, I’d still have a namesake. Oddly enough, my wife found this objectionable).

Then we had the first boy (Part I and Part II). Five became three. Then we had the second. And we knew we were done. Our working theory became with two kids we could still play man-to-man defense. Any more than that and we’d have to shift to a zone defense. Unfortunately, this meant that one of us had to get fixed.

And it wasn’t going to be me.

Yeah, yeah, call me a sexist all you want. I want to keep the account open. I want to keep the dream alive. Simply put, I live by a code. Like I tell my boys, “no bad touches” – which in my case means no lasers and/or no sharp implements down there. Okay, that and my wife didn’t trust me. For some reason she was convinced that I would fake going to the doctor’s appointment, but would still sit around the house for a weekend “recuperating.” And we’d end up with a Dewey.

Don’t you hate it when I’m procrastinating from starting new projects? You get me destroying the author’s mystique … one humiliating blog at a time.

If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say hi, feel free to do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.

Procrastinating Online

Not that I have a lot to do right now, with no deadlines for anything looming over the horizon, I still find myself needing to while away my days on the Internet. It’s either that or start new projects. Three things have me distracted at the moment:

1. I blame this little find on The Poobah. I don’t know from what depths he unearthed this, but we have 1500 music videos from the 80s. If for no other reason than because this gem had to be preserved for the ages.

2. I don’t know whether to be offended or amused, but do you want to make your words down for the hood? Try running them through And yes, someone has run my blog through this.

3. Need to know how sinful you are?

Your Deadly Sins
Pride: 40%
Envy: 20%
Gluttony: 20%
Sloth: 20%
Greed: 0%
Lust: 0%
Wrath: 0%
Chance You’ll Go to Hell: 14%
You will die of malnutrition, after the Olson twins make dying of malnutrition trendy.

(Which is an improvement because originally I had an envy problem and was fated to “You will die at the hands of a jealous lover. How ironic.”)

Alright. Time to actually get some things done.

If you want to make sure that I see your comment or just want to stop by and say hi, feel free to do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.