Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Ok, first of all, if you’re reading this (hopefully) I would urge you to make a quick scroll down to the previous blog. Doing so will ensure a better understanding of this posting and a better glimpse into one of the reasons I consider myself blessed.

I have recently realized that when it comes to my ‘fresh’ outlook on life and all the complications therein, my father is best described as sandpaper. No, he’s not brittle, rough, and abrasive. If anyone has ever dealt with wood working, you understand the true purpose of sandpaper. It does not truly alter the essence/structure of the wood, but improves it. Likewise, my father has never tried to drastically alter my views (no matter how extreme), but he has smoothed the edges of my more drastic views to reflect a bit more wisdom beyond my years and a more passive/understanding understanding of a larger picture.

Yes, I was very upset when writing my previous post. Dad, in all his wisdom, didn’t drastically disagree with most of my views, but offered an additional perspective on my anger as well as a bit of fact checking on my rant.   Much of this post will be excerpts from an email I will remember for the rest of my life…

“ First of all, God has given you a truly amazing gift with words - and for what it's worth, I'm truly thankful that they are English words and not Korean! Amazing how we end up being what God has designed us to be, and also where he has designed us to be...

I also appreciate your choosing, in such an angry state, to not be too "colorful" in your language. Although I suppose learning how to "crap gold” or "suck it James Dobson" gets mighty close to colorful... How ever does your mind work?

The Lord has chosen to use you to change and reframe some of my thinking, and it is for certain that I could never be more proud to be your dad.

Now to the subject of James Dobson - I'm not sure you can believe everything that you read on the Internet about him. I do know that Dobson supports "Exodus", and I have personally heard the director of Exodus say there are only 2 reasons a person would be homosexual: 1) weak ineffective father 2) having been molested sexually at some point in life. While that might be true in some cases, particularly for some who are "confused" about their sexuality, or who are choosing to play around with alternate lifestyles, we certainly know it is not true in your case. And frankly it makes me also quite angry when such leaders make blanket statements.

Now Dobson has been quite vocal about homosexual lifestyles that are decadent, sinful, and dangerous - even as he has also been vocal about such things among heterosexuals. It does, though, seem the greater condemnation has been pointed at homosexuals.

Also, Dobson does NOT get rich from his ministry (unlike so many other TV evangelists). He takes no salary from "Focus on the Family". Money from all books he's written for the ministry or in any way advertised by the ministry goes directly back into "Focus on the Family". He honestly cares about anyone making poor life choices that results in broken families, AIDS, aborted children, drug ridden homes, etc. He's written a number off things that have personally helped me. Unfortunately I think there is a great deal he doesn't understand about this particular subject. I'm sure if you were his son, God could show him some things that would cause him to rethink some of the things he says. For that matter, if you're careful to not show too much anger (so that folks turn you off), I think God can use you to help a number of folks!

I know you tend to make rather dramatic statements to get your point across, but you have to understand that statements like "I would rather burn in Hell than share an inch of paradise with them", well, that is pretty strong. The reality is that Heaven will be filled with all kinds of characters. I know there will be Lutherans dumfounded at all the Catholics and Baptists that are there. And to refer to your previous statement "more empty than a Baptist dancehall,” well there will be a number of Baptists that wonder what us drinking, dancing Lutherans are doing there. This dialogue will continue. As you will continue to be a son that I love very much! Dad”

So, that was bit more of a carbon copy than an excerpt, but those words just prove my point. However, I could only hope someday to trade some more of my ‘colorful’ rhetoric for the ability to convey reason and wisdom as effortlessly as the man I call ‘dad.’

After reading this email and reflecting on my anger for more than 5 minutes, I would like to say that I simply am tired of the myriad of individuals who are driven by ignorance and self-righteousness that continue to tell me that I’m a square kind of guy in a round world. My heart also breaks for other 'square' individuals that aren't as fortunate as me to have such a support system (read email above). If it weren't for my amazing family, I would have probably resorted to drugs, alcohol, sex, and/or suicide to cope with the tsunami of stupid. You know, I might not ever change the minds of certain people, but blogging about it sure relieves some of my fury.

PS - I hardly ever get on my 'gay soap box,' so don't expect too many of these blogs in the future...

Life in 3D

*Please consider this a warning that I am writing out of pure, unadulterated anger in response to a statement by James Dobson. If you know me, you know that this is a pretty dangerous state to find me in. So, be prepared and forewarned about what you are about to read. There is no swearing (I know a few ladies who read this, who would like to remain ladies.) That being said…

I would like to talk about 3 things: dreams, dads, and dignity.

From a young tender age we dream. We wonder about what we’ll grow up to be and what great things we want to accomplish throughout the course of a lifetime. However, there are plenty of things that are never dreamed about, they are more like nightmares. When I was a kid, I didn’t hope to live a lifestyle that was hated by a majority of society. I didn’t grow up eager that someday I would be dragged behind a truckload of rednecks and murdered for who I love. I rarely thought gosh, wouldn’t it be neat that someday I would hate who I was and how I loved so much that I would sooner stick my head in an oven than wake up another day in a world that despises me? I certainly didn’t hope that the telling of one of my most personal secrets could possibly rip my family at the seams and cause me to lose those I loved like family. Now, none of these things has happened, but because of people Dr. Dobson and his ilk, they sure were in the back of my mind growing up, along with all the other ‘dreams.’ The fact that I would CHOOSE a future with any of these as even a remote possibility is as twisted as it is laughable.

I suppose the statement that upset me the most was his finger pointing at dads. If you have ever met my father, you were in the presence of greatness in every sense of the word. Dobson’s statements that homosexuality is rooted in a lack of a proper father figure are both an insult to my father, my admiration for the man he is (and I hope to be), and me. I quote, “it is the responsibility of a father to raise his son to be a "man", and to encourage his son's masculinity.” Somehow masculine is supposed to be equivocal to straight. Unfortunately, not all gay or straight people can be boiled down to a stereotype you stupid waste of a human being. I know plenty of straight guys who hate football, beer, and/or any other stereotypical masculine activity. I also know plenty of ‘homos’ who are more masculine than most straight guys out there. Being straight doesn’t automatically make you a dark beer drinking, lumberjack, and the gay membership doesn’t necessarily come with Madonna tickets and glitter body lotion. He also Plus, there are countless gay men who come from perfectly functional, Brady-esq families. There are also tons of straight guys whose families could appear on multiple episodes of Jerry Springer. Suck it James Dobson!

One of the most important ideals I cling to is dignity. Dobson supports many groups that are aimed at ‘converting’ gay men. I can’t speak for everyone, but that would be like asking me to learn how to start crapping gold. I personally believe that many of these ‘success-stories’ are men just fooling themselves into social complacency. I would rather live 10,000,000 lifetimes a gay man who can hold his head high, than live 1 second as a self-hating liar. Also, in many of his statements, Dobson seems to equate homosexuality with sexual perversion. The last time I checked I have yet to molest a child, screw a goat/family member, or have simultaneous sex with multiple individuals. Furthermore, are you really saying that a straight man would never rape, molest, or conduct in any other kind of ‘perversion?’

Everyone always asks why do bad things happen to good people? But, why do good things happen to bad people? He may not be teaching hate like so many other groups, but his stance on homosexuality and its origins is based in some pseudo-psychology and supposed 'compassionate' standpoint. But, statements like these from social and spiritual leaders who get rich leading others to so-called righteous lifestyles make me want to denounce my God and His followers like Dobson cause I would rather burn in Hell than share an inch of paradise with them. We’re all imperfect people living imperfect lives! Why not focus on teaching love, compassion, acceptance, and looking through nonjudgmental eyes?! Didn’t some guy a long time ago do that?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Let me hear you say "huh!"

There are times throughout the day that things just make you go ‘huh.’ It can be anything from a drastically dressed coworker, a person who seems like a walking lesson in contradictions, or… well… there are some things so ‘huh,’ there are no words… Luckily enough for you, there are plenty of ‘huhs’ that are worthy of more words than a picture!

One thing that makes me go ‘huh’ is the fact that some people don’t seem to own a mirror. Now, granted you might not be waking up everyday to a formal gathering or special event. But, you are going to see people aren’t you? I mean, unless you’re a computer programmer who works out of your own Unabomber basement, don’t you care that people see you? Having a good sense of self and disregarding the shallow opinions of others is one thing. But, there are certain fashion choices that are beyond shallow. I mean, bleach blonde highlights went out of style in… actually… I don’t think they were ever IN style. Plus, if you are expected to dress business casual (usually a policy just waiting to be abused), casual doesn’t negate the need for a good ironing. Some people look like they vacuum seal their clothes for freshness the night before they wear them.

Get er’ done! Huh?! I never thought I would actually write those words. My friend told me a story about going to a bar and seeing a man wearing a T-Shirt with that catchphrase who looked like every sense of the slogan. Ok, first of all, combined, those are probably the 3 worst words in the history of the King’s English. Larry the Cable Guy uttered that ugliness many years ago (and it wasn't even funny then), so why are people still so pleased with its twangy lack of charm? Certain slang and colloquialisms are just so confusing/annoying/senseless that you just ‘huh’ at the very fact that these words are becoming part of someone’s regular vocabulary.

A more isolated but hilarious ‘huh’ of late was pointed out to me by a coworker. At the bottom of a corporate email sent out by another one our coworkers says (in green mind you) ‘Please consider the environment before printing this email.’ Now, at first glance, this person seems like a regular Al Gore in his quest to conserve our planet's natural resources. But, I don’t know what good paper will do us when we have no gas because this guy rolls into work in a Hummer! Really? Yeah, a Hummer! There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t hear about the record-breaking highs of the price of paper! Let me remind my grandchildren to thank this guy and his ilk for making them wear SPF 3000!

One final ‘huh’ is actually more of an ‘ah!’ I don’t know where you grew up, but I come from a place called Earth, where people should have a sense of proximity. That’s right, I’m talking to you close talkers or hoverers! If I can hardly remember your last name, what are the chances that I want to smell what you had for lunch? Another lesson in proximity occurs in any men’s public restroom. I know girls go in herds to discuss whatever’s necessary, but guys are in a rather small space with their float and fun bags out. Why is it some people feel so comfortable as to make small talk?! Gabbing by the water-cooler about how mean Simon was on American Idol is one thing. I don’t want anything as far as a ‘good morrow’ during my 5 minutes of alone time.

You might be reading this and thinking ‘huh?’ But, I just had to get these few things off my chest… What makes you say 'huh?'

Monday, June 23, 2008

It's a party!

Regardless of the media outlet, we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with marketing campaigns, advertising pitches, and the latest thing that will change your life for $19.95. This being said, I have made my peace with 99% of commercials that flash across the tube, stream through the airwaves, and are interspersed in my US Weekly. However, that 1% has caused me to pick quite the bone.

This might be a gross topic (exactly my primary problem with the commercials), but is it absolutely necessary to continue to air tampon commercials? I know they are a vital part of surviving the female condition, but if I know it, they must too! Your target demographic is well informed about such products, so why waste more of your advertising budget to explain what is already known to some and just gross/annoying to the rest?

Also, I’m not sure if the ladies agree with me, but why is that Tampax has to make your period look like a party? Obviously, I’ve never experienced one, but let me tell you, ‘menstrual cycle’ sounds like anything but a spa treatment. It seems like a slap in the face to have these actresses in commercials Salsa dancing, riding bikes, and playing beach volleyball while they are supposedly on their periods. Worse is when they show the actual product dance or fly across the screen! It’s not that fun, period!

One minor complaint about such media is the faux-graphicness of the demonstration. We all know what they’re used for, must you pour blue liquid all over them to show absorbent they are? In a word, NO!

So, tampon manufacturers far and wide, save yourself a few bucks and stick to print ads localized in the more female aimed Cosmo, Jane, and Redbook magazines. Please save us the 30 seconds of dancing, singing, and laughing that is just my #1 reason for having TiVo.

Lip Service

When you’re in an elevator, by a water-cooler, passing in a public venue, or in any number of simple social situations, there is almost always a dreaded practice one must pay: small talk. Now, I am undoubtedly a social creature, but this is one social P&Q that seems like a lot of B-S. If you really think about it, all you’re doing is filling an empty and possibly awkward silence by acknowledging another individual, without actually having to acknowledge them or expend too much of your personal time and/or energy to inquire about anything of substance. It’s a social gesture best performed with the backhand.

For starters, it’s almost always rushed and/or has a definite end. While this may be desired for certain tasks, when it comes to talking to another person, I feel that it should be quite the opposite. True conversation can take up quite a bit of your time, and anyone who doesn’t live in an Amish community knows that time is precious. Therefore, why should one let an inane conversation interrupt his or her grocery shopping, food/drink ordering, or whatever task is truly on your mind when someone walks up and asks something completely vague like ‘what’s up?’ It’s like call waiting that you can’t get rid of. Someone should invent a live caller id. A little alert that will go up and let you know that someone you don’t want to talk to is in proximity and is about to spot you! My true family and friends know that once I get started, it’s hard to shut me up. I believe this is because I want to have a conversation, not a random encounter of formless, substance-less dialogue.

Which brings me to my next point that small-talk is as empty as a Baptist Church Dancehall. If you want to know about the weather, look up or out a window. Asking me what I think about it getting warmer, colder, wetter, windier is as much of a waste of your breath as it is my energy to respond with an emotionless, ‘yeah, sure is.’ I am completely satisfied with a nod and smile or simple ‘hello.’ What makes people think they are obligated to extend the experience with questions that already have an answer? Or, worst case scenario, you ask a simple question expecting an equally simple and short answer, and you just busted open a can of worms that you don’t have the time and/or energy to even begin to stuff back inside. You say, ‘how is your day going?’ And their response is a tale of their personal narrative summing up their horrible day that is equal parts hyperbole and annoying. At this point, your only escape from this story is either a stroke or a meteor falling from the sky. Look what you got yourself into!

More often than not, when I have a conversation with someone, it’s going to mean something or accomplish something. I have set aside the time, invested my interests, and cleared myself of most other distractions. Great conversations happen when you’re lying in bed about to drift off to bed talking to someone on the phone, quietly over a nice big cup of coffee (or glass of wine/cold beer), or a great meal.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What's wrong with you?!?!

Wow! Contrary to what you’re about to read, I believe I might just have no words for the article I just read. So, I’m perusing and come across an article that diagnosis a new psychological disorder that is, and I quote, “running rampant in Americans… and is at the heart of modernity’s most common problems.” You know, a statement like is bound to raise some eyebrows and keep this blogger reading, so that’s exactly what I did (eyebrows raised and all).

As I delved into the article, my 1st warning sign should have been the source. This article wasn’t pulled from the AP nor have a byline from a renowned psychologist. In one filthy, unadulterated malevolent word: Oprah. That’s right kids! She builds schools, gives away cars, and is also a conduit for pseudo-psychological mumbo-jumbo (I believe that is the technical term).

So, besides the source/endorsement of evil, what is the subject that put such bend in my boxer-briefs? The answer: empathy deficit disorder (EDD). It states that many American’s aren’t empathetic enough! To an extent, this is probably true. But, a closer look at the ‘why’ would probably be more fruitful than coming up with new ways to label someone a B!+©H.

For starters, Americans as a culture spend way too much time labeling deficiencies in character as ‘disorders.’ Now, all of these disorders come from real problems and real people have them and should be treated accordingly. But the diagnoses are so abundant that it seems that something is wrong with everyone nowadays. Meanwhile, the pharmaceutical world just sits back and watches the money roll in while Tom Cruise leaps over ottomans condemning their usage. I highly doubt that EDD is on par with bulimia, manic-depression, and/or bi-polar disorder. Let’s deal with the bigger things before we start inventing new and highly superficial disorders.

Also, I personally find it hard to empathize with people, because people are like snowflakes: each one is different. What are the chances that my life events align with another individual’s enough to give me a clear enough picture of what to say/feel/think/do? Devastating, shocking, and other highly emotional situations that could use a little empathy require an immense amount of tact to approach. These are times where there isn’t a foot big enough in the world to make up for a slip of the tongue.

I think the biggest reason people are less empathetic is because in the past someone trying to be empathetic just ended up being pathetic. This universe must be spinning crazier than plates at a three ring circus because it seems to revolve around every individual on the planet. People (myself included) are at time so self-centered that their version of ‘empathy’ turns into a 10 minute story about themselves and there somewhat similar experience. I’m sorry, but when something bad happens to me, I don’t wanna hear your story with emotional embellishment that makes your woe exponentially worse than mine. That’s just me, but we all have that friend that is so competitive he/she is faster, smarter, and even has worse days than you. That’s not empathy. So, labeling this behavior a ‘deficit’ is incorrect. The person is merely an idiot.

So, I honestly can’t decide what got me more miffed. Was it the stamp of approval by Or was it the flood of pseudo-psychology that is becoming the new American Way? Or was it possibly that I’m not a very empathetic person and don’t like to be described in terms of acronyms? Well, IDK. All I know is, I think that EDD is a steaming load of BS. People have REAL problems, do we really need to make up fake ones???

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Feels Like Home

Regardless of the trigger, there are certain sensations that have the magical power like a wonder straight out of a tale from the mind H.G. Wells. Like the taste of a fresh carved turkey or a meal that feels delightfully home-cooked, the tiniest sampling transports you to that simple place: home. 

Now, any passage referencing nostalgia works much like the passage’s content. It reminds you of every other piece of prose that talks about the sights, smells, sounds of days gone by. However, my point here is not to be outstandingly original. It is more to remind you about those little reminders that are more powerful than a sledge hammer and as deeply rooted as an ancient oak.

These mental/emotional imprints usually predate memory and require neither internal explanation nor differentiation. Like a Frisbee to the forehead, you are instantly aware of their presence and whichever moment their sensation correlates to. Whether the interim is measured in moments, days, or years, the intensity is rarely diminished. The reaction isn’t solely a reminder of a past time. The power is actually two-fold insofar as some inexplicable power almost seems to actually take you back there. The memory/feeling evoked is so vivid it is almost tangible. 

So, after that considerably ‘wordy’ introduction, I now ponder about those things in my life that absolutely take me back. I would have to say my most powerful sense of nostalgia is in a spoonful of green bean casserole. It is an absolute staple at my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving and personally desired at just about any special meal that necessitates fine china. Not only is it one of my favorite dishes in the world, but one taste of those creamy green beans and crunchy topping take me back to all the memories equal parts warm, fuzzy, and chaotic. I am taken back to the mental pictures of family around the table talking, laughing, and spilling milk.

More recently, the latest time warp was experienced as I stepped back to Decatur Heights. Every year since I was 2 years old, my family and I would pack up and head to a small lake in Northern Indiana to rendezvous with my mother’s side of the family. From the moment we pulled up to the front driveway, I remember being the terror of a child I used to be running around the hard wood floors and begging my Uncle to take me out on the lake (regardless of the weather).

One week out of the year was as looked forward to, as it was sad to see come and gone. Whether it was the big red paddleboat ferry that passed by and honked its horn, or the girls’ and boys’ dorms with sets of the worst mattresses on the planet, there were certain things one could always expect when you stepped in that door. There were also a few things one could expect to never expect, one most importantly being silence! With dozens of grandchildren running around, our parents, at times, were definitely in need of some serious medication.

Throughout the years and amongst the chaos, certain traditions stood the test of time. Great meals, bruised children (from tubing), group pictures, usually at least 1+ crying child, ice cold/boiling hot showers, a few family feuds, growing pains, board games (Catch Phrase), and leg wrestling shook the nails out of the studs and almost blew the roof off this cottage once a year. All 100 cousins (literary hyperbole, sort of) would laugh, play and enjoy their turn on the lake and with each other. If there weren’t little ones screaming for the lives on top of an inner tube, they were having the time of their lives laughing under them while building forts on the deck.

The years (20!) continue to pass, and every year there seems to be a new face around. However, most frustratingly, there are almost always a few faces missing. This little thing called life (which the lucky get to escape for this blessed week) gets in the way and keeps the attendance less than perfect. In the past, there have been unfortunate gaps in my own attendance. This year in particular, I was anxious/nervous about how I would fold back into the group. I knew they would remember me, because anything short of a lobotomy wouldn’t remove the mental scaring of my childhood/teenage shenanigans! But, I wasn’t 100% on the new dynamics, faces, and family I haven’t seen in years…

Well, for the 1st time in my life, I was wrong. From the second I stepped in the door (and grabbed my first cookie), I was transported back. Things may have changed, but strangely enough, they hadn’t. The water still had that same grimace inducing after-taste, the laughs were loud, and the family was… family! There will of course be a mile-long blog about this week in particular, but I just wanted to say that its good to be home.

PS – I will say the primary thing that is a constant reminder of change, is this burning, aching feeling all over my body from being a waterlogged rag doll being dragged behind a speedboat with nothing but the sound of screams and my Uncle’s maniacal cackling. He knows that no matter how we age or grow, his nieces, nephews, and own children are ALWAYS nothing but toys that bend to his will on the water. I don’t think anyone has made more children fear for their lives behind a boat.

It does a body good...

A memorable character from the annals of cinematic history once sat on a bench and shared the wisdom of his ‘mama’ with the passersby. But once you’ve taken that 1st bite of ‘never know what you’re gonna get,’ what’s next? You’re sitting there with caramel, dark/light/milk/white chocolate, or some artificially flavored filling that hardly resembles ‘strawberry’ in your mouth and what? Life just might be like a box of chocolates, but actually living life is more like a glass of milk, and what goes better with chocolate than a glass of milk?

The only way to continually get up in the morning and survive a day in this world is through the art of optimism. Any situation coupled with the correct outlook can be tolerable. Many say that the glass is either ½ full or ½ empty. This is a decent way of comparing optimism and pessimism, but this vague platitude is actually only ½ useful. What’s the inherent benefit of a merely convenient labeling of the status quo with a more desirable name? Because when you think about it, even if you called a root canal a 'rollercoaster,' would it hurt any less?!

While the outlook on exactly how to define a ½ is important, the missing key to this expression is to look even further. Merely finding the silver lining is not enough. Just like ‘peas and carrots,’ optimism goes hand in hand with hope. (Wow, this blog is sure getting a lot of analogy mileage out of Mr. Gump.) Now, there times when one must accept adversities, finish off that remaining ½, and start from scratch. Also, there are times when that glass is knocked over and there’s nothing you can do but try your hardest not to cry over spilled milk. But don’t fret! The good people from Borden will be along to pour another one on ya! So, not only must you see the glass ½ full, you must hope that at some point it will be completely full if not overflowing with lactose blessings.

So, whether you’re a girl or boy, whether the milk is skim or soy, enjoy your chocolates and drink your milk*.

*If you are diabetic and/or lactose intolerant, I apologize that you get very little from this.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hit & Run... straight to hell

I’ve been sitting and staring at my monitor for the past few minutes in shock of the article I just read. has reported a tragic accident in Hartford, CT. An elderly gentleman was the victim of a hit and run on a residentially adjacent street. I wish that my disgust was solely focused on the fact that an individual was reckless enough to hit a person with their car, however this feeling in my stomach that is about to upchuck the burrito I had for breakfast is result of the aftermath…

Yes, a person was hit with a car and the driver was soulless and/or stupid enough to drive off. It won’t be the first, and unfortunately, the last time. It’s a tragedy, but as long as there are pedestrians and vehicles sharing the same pavement, these accidents will continue to happen. Why did this article make national headlines on the largest news reporting entity in the world? Well, apparently a hole is about to open and suck Hartford straight to Hell, because after the man was struck with the vehicle, onlookers and passing cars did just that. Intersection video cameras and witness reports recount the fact that shortly after the man was hit, fellow pedestrians did nothing but stare at a still conscious man bleed and writhe in pain, and even worse, other vehicles merely maneuvered around him! This was a 78-year-old father, working-class citezen, and, oh yeah, HUMAN BEING! I've seen people pull over to properly move a dead dog off the street, but these people couldn't stop to assist a person!? I'm all for animal rights, but this was a person! (Excuse me while I go projectile vomit on PETA). What is this world coming to?!

Now, I’ll admit that if I see a car pulled over on the side of the road with their hazard lights on, I might pass by. If someone trips and falls in public with no apparent ailments, I might smirk and pass by. But, there is absolutely no excuse for the actions reported in the article. (I really wish I were smart enough to put a link to it or something, but oh well. Get your Google on!).

I wish this was the part where I would convey some advice or possible condemnation to this situation, but I honestly have no words. How does one even begin to respond to such actions? What reasoning and/or middle ground can one offer in light of such a lack of morality? I have nothing. Nothing but disdain for our society’s less and less reliable moral compass. Live at your own risk!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Movies = Solely A Spectators' Sport

I have previously written a blog about the decline in cinematic. I digressed about my complete disregard for more than ½ of the films that are rolling out Hollywood. This blog is similar insofar as it is related to movies, but directors, producers, and studios get a reprieve because my crosshairs are locked onto the audience.

In this fickle world, there are certain social practices one must follow (or people used to follow). Now, more often than not, these P’s & Q’s seem like a lot of B-S, but regardless, we adhere to them. One should hold doors open for women (why? I have no idea). One should never start eating unless everyone at the table has been served. One should usually refrain from flipping off the Lightning McQueen on 635 that cut you off. Emphasis on the word ‘should.’ These examples, at some point, bring me to my point, what has happened to movie theater etiquette?

First of all, you are in a dark room with a couple hundred other people. Proximity is an issue, so be aware of your personal space and that of those around you. Sure, the soundtrack might be catchy, but does that require you to tap your foot against the back of my chair? Also, unless you are elderly, walk with a cane, or are just that lazy, the back of my chair is not meant to be used as leverage to pry your sorry butt out of your’s!

Probably the most annoying thing about movies is the type of audience. I recently saw a movie with a group of friends. The movie: Prince Caspian, an amazing follow-up, but not quite a children’s movie. For starters, it is over 2 hours long. What 3-year-old do you know that can endure sitting for that long? And it is massively violent (decapitation) and deals with much more mature themes than its predecessor. The only reason this movie has a PG rating is because the violence lacks blood. Therefore, unless your child is old enough to actually be entertained by a film (not traumatized) and has the patience to endure 2 hours of immobility, why waste your $7? Moreover, why waste the patience and entertainment pleasure of those around you? Finally, don’t even get me started on parents who bring their children to PG-13 or R-Rated films. If you wanna see a movie with that rating that bad, either get a sitter or Netflix.

My final point SHOULD go without saying, but shut the hell up! I talk more than the average person, but there is a time and place (i.e. – NOT the 7:00 showing of Sex And The City at Tinseltown). If you wanna chat with your friends, go to a restaurant or Starbucks. Another thing, don’t ask stupid questions like ‘where’s she going?’ Was I in the movie or part of the writing process? If you don’t know, chances are I don’t either. Also, there are very few phrases dumber than ‘did you see that?’ No, genius, I paid $7 to stare at the friggin’ floor! Gasps, tears, laughter, possibly applause if absolutely worth it, are the only acceptable noises in a movie theater. Speaking of which, when your drink is gone, it’s gone. No matter how much you suck on that straw, there will never be more Dr. Pepper. The only thing you’re accomplishing is raising my heart rate.

So, word to the wise, if you cannot conform to these rules, become a renter only. Hey, it’s cheaper, more convenient, and you can talk as loud as Oprah for all I care (I won’t be there). If you feel you can live up to the challenge of actually being able to act like a suitable member of society for 2 hours, pass the Sour Patch Kids.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Not my words...

"To get something you never had,
you have to do something you never did.
When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you,
but merely opening your hands to receive something better.
'The Will of God will never take you where
the Grace of God will not protect you."

I would like to think that I am wise enough to think up something like this, but truth be told, my years still lack this much wisdom. My friend, Allison, sent this to me during a time where such words couldn't be more appropriate. Although I haven't really lost anything in this particular situation (other than a hit to my pride), I feel this is extremely appropriate.

It seems a plan and goal I had in my head to complete during this past week was pushed back a month. Apparently God didn't think to consult my plan of events... Which is all good, but I sometimes wish He would give me a glimpse into his Blackberry.

30 days behind me, 30 more to go...