To Whom it May Concern: If it's going to be a slow week at work, then it needs to stay a slow week at work.You hear me? No more of this ghost town shit where the occasional paperwork request blows across the road like a tumbleweed on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday lulling me into a false sense of security and relaxation -- only to dump 16 tons of work on me the last two days of the week. So not cool.
Every now and then I'll hit these pockets of inactivity at work. Initially I don't mind them, because.. well because it's work, and who really wants to do that in the first place? But when those days without wind behind the sails run by, you occasionally worry a little bit that the boss is going to get the hint and realize that maybe you don't have enough to do during the day. So I guess in the end when the monsoons come again it's sort of a good thing -- but you get used to the tides being lazy, and the days passing with the words you choose to write, instead of the ones someone else pays you to use.
A man once said, "Prose is architecture, not interior decoration -- and the Baroque is over."And considering the week I've had, I'm fully inclined to drink to that.
So before I start discussing the honor code of Spanish bullfighters -- here are this weeks risers and fallers, and the buzz as it looks from here..
La Fée Verte I like Absinthe, but it doesn't like me. The shame of it is that is new variety that they're allowing for sale these days isn't even the full-on experience -- but then again, 90% of a mindfuck isn't really something to scoff at, either. We've been getting into the stuff lately at Endo, either straight over caramelized sugar cubes or mixed into Champagne, the way Hemingway first came up with. Say what you will about the Papa Bear, he always had a way of making drinking yourself to death seem exotic and classy, even if it never really is. That being said, it's an interesting departure from some of my normal choices -- even if it does leave me the next morning thinking that winged monkeys are climbing up the walls. Coffee Exile I always claim I want a life filled with spontaneity, with the opportunity for different things happening at any given moment. And yet when I'm at work or going through the motion with errands or tasks around my place, I often catch myself falling into patterns. For example, I feel like I'm able to be a lot more productive during my workday if I'm able to start it off doing paperwork and answering emails at my desk while enjoying a cup of coffee. Put some tunes on the headphones, pull up the files I need -- and dig through the tasks, and ease into my day with a few cups of Joe. Unfortunately, as I mentioned a while back -- a rule change came down a while back forbidding coffee from my area of the building. I was able to skirt around it for a while, but eventually the man said something about it, and it had to stop.
So now I come in, charge up the computer -- knock out anything that's immediately on fire, make sure I don't have any meetings coming up -- and then head off to another part of the building where I can knock back a cup or two. The weird thing is that it's not really that much of a difference from my regular routine at all. I'm still drinking coffee, catching some tunes, and ramping up into my day -- I'm just doing it in a different place.
But I'd gotten used to.. I'd become comfortable with that pattern of doing things. When I could have that mug with me -- things got done. It was almost like some sort of meditative state where I didn't mind reading reports and emails or doing research.Now I'm just in this other room, sitting there -- doing nothing.
I was never really the biggest comic book nerd. I had my share growing up -- but it never really held my attention the way that playing guitar, surfing, or chasing girls did. All that being said, even in my limited experience -- It always seemed to me that Iron Man was always sort of a second tier guy. It was an interesting spin on the whole superhero thing, and as the Marvel Universe became intertwined and self-aware over the years -- you could always count on seeing the "Stark Industries" name somewhere in all the other titles that were coming out, but even with the Avengers -- he always seemed like a "part of the team" guy. A secondary character that served more as a facilitator for other things to happen than the kind of icon that could drive larger stories.And yet, the first Iron Man film took all that and sort of tossed itAnd it's not just those of us who didn't think yet another superhero movie was really needed who were surprised by that film. My 9 year-old is NUTS over Iron Man. And why not? -- The first film was kinetic and fun, only dark if you were willing to scratch beneath the surface, and loaded with the kinds of tricks that make you want to strap on a suit (or a toy version of one) and fly off into the sky. A feeling I attribute more to director John Favreau, (who's done kid movies before) and seems to have a knack for remembering what makes superheros fun to watch.
on it's ear, and probably the biggest reason why is Robert Downey Jr.
Unfortunately, sequels are almost always about piling on. More villains. More cameos. More in-jokes. More toy tie-ins. All of which usually means ..less movie. The hype has been unavoidable, and although he didn't need any motivation -- my son has been literally salivating for this to come out. I'm sure it will be fun in it's own way, but I'm hoping beyond hope that it's somehow going to be as much fun as the first one.
Blood: The Last Vampire Lately I've been using my Netflix on demand options to catch up on a few Anime series that I got into, but wasn't able to keep up with when they were on TV. One of these that I'm really digging lately is Blood: The Last Vampire, based of Benkyo Tamaoki's manga. It's interesting, because unlike a lot of manga that spawns anime versions, this was just one book. Not a continued series loaded with extemporary characters or unrelated episodic story arcs that go on for far too long. And yet, there's been a full-length animated movie, a live action film, and a 50+ episode anime series based on this story. Essentially it's a darker take on the standard schoolgirl vs. monsters trope that Buffy the Vampire Slayer made famous, except that the vampires this time are more like full-on monsters and the violence is ramped way, way up. I wouldn't call it the best thing ever made, but like a lot of anime (especially with the TV series)-- once you get invested, it's hard not to want to finish it out to at least see how it all ends. The only issue I have with it is that half the lines in the show are supporting characters saying the protagonists name. Whenever they worry about her, its "Saya." Whenever she's in danger, it's "Saya." Whenever she saves the day, it's "Saya." Everyone says the name so much, I've considered making a drinking game out of it -- but I almost as quickly discarded the idea, because they use the word so much that if I tried to drink whenever someone said it my liver would probably explode. Arizona I know a number of amazing people who live in Arizona. Good friends, people I consider almost like extended family. But with all the weird news coming out of there, especially considering their new immigration laws towards Mexican immigrants and illegals -- it's hard to think of it as a nice place. I don't live there, so I really don't have enough perspective to pass judgment on how things are, but from a distance it's weird to think of a law so draconian and backwards even getting on the ballot, much less passing.
I mean, there's a heavy Hispanic population here in Florida where I live -- and even if people sometimes do get exasperated over language barriers and such, the Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Mexican population is a part of our environment now. Knowing Arizona's proximity to the border, its hard not to imagine it being a similar situation. I understand worries about the possibility of cheap labor threatening jobs, but some of the extents to which this new law goes is just crazy. Cops checking for papers for people they suspect of being illegal is nothing short of racial profiling, and even if it's tough finding a balance with different cultures in your economy -- that's not what America is supposed to be about.And it's not just Mexicans, either.You might not know this, because it's not as salacious or debate worthy as the immigration law debates going on, but the word is that Arizona has a problem with Canadians as well. After years of lackluster ticket sales and dwindling fan support, the Phoenix Coyotes NHL franchise has been looking to sell and move to another place. Word is that the best bet they've got going right now is Winnipeg, the city that Phoenix originally stole the team from in the first place. Sure the Suns are in the playoffs and the Cardinals made it to the Superbowl a few years back, but if you're going to get all high and whitey on all the immigrants in your state, then doesn't kicking your hockey team to the curb send sort of a mixed message? Get it together, honkies.
Machete Speaking of Arizona, the new trailer for Hey Someone Actually Gave Lindsey Lohan A JobMachete hit the web earlier this week. A full-length movie idea spawned from one of the spoof trailers that they played during the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse movies, Machete has been in the works for some time and now finally looks ready to roll. I'm a huge Danny Trejo fan, so I'm all over this -- but I always think it's funny when Robert Rodriguez does a movie trailer, because he always highlights the names of his star actors like it's a big deal -- even though he always used the same damn actors in every movie he makes.
Seriously, if you told me that he had a new movie coming out next year (he does, btw -- a reboot of the Predator series) the first thing I'd say is "A new Robert Rodriguez film eh? Let me guess -- Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Jeff Fahey, Michelle Rodriguez, his own kids, Jessica Alba.. am I in the ballpark here?") But here's the thing -- not that I'm not excited about this film, because it looks like a blast (Robert de Niro and Steven Seagal's not too shabby for stunt casting, eh?) but how are you gonna make a sterotypical Rodgriguez grindhouse flick about Mexican badasses and not have Salma Hayek in it? She's in all your damn movies -- even those awful Spy Kids sequels, but when this thing went into pre-production you didn't even think to give her a call? Worse yet, you gave what could have easily been her role to Lindsay fucking Lohan? That's not a trade up at all. Salma Hayek is easily one of the sexiest actresses working today. Lindsey Lohan is a gutter skank, and a horrible actress to boot. I mean, I can understand having her there might help make it seem like Jessica Alba is a better actress by comparison, but is that really worth keeping Hayek's body off of my movie screen?I think not.
[Listening to: Erykah Badu - "Agitation" ]